Forget about poke bowls and plant-based meats. Today’s hottest food trend is…collagen protein.
No joke. The rise of this remarkable “beauty food” is making headlines from Bon Appetit to the Wall Street Journal. We’re talking about hundreds of new products, from coffee creamers to protein bars, all touting their collagen content because of the wide-ranging beauty and wellness benefits.
Indeed, studies on collagen’s effects have shown promising results for healthier looking skin and relief from joint pain. And anecdotal endorsements from celebrities like actress Jennifer Aniston and professional athletes including the entire Philadelphia 76ers organization are helping to promote the perks of a collagen-rich diet.
Here at Brodo, we’re big believers in the benefits of collagen protein. In fact, we’ll put our collagen-rich product up against all others. A well-made bone broth like Brodo provides collagen protein in its purest liquid form. Easy to absorb, wholesome, hot, and delicious. Not a pill, powder, or processed food additive.
There are many reasons why bone broth is a better source of collagen than supplements or any other collagen-spiked products. But first, let’s put it all in context.
Collagen Holds It All Together
Collagen is a structural protein found all over our bodies — bones, skin, joints, tendons, ligaments, connective tissues. It’s the glue that binds our body parts and keeps us elastic and resilient. As we get older, our natural collagen production drops off, contributing to wrinkles, sagging skin, and stiff joints. To slow these signs of aging, it helps to get more collagen from your diet.
The Scoop on Supplements
Dietary collagen comes from a few sources, usually animal bones or hides. Although the processes are rarely transparent, many popular collagen supplements on the market today are made from bovine hides, which get broken down in a lab, treated with chemicals, and dehydrated into a flavorless, colorless, odorless, shelf-stable powder. That’s right, cow hides — you’re essentially eating leather. These supplements are highly processed, which is pretty much the one thing that every health practitioner on the planet tells us to avoid. While we can appreciate the nose-to-tail aspect of making use of these otherwise underutilized parts of the animal, we believe that our all-natural process of slow-simmering meat and bones to make broth is much more wholesome and appetizing.
The Not-So-Great Unknown
Collagen supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and studies on their effectiveness are often funded by the companies that make them, so results may be biased. Moreover, the available research is still in its infancy and long-term effects are yet unknown. Transparency is another issue. Some companies don’t disclose where they get their animal bones or hides to begin with. These animals could come from large factory farms, where potentially harmful antibiotics and pesticides are used.
The Missing Link
History shows that dietary supplements don’t always work as well as the actual foods that they come from. Consider what happened with beta carotene in the 1990s. While studies at the time showed that a diet rich in beta carotene from natural sources like carrots and broccoli could reduce the risk of cancer, research on beta carotene supplements found the opposite. Two clinical trials set out to prove that high-doses of beta carotene could prevent smokers from getting lung cancer. Both studies backfired. Participants who took the beta carotene supplements ended up with a higher rate of cancer than those who didn’t. Exactly why this happened is unclear. But somewhere between the farm, the lab, and the pill bottle, something beneficial got lost.
Lost In Concentration
Writing in the Washington Post, registered dietician and cookbook author Ellie Krieger recently noted that collagen by itself is not a complete protein–“it lacks the essential amino acid tryptophan.” She’s right. In concentrated form, collagen supplements lack many of the supporting nutrients that natural food sources would otherwise provide. Krieger, like many nutritionists, recommends eating more real foods offering “adequate protein overall,” like bone broth, over concentrated supplements.
Bone Broth Is Better
In short: you know what you’re getting. Bone broth is not an additive. It’s not a chalky powder that clumps up in your smoothie. It’s real food — the natural result of slowly simmering the nutrient-dense meat and bones from pasture-raised animals, just like our ancestors used to do. At Brodo, we specifically choose the right bones from the right animals to make the healthiest, most nutritious bone broth on the market today. We only use 100% grass-fed beef and organic poultry. We also select the most cartilage-rich cuts, like beef knuckles and chicken feet, because that’s where the collagen is. Drinking a well-made bone broth like Brodo is the best way to get all that collagen-rich protein and so much more in every cup. It’s like taking a handful of supplements all at once. And most importantly, it’s so delicious you will be delighted to make it part of your daily routine.