I’ve seen another collagen product add in the amino acid Tryptophan to their powder? Is their collagen better because they do?Sarah
This is a very science-y type of question, and many people won’t/don’t care to dive deep into this topic. But, we are absolutely here for it and love the question!
There’s a few parts to our answer, so let’s start with focusing on the amino acid, Tryptophan.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that cannot be produced by the human body and must be obtained through your diet.WebMD
As we explored in Collagen vs Whey (see amino acids section), collagen contains 19 amino acids, including 8 of the 9 essential amino acids. It’s missing the essential amino acid, Tryptophan.
Why would a collagen product want to add Tryptophan?
Simply put, to be considered a “complete protein”. Even though collagen contains a different spectrum of amino acids, it’s missing the amino acid Tryptophan and thus not considered a complete protein.
This is the main motivation behind a collagen product adding Tryptophan.
Is this a legit claim or bogus marketing claim?
Is adding in Tryptophan to collagen powder legit, or simply a bogus marketing play? “This is an interesting idea, and seems like a legit claim”, commented Dr. Cate.
Here’s more from Dr. Cate:
The production of the L-Tryptophan is likely by a GMO, namely a bacteria that has been genetically manipulated to produce more of the stuff, then the tryptophan needs to be isolated from the bacterial slurry. Lots of processing steps! But could end up with a legit product if done right.
So the big takeaway is, yes it’s legit — if done correctly.
Why doesn’t CB Supplements add in Tryptophan?
Now we’re getting to the core of this Q&A! Why don’t we believe in adding this missing amino acid to our multi collagen complex to ensure it’s a “complete protein”?
The short and sweet answer is that we believe that you should get your overall nutrition from food first, then supplement.
Therefore, we don’t recommend taking a protein powder supplement to get all your essential amino acids because these amino acids are very fragile and processing (aka putting them into a collagen powder) often destroys them while, at the same time, generating toxins.
The idea that you need to supplement collagen to get tryptophan is flawed.Dr. Cate, M.D.
Does it bother us that collagen isn’t considered a complete protein? Absolutely not. In fact, we embrace the fact that collagen isn’t a complete protein because it possesses unique amino acids and bioactive peptides.
So, the less manufacturing our collagen needs (e.g. adding in tryptophan) in combination with a strong and transparent emphasis on overall nutrition, seems like the best decision for CB Supplements, our products, and our customers.
Collagen is a joint health, digestive support, and overall health supporting supplement — not a protein supplement. You’d be far better off getting all your essential amino acids from food.Dr. Cate, M.D.