Frequently Asked Questions
General Information on Collagen Types 1,2 & 3
Types 1 & 3 are the major components of skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, gums, teeth, eyes, and blood vessels. Type 2 is the major component of joint cartilage.
Scientific studies show that more than 90% of the collagen found in the body is Collagen Type 1 & 3. Both Collagen 1 & 3 are the main collagen types in connective tissue. The protein composition consists of nineteen amino acids responsible for growth, maintenance and repair of the body with unusually high proportions of the amino acids glycine and proline, as well as hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. All of which are found in skin and muscle. Collagen is the mechanical strength of bone and it helps to build bone matrix. Hydrolyzed Collagen is a rich natural source of Glycine, the amino acid vital for muscle growth.
How does aging affect the collagen in the body?
Aging affects the body’s collagen in two ways. As we age, the body’s ability to make the collagen protein slows down so there is insufficient new collagen to make skin, joints and other parts of the body. The Collagen fibers lose their moist texture and become rigid. Much of this damage is caused by free radicals: (unstable molecules created when the body uses oxygen).
Collagen Type 2
Collagen Type 2 is the major component of articular joint cartilage. The collagen protein content is between 50% to 55%, (less than Type 1 and 3) and contains naturally occurring mucopolysaccharides (carbohydrates) 45% to 50 %. The mucopolysaccharides consists of Glucosamine (15-17%), Chondroitin (14-16%), and Hyaluronic Acid (16-17%), the makeup of synovial fluid and the amino acids required to make collagen type 2 cells.
The composition of Type 2 Collagen protein consists of eighteen amino acids. The percentage and molecular weight of each amino acid is different to those found in Type 1 & 3. In addition, Type 2 is low in hydroxyproline and has traces of hydroxylysine. The primary difference is that Type 2 collagen helps to maintain cartilage tissue.
Osteoarthritis is the natural wear and tear of our joint cartilage. As we age, the body’s ability to make Type 2 Collagen slows down. This is the protein needed to maintain and rebuild cartilage tissues.
Hyaluronic Acid – An Overview
Hyaluronic Acid, also known as hyaluronan, is an important disaccharide found in every tissue of the body, but in particular as an essential lubricant of healthy joints, skin and eyes. It is part of a group of macromolecules in the body labeled as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are primarily in cell membranes and in the intercellular matrix of connective tissue. Along with water, Hyaluronic Acid’s unique property of high viscosity, and therefore low compressibility, provides vital shock absorption and lubrication properties.
Where does Hyaluronic Acid work?
Hyaluronic Acid essentially operates with water to “bathe” cells in the intercellular matrix. This distribution along with the property of high viscosity provides for separation of cells and intercellular fibers. This facilitates movement of nutrients and waste, protects underlying tissue such as cartilage, bone, and muscle from wear and tear, and provides hydration and structure.
Hyaluronic Acid can be found concentrated in areas of the body that endure increased movement and friction or have a higher fluid component such as the eyes, ears, heart, and joints. In the joints, Hyaluronic Acid is secreted by chondrocytes (joint cells) and is one of the most essential components of the vitreous humor (joint fluid) that protects the joints from deterioration.
Hyaluronic Acid works similarly as a component of the fluids lubricating the heart to prevent friction between the heart and surrounding membranes, as well as lubrication of the corneal epithelium on the surface of the eye, and hydration of the skin and its appendages (nails and hair). Hyaluronic Acid also provides an optically clear structural component for rigidity in the vitreous (fluid) of the eye.
In addition to its physical contributions, Hyaluronic Acid has also been found to assist in regulation of cell turnover in the skin, to serve as an anti-oxidant to free-radicals generated by UV radiation, and as an aid in communication between cells in cell-mediated immune response.
Where did the publicity start?
ABC News published a report on the Japanese village of Yuzuri Hara, where the residents were living long and healthy lives compared to most other people. After studying their diet, research showed that the residents diets stimulated and supplied high quantities of Hyaluronic Acid in their bodies. To rule out the effects of genetics, researchers saw that the younger generation living in Yuzuri Hara, exposed and consuming new western foods were now showing health problems.This created an “upside down health pyramid” where elderly parents were outliving their adult children, supporting the Hyaluronic Acid connection.
The clinical research papers talk about Collagen Peptide. What is a peptide?
The Collagen in the clinical research papers is hydrolyzed, which means enzymes were used to break down the original protein into smaller pieces of protein, which are called peptides. In the general hierarchy of proteins, the smallest protein individual unit is an amino acid, and when you link together a bunch of amino acids into a short chain they are called peptides, and when you link peptides together into a long chain they are called a protein. Collagen hydrolyzed or not, is an incomplete protein as it does not have the amino acid Tryptophan; therefore it cannot be used as a nutritional protein substitute.
Can you tell me about the Sulphite residues in Collagen production?
Sulphites come from the process of enzymatically hydrolyzing (pre-digesting the Collagen outside the body by breaking down the amino acid chain by a process of adding synthesized enzymes) or fermenting products. They are a natural by product of the Collagen hydrolyzing process. The sulphur that holds the bonds between the molecules is broken up from these processes and changes them to sulphite – an ionic form of sulphur. During the manufacturing process Collagen is passed through a nano filter to remove excess residues. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S regulates that it is a legal requirement to list a sulphite warning on red wine. The regulation states that sulphites have to be declared on products that contain 10 parts per million or more. Red wine typically contains 125-250 parts per million, (about 40mg per 4oz glass). AHS Super Collagen + C contain a maximum of 1.3mg in 6 tablets.
Some consumers may find that they are allergic to sulphites. Consumers who are allergic to sulphites can not typically tolerate red wine, pickled vegetables, dried fruits or even aspirin. The most common symptoms of sulphite intolerance are becoming itchy and having headaches. In reality, individuals who are allergic to sulphites should avoid facial products that contain soluble Collagen as they could have a topical reaction. It is quite interesting to note that consumers with sulphite intolerance are often asthmatics.
AHS products that are labelled with a sulphite residue are:
Super Collagen + C tablets
Super Collagen Powder
Super Collagen + C for Men