Introducing Chris Masterjohn Lite

Do you supplement with collagen?

Collagen is great, and important, but you SHOULDN’T be counting it toward your protein intake.

I’ve been seeing “collagen protein” bars around, and there’s nothing inaccurate about calling them that, but it seems easily to be misled into thinking they provide all the protein we need at a meal. They don’t.

Many people have asked me why I talk about collagen and non-collagen protein separately, and this episode explains why. Listen in and let me know what you think!

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These links are mentioned in the episode:

The glycine database:

The glycine podcast:

The methylation page, where it all fits into context:

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  1. Hi Chris, I have since discovered another of my patients who became depressed taking collagen, and was not using it as a protein replacement. Wondering if you have any input? All 3 now felt much better only about 48 hrs after stopping the collagen. Thanks
    Julie Anderson ARNP

  2. Hi Chris! Curious if you knew, or had a guess, if the amount of collagen provided in “collagen casing” in jerky snacks is anything worth counting? I have a few different brands of these jerky snacks I like and was hoping the collagen casing would work towards your rec. of “1-2 grams of collagen for every 10 grams of non-collagen protein”. For example, if one grass-fed beef stick (ex: The New Primal Classic Beef Stick) has 6 grams of protein, you think 0.5-1 gram of that could be in the collagen casing? Thanks!

  3. Dear Chris,

    I believe to have once read that mice (or rats?) had all the benefits of methionine restriction if only they got twice as much glycine, which is great because animal protein (except dairy) comes in a 1:2 methionine to glycine ratio. I may be wrong as I am not finding that article again, but what is the research that supports getting so much more glycine? If I add collagen to 200g of non-collagen protein by the rule you gave, I’d be at a 4:1 ratio.


    1. See, and for more details on the rationale and references.

  4. Two thoughts. Couldn’t collagen be counted as contributing to the amino acid profile and thus protein intake when combined with complementary amino acids from other plant foods?’
    The criticism of high protein intake is it pushes the mTOR pathway which is possibly carcinogenic (interested in seeing your take on this). Thinking of Mercola who recently featured you. He cut his protein recommendation to 1/2 gram per “lean body weight”. Higher for certain athletic goals but still pretty low in general.

    1. It contributes nitrogen but it doesn’t supply the essential amino acids in significant amount.

      I believe that balancing non-collagen protein with collagen is likely to prevent excess MTOR stimulation, since glycine buffers excess methyl groups and methionine stimulates MTOR through methylation.

      1. Interesting. So, we can have our anabolic protein without stimulating the MTOR pathway. I make big pots of bone broth (chicken and beef) but in no way consuming the amounts you recommend. I know that bone broths have more health benefits than just providing glycine but what about taking some extra glycine is a supplement. I take 1000mg TMG daily to keep homocysteine in check.

        1. Hi Chris, I have had 2 patients get seriously depressed taking 11 grams of collagen per day. Not avoiding other types of proteins. Back to normal 48 hrs after stopping collagen supplementation. I don’t think your theory on tryptophan is the answer. I wonder if there’s something in the hydrolyzing process that can build up and block neurotransmitters access to where they need to be? Thanks.

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