The Collagen Craze

Risa Groux, CN
 | Published: 
January 27, 2019

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is found in bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, skin, blood vessels, and the digestive system. These are vital connective tissues related to our skin’s strength and elasticity. As we age, the body’s ability to produce collagen reduces, this is why our skin sags and wrinkles.

Connective tissue requires raw materials such as animal based gelatin and bone broth. Collagen is comprised of nineteen amino acids, some of which we make and some we need to source from food. The critical amino acids we need from animals are glycine, arginine, glutamine and proline.

~Glycine makes up about one-third of the collagen and its main job is with cell function in assisting the production of healthy DNA strands. It’s also critical for the production of creatine which promotes healthy muscle growth and boosts energy during workouts.

~Arginine breaks down into nitric oxide in the body which is an integral compound for heart health, improved circulation and immune system. Male libido can also be positively affected by this amino acid.

~Glutamine is known as one of the abundant amino acids in the body. We create glutamine in our muscles but can also absorb it from food. It is extremely helpful for gut repair but also benefits in the areas of anxiety prevention, tension, insomnia, focus, compromised immune system and low energy. It does all that by its production of GABA that aids mental health, giving that feeling of calm and tranquility. In addition, glutamine assists with wound healing and eases joint pain.

~Proline is responsible for cellular regeneration and tissue repair. It works to support balanced blood pressure levels and arterial elasticity.

There is an impressive list of benefits from consuming collagen that apply to everyone.

Here Are the Top Favorites:

Skin, Hair and Nails – Collagen makes up 70% of the protein within our skin. It makes our skin stay toned, smooth, hydrated, and supple by renewal and repair of cells. It reduces cellulite and stretch marks too by reducing the dimpling in the skin. Collagen protein is the building block of the finger and toenails, hair and teeth. I have seen first-hand the new hair growth that results from consistent consumption of collagen that cannot be sourced from anything else.

Gut Repair – Collagen is what I call grout for leaky gut. It’s amino acids provide the ability to break down proteins and create connective tissue that help restore the integrity of the intestinal lining. This is critical especially for leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability. The holes in the intestinal walls allows undigested food to go directly through the blood stream and cause an inflammatory response. Therefore collagen is essential for anyone with a comprised gut or disease such as IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and acid reflux.Joint Pain: The symptoms of stiffness and joint pain or achiness can be alleviated by collagen. When we lose collagen as we age, our tendons and ligaments begin to stiffen and become swollen and less agile. Collagen has been known to be effective for arthritis and joint pain as it contains the nutrition that connects our bones and allows them to move freely.

Builds Muscle and Burns Fat – Collagen is a major component of muscle tissue therefore it is vital for building muscle mass. The creatine provides fuel needed to power through a workout. Muscle burns fat so the more muscle we have, the more efficient we burn fat.

Liver Health – We all come in contact with hundreds if not thousands of toxins on a daily basis and the liver needs to absorb and convert those toxins to enable the detoxifying process. Glycine assists with minimizing damage your liver experiences while detoxifying toxins or alcohol.

Heart Health – Proline is effective in releasing fat buildup from the artery walls in the bloodstream and minimizing plaque accumulation. It’s critical for tissue repair within the joints and arteries and helps stabilize blood pressure.

There are many different types of collagen however most collagen proteins you will find on the market contain one or more of three types which are all beneficial.Type 1: Collagen found in skin/hide, tendon, scales and bones of cows, pigs, chicken and fishType 2: Formed in cartilage from poultryType 3: Fibrous protein found in bone, tendon, cartilage and connective tissues of cows, pigs, chicken and fish

Collagen Peptides: This contains the identical set of amino acids and nutrients as collagen but has been through a process called hydrolysis to break the amino acids down in to shorter chains of proteins. Hydrolyzing collagen increases the protein bioavailability that can be absorbed in the bloodstream more readily than regular collagen protein essentially making it more absorbable and easy to digest. It also makes it easily dissolved in both hot and cold water.

We can find collagen in our diets, mainly from animal parts we do not typically consume from beef, chicken, fish and egg shell membranes but it is mostly absorbed from bone broth made the correct way or a quality collagen powder. If making bone broth, you will need bone from grass fed or free range animals and use the necks, feet, wings or bones with marrow. For poultry, cook for 24 hours and beef for 48 to properly bring out the essential amino acids.

As you can now understand, I am a firm believer in the regular use of collagen and it’s wide array of health benefits. That is why I produce my own collagen protein in vanilla and chocolate with 18 grams of protein. I start every morning with a shake with my collagen protein, coconut milk, greens and half an avocado. I make all my soups with bone broth and will enjoy a cup as a regular snack.

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