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Collagen Articles

Collagen- The Tie That Binds

Dr. Warren Chaney

Contributors: A. Berton, V. Rigot, E. Huet, M. Decarme. Alex Suh, DC, et al

What is Collagen & Why Collagen is Necessary for Youth and Health.


Looking for the Fountain of Youth

Collagen and Aging

Contributors: Dr. Warren Chaney, et al

Collagen and Aging, Collagen Diseases, The Pain of Arthritic Hands

How the body Rebuilds Itself


Contributors: O. Steinbrocker, C.H. Traeger, R.C. Batterman, Dr. Warren Chaney, et al

Metabolic Repair, Bursitis, tendonitis, and tendinosis. Cartilage, Wrinkles, and Stretch Marks

Weight Loss and Collagen


Contributors: Kari Kivirikko, M.D., Ph.D. , Dr. Warren Chaney

About Weight Loss

The Key to Looking and Feeling Younger

The Key to Looking and Feeling Younger

Contributors: Dr.Stephen Ho, MD, Jeff Wilson

The Nature of Collagen

Collagen Type II Limitations


Contributors: Dr. Jean-Yves Leroux

The Nature of Collagen


Dr. Warren Chaney

Collagen is the fibrous structural protein that makes up the white fibers (collagenous fibers) of skin, tendon, bone, cartilage, and all other connective tissues. It is also found dispersed in gels of the body to provide stiffening, such as in the vitreous humour of the eye. [2]

Collagen fibers are woven together like pieces of fabric to form a network in which new cells grow and reproduce. Any time the body needs to build new cells, such as in the healing or growing process, collagen plays the central role. Collagen is the substance that protects and supports the softer tissues of the body, and it is what connects them with our skeleton. [3] In other words, collagen is both the material and the glue that holds our body together.

[1] Miller-Keane Medical Dictionary, 2002 .

[2] A. Berton, V. Rigot, E. Huet, M. Decarme, Y. Eeckhout, L. Patthy, G. Godeau, W. Hornebeck, G. Bellon, and H. Emonard. Involvement of Fibronectin Type II Repeats in the Efficient Inhibition of Gelatinases A and B by Long-chain Unsaturated Fatty Acids, Journal Of Biological Chemistry, June 2001.

[3] Alex Suh, DC, during a personal interview conducted during April, 2003.

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Collagen and Aging

The body's production of collagen slows with aging. I mean, it really slows down. We first notice it on the outside of our bodies when tiny lines and wrinkles start showing up in our thirties. By that time, the lack of collagen production and collagen damage is already affecting the inside of our bodies. The damage gets our attention as strains and sprains become more severe. 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. We are feeling the pains of aging.

With continued aging, our connective tissue and muscle tissue breaks down due to an increase in collagen deficiency and damage. As a result, we experience a weakening of our skeletal structure. Like a stealth bomber, collagen deficiency sneaks up on us under the radar. One day we wake up and say to ourselves. This just doesn't feel right!

Outside the body, the slowing of the skin's production of collagen with age becomes increasingly more pronounced. The skin starts to wrinkle. It loses the youthful glow that our spouse and loved ones once admired. The appearance of healthful radiance vanishes. Soon we develop ridges and furrows, red marks and brown spots. Our skin dries out in places. One morning we look in the mirror and declare, Not good! That afternoon we scour the pharmacies and health food stores for an assortment of creams, ointments, and lotions. Infomercials promoting the latest skin magic rejuvenator suddenly have an interest for us. It is only later, after we have applied pounds of grease to our skin and hundreds of dollars worth of secret lotions to our faces, that we realize that little of it works. Why? Because we are treating the symptoms, not the problem.

Discoloration of the hands is a symptom long associated with aging. Early on, our hands start to take on the wrinkled dishpan look so reminiscent of the old television commercials. What depresses many in today's high tech dishwasher society is that most have not had their hands in a dishpan!

Early wrinkling of the hands signals the onset of collagen deficiency and in some cases, collagen disease.

We could learn to live with appearance if only the body's lack of collagen production stopped there, but it does not. With collagen deficiency, comes collagen disease.

Collagen diseases

Collagen disease, long associated with aging, represents far more than a single disease of the elderly. Collagen disease characterizes an entire group of diseases that involve abnormalities of the immune system. Along with the abnormalities, an inflammation of the connective tissue and blood vessels often results. This group of diseases is all part of the collagen connective tissue that provides the supportive musculoskeletal structure and the protective covering, such as the skin, mucous membranes, and vessel linings for the body.

According to the most recent statistics, some sixty million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis along with many other varieties of arthritic conditions. [4] This number is expected to increase to over seventy-five million during the next twenty years. [5] All arthritis sufferers 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. Add to that the problems of cardiovascular disease (still the number one killer in the nation) and the debilitating effects of aging are increased many times over. [6]

Research has demonstrated that when people suffer from arthritis, a selective destructive 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, the collagens. Consequently, the immune system response is to attack all the cartilage that is degenerating in the body. So even though there may only be a problem in one wrist or knee, both wrists hurt, both knees hurt, our back, our hips, and both shoulders feel the pain. In the end, the result is the same: aging pain increases along with a pronounced loss in the quality of life. [7]

The cost of traditional arthritis treatment has skyrocketed from $65 billion in 1992 to nearly $480 billion in 2002. [8] Most of the cost went to disability payments and lost time at work. [9] Arthritis was a factor in the costs resulting from over 20,000 deaths and two million hospitalizations each and every year. [10] In addition, there was an additional horrific cost of treating the side effects of the arthritis medications, including corticosteroid drugs and immune suppressive drugs. Without a doubt, collagen disease enacts a terrible penalty on society.

Collagen diseases in the human body are divided into two main groupings:

1. .those genetically determined or which are a result of structural and biochemical defects, and

2. .those that are acquired and in which immunological and inflammatory reactions are taking place within the tissues.

Among the first group are disorders distinguished by structural defects affecting the formation of the collagen itself. Acquired collagen diseases, the second group, are those most frequently associated with aging, though the first type may be as well. Examples of acquired collagen diseases include rheumatoid arthritis and dermatomyositis. [11]

Rheumatic disease is a frequently used term because rheumatoid arthritis, the most common of all diseases in this group, displays all of the many characteristics of this group.

The Pain of Arthritic Hands

The blood plasma of patients with collagen disease shows significant levels of auto-antibodies (these are antibodies that attack the body's own proteins or cells). This antigen-antibody reaction leads to inflammation of many of the body's vital tissues. The most common collagen diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever, lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, polyarteritis nodosa, and scleroderma. [12]

Most of the collagen diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatic fever, are characterized by widespread joint pain. Rheumatic fever may also result in permanent heart damage, a condition more prominent in children than adults. Lupus erythematosus is an auto-kidneys, skin, and membranes lining body cavities. Dermatomyositis is most commonly seen as a rash that is accompanied by muscular pain. In polyarteritis nodosa the walls of arteries are damaged, and in scleroderma, thick layers of collagen fibers are deposited. Both diseases result in impaired organ function.

Some collagen diseases have no satisfactory treatment, but most can be treated medically. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is commonly treated with aspirin-like compounds, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressive agents, used separately or in combination with others. [13] Some collagen diseases, like rheumatic fever, are treated by antibiotics whereas Lupus or polyarteritis nodosa is helped significantly by corticosteroids.

[4] Shelton, Gene; Collagen Type II and Arthritis, Health Remedies Notebook, 2002.

[5] National Cardiovascular Disease Statistics, Office of the Surgeon General, Washington, D.C. 2003.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Effects of Oral Administration of Type II Collagen on Rheumatoid Arthritis, a Harvard School of Medicine Study published in the Journal of Science, Boston, Massachusetts, September, 1993.

[8] National Cardiovascular Disease Statistics, Office of the Surgeon General, Washington, D.C" 2003.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Cochran, Charles; Lubricate Your Joints, Canadian Journal of Health and Nutrition, March 2001.

[11] Christopher M. Overall, Angela E. King, Douglas K. Sam, Aldrich D. Ong, Tim T.Y. Lau, U. Margaretha Wallon, Yves A. DeClerck, and Juliet Atherstone. The Hierarchical Role in Binding Timp-2 of the Unique Cationic Clusters of Hemopexin Modules Iii and Iv; Department of Biochemistry and Moleculard Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Colombia V6T 1Z3, Canada and the Division of Hematology-Oncology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles and University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Caliofrnia, 1998.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Tuan, T.-L., Song, A.K., Chang, S., Younai, S., and Nimni, M.E. In vitro fibroplasia: Matric contaction, cell growth, and collagen production of fibroblasts cultured in fibrin gels. Experimental Cell Research, 223:127-134; 1996.

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Young people have pituitary glands that produce and abundance of GH (Growth Hormone). With aging, this hormone steadily decreases and the emphasis shifts to collagen. Collagen's function in the body is to convert its natural protein molecules into the essential amino acids that are required by the body. Thus, collagen performs the important maintenance function of the body.

Whether the body can efficiency rebuild and repair itself is dependent upon its ability to convert one body resource into another. This process of protein synthesis is a metabolic process requiring collagen as a catalyst. As collagen diminishes in the body, both the resource and the catalyst are reduced.

Research has shown that much of the body's vital metabolic repair work takes place when we sleep. [14] It has long been known that the body switches gears shortly after we fall asleep. It moves from its normal, active-involvement state to a rebuilding-and-maintenance state. It is during this sleep that the body searches about for available collagen and other important nutrients to convert them into the important materials needed by the body.

Collagen synthesis is something that those of us who wish to look and feel younger must be interested in. Therefore, any food supplement that can enhance the rebuilding or the healing process is something that we should strongly consider.

Producers of health food supplements have consistently recognized the need for collagen supplementation. But, non-medical collagens are not bio-available ( a fancy term meaning that the body cannot use it). To get around this, some less than ethical manufacturers have engaged in hoodwinking schemes to encourage supplementation of collagens that are unabsorbable or certain hormone precursors that do nothing for the collagens.

The body manufacturers its own collagen every single day, but since production diminishes with age, the available supply of collagen quickly becomes less than enough. Deterioration of various body parts gradually follows suit. One of the first visible signs is wrinkling of the skin and the beginning of unexplained joint pain. Note that I said, visible signs of aging. The wrinkling and joint pains only represent what is happening to the outside of the body. One can only imagine what is going on inside.

Once begun, the degenerative conditions of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other associative joint pain syndromes are relentless. Little can be done to alleviate the pain, much less stop the degenerative process. Don't get me wrong. The body does have the ability to heal itself, but it must be given the correct materials to work with. Healing starts from the inside out. So does youth! Therefore, the only thing that works is to eliminate the origin of degeneration before it occurs.

Bursitis, Tendonitis, and Tendinosis

Bursitis, tendonitis, and tendinosis are three of the more common collagen diseases affecting us as we age, causing us to look and feel older. Bursitis is caused by arthritis inflammation or by infection. [15] The joint areas most commonly affected are the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, back, and ankle. Individuals with bursitis will have pain, tenderness, and stiffness near the affected area. [16] As a result, local muscle weakness frequently develops as a result of avoiding painful joint movements, such as those caused by climbing stairs.

Tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendons, has mostly been considered the cause of tendon pain and an associated loss of strength and movement. More recently, researchers discovered that most people diagnosed with this disease have no signs of tendon inflammation. Consequently, medical sciences have come to see tendonitis more properly classified as tendinosis. Today, the terms are used interchangeably.

Tendinosis/tendonitis is caused by a breakdown of the collagen-composed tendon tissue. Collagen contributes to the robe-like structure of a tendon and to its strength. When collagen breaks down, small tears appear in the tendon, weakening it and causing pain. This collagen disease can affect children and young adults just as those who are aging. It is especially wearing on those who perform repetitious task in their jobs, sports, or daily activities. Carpet layers suffer this affliction in their knees, writers in their wrists, and tennis players in their elbows.

Bursitis and Tendonitis/tendinosis can be successfully treated by resting the painful areas, applying ice, or taking pain relievers. This gives the body time to repair and reproduce the cartilage damage. provided the body is still producing the necessary amounts of collagen.


Arthritis is a general term describing inflammation in joints. The most common 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, and spine. It can dramatically affect the finger joints and the joints of the toes. [17] With sixty million Americans suffering from arthritis, there is an arthritis epidemic. John Klippel, Medical Director of the arthritis foundation, flatly stated, This should be a wakeup call. We've always suspected the problem was greater than we had known about.

Unfortunately, the common methods of treatment won't change the progression of osteoarthritis. However, two nutritional supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin have been observed to relieve pain and to slow the breakdown of cartilage, which in itself is a significant part of osteoarthritis. What is particularly interesting is that glucosamine and chondroitins (both sulfates) are components of normal cartilage. Some researchers have successfully demonstrated that the two substances appear to stimulate new collagen production. The only thing better would be to take a bio-available collagen supplement directly.



Cartilage is a rather firm rubber material that covers the ends 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.

Cartilage can change shape because it is composed of more than seventy percent water, which can be redistributed with compression or movement. Since cartilage does not contain nerves, you never feel pain when these changes occur. When 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 age than when we were younger.

Collagen is a key component of cartilage, providing it with its strength. When the body's collagen production is reduced, cartilage production is affected and so are all the body systems that contain cartilage.

Collagen, Wrinkles, and Stretch Marks

The body's production of collagen in the skin begins dropping around the age of twenty-five. [18] But, it really picks up speed in the forties and fifties. Many studies have demonstrated that our skin's natural production of collagen decreases at a rate of 1% per year after the age of forty. So, by the time a person reaches fifty-five, they have lost and additional fifteen percent of their collagen production capacity. By age seventy, the loss is over thirty percent and climbing. [19]

Dr. Sal Martinganon, a nationally recognized collagen authority.

With a lowering of collagen production, the skin retains less water, thins, and begins to wrinkle much like a plum becoming a prune or a grape becoming a raisin. As a result, the elastin in the skin becomes even more damaged, holds less water, and becomes much less elastic and resilient.

Weaker skin collagen results in increased injuries, fewer blood vessels, and weaker skin. In turn, the skin's capillary walls become thicker, resulting in a reduced supply of nutrients and a reduced capacity to remove water products. The skin is now at a greater risk for infections, skin pigmentation color change, and age spotting. Because the skin is less healthy, its ability to serve as a barrier to bacteria and viruses is reduced. [20] This creates an all new round of aging problems. [21]

Collagen facial treatments, usually applied by masques, are heavily sought after in the beauty centers of the world. It is not uncommon to pay $150-$300 for a single treatment in Beverly Hills or New York City. The theory is that by applying collagen directly to the skin, the skin will absorb and use the material. BIG PROBLEM, THOUGH - it does not work. The skin cannot absord the collagen molecules because they are too big. The same is true for the vast majority of creams and facial masks sold across drug store counters and elsewhere. They just do not work. One company has developed and excellent collagen treatment using a skin-absorbable collagen matrix. The good news is that the treatments do not cost $300, and they do work and work quite effectively.

[14] O. Steinbrocker, C.H. Traeger, R.C. Batterman, J.Am. Med. Assoc. 155, 1949 and as referenced and detailed by Dr. Sal Martingano in his Collagen Audio Series, Florida, 2001.

[15] Li S, Fan Y-S, Chow LH, Van Den Diepstraten C, van der Veer E, Sims S, Pickering JG (2001) Innate diversity of adult human arterial smooth muscle cells: cloning of distinct subtypes from the internal thoracic artery. Circulation Research, 89:517-525.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Michael W. Smith, Understanding Arthritis, Treatment and Detection, June, 2002.

[18] Anu Muona: Type XV Collagen. Complete structures of the humain COL15A1 and mouse Col15a1 genes, location of type XV collagen protein in mature and developing mouse tissues, and generation of mice expressing truncated type XV collagen. Acta Universitatits Ouluensis D 662, 2001.

[19] Dr. Sal Martinganon, one of the nation's acknowledged collagen experts and researchers, speaking in a taped national radio broadcast appearance, Reasons for Aging , 20002.

[20] DiGiovanna, Augustine G. Human Aging: Biological Perspectives, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994.

[21] IBID.

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All current statistics strongly indicate that the human race is losing its battle of the bulge. In America, over 40 million people are thirty-five percent or more overweight. Today, the average American citizen weighs some eight to ten pounds more than he did a decade ago.

Given the current fitness revolution in the U.S., one would thing that weight would be dropping, but it is not. Sure, people go to more gyms, take supplements, and go out of their way to contribute over $40 billion a year to the fitness and supplement industry. Yet, even with this, the U.S. remains a nation of hefties.

Weight is one of the great contributors to aging both in health and most certainly in appearance. Think about it! When you picture a man in his forties what do you think? Most likely it is a guy with a pot belly hanging over his belt. As he increases in age, the pot enlarges. With every passing year the pot drops a little more. All of this additional frontal weight pulls the best of men forward into a pronounced slumping posture. Just walk to your nearest mall and watch. You will see what I mean.

Women do not escape the curse either. Even worse for them, the droop and drop will start years earlier than in men. The hips widen, thighs thicken, and arms become flabby. All are identifiable marks of aging. As we continue to age, it is our size and weight that generally tend to indicate the years.

Being overweight is unhealthy. Medical research has consistently shown that overweight people run twice the risk of getting heart disease. It is much worse for the silent killer, diabetes. Overweight people increase their odds of contracting this disease by a multiple of forty times. Medical studies have also demonstrated that losing as little as eleven pounds can cut the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50%.

Then there is the practical everyday struggle of size. As our waists enlarge our sluggishness increases. The wear and tear on the supportive joints like the knees and ankles increases. This in turn, worsens our posture, our appearance, the way we feel, and ultimately our self-image.

Growing Shorter by the Day

As if the weight gain, joint pains, and bad posture don't contribute enough to looking and feeling older, something else kicks in. As we age, we grow shorter. All of the problem of being overweight, having bad posture, and growing shorter as we age are related in many ways to the body's lack of collagen and its ongoing collagen destruction. The decrease of collagen production results in decreased metabolism, which leads to an increase in weight. The increase in weight places stress on our joints and spinal disks, which wears away at our posture and height. [22] This starts another cycle of collagen disease and. well, you get the picture.

What makes us the height we are? Certainly, it is our skeletal structure as determined by our genes. If you have long legs you are going to be taller than someone else with sort legs. The same is true if you have a long waist. All things being equal, a person with a long torso and long legs will stand taller than someone with a short torso and short legs.

Common sense, right? Well, how about this? No matter what your height, the tall person and the short person will both shrink with age. Getting shorter has become part of getting older. It is also a part of feeling older.

Part of our height is made up of the cartilage between our spinal disks. Physical stress, poor posture, added weight, and the aging process cause these discs to thin out. As they thin, the body shrinks. It is not uncommon to see elderly people lose eight inches or more in height by the time they have reached seventy-nine. [23]

The problems of reduced cartilage further exacerbate the shortening process. Without a proper supply of collagen, the body cannot repair itself, so it continues to shrink. In addition, the loss of bone mass that occurs with aging creates a situation where the human structure not only grows shorter but begins to twist and turn. This places further stress on the already damaged spinal column. How many older people do you know who are not only much shorter than they were when they were younger, but who are now bent and deformed. No wonder their walking gait is anything but youthful. No wonder their mental attitude is affected.

The problems of diminished collagen supplies are not just with the elderly. The younger, over thirty-five population suffers from beginning to advanced degenerative collagen disease as well. [24] Admittedly, the negative affects of poor food processing has taken its toll. Nutrients that we should be getting in our food are processed out. In addition, the general population suffers from an overall lack of nutritional understanding. Rather than learning the proper way to feed the body, many flock to the latest celebrity's website, hoping they have found the magic answer. But they have not. How many celebrities have you known that have lost weight, claimed success through their system, written a book on it, and then almost immediately put the weight back on? As of this writing, there is one very popular television personality who has written no less than four books on her system of weight loss. one for each time she lost and then gained back the weight. Now, I ask you, does it make sense to even listen to someone like that? Of course not. There are simpler answers and we will discuss them.

[22] Leroux, Jean-Yves, Ph.D., a well know Canadian immunologist specializing in collagen research, speaking during a nationally broadcast television special, The Loss of Youth , 2003.

[23] Kari Kivirikko, M.D., Ph.D. and Taina Pihlajaniemi, M.D., Ph.D. Molecular biology of collagens and enzymes of collagen biosynthesis. Collagen Research Unit, Biocenter Oulu and Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Oulu, Finland, 2001.

[24] Kari Kivirikko, M.D., Ph.D. and Taina Pihlajaniemi, M.D., Ph.D. Molecular biology of collagens and enzymes of collagen biosynthesis. Collagen Research Unit, Biocenter Oulu and Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Oulu, Finland, 2001.

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The Key to Looking and Feeling Younger

Type II collagen is the major collagen found in cartilage and is the substance that gives cartilage its tensile strength. [25] The key to building or repairing body parts remains in the ability to convert collagen into other resources as required by the body. So, in order to develop more muscles, tendons, and ligaments to rebuild and repair organs and skin, the body must go through a process of protein synthesis. This metabolic process requires a catalyst (a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any change), which is collagen. [26]

Losing Weight While You Sleep

Until recently, losing weight while you slept was a myth and a scam. Losing weight this way was a dream for years. Now, it is more of a reality. In fairness, we all lose a certain amount of weight while we sleep because of the body and collagen's metabolic conversion that we have been discussing. The vast majority of collagen's catalytic work is best conducted by the body at night during our sleep. [27] The body's conversion of material requires energy and in the absence of a stomach full of simple carbohydrates/sugar (same thing), the body's preferred source of energy is fat. [28] So, all the more reason not to stock the body up on carbohydrates before going to bed.

Sleep occurs in phases or stages. Fancy terms are frequently attached to sleep patterns with an almost mystical fascination. Often, their use is just flat wrong. Sleep is important. Sleep affects our youth and our age, so let me expand a bit.

When we first fall asleep, we are in a state of semi-consciousness. During this period, we are vaguely aware of what is going on around us. It is in this light sleep that we are most suggestive. People can talk to us, we can answer, and not remember a word of the conversation the following morning. Those who practice hypnosis do so at this level of sleep. The first stage or level of sleep is the period in which the active mind is getting ready to surrender itself to the subconscious mind. Sometimes, it resists and startles us awake. That is when we have the feeling of falling.

We quickly pass through the first level of sleep and into a state in which we have basic brain and body functions and that is about it. It is the body's best physical relaxation state. After this, the subconscious side of the brain awakens, and the body begins its dream state. The dream state is characterized by rapid eye movements caused by our looking around in our dreams. This is frequently referred to as REM sleep. [29]

Contrary to what you have read or heard, you do not go from one state to the other and then the other and then wake up. Instead, you pass through most of the levels of sleep several times. In fact, to do otherwise results in less than restful sleep.

The body repairs itself in both levels 2 and 3, but works mostly at the REM level. Often it repairs itself in level three and returns for R & R (rest and recuperation) in level 2 before returning to work in level 3 again. And so the cycle of sleep goes on and on.

It is during REM sleep that the body primarily converts the available collagen and other nutrients into new body materials. It takes an extraordinary amount of energy to do this. The more efficient the conversion engine, the more calories of energy that are burnt. Likewise, the more deficient in collagen, the less calories that are used.

One of the negative side effects of sleeping pills is that they sort circuit sleep levels, often bypassing REM sleep to help us reach the chemically-induced non-dream state level.

A noticeable consequence of the body's activity at night is the loss of weight in the morning. Keep in mind that effective collagen conversion operates to repair the tendons, skin, cartilage, and vital organs, as well as in the fabrication of bones and muscles. [30] Notice how teenagers sleep longer in the morning and how high their metabolism is. The same is true for children who do not necessarily fall asleep earlier, but do manage to get in some eleven to twelve hours of sleep. Tell that to a seventy-year-old who feels good if he or she can capture a good seven hours of sleep. But, who has an easier time losing and keeping the weight off? The teenager. Case made!

The Nature of Collagen

Cartilage is composed of four or five different kinds of collagen. There are fourteen different kinds of collagen altogether, but there are several primary collagens that are the most medicinal. One of these, collagen Type II, when properly made, has been shown in numerous medical studies to:

1. Dramatically improve skin texture.

2. Reduce pain in joints from injury, strain, or arthritis.

3. Rapidly reduce swollen and tender joints.

4. Promote healing in tendon, cartilage, or joint injuries.

5. Promote increased weight loss when taken as directed.

6. Promote an increase in strength and muscle when used in conjunction with exercise.

7. Dramatically slow the aging process overall. [31]

Of all the collagens, Type II functions best because it is the easiest assimilated and used by the body. It is not toxic nor does it have the health-related dangers common to steroids or many of the other medications. In short, research has proven that collagen Type II is truly a breakthrough find for controlling the pains of collagen-related diseases, such as arthritis and osteoarthritis. It appears to be superior to any of the sulfates traditionally used to treat such conditions. [32]

Collagen Type II contains the greatest number of anti-inflammatory and joint-supporting substances called proteoglycans, including glucosamine sulfate. These proteoglycans have over 30 years of studies backing up their ability to rebuild cartilage. Type II also contains a very high concentration of chondroitin sulfate, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that also supports the soft tissue. Collagen Type II has been clinically shown to reduce the oxidative damage to joints and, in fact, is far superior to taking glucosamine or chondroitin by themselves.

A major advantage of collagen Type II is that it is far more absorbable than eigher glucosamine, chondroitin, or cartilage supplements, such as shark or chicken cartilage. This means that far less collagen Type II has to be taken in comparison to the other substances. Yet Type II produces a far greater and more beneficial effect.

[25] Collagen Studies, Brown University - Department of Orthopedics, 1997.

[26] Bjorn Steffensen Dagger, Heather F. Bigg, and Christopher M. Overall; The Involvement of the Fibronectin Type II Modules of Human Gelatinase A in Cell Surface Localization and Activation; ABSTRACT from the Faculty of Dentitry and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada.

[27] Ho, Stephen, MD, A Catalistic Study of Collagen Interaction, Journal of Applied Research, Las Vegas, NA, 2003.

[28] Jeff Wilson, Osamu Matsushita, Joshua Sakin, Ca2+ induced switch from helix to sheet triggers collagen binding. American Crystallographic Association Annual Meeting, July 21, 2001.

[29] Leroux, Jean-Yves, Ph.D., a well known Canadian immunologist specializing in collagen research, speaking during a nationally broadcast television special, The Loss of Youth , 2003.

[30] Hunter, G.K. and Goldberg, H.A. (1994) Modulation of Crystal Formation by Bone Phosphoproteins: Role of Glutamic Acid-Rich Sequences in the Nucleatin of Hydroxyapatite by Bone Sialoprotein. Biochemistry Journal, 302, 175-179.

[31] N.A. Nandriopoulos et al., Arthritis Rheum. 19, 613 (1976); D.E. Trentham, R.A. Dynesisus, R.E. Rocklin, J.R. David, New England Journal of Medicine, 299, 327 (1978); A. Tarkowski, L. Klareskog, H. Carlsten, P. Herberts, W.J. Koopman, Arthritis Rheumatism, 32, 1087 (1989).

[32] Leroux, Jean-Yves, Ph.D., a well known Canadian immunologist specializing in collagen research, speaking during a nationally broadcast television special, The Loss of Youth , 2003.

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Collagen Type II has a limited ability by itself. Remember the example of cartilage. It's not one kind of cartilage. It is four. Therefore, any product which only supplied a single type of collagen would be very limited.

Dr. Jean-Yves Leroux, well known Canadian collagen research expert and immunolgist.

     Scientists have known of collagen Type II limitations, which is one reason they have concentrated on derivatives, such as glucosamine. According to well known Canadian research scientist, Dr. Jean Yves Leroux, the derivative will perform much better than just the collagen component alone.

The More Superior Collagen Matrix

A collagen matrix is a safe, formulated substance that stimulates the production of many different kinds of collagens in the body. The collagen matrix, formulated from pure collagen, produces incredible results in the human body when used on a regular basis. Results are usually seen within a few days to weeks. It seems that the mechanism for action by the collagen matrix is its effect on the white blood cells located within the GALT (gut-activated lymphoid tissue) that is part of our immune system. As we age the immune system, along with free radicals, begins attacking the body's cartilage, inducing many of the collagen diseases that we have discussed. When the collagen matrix is introduced into the body, the cells doing the attacking devour some of the new collagen Type II cells that are produced and then identify them as a friend and not an enemy. The immune system is then alerted to stop attacking the collagen Type II. Ultimately, this decreases the number of incidents partly responsible for the inflammation reaction in arthritis and other joint pains.

A matrix-produced collagen's supply of proteoglycans also inhibits blood vessel formation in joints and reduces enzyme attacks on the cartilage. This produces a rejuvenation of the cartilage-producing cells and a decrease in the destruction of the joints. These same proteoglycans also increase the thickness and lubricating effectiveness of the synovial fluid, the lubricating fluid of the joints.

As an added plus, an effective collagen matrix supplement in its pure form, cold-pressed and non-pasteurized, also floods the body with free radical inhibitors. Unfortunately, all but one of the collagen products on the market ruins much of its efficiency by pasteurization and by adding it to a liquid. That is the bad part. The good part is that we only need one product.

Collagen Products Are Not All the Same

Let me begin by saying that I do not own a single share of the GenacoŽ Company, nor have I ever been paid a cent to recommend the Pure-ColŽ product any more than I have been for the other products that I recommended in this book. However, I have examined the vast majority of all the collagen products in the market and have found that Pure-ColŽ is by far the best.

Not all collagen products are the same, and not all provide a medicinally effective collagen. Most collagens are so poorly absorbed that they are a waste of money. Of the very few collagen products that remain, most have a very low absorption, rate, something in the neighbourhood of twenty percent.

There are only two collagen products that are of help in weight loss, injury repair, and skin enhancement. One is a Type II liquid collagen and the other is Pure-ColŽ, a collagen matrix delivered in capsule form.

Pure-ColŽ is the best of the products because it is, first of all, a collagen matrix. It stimulates production of all kinds of collagen rather than furnishing only one of the fourteen. Pure-ColŽ is produced from pure collagen through a difficult formulation process carried out in Canada as a result of a partnership between DirectLab and a French formulator. The end product is GenacoŽ, which has been demonstrated to have the highest bio-availability of any of the collagen products, including the liquid.

A little known fact is that any type of collagen, especially Type II, begins to degrade the moment it is exposed to liquid. Thus, liquid preparations made with this kind of collagen start degrading immediately. To stop this, fillers, preservatives, and other ingredients are added to slow the process. This additional processing causes a negative bio-conversion, which limits the product's effectiveness.

In a very significant three-month study that compared Pure-ColŽ with a liquid and a market collagen, Dr. Stephen Ho, a well known trauma physician, evaluated the results using five groups of test subjects. Each group consisted of 30 subjects, all similar in size, wieght, health condition, age, and gender.

The first group was given the Pure-ColŽ product to be taken over a 90-day period; the second group took the liquid collagen; the third group received a common drug store market collagen supplement; and the fourth group was given a placebo composed of neutral ingredients; while the fifth group (the control group) was given nothing at all.

A physical history was taken before and after the 90 day study to compare the groups. The Pure-ColŽ Group scored the best, followed by the liquid collagen, the market collagen, the placebo, and then the control group. The study was independent, and Dr. Ho was not paid by any commercial entity for condicting it. Table I summarizes the results.

Collagen and Collagen Type II
Comparisons Study Findings Summary

Test Groups Group I Pure ColŽ Group II Liquid Collagen Group III Market Grade Collagen Group IV Placebo Group V Control Group
Weight Reduction Average Loss - 18 lbs Average Loss - 10.5 lbs Average Loss - 3 pounds Average Loss - 2 pounds Average Gain + 3 lbs
Reduction in Body Fat Average Loss - 10% Average Loss - 4% Average Loss None Average Loss None Average Gain Increase 2%
Reduction in Aches & Pains Considerable Favourable Some Some None
Noticeable Change in Skin Considerable Favourable Very little None None
Noticeable Feelings of Youth & Vigor Considerable Favourable Very little Small None

Study of 5 Groups of 30 test subjects each over a 90 day period.

The Pure-ColŽ group recorded considerable improvements in the reduction of weight and body fat together with a considerable reduction in aches and pains. This group also recorded noticeable increases in their feelings of youth and vigor. The liquid collagen group, using a collagen Type II in a liquid form, demonstrated improvements but nearly 30% less than the Pure-ColŽ group.

Group III, which was administered an over-the-counter market collagen, showed only nominal improvement. The placebo group, Group IV, received only a non-bioactive capsule. There were minor improvements recorded, most of which can be accounted for psychologically because they expected results. This group was unaware that it was not being given a collagen at all.

The Control group, Group V, was given neither collagen Type II nor a placebo. In composition, age, gender, and health, they were similar to Groups I through IV. Histories were taken at the beginning of the study and at the end. Other than a minor weight and body fat increase, no other changes were observed.

Dr. Ho's conclusion was that the Pure-ColŽ brand collagen matrix in its pure, dry-state form was far superior to that of the liquid or the market collagens. He also concluded that Pure-ColŽ, taken on a regular basis, resulted in a more youthful appearance and feeling. Pains were reduced along with a significant decrease in body weight and body fat. He also reported that the group taking Pure-ColŽ reported a more restful and longer sleep period and more energy during the activity hours.

In a national network television broadcast on aging, Dr. Sal Martingano, one of the nation's experts on collagen Type II, explained why the Pure-ColŽ product faired so much better in the comparison study.

My experience and research has found that the delicate process of utilizing colalgen is destroyed if the collagen, even a collagen matrix is manufactured by the traditional heat extraction process. Products that have collagen in a solution mixture begin the process of oxidation and loss of potency long before you use it, which allows only a fraction of the collagen content to be absorbed.
The ideal state of body collagen is without water or other solvents. Pure collagen is virtually a pre-digested molecule meaning that the body can absord directly through the stomach lining without the diminishing effects of acid breakdown.
Dr. Sal Martingano, March 2003

We consider using a liquid base because the medium would have cost far less than the process that we now use. The problem is degradation of the collagen. It starts deteriorating almost immediately. To keep that from happening, we would have to add preservatives and other chemicals as liquid collagen makers have. Done. This only helps marginally and creates other problems for the collagen.
Dr. Jean-Yves Leroux, Immunolgist/Bio-Chemist, May 2003

Pure-Col's Formulator, Canadian Guy Michaud, stressed in a personal conversation with me, that the decision was made early to develop a processing system that would enable the Pure-ColŽ Collagen Matrix to be nearly 100% bio-available to the body. As a result of a trade secret non-homogenized cold press system, Pure-ColŽ can be absorbed directly as it enters the stomach, avoiding the diminishing effects of acid breakdown from further digestion.

Dr. Patrick Price, a Houston health professional, conducted another sizable independent study of GenacoŽ which used three groups of patients that were essentially identical in makeup. Dr. Price found that Pure-ColŽ produced highly observable improvement in energy, arthritic and injury pain relief, and skin texture. A placebo group had only minor improvements, and the control group, like the one in Dr. Ho's study, remained the same.

The findings of the recent research studies of Drs. Stephen Ho and Patrick Price produced results in keeping with many other collagen studies that have been conducted at research facilities worldwide.


There are 14 collagens that make up most of the body's skin, tendons, bone, cartilage, andother connective tissues. Although naturally produced by the body, collagen production declines after 25. By age 55, over 15% of the body's production capacity is gone. After age 70, the loss is over 30% and climbing.

Much of the body's repair work occurs at night. Under the right conditions, increased weight loss can occur during this period. As the body's collagen production declines so does the body's amount of sleep time.

Degenerative collage diseases associated with aging affect the entire body. Collagen diseases include arthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis, tendonitis, and other associated conditions. Wrinkling, age spots, and joint pain are symptoms of degenerating collagen.

Recently, new collagen products have emerged in the market that help with collagen disease. These tend to be collagen Type II, collagen matrix, and the collagen derivative products such as glucosamine-chondroitin. Of the three, the collagen matrix has tested superior to the others.

The recommended form of Matrix is Pure-ColŽ, which foregoes the pasteurization and immersion in liquid process. This keeps the product far more bioactive that other products that have been clinically tested .

The conclusion is this: the collagen matrix and collagen Type II work. The matrix is better. Independent research has shown Pure-ColŽ to be the most usable and easiest to assimilate of all the collagen products available in the market place. I asked the Pure-ColŽ Company to provide an address where their product could be ordered. In reply, they also permitted a discount coupon to be included at the back of the book that may be used to order the product. As I said earlier, I do not own stock in the company, but I am convinced of the product's usefulness in helping people look and feel younger at any age. Losing the additional weight and body fat are not bad side effects either.

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