to Forum discussion.
Could you have a collagen deficiency?
About 30% of body proteins are made up of collagen, so we need to get collagen in our diet. Modern diets have become very deficient, because we've been told silly dietary advice like “don't eat the skin on your chicken”, “throw away some of the tougher cuts of meat or avoid them”, “go for the lean cuts like chicken breast”, “don't eat organ meats”, etc.
We've become collagen deficient, and that has implications. Among the implications are deterioration of skin health. You get thinner skin or crepey inflammatory and inflamed skin, more prone to sun damage. You get more arthritis and degeneration of your cartilage in your hips and knees and other joints. It can even contribute to heart disease, by contributing to such phenomena as endothelial dysfunction — dysfunction of your arterial behavior and its capacity for relaxation.
Collagen deficiency is important to understand, and to correct. These are the kinds of conversations I pursue further in my Undoctored book (Undoctored — Why Health Care Has Failed You And How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor), but even farther in my Undoctored Inner Circle, where we take on these more advanced topics, that go beyond the basic program.
How can you get more collagen in your diet? Eat skin. Eat the skin of animals whenever you can. If you have a piece of pork, if you have a piece of chicken, eat the skin. Never tear it off. Eat it, and enjoy it. Cook your tough cuts of meat in a slow cooker. That way, you preserve the fibrous tissue, the collagen, and other connective tissue in the meat. You can still enjoy them, and get a lot more that way.
Make real soups and broths by boiling the bones and meat. It breaks down the collagen. That's why you'll have some gelatin at the end. Don't scoop that gelatin or fat off. Leave it there. And think about adding organs. Modern people have become so averse to organs. The rest of the world and our grandparents ate them vigorously. Some organs are filled with collagen, like the heart tissue is filled with collagen. Don't be frightened of those things.
You can also take a gelatin or a collagen hydrolysate supplement. The data on collagen hydrolysates are very very vigorous; less so with gelatin. If you get 10 grams per day of collagen hydrolysates, there is about a 50% reduction joint pain, and there's regrowth of joint cartilage. With skin, there's an increase in dermal moisture. There's an increase in collagen, a decrease in an enzyme called matrix metalloproteinase, that breaks down collagen. In other words, it has wonderful skin preserving, skin improving, and anti-aging effect. There are other some other health benefits of collagen also.
If you're interested this, and a much more detailed conversation, you'll find it in the Undoctored Inner Circle. Understand that collagen deficiency develops because of the silly low fat dietary trend that we followed for many years, that we rejected long ago, that is those of us following this lifestyle. You need to get more collagen from your foods. If you want to, you can also use one of those dietary supplements like gelatin or even better: collagen hydrolysates.