Collagen is it worth the hype?

In a previous Clubhouse room, I participated in a discussion about collagen with some other nutrition professionals.  

If you've been seeing these lists going around social media about where to get collagen, you have to be wary, especially if the list has many veggies in them.  

Collagen is from the connective tissues of animals.  Humans naturally create collagen, but as we age, our body's supply depletes.

Unknown to some, there are three types of collagen in our body.   Type 1 is for building bones, tendons, skin, and ligaments. Type 2 is for our cartilage, and Type 3 helps in creating muscles and blood vessels. 

You can get your collagen from supplements, collagen shots, bone broths, or eating high protein foods like chicken, fish, beef, eggs, dairy, and beans.  What we see online these days is collagen in powdered or capsule version.

The thing is, with edible collagen, we would need to digest this first before our skin and joints get the benefits when we consume, say, a spoon full of powder collagen. 

If you want to know the benefits of collagen, I talk more about it on this episode of the Less Stressed Life podcast. 



A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a clubhouse room, clubhouses, a new audio drop-in app, where you have little chat rooms essentially, and everyone can just kind of show up and talk about whatever. And I participated in a room all about collagen and with some other nutrition professionals. And because I didn't want to throw away my notes without some use, you are getting some of that information. What that room taught me is that there's really a lot of possibly untrue information out there about collagen and, and the coordinator. My friend, Jen was kind of perturbed by an article that she had seen that said something like these foods are good sources of college, and it included a lot of vegetable sources. What collagen is from animal proteins. Anyway, I'm going to focus on mostly what's positive about collagen and today and how, and when you can expect results from taking them.

So, first of all, collagen is really a functional food. I feel more than just a supplement. So functional food is a food that you incorporate or you're eating and you get a conferred or a special health benefit. I feel like we should be using collagen sort of in our daily lives or that's my goal in my life. I want to incorporate it into food because one it's tasteless. So even when something's made out of there's many types of collagen and there's Marine collagen, which is made out of fish skin and scales, there's bovine or other animal collagen made out of hide and bones, but despite it source it's tasteless. So a lot of people put it in their coffee, in their oatmeal, in their smoothies. And personally, I need to put it in a little Mason jar with a scoop because I have a round turntable in my corner, cupboard for hot drink, things that I put on there and a different one for smoothies.

And it's on my smoothie turntable. And I don't put it in my drink. And, you know, as I record this, it's in my tea, I do not taste it. We could also be using it for cooking or baking. So not much of a Baker over here, but you can sub in collagen. It's very stretchy, I guess. And so you could use it in place of eggs or with it. I use a pancake mix routinely in my kitchen. And so this week after these conversations, I was just throwing it in there. I mean, you don't really see a difference, but you're getting a nice little bit of protein, which is great because these amino acids, like this is an amazing source. So collagen is heat, stable, over 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is awesome. All right. So let's back up. What is collagen? Collagen is a protein that's found in connective tissue.

So humans create our own collagen and naturally as do other animals, which is why it's not a vegan ingredient. Now it's found in our skin and our joints and collagen is used to make keratin, which is a very similar structure to collagen. And that's what our hair and nails are made out of after age 25 collagen and naturally starts to decline. And by the time we are 30, the effects of college and loss can become a little more noticeable in the form of fine lines. Wrinkles. The other day, someone was asking me about reasons for hair loss and collagen, and literally keeps the hair and nails in place by supporting and holding folding in around the hair follicle and in that nail bed. So it's possible that maybe poor collagen, it could be related to hair loss. And we can think about this, especially in our older population, right, that we think of again, would have the degraded collagen, and we need a collagen to make is very vitamin C dependent.

And that population can also be very low in vitamin C, which creates a lot of issues like wound healing problems, et cetera. Anyway. So just my thoughts on that, because it all sort of goes together in bones and joints. As we age, our bones become more susceptible to side effects of collagen depletion. So brittle bones, suboptimal joint function are issues that affect many people over the age of 50. So as an aside athletes at any age, rely on bones and joints. And so I think there's a lot of use for collagen and in people who are exercising at least daily or even a few times a week. So what do we use it for? So over 90% of the collagen in our human body is type one collagen. There's actually over 30 types of collagen. And I had it etched incorrectly in my brain, that type one and three we're like the bees knees.

They were like the best collagen, but I'm mistaken. I thought they were the best college because those are the types that are great for skin and hair, which is typically my focus. So therefore I etched in my brain. I hope this helps. Do you remember me telling you my mistake? So I thought one in three were the only best one, but one of the three are great for skin and hair type two collagen is a little more well known for joint and cartilage health. So a combination is great and there are a lot of these trademark types of college and like Vera Saul, et cetera, that I'm seeing in the literature at which I'll get to them. So this is great for those with bones density issues. So we know that after menopause, as estrogen declines, we reduced bone density. And this is like a big deal.

Collagen has been shown to increase bone density in women after menopause. This is a big deal because I feel like it's thought that women are totally, we had to look after menopause and they're very resigned to taking large amounts of calcium, which honestly can be problematic if they're not on the right type, but it's not well utilized by the body. I mean, that's just how I think about minerals and calcification in general. Anyway, so our body makes collagen from a few amino acids. It gets from, you know, breaking down protein and collagen is mostly glycine proline. And hydroxyproline. So, yeah, I mentioned this before. We're common sources, Marine collagen derive from the skin and scales of fish. Bovines derived from hides and bones of cows and food sources of college and include gelatin, which is basically cooked collagen bone broth because submarine, animal bones, extracts collagen of course, fish with skin on.

And then if you're cooking a whole chicken, because of all that connective tissue, that's, there is pretty high on that collagen and foods list. But as I mentioned before, a lot of high collagen, unless you use any source of vitamin C on their list, but this is a little bit of a stretch. So it's important. Obviously, it's really important to have a good adequate vitamin C, but we would say maybe that would be a booster and it would be pretty dependent on the amount of vitamin C. All right. So I want to talk about a few studies really quickly, and then I want to get back to that whole sourcing conversation. Okay. So my friend Anna writes about collagen and a lot. So I have this sneaky trick called I Google Anna's name and oncologist and find some of the research. And then I can, it sends me down the right rabbit hole because there's so much research.

So I just have a few studies here, and these are ones she had used in an article. And I went and looked at the articles. And so what I want to point out is that all of these studies take a bit of time to see the difference in the amount used is very low. For example, the collagen and sitting on my desk, which is from neutral dine, which is a small Midwest Minnesota company. And I personally think that this particular collagen which is very expensive is incredible for healing skin quickly and healing wounds quickly. And there are some really like trademarked types of collagen in it. Anyway, in one scoop, there are 17 and a half grams of collagen and overall, and there are two and a half grams of a very specific kind now 17 and a half grams in a scoop and of that 70 and a half grams, two and a half of a very specific kind in a lot of these studies, they're looking at two and a half gram doses.

So after four weeks of use skin elasticity improved at 15% with two and a half or five grams of collagen, maybe not impressive, right. 15% after a month, but maybe right. Like if you could see a reduction in your wrinkles in one month, just a little bit from a little bit of collagen, and again, one scoop is 17 grams. This is a two and a half gram in this study. I wrinkles in another study decreased by 20% after two months of use using the same two and a half grams of Vera saul collagen and which is in this kind. And I'm going to include all the links for this in the show notes, and then cellulite and skin waviness decreased after three months of use also using two and a half grams of collagen. And then in this study, nails grew faster while taking collagen, the collagen supplement, like it's going to support that keratin and then cracked and chipped nails to decrease this big 42%, but 42% after six months of use, there was 25 participants and they also took that two and a half gram dose of collagen.

So what is the bottom line here? It takes a while. It takes like continuous effort, which is why we have to figure out how to put it in our lives. It's kind of like a daily staple all the time. If we want this awesome menace that collagen could promise, right. More beautiful hair, skin, nails, nicer joints, et cetera. Like the things that you don't appreciate and tell they're not perfect. Right. Okay. So last thought really quick. Are there vegan forms of collagen? So it's actually kind of an older study that I found, and there are some products out there and there's a couple things. There's things that are labeled college and boosters that have things like vitamin C plus other ingredients that would maybe be things that would help your body produce collagen. Because as human as a mammal, we produce collagen. And apparently they have like pulled some bacteria to create collagen.

This feels a little Frankenfoodie to me, maybe it's not that Frankenfoodie, but it's not something I've bought or tried, but apparently there might be something like that out there. But if we're sticking to whole real food, collagen comes from animal sources. It appears to have a lot of really cool benefits. My friend Rakhi works in wound healing and literally can see the wounds healing from topical use in our clubhouse room. And we were talking to some dermatologists that were like, eh, you know, it's a little different when it's open skin versus other things. And we also said, you know, maybe the research just isn't there when it's not open wounds, because when you work in wound care or in the aging population, wound care is a really big thing. And you have these deep gaping wounds. So there's probably a lot of research there, but anyway, it was fun for her to share that she's literally seen things change kind of before her eyes, but for the majority, for the rest of us plan on incorporating it in your daily life, using it long-term and see yourself looking beautiful over time.

I hope that this episode was fun for you. What kind of colleges should you take really going back to supplement stuff in general, you've got to just know company integrity. I like to recommend looking for grass-fed collagen. The two original gangsters in the college and world were great lakes and vital proteins, but there's a lot of other ones out there. Now, there was a long time where I was really into the primal kitchen. Their vanilla one was really delicious. I haven't ordered it for a long, long time now, but it was a really yummy one. So just look and see what you find. And I love this one from nutria dine off you go to Christopher You can get 25% off on anything from your, in which they have some really fabulous products from a small company, but hope that's helpful and have a great day.

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