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Collagen Supplementation? A TRR Nutrition Evidence Based Review


It seems in today's society that there is a supplement for anything and everything. Most of the time they are irrelevant, in some cases they are not effective and usually, following a healthy balanced diet with variety will suffice.


Here I am reviewing a collagen supplement from TRR Nutrition. I have not been paid for this review or for any social media engagement around the subject. Having had TRR reach out to me on social media, I received the products free of charge. Instead of posting a meaningless pictures of the product, I wanted to provide you with an evidence based review of collagen and the pros and cons behind supplementation.


Key Points:


1. Collagen is the most abundant proteins in the body.

2. Collagen makes up the main structure of ligaments, tendons, skin and muscles.

3. Collagen has been proven to improve joint pain, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

4. Supplementation is likely to be beneficial for ageing populations and those partaking in high impact/intensity sports.

5. There is some evidence to suggest collagen supplementation is beneficial for skin health and elasticity.

6. As with many oral collagen supplements, TRR Nutrition Collagen does not taste great, but is palatable.

7. TRR Nutrition Collagen in certified by Informed Sport.


This review will avoid going into depth behind the cosmetic application of collagen and rather concentrate on the nutritional benefits and positive impacts on physiology.



What is collagen?


Collagen is the most abundant protein in animal tissues and is found mainly in bones, skin, ligaments and tendons. In addition, collagen in found in the structure of blood vessels and corneas and the teeth. Recommended daily intake of Collagen is 8-12 grams (8,000-12000mg).


Do we get enough collagen for food?


Collagen is synthesised in the body, its not necessarily a complete substance that is consumed exogenously (through diet). The body requires certain 'ingredients' to synthesise collagen, involving proline and glycene, utilising Vitamin C [1].


Ultimately, a healthy and balanced diet is likely to include sufficient amounts proline and glycene through eggs, wheat, dairy, green leafy vegetables and adequate protein (1.2-1.6g per kg of body weight). Equally, eating 5 portions of fruits and vegetables per day will see an adequate amount of Vitamin C into the average diet (40mg per day for adults)[2].


So yes, we can get enough collagen through a healthy lifestyle, but do we all live and eat as healthy people?


Not necessarily, and there are circumstances where supplementation of collagen may be beneficial in line with a healthy diet.


TRR Nutrition Collagen Supplement

The TRR Collagen supplements main ingredient is 10,000mg Marine Collagen Hydrolysate, which refers to a collagen product derived from algae. The process of hydrolysing involves breaking down the natural structure to make it more easily absorbed within the body.


In addition, there are other active ingredients consisting of:


Glucosamine (500mg)

Ginger Root Extract (375mg)

Turmeric Extract (103mg)

Vitamin C (80mg)

Hylauronic Acid (50mg)

Copper (150ug)


Glucosamine


Glucosamine can be beneficial to joint pain and health. Systematic review of 25 Randomised Control Trials from the Cochrane Review Library was conducted in 2005 detailing the effectiveness and safety of glucosamine in osteoarthritis. This review concluded that "glucosamine was superior to placebo in the treatment of pain and functional impairment resulting from symptomatic OA [osteoarthritis]"[3].


Current recommendations for glucosamine intake suggest 1500mg per day or 500mg taken three times a day. At 500mg, this supplement offers a good amount of glucosamine, with the rest coming from a healthy balanced diet throughout the day.


Ginger and Turmeric


Ginger and turmeric offer anti-inflammatory properties and add to the benefit of this particular supplement. In a study published in the American Journal of Life Sciences Ginger, Turmeric and Cinnamon were tested for their anti-inflammatory (and anti-bacterial) benefits, concluding "It is found that the maximum inhibition [anti-inflammatory response] was observed from ethanolic ginger extract, in decreasing order was turmeric and cinnamon ethanolic extract" [4]


With more than the NHS recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, this supplement ensures adequate Vitamin C for the synthesis of Collagen in the body, but also assisting in the progression to optimal daily health.


Hyaluronic Acid


Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring bio-polymer and plays important factors in the human body. "It is found in most connective tissues and is particularly concentrated in synovial fluid, the vitreous fluid of the eye, [and] umbilical cords" [5]. In addition, hyaluronic acid has a plethora of studies that support its importance in skin health, which will not be included within this review blog.


In 2012, a double blind placebo controlled study was carried out assessing the efficacy of an oral hyaluronic acid supplement on alleviating the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. The study concluded "Oral administration of HA [hyaluronic acid] may improve the symptoms of knee OA in patients aged 70 years or younger when combined with the quadriceps strengthening exercise"[6].


Copper


The availability of copper very much correlates to the production of collagen inside the body. With copper intrinsically linked to collagen synthesis through a complicated enzymatic processes. Ultimately, the addition of Copper within a collagen supplement is very beneficial in the efficacy of such a product.


Conclusion


I believe that TRR have created a comprehensive collagen supplement in a handy 50ml shot. In my opinion, the cherry shot does not taste great, however at 50ml, it is easy enough to take on a daily basis with palate discomfort only lasting a few seconds after.


At the price, it is quite high in terms of a supplement, but collagen products are inherently expensive.


Do we all need to take them? Probably not, no. Collagen supplementation is recommended for those involved in high impact and high stress sports such as football, running, tennis and squash etc, and there are clear benefits for ageing populations. If you are experiencing joint pain, this is a potential supplement to consider.


As always, please consult your doctor prior to introducing a supplement intervention or if you are experiencing join pain.




References:


[1] Peng Li et al https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00726-017-2490-6

[2] NHS Guidelines https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-c/

[3] Cochrane Systematic Review Library https://www.cochrane.org/CD002946/MUSKEL_glucosamine-for-osteoarthritis

[4] Ranjit Thakur, Kamlesh Yadav, Khim Bahadur Khadka. Study of Antioxidant, Antibacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cinnamon (Cinamomum Tamala), Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) and Turmeric (Curcuma Longa). American Journal of Life Sciences. Vol. 1, No. 6, 2013, pp. 273-277. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20130106.16

[5] J Necas et al, Veterinarni Mecidina 53, 2008 http://www.kalipura.it/download/Hyaluronic_acid.pdf

[6] Tashiro et al, 2012, Oral Administration of Polymer Hyaluronic Acid Alleviates Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study over a 12-Month Period



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