Twenty years ago, when David Hyland first read a research paper on collagen published by Harvard Medical School, he had no idea it would change his life. The paper discussed a trial on supplemental collagen and the effect it had on joint health. David’s wife Sue had early symptoms of arthritis, so David was interested and began investigating.
Back when the idea of supplemental collagen first started gaining traction, research tended to focus on collagen from bovine origins. David’s first collagen prototype consisted of a bovine collagen powder inside a bovine gelatine capsule. He and Sue both took it and Sue’s symptoms seemed improved. David’s fascination with collagen was firmly fixed.
But despite the research taking place and the early positive results there was widespread scepticism about the concept of collagen, with many scientists expressing doubts about how it could work. For collagen is a protein and when taken orally, in a supplement, would be subject to the mechanisms of the stomach, which would try to break it down into its amino acid components. How could it therefore get to where it was needed to the joints (to protect and make repairs) or into skin, where new theories hailed collagen as a miracle wrinkle reducer.
It was a quandary. On the one hand David wanted to believe that collagen was capable of improving lives. He wanted to believe that it could help his wife. However, he also understood the scientific arguments that claimed collagen supplementation was fundamentally flawed.
The issue, David realised quickly, was one of absorption. Was there a way of ensuring collagen could be absorbed by the body before the stomach had a chance to degrade it?
David, with his many years of working with leading pharma and biotech companies alongside Nobel prize winners, knew the small intestine is the site of maximum nutrient absorption in the body and that for collagen to be truly effective it would have to by-pass the stomach and reach the small intestine. It was a lightbulb moment.
“I envisaged a capsule that was able to pass through the stomach intact protecting the ingredients inside from the destructive action of the stomach.” David Hyland
David met Pupinder Ghatora when they consulted together on a Pharmaceutical job. They got talking and Pupinder was intrigued by David’s theories on collagen and agreed to come onboard to take David’s project to the next level. Together they patented the concept of collagen protection along with the capsule shell itself and began a series of trials, experimenting with different formulas until they hit upon a winning combination. They called their creation Ingenious Beauty and it contained:
By this time marine sourced collagen had replaced bovine as a market trend, for it is closer to the human body’s physiology and tends to be finer and of a lower Dalton weight than Bovine. (The Dalton weight is how collagen is measured and the lower the Dalton weight, the easier it is for the human body to absorb). Collagen was also now established as a key component of skin health and the collagen products on the market were geared towards skincare, even though joint health is still an important benefit for the body.
Breaking the rules – The Ingenious Secret
However, none of the other collagen products coming onto the market featured protected collagen. For with collagen there were now two accepted, but incorrect ‘rules’: Firstly, that a person would need to take between 5,000 mg – 10,000 mg of collagen daily for it to be effective. Secondly, that collagen was more likely to be absorbed by the body if taken in liquid form.
The reason for the belief in rule number one is that all collagen products were guided the very first data on collagen which was provided by the early ingredient manufacturer’s trials. These trials (using unprotected collagen) gave their subjects a minimum of 5,000 mg of collagen, some up to 10,000 mg. The reason for the belief in rule two, is that if you believe rule one, it is almost impossible to actually fit 5,000 – 10,000 mg of collagen into a capsule or tablet. Therefore the average capsule or tablet would not be giving you enough collagen to make a difference.
A daily dose of Ingenious Beauty only contains 637 mg of collagen (alongside two other world class ingredients). However, since the collagen is protected inside the capsule shell, this is the perfect amount the body needs. Whereas all the other collagen products would suffer from wastage and degradation in the stomach, the collagen inside the Ingenious Beauty capsule would make it to the small intestine and there it would be absorbed into the bloodstream.
As a result of using far less collagen, David and Pupinder were able to source the very finest, lowest Dalton weight collagen available (to give it the best chance of passing directly through the intestinal wall). Even with Marine Collagen, the industry standard Dalton weight is 5,000 and over. To buy collagen 2,000 Dalton weight and under cost nearly 100 times more per mg than collagen of 5,000 Dalton and over. Watch our Dalton video here
Ingenious Beauty launched in 2016, a unique proposition in the collagen marketplace. It quickly gathered a loyal following of beauty journalists, TV celebrities and models and won over seven coveted industry awards including ‘Best Collagen Supplement’ at the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2019.
However, there were still people who were sceptical that a product with so little collagen could be as, or even more, effective than its competitors.
In 2019 Ingenious Beauty commissioned one of the largest independent clinical trials within the world of collagen using the gold standard of measurements: a double blind, placebo-controlled trial, with sophisticated machine-based clinical measurements on over 100 women aged 30-60 years.
The results were astounding (you can see them here) and proved conclusively that David’s vision of protecting collagen was right. In the last twelve months, Ingenious has also added two new products to its line, Ingenious Vegan and Ingenious Active.