Our bodies are nearly 70% water. Within that watery broth are primarily molecules of fat, protein and bone. The protein molecules are made up of amino acids that form tissues, hormones and neurotransmitters. When these particular amino acids are deficient, or just can’t keep up with repair due to age, trauma or diet, joint problems, joint pain and arthritis results. There are natural solutions to these joint problems that really work.
Collagen tissue makes up 50% of the protein in the body, as it is the primary protein in connective tissue — the tissue that makes up fibrous tissues like tendons, ligaments, bone, cartilage and skin. Collagen makes up the matrix of joint cartilage and skin as well as cornea, cartilage, bone, blood vessels, the gut lining, and intervertebral discs.
In our traditional past, our ancestors would routinely make slow and low cooked bone broths to consume on a daily basis. The slow cooking method would break down the collagen to a form that was easily absorbed by the body. They knew that the broth would provide all the nutrients and minerals needed for good health — particularly of the joints, the digestive organs and the skin.
Gelatin is simply the cooked form of collagen. Back in the 1800’s in Europe, the many wars necessitated a cheap and efficient way to feed the troops. A chemist by the name of Jean-Pierre Joseph d’Arcet discovered how to extract gelatin from bones. Numerous other researchers ran with this idea and came up with various ways to extract and stabilize gelatin and place it into commercial foods.
Gelatin powders and tablets became a substitute for meat in soups and gravies and became a popular food. Manufacturing of gelatin was not regulated and poor quality products appeared on the market.
Gelatin is not a complete form of protein and so it soon fell out of favor and we are left with the artificially produced bouillon that is loaded with MSG, salt and other toxic additives. Additionally, the product jello, is loaded with artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners and/or sugar.
None of these products are healthy at all.
Essential, Non-Essential and Conditional Amino Acids
The essential amino acids are the ones that our bodies cannot make on their own and so they have to be taken in as food. They are: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, lysine, and histidine.
The non-essential amino acids are the ones that our bodies can make on their own. These include: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosin.
Additionally, the conditional amino acids are those that can be made by the body but some people have trouble making enough.These include: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.
The amino acids involved in collagen production are: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and arginine. As you can see, three of the four amino acids needed for collagen production are in the conditional category. This indicates that these necessary amino acids can be deficient in some people.
Our Modern Food Supply and Eating Habits
As Dr. Price would called them, the displacing foods of modern commerce have wrecked havoc with the health of the American population. Particularly when it comes to the gut and the joints.
Were are in dire need of nourishing bone broths to provide these necessary amino acids to our joints. Here is what they do for us:
- Arginine — This amino acid breaks down into nitric oxide (NO) which relaxes the cells that line the blood vessels resulting in increased blood flow. This has consequences in the cardio vascular system.
- Cysteine — This amino acid is a key component to the molecule glutathione which is one of the body’s most potent anti-oxidents and detoxifiers. Glutathione production is limited by the amount of cysteine available.
- Glycine — This amino acid is critical to collagen production. It is also important in protecting against diabetes and insulin resistance. Additionally it is critical for the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts, DNA and RNA.
- Glycine is also an important inhibitory neurotransmitter — promoting sleep and calmness.
Fascia is a thin protective sheath of collagen that covers almost every structure in the body. Take it from me — there is a lot of fascia in the body. When I was in chiropractic school we took 4 semesters of human dissection (among many other anatomy classes). We had to cut through an awful lot of fascia to get to the structure itself. This is all collagen.
Collagen essentially holds us together. We are structurally a fascia web that is connected from head to toe and from the skin to the deepest organ. When you move your toe you are also affecting the entire fascia web that runs through your body.
As a chiropractor, this is fascinating to me, as it translates into mis-alignments and malfunctions in the structural system that affect the deeper organ systems. I find this relationship in many of my patients.
How to Protect Your Joints, Gut and Skin
Adding soups made from nutritious, collagen rich bone broths are the best way to provide your body with easily absorbable gelatin.
In my new e-book, Beyond Broth, Nourishing Paleo Soups, I share with you over 30 recipes for deeply nourishing and incredibly delicious soups made from slow cooked bone broths. I show you how to easily make slow and low temperature cooked bone broths and stock in a crock pot overnight. We then take that nourishing broth and transform it into the most delicious soups you can imagine. (Vegetarian stock and options are included).
One to two cups of soup every day is a prescription every doctor should make to their patients. It helps heal the gut, reduce allergies, make beautiful skin and heal the joints. If everyone did this, we would not have the health problems we do today and the over consumption of pain killers.