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Collagen: Why you need it and how to get it

Comfort the body and the mind with something your body can really use

gelatin for collagen
Gelatin is a tasty way to get your collagen

Collagen can play an important role in the prevention of many health concerns such as osteoporosis, gut imbalances like SIBO or IBS, insomnia, arthritis, and more. It’s already found throughout the body, predominantly in the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen holds tissues together and keeps bones strong but flexible.

In it’s dietary form, most notably from bone broth or gelatin, it doesn’t contain the full spectrum of amino acids, but the ones it does have - such as glycine, proline, lysine and glutamic acid - are incredibly beneficial for bone and joint health and more. Studies show that added dietary collagen can improve the integrity of cartilage and prevent bone deterioration (1). The amino acids glycine and proline are both anti-inflammatory, making them effective for improving joint health, particularly when arthritis is present. Lysine helps strengthen bones by promoting calcium absorption and natural collagen formation, and may help them heal faster after a fracture as well. Glycine can help slow or reduce the loss of muscle from aging, and muscle loss can also promote bone weakening, so it’s a double benefit.

Good for Your Gut

The amino acids glycine, proline, and glutamine found in bone broth and gelatin, can improve gut integrity and improve digestion by helping to build up the protective lining in your intestine (2). Gelatin especially helps by absorbing water and keeping fluid in the digestive tract, promoting good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements (3).

Good for Skin and Hair

Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of skin and is something we lose as we age, causing loss of elasticity and wrinkles. Glycine and proline can help your body produce enough collagen to create a noticeable improvement in your skin (4). A collagen-rich diet may also help combat the aging effects of sunlight, another major cause of wrinkles. It may support hair growth and improve its thickness as well (5).

Good for Sleep

Collagen in the form of bone broth or gelatin can improve sleep thanks to its glycine component. Glycine is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it can help reduce anxiety and calm the mind to allow better sleep through the night (6).

Since bones are full of collagen, which forms gelatin when simmered, bone broth is one of the best, most easily digested and absorbed sources and is easy to make at home. It’s also loaded with important minerals and nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamins D, C, and thiamine (B1). You can also take a gelatin supplement, grass fed is the best option. You can find a fish-based product if you're a pescatarian, and for the strict vegetarian there are also no-harm options made from sea vegetables.

Some people may experience digestive difficulties when trying collagen or gelatin supplements for the first time. I recommend you start with a small dose and work your way up to your recommended dosage. It may also cause a histamine reaction and is not ideal for those with a histamine sensitivity. For advice on how to supplement with these products and the best option for you, send me a message.

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