How Collagen Improves a Keto Diet: Boost Liver Health

The health of your liver literally can make or break your success with the ketogenic diet. I mean, it’s seriously epicentered in your liver. All the processing of ketones and everything like that happens in your liver. So I want to talk today about collagen, and I want to talk about it from a completely different perspective.

We see a lot of people promoting collagen products now with keto, and that’s all find and dandy. But I don’t think they’re focusing on with is actually important and why collagen is critical to your liver. But first off, we have to understand that collagen is super, super prevalent in your body. We don’t need copious amounts of it. It’s the most abundant protein in our bodies. (Read more on primallyinspired for the benefits of collagen).

The hard part is when we’re on a ketogenic diet is if we ever do get into a point where our bodies do start to break down protein because we haven’t fed ourselves enough fat, the first thing it will start to break down is usually collagen, simply because it’s the most abundant. It’s going to take from whatever there is the most of already. But here’s the thing. Collagen is made up of something known as glycine. Glycine is amino acid, which is the main constituent of collagen.

A lot of times people look at foods as just the simple macro nutrients, the proteins, the fats, and the carbs. I look at things a little bit different. I try to look at things from a broader perspective and actually get a little narrower in some cases. So when we look at collagen, I don’t look at collagen as a protein. I look at collagen as the different constituents of it. And in this case, glycine is what excites me the most about collagen. What happens with glycine is it has a huge, huge impact on how your liver works. And I’ll get to that in just a second. But more importantly, glycine is a big contributor into how we synthesize DNA. If we don’t have enough glycine coming in, we can’t create new cells that are actually programmed to our body’s genetic code.

So if we’re deficient in glycine, our cells can’t do their job right. They can’t recreate. We can’t grow muscle. We can’t burn fat. Things just come to a standstill. And I truly think that glycine could be a root of aging or not aging. But anyhow, that’s kind of a story for a different day. Let’s talk about how it works in the liver. There’s a couple ways it links to the liver. The first one is kind of a simple shallow one, so I’m just going to touch on it for a second. We need glycine to make glutathione.

I’ve talked about glutathione a lot. It’s critical when it comes down to detoxing the body. We absolutely need glutathione to neutralize oxidative stressors in the body. They go around, and they stop stress. And in today’s world, we’re under a lot of stress. We’re always pressed for time. We’re always under deadlines. We’re stressed out a lot, and we have all these toxins coming in. So if we don’t have glutathione, our body’s in a very toxic state and that puts our liver in jeopardy.

When our liver is in jeopardy, then obviously, we’re not doing a good job of creating ketones, are we? So glycine is a huge backbone for glutathione. I’m not going to go into a whole lot more detail there. The big connection with glycine is its effect on bile salts. So here’s a quick breakdown. When you consume a lot of fats like you are on the ketogenic diet, your body has to find a way to absorb those fats. I don’t know if you knew this or not, but fats don’t just absorb like carbs do. They actually have to be emulsified.