Following on from our behind-the-scenes look at our sustainability we also want to take you through why we chose the ingredients we did and how important these decisions were in terms of sustainability, the environmental impact, locally sourced and welfare.
Our ethos begins with Kindness
Come with us on the journey to unpack what it is that makes Soochi, so good. At our heart we care deeply, and we know you do too.
Our first focused ingredient for this series is collagen. It's a contentious topic and the best place to start. Because there is so much to unpack this is going to be one of the longer posts, but we think it's important that we add as much information so you can learn more about Soochi and the research behind collagen, why we chose it and how we landed on the type of collagen we did.
Collagen peptides have had a lot of attention recently, and rightly so.
They are the building blocks of the most abundant protein in the body. So it's fair to say that it is ABSOLUTELY VITAL that our body gets stuck in and makes a heap. After the age of 20 (shockingly it happens) the amount of collagen that we produce drops off. Slow at first, but at 1% loss every year, it soon starts to add up.
Trust us, there are a whole lot of collagen products out there, and they're not all created equally. Different sizes/molecular weight, different tastes, some don't absorb in drinks well (some really struggle to dissolve in coffee huh! And if you know, you know!!). Anyway, you get my point, it can be tough cutting through all the noise out there and thats where this blog post hopefully will set a few things straight.
To make sure that your body can actually absorb the collagen we've also sprinkled in some vitamin C. It's kind of like collagen and vitamin C holding hands is the only way that your body can absorb collagen. Cute if you think about it like that, and we think it is pretty neat.
In our Soochi range, we have added what we think is the gold standard.
We've opted for Gelita VERISOL® collagen peptides which is no secret. We've even plastered it on our can, all our packaging, and are pretty proud of it because we know how much research has been done to prove the efficacy of this collagen. It does what it says, comes from ethical sources (cows living their best life in Germany) and honestly you know what the real icing on the cake??
How tasteless it is. It's a small molecular size - coming in hot at 2 kDa (2,000 daltons which is a way of measuring molecular size in biology). Also, I would like to reiterate that it is the molecular size that has the biggest impact on collagen absorption, not the type. We often hear 'type I, type II or type III' but in reality, that has little bearing on the way our body absorbs it. But for those of you who are asking "Yeah, but what type??" Its 95% type I and 5% type III.
Ok so - what even is collagen?
The best way I can think to visualise it is to think of a long piece of rope. It twists around itself and is made of lots of smaller strands. If you look really closely, you can see the tiny fibres that all join together to twist around each other to make this incredibly strong rope. Thats the same as the protein (collagen) in our skin.
Collagen is one of the most important building blocks of the human body, and accounts for around 30% of all proteins. It is particularly abundant in bones, skin, tendons, joint cartilage, and ligaments.
Collagen peptides (what we use) are a hydrolysed, easily absorbable form of collagen. The process of hydrolysis (essentially based on breaking down the bonds in the complex structure of collagen protein), results in shorter fragments (little bits of shorter rope pieces) that are water-soluble and therefore quick to absorb.
History of collagen
Collagen supplementation is nothing new!
In Europe, the German abbess and scholar Hildegard von Bingen studied extracts from animal tissue and recognised their potential to become a remedy for joint complaints. Her studies date back to the twelfth century. THE TWELFTH CENTURY! Sheesh. I'm also just going to add in here that she was only formally recognised as a Saint in 2012, and sounded like an absolutely incredible woman.
The first scientifically recognised studies for the impact that collagen peptides have on joints and bone health, were carried out in the mid-1980s. Even though they've been around for a really long time with heath benefits widely known, it is only now becoming one of the most desired and accepted health ingredients on the market for skin, hair and nail health. Plus, who doesn't love a whole lotta scientifically written peer-reviewed studies. I know I do, and I like to know that what I'm putting in my body is actually going to help, not be a placebo..!
Where does collagen come from?
Collagen peptides are produced from four main animal sources: bovine, porcine, fish, and chicken. A lot, (A LOT) of research is going into finding non-animal derived sources and trying to create new ways of making these proteins from fungi. But think of it this way, if it's the building blocks of our tissues as humans, then it makes a lot of sense that the only other source is other animals too. I'm a huge fan of zero waste when it comes to animals. As a person who is from a farming background, if we can find ways to use all parts of the animal then I see that as respecting the life that gave to us, as opposed to just wasting it or forgetting about it in the back of the fridge.
Coool story, but what does it do?
Why is supplementing a good thing when we hear all these mixed messages about supplementation in general?
The actual role of collagen is to ensure cohesion, elasticity and the regeneration of all of the connective tissues (think skin, organs, tendons cartilage, bones etc). It is strong, flexible, and it glues together the human body. Collagen is produced in connective tissue cells and the structure is very hard, fibrous, and insoluble.
BUT HERE IS THE KICKER:
After the age of 20, we produce less collagen, which results in a decline of the structural integrity of the skin, the emergence of wrinkles, and the loss of skin firmness.
The process is also wildly influenced by external factors like UV light and smoking. Plus, just to add insult to injury, menopause also has a significant impact on reduced collagen production for women.
How does our collagen work?
The specific peptides in VERISOL® trick skin cells into believing that there is greater breakdown of collagen and producing more, compensating for collagen that is lost due to ageing and environmental factors. And it's been proven.
Having Soochi daily stimulates the skin's collagen metabolism, so its results are from the inside out.
It also helps to slow down the signs of skin ageing by slowing down the formation of wrinkles and smoothing existing ones.
Studies performed using VERISOL® collagen peptides:
INCREASE SKIN ELASTICITY
The first scientific study of VERISOL® was with 69 women aged between 35-55 showed that supplementation contributed to an increase of up to 10% in skin elasticity, compared to placebo treatment.
In the study it was observed that after 4 weeks of the daily intake of 2.5 g the elasticity of the skin increased and persisted after 8 weeks. The highest levels of skin elasticity were still observed 4 weeks after the last intake. Note we have added 5g in every serving of Soochi skin + gut products.
The second scientific study carried out on more than 100 women aged 55, showed that the daily intake of 2.5 g of VERISOL ® contributed to a significant reduction in the depth of wrinkles after 4 weeks of use.
INCREASE SKIN SURFACE STRUCTURE & CELLULITE REDUCTION
Oral supplementation with VERISOL ® has beneficial effects and helps to reduce cellulite. Unlike supplements that mainly treat excess fat or microcirculation/ drainage, VERISOL ® directly stimulates the formation of the extracellular matrix in the skin. ie thickening skin.
A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study, carried out in 105 women between 25 - 50 years, showed that the daily intake of 2.5 g of VERISOL® contributes to reducing the degree of cellulite on the skin. The effect was measured after 3 and 6 months of supplementation. The first results were visible at 3 months of ingestion and were more pronounced at 6 months.
PROMOTE NAILS GROWTH & HEALTH
Oral supplementation with VERISOL® helps to reverse weak and brittle nails, that flake and chip too.
A scientific study demonstrated the positive effects of oral supplementation with VERISOL® by observing a strengthening in nails after 2 months of treatment and an improvement of 42% after 6 months compared to the control group, and the nail growth speed continued to increase.
VERISOL® produced a statistically significant improvement in nail growth after 3 months of treatment, a marked improvement in nail flaking and a clear reduction in nail edge irregularities.
80% of the study participants were completely satisfied with the VERISOL® treatment; 75% of the women observed that their nails lengthened and 71% that they grew faster.
IMPROVE HAIR STRUCTURE
A randomised, placebo-controlled study investigated the effects of VERISOL® on hair thickness. The study was conducted in 44 women aged 39-75 who took 2.5g of VERISOL® per day or a placebo for 16 weeks. The use of VERISOL® led to a statistically significant increase in hair thickness, while the placebo group observed a slight decrease, which confirmed the benefits of VERISOL® to improve hair structure.
This is the first published and peer-reviewed study that clearly demonstrates a positive effect of collagen supplements on the structure of the hair, a key aspect for its healthy appearance.
For those of you asking "I want to learn more about this because you're saying all these things about Soochi's collagen, but how can you prove it?"
We've got you covered here: