Why Collagen Is Crucial To Your Health, with Dr. Josh Axe

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

It’s true that there are no miracle supplements, but if your body is lacking in a certain vitamin or amino acid, then supplementing it CAN have a miraculous effect. One of the most helpful supplements to take also happens to be one most people lack: collagen. In this episode of the podcast, Dr. Josh Axe and Dr. Daniel Amen explain how collagen is used in the body, and how taking a collagen supplement can be a game changer.

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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by brain MD where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.
Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome back everybody. We are talking with Dr. Josh Axe, who's a certified doctor of natural medicine, a chiropractor, a clinical nutritionist. I love the combination of your training. He's the bestselling author of Keto Diet and Eat Dirt, but in this podcast I really want to talk about collagen and what it is and why people need it. You have a book called the Collagen Diet. Help us. Help our brain warriors really understand collagen and why it's important.
Dr Josh Axe: Well, one of the things I'll highlight first here, Dr. Amen, and this is something that I've read things you've written and watched things you've talked on about this. And this is this balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. We want to have certain types of fats in our diet and it really goes the same with our proteins. There are certain types of proteins or amino acids we want to have in our diet. Now, we know that our muscles are made up of muscle-building proteins such as branched-chain amino acids and methionine. However, one-third of your entire body's protein is made up of collagen proteins. So, we're talking about the amino acids, proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine. Now, what happens if you have a big imbalance of Omega-6 fats and not enough Omega-3 fats?
Dr Josh Axe: There's this level of inflammation within the body. What we're now seeing, or I believe discovering, is that if you have this big imbalance of muscle-building proteins and no collagen-building proteins, there is something happening that's creating an imbalance in the body because you have this inconsistency. Our ancient ancestors would have never ate a chicken breast and discarded the organ meats and the ligaments and the tendons or not made broth out of it because historically they would have always consumed those things and so where our ancient ancestors always got collagen proteins with their muscle building today, they're just not getting those. In fact, there's also studies showing glycine, the amino acid found in collagen supports liver detoxification and it actually increases lifespan in animal studies. So, again, really we're talking about some powerful amino acids that are the building blocks of so many areas of your body.
Dr Josh Axe: Think about this. Your skin, hair, nails, bones, discs, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, fascia, your gut lining, and your arterial walls. Every single one of those areas is made up of over 90% collagen. This will blow your mind. There's more collagen in your bones than calcium and all other minerals combined. Why do we believe that calcium is the most important thing for bones? The dairy company convinced us of that when we know that your bones also need collagen, vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus, all these other things. And vitamin K too. So, all that being said, collagen is so critical and the results I've seen in people that have consumed a diet that really supports your body's own collagen production and gives your body collagen to then utilize and create more collagen. I've seen amazing results, especially with skin issues, ligAment and tendon issues, for especially joint health, gut health.
Dr Josh Axe: When we're talking about your gut lining, it's made up of 90% collagen. It's important for the suppleness of our arteries. A lot of times people are getting this calcification of your arteries. You want to give your body collagen because it's so supple. All that being said, collagen is so critical for so many areas, but especially our joint health, our digestive health, and the health of our skin and our general beauty.
Dr Daniel Amen: So, what's the best way for people to eat collagen? Should they be eating the cartilage on the chicken legs that they eat? What's the best way to increase the healthy collagen in your body?
Dr Josh Axe: So, great question. Since the beginning of time, the ultimate collagen superfood and supplement has been broth. Now, it's different in different areas of the world. If you go over to Japan and Okinawa, one of the longest living or the longest has more centenarians than everywhere else in the world.
Dr Josh Axe: One of the top things they consume daily is fish broth. When you go throughout history, people drank bone broth, whether it be chicken bone broth or beef bone broth, but bone broth is the ultimate collagen superfood. So number one, get collagen in your diet via homemade bone broth, buying bone broth, or a supplement like a bone broth protein powder. But bone broth. Bone broth. And here's the other amazing thing about bone broth. Bone broth not only contains collagen, it also contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. Those are three things known as glycosaminoglycans, which make up part of your gut lining and your joint connective tissue, but they're also known as collagen boosters. They boost your body's own collagen production. So, really for collagen, bone broth is the ultimate food for collagen. Now, after that, doing a multi-collagen protein powder.
Dr Josh Axe: Whenever anybody's buying collagen, I always recommend multi-collagen protein because just like there are different types of antioxidants and different types of probiotics, there are different types of collagen. Type one and three collagen make up our skin, hair, nails, and bones, whereas type two collagen makes up our gut lining. So, buying a collagen that has multiple sources. So, first off, Dr. Amen, I would say as a superfood bone broth should be your number one food. As a supplement, a multi collagen protein or a bone broth protein. And people can simply go to amazon.com and just search bone broth protein or multi-collagen protein and find those there. And then in addition to that, there's a few other superfoods that also support collagen. I would say vitamin C rich foods especially citrus fruits, broccoli, red bell peppers. So, vitamin C rich foods also help.
Dr Josh Axe: And then foods that supports stem cell production can also support collagen. Turmeric contains some really unique compounds, especially tumorone which supports stem cell production. Adaptogenic herbs, that's the other category. It's reishi mushroom, it's ashwagandha, it's ginseng. These are herbs that really support your body in producing collagen as well. So I would say, I know that's a lot of things I said, but really the keys are that bone broth and collagen protein, those are two things that are going to make the biggest difference.
Dr Daniel Amen: Any stories come to mind when you have really increased the level of collagen in a person's body?
Dr Josh Axe: Big time. I've got a lot. So, I'll just share one with my own family member. My sister always had very thin hair, thin nails, and just her complexion. Her skin was never as healthy as she wanted it to be. I had her start consuming a collagen supplement I made. She started using it and she did what I call a 30-day collagen loading plate. She made sure she was getting two servings of collagen every single day. After just 30 days, her hair was thicker than it ever been, her nails were stronger, and her skin was clear.
Dr Josh Axe: I had a yoga instructor who came to me and they said, "Dr. Axe, I'm vegan, but I was thinking about doing your collagen because I have this chronic joint issue. My joints just never feel good." And I said, "Nicky. Hey, go ahead. You can stay vegan if you'd like, but at least get some collagen and some healthy fat in your diet." So, I had her start doing that.
Dr Josh Axe: After 30 days she said, "My joint pain that I've been dealing with for eight years as a yoga instructor is completely gone now." So, I think for some people ... I say this, there are no miracle supplements, but when you are missing something in your diet and you then start to consume it, it can be a miracle. Think about vitamin D. If somebody's not getting vitamin D or sunshine and they start taking it, wow, they can see an amazing difference. If somebody is really deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids, they start supplementing with it. Bam. It's like it was a miracle for them. Versus if somebody is eating wild-caught fish every day, they take an Omega-3 supplement, they're like, "Well, it's not really doing much for me."
Dr Josh Axe: But so many people today are not getting collagen in their diet and they should be that when they start consuming collagen, the results they see with their skin and hair, the results they see with their joints, and I'll say the biggest difference I've seen is patients I've worked with that have leaky gut syndrome or any sort of digestive issue. I found collagen to be so important because it is what your gut is actually ... think about this. If somebody's trying to build muscle like a bodybuilder and they're consuming zero protein in their diet, it's very hard for them to put on muscle. Think about this. You're trying to rebuild your body in areas like your ligaments and tendons and joints in your gut, and if you're not getting collagen, those areas are going to suffer. So, those are some examples of why I think collagen is important as well.
Dr Daniel Amen: It was really helpful. When we come back, I want to talk about your book, eat Dirt. I just thought that was such an interesting title. Stay with us. We're with dr Josh Ax. You can learn more about Dr. Axe at draxe.com. His books, the Keto Diet, Eat Dirt, Collagen Diet. He is also one of the co-founders of Ancient Nutrition. Stay with us.
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