About marketing and collagen peptides🧩

Sometimes I scroll through Instagram and see how deeply misguided people are about their health and related products. I will expose in an example, how we are sold supposedly necessary supplements/vitamins by all kinds of bloggers-"body therapists" and other losers of this modern world.

Let's start with what I see most often - Collagen peptides🙂 On YouTube/Instagram, lady bloggers sell this supplement with enviable regularity. What's more, it's being peddled by doctors. And this is exactly the story where even research lies in favor of business!

Let's understand whether there is an effect of collagen peptides when taken internally, and whether it is worth buying them for the price that the manufacturers set.

First, let me explain what collagen peptides are. For someone unfamiliar with biochemistry, it's a powder that improves the skin because there is a lot of collagen in the skin 🙂
But in reality, it's mega complicated, as I've already written about in the post "Useful Antibiotic".
Let me remind you that our tissues are made up of cells between which there may be an extracellular matrix. Cells come in many different varieties, you could say that each cell line has its own profession in one big city called "body" 🧐
In the context of this post, we are interested in a cell line called fibroblasts. It is these cells that primarily create proteins such as collagen andelastin.
I.e. the amount of collagen and elastin depends only on the work of these cells, remember this.

What is collagen?
In a primitive analogy to construction, collagen is something like bricks for our tissues, and if we replace cement with elastic glue in this analogy, that glue is elastin 🙂 I.e. collagen is more responsible for creating the strong structure of the extracellular matrix, and elastin gives elasticity to that structure. And for visually great skin, elastin is just as important as collagen, but bloggers just don't know about it😄

What are peptides, you may ask?
They are parts of a protein. I.e. if you take any protein or the same collagen and subject it to the action of acids/enzymes, this protein (its complex structure) will break down into small parts, into peptides, which molecules are smaller in size and can have some functionality in the body. Actually, this process happens in the GI tract every time we eat protein food. 🧐
I.e. if we eat meat, which is the muscles of animals (and this is collagen and elastin and a bunch of other proteins), then after passing through the GI tract we get a whole bunch of peptides, and not only collagen peptides. And this is a natural process in the GI tract of an adult.
So, we ate meat, got peptides in the GI tract, but will our skin be better? Not really. Because it all depends on our metabolism and other components that we get with food. For example, collagen synthesis depends on the energy status of cells(see post about weightloss), on vitamin C, copper ions, on anabolic hormones and many other things.
I wrote about this in my post "About weight gain and metabolism". For example, you get enough peptides from the proteins you eat, but not enough vitamin C - as a result, your peptides will not "settle" in your skin.

But even if you are healthy and have an excellent metabolism, it is unnatural to get ready peptides through oral intake 🙂 It is natural only for infants that get food with milk, but not for adults whose GI tract has adapted to break down food into peptides and other molecules.
Yes, there may be a temporary effect of improving skin quality, but for example because of this you can get a relapse of herpes, because peptides that bypass the GI tract immediately get into the blood are "bricks" not only for the extracellular matrix, but also for viruses (case report at the bottom of the link). Not many people think about this at all 🙂

Well lastly, the price. Here everything is obvious for me. a 200g jar of peptides costs about 20 bucks. For this money in my country I can buy 2 kg of beef, it's about 400 grams of protein from which in the GI tract will come out all kinds of peptides: from collagen peptides to peptides from animal blood cells (think about how the body of vegans suffers not getting this good).
So do not fall for advertising, and instead of collagen peptides, proteins, bcaa better eat different meat and watch your metabolism. 😉

Research links: