The Benefits of Collagen

blog bone broth collagen leaky gut mitochondria

When I first heard the word collagen, it was in the context of anti-aging skin cream.  Advertisements claimed to make the skin more elastic and have fewer wrinkles.  Great!

I was surprised when I came across collagen again when I first began my research into healing from rheumatoid arthritis autoimmune disease.  

What is collagen?  It is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up about 1/3 of all our proteins. Collagen is manufactured in the body and is found in the bones, muscles, skin, and connective tissue of humans and other animals.

As we age, our body produces less collagen, making the structural integrity of tissues weaker.  That is why we get wrinkles as we get older and why collagen in skin cream is touted to help reduce wrinkles. 

Collagen also has a direct relationship with the mitochondria, and, as discussed in this article, our overall health is directly related to the health and performance of our mitochondria. If you have an autoimmune or another chronic illness, improving mitochondrial performance is imperative. This means that improving the availability of collagen is also important in healing. 

The structural integrity of the bones, skin, muscles and connective tissue is compromised when collagen availability is in decline.  

Who wants that? 

The natural production of collagen is negatively affected by: 

  • Aging

  • High sugar diet

  • Smoking

  • UV rays from sunlight

  • Autoimmune disorders

That last one is especially interesting to anyone living with autoimmune disease since we automatically have a collagen deficiency which needs to be addressed.  

Luckily, collagen can be increased by eating foods rich in collagen.  


Collagen-rich foods include:

  • Bone broth (see recipe here)

  • Chicken

  • Fish and shellfish

  • Egg whites

  • Citrus fruits

  • Berries

  • Leafy greens

  • Garlic

Collagen can also be boosted with supplemental collagen powder.  Quality matters when it comes to supplementation. If using a bovine-derived collagen, ensure it is made from grass-fed cows. Marine-based collagen is also available. Also, look for non-GMO on the label.

Potential health benefits of collagen include:

  • Reduced joint pain

  • Repair of leaky gut

  • Improved skin health

  • Increased bone strength

  • Increased muscle mass

  • Improved heart health

  • Stronger nails

  • Improved brain health

If you have an autoimmune disease, then it is very likely you also have leaky gut or intestinal permeability, as discussed here. Collagen can help seal the gut which is absolutely necessary for healing.

I love adding collagen to hot drinks like tea and coffee.  At the 6th Annual Biohacking Conference I attended in Los Angeles,  Bulletproof Coffee was available all day, with or without collagen. 

Of course, I chose to have added collagen with all those benefits and delicious coffee, too.  Yum!

Consider adding some to your favourite drink and reap the benefits of collagen!


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  2. All information in this post is based on my personal experiences. Please discuss any changes to your diet, lifestyle or medications with your healthcare team. No information in this article is meant to replace medical advice. Please read my Terms and Conditions.