Collagen: The “Look Good, Feel Good Protein”
We’ve all heard of collagen and how important it is for beautiful, smooth skin. And while that’s true, there’s so much more to it than that! Collagen is the most important and abundant structural protein in your body.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a hard, insoluble, and fibrous protein that makes up one-third of the protein in the human body. Think of collagen as the “glue” that holds your body together. Your skin, bones, connective tissue, cartilage, and joints all depend on ample collagen to be healthy, strong, and flexible. Collagen protein helps maintain a healthy intestinal barrier and supports healthy bones and joints.
Your body synthesizes collagen from special amino acids found in various foods. Our bodies also need certain minerals and vitamin C to manufacture collagen.
Most of us cannot get enough collagen from our diets alone. Even those of us eating an organic, Paleo-inspired diet have trouble getting as much collagen as our distant ancestors did, let alone enough for optimal health. Excess sugar in your diet, UV sun exposure, and smoking all negatively impact collagen production.
What Are the Benefits of Collagen?
Collagen is fantastic for those concerned with leaky gut. Collagen is full of amino acids and peptides that help maintain and promote optimal gut lining health. The cells that line your intestinal tract love this stuff, and so many of my patients report greater digestive comfort after using it. Supporting the gut lining is paramount for those concerned with autoimmunity, healthy thyroid function, and a balanced inflammatory response.
Collagen is critical if you’re looking to optimize the health of your muscles, bones, and joints, as well as your hair, skin, and nails. It’s even more important after the age of 40 when your body’s collagen production naturally declines. Why do we get wrinkles at the age of 40? Well, a lot of that has to do with not enough collagen to support our skin!
The 3 Critical Types of Collagen
Although there are many types of collagen in your body, between 80 and 90% of the collagen in your body consists of these three types.
Type I: This is the most abundant type in your body. It’s key to your skin’s elasticity and hydration, and in keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay. It’s also a significant player in the strength of your nails, teeth, and thick, luxurious hair. Perhaps most importantly, it lends strength to your bones.
Type II: This type is found in cartilage, the connective tissue that links your bones and helps provide the structure for your body. It also supports the health of your spinal disks and eyes.
Type III: Critical for gut health, this type is a crucial component of your intestines, muscles, and blood vessels. Type III collagen also forms the outermost layer of articular cartilage, which covers the ends of your bones and protects your joints.
Type I & III: These are the most important for a supplement. My grass-fed, pasture-raised beef Collagen is pure, hydrolyzed Types I & III. These types lend all the great benefits to your skin, bones, hair, nails, and connective tissue.
Collagen supports healthy weight management by optimizing lean muscle mass. It even helps curb sugar cravings by assisting with healthy insulin production and pancreatic function. My grass-fed, hydrolyzed Collagen is also rich in conditionally essential amino acids that many of us lack, such as glycine, which supports a healthy mood and restful sleep.
Why Supplement with Collagen?
Unless you’ve got an 8-quart crockpot simmering bone broth from grass-fed, antibiotic-free cow bones all day every day, then you are very likely in need of a high-quality collagen supplement! This collagen is one of my absolute favorite supplements, and I use it every single day.
There are many different collagen choices out there, and it can be challenging to find a clean, high-quality source. That’s why I custom-formulated my own hydrolyzed collagen powder. It’s sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, and is also 100% non-GMO and made with kosher collagen. Plus, it’s keto-friendly, and Paleo approved.
Dietary collagen is difficult-to-digest and not very absorbable. By its nature, it’s very sticky (its name comes from kola, the Greek word for glue), so it tends to mix poorly into liquids.
Hydrolyzing collagen involves breaking up the difficult-to-digest proteins into easily digested peptides, or chains of beneficial amino acids. This process ensures far greater absorption and bioavailability. Hydrolyzing collagen also guarantees that it mixes easily into hot or cold beverages without clumping!
Who Should Take a Daily Dose of Collagen?
Frankly, there’s almost no one who wouldn’t benefit from additional collagen. However, it’s particularly essential for any who:
- Is concerned about leaky gut and wants to maintain a healthy intestinal lining
- Wants to optimize thyroid and immune function
- Is looking to alleviate occasional joint pain
- Wants to support healthy weight loss
- Cares about strong and healthy hair, skin, and nails
- Is over the age of 40
There are plenty of collagen products to choose from on the market. However, many are highly processed and may be denatured by high heat and other processing methods that destroy the delicate collagen peptides.
You can be sure the Collagen available in my store is sourced from grass-fed cows and is free of GMOs, antibiotics, and hormones. It will never contain inflammatory ingredients such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, grains, and legumes. You also won’t find binders, fillers, and other unnecessary ingredients. Finally, I ensured it was processed at a very low heat so that your body can absorb all the critical collagen peptides.
It’s completely flavorless, so you don’t have to worry about the taste. I love it in my morning smoothie or hot tea at night! You can add it to your favorite soup or even mix it into baked goods. Many of my patients in my clinic mixed it into their children’s baby food and desserts!
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