Inflammation anywhere in the human body, characterized by the obvious symptoms of pain, redness, heat and swelling, is a natural immune response to a threat of injury, infection, poor diet, environmental insult or stress. In this way, inflammation is beneficial to us but it’s also a sign of potential damage in the tissues especially when it lasts too long as in months or years. This is called chronic inflammation. We can prevent chronic inflammation with lifestyle, dietary and nutritional adjustments and this article discusses one key method—collagen supplementation—to help reverse this condition.
All of organic life experiences inflammation, from single-celled bacterial organisms to plants, animals and humans. Though all forms of life have their own ways of responding to inflammation, there is a common biological thread running through all which is the close association between the inflammatory response and the innate immune response.
Inflammation is not restricted to pain in the joints or swelling red skin. The human organism has experienced inflammation throughout the course of human history. Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine both have long pointed to inflammation that presents as type II diabetes mellitus and cancer. It has been said that most diseases are actually the outward manifestation of inner inflammation. Examples of inflammatory diseases and conditions include inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis,(2) cardiovascular disease, allergies, psoriasis and eczema.
Inflammation is most associated with aging people in large part because they’ve been actively loosing collagen for many years and not replacing it. Inflammation occurs in the joints when there is collagen loss in the cartilage. Collagen plays an important role in joint health because it helps to keep the joints lubricated and flexible. It’s critical to continue to replenish this critical collagen source of vitality for a younger-looking and feeling body.
Collagen and inflammation work in both directions. Collagen can relieve inflammation but left unchecked, inflammation can damage collagen. Chronic inflammation will attack collagen eroding both its volume and functionality.
Here’s why we may very well need to add collagen supplementation to our everyday diet if we’re experiencing inflammation.
“We no longer live with chronic hunger or the persistent threat of starvation as our ancestors did. But we are starved for true nourishment.”—Dr. Josh Axe
Even though we experience an abundance of food supply here in the U.S., studies find that very many of us don’t get enough of the basic building and sustaining nutrients our bodies need. In addition to fundamental nutrients like phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and glucosamine(1), there is one key nutrient most people are lacking even if they eat meat and it’s collagen.
The parts of foods that we tend to typically discard are the very parts that contain the collagen we need. Examples are skins, bones, cartilage, gristle and egg shells.
Dr. Axe explains:
“There’s a lesser known substance that’s notably absent from the typical Western diet—one that I believe can help us reverse our spiraling health issues and give all of us the best shot at a long, robust, active life. It’s called collagen. It’s the most abundant protein in the body, and a growing database of research shows it is vital for the structural integrity and healthy, long-term functioning of our bodies.”
Modere Liquid BioCell utilizes chicken collagen, namely, the sternal cartilage from chicken which is a very clean source free of contaminants. Modere Liquid BioCell provides excellent bioavailability and noticeable results. It is a highly bioavailable liquid form of a patented sternal chicken cartilage that is a naturally occurring matrix of collagen, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin; this is not true of any other collagen source. A Bio-Optimized™ process transforms this chicken sternal cartilage collagen into smaller bioavailable micro-molecules that are the ideal molecular weight and size to be utilized by the body.
Collagen provides anti-inflammatory effects.
“Collagen's anti-inflammatory powers come from the role that it plays in our gut health. A healthy gut can reduce inflammation throughout the whole body. Poor gut health, on the other hand, leads to stomach lining permeability where particles can leak into the rest of the body, which then triggers inflammation in the body.”
- Kellyann Petrucci, M.S., N.D. in “How to Use Collagen to Fight Inflammation,” mindbodygreen.com
Key Amino Acids in Collagen Combat Inflammation
In a previous article, we discussed various amino acids which are not only critical for keeping skin supple and hair and nails beautiful, but also joints strong. They perform a function in supporting collagen synthesis.
“Collagen’s amino acids are considered ‘conditionally essential’ meaning you can survive without them but once your body is subjected to stress of any kind such as when you are fighting an illness [or injury or poor nutrition], collagen’s amino acids become essential. Because stress [and lack of proper balanced nutrition] is so much a way of life for most people, these conditionally essential amino acids actually become essential.”
Glycine, glutamine and proline are three key amino acids in collagen that work to reverse chronic inflammation.
“The anti-inflammatory properties of collagen are due to its content of proline and glycine. These amino acids help to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, collagen can also help to reduce inflammation by blocking the action of enzymes that destroy cartilage.” —What Is Collagen Good For? Discover Magazine, March 2022
The essential amino acid glycine in collagen also helps protect the mucus lining of the gut which will preserve better digestion and elimination. And glutamine is an anti-inflammatory amino acid also very necessary for the growth and repair of the intestinal lining. It inhibits oxidative stress of the intestines. Glutamine helps promote balance in our digestive tract and is therefore critical in the management of inflammation.
Be Mindful of Your Diet Along with Collagen Supplementation As you begin to increase your intake of collagen through supplementation, it will be important to also examine your diet to ensure you’re consuming foods that limit inflammation while supporting collagen production. These include brightly colored fruits and vegetables which are packed with free radical fighting antioxidants.
It’s normal to have some free radicals in the body and a healthy balance between free radicals and antioxidants supports strong physiological function and health. But if the levels of free radicals in the body become too elevated, rogue molecules that they are, these free radicals can get out of control. This leads to oxidative stress which causes:
Aim to get 25 to 35% of your protein from collagen specifically and then get the rest of your protein from wholesome protein sources. Vegetarians and vegans must focus on consuming enough nuts and seeds to get enough protein.
In summary, while it’s definitely true that food abounds, it’s also true that perfect balanced nutrition in our everyday consumption often does not. Collagen supplementation is reported and proven to not only mitigate chronic inflammation but a whole host of other conditions associated with aging. Take the guesswork out of it and consider Modere Liquid BioCell which combines the multi-patented power of Collagen/HA Matrix® Technology with the added bonus of phytonutrient-rich superfoods.
Glucosamine is a crystalline compound which occurs widely in connective tissue such as in our joints.
Studies show, for example, that oral supplementation with hydrolysed collagen leads to an improvement in osteoarthritis by inducing collagen synthesis.
Cytokines are any of a number of substances, such as interferon,(a) interleukin,(b) and growth factors, which are secreted by certain cells of the immune system and have an effect on other cells.
(a) Interferon is a protein released by animal cells, usually in response to the entry of a virus, which has the property of inhibiting virus replication.
(b) Interleukin is a glycoprotein that regulates immune response.
Axe, Josh. The Collagen Diet: A 28-Day Plan for Sustained Weight Loss, Glowing Skin, Great Gut Health, and a Younger You. United States, Little, Brown, 2019.
Diet, Inflammation, and Health. Netherlands, Elsevier Science, 2022.
Smith, Amber. “What Is Collagen Good For?” Discover Magazine, 23 Mar. 2022, www.discovermagazine.com/lifestyle/what-is-collagen-good-for#.
Petrucci, M.S., N.D., Kellyann. “How to Use Collagen to Fight Inflammation.” MBG Food, 20 April 2022, https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-use-collagen-to-fight-inflammation
Dar QA, Schott EM, Catheline SE, Maynard RD, Liu Z, Kamal F, Farnsworth CW, Ketz JP, Mooney RA, Hilton MJ, Jonason JH, Prawitt J, Zuscik MJ. Daily oral consumption of hydrolyzed type 1 collagen is chondroprotective and anti-inflammatory in murine posttraumatic osteoarthritis. PLoS One. 2017 Apr 6;12(4):e0174705. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174705. PMID: 28384173; PMCID: PMC5383229.
Schwarz D, Lipoldová M, Reinecke H, Sohrabi Y. Targeting inflammation with collagen. Clin Transl Med. 2022 May;12(5):e831. doi: 10.1002/ctm2.831. PMID: 35604877; PMCID: PMC9126324.