If you follow my blog posts, then I am sure that you have learned a bit about my recent genetic diagnosis (if not, you can find more about that – here).
Anyways, to be short, I’ve dealt with joint pain my entire life and just now have possibly gotten the real answer as to why; Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (“EDS”).
Basically put, it causes a defect in the structure, production, and processing of collagen or proteins that interact with collagen. Collagen is the most teeming protein in the human body. It’s found in the skin, muscles, bones, and tendons. Essentially, it is the glue that holds the body together, while allowing both strength and elasticity.
Although since I began my autoimmune-healing journey a few years ago, the lifestyle has brought lots of relief to this joint pain that I once suffered from daily (especially in my knees), with bone broth being the largest contributor to that blessing (find my recipe video for BB – here). However, more recently, I have started to feel new aches and an overall weakened ability within some newly-affected problem areas.
But this diagnosis seemingly came at the perfect time (WOW, did I really just say that?!)… What I mean is, now that I have a deeper understanding as to what is causing some of the ailments that halt my overall wellness, I can be even more proactive and target specific protocols and new rituals in order to (hopefully) stop progression. Funny thing is, I had already started to implement natural supplements, including collagen, in to my diet months prior to learning that the collagen my body creates itself, is subpar (because of EDS). But I really only had a bit more than fundamental knowledge in regards to gelatin, collagen, and the full range of supplements that I was using to receive their overall wellness-giving properties. So, I had some more specific research to do!
To start, you can find the list of the natural supplements that I am referring to, in this review article of mine (or directly from the Vital Proteins – website). But now let’s get on to the good stuff…
AT THIS POINT IN TIME, I HAVE READ OVER 50(+) SCIENTIFIC PAPERS AND CLINICAL RESEARCH STUDIES IN REGARDS TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INGESTING COLLAGEN, AS WELL AS ITS’ IMPLICATIONS TO EHLER’S-DANLOS SYNDROME.
The basic idea that I have gathered, is that the active collagen fragments which are absorbed through ingesting a collagen supplement, circulates through the bloodstream, and ultimately can improve NOT JUST skin health, but soooooooo many other bodily functions as well, here are a few conclusions from some of the human clinical trials that I have read:
- Results suggest that ingestion of collagen peptide improves the function of deeper regions of the skin.
- Collagen peptides are absorbed, as evidenced by their presence in human blood, 1-2 hours after ingestion.
- Type II collagen (CII) is a peptide and component of joint cartilage. It’s oral ingestion appears to reduce autoimmunity to the body’s own CII, resulting in less inflammation in instances of osteoarthritis and rheumatism and benefits to joint health.
- 43 subjects (86%) saw improvement in the quality of their nails. Additionally, when the treatment ceased, the nail defects returned.
- Thickness and strength of the hair increased significantly. The increase in thickness was greater for women than for men, possibly because the women’s hair was thinner at the onset of the study. After treatment stopped, hair thickness returned to its original level.
Good nutrition is especially important for those of us with EDS (and in the autoimmune community), so supplementing with collagen can aid in overall well-being, and perhaps even spark further healing.
Beighton P, De Paepe A, Steinmann B et al. Ehlers–Danlos syndromes revised nosology. Am J Med Genet 1998;77: 31–7.
Iwai K, et al. Identification of food-derived collagen peptides in human blood after oral ingestion of gelatin hydrolysates 2005;53:6531-6.
Koyama Y. Effects of collagen peptide ingestion on the skin. 2009:44:10-12.
Rosenberg S, et al. Further studies in the use of gelatin in the treatment of brittle nails. 1957:76:330-5
Scala J et aI., Effect of daily gelatine ingestion on human scalp hair. 1976:13:579-92.
Shashikiran U, Rastogi A, Gupta RP, Sabir M. Ehlers–Danlos syndrome type VI variant presenting with recurrent respi- ratory infections and responding to high dose vitamin C. J Assoc Physicians India 1999;47:554–5.
So apart from the collagen that I receive from drinking my morning mug of bone broth, I have also started to make these collagen gummies. To me, they are super easy to make, as well as perfect on-the-go snack size bursts of yummy/healing goodness!
COCONUT-CINNAMON COLLAGEN GUMMIES//
*Note: It took me a few tries to get just the right consistency and proportions, so don’t give up if on your first try – they don’t come out perfect (just yet)! ;)
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/2 Cup Filtered Water
1/2 Cup Raw Honey
1/2 TSP Sea Salt
1/2 TSP Coconut Oil
1/2 TSP Vanilla Extract (or powder for AIP)
1/2 TSP Cinnamon Powder
4 TBSP (about) Gelatin (As of right now, I ONLY recommend this brand –> Vital Proteins , it’s grass-fed, GMO-FREE, 100% pure, & so much more that I will be sharing in further detail about soon also!!!)
*NOTE: Gelatin is derived from collagen ;)
- In a small saucepan, pour in 1/2 the amount of water.
- Then evenly sprinkle the gelatin over the water without stirring.
- Let sit for 5 minutes (this is to let the gelatin dissolve).
- Once dissolved, or “bloomed”, add the remaining ingredients.
- Check sweetness and adjust to your taste (optional).
- GENTLY (do not allow to simmer or boil) warm on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly (you want no visible bits of gelatin)!
- Remove from heat.
- Pour (or use a dropper) your gummy mixture into molds (or if you don’t have molds, a glass dish)
- Place in to the refrigerator until they set (I usually let set overnight).
- Once set and “gummy”, pop-out of molds (or cut in to squares if used a dish).
The mixtures/combos of ingredients are endless when it comes to these homemade gummies. Every palate varies, so you be the judge as to what and how much of a certain flavor-adding ingredient works for you or your family.
And as always, don’t forget to share your creations with me on social media, using #balancedlifealoha!