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Get Ready for the Summer Sun: Eat Some Collagen!


What do gelatin and bone broth have to do with your fun in the sun? To understand the connection, it's important to consider the layers of the skin and the interaction of these with the UV rays of the sun.

Your skin is composed of the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin; the dermis, directly beneath; and the hypodermis, located beneath the outer and middle layers.

When UV light collides with the epidermis, most of the UV (95 percent or more) is blocked. The remaining 5 percent (or less) is absorbed by the collagen which is located in the second layer, the dermis.

What exactly is collagen? Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body. Derived from the Greek word kólla, or glue, collagen keeps our bodies from falling apart—literally. Collagen makes up 15 percent of our total dry weight.

The problem is that collagen production begins to decline in our mid-20s, and by the time we hit 40, our collagen levels have fallen by up to 30 percent.

With less collagen we are more susceptible to sunburn, which leads to inflammation. Inflammation signals the body to release metalloproteinases, enzymes that chew apart our collagen. This creates a cycle that makes us vulnerable not only to wrinkling but also to skin cancer and other degenerative conditions. People with weak collagen are also at risk for more sports injuries.

The bottom line? Collagen matters, and even more so as we age.

Will eating collagen make a difference? In her book Deep Nutrition, Dr. Catherine Shanahan addresses the unique benefits of bone stock, a natural supplier of glycosaminoglycans (a type of collagen):

Glucosamine can actually stimulate the growth of new, healthy collagen and help repair damaged joints. And collagen isn't just in your joints; it's in bone, and skin, and arteries, and hair, and just about everywhere in between. This means that glucosamine-rich broth is a kind of youth serum, capable of rejuvenating your body, no matter what your age.

While homemade bone stock is great in the winter, it may not be so appealing in the summer. Fortunately, hot soup is not the only way to eat your collagen! Homemade gelatin in combination with other liquids such as kombucha or fruit juice offers similar nutritional benefits but in a cold, refreshing form.

To make cold gelatin, simply whisk together 2-3 tablespoons of gelatin with 2 cups liquid. (Great Lakes unflavored gelatin is one recommended brand.) Pour into molds or a shallow plate and refrigerate. Voilà! You're ready to eat your collagen!

There are a myriad of healthy gelatin combinations utilizing fruits and probiotic drinks such as kombucha. See these 15 Homemade Jello Recipes for specific instructions.

Looking forward to some fun in the sun? Start eating collagen!

Fun in the Sun


"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

" age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

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– Anonymous

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

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– Jennifer

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– Anonymous

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– Anonymous

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