Top 5 Ways Collagen Can Improve Your Gut Health
Contrary to popular belief, the benefits of collagen aren't limited to skincare only. Collagen, in reality, plays an essential role in multiple other areas, including bone health, hair health, and building and maintaining healthy connective tissue throughout your digestive tract.
Collagen has emerged as a widely used supplement in the health and wellness world over the last few years. There are several benefits of collagen, so it has been recommended by everyone, from trainers and nutritionists to medical doctors.
In this blog, we explore more about the multiple benefits of collagen for gut health.
Top 5 Benefits Of Collagen For Gut Health
The top benefits of collagen for gut health include:
1. Relief For IBS / Leaky gut syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and leaky gut syndrome are among the painful gut-related conditions in which the stomach lining and digestive tract become inflamed and irritated.
In such conditions, nutrients and toxic substances start leaking back into the bloodstream instead of being processed out. Among the causes contributing to GI disorders include a poor diet, stress, alcohol, smoke, prescription medications, and a sedentary lifestyle. This starts impacting our digestive health negatively, thus causing uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, upset stomach, diarrhoea, fatigue, and constipation, among others.
Research suggests that patients suffering from inflammatory conditions as IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease (CD) tend to be low in collagen. The importance of amino acids in regularizing such severe gut conditions is immense.
The amino acid glutamine present in collagen is specifically needed to repair and heal the gut lining. It has also been found that people with lower collagen levels have higher chances of having digestive imbalances.
2. Heal Stomach Ulcers
Two of the primary amino acids present in collagen-Glycine and Proline- are believed to help heal the stomach lining and prevent stress-induced ulcers.
In addition to this, studies have also identified glycine as one of the effective inhibitors of stomach ulcers due to its ability to prevent any harmful gastric secretions in the stomach lining.
3. Aid in Digestion
Another collagen benefit is that it becomes surrounded by water and stomach acid when ingested into the body. Since it is a hydrophilic molecule, it attracts both water molecules and acidic molecules.
As these molecules move through the GI tract in the body, it assists in breaking down proteins and carbohydrates, thus helps to move food through the gastrointestinal tract more smoothly.
4. Repair the Intestinal and Stomach Lining
It has been scientifically proven that collagen synthesis is a vital component in repairing and healing the stomach and intestinal lining. Whenever there is damage or severe inflammation, new smooth muscle cells help heal the stomach lining and the intestinal wall.
It is believed that collagen production in the intestine is highest when smooth muscle cells are being generated during healing. Collagen is, therefore, a critical component that helps in healing the intestinal wall.
5. Regulates Stomach Acid Secretion
Collagen is known to regulate gastric juices' secretion by ensuring enough amount of acid for proper digestion. Apart from this, collagen is also believed to prevent an excess of gastric juices, leading to issues such as stomach ulcers, heartburn, and other similar digestive troubles.
Apart from these, some of the other benefits of collagen for gut health include-
- Improve bacterial balance by offering a surface for helpful gut bacteria to attach to, and at the same time also encourage the growth of good bacteria (such as bifidobacteria) in the gut.
- Due to the presence of glycine in it, the role of collagen is immense in regulating stomach acid levels and helping to break down the protein-rich foods we eat on a day-to-day basis, such as fish, eggs, meat, and more. Additionally, collagen also helps protect the gastric mucosa in the body.
- Collagen and gut health are interlinked as collagen also encourages food to move through the GI tract and help bowel movement smoothly.
How Should You Supplement Collagen for Better Gut Health?
One of the best ways to add collagen to your diet is by eating foods high in it. Among the main sources of collagen protein include foods such as fish, chicken, beef, and eggshell membranes. Another excellent way to add collagen to your diet is through bone broth.
Apart from taking food items rich in collagen, you can also take a good collagen supplement such as Casa De Sante. Available in both powder and capsule form, it dissolves easily into liquid food items such as smoothies, tea, and soups to give you multiple benefits of this wonder protein.
Is collagen good for the gut?
Yes. Taking collagen supplements helps in various body functions, including a leaky and unhealthy gut.
How much Collagen to take per day?
A 2.5–15-gram daily dose of collagen is generally considered to be safe and effective.
When should you take Collagen?
If you're having gut issues, then the best time to take collagen is either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or with your meals.
Does collagen affect bowel movement?
Yes. Collagen can help aid digestion, reduce gut inflammation and regulate acid secretion for better bowel movements.
Is collagen bad for kidneys?
In general, collagen is not recommended for people at a high risk of developing kidney stones. However, consuming collagen supplements in moderation as part of a healthy diet is considered safe and unlikely to cause any harm to kidneys.
Can collagen make you gain weight?
No. collagen does not cause any weight gain. Weight gain is generally the result of consuming more calories than you are burning a and collagen contain significantly fewer calories (36-40 calories per 10g daily serving on average)
Does collagen help lose belly fat?
Unlike other supplements on the market, collagen has been proven to help with weight loss and burning fat in many cases.
Which collagen is best for gut health?
In general, collagen peptides or hydrolysed collagen is considered best for gut health as they are easily digestible, bioavailable form of protein.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of collagen peptides for maintaining our gut health are many—which is why collagen supplementation has become quite popular in recent times.
However, it is important to remember that for your body to utilize collagen supplements, it first needs to be broken down into collagen peptides- short chains of amino acids that are easily absorbed by the human body. Once our body absorbs them, it can easily use the amino acids and take benefit of collagen powder to promote muscle, joint, skin, and most importantly, gut health.
Medically Reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD