As the popularity of veganism continues to rise, so does the demand for plant-based alternatives to animal-derived products. One such product that has caught the attention of the health and beauty industry in recent years is vegan collagen. The concept of vegan collagen is a bit of a myth. This is because collagen is a protein found in the connective tissue of animals - not plants. It is responsible for providing structure and elasticity to the skin, as well as maintaining the health of joints, bones, and muscles.While some companies claim to offer vegan or “plant-based collagen” supplements, it is important to note that these products do not actually contain collagen derived from plants. Instead, they contain a combination of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that are thought to support the body's own production of collagen. The problem with this approach is that as we age, our body's ability to produce collagen naturally begins to decline. This means that even if we consume all the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals needed to produce collagen, our bodies may still not be able to keep up with the demand. This is why many people turn to collagen supplements in the first place, to supplement their body's natural collagen production.Some vegan collagen products claim to use alternative sources of collagen such as algae or yeast. However, while these ingredients may have some nutritional benefits, they do not contain the same types of collagen found in animals, which are specifically beneficial for the human body. What can we do instead of relying on vegan collagen products? Firstly, it's important to remember that a balanced diet rich in nutrients, including vitamin C, zinc, and copper, can help support the body's natural collagen production. Foods such as citrus fruits, leafy greens, and nuts are all great sources of these nutrients. Lifestyle factors such as smoking and exposure to UV radiation can accelerate the breakdown of collagen in the body. Avoiding these habits and protecting your skin from the sun can help slow down the natural aging process.The best way to supplement your body’s collagen is through the use of ingestible collagen powders from animal-derived collagen. When taken orally, the collagen is broken down into its constituent amino acids, which can then be easily absorbed by the body and used to support collagen production. It is important to note that not all collagen supplements are created equal. Some products may contain low-quality collagen known as “low efficacy collagen” or may be formulated with additional ingredients that have not been proven to support collagen production.If you are considering taking a collagen supplement, choose a high-quality product from a reputable brand. Pure wild marine collagen has the highest efficacy of all collagens and is made from fish scales. Bovine collagen (made from cows) is by far the most common collagen used in supplements because it is the cheapest. It is a low efficacy collagen requiring higher doses, is less soluble and has a strong flavour requiring masking with flavoured formulations. It is important to be skeptical of any product that claims to be "vegan collagen," as collagen is a protein that can only be derived from animal sources. As always I recommend doing your research before starting any new supplement or skincare regimen.