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The Surprising (and a little uncomfortable) Truth About Collagen

by Dr. David Minkoff October 12, 2017 4 min read 0 Comments

The Surprising (and a little uncomfortable) Truth About Collagen

There’s an awful lot of hype going on about collagen supplements right now.

In an internet meme-fueled culture that often falls prey to fads and media hype, we must be very cautious when some new product shows up with bold health claims.

We must rationally look at what is presented and compare it with what we already know. We must look at the research, put it all together and see if the claims really check out.

So how do claims about collagen supplements really stack up?

 

Collagen: The Body’s Most Abundant Protein

Collagen accounts for about 25% for the entire protein content in your whole body. That is a lot of protein, comparatively speaking.

It is made of three massive strands, each one more than 1400 amino acids long, that weave together like a rope or cable. These cables are then joined together to create connective and structural tissues, fulfilling a number of critical functions in the body:

  • Structure of bones and teeth
  • Cartilage and joint function
  • The fascial network supporting the internal organs
  • Healthy, elastic skin
  • Gut lining
  • Tendons and ligaments
  • The extracellular matrix in which all cells are embedded and connected.
  • Wound healing
  • Hair and Nails

Clearly, it is an important protein.

 

The Faulty Logic of Collagen Supplement Claims

With all of these essential functions collagen provides to your body, it’s tempting to think that any problems or symptoms we might face in one of these areas could be just solved by ingesting more collagen.

If we were cooking up a big pot of soup and it needed more salt, we would just add more salt. It’s pretty simple. You just put whatever you need into the pot and then it’s done.

Our bodies, however, are a little more complex than soup. If we are experiencing joint pain or gut issues, it’s just not as straightforward as adding in some more collagen and then the problem is solved.

Purveyors of collagen supplements may be quick to point out a number of scientific studies, each pointing to the statistically significant results that collagen has had on different health outcomes.

“Look, just look at the results! Collagen does this and that and the other thing!” they may say.

But is it actually the collagen creating those results?

 

Where Collagen Research Results are REALLY Coming From

To answer this question, we need to back up a little bit and look at how our digestive system really works. When you eat protein, it doesn’t go through your digestive tract just as it is and then plug directly into your body fully formed, which is the impression you might get from reading the collagen hype.

It is digested.

It is broken down into its component parts so your body can use these parts to build its own proteins according to its own needs.

Every protein – whether from steak, beans, fish, a kangaroo, or even crickets – all of it is broken down into amino acids. Your stomach makes no distinction whether it is an enzyme or a muscle fiber.

Or even collagen.

So what is really happening in these studies showing results from collagen supplementation?

The collagen is broken down into amino acids, and these amino acids are then reassembled into new collagen. With the raw materials to build more collagen, hair and skin improve, joint pains fade away, the gut lining begins to repair itself and heal leaky gut.

The results are coming from having the enough amino acids to drive protein synthesis, notfrom the collagen itself. This is a subtle but important distinction.

 

Why Does This Distinction Matter?

It’s easy to dismiss this difference in language as some sort of academic fluff, irrelevant to real life. Afterall, if it’s getting results, who really cares?

But if your goal is to get somewhere, is it faster to walk or ride a bike? In both cases you’re moving towards your goal, but one of them is much more efficient.

The results themselves are dependent on protein synthesis. That’s what actually creates the improvements in symptoms. And as it turns out, we can measure protein synthesis efficiency with a metric known as the Amino Acid Utilization™, or AAU™.

 

Protein Metabolism and Synthesis: How Collagen is Like a Fish

This might surprise you, but not all of the protein you eat is used to make protein in your body. In fact, most of it is wasted. It is used to make energy, and then eliminated as waste.

The primary waste product of this process is nitrogen, which is eliminated through urine. The AAU is determined by looking at the amount of protein coming in and the amount of nitrogen coming out. The more nitrogen coming out, the less the consumed protein was used for protein synthesis.

Most protein sources, like meat, chicken, and fish, have an AAU of 35%.

And collagen, an animal derived protein, is roughly the same. Only 35% of collagen supplements are actually being turned into real collagen in your body.

The uncomfortable truth about collagen? It’s just the same as fish, just with better marketing.

 

How to Get 99% AAU: The Ultimate in Protein Synthesis Efficiency

Through extensive study and testing, nutritional scientists have found a very specific ratio of essential amino acids that your body uses to drive protein synthesis. When this specific ratio is present, 99% of all the amino acids are used to build more protein – including collagen.

This is the exact same ratio we use in our formula of PerfectAmino. If you truly want to gain the benefits claimed by collagen supplements, don’t walk to your goals, use a bike. Take the fast track. Give Perfect Amino a try and see the results for yourself.

Learn more and shop the entire collection of PerfectAmino products here.

 



*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease

Dr. David Minkoff
Dr. David Minkoff

Dr. David Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then completed both a Pediatric Residency and Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of California at San Diego.

He worked at the University of California and Children’s Hospitals in San Diego as an attending physician in infectious disease while conducting original research on Ribaviron, a broad spectrum anti-viral agent to fight disease. He also co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine.

In 1992, Dr Minkoff’s wife Sue, a Registered Nurse, became interested in nutrition and health and began to go to lectures from some of the experts in the field. At the time, Dr Minkoff was pretty fixed in his view of traditional medicine and it took a lot of convincing to get him to come to one of these lectures. After hearing Dr Jeffrey Bland speak, Dr Minkoff had a eureka moment and began pursuing the alternative field with a vengeance. Based on this new knowledge Dr Minkoff and his wife set up a small clinic in 1997 to help some friends with their medical problems. What began as an experiment blossomed into Lifeworks Wellness Center, one of the most successful clinics for complementary medicine in the United States. In the process, he gained expertise in Biological medicine, integrative oncology, heavy metal detoxification, anti-aging medicine, hormone replacement therapy, functional medicine, energy medicine, neural and prolotherapy, homeopathy and optimum nutrition. He studied under the masters in each of these disciplines until he became an expert in his own right. Dr Minkoff is one of the most in demand speakers in the field and wrote an Amazon best selling book called The Search For The Perfect Protein.

The demand for the products and protocols he discovered became a catalyst for founding BodyHealth.Com, a nutrition company that now manufactures and distributes cutting-edge nutritional solutions for the many health problems of today. Dr. Minkoff writes two free online newsletters, “The Optimum Health Report” and ”The BodyHealth Fitness Newsletter”, to help others learn about optimum health and fitness.

Dr. Minkoff is an avid athlete himself and has completed 44 Ironman Triathlons. To keep his fitness maximal, he lives the lifestyle he teachers to others and tries to set an example for others, so they can enjoy a life free of pain and full of energy.



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