Collagen products are everywhere, with new brands popping up constantly. Without doing a bit of research, it can be tricky knowing the difference between brands and products. Some companies are even touting vegan "collagen builders", adding to the general confusion.
Labelling can be incredibly misleading: seeing the words "vegan" and "collagen" on a product could lead you to believe that it contains exactly that. If you are vegan or vegetarian, we encourage you to read labels and do your own research.
But can collagen be vegan?
No. Collagen can only come from animal sources. Found in the connective tissue of animals, the main types of collagen used in supplements are bovine, porcine, and marine. Sustainable collagen is sourced from leftover connective tissue, skin, and bones from ethical farming or fishing practices.
If you choose not to eat meat or consume any animal products, then collagen will likely not appeal or be right for you. Marine collagen only contains type one collagen, where other animal collagen sources contain types one, two, and three - making them more effective for full-body health rather than just skin, hair, and nails.
So what about these vegan "collagen" products?
To clarify, plants do not contain or produce collagen, so there is no such thing as vegan collagen. Plant-based collagen builders may include vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients to SUPPORT collagen production.
It's essential to make the distinction here: potentially supporting collagen production, and supplementing with collagen are two completely different things.
But what makes a quality collagen supplement? And how do I choose one for me?
There are two crucial elements to a quality collagen supplement:
Unprocessed collagen is comprised of large molecules, making it impossible to absorb. The only collagen worth taking is peptide collagen that has been through a process called hydrolysation, breaking it down to small molecule size. Adashiko's is 3000 Daltons, and we are the only company in New Zealand that discloses molecule size. Only peptide collagen can be absorbed through the digestive tract.
Strength and dosage
The latest research findings in clinical studies presented at the OARSI World Congress show that 5gm (5000mgs) of collagen daily is the optimum dosage for efficacy. Two scoops of all Adashiko powders provide 5gm of collagen. Lower doses in capsules or powder form won't have the desired effect and are unlikely to provide much in the way of benefits.
In addition, an excellent formulation will include supporting ingredients tailored to your specific needs.
Our Ultra formula contains Vitamin C to increase absorption and production, and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate the skin and body from the inside out. It also contains Elastin, a protein that gives full body elasticity, firmness, and resilience, and Co Q10, a powerful antioxidant that boosts energy, supports the entire body and helps to generate collagen and elastin fibres.
Our Joint formula contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM to support healthy, mobile joints.
If you want pure, unadulterated collagen, you can't go wrong with our Pure formula. We recommend this formula to pregnant and breastfeeding women too (always check with your midwife or doctor before starting new supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding).