You’ve heard me talk about the many benefits of collagen before — and how it smooths fine lines and wrinkles from your skin, repairs aching, swollen joints, and strengthens hair and nails.
But collagen also plays an important role in weight loss.
Let me explain.
The gelatin inside collagen peptides increases satiety and stops you from feeling hungry.
In a 2019 study, researchers looked at whether collagen peptides could reduce body fat in overweight adults. Researchers followed 90 volunteers for 12 weeks. At the start of the trial, their mean body mass index was 25.6. After taking 2,000 mg of collagen daily or a placebo, body fat was evaluated again using a full body DEXA scan and calipers.
By the end of the study, the participants who took the collagen peptides had lost twice as much body fat as the control group.1
Collagen even improves cellulite.
You see, your body’s normal fat is held in place by a network built of collagen. When collagen breaks down, the fat pops through and your skin puckers. It looks like an orange peel. Increasing collagen helps to rebuild that network and tighten skin.
In a second study, published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders, researchers followed 10 obese people and 12 people with normal weight.2
They found that a single serving of collagen gelatin increased levels of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin.
Ghrelin tells your brain when it’s time for you to eat. If it’s out of balance, it can cause you to have constant cravings. And that’s when you start to pack on the pounds fast.
My favorite way to get enough of this important hormone is by eating what I call “magic beans.”
I first became interested in this weight-loss bean when I was in Peru. My wife and I were visiting the elementary school we sponsor. We were served a delicious dish of white beans, garlic, peppers, and onions.
And just half a bowl of the stew filled me up. My hosts told me it was because of the beans. They said the beans keep them from overeating.
I knew from my travels to Rome that the white kidney bean is also popular in Italy. Italians use it in dishes like pasta fagioli and minestrone. They call it the cannellini bean.
And here’s the thing: Italians are known for their starchy, pasta-heavy diets. Yet, the obesity rate in Italy is among the lowest in the world.
I was intrigued. So I started doing some research.
In a recent study, researchers followed a group of people for 30 days. Half were given white kidney bean extract and the other half a placebo. They were told not to make any changes in their eating or exercise habits.3
On average, those who took the white kidney bean lost 5 pounds of fat, 3 inches off their bellies, and almost 6.5 pounds overall.
The people who took the placebo lost less than a pound.
Easy Chicken Bone Broth With “Magic Beans”
When I need to drop a few pounds, I like to combine the benefits of collagen with my “magic beans.” I make a filling bone broth and bean soup that combines the best of both. Check out my recipe…
- 1 whole pastured chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts
- 2 to 4 chicken feet (optional)
- 4 quarts cold filtered water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 cans (16 oz each) of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- If you are using a whole chicken, cut it into several pieces.
- Place the chicken pieces in a large pot with water, vinegar and all the vegetables. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Bring to a boil. Remove any scum that rises to the top.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours.
- Remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Let cool. Remove meat from the bones and reserve for other uses.
- Add the cannellini beans and stir.
- Strain the stock into a large bowl. Store in your refrigerator or freezer.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Tak Y, et al. “Effect of oral ingestion of low-molecular collagen peptides derived from skate (raja kenojei) skin on body fat in overweight adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Mar Drugs. 2019 Mar; 17(3): 157.
2. Rubio I, et al. “Oral ingestion of a hydrolyzed gelatin meal in subjects with normal weight and in obese patients: Postprandial effect on circulating gut peptides, glucose and insulin.” Eat Weight Disord. 2008 Mar;13(1):48-53.
3. Celleno L, et al. A dietary supplement containing standardized Phaseolus vulgaris extract influences body composition of overweight men and women. Int J Med Sci. 2007 Jan 24;4(1):45-52.