Balance Hormones with Collagen Hydrolysate and Gelatin
March 18, 2014 by Lauren G (Empowered Sustenance)
Collagen Hydrolysate: A gelatin supplementWho needs Botox when you’ve got bone broth? (Ha ha, real food joke.) Homemade bone broth, as many real-foodies know, provides a rich source of collagen, a component that adds luminosity and plumpness to the skin.
Both collagen hydrolysate and gelatin comes from cooking the bones, hides and hooves from animals.Dietary sources of quality gelatin have all but disappeared from the modern diet, although past generations widely consumed gelatin-rich broths, soups, headcheese, calves foot jelly, sauces and aspics. These sources of gelatin not only tasted delicious, it boosted the nutritional profile of the meal.
What is collagen hydrolysate?Collagen hydrolysate is a dietary supplement. It is essentially gelatin and carries all the benefits of gelatin, however it is processed in a way that it dissolve into hot and cold liquids without gelling and is more quickly absorbed by the body.
According to Catherine Crow, who interviewed Bob Busscher, the president of Great Lakes, this processing starts by separating the collagen from grass-fed beef hides. Then, the liquid is evaporated from the collagen it is hydrolyzed. During this hydrolyzing step, it is stored at a higher temperature to “reduce the molecular weight cleaving the amino acid bonds.” Finally, it is dried into a powder.
To my knowledge, Great Lakes carries the only grass-fed collagen hydrolysateand this is the only collagen supplement that I take. Remember, Great Lakes green can = grassfed collagen hydrolysate, found here, and Great Lakes red can = grassfed gelatin, found here (Great Lakes also carries a pork gelatin here in a red can).
Collagen hydrolysate vs. gelatinCollagen hydrolysate and gelatin both start from the same ingredient: collagen from beef (or pork, for the non-kosher gelatin option) hides. As a result, these two products share the same amino acid profiles. The primary difference is that collagen hydrolysate is more easily assimilable due to the hydrolyzing step and it does not gel. On the other hand, gelatin can be used to make jello and puddings.
When I use the term “gelatin” and “collagen hydrolysate,” remember that these are basically interchangeable in regards to the health properties.
Collagen hydrolysate and gelatin help balance hormonesOf the amino acids in collagen hydrolysate and gelatin, 35% is glycine and 21% is proline and hydroproline. Also important, collagen hydrolysate/gelatin completely lacks the amino acid tryptophan. The high percentage of glycine and proline, as well as the lack of tryptophan, help balance the ingestion of large amounts of tryptophan and cysteine present in muscle meats. The equilibrium of amino acids play a large role in metabolic rate, thyroid function and hormone production.
Dr. Ray Peat, a hormonal researcher in the field of nutrition and metabolism, describes why muscle meats when consumed without gelatin can increase stress hormones and decrease thyroid hormones
Gelatin is a protein which contains no tryptophan, and only small amounts of cysteine, methionine, and histidine. Using gelatin as a major dietary protein is an easy way to restrict the amino acids that are associated with many of the problems of aging.[…]
When only the muscle meats are eaten, the amino acid balance entering our blood stream is the same as that produced by extreme stress, when cortisol excess causes our muscles to be broken down to provide energy and material for repair. The formation of serotonin is increased by the excess tryptophan in muscle, and serotonin stimulates the formation of more cortisol, while the tryptophan itself, along with the excess muscle-derived cysteine, suppresses the thyroid function.
[…]If a person eats a large serving of meat, it’s probably helpful to have 5 or 10 grams of gelatin at approximately the same time, so that the amino acids enter the blood stream in balance. (Read more)
Note: a level tablespoon of collagen hydrolysate provides 7 grams of gelatin.
The point here, of course, is that amino acids consumed out of balance are not conducive to health. Does that make tryptophan bad? No. Does is make serotonin bad? Nope. Does it make cortisol bad? No again. The trouble arises when these elements are out of proportions.
By helping to balance the tryptophan, gelatin supports healthy thyroid function and reduces the metabolic stress of increased cortisol. Thyroid and metabolism go hand-in-hand, so gelatin may actually increase metabolism by improving thyroid function.
Ray Peat also explains the anti-stress properties of the glycine found in gelatin:
A generous supply of glycine/gelatin, against a balanced background of amino acids, has a great variety of antistress actions. Glycine is recognized as an “inhibitory” neurotransmitter, and promotes natural sleep. Used as a supplement, it has helped to promote recovery from strokes and seizures, and to improve learning and memory. But in every type of cell, it apparently has the same kind of quieting, protective antistress action. (Read more)
Improve digestion with gelatin and collagen hydrolysateDr. Pottenger, another researcher who offered extremely valuable research in the field of nutrition, praised bone broth because it provides a source of hydrophilic colloids in the form of gelatin. Raw foods tend to be hydrophilic – water-loving – and blend with digestive juices for efficient digestion.
Cooking food, however, often creates hydrophobic colloids and can repel digestive juice in the stomach. Because collagen hydrolysate/gelatin remains hydrophilic even when heated, it aids digestion of cooked food.
Further, the glycine in gelatin stimulates stomach acid production and thereby improves digestion and nutrient assimilation. Low stomach acid is a chronic problem that leads to a cascade of symptoms in the entire body, so increasing stomach acid often alleviates a host of issues. (Source – Weston Price Foundation’s Broth is Beautiful article)
Because poor digestion underlies all hormonal imbalances,improving stomach acidify and nutrient assimilation supports the roots of hormone balance.
How to take collagen hydrolysate and gelatinIdeally, consume a source of gelatin with each meal. This could be a cup of homemade bone broth, some homemade jello bites or a tablespoon of collagen hydrolysate stirred into a smoothie or beverage.
Great Lakes recommends taking two heaping tablespoons of collagen hydrolysate per day. I take 1 tablespoon in my morning smoothie and 1 tablespoon before bed. Because it is pure protein, I believe it should be balanced with carbohydrate and fat when you consume it. For my bedtime routine, I enjoy a tablespoon of collagen hydrolysate mixed into warm coconut milk (1/3 cup) sweetened with honey and a pinch of nutmeg. Delicious!
Read this terrific article by Ivy Larson
ARE BANANAS GOOD FOR YOU?
“Are bananas good for you?” This actually really is a question I am frequently asked. At first I thought it was a pretty silly question because I believed everybody knew that ALL fruits and ALL vegetables were good for you. However, I know why bananas have gotten a bad rap. Although I won’t name names, I am well aware numerous fad diets have been responsible for popularizing the myth that eating foods like carrots, potatoes, bananas and beets are “fattening” and not healthy.
Diet gurus who forbid foods like bananas and potatoes (both of which by the way contain a super special type of fiber called “resistant starch” that helps control blood sugar and reduce fat storage after meals–certainly not a bad thing!) encourage dieters to be conscious of the glycemic index (GI) of the carbohydrate-containing foods they eat.
Low GI foods are considered “good” while high GI foods are considered “bad”. Since carbs like carrots, potatoes, bananas and beets all rate high on the GI index they have all been labeled “bad”, albeit unjustifiably I might add. But to understand this all a bit more you need to understand a smidgen about the GI…
WHAT IS THE GLYCEMIC INDEX (GI)?The glycemic index is a numerical system of measuring how quickly a carbohydrate- containing food turns to glucose (blood sugar). Once glucose from the food you eat is absorbed into your bloodstream blood glucose levels go up and your pancreas starts secreting insulin to help get that sugar out of your bloodstream and into your brain and muscles where it is needed (after all, it is not safe to have high blood sugar levels.)
On the GI index, the slower a carbohydrate containing food is turned to sugar the better and the lower the GI score will be. Here’s a very general scale…
• A GI of 70 or more is considered high
• A GI of 56 to 69 is considered medium
• A GI of 55 or less is considered low
The theory behind the Glycemic Index is simply to minimize insulin-related problems by identifying and avoiding foods that spike blood sugar levels. This sounds simple and reasonable enough. But things aren’t always as simple as they seem.
Research shows a diet that contains unrefined “whole” carbs in their natural form such as bananas, carrots, “whole” potatoes, whole grains and beans does not negatively impact blood sugar or insulin levels—just the opposite! In fact, studies have shown that a diet based on such “whole” carbs can actually reduce fasting insulin levels 30-40% in just three weeks (1). The key is that the diet must be based on unrefined and fiber-rich “whole” carbs.
Carbohydrate-rich refined and empty calorie sugary and floury foods like pretzels, fat free cookies, pizza dough and white bread are not what I am talking about. If you eat refined carbohydrates like these (all of which incidentally happen to have a high GI), you will no doubt negatively impact your blood sugar and secrete more fat-storing insulin than is desirable.
WOULD YOU EAT 3 BANANAS ALL AT ONCE?In addition to unjustifiably classifying some “whole” carbs in the “bad” category, another problem with the GI rating system is that measuring the GI value of food does not take into consideration the normal portion size a person would typically eat. Would you eat 3 bananas at one single sitting? Probably not. But that’s the amount of bananas the GI rating system assumes you would eat in a single serving and that is the serving the GI system is based on.
HOW IS THE GI OF A FOOD DETERMINED?Here’s the deal: the GI value of a food is assessed by giving 10 or more volunteers a serving of a carbohydrate-containing food with 50 grams of digestible (this would not include fiber or the non-digestible portion of the resistant starch) carbohydrate. Scientists then take blood samples every 15 minutes to test how long it takes the 50 grams of carbohydrates to turn into blood sugar. The subject’s response to the carbohydrate being tested is compared with the subject’s sugar response to 50 grams of pure glucose. Since glucose is standard, it is the reference food and the testing of glucose on the subject’s blood sugar levels is done on a separate occasion. The average blood sugar response from 8-10 people will determine the glycemic index (GI) value of that particular carbohydrate containing food. And yes, it is complicated (far too complicated I might add!)
Using the complex GI assessment method, carrots end up ranking high, or “bad”. But, and this is where the GI index is not very useful, the typical 3 ounce serving of carrots contains just 9 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber (7 grams of digestible carbs). It’s not at all accurate to say that carrots have a high GI because it’s practically impossible to eat 21 ounces of carrots, the amount needed to obtain the 50 grams of net carbs used to measure the GI of a food. Bananas have a high GI rating too…but you would need to eat nearly 3 whole bananas in order to obtain 50 grams of net carbs. Again, I’m betting you have never eaten 3 whole bananas in a single day, much less all at once! The portion distortion issues with the GI system are just one reason why it is not a reliable method for making healthy food choices.
BUT ARE BANANAS GOOD FOR YOU?Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!! And so are carrots, potatoes (with their fiber-rich skin), beets and all other “whole” carbohydrates that are eaten in their natural and unrefined form but also happen to have a high / “bad” GI rating. To give you a clearer idea of what I mean by eating these foods in their “natural” and “unrefined” form I mean eating corn, not corn flakes and steel cut oats rather than a granola bar “made with oats.
When you choose to eat “whole” carbs—like bananas!!—you really don’t need to worry about overeating or the GI. “Whole” carbs are difficult to overeat because they take up a lot of bulk and space in your stomach. They work mechanically to fill you up. That’s why you never see anybody gorging on bananas! And I can assure you if you have excess pounds to lose it is most likely NOT because you were eating too many bananas.
An Australian study actually showed that 240 calories of plain boiled potatoes (which are “whole” carbs and rather bulky) satisfied test subjects an astounding 7 x’sas much as a very non-bulky–but low GI— 240 calorie croissant serving. The boiled potato / croissant study clearly demonstrates one reason why food volume / bulk is so important in weight management—the more space a food takes up in your stomach, the more full you feel and the fewer calories you eat. (2)
ADDITIONAL MAJOR PITFALLS OF THE GLYCEMIC INDEX (GI):The GI doesn’t take the nutritional value of the food into consideration. Just because a food has a low GI does not make it a nutrient-dense food! According to the Glycemic Index the following foods are equally healthy choices simply because they have similar GI ranks:
The glycemic load (GL) considers the total amount of absorbable carbohydrate (again, not counting fiber or resistant starch) in a 100 gram serving portion of the food being measured that you eat in addition to the GI of that food. Because the glycemic load factors in quantity (and therefore calories) it is a considerably better system than the GI. Using this system low density foods like potatoes, bananas, watermelons and carrots that happen to have a high GI offer a relatively low glycemic load. But regardless, the glycemic index and the glycemic load are a ridiculously complex way to approach eating. Like the misleading Nutrition Facts label, the GI food ranking system is just not the best way to choose your foods.
IF YOU CAN’T RELY ON THE GLYCEMIC INDEX THEN HOW CAN YOU TELL IF A CARBOHYDRATE IS “GOOD” OR “BAD”?The only thing you need to worry about when trying to figure out whether a carbohydrate is “good” or “bad” is whether or not it is a “whole” carbohydrate that is unrefined. That means ALL fruits, ALL vegetables, ALL beans, ALL legumes, ALL whole grains (quinoa, steel cut oats, wheat berries, sprouted flourless whole grain bread, amaranth, barley, etc.), corn and potatoes (with their skins on!!) are all healthy, slimming and good carbohydrate choices. It does not need to be made any more complex than that.
BANANA NUTRITION 101But let’s get back to bananas. Are bananas good for you? Here’s just a bit of what you’ll find in a single banana—you decide!
Katie – www.wellnessmama.com
This is a terrific site for all kinds of alternative health information!
If you’ve been around the real food community much, you’ve heard many references to the benefits of coconut, especially coconut oil. Ostracized by the medical community for it’s saturated fat content, it seems that coconut oil might finally be making a comeback in the mainstream health community.
Coconut oil is the most nutrient dense part of the coconut. It is solid at room temperature like butter. It doesn’t break down in heat or light or become rancid like many oils, and in my opinion has a wonderful tropical smell.
It is a wonderful way to increase the amount of healthy fats in your diet, and is helpful in assimilation of fat soluble vitamins.
For years, “health” advice has warned against consuming saturated fats, and coconut oil has gotten thrown out with the rest without good reason!
What’s In a Coconut? Coconuts are an excellent source of nutrition and have healthful meat, juice, and oil. The oil is arguably the most nutritious and has many health benefits. Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat and has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals.
Coconut oil is an incredible source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have been shown to have many health benefits.
Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs)
Most of the fats we consume are long chain fatty acids that must be broken down before they can be absorbed. Coconut oilis high in short and medium chain fatty acids, which are easily digested and sent right to the liver for energy production.
Because MCFAs are sent right to the liver for digestion, no bile or pancreatic enzymes are needed for digestion, making coconut oil a healthy food even for those with diabetes or those who have gallbladder problems.
MCFAs can help increase metabolism since they are sent directly to the liver and give the body an instant source of energy. Most of the MCFAs in coconut oil are the highly beneficial Lauric Acid.
Lauric acid is found in abundance in human breastmilk and converts to a substance called monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin has been shown to be useful in increasing immunity and fighting viruses and disease.
Lauric acid in coconut oil in combination with oregano oil, has even been found more effective in fighting the staph bacteria than antibiotics. Lauric acid has also been shown to be preventative against some cancers.
Coconut Oil is over 40% lauric acid, the richest source naturally available.
What About The Saturated Fat? If you are still concerned about saturated fat, consider taking a second look. Even if you still avoid/limit saturated fats, it is important to note that not all saturated fats behave the same way in the body. Coconut oil, due to its high lauric acid content, is actually beneficial to the body.
It is also fascinating to note that countries like Thailand eat very high amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and lard, and have very low levels of disease on average.
In fact, people consuming a traditional diet in Thailand have less instance of heart disease and the lowest rates of cancer for all 50 countries studied by the World Health Organization. Diabetes is TEN times more frequent in the United States that in Thailand, despite (or perhaps because of) their high fat consumption.
What do they Thai people eat? A large part of their diet consists of coconut, fermented foods, meat, a variety of vegetables, and rice. If you’ve ever tasted Thai food, you know that they also have bold taste in seasonings and make use of potent herbs and spices like curry, lemongrass, basil, and chilis.
Overall, the Thai people consume very little soy, except for fermented condiments.
Their living conditions are considered to be less sanitary and more difficult, so these factors cannot account for the lower instance of disease.
Other countries, including some in the Mediterranean, show similar trends, even with high consumption of saturated fat. Even here, saturated fat is getting a second look from the medical community.
But saturated fat causes heart disease, right? This has been the refrain for the last several decades, but history doesn’t back it up. As I have discussed before, there really is no scientific backing to the idea, and in fact, the lipid hypothesis has been largely discredited.
Think about it: Currently, coronary heart disease and related problems are the number one cause of death in the United States. The field of cardiology didn’t even exist prior to 1940, and there has been a 60 fold increase in cardiologists since that time.
Also, coconut oil and other saturated fats were phased out since that time, and has been replaced with “healthy” vegetable and seed oils.
You’d think with all those specialists and the move away from saturated fats , we’d be seeing less heart disease…. except, we aren’t. In fact, rates of heart disease have risen despite doctors best attempts to get us to eat low-fat whole grain diets low in saturated fats (or perhaps because of this).
Saturated fats are necessary for cell function and growth, and have been linked to increased health and even weight loss.Coconut oil is an all-star among saturated fats with many benefits beyond its strict nutritional content.
Over 1/3 of the world’s population depends on coconut for food, and if you haven’t already, you should consider incorporating coconut oil into your diet!
The Many Ways To Use Coconut Oil If you haven’t already started using coconut oil, there are many ways that you can get this nutrient packed powerhouse into your diet/lifestyle:
When you order anything through this link, you will get a copy of the Virgin Coconut Oil Book which explains the story of how they discovered this high nutrient coconut oil and the many ways it can be used to support health. The book will be automatically added the first time your order. Click here to get your free copy.