I field questions everyday about collagen and its benefits followed up with, “should I be taking it?”

Let’s talk function first: Collagen is basically everywhere in the body. It is an assembly of proteins and fibers that are the base for all connective tissue. That means the whole skeletal system- bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, muscle, skin, and it is a major component in blood vessels. In fact, you need Vitamin C Complex (not ascorbic acid, that is just one of many components of Vitamin C) to form collagen. The nutritional deficiency of vitamin C, called scurvy, is rarely seen today but its effects are bleeding from weak blood vessels.

There are plenty of people who have milder versions of the deficiency. You might see it as easy bruising or bleeding gums when you brush. Another sign of weak connective tissue is slow recovery from soft tissue injuries light sprains and strains.

It really is the glue that holds us together. Guess what enzyme the body needs to form collagen? It is called the COX enzyme. Co-oxygenase to be precise.  Without it, you breakdown more than you build up.

What damages collagen?

What are the most used drugs in our nation because they have the mistaken presumption that they are safe because most of them are over the counter (OTC)? OTC doesn’t mean safe. Did you know that yearly, over 16,000 people die and over 100,000 people from complications of non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs aka NSAIDS. That is what is reported!

These drugs kill the COX enzyme because that enzyme leads to inflammation. Well using that for a day or two can really control over inflammation but a long use of it will beat you up. In fact I have hundreds of patients who take it every day like a vitamin for their arthritis. As a result, they feel a bit better today to be more arthritic and in more pain tomorrow because the damage it does when used consistently. It’s not the drugs fault, it is how we utilize it.  NSAIDS can be a great tool when used properly but very damaging when not understood.

The damage could be more arthritis if your lucky and death from a bleeding ulcer if you’re not.  So make sure you use the drugs wisely and consult with a doctor (or better yet pharmacist) about the risks.

Smoking and sugar damage the connective tissue and also do damage to the vascular system.

No lecture needed-If you read these emails you get that.

What can I eat?

First, you need to hydrate. Next, eat lots of cruciferous, allium, and brassica veggies: broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, turnips, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, asparagus. All the foods that are great for detoxing!! Add some bone broth and you’re in business! Then add in bright veggies and fruit that are high in natural vitamin C. Remember: whole vitamin C is the precursor to collagen.

Supplemental options are stage collagen. We have seen with straight consumption of collagen that for some reason, can throw hormones out of balance. Can’t explain it but it has been noticed by several of the doctors I study nutrition under.

We use Calcifood: It is yet another glaring reason why we love Standard Process products because they offer a ton of crossover. We use Calcifood for osteoporosis, osteopenia, broken bones, a calcium replacement, blood building, immune building, but also as a collagen supplement. It is ground bone that never has seen heat so all the proteins are in tact. One wafer/day has collagen in its natural state with all of its synergists.

Again food is medicine but there are many ways to support this important function.