different types of collagen type I II III gelatin hydrolysate peptidesWhen a person goes looking for information on “collagen” supplements, they often come out more confused than they went in. There are seemingly dozens of different varieties. There’s gelatin. There’s animal collagen. There’s marine collagen. Hydrolysate and peptides. And then there are all the “types” of collagen: type I, type II, type III, type IV, type V, and on down the line, each with unique properties and applications. Everyone seems to say something different.

What are you supposed to believe? How does a person make sense of it all? What are differences between them?

Let’s do that right now.


Gelatin is heat-treated collagenous animal tissue. Whether you’re a food manufacturer turning raw skin and bones into powdered gelatin for use in jello or a home cook slowly simmering beef knuckles in a pot on the stove to make rich bone broth that gelatinizes when cold, you are using heat to convert collagenous tissue into gelatin.

Gelatin is partially soluble in water. While its chemical structure prevents it from dissolving in cold or room temperature water, it does dissolve in hot water.

The health benefits of gelatin are equal to collagen. They have the same amino acid profile — lots of glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, alanine, lysine, and others. Inside the body, they’re all broken down into those same amino acids and utilized.

Gelatin is fantastic to have in the kitchen. While you can’t just mix it into cold drinks or throw it in a smoothie like you can collagen hydrolysate, you can use it to thicken pan sauces, enrich store bought stock and broth, and make healthy jello treats or luxurious gelatinous desserts.

Whenever I make a curry with coconut milk, as one of the final steps I whisk in a tablespoon or two of gelatin to thicken it up and give the curry that syrupy mouth feel. This is a game-changer, folks. Try it and you’ll see. This is also works in spaghetti sauce, soup, pretty much anything that includes liquid. Frying up a burger? Add some water to the pan, scrape up the fond (brown bits attached to the pan that are full of flavor), whisk in some gelatin, and reduce until it’s a thick sauce.

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Collagen Hydrolysate and Peptides

Collagen hydrolysate and peptides both mix readily into hot and cold liquids, and they give your body what it needs to assemble its own collagen. Hydrolysis is the process, peptides are the end product. Collagen hydrolysate refers to the process of using enzymes to break the peptide bonds to produce collagen peptides.

Animal Collagen

All collagen you see is animal collagen because there is no collagen that comes from non-animal sources. Plants do not contain collagen. I’m sure some startup is hard at work on producing lab-grown collagen, which ironically might be far less problematic than lab-grown steaks, but it isn’t available for purchase yet. It’s all animals.

What most people mean by “animal collagen” is land animal collagen—by far the most common type. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the collagen you encounter on the market comes from land animals like cows and pigs.

Animal collagen is the most evolutionarily congruent type on the planet. Because for as long as we’ve been eating animals (well over a million years), we’ve been stripping them of their collagenous tissue for consumption. Even when the collagen wasn’t visible but rather entombed in weight-bearing bones, we would smash those bones with stones and boil them in ruminant stomachs to extract every last drop of fat and collagen.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486571/‘>2 But I wonder of its relevance.

One pro-marine collagen paper that makes a strong case for the use of marine collagen in wound repair, oral supplementation, and other medical applications does not mention increased bioavailability. It may be slightly more bioavailable—the lower the molecular weight, the more true that is—but I don’t think the effect is very meaningful. We know mammalian collagen is plenty bioavailable because most studies use collagen from cows or pigs, even if it’s a few dozen kilodaltons heavier.

Collagen Quench: a refreshing way to get your collagen

Collagen Types I, II, III, IV, and V

Collagenous tissues are not uniform. Cartilage doesn’t look or feel like tendon, which doesn’t feel like skin. They’re all slightly different because there are different “types” of collagen that constitute them. Over two dozen, actually. But if we’re talking about supplementary or dietary collagen, there are three primary types we encounter.

Type I Collagen

Found in skin, bones, tendons, eyes, and many other tissues type I collagen constitutes almost 90% of the collagen in the body. That goes for humans but also cows and pigs and other mammals, meaning throughout the course of meat-eating human history, the vast majority of dietary collagen we’ve consumed has been type I collagen. As such, type I, though “boring and unexciting,” is the form of collagen we should be focusing on.

Type II Collagen

Cartilage is made of type II collagen. If you’re a gristle eater, an end-of-bone scraper, you’re getting type II collagen. You can also get a nice dose of type II collagen by eating the sternum of the chicken carcass—that’s the unctuous morsel of chewy cartilage lying at the end of the chest bone between the ribcages and one of my favorite parts of the chicken.

Type III Collagen

Type III collagen appears alongside type I in skin, bones, and also can be found in blood vessels and other hollow organs throughout the body. Most collagen supplements are type I with a bit of type III.

Types IV and V

Types IV and V aren’t as abundant in the body, and aren’t as widely used in supplements. You may see these in supplements as part of combination collagens. If you eat a varied diet, you’ll probably get enough in your food.

Focus on Types I, II, and III for skin, hair, joints, and other benefits you’re after. How much of each? To be quite honest, it’s not a big deal either way if you get more Type I than Type II or Type III. They’re all made up of the same basic amino acids, and your body knows what to do with them once they’re digested and assimilated. You don’t need to micromanage various collagen types as long as you’re eating some form of the collagen, whether through collagen peptides, gelatin, or gelatinous meats and bones.

I wish it were different. I wish you could get crazily specific effects by eating a lot of a specific collagen type. But, as far as my research shows, you can’t.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope it clears some things up and makes your decision a whole lot easier.


The post Type I, II, or III Collagen? Different types of Collagen and How to Choose the Best One for You appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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benefits of cinnamonAs soon as the sun sets on the last day of summer, the world seems to explode with warm fall spices. We start to see cinnamon candles, baked goods, and bundles of cinnamon sticks as decor. While pumpkin spice takes center stage, it’s not actually the pumpkin you’re after – it’s the cinnamon with other warm spices that make your chilly nights extra cozy. You may think of it as a flavor enhancer, but the health benefits of cinnamon are worth a second look,.

For most of human history, spices like cinnamon were also prized for their medicinal qualities. Turmeric was used in food and to address digestive disorders and inflammation. Chili peppers were used for pain management. Ancient healers reached for ginger for nausea and diarrhea.

These aren’t just exaggerated cases of “folk medicine” or “old wives’ tales,” either. Current research has confirmed that many common spices do indeed have medicinal properties. Cinnamon, one of the most beneficial spices is also found in nearly everyone’s kitchen.

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Different Types of Cinnamon

It’s important to realize that there are multiple varieties of cinnamon.

  • Ceylon cinnamon, or “true cinnamon,” or cinnamomum zeylanicum. Ceylon cinnamon comes from the crumbly inner bark of the cinnamomum zeylanicum tree, and its flavor is sweet and delicate. It is light brown. You should be able to snap a stick of real cinnamon in half quite easily. If you’ve ever had old school cinnamon candies, that’s real Ceylon you’re tasting.
  • Cassia, or cinnamomum aromaticum. Cassia is usually sold as cinnamon in the United States. Recipes calling for cinnamon can use cassia instead without issue, but cassia has a harsher, more overpowering flavor with less sweetness and more brute force. It is a darker, redder brown. Cassia sticks are rather hardy and woody. Cassia is cheaper to produce and cheaper to buy than ceylon.
  • Saigon cinnamon, or cinnamomum loureiroi. Saigon cinnamon is the most prized member of the Cassia family. It has a full, complex flavor with even less sweetness. Saigon cinnamon is generally pretty expensive.

Which Type of Cinnamon Is Best?

As for the purported health benefits of cinnamon consumption, you’d think that “true cinnamon” is best. I mean, it’s the real stuff, right? A quick look across the web seems to confirm that suspicion, with most references you’ll find on message boards and herbal medicine sites imploring you to “get real Ceylon cinnamon, not that Cassia stuff.” But what’s the reality? Does “true” necessarily indicate “better”?

Well, let’s look at the possible benefits of cinnamon consumption, as well as the chemical component that appears to be responsible. Most researchers have focused on cinnamaldehyde, the organic compound that gives cinnamon its signature flavor. Hold on to your seat. We’re about to get a little technical.

Read next:

10 Autumn Breakfasts to Warm Your Morning

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Ceylon vs. Cassia Cinnamon: Health Benefits and Risks, According to Science

Here are a few health benefits of cinnamon that are backed by research.

There have been mixed views on cinnamon’s efficacy in diabetic patients. One study found little overall average difference between lab results in type 2 diabetic patients given either 1.5g/d Cassia powder or placebo, although the Cassia patients enjoyed slightly larger drops in HbA1c with some experiencing more drastic reductions. The study’s authors didn’t find it statistically significant, but the results may suggest that certain individuals may be especially responsive to Cassia and Ceylon. At any rate, it’s worth trying, because people are not statistics, and the average/mean isn’t everything. Some people improved markedly, even though statistical analysis showed little difference. Any benefits in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, another study noted, are also short-lived, making steady intake necessary for lasting effects.

Cinnamon Risks and Side Effects

Cinnamon side effects may include:

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When was the last time you made yourself a nice lunch for a work day? If you’re like most people, lunch is a bit of a scramble. That’s why we came up with 5 bento box lunch ideas for adults, so you can take a breather in the middle of the day with a meal that’s enjoyable and satisfying.

We hear it a lot here at Mark’s Daily Apple: Breakfast is easy, and I make dinner for my family so that’s automatic. But lunch? Most days, I just wing it. I’ll skip it sometimes just because my day is underway, or I’ll eat something that’s quick – which isn’t always the best choice.

Sound familiar?

We hear you. Making yourself a nice meal smack in the middle of the day just isn’t tenable for most people.

Prep for lunches doesn’t have to be an elaborate chore thanks to these adult lunch options. Perfect for on-the-go, these lunches utilize leftovers, basic ingredients, and quick-cooking items. When paired together, they create the perfect balanced Primal lunch.

The best part? Most of these options can be made ahead and enjoyed throughout the week.

Easy Italian Bento Lunch


  • Sausage of choice
  • Mozzarella
  • Roasted squash
  • Italian dressing
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil

Roast and slice your favorite sausage, using a little avocado oil spray (optional) to prevent sticking. Slice up roasted zucchini and summer squash (or your favorite veggies), toss them in Italian dressing and roast on a sheet pan until golden. Assemble your lunch with the sliced sausages, mozzarella, the roasted squash, sliced tomatoes and garnish with fresh basil.

Easy Burger Lunch


Whip up some burgers on the grill or stovetop (or better yet, use leftovers) for this lunch. Slice your favorite potato or sweet potato (or for a lower carb option, you can use rutabagas or turnips) and toss them in avocado oil. Roast them on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then flip them over and roast until they’re golden.

Make burgers by using the sweet potato slices as “buns” and top your burgers with sliced tomato and red onion. Use your favorite Primal Kitchen condiments like Pesto Mayo, Dijon Mustard, and Spicy Ketchup to put on top. Serve with your favorite raw veggies.

BIG Mason Jar Salads



  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Nuts or seeds of choice
  • Chicken breast or thighs
  • Dressing of choice

No tiny salads here! Use a 32oz or half gallon mason jar and fill with your favorite salad items. To prepare this salad, we marinated chicken (you can use breast or thigh) in your favorite dressing for a few hours. Roast the chicken on a sheet pan at 375 degrees until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Shred or chop the chicken, then layer it in your mason jars. For very large jars like this, we recommend pouring the salad into a large bowl before eating.

When you’re ready to eat, pour the dressing into the jar and give it a shake.

Deli Bento


Who needs a regular sandwich when you can make these fun Primal Deli Bento Boxes? Use your favorite sliced meat (we like natural roasted sliced turkey), avocado and nori sheets to wrap them up in. Avocado oil mayo and dijon mustard are great condiments here. Serve alongside a primal snack mix like walnuts and fresh blueberries.

Tuna Salad Lunch


Want a fun twist on tuna salad? Combine 1-2 cans of tuna with your favorite avocado oil mayo (and maybe some mustard, too), some chopped celery, and scoop the tuna into a cut bell pepper. Serve alongside hardboiled eggs and a handful of walnuts and dark chocolate.


The post 5 Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Adults with Recipes appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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digestionWell, does it?

We’re all going to be putting food in our bodies just about every day for the rest of our lives. Most of us will do it several times a day. We’ll chew it, send it down the esophagus into our stomach, and expose it to gastric juices and digestive enzymes. We’ll strip it of nutrients and send the excess down to the colon for dismissal, feeding resident gut bacteria along the way. The whole process should go smoothly. There shouldn’t be any pain or discomfort, bloating or constipation. Oh sure, nobody’s perfect, and there will be slow-downs or speed-ups from time to time, but in general a vital, fundamental process like digestion shouldn’t even register in our waking, conscious lives.

But sometimes it does.

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Symptoms of Digestion Problems

Sometimes digestion can be downright unpleasant, or even unproductive. The symptoms are familiar:

  • Bloating. Distended belly. Feeling overly full and unwieldy. Same weight but the pants don’t fit.
  • Excessive gas. No need to define it. You just know it when you see (hear) it.
  • Diarrhea. Acute (occasional) diarrhea that goes away immediately doesn’t indicate poor digestion, but protracted or chronic diarrhea is a warning sign.
  • Constipation. Same deal with constipation: acute normal, chronic not.
  • Stomach pain. Persistent gut pain should never be ignored.
  • Bleeding or pain on the toilet. Elimination should be painless.
  • Heartburn, or acid reflux. Although most people assume heartburn and acid reflux are caused by too much stomach acid, it’s actually the opposite: inadequate stomach acid is usually the culprit.

The Digestive Process: Troubleshooting Top to Bottom

To get to the bottom of these symptoms and hopefully fix them, let’s look at the actual process of digestion. We’ll go step by step down the line to identify and offer solutions for various issues that can arise at each.

What happens when you eat something?

The stops along the digestive route involve:

  1. Sensing and signaling
  2. Oral digestion, or chewing
  3. Mechanical digestion, in the stomach
  4. Duodenum digestion
  5. Small intestine digestion
  6. Colon digestion

Here’s how it works.

Sensing and Signaling

You start digesting before you’ve even taken your first bite. Have you ever smelled burgers grilling, and you mouth started to water? Certain aromas can signal to your body that food is coming, and you begin to salivate and secrete digestive enzymes.

Even thinking about food can trigger a response.

Oral Digestion, or Chewing

Now, you’ve taken a bite.

First, you chew your food. Chewing is the first step in digestion. You physically break it up with your teeth into smaller pieces, increasing the surface area for digestive enzymes to access. Most of those enzymes appear later in the gut, but some appear in the saliva and start working immediately in the mouth during the chewing process.

Your taste buds communicate what you’re eating so that your body starts getting the right digestive juices flowing. For example, if you ate something sweet, you’ll make insulin. If you’re eating a fatty food, you’ll start secreting bile and enzymes.

Salivary amylase begins converting starch into sugar for easier digestion. Chew a potato for long enough and it’ll start tasting sweet.

Lingual lipase begins digesting the fats you eat. This is more important in babies, who express very high levels of lingual lipase in order to optimize their calorie intake from breastmilk. It still has an effect in adult fat digestion.

How to optimize oral digestion

Chew more: The longer you chew, the better you digest your food. In one study, healthy adults who chewed 50 times for each bite ended up eating fewer calories than those who chewed 15 times per bite, a strong indication of more efficient digestion and nutrient extraction.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11051338/‘>2 I’ll have a much more in-depth post in the near future on this topic.

Fix leaky gut: Leaky gut isn’t just about allowing in pathogens and unwanted, allergenic food components into your bloodstream. It also impairs nutrient absorption and digestion in the small intestine. Go through this post and make sure you’re practicing excellent tight junction hygiene.

Pay attention to FODMAPs: Not everyone with digestive issues has to do this, but anyone who gets bloating, belly pain, excessive gas, and many of the other symptoms of poor digestion after eating should analyze their diet for FODMAPs and do an elimination trial. FODMAP foods include a wide range of fermentable fibers, sugars, vegetables, and fruits that have been shown to provoke uncontrollable and uncomfortable gut issues. These are often foods we consider to be healthy. Read the posts I’ve done on FODMAPs and follow the advice listed therein if you suspect you may have a problem with them.

You can also get tested for SIBO to see whether eliminating FODMAPs will benefit you.

Colonic Digestion

You don’t actually “digest” anything in the colon. Rather, you gather and expel the waste — mostly fiber — that’s left over from digestion. Some of that “waste” is food for the gut bacteria who live in your colon. So someone’s digesting the stuff, just not you.

Eat some prebiotic fiber. Ironically, sometimes you need to eat stuff you can’t digest in order to improve your digestion over the longterm. Fermentable, prebiotic fibers like inulin and resistant starch are some of the best-studied examples. They feed the (mostly) good gut bacteria, who in turn produce short chain fatty acids that power your colonic cells and improve your metabolic health.

Take probiotics. Certain probiotics have been shown to reduce bloating and belly pain, improve GI symptoms, improve IBS symptoms, reduce leaky gut, and reduce antibiotic-related diarrhea.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19922649‘>4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3938349‘>6https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2010/05/low-calorie-dieting-increases-cortisol.html‘>1 can create changes in blood sugar, regardless of what you eat. The stress from constantly tracking and worrying about your macros causes your body to release cortisol and adrenaline, so it can access stored glucose because it thinks you’re in danger. In ancestral terms, your body thinks you’re being chased by a predator, so it pumps extra energy into your bloodstream.

If you’re not actually converting that glucose into energy, you’ll get a buildup of sugar in your bloodstream, and you’ll dump more insulin. Keep that up and you’ll be on the fast track to weight gain and a full-on diabetes diagnosis.

Okay, now to answer the other part of your question about muscle-building. Sure, protein helps increase muscle mass but you actually need to incorporate strength training if you want to see a real difference. It’s just one of the reasons “lift heavy things” is one of the cornerstones of the Primal Blueprint. When you put more stress (in this case, good stress) on your muscles, you create muscle fiber tears, which, once repaired, cause an increase in size and strength. Keep in mind that “heavy” is relative. Even bodyweight exercises like pushups, planks, pullups, and squats done two to three times a week will help you put on muscle.

JoAnn asked:

“Now that school has started again, I’m finding I have even less time to prep meals and snacks. What are good healthy convenience foods I can stock up on?”

Time management is a tough one this time of year. Especially when you’re busy working, parenting, and homeschooling all day. I get it though, it isn’t super convenient to sit down every week and plan out what you’re going to eat, then shop for ingredients, then prep those ingredients and create meals for you and your family.

It’s much easier to buy pre-packaged foods that go from the microwave to your mouth in two minutes flat. It’s easier to buy the giant Costco-size bag of popcorn and “healthy” chips. Don’t get me wrong, there are actually a few brands that go out of their way to use clean, minimally processed ingredients, but sadly, most of them don’t.

Most convenience foods are loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives – even the brands that have “low sugar” and “no trans fats” written right there on the front of the label. Problem is, although they’re hyped as healthy, these foods are full of ingredients your body doesn’t recognize, which can make you feel foggy, achy, cause you gain weight, and make you want to fall asleep before the kids finish their homework.

Which begs me to ask the question, what’s easier, hard boiling a dozen eggs or carrying around 15 extra pounds? Is throwing a couple of pieces of bread in the toaster more or less convenient than struggling to keep your eyes open after 7pm? Are those peanut butter crackers for when you’re feeling “snacky” worth the price of having chronically sore joints from systemic inflammation?

You say you don’t have time to prep foods. However, my guess is you also don’t have time to be sick, achy, or overweight. So, be smart about it. Following the hashtag #easypaleo on Instagram is a great place to start. Collect recipes that are healthy and easy to make, then stock your kitchen with staples like:

  • Frozen veggies and meat
  • Coconut milk
  • Ghee
  • Coconut aminos
  • Nut butters
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Eggs
  • Coconut and almond flour

Robert asked:

“In an effort to cut down on our grocery bill, my wife and I are thinking about buying conventional meat and produce. Is it really worth it to spend more for products labeled organic and grass-fed or is it all just marketing?”

Since the pandemic started, the cost of groceries has skyrocketedhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4947579/‘>3

Ever heard the phrase, pay for it now or pay for it later? Sure, it can be costly to eat this way. It can also be costly to manage chronic gastrointestinal, neurological, endocrine, and respiratory conditions for the rest of your life.

So, whether or not it’s worth it to spend more is totally up to you Robert. My advice is to buy local or organic fruits and veggies when you can, especially ones that have been proven to contain higher levels of pesticides, like strawberries, spinach, apples, potatoes, cherries, and peaches. Same goes for beef and poultry. If you can, get in touch with a local butcher. There’s a good chance they can get you a better cut of meat at a more affordable price than you’d find at the grocery store.

What do you think? Have you found that it’s worth it to eat healthy? Tell me about it in the comments below.


The post Ask a Health Coach: Is Eating Healthy Even Worth It? appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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liver healthThe liver is incredible. Most people think of it as a filter, but filters are physical barriers that accumulate junk and have to be cleaned. The liver isn’t a filter. It’s a chemical processing plant. Rather than sit there, passively receiving, filtering out, and storing undesirable compounds, the liver encounters toxic chemicals and attempts to metabolize them into less-toxic metabolites that we can handle.

  • It oxidizes the toxins, preparing them for further modification
  • It converts the toxins to a less-toxic, water-soluble version that’s easier to excrete
  • It excretes the toxins through feces or urine

Bam. It’s an elegant process, provided everything is working well back there. And it’s not the only process it controls.

The liver is the primary site of cholesterol synthesis and disposal. It creates cholesterol as needed and converts excess into bile salts for removal via the bile duct. The liver also plays a huge role in the burning of fat for energy, the storage of vitamin A, the metabolism of hormones, and the regulation of blood sugar. If you enjoy burning ketones, you can thank the liver because that’s where they’re produced.

The liver supports full-body health, in other words. If it isn’t working correctly, nothing is. Everything starts to fall apart.

How do we support the liver?

It’s not one thing we do. It’s many things. It’s nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle, sleep — everything. It’s also the things we don’t do. The stakes are high, you see. Whenever there’s a grand overarching orchestrator regulating dozens of different processes in the body, you must protect it from multiple angles. A lot can go wrong. Or right, depending on how you look at it.

Since the liver is “hidden away” and you can’t really “feel” it, you may not give it too much thought. When you’re overweight, you know it. When your fitness is suffering, you consciously experience it. When your liver is overburdened or suffering, you don’t necessarily know it. That’s where doing the right things for the sake of doing them comes in handy.

So, what should you do to maintain pristine liver health?

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11 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Liver

Liver health depends on steps you take toward a healthy lifestyle, and equally as important, the things you refrain from doing. Here are some things you can to to contribute to lifelong liver health:

  • Reduce linoleic acid intake
  • Reduce refined carb intake
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Stop overeating, and lose weight
  • Practice time-restricted eating
  • Eat fatty fish and get omega-3s
  • Eat egg yolks and other choline sources
  • Take NAC
  • Take whey protein
  • Regularly deplete your liver glycogen
  • Get good, regular sleep

Reduce Linoleic Acid Intake

When a patient can’t eat, they get something called parenteral nutrition — a direct infusion of nutrients into the gut. The classic parenteral nutrition consists of an emulsion of olive oil and soybean oil. It’s very rich in linoleic acid and typically leads to elevated liver enzymes and fatty liver. That’s right: the medical establishment for whatever reason just accepts that people receiving parenteral nutrition have a high chance of developing fatty liver disease.

Okay, but what’s happening here? Is it really causal? Yes. The more linoleic acid you eat, the more oxidized metabolites of linoleic acid show up in your body. The more oxidized metabolites of linoleic acid you have, the higher your risk of fatty liver. These toxic metabolites of LA are actually full-fledged biomarkers of liver injury.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4405421/#:~:text=This%20study%20suggests%20that%20human,patients%20with%20obesity%20(48).‘>2 which affects how efficiently your liver works.

Of course, the combo of high linoleic acid and high refined carbohydrate is just about the worst thing possible.

Reduce Alcohol Intake

To detox alcohol, the liver converts it into the metabolite acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is far more toxic than ethanol itself, so the body then releases acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione to break down the acetaldehyde. If you stick to just a few drinks and space them out accordingly, your body’s natural antioxidant enzyme production can keep up. If you start binging, though, glutathione stores become overwhelmed and the liver must produce more. Meanwhile, acetaldehyde, which is between 10-30 times more toxic than ethanol, accrues in your body.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413112001891‘>4

Eat Fatty Fish and Get Omega-3s

If you offset some of that olive oil and soybean oil with a blend of medium triglycerides and fish oil, liver enzymes may drop and overall integrity of the liver may improve.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22308119/‘>6 Taking it with vitamin C may be even more effective.

NAC is well-known for boosting levels of glutathione, the primary antioxidant used by the liver to metabolize toxins and protect itself.

Take Whey Protein

Obese women with fatty liver who took 60 grams of whey protein per day reduced their liver fat by almost 21%.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24316260/‘>8 When liver glycogen is full, it becomes far more likely that your liver will turn any subsequent carbohydrate it encounters into fat for storage. If you keep liver glycogen low, or regularly deplete it, you can avoid de novo lipogenesis because there’s usually a place to store the glucose.

Furthermore, keeping liver glycogen low increases fat utilization from all over the body, including the liver.https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-03/uops-mwt030311.php‘>10 If you don’t get to sleep at a normal, consistent time, your rhythm is disrupted and the molecules can’t do their jobs.

If you hadn’t already noticed, these are good health practices in general. We keep running into this phenomenon, don’t we?

What’s good for the liver is good for the brain is good for the cardiovascular system is good for your performance in the gym is good for the mirror.

It makes things easier and harder.

You know what to do.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Do you have any other recommendations for liver health? Which of these do you follow?


The post All About the Liver, and How to Support Your Favorite Detoxification Organ appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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gerd acid reflux symptoms causes remediesBurping, disrupted sleep, abdominal pain, nausea, even vomiting and choking … if you’ve experienced these symptoms, you’re likely suffering from chronic acid reflux, also commonly known at GERD.

You’re not alone. Roughly 25%-30% of Americans experience GERD-related heartburn multiple times a week.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/239665#1‘>2I personally suffered bouts of GERD and acid reflux during and even after my endurance training years, and my symptoms persisted until I finally gave up grains once and for all.

More debilitating than average, occasional heartburn, GERD symptoms chip away at your daily quality of life, and if left unattended, can even eventually lead to esophageal cancer https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26053301/‘>4, and supposed ‘miracle’ pills are more pervasive than ever: from TUMS and Pepcid to prescription medications, the market is flooded with treatment options. How did a condition usually associated with late-stage pregnancy and over indulgence become an epidemic?

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What is GERD, or Acid Reflux? Are They the Same Thing?

Reflux, more commonly known as ‘heartburn,’ occurs when stomach acid moves backwards into the esophagus, sometimes as a result of the esophageal sphincter (the muscle that connects the stomach and esophagus) malfunctioning. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/expert-answers/heartburn-gerd/faq-20057894‘>6

Acid Reflux and GERD Symptoms

People who suffer from acid reflux and GERD tend to experience some combination of these symptoms regularly:

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raw feeding food diet for dogsDogs, like people, are animals. The dietary requirements of dogs, like the dietary requirements of people, are subject to the forces of natural selection. Just like Big Macs and French fries and white bread aren’t optimal food for humans, kibble isn’t optimal food for dogs.

If you accept that biologically-appropriate diets exist for humans, and those diets should be informed by evolutionary history and anthropology, then you must accept that dog diets deserve the same treatment.

One leading brand of kibble has listed as ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Corn meal
  • Sorghum
  • Chicken by-product meal
  • Beet pulp
  • Natural flavor
  • Flaxseed
  • Egg product
  • Chicken fat
  • Caramel color
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Carrot
  • Choline
  • Fiber

You know, this isn’t even that “bad” on paper. It looks like a decent list of ingredients if you were putting together shelf-stable MRE for pure survival to sock away in a bunker somewhere. It could be a lot worse—it could be full of plant protein, soybean oil, wheat, and other junk a dog has no business eating. But it’s clearly substandard. These are dogs we’re talking about. Canines. Descendants of wolves. Man’s best friend. “Not that bad” isn’t good enough.

And although that dog will probably get by eating standard kibble—after all, millions of dogs do, just like millions of humans “get by” eating the Standard American junk food diet—he or she won’t thrive.

How does a dog thrive?

Assuming you’re providing daily exercise, lots of chest scritches, love, and affection, and all the other pre-requisites, it is my opinion that a dog thrives eating a species-appropriate diet of raw meat, edible bones and connective tissue, organs, seafood, and supplemental foods.

Stay on track no matter where you are! Instantly download our Primal and Keto Guide to Eating Out

Why Raw Feeding is Best

Canines for the majority of their formative development consumed raw rather than cooked meat. It’s what they’re meant to eat. It’s what they love. And because dogs by and large have not had their food reward and appetites corrupted by the modern food system, you can trust that their cravings and predilections are representative of their physiological requirements.

Put a bowl of ground beef and beef liver in front of a dog and it’ll go for the liver first, every time.

Let a dog choose between beef marrow and corn oil and it’ll go for the marrow first, every time.

Dogs know.

Humans have been cooking meat for hundreds of thousands of years. We’ve developed innate antioxidant systems designed to detoxify the compounds formed during cooking. We can tolerate some level of heat-damaged fatty acids and cholesterol. We can handle some smoke (though inhaling it directly is still a bad idea).

Dogs have not. Dogs split off from wolves at most 30000 years ago. That’s time enough for a small amount of adaptation to cooked foods, but just like humans exhibit some level of adaptation to agricultural foods but do better on a Primal, ancestral way of eating, dogs still look, feel, and perform better on raw meat.

Ok, so how do you do it?

You follow a Prey Model diet.

It’d be great to feed whole animals to your dogs, but that’s tough for most people to pull off. The Prey Model allows you to construct a “whole animal” out of constituent parts. Here’s how it breaks down, roughly:

  • 80% muscle meat and connective tissue
  • 10% organs
  • 10% edible bones

All those percentages are by weight.

A dog should eat between 1.5-3% of its ideal body weight in food per day. Older and more sedentary dogs can do the lower end, younger and more active dogs the higher end. If a dog needs to lose weight, drop the food volume a bit. If a dog needs to gain weight or isn’t as energetic as it should be, increase the food a bit. Every dog is different, so consider these guidelines, not laws.

If you’re feeding a puppy, you’ll want to feed between 5-10% of their bodyweight spread through 2-3 meals.

This is the model that makes the most intuitive sense to me because it’s how canines eat in the wild.

80% Muscle Meat

Muscle meat provides protein, fat, energy, vitamins and minerals. It’s the basis of the diet—the unsexy workhorse. Muscle meat includes:

  • Ground meat
  • Stew meat
  • Trim (random bits of meat)
  • Heart (actually an organ, but it doesn’t contain any micronutrients that need to be limited so you can treat it like muscle meat)
  • Poultry thighs and legs (also contain edible bone)

Favor ruminant meat over poultry meat, simply for the nutrient density and fatty acid composition (more saturated, less polyunsaturated).

10% Edible Bones

Edible bones provide calcium and micronutrients, keep their teeth clean, and provide a productive outlet for their chewing urges.

As a general rule, do not give your dog an edible bone he or she can swallow whole. It should be something the dog has to work for.

Bones must always be raw, or else they risk splintering and getting lodged in the throat. No cooked bones.

  • Poultry necks
  • Poultry backs
  • Poultry feet
  • Poultry wings
  • Fish heads
  • Ribs
  • Lamb or pork necks
  • Tails

If your dog is just learning to eat edible bones, monitor them as they eat. Be ready to leap in and prevent choking. Another way you can actually show a dog how to eat a bone properly is to gradually hand feed it, slowly revealing more of the bone once they’ve chewed the first part. Works well with turkey necks.

You can also give “recreational bones”: beef and pork feet, big beef joints, legs, marrow bones. These are bones that the dog can’t actually eat. They don’t contribute to the 10%. Just for chewing (and marrow and cartilage).

Connective Tissue

This provides collagen and glycine for the dog, helping to balance out the muscle meats in the diet and improve joint health and function, as well as sleep. I’ve also noticed that giving chicken feet for the nighttime meal leads to deeper sleep and more doggie dreaming. Connective tissue sources include:

  • Tendons
  • Cartilage
  • Trachea
  • Feet (which also count as bones)
  • Tails (also bones)
  • Ears

There is no strict connective tissue requirement, but it should be fed regularly or even daily for best outcomes.

10% Organs

Organs are the multivitamins of a dog’s raw diet. They are essential, but easy to overdo. Keep organ meat to 10% of the diet by weight, and feed as broad a variety as you can.

  • Liver (half of the organ meat you feed should be liver)
  • Kidney
  • Spleen
  • Brain
  • Glands
  • Testes


A great source of omega-3s and minerals, seafood can usually be counted as muscle meat and sometimes as edible bones, depending on what you’re feeding.

  • Whole sardines
  • Whole mackerel
  • Salmon heads, fins, and frames

IMPORTANT NOTE ON SALMON: salmonids, which include salmon, trout, char, and a few others, can carry a deadly parasite that can kill dogs.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29024089/‘>2 Note that all the food choices contained some carbohydrate, so it’s possible that dogs would choose not to eat any carbs if there were 100% carnivore options available.

What do I feed?

Let me say this: I don’t feed my dogs this way anymore. I researched this heavily back in the day, and even did it for awhile (and got great results, the dogs loved it!), but nowadays I simply don’t have the time to make it work. Too many days on the road means I’d be inconsistent with it and relying on someone else trying to do it. No go on that.

So what I do these days is feed Orijen. It’s a “kibble,” but it’s the best I’ve found. Loaded with a range of raw or gently-cooked meats and seafood and completely grain-free.

I also add some turkey or beef to the meal. For treats, I’ll give raw egg yolks, chicken feet, marrow bones, and dried minnows. Maybe a beef knuckle from time to time. Maybe some liver or the juice from a can of sardines.

So don’t think that just because I wrote this article you need to switch your dog over to a raw diet. I recommend exploring that option if it appeals to you, but it’s not necessary.

Do any of you feed your dogs a raw diet? If so, what model do you follow? If not, do you think you’ll give it a try?

Let me know down below!

The post Raw Food Diet for Dogs: a Primal Feeding Practice appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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collagen benefits bones heart sleepGreat news: If you’re already using collagen peptides for your hair, skin, and nails, you’re likely getting a bunch of other whole-body benefits.

Clearly we humans are meant to consume a good amount of collagen. Our ancestors ate nose-to-tail, consuming skin and connective tissue, and boiling down bones to make broth. Gelatin and collagen would have been abundant in the human diet. They provide amino acids needed for a dizzying array of metabolic functions. The amino acids also serve as blocks for collagen in the body.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, providing structure and support for the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. Crucially, we need glycine from collagen to balance the lifespan-shortening effects of methionine in meat.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350494/‘>2

Human studies show that just 3 grams of glycine taken before bed improves sleep quality and daytime alertness for individuals with chronic sleep issues,https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22293292/‘>4 and sleep restriction.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21414089‘>6 Glycine also facilitates the drop in core body temperature that promotes a healthy sleep cycle.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4397399/‘>8

Sleep experts generally recommend taking 3 to 5 grams of glycine before bedtime. You can buy glycine supplements, but collagen is about one-third glycine. A heaping scoop of collagen peptides will net you those 3 grams of glycine, plus other important amino acids.

Collagen Benefits Your Muscles, Tendons, and Bones

When talking about body composition, we usually mean the amount of body fat and muscle mass an individual carries. What about the other stuff—the bones and connective tissue that give our body structure and allow us to move around? In fact, the entire musculoskeletal system benefits from the amino acids in collagen.

Collagen to Build Strength

Lots of people use whey or soy protein supplements to enhance the effects of resistance training and build muscle. Collagen, on the other hand, has been largely overlooked because it’s not a complete protein. In particular, it doesn’t contain the levels of BCAAs found in whey protein.

I think collagen deserves a second look, though. For one thing, the high amount of glycine plus alanine in collagen provide building blocks for creatine. Creatine boosts energy production in muscle cells, and it’s probably the most widely used supplement for increasing muscle mass.

Also, in a series of studies, elderly men with sarcopenia,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566878/‘>10 and premenopausal womenhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31091754/‘>12

What does this mean? Collagen ups the effectiveness of resistance training. More research is needed to understand precisely how—whether it increases muscle synthesis, tendon integrity, both, and/or other. In any case, though, adding a couple scoops of collagen to your post-workout routine seems a worthy experiment.

Collagen for Your Connective Tissues and Joints

Speaking of tendons, there’s evidence that collagen supplementation helps strengthen and maintain connective tissue. Connective tissue is made up of collagen, so it’s not really a big surprise. I first become enamored with collagen after rehabbing a serious Achilles tendon injury. I’m convinced that my recovery was accelerated thanks to loading up on collagen peptides.

Studies back up my experience:

  • Animal studies using ratshttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16161767/‘>14 show that feeding the animals glycine and collagen peptides, respectively, strengthens their Achilles tendons.
  • In humans, taking 15 grams of gelatin plus 50 mg of vitamin C before working out improves tendons’ performance by increasing collagen deposition and remodeling.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5950747/‘>16
  • Male and female college athletes who supplemented with 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate for 24 weeks reported significantly less joint pain across various activities. The effects were particularly strong among participants with pre-existing knee arthralgia (pain).https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29701488/‘>18
  • In another study, adults over 50 with joint pain took a modest dose—1.2 g/day—of collagen for 6 months and reported less pain in the shoulder, arm, hand, and lumbar spine. There were no differences for knee or hip pain, though.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21251991/‘>20

Collagen Builds Strong Bones

More than 90 percent of the organic matrix of bone is collagen, mostly type I.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871752/‘>22

It should come as no surprise, then, that collagen supplementation seems to improve bone health. This has been demonstrated repeatedly with rats.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15490264/‘>24 In humans, adding 5 grams of collagen peptides per day for 12 months increased bone mineral density in postmenopausal women at risk of osteoporosis.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26334651/‘>26

Collagen for Heart Health

Many animal studies suggest that supplementing with collagen can improve cardiovascular health. Glycine, specifically, may be cardioprotective thanks to its known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties.

Collagen for Diabetes?

It might sound like a stretch at first, but individuals with low glycine are at greater risk for developing diabetes,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29094215‘>38 while high glycine is associated with normal blood sugar control.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855430/‘>40 A handful of studies further show that glycine can reduce certain diabetic complications in rats and humans.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27852613/‘>42

I’m interested in your experience. Did you start incorporating bone broth or collagen peptides in your routine and notice any unexpected benefits? What’s your favorite way to get collagen in your diet?


The post Collagen Benefits for Your Bones, Heart, Sleep and More, Backed by Science appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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