A Personal Story of Using Collagen Supplements for Skin: The Foundation of Healthy Skin

It can be confusing to decipher what collagen is, especially when there are so many different terms to describe it: collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, gelatin collagen, collagen type I, type II, type III—list goes on. And then there are all of the different sources: cows, fish? What about pills, liquid, or powder and which one is the best? Lets discover why using collagen supplements for skin is the foundation of healthy skin.

In this story, I will help you answer some of those questions, share with you my personal journey with collagen, and offer 40 recipes that can help make ingesting collagen an easy, delicious, and daily routine.

What is Collagen

Mainstream usage of collagen has been mostly topical, which leads people to mistakenly believe it to be only something to apply externally to skin (and in some cases, inject with a needle to plump the skin).

Collagen is a natural protein that our body produces. It is a major structural component of the human body (different types of collagen make up our skin, bones, muscles, and joints). and we depend on

collagen to keep our skin plump, hair strong. bones healthy, joints lubricated. and digestive system working smoothly.

And though our body is able to produce ample amounts of collagen when we are young, unfortunately. sometime after the age of twenty-five, our bodily production of collagen begins to decline at a rate of 1.5 percent per year (in addition to the decline in the quality of our produced collagen).

By our mid-forties, our collagen levels may have fallen by as much as 30 percent. Without collagen, our cells lose structure. increasingly becoming weaker, stretchier. and thinner—and essentially, this decline is the true cause of many of our skin woes, such as wrinkles, fine lines. dark circles. dry skin. and cellulite.

But don’t worry: you can make up for the collagen you lose by consuming collagen supplements. the foundation of healthy skin.

Personal Journey Using Collagen Supplements for Skin

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that what you put into your body directly translates into how you look and feel. But despite knowing this all my life, I admit that I didn’t realize just how true this was until I seriously burned myself in a cooking accident. That incident led me to initiate a deep dive into finding a cure—spoiler alert: it turned out to be ingesting collagen —turned me into something of a true believer on this topic.

I also figured out that my Korean grandmother, my halmuni, with her bone broths and fish dinners, had been right all along about the importance of collagen for a healthy skin and body.

After my accident, I tried to fix the burns from the outside in. I bought every lotion, patch. and prescription ointment I could find. Nothing worked. I kept at it. researching everything I could find about skin, and how to heal and regenerate it as quickly as possible. I discovered a treatment using the skin of fish.

Researchers in Brazil determined that tilapia contains a very high level of collagen proteins, and that by placing the fish skin directly onto the burned area, the collagen helped relieve pain and showed signs of helping to prevent scarring. Could this be the answer? Of course. I wasn’t going to put fish skin all over my body, and I was already past the point of preventing initial scars.

I decided to start taking collagen supplements, just to see what would happen. Less than a month of consuming 20 grams of collagen a day. I saw incredible changes. I have to add here that what I took is twice the recommended dose, so I’m not telling you to reproduce this experiment! But it did work for me. Not only were the bums on my arms starting to fade, but everywhere from head to toe. even my nails and hair, had started to look better.

Everyone began asking me what eye cream I was using—and that’s when I realized that ingesting collagen was making my skin the healthiest it had ever been since I was a kid. back when I was enjoying my grandmother’s traditional cooking.

She served every meal with a basket of roasted seaweed, grilled mackerel with its skin on, and a bowl of piping hot soup with bone broth as its base (chicken, pork, beef, or anchovy stock). And what all these dishes have in common is that they are all loaded with collagen. or as my grandmother calls it. the good stuff.

There’s so much collagen in these side dishes and soups that after you’re finished with a typical Korean meal, even your lips get taut and sticky (a sign of your skin’s becoming more revitalized)!

Why is that important? Because collagen is a type of protein that all living. breathing animals—including humans—produce. It makes up our bones, muscles, skin. and hair. It’s also the most abundant protein in our body that holds our bones. muscles, and especially skin, together (collagen comprises 70 percent of the protein found in skin).

Collagen plays an integral role in keeping our skin plump and youthful. as it is key in our body’s facilitation of new regeneration of skin, muscle, bone, and joint cells. Yet unfortunately. as we age, our body’s ability to produce our much needed supply of collagen diminishes at a rate of 1 percent per year, resulting in the depletion of collagen in our skin cells.

Consequently, our skin fails to retain moisture as it once used to, leading to less hydrated cells and looser, weaker, stretchier, and thinner skin (and of course, this is what causes wrinkles, fine lines, dry skin, cellulite, and even brittle hair).

Despite religiously yet unknowingly consuming collagen all my life—I didn’t always put two and two together—I always attributed my skin to “Korean genetics: the same way everyone else did. Because, to be honest, I didn’t really ever do anything to my skin. I was terrible at making a daily habit of those expensive products that I’d purchase on a whim, and in comparison to my friends who were getting regular facials and peels, my skincare efforts were minimal.

My family moved to the London when I was ten years old, so my diet changed at that time (as did my skin). But once I started back on collagen—this time, in powdered form—not only did my bums heal, but the differences I noticed were not just on my arms, but in my face and hair. My eyelashes, brows, and hair got so much thicker, and my skin no longer just looked great—according to my friends, it looked °Photoshopped,”glowy,” and “as soft as a baby’s bottom.”

Even my number-one skin problems—dry skin and enlarged pores—seemed to have disappeared without my even knowing, over the course of my collagen regimen.

It truly felt like a miracle, but was one that was literally hard to swallow. I was using unflavored powdered bovine collagen, which was designed to be mixed into drinks; coffee was the most popular as it was supposed to mask the taste of the collagen. Even in the blackest of the coffees, though, I was able to pick up on the earthy, musty, icky flavor.

I actually ended up just mixing my dose of collagen into a bit of water, holding my nose, and gulping it down. The fact is, there are people who are able to stand the strong taste of bovine collagen; I was not one of them.

But, knowing how beneficial collagen was for me from head to toe, I kept at it. I started telling everyone I knew about this wonder supplement and got quite a few people started on.

The taste continued to be an issue. To me, it was a challenge. And after months of research, tasting essentially every collagen brand out there, and then flavoring it with other, delicious superfoods, I found the king of all collagens supplement, one that would work with the other superfood powders I liked to add. So here are some of best collagen supplements to buy if you live in UK.

I happily recommend these brands to every single one of my friends and family. But despite their approval, I came across other obstacles: they kept forgetting to take it daily; plus, some of the plastic tubs were a hassle to open and they’d lose the measuring spoon. Without taking it every day, they did not see the results that I was seeing.

So, I decided to reverse-engineer the experience a bit; if people genuinely liked the taste of the collagen drink and looked forward to drinking it, then they wouldn’t think of it as medicine, but like any other flavored beverage out there.

On a mission to get them hooked, and with the goal that my final product would taste good (so good that you’d have no idea that there were 10 grams of fish skin in it), I started formulating, and invented hundreds of recipes with collagen in them.

Finally, when my friends and family couldn’t taste the difference between the matcha latte that had the collagen in it and the one without, that’s when I knew that I had succeeded. And that’s the start of my ingestible beauty brand, Crushed Tonic, and the purpose of this article, and this collection of recipes—to show you that collagen, if prepared well, could be something you enjoy, and even love.

Read More: Gotu Kola Supplement for Skin Care

Is Collagen Gluten and Dairy Free? Is It Paleo Friendly

Collagen powder, by itself, should be gluten-free, dairy-free. sugar-free and free of everything but animal skin and bones or vegetarian-sourced substances, such as seaweed.

Many brands are certified kosher. If you are allergic to anything, you will want to know whether the collagen powder you are using was processed with any other substances. Even if it doesn’t say that on the bottle, the bottle should identify the facility where the collagen was processed. You can contact that facility and ask whether the collagen was processed with other substances.

Gotu Kola Supplement for Skin Care

THE LEAVES AND STEMS of the gotu kola plant ( Centella asiatica ) have been a popular medicinal herb for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia, where they are mainly used to heal wounds and treat skin diseases such as leprosy and psoriasis. Gotu kola supplement for skin care is vey popular so continue reading its benefits and how to use it.

In Thailand, gotu kola is used to make a soft drink. In the Singhalese language of Sri Lanka, “gotu” means cup-shaped and “kola” means leaf. People in Sri Lanka noted that elephants often ate the gotu kola plant, and since elephants were known for their longevity, it was thought that the plant might also be healthy for humans. This led to a Singhalese proverb, “Two leaves a day keep old age away.” Note that gotu kola should not be confused with the kola nut, which is an active ingredient in Coca Cola and contains caffeine. Gotu kola has no caffeine and is not a stimulant.

Gotu Kola Supplement for Skin Care Explained

The most well-studied use of gotu kola is in treating the symptoms of varicose veins and swelling caused by weak veins or veinous insufficiency. Many experts believe that gotu kola is useful in treating varicose veins because it strengthens connective tissues, which suggests that it may be helpful in treating various skin conditions.

Gotu kola has been recommended as a treatment for hemorrhoids (a form of varicose veins), bruises, stretch marks caused by pregnancy, and scars, but further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of gotu-kola in these cases. Other studies indicate that gotu kola may ease diabetic circulatory problems and may also prevent leg swelling caused by air travel.

Studies with rats indicate that gotu kola may enhance memory and learning and suggest that it may be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Traditionally, gotu kola has been used as a mild sedative, memory-improving agent, and brain tonic. However, more human research is needed to test gotu kola’s effect on memory in humans.

How it Works

Gotu kola contains a blend of compounds—asiaticoside, asiatic acid, and medecassic acid—that seem to have antioxidant effects. Specifically, they seem to have a beneficial effect on connective tissues, where they may stimulate the synthesis of collagen to regenerate tissues and strengthen the veins.

How to Take It

Gotu kola is commercially sold as capsules, tablets, tinctures, ointments, dried herbs, and teas. A typical dosage of gotu kola ranges from 20 to 60 milligrams taken three times daily of an extract containing 40 percent asiaticoside, 29 to 30 percent asiatic acid, 29 to 30 percent madecassic acid, and 1 to 2 percent made-cassoside.

Note: It may take 4 weeks of using gotu kola to note any significant benefits.

How Gotu Kola May Help Ease Anxiety

In traditional Ayuvedic medicine—an ancient healing system of India—gotu kola has been used to temper anxiety. It is believed to develop the “crown chakra,” which, in Ayurvedic medicine, is the energy center at the top of the head, and to create balance between the hemispheres of the brain. Western medicine tested the traditional theory about gotu kola and anxiety in a double-blind controlled study.

At the beginning of the study, half of the 40 participants were given a placebo and half were given gotu kola. Using the concept that easy startling is related to anxiety, researchers subjected the participants to sudden loud noises and measured their startle response. Those participants who were given gotu kola exhibited a significantly reduced startle response compared to those who received placebo. While these results are promising, more research is needed to support gotu kola’s role in anxiety.

You Should Look Out for This

Gotu kola is generally considered safe, with few side effects. These can include skin allergies, sun sensitivity, burning sensations, headaches, stomach upsets, nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness. Gotu kola is not recommended for children, pregnant or breast-feeding women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease. Individuals with a history of precancerous or cancerous skin lesions should not take gotu kola because one of its major components, asiaticoside, has been associated with the growth of tumors in mice.

What to Avoid When Taking Gotu Kola Supplement for Skin Care

Medication: Consult your doctor before taking gotu kola with sedative drugs, central nervous system (CNS) depressants, oral hypoglycemic drugs and insulin, lipid-lowering agents, corticosteroids, and phenylbutazone.

Supplement for Acid Reflux

Have you seen those commercials with the funny, slightly corpulent guy with an engaging Southern accent who takes the acid reflux pill daily for “zero heartburn” and wants you to do the same while you ignore the small print at the bottom of the screen? He seems so endearing that you want to give him a hug and invite him over for dinner, beers, football, and arm wrestling. Don’t be charmed, though. Acid reflux drugs might as well be crack cocaine or heroin. They work so well and so quickly that you can become addicted to them, but you shouldn’t take them long term. Thats why you should follow our guideline for choosing the supplement for acid reflux.

Acid reflux drugs increase the risk of vitamin B12 and magnesium deficiencies, which can (in rare cases) cause muscle spasms and irregular heartbeats. They can also reduce the absorption of iron and increase the risk of pneumonia, bone loss, fractures, and a nasty bacterial infection ( Clostridium difficile ) that can cause terrible diarrhea and lead to hospitalization or worse. Some people who quit these drugs after becoming dependent on them develop higher levels of gastric acid, which then requires another prescription and leads to further dependency! I have also personally seen several cases of people taking acid reflux medications long term who have had false positive tests for a rare cancer marker for neuroendocrine/pancreatic tumors.

Do you get my not-so-subtle drift here? Prescription and over-the-counter acid reducers work very well and are very necessary in some cases, but too many people are becoming reliant on them. In most cases, you should take the lowest dose for the shortest period of time. In fact, based on multiple studies, 75 percent of users could reduce their dosage or stop taking these pills altogether if they made some heart-healthy lifestyle changes (like losing weight, increasing fiber intake, and reducing stress).


Acid reflux occurs when some of the stomach’s acidic contents move up into the esophagus (some people refer to this as heartburn, but that’s only one symptom). It can be caused by weight gain, lifestyle changes, genetics, and medications (antibiotics, antidepressants, cancer treatments, steroid or immune-suppressing drugs, OTC and prescription pain drugs, and long-term antacid use). Regardless, the acid irritates, inflames, and erodes the esophageal lining over time, which can increase your risk of esophageal cancer.

Chronic acid reflux, where it occurs several times weekly or starts to interfere with everyday life, is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. In the United States, approximately 20 percent of the adult population experiences GERD weekly. In addition to a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), symptoms also include a sour taste, regurgitated food in the back of your mouth, indigestion, and trouble swallowing. Some people don’t realize they’re experiencing acid reflux because their symptoms seem unrelated, but a chronic cough, wheezing, and even mild chest pain (especially while lying down at night) can be signs of GERD.

One thing to keep in mind is that stomach acid is part of your immune system; it kills foreign microorganisms on contact. It’s also critical for breaking down food so your intestines can absorb all the nutrients. Now you can see why shutting down acid production for a long period of time increases the risk of several problems.

WHAT WORKS: Guide for the Supplement for Acid Reflux

1. Calcium carbonate 500 milligrams once or twice a day

Products that contain calcium carbonate— like Tums, Rolaids, and even Os-Cal—can relieve heartburn within 30 minutes and can work for several hours. This mineral neutralizes esophageal acid and can prevent reflux. More recent research suggests that it can also improve esophageal movements (peristalsis), clearing more acid. Nevertheless, even something as benign as this supplement increases your risk for rebound reflux when you quit, so taper your dosage gradually or over several weeks.

As long as you’re taking this product, you don’t need another calcium supplement for bone loss. If you have to be on acid reflux drugs indefinitely, however, and want to take a calcium supplement for bone loss, then opt for calcium citrate because it’s absorbed just as well with or without stomach acid and should not increase your risk of kidney stones.

2. (tie) Artichoke leaf extract ( Cynara scolymus ) 640 milligrams (two pills) three times a day for 6 weeks maximum, primarily for indigestion

Functional dyspepsia, or indigestion, is slightly different from acid reflux or GERD. Symptoms include upper abdominal pain and discomfort with bloating, nausea, and a feeling of uncomfortable fullness. Artichoke leaf extract (ALE) contains a bitter compound called cynaropicrin, which has antispasmodic and other gastrointestinal benefits. In studies, ALE (two 320-milligram pills three times a day for 6 weeks) reduced bloating and fullness and improved overall quality of life, but it didn’t reduce pain and nausea much better than a placebo.

However, six pills a day is a little tough to stomach for a lot of people, especially if you’re taking other pills as well. I get nervous when a supplement only works at high doses because the more you take of anything, the greater the odds that you’ll experience side effects. Also note, ALE comes from the daisy family; an allergic reaction or rash is a common side effect.

2. (tie) Alpha-galactosidase (Beano) follow package directions and use as needed

Bloating, gas, and flatulence (the GI triple threat) are common with functional dyspepsia. And enzyme-based dietary supplements like alpha-galactosidase can help reduce gas in the digestive tract that’s caused by the carbohydrates (sugars) in soybeans and other legumes as well as some veggies. (Soy products—like tofu, tempeh, miso, and soy protein—have been processed and the sugars have been removed, so they’re easier to digest than soybeans.) If you have diabetes, check with your doctor before taking alpha-galactosidase supplements because they might impact your blood sugar. Similar OTC products contain simethicone (like Gas-X), which is an antifoaming agent and a pseudo natural product mixture of silica gel and polydimethylsiloxane.

3. Melatonin 1 to 3 milligrams once a day before bed for acid reflux and heartburn symptoms

Say what? Though melatonin is best known as a sleep aid, it also reduces acid secretion. There isn’t a plethora of clinical research on this yet, but the benefit far outweighs the risk, so it receives my bronze medal. I’ve had people from all over the country tell me they notice a difference with their GERD symptoms while taking melatonin.

This hormone is produced not only by the tiny pineal gland in your brain but also by cells within the gastrointestinal tract that affect movement. In fact, recent research suggests that the GI tract secretes several hundred times more melatonin than the pineal gland, and it appears that melatonin’s role in the GI tract is to protect the esophageal, stomach, and intestinal tissue.

In small studies where researchers used either melatonin alone, conventional proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication, or a combination of the two, it was found that the combo worked better for pain and heartburn than the drug by itself. Melatonin has a similar chemical structure to some PPIs, such as omeprazole, and in one study it actually beat this acid reflux drug. Some of these trials used 3 milligrams of melatonin at bedtime by itself or with a PPI or other acid reflux medication, but I recommend starting with a lower dose, such as 1 milligram.

The most exciting ongoing research with melatonin is whether it can prevent ulcers or accelerate their healing when it’s combined with conventional medicine. Man, I dig this stuff!


If you want to live longer and stronger then life style change can cure acid reflux. Loosing weight, fiber-rich foods, and kicking the tobacco habit can help reduce acid reflux and your risk of cardiovascular disease. The more you can avoid or reduce your reliance on reflux medications through lifestyle changes, the better off you’ll be. Just try to follow the supplement for acid reflux which is more natural approach.


Seven Ways to Live Longer, Better and Stronger

ULTIMATELY, I THINK ANY PHYSICIAN has to first want to maximize health without creating a dependency on pills. This is the essence of the statement in the Hippocratic oath that says, “First do no harm.” Otherwise, health care workers continue to add to the epidemic of what I call the self-medication generation. Making some basic changes to your lifestyle can help reduce or eliminate the need for most pills, increase longevity, and improve your life. I am not a pill-pusher, despite my passion for supplements. Above all, I’m a healthy-lifestyle advocate.

I believe the foundation of good health starts with your heart. If you make sure this vital organ is taken care of, all of the other major systems of the body are better able to do what they do best. You’ll see this concept repeatedly throughout the book. Whether it’s your eyes, your liver, or your genitals, your body functions best when your heart is healthy.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the number one cause of death in women and men for 114 of the last 115 years! It was surpassed only once, in 1918, by the great influenza epidemic (and even then it was number two). CVD claims more lives each year than cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and accidents combined. While some people are very aware of how serious CVD is, many others aren’t, or they’ve become desensitized to it—or are just plain tired of hearing about it—since every week seems to bring new research about what causes it, what makes it worse, and which interventions can reduce the risk of dying from it.

I think the last reason may give people a false sense of complacency: Medicine will fix it! All I need is a statin for my cholesterol and a stent to prop open the artery and I’m good to go! How bad could it be?

However, even with all of our medical advances (and the fact that the vast majority of health research dollars are spent on CVD and cancer research), we have only taken a massive epidemic and turned it into a normal-size epidemic. Did you know that of the more than 800,000 men and women who died from CVD in the past year, approximately 150,000 were younger than 65? This is an epidemic of the young and old: In fact, recent research has found that the first hints of CVD begin to show up in our teens!

So, the more you do to lower your risk of CVD, the better your chances of enjoying a longer and healthier life and the lower your chances of having to rely on drugs, including supplements. Here’s what’s key: I would like to see people making these changes before they start taking supplements. Naturally, in some cases you’ll want to alleviate your symptoms as soon as possible, but at the very least you should be making these changes concurrently with taking supplements. If you’re truly committed to getting better— feeling better—you need to commit to adopting the following heart-healthy habits.

The Seven Health Healthy Habits

These seven habits for heart health (and therefore overall health) are synergistic, which means the more of them you do, the greater your reduction in risk of major diseases and the longer your life span.

In fact, each one you carry out accounts for a 10 to 15 percent improvement in health; accomplishing all seven would mean you’ve reduced your risk of major diseases as much as 90 to 95 percent and increased your odds of living to age 85 or longer (with no or little physical or mental disability) by 80 to 90 percent. There are no other antiaging strategies that can match these effects. If a pill did all this, it would receive a Nobel Prize in medicine. These habits are also cheaper than taking a pill daily, and they’re doable!

While these recommendations may seem pretty basic and easy to accomplish, most people can’t seem to follow them. They’d rather take a drug—or die early. I’m hoping this book will help change that mind-set. These strategies take a lifetime of commitment (once you get into the habit, it’s not that hard), but every time you conquer just one , you change your life dramatically.

1. Exercise regularly

Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 or 6 days a week; if you’re working out at a vigorous level—where you’re really huffing and puffing—you can get away with less time. Cardiovascular exercise and resistance training are both important. Also, make sure to choose activities that you’ll actually do (if you don’t like running, don’t run!).

2. Eat a moderately healthy diet

This means emphasizing vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates (like fiber), and healthy fats and limiting unhealthy fats, processed carbohydrates (think cookies, crackers, white-flour pasta), and sugar (not just cakes and candy but also sugary drinks). You’re not aiming for perfection or deprivation here; you’re just trying to eat in a way that helps you feel better and helps get your CVD risk numbers to a normal level.

For the most part, I believe that if a diet is reasonable, lowers your CVD risk, and keeps you happy, it is the right one— whether it is low carb, moderate carb, high protein, high good fat, low fat, vegan, Paleo, etc.—and this is what I encounter working with patients and in the research, too.

3. Eliminate all tobacco exposure (cigarettes, secondhand smoke, and smokeless sources)

Smoking is a leading risk factor for CVD and most other diseases as well.

4. Maintain a normal blood pressure (120/80 or less).

5. Maintain a normal blood sugar level (less than 100 mg/dL after fasting).

6. Maintain healthy cholesterol levels

(an LDL of less than 100 mg/dL, an HDL of 50 mg/dL or higher, and triglycerides of less than 100 mg/dL after fasting).

7. Maintain a healthy weight or waist size

Ideally, you want a body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9 or a waist circumference of less than 32.5 inches for women and 35 inches for men.