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Collagen: For a Strong Body, Flexible Joints and Supple Skin

wrote by Stephanie Oswald Certified Health Coach (IIN, graduated 2014) and an Registered Holistic Nutritionist.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is found in our skin, hair, nails, bones, muscle tissue and cartilage. Collagen has the important purpose of allowing tissues to stretch with elasticity and provides structural integrity to the body. The protein in our bones is 90% collagen, which helps them to be flexible so they can bend and not break in many instances.

Why take supplemental Collagen?

As we age our bodies begin to produce less collagen, declining by 1% per year after age 30. This decrease in collagen is responsible for the development of looser skin and wrinkles, joint pain and even contributes to weakening bones. Clinical studies have shown daily Collagen supplementation may improve skin hydration and elasticity, strengthen hair and speed up growth, strengthen nails, improve the rate of wound healing and improve joint flexibility.

The psychological and physical stressors of our modern world can negatively impact our digestive system. These stressors contribute to damage and inflammation in the intestinal tract tissues. A robust Intestinal system is vital to our overall health as our it is the main system of nutrient absorption and assimilation. This weakening and inflammation can make us more susceptible to issues like leaky gut, allergies and nutrient deficiencies. Studies have shown supplementation of Collagen helps to repair and soothe the intestinal tract.

Cartilage contains concentrated amounts of collagen where the joints meet. As we age our joints can become weaker due to decreased collagen production. Supplementing collagen can lead to reduced joint pain, swelling and has even been shown in studies to improve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.Collagen is rich in protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a great way to get additional complete protein into your diet.

Sources of Collagen

Unfortunately, there are no plant-based sources of collagen available. Collagen is a component of skin, bones, tendons, joints and can only be consumed through animal product sources like bone broth, collagen supplementation and gelatin. There are plant foods that can help aid in the bodies naturally ability to create and replenish collagen, but they may not provide all the benefits of supplementing with collagen.

Is Collagen supplementation a new concept?

Traditionally humans have been supplementing their diets with collagen for centuries through the consumption of healing bone broths. In our western society, most of us are no longer consuming animal bone broths as a regular dietary staple. This leads to the need for dietary supplementation to reap the massive benefits of regular collagen consumption.

Supporting your body’s natural Collagen production

In addition to taking collagen in supplemental form, there are many foods and nutrients that can help support the body’s natural ability to produce and maintain collagen.

  • Vitamin C is needed in order for the body to produce collagen, without it there would be no collagen.
  • Silica is an important mineral in the formation of collagen and is found in its highest concentrations in the hair and skin.
  • Antioxidants help prevent premature aging by protecting collagen from the damaging effects of free radicals.
  • Bone Broth is a great way to get some additional collagen into your daily diet.
  • Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen and is another easy way to supply collagen to the diet.

I personally take Land Art’s liquid Collag-N daily and have seen great results. My hair is noticeably stronger preventing breakage between haircuts, my nails are also stronger leading to less breakage and I have noticed an improvement in my gut health, which was the main reason I started to take a collagen supplement. Land Art Collag-N is in a liquid form for better absorption and assimilation, contains 250mg of Vitamin C which helps support collagen production, is from grass fed Beef and is in a Hydrolysed form, which has been shown to be highly absorbable in the digestive tract.

Recipe
Power up Smoothie

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 banana
  • Handful spinach
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 tbsp Land Art liquid Collag-N
  • 1 scoop unflavored or vanilla protein powder

  • 1.Place all ingredients in a blender starting with the almond milk.
  • 2.Blend well until smooth and creamy.
  • 3.Enjoy!

Resources:

1. “The Optimum Nutrition Bible”, Author: Patrick Holford

2. “Staying Healthy with Nutrition.” Author: Dr. Hass, MD.; 2006 edition

3. “Nutritional Pathology, Third Edition”, Author: Dr. Brenda Lessard-Rhead, BSc, ND

4. “The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy”, Authors: Jonny Bowden, Phd., CNS and Alison Tannis, MS, RHN

5. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. Authors: Harvey Lodish, Arnold Berk, S Lawrence Zipursky, Paul Matsudaira, David Baltimore, and James Darnell. New York; 2000.

6. Choi SY, Ko EJ, Kim BG, Shin, HJ, Seo DB, Lee SJ, Kim Bj, Kim MN. “Effects of collagen tripeptide supplement on skin properties: a prospective, randomized, controlled study” Department of Dermatology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

7. Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schnuck M, Zague V, Oesser S. “Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Department of Dermatology, University of Kiel, Germany

8. “What is Collagen Powder (and How to Use It)”. Katie, Wellness Mama

9. Geesin JC, Darr D, Kaufman R, Murad S, Pinnell SR. “Ascorbic acid specifically increases type I and type III procollagen messenger RNA levels in human skin fibroblast” Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.

10. Shindo Y, Witt E, Han D, Epstein W, Packer L. “Enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidants in epidermis and dermis of human skin.” Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley.

11. Phillips CL, Combs SB, Pennell SR. “Effects of ascorbic acid on proliferation and collagen synthesis in relation to the donor age of human dermal fibroblasts.” Duke University Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Durham, NC.

12. Jabaji Z, Brinkley GJ, Khalil HA, Sears CM, Lei NY, Lewis M, Stelzner M, Martin MG, Dunn JC. “Type I collagen as an extracellular matrix for the in vitro growth of human small intestinal epithelium.”

13. Proksh E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S. “Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Department of Dermatology, University of Kiel, Germany.

14. Genovese L, Corbo A, Sibilla S. “An Insight into the Changes in Skin Texture and Properties following Dietary Intervention with a Nutricosmeceutical Containing a Blend of Collagen Bioactive Peptides and Antioxidants.” Minerva Research Labs Ltd., London, UK

15. Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S, Proksch E. “Dietary Supplementation with Specific Collagen Peptides Has a Body Mass Index-Dependent Beneficial Effect on Cellulite Morphology.”

16.Figueres Juher T, Bases Perez E. “An overview of the beneficial effects of hydrolysed collagen intake on joint and bone health and on skin ageing.”

17. McAlindon TE, Nuite M, Krishnan N, Ruthazer R, Price LL, Burstein D, Griffith J, Flechsenhar K. “Change in knee osteoarthritis cartilage detected by delayed gadolinium enhanced magnetic resonance imaging following treatment with collagen hydrolysate: a pilot randomized controlled trial.” Division of Rheumatology, Tufts Medical Center, Boston MA, USA

18. Martin-Bautista E, Martin-Matillas M, Martin-Lagos JA, Miranda-Leon MT, Munoz-Torres M, Ruiz-Requena E, Rivero M, Quer J, Puigdueta I, Campoy C. “A nutritional intervention study with hydrolyzed collagen in pre-pubertal Spanish children: influence on bone modeling biomarkers.” Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.

19. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. “The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.”

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