Updated: Nov 23, 2021
With hundreds of collagen products on the market all claiming to work miracles, it’s important to understand the differences and how they work.
So, why choose liquid collagen over powdered? The short answer is – absorption.
But first we need to understand what it’s like inside your small intestine and how nutrients are absorbed by the body. Di Brewster, Protein Biochemist explains that the inside of our small intestine is not a lovely smooth pipe, it’s ruffled and these ruffles help maximise the total surface area available for nutrient absorption.
“Larger lumps that haven’t been broken down will pass straight through the middle and will end up as poo. The slightly smaller bits might touch and absorb onto the larger parts of the ruffles, but only the very small particles will get into all those nooks and crannies for the most efficient absorption,” she says.
So, when choosing collagen the first thing to remember is the smaller the particle the more easily it will be absorbed. The particles in liquid collagen are much smaller than the fibres of powdered collagen, which tend to either pass right through with only a small proportion able to stick to some of those larger ruffles and not penetrate into the smaller areas. Liquid seeps right into those smaller ruffles, getting right to the sweet spot for absorption.
Different methods of membrane transport are required to absorb different nutrients.
We’ve probably all heard that taking vitamin C with iron helps it absorb into our systems. This is because the two combine to form an iron chelate complex which increases the solubility of iron in the small intestine. A similar thing happens with our Marine Collagen which is comprised of tiny hydrolysed peptide particles surrounded by an oil droplet. This oil bubble means the collagen can use diffusion to kind of just soak in, and doesn’t need an active transport shuttle (like Vitamin C) to get from the point of entry into the gut cells.
“This is also why collagen needs to be taken on a fasted stomach – so that there is nothing else already on the cell surface to block the nanoparticle of oil and peptide from soaking in.
Powdered collagen particles without a lipid micelle (an oil nanodroplet) will need to use an active transport pathway, which takes a lot of the cells’ resources. If the particle hasn’t stuck on very well before this pathway can take place, it might get bumped off as other things come through the small intestine,” says Di.
So, to sum things up, liquid collagen such as our Marine Collagen Elixir with double-nutri technology allows more of what you pay for to get to where it needs to be, to do what it says on the label. The particles are already small enough to get where they need to go without any extra digestion, and its packaged in a way to deliver it to a wider gut surface area to be more efficiently absorbed and more quickly used by the body.
“Powdered collagen mostly just polishes the poo tubes on the way through,” says Di… and we can’t argue with science on that one!