Mark’s said it before: He advocates for collagen to become the fourth macronutrient. Collagen supports collagen-based structures in the body, such as fascia, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, skin, nails, and hair, and most of us just don’t get enough of it from meat, dairy, eggs, or plant proteins. Learn more about the important role glycine, the primary amino acid found in collagen protein, and check out our creative culinary ways to include more collagen in your diet.
Reasons to Include Collagen in Your Diet
Most people regard amino acids in one of two ways: essential, meaning our bodies can’t synthesize them, or inessential, meaning our bodies can. There’s also a third category of amino acids: conditionally essential, which become essential in times of illness and heightened stress. One such conditionally essential amino acid is glycine.
A research review published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity found that glycine plays a crucial role in controlling epigenetics as well as anti-inflammatory, cryoprotective, and immunomodulatory functions. Researchers found that oral supplementation of glycine in the proper dose can successfully decrease metabolic disorders in those with cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, diabetes, cancers, and obesity.
Glycine, the primary amino acid in collagen, is synthesized from the amino acid serine. Foods that contain glycine include meat, fish, eggs, and dairy—abundant in the Primal diet, depending on…