Collagen is the new black. What is it, and why do we need it?

Dr Leisa

Got questions about collagen? I’m here to answer those questions right now. Patients ask me every day, “What is collagen, and why do I need it? Collagen is the main protein in connective tissue like tendons, bone, skin, cartilage, and teeth. Not only does ingesting it support those body parts, but it aids in digestion as well. It’s made of amino acids, and provides structure to basically keep our body parts together. Collagen diminishes as we age, and today, it’s one of the most popular supplements on the market and in the media.

Types of collagen

There are 28 types of collagen that are in different parts of our body. I’ll talk about the most popular ones. They all function differently. We can get it in our diet from beef, chicken, fish egg membranes, and more. Today, there are powder formulas and creams that can supply us with high doses of collagen. The trick is, how much to take and how. Type 1 is the most common, as it makes up approximately 80% of our skin, the largest organ in the body. It’s the one most commonly used in dermatological and aesthetic purposes. Type 2 is found in our movable joints, and is used in treating and preventing arthritis, it shouldn’t be taken with types 1 and 3, as it will affect its absorption. Many popular over-the-counter products include all three types together. Beware of these formulas. Type 3 is the second most prevalent in our body. It’s also found in our skin, artery walls, intestines, lungs, and uterus. This is why collagen is used to prevent so many diseases, and supports the body. Type 4 is found mainly in the cornea of our eyes, the skin, lungs, and more. Type 10 is found mainly in cartilage, and is used in treating arthritis and supporting the joints. Medical grade formulas of all types of collagen are best, because they have the proper ingredients added that promote the absorption of each type. They also have the right amounts necessary for the collagen to work. These are not found in health food stores, or popular on-line sites. They are sold in doctor’s offices only.

Sources of collagen

As I mentioned earlier, there are food sources of collagen, as well as supplement sources. One of the best sources is bone broth or stock. You can make your own, buy it in pre-made boxes, or order from restaurants. You can tell if a broth has a lot of collagen if once refrigerated overnight, it congeals by the morning. The longer you cook it, the more collagen will be extracted from the bones. The Vietnamese are known for their healthy broths, and some Vietnamese restaurants cook them for up to 24 hours. If you make your own broth, be sure and save leftover bones from high quality roasts or wild caught fish. Bones that come from a healthy source are a good choice. Making homemade broth is best, but the bottom line is, just drink more of it and enjoy! Your body will thank you.

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Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
Chiropractic Physician
Accurate Care Pain Relief Center
21043 N Cave Creek Rd. #A9
Phoenix, AZ 85024