A Key to Anti-Aging: Collagen

Collagen hydrolysate is one of the most overlooked quality sources of protein and one of the keys to anti-aging; we’re not just talking aesthetically. Collagen Hydrolysate not only plays a role in preventing wrinkles and diminishing cellulite, it is also essential for maintaining healthy joints, athletic recovery, detoxification, preventing atherosclerosis, and organ function.

WHAT IS COLLAGEN?

Collagen is the single most abundant protein in our bodies. It helps maintain structure and elasticity of our tissues. This includes skin, blood and blood vessels, cartilage, fascia, muscles, tendons, ligaments and even the synovial fluid in our joints.

Collagen has a different amino acid profile than that found in muscle meat, the typical protein we consume. Collagen has higher amounts of glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, alanine, and glutamic acid. These amino acids are specifically required to build connective tissue to regulate cell growth. Alanine, glycine, glutamic acid, and proline are all non-essential amino acids. This means our bodies can make them without eating them. However, our livers cannot always meet our metabolic demands. This is where dietary collagen becomes a very important and beneficial supplementation to our diet.

HOW COLLAGEN CAN HELP YOU

Detoxification.

Collagen has an abundance of glycine, an amino acid that helps your body to synthesize glutathione. Glutathione is one of the most potent antioxidants in the body. Glutathione is essential in phase 0 and III of liver detoxification. It is responsible shuttling toxins in and out of liver cells so they can be excreted out of our bodies.

Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis prevention.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen helps repair our tissues and maintain the quality of our joints. It helps maintain healthy bone composition and strength, provides protection and repair of cartilage, as well as potential reduction in osteoarthritic joint pain.

A systematic review of the studies performed on this subject found that collagen hydrolysate ingestion stimulates a significant increase in production of collagen. These findings suggest mechanisms that might help patients affected by joint disorders such as osteoarthritis (OA). Although many of these studies did not provide key information–such as the statistical significance of the findings–they showed collagen hydrolysate to be safe and to provide improvement in some measures of pain and function in some men and women with OA or other arthritic conditions. (1) (2)

Other studies have found collagen hydrolysate has been shown to be absorbed intestinally and to actually accumulate in cartilage. (3) Collagen hydrolysate is becoming recognized as a safe nutraceutical to help stimulate production of cartilage and other tissue repair.

Athletic Recovery and Joint Pain.

More studies are being done on the benefits of collagen hydrolysate in activity related joint pain/athletic recovery. One study found that activity related joint pain, joint mobility and inflammation were all improved over a 24 week period of consuming 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate. This was the first study of this duration on activity-related joint pain in physically active athletes with no evidence of joint disease. (4)

Wrinkle and Cellulite Prevention.

Supplementing with collagen can help make you less susceptible to the appearance of cellulite. As collagen and elastin fibers weaken and skin thins, it becomes harder to conceal the irregularities created by fat stores just below the surface; making the appearance of cellulite much more visible with aging.

One double-blind, placebo controlled trial (5) found that collagen hydrolysate supplementation showed a significant improvement, when compared to placebo, on skin elasticity (or wrinkles), skin roughness, and skin moisture within only eight weeks of supplementation. The dose used in this trial was 2.5-5.0 grams a day.

Immunity, Leaky Gut and Ulcers.

Collagen helps to repair your gut lining. Your digestive tract serves as a barrier between your body and the outside world. Insults like chronic stress, chemicals, food sensitivities (gluten, alcohol, dairy, etc), microbes (parasites, bacteria, viruses), and lack of digestive enzymes create inflammation in the gut. This chronic inflammation results in the gut wall becoming compromised due to weakening or breakdown of the junctions between the cells of your gut wall; aka Leaky gut. This allows for undigested food particles and other substances to enter into your bloodstream, creating an unrelenting immune response. This can manifest as disorders like ulcers, IBS/IBD and be a catalyst for autoimmunity.

There are many other functions that collagen helps with:

– Aids in insulin production

– The production of neurotransmitters

– Increased stamina

– Fertility

– Wound healing

– Production of growth hormone

– Important energy source for muscles

WHERE DO YOU GET COLLAGEN FROM?

Like we stated before, collagen is different than the standard meat protein we eat, and chances are it is lacking in your diet. Collagen protein is primarily found in bone broth and organ meats. Very few people eat these foods on a regular basis now a days. We recommend making organ meats and bone broths a part of your regular diet, but know that is not always palatable for everyone.

If you would like to give organ meats a try, we recommend ordering online from US Wellness Meats grasslandbeef.com. Their animals are grass-fed from start to finish, raised with all the principles of holistic land management and sustainability. Lab testing showed that the meat was higher in essential nutrients like: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, CLA, and other nutrients. If eating straight organ meats is not appealing to you, they have options like beef braunschweiger and liverwurst. These products are like an organ based salami and taste great!

If you still aren’t sold on incorporating organ meats or bone broth into your diet, a collagen hydrolysate supplement may be the route for you. Great Lakes Collagen is our brand of choice. They carefully source grass-fed beef hides for the raw material for their products. Absorption of collagen hydrolysate is said to be over 90%, compared to 27% or less in food. There are some other really great brands out there, Bulletproof collagen protein being one, just make sure you do your research!

Ann Barter

Dr. Ann Barter & Dr. Jennifer Christian

Dr. Barter and Dr. Christian are passionate about
how Chiropractic combined with Functional Medicine can change lives.

Chat with them today or reserve an appointment at one of our offices in Denver and Longmont to find out how Chiropractic + Functional Medicine can change your life.