Collagen: two routes to better joints and skin

By the time you have read this, I will be celebrating my 46th year.

Time does seem to speed up as you get older, one minute you are a cute little toddler.

Loving life making your best lego spaceship EVER!!

Next thing you are a gangly teenager.

And I can vividly remember turning 30 and thinking, “how did that happen?“.

But happen it did and my girlfriend

Became my wife.

And 9 months later, Iris arrived.

And next thing you know, you are bearing down on 50, but feeling good and loving life.

Floyd and I in our “swimming pants” aka Budgey Smugglers.

10 years ago I had to import my collagen hydrosylate to help my joints, tendons, ligaments, bones and skin be as healthy as they can be.

These days, it is big business and with that comes big commercial bulls*t.

But fear not because I am a modern-day nutritional bulls**t detector.

Does animal collagen actually replace your collagen directly?

That is a no.

Think about it…….cos that stuff is subconsciously happening when you buy collagen in response to the marketing.

They say….collagen production goes down as you get older, so I take collagen supplements to replace it, right?


Do you really think your marine collagen from fish scales is going to directly become your skin?

Are you Aquaman?

Would you eat rump steak with the aim of it giving you a bigger bum?

Maybe Kim has been on the steak?

No, she has been on the surgeons table, when she should have been on the therapists’ couch.

Here is the issue:

We simply cannot break collagen in its natural state down enough with our own acid and enzymes to absorb it into the blood.

So we have to buy collagen hydrosylate or collagen peptides, so they are “hydrosylated” first, into peptides 2-10 amino acids long.

Then our enzymes will chop them down into single amino acids and that allows them into the blood (peptides 3 unit long or more do not make it pass through the gut lining).

Then amino acids are taken to the collagen-making cells (called fibroblasts) where they should push out collagen.

But the collagen must be CROSS-LINKED it order to function properly. The enzyme that does this is vitamin C and copper-dependent.

Hence, if there is no vitamin C, you get scurvy and your teeth fall out.

Remember 3-10 peptide units do not make it through.

But it is possible that two peptide unit or bi-peptides do make it through and crucially, these then STIMULATE fibroblasts to make more collagen.


Thus, we take collagen and it helps us in two ways.

There is, however, one small fly in the ointment, and this is glycine, the single biggest building block of collagen at 33%.

Thus, GLYCINE is the rate limiter in collagen production.

The story gets more complicated when we understand glycine, which is what we will do next time.