Wednesday, April 12, 2017


F A R M A C Y   |  A  G U I D E   T O   C O L L A G E N
A guide on easy & sneaky ways to increase collagen production with vegan options  . . .

s every cup of joe, turmeric latté, & herbal decoctions have been blended with collagen, you may be wondering to yourself what the hype? as you scoop some for yours. Will your skin become as elastic as the body of a pre-pubescent gymnast? Will it primp your joints to defy any arthritis for this lifetime and beyond? Is it going to demonise the speckles of cellulite on your thighs, leaving dimples to only be a resident of your face? Will you be getting the sweetest slumber or dream of the supposed gleaming results?

                                                                  W H A T   I S   C O L L A G E N ? 
Collagen is the most abundant protein that is naturally produced by the body to sustain the elasticity, integrity, and strength of our skin and other connective tissues, which include fat. This is why as we lose weight and thus fat, we also lose collagen or the youthfulness of the skin. Likewise, lack of healthy fat consumption also reduces the nutrient absorption of food-based collagen. These fibers that have the tensile strength like that of steel cables have been researched to increase skin elasticity and moisture in women aged 35-55 with no side effects.

If you are concerned with aging, are not consuming a nutrient-dense diet, are stressed (and thus have increased cortisol levels), are smoking, or smoking because you're stressed or vice versa, you might want a scoop . . .

                                                                  T Y P E S   O F   C O L L A G E N
Unlike what the tubs of seemingly identical collagen make it appear like, there are at least sixteen different types of collagen in the human body. While types 1, 2, and 3 are dominant, type 1 accounts for almost 90 percent of its supply. Different food sources of collagen provide different types of collagen, which respectively serve different purposes within the body. You can pick the food source according to your needs with the guide below.

T Y P E  №1 & T Y P E  №3
Type 1 is the type of collagen that is the strongest and assists in the critical assimilation of bones, gastrointestinal tract & microbiome, and skin elasticity. Type 3, on the other hand, composes the lining of our organs and composes the extracellular matrix of the skin as well as blood vessels. A deficiency in this type of collagen has been associated with decreased heart health and potential rupture of blood vessels. Both types of collagen are provided by bovine collagen, derived from cows. Its additional high content of glycine and proline make it a good fit for people who are looking to build muscle. 

T Y P E  №2
This type of collagen targets the assembly of cartilage, a target point for those concerned with age-related issues such as joint and connective tissue degeneration or pain. Type 2 collagen is bio-available in collagen derived from chicken. The abundant supply of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate in chicken collagen provide additional joint support. You can get this type of collagen in most collagen supplements, which are derived from chicken, or by making bone broth that incorporate collagen-rich cartilaginous chicken feet from pasture-raised farms.

T Y P E  №4 & T Y P E  №10
Type 4 is one of the most critical forms of collagen, composing the basal lamina. This is a layer of extracellular matrix found in epithelial or skin cells that line organs, fat cells, and muscles. It is necessary for the proper pumping of blood vessels and firing of nerves. Type 10 assists bone regeneration, articular or joint-related cartilage formation, and bone tissue integrity. Both types of collagen is found in the shells and whites of eggs, which also contain type 1 collagen. Type 4 collagen also provides hyaluronic acid, providing a cheap edible version of the anti-aging compound found in many expensive facial serums. 

                                             H O W   T O   I N C R E A S E   Y O U R   C O L L A G E N 

The easiest and potent way to increase collagen is through supplementing with gelatin, which a study found to be able to promote a 17% increase in production. I recommend only grass-fed sources of bovine gelatin, such as this or this option. Consume it with another protein-rich food and vitamin C for increased bioavailability. You can also take pure collagen hydrolysate, such as this or this collagen peptides option, which are both derived from grass-fed beef. Powdered collagen can be mixed into butter coffee (anthropological P.S.— this is not a new Bulletproof invention of hype but an ancient traditional practise of the Himalayas, Tibet, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Nepal, & Singapore). I also love mixing a scoop into my coconut milk yoghurt in the morning for breakfast, topped with some seasonal fruit, cinnamon & nutmeg, royal jelly (skin & reproductive system support), celtic salt, and grain-free granola.

The vitamin C source can include lypospheric vitamin C or camu camu, both of which are easily-assimilated sources with high levels of vitamin C. Philosophie's Berry Bliss protein powder has the latter as a smoothie option for those who tolerate sprouted brown rice protein. Vitamin C supplementation in itself—internally or externally in the form of a facial serum—also stimulates collagen production in itself as it's collagen's precursor. Dr.  Sarah Ballantyne, the creator of the Autoimmune Protocol, has also created an exclusive vegetable collagen blend that incorporates antioxidant- and vitamin C-rich vegetables & fruits for higher assimilation. 

Supplementation is also a sneaky way to add collagen into your diet as it can be a tasteless egg substitute in Autoimmune Paleo-friendly baked goods such as these brownies &  this strawberry mousse or plantain bread by the ever-talented Lauren of Empowered Sustenance. It's critical in the restoration of the damaged gut lining present in those battling autoimmune conditions and was integral to my recovery process during the autoimmune protocol or AIP.

M A S S A G E  
This is an external way to stimulate the body's own collagen production. It includes self-massage for 15-30 minutes, such as with the Ayurvedic practise of abhyanga; dry brushing; or gua shua, an ancient Chinese practise of skin scraping often done with jade stone. 

R E D   L I G H T   T H E R A P Y  
Red light therapy is a double whammy of increased collagen production and reduced inflammation, breakouts, and signs of aging. It minimises the appearance of acne scars and wrinkles while assisting in the natural production of collagen. It is a UV-free source of LED light that stimulates fibroblasts within the skin to produce collagen while simultaneously combatting the enzymes that break it down. You can invest in one such as this device for an at-home therapy option, which will save you money in the long run compared to office visits. 

Far infrared light therapy also stimulates collagen production for both type one and three collagen. Many spas offer infrared saunas.