You may have heard a lot about the use of collagen for skin health and reducing signs of skin aging but did you know that hydrolyzed collagen can be used to help detox your body?
Not sure what collagen or hydrolyzed collagen is? Read on!
What is collagen?
Collagen is an important protein in the body that is found in connective tissue, skin, and bones and makes up about 30% of the total protein content in the body and about 70% of the protein in the skin. No wonder it’s promoted for skin rejuvenation!
Related reading: A 6 Step Skin Detox For Beautiful Skin
Collagen is a polypeptide molecule which means it is made up of a chain of amino acids like proline, hydroxyproline, glycine, and arginine but it’s the glycine component that we are interested in for detox purposes.
Gelatine & Hydrolyzed Collagen
Firstly, I want to explain the difference between collagen and gelatin as you may have heard the two terms used as though they are one and the same. Collagen is the basic form of the protein the body, whereas gelatin is produced when collagen is heated. These two have the same composition.
Secondly, you may also have heard the term hydrolyzed collagen or collagen hydrolysate. This contains proteins that have been broken down into smaller peptide chains that are easy to digest. You may see it referred to as “collagen peptides”
Both hydrolyzed collagen and gelatine are recommended for gut healing on diets like SCD ( Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the GAPS diet (Gut & Psychology Syndrome).
Hydrolyzed collagen can come from cows, pigs, chicken or fish but bovine is usually preferred for detox support as it is more readily available. You can find out more in this Ultimate Guide To Collagen.
How does collagen hydrolysate detox your body?
One of the most important functions of your liver is to detox your body by neutralizing and eliminating the toxins that get into your body every day. Hydrolyzed collagen is extremely helpful when it comes to detoxifying your body of harmful substances as it contains glycine which the liver uses in Phase II detoxification.
The liver attaches glycine to foreign chemicals to enable them to be carried out of your body. Glycine has been used as an aid for many toxic conditions including the overuse of alcohol.
Related reading: How To Detox Your Body After Too Much Alcohol
Glycine is also involved in the manufacture of bile salts. The bile is the vehicle that the liver uses to eliminate from the body the toxins that it has processed so glycine is important in this respect too.
Today’s diets lack glycine
Glycine is considered to be a “non-essential” amino acid, which means that it can be made in the body. It is made by the liver but your poor old liver can only produce so much. We need an abundance of glycine these days because of all the toxins that flood into our bodies. Glycine is also used to regulate inflammation in the body and if glycine is low you may suffer with chronic inflammation.
According to many experts today’s diets are deficient in glycine as we no longer eat or use the parts of animals that contain it such as cartilage, bones, tendons, skin. Chicken feet have become very popular to use for making bone broth as they are very high in collagen and glycine. Bone broth is a highly nutritious stock usually made from beef or chicken bones and connective tissue like feet, hooves, beaks and gizzards that are made up of collagen. When simmered slowly for 24 hours the collagen turns into gelatine which is high in glycine.
How to use hydrolyzed collagen for detox
One way of using hydrolyzed collagen powder for detox is to use it in smoothies. You can also add it to your morning coffee, herbal tea, overnight oats, chia pudding, yogurt, or pancake or waffle mixes. Gelatine powder will gel if mixed with water but hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides will not so be sure to use hydrolyzed collagen powder. It is virtually tasteless so don’t worry that you won’t like it. Here’s a recipe for a green smoothie I know you will love!
Green Collagen Detox Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
2 handfuls of organic frozen spinach
Thumb sized piece of ginger, chopped
A little grated fresh turmeric root (optional)
Juice of 1 organic lemon
Fresh mint leaves
4 tbsp good quality collagen protein powder
Half an avocado flesh
Few slices of frozen banana
1tbs almond butter
1 tbsp superfood powder
Pure water as needed ( see instructions)
Put all the ingredients into your blender, adding enough water to allow the blades to turn easily. Start your blender off at low speed increasing slowly to high speed, adding more water as needed to achieve the consistency you prefer. Blend until very smooth.
Pour into your serving glasses and sip slowly. Enjoy!
If you are very toxic or find you get some detox reactions from using the collagen powder you can reduce the dose and gradually build up to the recommended 2 tablespoons a day. There are many brands on the market but it’s best to look for ones that come from grass fed cows.
As well as helping to detox your body hydrolyzed collagen powder is said to improve the appearance of your skin, hair and nails, and aid your digestion. However Dr. Merry, an infectious diseases physician, maintains that there is little scientific evidence that collagen is beneficial for these and not worth taking. On the other hand in an article on HealthLine Dr Josh Axe cites some research that suggests collagen powder may reverse skin aging, and may ease joint pain. Read both and decide for yourself.