Recently Diagnosed or Relapsed? Stop Looking For a Miracle Cure, and Use Evidence-Based Therapies To Enhance Your Treatment and Prolong Your Remission

Multiple Myeloma an incurable disease, but I have spent the last 25 years in remission using a blend of conventional oncology and evidence-based nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle therapies from peer-reviewed studies that your oncologist probably hasn't told you about.

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Myeloma- Collagen – Skin, Heart-

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“Collagen I’s fibrils are incredibly strong and used in almost every tissue in the body such as tendons, bones, cartilage, and teeth.”

I am a long-term survivor of an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma. Though I discontinued conventional myeloma therapies (chemo, radiation, etc.) back in 1996, I continue to follow many myeloma therapies each and every day. Collagen is one such myeloma therapy.

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 kale fat burner smoothie every morning.”

And younger looking skin? Okay, that’s important to me too.

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.

Have you been diagnosed with multiple myeloma? Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

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David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Coach
  • Director Galen Foundation

Recommended Reading:

Collagen 101

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:

  • Col I

Collagen I’s fibrils are incredibly strong and used in almost every tissue in the body such as tendons, bones, cartilage, and teeth.

  • Col II

Found mostly in cartilage.

  • Col III

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)

  • Col IV

Gives external support to skin cells.

  • Col V

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:

  • Skin
  • Nails
  • Hair
  • Muscles
  • Tendons, joints, and ligaments
  • Bones
  • Tissues
  • Eyes
  • Gut
  • Heart
  • Brain

The real benefits of COL come from consumption. Here’s how collagen benefits some of the organs in (and on) your body:


  1. Improves skin elasticity
  2. Improves skin hydration
  3. Prevents UV damage
  4. Prevents aging signs


  1. Increases nail growth rates
  2. Reduces chances of broken nails


Because COL is a protein, it is important in the growth and healing of muscles. COL is known to:

  1. Aid muscle regeneration
  2. Prevent muscle disorders

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:

  1. Quantity of bone tissue
  2. Organization of COL framework in the bones


COL literally keeps your heart beating.

  1. COL provides the structural framework to cardiac muscle cells
  2. Provides stiffness to the walls of the heart so it can pump blood.

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:

  1. Vitamins and minerals are precursors for collagen production (help bind the amino acids)
  2. Vitamins and fatty acids help prevent collagen breakdown with antioxidants.

Here are some key nutrients needed for COL production:

Vitamin C (broccoli, kale, parsley)

  • Activates enzymes for COL synthesis
  • Releases enzymes that inhibit COL destructors

Vitamin E (almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts)

  • Excess collagen can be harmful for some organs, so vitamin E prevents this excess COL
  • Vitamin E protects COL against free radicals

Carotenoids (turnip greens, tomatoes, spinach)

  • Important to preserve COL, especially for aging skin
  • May support COL in bones
  • Preventing free radicals from mixing with retinol COL in eyes

Calcium (parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, poppy seeds)

  • Allows the hardening of COL in bones
  • Can prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women

Copper (shiitake mushrooms, cashews, hazelnuts)

  • Supports COL  fibril production
  • Stabilizes skin ECM once it is formed

Omega 3’s (flaxseed oil, walnuts, hemp seeds)

  • Helps in producing optimal COL levels
  • Reduces risk of COL sticking to platelets

Leave a Comment:

Linda says last year

I wondered what you thought of Curcumin.When I was first diagnosed I went to MD Anderson and saw the doctor that was running trials on taking Curcumin for MM. I asked him what the outcome had been,. He said something like: Although it seemed to help a little, it wasn’t enough for him to recommend it. Then later I went to a Doctor of Nutrition here that specializes in Cancer. I told him about what this doctor had said. He said that the reason it didn’t help more was that your body could only absorb enough to do much good. But a German company had come out with a different formula that the body was able to absorb more readily so he recommended highly that I take that certain formula. I have taken 2 Tablets 3/day, which is a lot and it gets expensive. However since I have been able to manage the MM for 15 years, I am not going to stop now. What do you know about this? Thanks Linda

    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Linda-

    Congrats on managing your MM for the past 15 years. Research does show that curcumin is cytotoxic to monoclonal proteins, and can enhance the efficacy of certain chemo regimens aka it is integrative.

    Further, yes, several formulas/brands of curcumin are more bioavailable than others. Regular curcumin is difficult for the body to absorb. The article and graphic linked below (see the triangle- tiny type) linked below explain the issue and list several formulas that are enhanced.


    David Emerson

Linda says last year

I have been fighting the disease for 15 years. It has gone up and down. I am back on chemo but it isn’t going well. The doctors at first dropped the ball and I didnt get diagnosed until I had 7 compression fractures in my back. I also ended up with type 2 diabetes even though I kept asking them about it. Long story. My question is whether or not my back can get any better and how much does my high blood sugar affect my healing. Another friend my age was just diagnosed with MM so I am trying to help her also. Also a doctor of Nutrition around here has talked to me about a new study showing a kind of mushroom in the Rain Forests that is supposed to be a game changer for us. Ever heard of it?

    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Linda-

    First and foremost Linda, you are doing well to have managed your MM for this long. Especially since you were probably mis-diagnosed before your MM was found. MM is notoriously difficult to identify.

    Secondly, research shows that repeated high dose steroids like dexamethasone increases your blood sugar and therefore increases the risk of
    type 2 diabetes. I encourage you to either lower the dose of dex. or discontinue it altogether.

    As for your back, have you discussed kyphoplasty/vertebroplasty with your Dr.? My understanding is that the only ways to stabilize back pain caused by compression fractures is kyphoplasty or physical therapy to strengthen the muscles.

    Re mushrooms and MM, I don’t know if they are game changers but I think the mushroom therapy you are thinking of is


    David Emerson

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ISABEL MOORE says a couple of years ago

Thank you for the information about collagen. I being try to found out the benefits of Collagen and your explanation was good.. I have Bone problems and want to know if collagen helps. Thanks.

Multiple Myeloma Symptom, Side Effect, COD- Heart Damage, CICM - PeopleBeatingCancer says 3 years ago

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M Bacchin says 4 years ago

I have read that collagen helps myeloma cell to grow I did take collagen powder for 3 months then stopped is there any info about collagen

    David Emerson says 4 years ago

    Hi MB-

    Thanks for asking about MM and collagen. After I read your question earlier, I did some digging around the internet for any info, studies, research, etc. about MM and collagen. The only study I found is linked below.

    While the study is difficult to read, what I take from it is that that bone health does suffer in MM patients. We all know this. MM reduces collagen as well as calcium, etc. The study does say that collagen increases in a percentage of MM patients before they relapse. However, I can find no language that points to “collagen helps myeloma cells to grow.”

    I will say that I work to keep my bones strong and I will continue to take collagen.

    Clinical utility of C-terminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen in multiple myeloma

    “Myeloma bone disease (MBD) is a major cause of morbidity in multiple myeloma (MM). We investigated bone turnover markers (BTM) as relapse predictors and biomarkers for monitoring MBD. We measured C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-1), and Procollagen type 1 N Propeptide (P1NP) in 86 MM patients and 26 controls. CTX-1 was higher in newly diagnosed patients compared to control, remission and relapse (P < 0·05), and decreased following treatment.

    In the setting of relapse, a CTX-1 rise greater than the calculated least significant change (LSC) was observed in 26% of patients 3-6 months prior to relapse (P = 0·007), and in 60·8% up to 3 months before relapse (P = 0·015).

    Statistically significant changes in CTX-1 levels were also observed in patients who were with and without bisphosphonate therapy at the time of relapse. In patients with normal renal function, mean CTX-1 level was highest in the newly diagnosed group (0·771 ± 0·400 μg/l), and lowest in the remission group (0·099 ± 0·070 μg/l) (P < 0·0001). P1NP levels were not statistically different across the patient groups. We conclude that CTX-1, measured on an automated hospital laboratory platform, has a role in routine treatment monitoring and predicting relapse of MBD, even in patients on bisphosphonates.

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Jay says 5 years ago

What collagen powder did you use?. Where do you get it?
Most importantly, where is your link to medical evidence?. I have never heard this information before

    David Emerson says 5 years ago

    HI Kathy-

    Your questions pushed me to research and write another blog post about collagen citing studies, my brand, my reasoning etc. I am certainly interested in your thinking about the research, and I too, knew litte about collagen.

    Collagen-Skin, Muscle, Joint, Brain and Heart Health


    David Emerson

David Emerson says 5 years ago

According to studies, collagen (internal, not on the skin), strengthens skin, bone, muscle, heart and smooths vein walls-

Kathryn Guillaum says 5 years ago

So is there a supplement that ACTUALLY helps?

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