As of right now, there is no known source of plant-based collagen (read: vegan collagen) that aligns with our quality standards. Because there's a lack of plant-based collagen, collagen builders are starting to pop up everywhere. But what is a collagen builder and how does it compare to actual collagen?
Collagen Builder vs. Collagen
First things first, collagen builders do not contain collagen. These products target vegan individuals who want to experience the benefits of collagen without ingesting collagen. A refresher: Our collagen is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hide and wild-caught fish scales. (Again, no plant-based collagen source currently exists).
Collagen is made up of building blocks called amino acids, which are properly structured with the help of vitamin C. When the body makes collagen, it joins amino acids (like glycine, proline and hydroxyproline from our Collagen Peptides) with vitamin C, which adds a hydroxyl group (oxygen and hydrogen) to the amino acids, allowing the acids to turn into a well-formed, strong helix shape. Essentially, vitamin C helps to strengthen the formation of collagen.
However, as we age, our bodies may no longer absorb nutrients as well or synthesize them as efficiently. To ensure the body has enough of the ingredients required for collagen production, it is important to supplement with collagen and the necessary amino acids. Those following a plant-based diet may help support collagen production by consuming collagen-boosting nutrients with a collagen builder that contains the necessary nutrients to support collagen production.
Collagen builders contain nutrients that support collagen production, but don't actually contain collagen. Collagen is special because it contains an abundance of the three amino acids that you won't find in meaningful amounts in many other foods (glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline). Muscular growth, joint health and an overall glowing appearance can be partially attributed to the amino acid blend in collagen that can't be found anywhere else.
The Importance of Collagen
While collagen builders help the body to produce the vital protein, collagen is directly absorbed by the body with every scoop, stir, and sip. When collagen is digested, the peptides are attracted to cells that synthesize collagen in the human body, fibroblasts, and are the most common cells of connective tissues in the skin. Collagen peptides may bring about the production and reorganization of new collagen fibers by stimulating the fibroblast cells.
Vital Proteins has an expansive line of products that seeks to fulfill users' functional health needs. We recommend using our hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides for first-time users since it's easily our most versatile product. It's flavorless, odorless, and dissolves in hot and cold liquids. Helping to support stronger hair, skin, nails, and joints, our Collagen Peptides is also available in different flavors for those who want something a little different.
Does Vital Proteins Offer Vegan Products?
We do! While our vegan Beauty Boost capsules — which can be classified as a collagen builder — don’t contain collagen, they are rich in biotin and vitamin C. Known as the building blocks of collagen, these two ingredients are important because they help to boost our body's natural collagen production.
Our Spirulina capsules are also vegan (no collagen here!) because they're made of blue-green algae and are a great source of vitamin A and vitamin K, which help to aid in the body’s ability to naturally detoxify.
Our Hyaluronic Acid Super Surge capsules are also vegan, containing 120mg of Hyaluronic Acid, 5x Daily Value of Biotin and 2x Daily Value of Vitamin C to deliver gentle hydration.