Is there such thing as vegan collagen?
Many of my clients are vegan or vegetarian, and I get asked about this a lot, so just getting the info out there – Vitamin C 🍊🍋 is what you'll find as the main 'active' ingredient in most 'vegan collagen products. If there is a form of protein in the ingredients, it is usually a pea-protein or other plant-based protein.
𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐬, and is a protein found mostly in joints and skin. At this point, 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨 𝐯𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐞𝐱𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐬. There is some research into extracts from seaweed, but nothing on the market yet.
While you can get most of the amino acids found in collagen in other protein sources (animal & plant-based), the abundance of glycine (Gly), hydroxyproline (Hyp), proline (Pro), and alanine (Ala) is what makes collagen special. Also, keep in mind that hydroxyproline is an amino acid that isn’t found in other proteins. It is only found in collagen.
Vegan collagen products are actually aimed at amping up your vitamins and antioxidants to help your body's own production of collagen and don't actually contain collagen themselves.
𝐋𝐚𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐞 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠.
Make sure you read the fine print. You will often find “vegan collagen" in big bold letters and then the word “builder" drifting somewhere underneath. for my vegan/veg friends, my recommendation is to take a good quality vitamin C rather than spending extra money on collagen-building powders.
Nutrients that can help with collagen production:
• Vitamin C – Citrus foods and peppers are a great source.
• Zinc – Sprouted pumpkin seeds are great!
• Aloe Vera – Buy fresh, cut & freeze, pop into smoothies!
• Antioxidants – Green tea is my choice here!