Collagen powders and supplements are on the rise globally. Trending in Japan and Korea – where picking up a collagen smoothie on your way to work is as commonplace as ordering coffee – this super ingredient has been touted as the next big thing for healthy aging. We spoke to Luci Firth, director of Adashiko Collagen, to get the low down.
Adashiko has a Japanese background. Can you tell us a little bit about the brand and the industry?
I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to take over the brand from the creator of Adashiko, Yuko Arquette, an amazing Japanese woman with a research and development background who worked for one of Japan’s largest health and beauty companies. Japanese collagen is known for being the best in the world, and after using the product myself and getting some incredible results, I knew this was something that New Zealand women and men would love too. The collagen industry is so exciting at the moment. We can expect to see more and more innovative collagen products popping up in the next few years.
The collagen trend is going crazy overseas. How do you think this translates to us here in New Zealand?
I feel like there has been huge growth in the last few years in natural health, beauty, and healthy aging. Asia is leading a lot of skincare trends, and many of the products we’re seeing – like collagen and cloth masks – have filtered through to us from there. I’ve also noticed more women looking for preventative aging options outside of injectable treatments like Botox. Collagen as a supplement is such a perfect natural health and beauty booster for this purpose.
How does collagen powder work?
A lot of people don’t realise that for collagen to work it must have a small molecule size and be taken at the right dosage (five grams per day). Unfortunately, there are a lot of products out there that don’t meet these standards and simply don’t have any effect on the body. Peptide collagen is the best-absorbed version available – and we’re proud to say that ours has a super small molecule size for optimal absorption. After being ingested, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to cells in the body, where it sends a signal that stimulates fibroblast and cartilage cells to promote the formation of new collagen. It’s a pretty incredible process.
What are some of the benefits of taking collagen?
Initially, there was a huge focus on the beauty benefits, like smoother skin, reduced wrinkles, and increased hydration etc. Collagen is known to be a beauty supplement, but in truth, there are so many additional uses for it, from supporting lean muscle mass and recovery post-exercise, promoting healthy digestion and gut healing, right through to relieving pain and discomfort in the joints. It’s truly a full-body booster.
How do you take it?
The beauty of pure collagen powder is that it is tasteless, odourless, and heat resistant which means you can mix it with anything! I love mine in my morning smoothie with banana and berries, but our customers put it in tea, coffee, bliss balls, oatmeal, or even mix it into salad dressing or hummus. For dosage and absorption purposes it is definitely best taken as a powder which is why we don’t do capsules.
What’s the best way for people to get the most out of their collagen?
My top tip is to take it daily and consider it a long-term lifestyle supplement. We’re all used to instant results and gratification, but I always tell people to give it at least four weeks before noticing tangible benefits. Usually, the first things people see are their nails getting stronger and longer and improved skin radiance I call “the Adashiko glow.” Over time the benefits get better and better. I can’t go without it now.