The Importance of Collagen-it cannot be overstated!!!

            Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, it is found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. (1)  Collagen is so important because this protein gives our skin strength and elasticity and replaces dead skin cells.  Collagen from the Greek, “kola” means “glue”, it holds everything together.  Our body’s collagen production naturally begins to slow down as we age. We can thank this degenerative process for signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sagging skin and joint pains due to weaker or decreased cartilage. Other lifestyle factors — like eating a diet high in sugar, smoking and high amounts of sun exposure — also contribute to depleting collagen levels.  One of the amino acids that is part of collagen is glycine, which according to, “Glycine is used for treating schizophrenia, stroke, sleep problems, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), metabolic syndrome, and some rare inherited metabolic disorders. It is also used to protect kidneys from the harmful side effects of certain drugs used after organ transplantation as well as the liver from harmful effects of alcohol. Glycine may also be used to reduce the risk of psychosis. Other uses include cancer prevention and memory enhancement.  Some people apply glycine directly to the skin to treat leg ulcers and heal other wounds.”

            One benefit of collagen is improvement in hair, skin and nails.  According to Dr. Axe, “Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies investigating the anti-aging properties of collagen have found that 2.5–5 grams of collagen hydrolysate used among women aged 35–55 once daily for eight weeks significantly improved skin elasticity, skin moisture, transepidermal water loss (dryness) and skin roughness, all with little to no side effects. This makes collagen one of the best natural skin care ingredients available.”  Collagen also reduces cellulite and stretch marks.

            If you are feeling extra stiff, and have pain when you move, that’s very likely a loss of collagen!  Collagen helps our joints move more easily, think "grease", reducing pain and joint degeneration.  A recent study showed that collagen is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and other joint pain disorders.  In this randomized, double-blind trial involving 60 patients with severe, active rheumatoid arthritis, a decrease in the number of swollen joints and tender joints occurred in subjects fed chicken type II collagen for 3 months but not in those that received a placebo. Four patients in the collagen group had complete remission of the disease. No side effects were evident.”

            If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome (or IBS, Crohn’s disease, acid reflux, and ulcerative colitis) the most important benefit is that collagen forms connective tissue thereby healing the protective lining of the GI tract, infusing it with amino acids.  Many diseases can be triggered because of toxins leaking into your bloodstream triggering inflammation.  Collagen keeps the intestines healed and hydrated, which “keeps the mail moving”.

            Collagen can boost your metabolism, energy levels and muscle mass, which is critical as we age.  Glycine (an amino acid found in collagen) seems to help slow the effects of aging by improving the body’s use of antioxidants and is also used in the process of constructing healthy cells from DNA and RNA.” (3)  A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that there’s an “essential relationships between extracellular matrix (ECM) and hair follicle regeneration, suggesting that collagen benefits could include being a potential therapeutic target for hair loss and other skin-related diseases.”

The Red Tea Detox 

            According to Dr. Axe, “One of the easiest ways to cleanse your liver is with a bone broth fast. I often recommend a three-day bone broth detox to rapidly repair leaky gut. This may help your body rid itself of chemicals and “reset” your gut, improving overall immune function. Studies have even found that glycine can be used to help reduce alcohol-induced liver damage and other forms of acute or chronic liver injury.” (1)

            Lastly, the amino acid proline ( found in collagen) shrinks fat in the arteries and minimizes accumulation.  Proline also aides in tissue repair in the arteries and controls blood pressure.  It’s also linked with the prevention of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) since it helps our arteries stay clear of dangerous plaque buildup.

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If the font size, color and type are different - this happens when I transfer the article to blogger, not sure why it happens, but it was not created that way.  So forgive the craziness, and focus on the information!! As always, this article is for informational purposes only and is NOT intended as medical advice!!! 

2.    Trentham et al, Effects of oral administration of type II collagen on rheumatoid arthritis, Science. 1993 Sep 24;261(5129):1727-30.

4.    Chen, et al, Lack of Collagen VI Promotes Wound-Induced Hair Growth., J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Oct;135(10):2358-2367. doi: 10.1038/jid.2015.187. Epub 2015 May 19.


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