Collagen - the Body's
Collagen is present in all multi-cellular organisms. It is the
fibrous structural protein that makes up the white fibres (collagen fibres) of skin, tendons, bones,
cartilage and all other connective tissues. Collagen is the natural protein that constitutes most of the
body's structural support and is the primary substance of connective tissue. It is this fibrous connective
tissue that holds our body together.
Collagen gives to diffrent organs and tissues their
strength and elastic properties. 75% of the dry protein weight in the human body is collagen. 75% of our skin is
made of it, and in total some 30% of our entire body is collagen. Collagen is part of the natural makeup of our
tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles, hair, skin and vital organs. When the body's essential supply of collagen is
reduced, the body is affected. Weakness, fatigue, aches, pain and overall lack of performance are frequent symptoms
of the problem - symptoms that only increase as we get older. Besides its many structual properties, collagen
serves as the major catalyst for growth and repair of nearly all of the body's tissues. Many different aging
diseases are related to the body's lack of this vital protein and to disorders in the collagen
The body's use of collagen cannot be overstated. It makes up the
body's joints, muscles, hair, skin, tendons, and ligaments. It provides the structure to our body and forms the
molecular cables that strengthen the tendons. Collagen makes up the vast resilient sheets that support our skin and
internal organs. Bones and teeth are formed when the body adds mineral crystal to the body's
In other words, collagen is both the material and the glue that
holds our body together.
Collagen and Aging
The body's production of collagen slows with aging. Things we
have always done, like running or jumping, suddenly seem more painful. Injuries that have never proven serious
before begin to hurt us. Joint pain becomes more problematic.
With continued aging, our connective tissues and muscle tissues
break down due to an increase in collagen deficiency and damage. As a result, we experience a weakening of our
skeletal structure. We are feeling the pains of aging. Outside the body, the slowing of the skin's production of
collagen becomes increasingly more pronounced. The skin starts to wrinkle. It loses its youthful glow. The
apearance of healthful radiance vanishes. Soon we develop ridges and furrows, red marks and brown spots. Our skin
looses elasticity and moisture.
Cartilage - Shock Absorbers for your
Cartilage is a rather firm rubber material that covers the
extremities of bones in normal joints. The primary function of cartilage is to reduce joint friction and since
cartilage can change shape when compressed, serve as a shock absorber for the bones.
Collagen is a primary component of cartilage since it represents
67% of it, and it also gives it its strength. When the body's collagen production is reduced, cartilage production
is affected and so are all the body's systems that contain cartilage.
Cartilage can change shape because it is composed of over 70%
water, which can be redistributed with compression or movement. Since cartilage does not contain nerves, in the
beginning, you never feel pain when these changes occur. As collagen disease strikes as we age, this shock
absorbing quality is reduced. That is why activities like running and jumping feel less comfortable as we get
It Falls Apart
Arthritis is a genral term describing inflammation in the joints. The most known form of
arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is also called degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is associated
with a breakdown of cartilage in joints and most commonly occurs in the hips, knees, shoulders and spine. It
can dramatically affect the fingers and toes.
All arthritis suffers share common symptoms of severe pain and loss of movement in both range
and motion, all of which destroy youth and lead to a diminished quality of life. Research has demonstrted
that when people suffer from arthritis, a selective destruction of collagen in the joint cartilage has
occurred. White blood cells attack the joint cartilage, which in turn activates the immune system to develop
antibodies. These antibodies turn around and attack what they perceive to now be the enemy, i.e. "collagen".
Consequently the immune systems response is to attack all the cartilage that is degenerating in the body. So
even if there may only be a problem in one wrist or knee, both wrists hurt, both knees hurt, our back, hips
and both our shoulders feel the pain. In the end, the result is the same age related pain increases along
with a pronounced loss of quality of life.
Understanding the Problem
Fossils show that even dinosaurs had arthritis. Many varieties of joint disease have been
described, all of which result in destruction of the hyaline (glassy) cartilage that lines the rends of the
bones. The remaining cartilage cells try to heal the defect by proliferating and making more
cartilage. They are almost never equal to the task and scar tissue replaces the void. The
result is pain for scar tissue is too spongy to bear much weight or keep the bones from grinding against each
The knowledge that bone and cartilage are basically constructed of collagen fiber and that a
slight electrical charge through damaged collagen has the capacity of modifying and regenerting tissue as it
obeys the new lines of force, prompts us to believe that it is possible to reverse the destruction of the
hyaline cartilage (see Frohlick (1968a,
Thousands of cases studies and anecdotal evidence from all walks
of life, human and animal have confirmed that healing of joints is possible by using micro current devices,
particularly those that use a sinusoidal wave form and use biofeedback neuro modulation to capture the brains
attention in the healing process. On the other hand, reports of liver damage being caused by the
leading OTC drugs such as Aleve or Naproden will introduce a host of new symptoms caused by liver damage and
subsequently digestive system damage that may be worse than the disease being treated. The future is to
ending arthritis pain, not to manage it.
What Research Exists on Collagen and
According to a study
published in the journal Science, oral administration of type
collagen improves symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
. The authors conducted a randomized, double-blind trial
involving 60 patients with severe, active rheumatoid arthritis. A decrease in the number of swollen joints and
tender joints occurred in subjects fed with chicken type II collagen for 3 months, but not in those that received a
placebo. Four patients in the collagen group had complete remission of the disease. No side effects were
Hydrolized Collagen and
A published study reports that the oral intake of BioCell
Collagen, hydrolyzed type II collagen naturally coexisting with chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid, reduces
joint discomfort. A randomized controlled trial
(RCT) enrolling 80 subjects demonstrated that BioCell Collagen
was well tolerated with no serious adverse
s and led to a significant improvement of chronic joint discomfort.
More studies need to be performed to confirm the observation.
A potential mechanism for the joint health benefit may be due to the stimulation of the biosynthesis
type II from the
in the cartilage
where hydrolyzed collagen
appears to be
Trentham, D.; Dynesius-Trentham, R.; Orav, J.; Combitchi, D.; Lorenzo, C.;
Sewell, K.; Hafler, D. & Weiner, H. (1993). "Effects of Oral Administration of Type II Collagen on
Rheumatoid Arthritis".Science 261 (5119):
Schauss, A., Stenehjem, J., Park, J., Endres, J., and Clewell, A. 2012. Effect of the novel low molecular weight
hydrolyzed chicken sternal cartilage extract, BioCell Collagen, on improving osteoarthritis-related symptoms: a
placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60(16):4096-101. PMID 22486722
Oesser, S.; Seifert, J. (2003). "Stimulation of type II collagen biosynthesis
and secretion in bovine chondrocytes cultured with degraded collagen". Cell tissue research 311 (3):
393–399.doi:10.1007/s00441-003-0702-8. PMID 12658447.