As a vegan, you might already be well accustomed to exercising a lot of effort when it comes to your nutrition. Finding alternatives isn’t always an easy task. However, when it comes to collagen, that’s where things become tricky. Essentially, collagen is a protein derived from animal sources only. Over the years, we have received countless emails asking about plant-based and vegan-friendly collagen alternatives. We can assure you that the absence of this product in our product line is not for lack of trying! Let’s find out more.
In this article, we’re demystifying questions around vegan collagen by looking at the process of collagen production and its structure. As getting enough collagen can be a challenge for vegans, we also examine ways to boost collagen production when following a plant-based diet.
Collagen Structure & Production
The ability to produce collagen is a luxury we’ve been blessed with as humans, but how exactly do our bodies do this? In the most simple terms, our bodies need to break down dietary protein into amino acids. According to a study conducted by O. Shoseyov et al., collagen has always been extracted from animal sources. When it comes to collagen synthesis, a multitude of genes, associated proteins, and cofactors are required for this process to take place. The essence of this phase lies in its complex, multifaceted post-translation processing, avers throughout history. The same study also states that even the slightest deviations in gene and post-translational modifications may jeopardize the entire collagen synthesis process.
without which the actual maturation of protein would not be achieved. So, what is it that precedes the actual collagen maturation as the focal point of collagen production?
According to the aforementioned study, modifications of procollagen (a precursor of collagen) represent the crucial steps in collagen manufacturing. What’s more, yet another predominant factor is the amount and activity of the multienzyme prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4H) complex, which has been found to boost the protein’s viability and stability. Compromised P4H activity and levels may lead to a substantial decrease in collagen secretion, and could even contribute to inherited extracellular matrix (ECM) disorders.
Can Collagen Be Vegan?