With veganism becoming a popular trend, there are many manufactures who claim they have brought “vegan collagen” products. However, there is no such thing.
“There really is no such thing as ‘vegan collagen’, so the use of this particular term is misleading. Collagen is, by definition, an animal product, created in animal bodies including our own,” says Toni Carroll, founder and CEO of nutricosmetic brand My Beauty Luv.
“Vegans who are concerned about the collagen levels in their bodies, especially as they get older, have a choice of two strategies: either stimulate their bodies to make more collagen or counter the degeneration of their existing collagen,” Carrol continues.
According to statistics, South Africa is 30th on the list in the world where veganism is popular. South African Uber Eats Cravings Report recorded a 42% increase year-on-year in vegan orders in 2021. However, many could fall victim to the vegan collagen trend.
She continues: “Certainly, there are many plant-based products that will help vegans stimulate their own bodies to create collagen. However, vegans need to be careful about products that make wild claims or label their products as ‘vegan collagen’.”
A supplement will either work directly, as in the case of animal hydrolysed collagen powder, or indirectly as with vitamin C and magnesium, to promote collagen production in the body. Plant-based supplements work through the indirect model, and some non-animal substances have far greater benefits than others.
“Taking pea protein and other powdered plant proteins will not make your body synthesise collagen production,” she warns.
Healthy collagen production is important to everyone, whether or not you are vegan, “simply making sure you get a good night’s sleep every night and to obtain your vital vitamins and minerals through high-quality fruits and vegetables instead of through supplementation alone,” she adds.
It’s important to take a supplement where the ingredients are 100% natural, certified organic, and certified halaal and kosher.
According to Carrol the benefits include type 1 collagen synthesis by promoting healthy fibroblast activity, improving pigmentation at cellular level, increasing hyaluronic acid production in skin cells, and protecting against UV damage, alongside other skin-beautifying benefits.
“At the end of the day, reading the label on any product is essential for knowing exactly which ingredients you are putting into your body, what the benefits are and if the promise of what’s being sold to you is true,” Carroll concludes.