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I am a long-term survivor of an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma. MM is as much of a bone cancer as it is a blood cancer because, according to the ACS, 90% of MMers experience bone damage at some point during their MM experience. Therefore, maintaining bone health is essential for me. Further, several of the chemotherapy regimens that I underwent during my conventional MM therapy caused heart damage. All to say that collagen (COL) is essential to my life. But, as the article linked below explains, applying collagen to your skin does little add collagen to your heart, bones, etc. Therefore, I supplement collagen daily by adding a scoop of collagen powder to my smoothie every morning.
I used to consider COL to be something you rubbed on your skin in an effort to look younger. I take my nutritional supplementation seriously and therefore looked down on COL. I’ve since learned that collagen supplementation is about much more than younger looking skin. Knowledge is power as they say.
Please watch the video below to learn more about the evidence-based, integrative therapies to combat treatment side effects and enhance your chemotherapy.
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If you aren’t aware, COL is the most abundant protein in your body. It works like glue by giving your tissues shape, strength, and integrity. Collagen is also important for teeth density and giving you a healthy set of teeth.
Though frequently mentioned in the beauty industry, there’s something about COL that the big companies don’t want you to know: Collagen is pretty much useless when applied topically. Yes, I said it! However, when consumed, it does wonders to your health and well-being.
If you’re serious about keeping yourself healthy, keep reading this article to understand some of the basics of collagen and its proven health benefits! You can find more info in this guide from Perfect Keto
What is Collagen
COL is a “glue-producing” protein and is concentrated in the extracellular matrix (ECM) which is the layer supporting every single tissue cell in the body. Simply put, it’s a net that holds everything together, so they could form, function, and heal. That’s the reason why 30% of your total body protein is collagen.
Like every other protein in the body, COL is made from amino acids. We’ll discuss the sources of these amino acids later. Vitamin C, too, is important for COL synthesis as it helps bonding the amino acids together.
Types of Col
Most people aren’t aware of this, but COL comes in 28 types! However, there are 5 common types you should know about:
Collagen I’s fibrils are incredibly strong and used in almost every tissue in the body such as tendons, bones, cartilage, and teeth.
Found mostly in cartilage.
Can be found alongside collagen I in muscles, organs, arteries, reticular fiber (a special connective tissue that forms the liver, adipose tissue, bone marrow, spleen and more)
Gives external support to skin cells.
Found in the bone matrix, cornea, and connective tissues.
Health Benefits of COL
Research has found that adequate COL levels are needed for the proper functions of:
The real benefits of COL come from consumption. Here’s how collagen benefits some of the organs in (and on) your body:
Because COL is a protein, it is important in the growth and healing of muscles. COL is known to:
Joints, Tendons, Ligaments
COL deficiency can affect flexibility and cause joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis as most of the tissue in the joints, tendons, and ligaments are mostly made up of COL.
Bone (and teeth!)
Aside from calcium, COL is important in maintaining and strengthening bones and teeth. This is because bone strength is dependent on two things:
COL literally keeps your heart beating.
Food Sources of COL
Remember when I mentioned earlier that applying collagen topically was pretty much useless? There’s a reason for that. The molecule is too big to break through skin!
The protein in your diet gets broken down into amino acids, which are the building blocks of COL. Through cellular process, your body will make your own collagen. Here are some of the best food sources for COL formation:
Nutrients Needed for Col
Sure, amino acids are the building blocks of collagen, but you can’t overlook the other nutrients for healthy collagen development! Here’s how they are essential in collagen production:
Here are some key nutrients needed for COL production:
Vitamin C (broccoli, kale, parsley)
Vitamin E (almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts)
Carotenoids (turnip greens, tomatoes, spinach)
Calcium (parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, poppy seeds)
Copper (shiitake mushrooms, cashews, hazelnuts)
Omega 3’s (flaxseed oil, walnuts, hemp seeds)