Thanks to its increasingly discernible antiaging effects on skin, hair, nails, joints and bones, collagen is a hot topic in the nutritional supplement arena. But NeoCell founder and CEO Al Quadri has been leading the charge of mainstreaming this regenerative protein since 1998, when major heart-bypass surgery left his muscles atrophied, his chest sore with incisions and his overall vitality weakened. The lifelong scientist and inventor added collagen to his recovery regimen when realizing that the structural, fibrous protein plays a key role in fortifying and reconstructing depleted muscle and restoring connective tissue. Little did he know then exactly how much he’d be taking collagen to heart—and bringing its healing properties to light in the U.S.
“At my one-month follow-up appointment, I saw a different cardiologist from the one who did the surgery,” says Quadri, age 85. “He checked to see how I was healing after the open-heart procedure. His response to me was, ‘Is your chart correct? Was your surgery really last month?’ He said he could not believe how quickly my incisions had healed with minimal external scarring, especially for someone my age. I was shocked myself, not just with the healing, but with the way I was able to move without aches and pains. I felt and saw the benefits of collagen supplementation and knew I had to tell everyone.”
wb | How does your degree in agricultural science—which is heavy in chemistry—help your product?
aq | Many people only think of medicine or nutrition as the right background for the health-food industry, but chemistry is crucial so you know how molecules interact. Our formulator also has a Ph.D. in chemistry. It is important for leaders of companies to understand the products they are putting out.
wb | How has NeoCell changed the collagen supplement market in the last 15 years?
aq | We are changing the conversation and understanding. At first, new customers would ask, “Collagen? Like the lip injection?” Before NeoCell, nobody considered collagen as a supplement, but now they know it is best taken internally.
wb | What accounts for the superior quality of collagen used in NeoCell products?
aq | All we do at NeoCell is make the highest-quality collagen supplements you can buy. We start with the purest source of collagen we can find on the planet, then we hydrolyze our collagen to a very low molecular weight so it can be absorbed effectively.
wb | Which collagen types are best for joint, muscle-recovery and beauty benefits?
aq | Type 2 only accounts for about 10% of the collagen in the body. It is almost exclusively found in joint cartilage, so type 2 collagen is amino acid specific for cartilage. For those reasons, we focus primarily on types 1 and 3 collagen, which are about 90% of the body’s collagen. Types 1 and 3 are found in our Super Collagen products. Types 1 and 3 collagen are almost always found together in the body, and combined they make up tissues like the skin, ligaments and bones. Types 1 and 3 also influence the thickness of hair and nails. So for beauty, joint and sports-recovery benefits, types 1 and 3 will provide the greatest results.
wb | What role does in-house research play at NeoCell?
aq | Our research staff stays current on the latest breakthroughs, and our formulators continuously experiment to find the best delivery forms of collagen. Our extensive experience shows through in our product and is the reason why we remain the largest collagen company in America. We’ve also pinpointed some exciting new breakthroughs that we will be conducting clinical research on this year. The results are going to change the way we all talk about collagen, and antiaging, too. Mark my words, just like fish oil was last decade, collagen will be the next big thing!