By Jill Levy
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It helps give your body structure and forms connective tissues including your joints, cartilage, bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Your body starts making less of its own collagen once you reach your mid to late 30s (sometimes as early as your 20s), which can impact your skin, joints and gut, plus your flexibility and exercise recovery.
Collagen isn’t found in many foods, mostly with the exception of bone broth, but getting more from supplements is a convenient way to boost your intake. Here at Ancient Nutrition, many of our collagen supplements now contain a clinically studied type of collagen called eggshell membrane collagen, which has some unique benefits, especially considering that it’s fermented to boost absorption.
Is eggshell membrane collagen good for you? Yes; as explained more below, head-to-toe benefits of this type of collagen include: help maintaining healthy cartilage and joint function, support for exercise recovery, increased flexibility, and promotion of general skin health and elasticity.
As always, though, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including collagen supplementation.
What Is Eggshell Membrane Collagen?
What are egg shells made of exactly? Does eggshell membrane have collagen?
A membrane is a thin sheet of tissue or layer of cells that acts as a boundary or lining in an organism. In the case of eggshell membranes, these are the thin layers between hard eggshells and the inner egg. In other words, this collagen doesn't come from eggs themselves (just the eggshell membrane), which is why it’s the preferred source of collagen for plant-based eaters or those concerned with making sustainable choices.
Eggshells are made up of mostly protein, particularly collagen protein that is formed from amino acids.
The types of collagen found within eggshell membranes include collagen types I, V and X.Our proprietary clinically studied fermented eggshell membrane, though, actually has nine types of collagen: types I, III, IV, V, VII, VIII, X, XII and XXII. Eggshell membranes are especially concentrated in type I collagen, which is by far the same type found in the greatest amounts in the human body.
Eggshell collagen also inherently features other beneficial compounds such as: chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hyaluronic acid, elastin and keratin. These are key compounds involved in the maintenance of healthy skin, healthy cartilage and other tissues.
The Best Eggshell Membrane Collagen?
At Ancient Nutrition, we only use sustainably sourced eggshell membranes from chickens raised in the U.S.
We are also currently the only leading collagen protein powder brand on the market that uses a proprietary fermented eggshell membrane collagen. This ingredient has been backed by multiple human clinical studies (six studies to be exact), demonstrating that it’s proven to provide real results as early as day one.
Fermentation is a huge part of why this ingredient is so powerful, even when consumed in small amounts.
The fermentation process used to create our eggshell membrane collagen utilizes beneficial bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms to boost the availability of nutrients found within collagen, making it easier for your body to absorb and put to work.
The end result: easier-to-digest, hydrolyzed collagen peptides that aren’t altered by heat or chemical processing.
What is this fermented eggshell membrane good for? Like other types of collagen, it helps support the health of your joints, cartilage, skin, gut, hair and other connective tissues.
Collagen itself is found in numerous tissues throughout the body and in many forms. It’s especially plentiful within and around our joints and in cartilage, which is needed to support mobility, flexibility, exercise performance and recovery.
Collagen makes up about 95 percent of joint cartilage, and, generally speaking, the more collagen there is in your joints, the better you’ll feel and function.
Eggshell membrane collagen also helps to improve skin elasticity and firmness as well as the barrier function on human skin.
As mentioned above, our clinically studied, fermented eggshell membrane ingredient is supported by proven research, backed by peer-reviewed studies on healthy humans, and tested for efficacy, safety and transparency.
Our fermented eggshell membrane collagen ingredient has been shown to have the following bodywide benefits:
- Provides relief for exercise-induced joint discomfort and stiffness.
- Reduced cartilage breakdown and support for healthy cartilage maintenance.
- Reduced knee stiffness, discomfort and improved function after 30 days of use.
- Increased flexibility and mobility.
- Help with exercise recovery.
- Promotes healthy hair thickness and growth.
Why is eggshell membrane good for skin?
In studies, our fermented eggshell membrane collagen ingredient has been found to offer the following skin health benefits:
- Improves skin barrier function.
- Improves skin appearance and skin health.
- Improves trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), supporting overall skin moisture.
- Improves skin firmness and elasticity.
- Improves the appearance of crow’s feet.
The Ancient Nutrition Collagen–Farm Connection
Ancient Nutrition believes wholeheartedly in the mission of regenerative agriculture, which is why our company founders own and operate a 4,000-acre Beyond Organic Ranch in Missouri and at our Ancient Nutrition headquarters in Tennessee.
Among our regenerative goals are to build organic soil matter, capture carbon, and help transform the environment.
One practice we are very proud of involves composting all accessible waste material and by-products from the manufacturing of our products, and then using them to grow other crops and even to make other products.
On our farms, we compost byproducts from our fermented eggshell membrane collagen and utilize it as an upcycled ingredient, meaning it helps us to sustainably produce other crops. This is a win-win, considering it provides valuable nutrients to our customers while also giving back to the planet.
Eggshell Membrane Collagen Supplements
Multi Collagen Protein (MCP) is packed with four different sources of collagen, including eggshell membrane, bovine, chicken and fish collagens. This unique collagen matrix provides 10 collagen types, including types I, II, III, IV, V, VII, VIII, X, XII and XXII, which are important considering each one has unique roles in the body.
MCP is also enhanced with clinically studied Vitamin C and 2 billion CFUs* of probiotic strain Bacillus coagulans. These ingredients support your body’s ability to make its own collagen, support immune system health, and provide added support for digestion and healthy gut flora.
Because it’s so versatile and easy to use, there are loads of ways to incorporate MCP powder into your daily routine. Simply add it to water, coffee, smoothies or your favorite beverages. It also makes a great addition to baked goods, oatmeal, sauces and soups as well.
MCP also comes in superfood supplement formulas designed for specific interests (like Multi Collagen Protein Joint + Mobility, Beauty + Sleep, and more). And if you prefer taking a daily capsule, Multi Collagen Capsules offer the same clinically studied fermented collagen ingredient as MCP powder and are super convenient.
As always, you should consult with your healthcare professional prior to starting any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including supplementation with collagen.
Collagen peptides found in Multi Collagen Protein and in our Collagen Peptides have undergone a process called hydrolysis to break them down into shorter chains of proteins called peptides which are easier to absorb.
Our Collagen Peptides powder products are made with clinically studied fermented eggshell membrane collagen, along with bovine collagen. These sources provide the 9 types of collagen mentioned earlier, including types I and III, which promote healthy nails, gut, joints and skin.
Collagen Peptides are available in powder or capsule form. The powder, which comes in unflavored/plain, vanilla and orange varieties, makes a great addition to coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes or other baked goods.
While there isn’t exactly such a thing as a completely vegan/vegetarian collagen, eggshell membrane collagen is the closest option available to us, considering it’s made without bovine, fish or chicken collagen.
Our Vegetarian Collagen Peptides Powder features our proprietary fermented eggshell membrane ingredient combined with 2 billion CFU* (*at time of manufacture) of an SBO probiotic strain called Bacillus coagulans, which provides support for a healthy gut, digestive function, healthy bowel transit time and healthy gut flora. Additionally, the prebiotic fiber known as acacia is added to help probiotics thrive in the gut.
Benefits of this product include improving exercise recovery, supporting joint comfort, skin and skin tone, hair growth and more.
Our Vegetarian Collagen Peptides are easy to absorb and simple to incorporate into your daily routine. Depending on your preference, you can consume this product in either powder or tablet form. Try mixing a scoop of the powder into liquids and recipes including almond milk, coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes or other baked goods.
Jill Levy has been with the Dr. Axe and Ancient Nutrition team for seven years. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Fairfield University, followed by a certification as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jill takes a “non-diet” approach to health and really enjoys teaching others about mindful eating, intuitive eating and the benefits of eating real foods.
*at time of manufacture