I’ll begin with the dangerous information: There aren’t any vegetarian collagen sources. Each collagen complement you see on the shelf got here from a residing organism. Although someplace down the road somebody will most likely develop legit collagen in a lab setting, it’s not out there at this time or for the foreseeable future.
Now, some excellent news: Vegans and vegetarians most likely want much less dietary collagen than the typical meat eater or Primal eater as a result of a significant purpose omnivores want collagen is to steadiness out all of the muscle meat we eat. After we metabolize methionine, an amino acid discovered abundantly in muscle meat, we burn by glycine, an amino acid discovered abundantly in collagen. In the event you’re not consuming muscle meat, you don’t want as a lot glycine to steadiness out your eating regimen, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a dietary necessity.
Collagen isn’t nearly “balancing out meat consumption.” It’s the perfect supply of a conditionally important amino acid often called glycine. We solely make about three grams of glycine a day. That’s not practically sufficient. The human physique requires at least 10 grams per day for basic metabolic processes, so we’re a mean each day deficit of seven grams that we have to make up for by eating regimen. And in illness states that disrupt glycine synthesis, like rheumatoid arthritis, we’d like much more.
What About Marine Collagen?
Okay, however consuming a product created from a cuddly cow or an clever pig is off limits for many vegetarians. What about marine collagen—collagen derived from fish bones, scales, and pores and skin?
Again about twenty years in the past, “vegetarians” usually ate fish. Numerous them nonetheless exist out within the wild, individuals who for one purpose or one other keep away from consuming land animals (together with birds) however do frequently eat marine animals. If it jibes together with your ethics, marine collagen is a legit supply of collagen for vegetarians. The constituent amino acids are practically similar to the amino acids of mammalian collagen with very related proportions and properties.
It’s extremely bioavailable, with the collagen peptides usually exhibiting up intact within the physique and able to work their magic—identical to bovine or porcine collagen. The truth is, in the event you ask many marine collagen purveyors, it’s even extra bioavailable than mammalian collagen owing to its decrease molecular weight.
I’m undecided that’s really correct, although.
In response to some sources, marine collagen is available in smaller particles and is thus extra bioavailable than mammalian collagen, however I haven’t seen stable proof.
There’s this paper, which mentions elevated bioavailability in a bullet level off-hand, virtually as an assumption or widespread information.
This analysis discovered low molecular weights in collagen derived from fish waste. Mammalian collagen typically has greater molecular weights, in order that seems to be right.
Nonetheless, a very recent pro-marine collagen paper that makes a powerful case for the usage of marine collagen in wound restore, oral supplementation, and different medical purposes doesn’t point out elevated bioavailability. It might be barely extra bioavailable—the decrease the molecular weight, the extra true that’s—however I don’t assume the impact may be very significant. Mammalian collagen is loads bioavailable (most efficacious research use collagen from cows or pigs), even when it’s just a few dozen kilodaltons heavier.
However even when marine collagen isn’t notably superior to mammal collagen, it’s equally useful.
For pores and skin well being: Fish collagen improves hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling in humans who eat it. And again.
For metabolism: Fish collagen improves glucose and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetics. HDL and insulin sensitivity go up, triglycerides and LDL go down.
And though fish collagen hasn’t been studied within the therapy of joint ache, if it’s something like different varieties of collagen, it would assist there too.
What Are Strict Vegetarian Choices?
What in the event you completely gained’t eat collagen from marine sources? Is there something you are able to do as a vegetarian to make up for it?
Make Your Personal
You may cobble collectively your individual facsimile of collagen by making an amino acid combination. Glycine, proline, and arginine don’t cowl all the amino acids current in collagen, however they’re broadly out there and hit the most important ones.
Nonetheless, consuming the amino acids that make up collagen individually doesn’t have the identical impact on these collagenous tissues as consuming them collectively in a collagenous matrix. One purpose is that the collagen matrix can survive digestion roughly intact, giving it totally different organic properties and results.
In a single study, rats with osteoporosis ate collagen hydrolysate that scientists had marked with a radioactive signature to permit them to trace its course by the physique. It survived the digestive tract intact, made it into the blood, and accumulate within the kidneys. By day 14, the rats’ thigh bones had gotten stronger and denser with extra natural matter and fewer water content material.
One other study discovered related outcomes, this time for cartilage of the knee. Mice who ate radioactive collagen hydrolysate confirmed elevated radioactivity within the knee joint.
In each instances, the collagen remained roughly intact. A mix of the remoted amino acids wouldn’t. The actual fact is that collagen is greater than glycine. Whenever you feed folks collagen derived from pork pores and skin, hen toes, and cartilage, many different collagenous peptides appear in the blood. You don’t get any of these from remoted glycine.
That’s to not say it’s pointless. Pure glycine is usually a useful complement, utilized in a number of research to improve multiple markers of sleep quality. Simply don’t count on it to have the identical impact as full-blown collagen.
Get Ample Vitamin C
Acute scurvy, attributable to absolute vitamin C deficiency, triggers the dissolution of your connective tissue all through the physique. Enamel fall out, now not held in by gums. Wounds don’t heal, your physique unable to put down new collagen.
Vegetarians often don’t have any points getting ample vitamin C.
Get Ample Copper
Copper is a mandatory cofactor within the manufacturing of collagen. Research show you can management the manufacturing of collagen just by offering or withholding copper.
One of the best vegetarian supply of copper might be dark chocolate, the darker and extra bitter the higher.
Get Ample Lysine
Lysine is one other amino acid that’s mandatory for the manufacturing of collagen.
True vegetarian collagen doesn’t exist. Strict vegetarians will balk. However in the event you can bend the principles a bit, understand that making marine collagen out of fins and scales and bones is much much less wasteful than simply throwing it away, and have a look at the advantages with an goal eye, you’ll be pleasantly stunned. Even in the event you don’t find yourself utilizing marine collagen, not less than you might have just a few instruments for getting most of the advantages with fast shortcuts and optimizing your individual manufacturing of collagen.
Have you ever ever tried marine collagen? In the event you’re a vegetarian, would you think about it?
Thanks for studying, everybody. Take care and be nicely.