Collagen For Gut Health—How Does It Help?
Posted August 2022
Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria, some “good” and some “bad”. Generally, the two groups (i.e., good and bad) achieve a healthy equilibrium.
But, of course, there are off cases where this delicate balance could be disrupted. This causes gut dysbiosis—a phenomenon linked to countless knock-on effects on your body's overall physical and emotional health.
What adverse physical and emotional health effects are we talking about, exactly?
Well, research finds that gut dysbiosis may promote the development of skin diseases (e.g., atopic dermatitis and cancer), chronic health conditions (e.g., metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes), and mental disorders (e.g., depression and anxiety).
Are you creating another tab with your fingers itching to type "How to improve gut health"? Close it; you’ll find answers in this article.
More specifically, discover the magical benefits of collagen peptides for gut health—and how they could resolve (any) stomach issues of yours.
What Is Collagen?
To understand why we’re bringing up collagen when you’re curious about learning how to improve gut health, some background knowledge on collagen would help. So, what is collagen?
Collagen is the main structural protein that forms the connective tissue throughout your body, from the skin to bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
That means it’s found in your gut, too.
Without diving too deep into gut anatomy (and risking boring you), the most important thing to know is that collagen gives your digestive tract the elasticity it needs to function optimally.
The connective tissue in your gut lining—the crucial "gatekeeper" of toxins, bacteria, and unwanted particles—is also made of collagen.
So, to say that collagen is crucial for gut health would be a serious understatement.
How Collagen Supplementation Helps with Gut Issues
Studies show that your collagen levels decline starting in your 20s, then continue at a worrying rate of 1% yearly.
Imagine what that means for your digestive tract.
Your digestive organs may get “stiffer”, impacting their ability to shuttle and digest food. Your gut lining may also become more permeable, welcoming all sorts of unwanted, gnarly, inflammatory compounds into your bloodstream.
And that’s why you need hydrolyzed collagen peptides (psst: learn what “hydrolyzed collagen peptides” are here) in your life. Here are all the different ways collagen has been shown beneficial for gut health:
- Provides building blocks for gut lining: Collagen contains the amino acid glutamine. This amino acid promotes the regeneration of epithelial cells that make up your gut lining. In other words: glutamine and, thus, collagen is essential to gut lining health.
- Improves leaky gut syndrome: As mentioned earlier, a loss of collagen may cause increased permeability in your gut lining. This could, in turn, lead to “leaky gut syndrome”, which is associated with several chronic conditions, including food sensitivities, skin conditions, and mental health disorders.Luckily, a 2017 study published in Food & Function found that collagen peptides helped “tighten” the gut lining’s structure, decreasing its permeability.
- Aids digestion: Your gastrointestinal tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. Food moves through these hollow organs (from the mouth to stomach to small intestine, etc.) by peristalsis: the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles. Imaginably, this process is dependent on the elasticity of your organs. To that end, supplementing with collagen peptides could aid your digestive health.
- Relieves IBS symptoms (like bloating): Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder. While scientists aren't sure why, research has found that collagen peptides could improve and alleviate various IBS symptoms, including diarrhoea, constipation, cramps, and bloating.
- Manages symptoms of autoimmune diseases: The most common autoimmune disorders connected to the digestive system include ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease. In all conditions, the body mistakenly attacks healthy gut cells, including those of the gut lining—causing widespread inflammation, which leads to uncomfortable symptoms like abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition. That’s where collagen peptides come in; they’ve been shown to lower gut inflammation, which may then relieve symptoms of gut-related autoimmune diseases.
What Kind of Food Helps?
Pairing hydrolyzed collagen supplementation with a healthy diet could help boost your efforts. Here are a few tips:
- Eat more fiber: A large body of evidence links a high-fiber diet with a healthy gut microbiome. Fiber-rich sources to consider adding to your plate include nuts, whole grains, beans, and legumes.
- Limit processed foods: Research shows that emulsifiers in packaged foods could erode the mucus barrier in your gut. In addition, the artificial sweeteners found in many processed foods could also lead to unhealthy gut microbes. For optimal gut health, stay away from processed foods whenever possible.
- Go for fermented foods: Studies show that fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha, may increase the diversity of bacteria in the gut. High levels of diversity in the gut microbiome have, in turn, been linked to lower rates of obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions.
Why Choose Collagen?
Collagen is a structural protein found in your gastrointestinal tract and gut lining.
It promotes optimal gut health (and, thus, your overall wellbeing) by ensuring adequate elasticity in your digestive tract and just the right amount of permeability in your gut lining. Beyond aiding digestion and preventing leaky gut syndrome, collagen supplementation may also relieve uncomfortable stomach issues associated with IBS and autoimmune conditions.
Interested in reaping some of that collagen goodness for yourself? Have your pick at The Collagen Co, where you’ll only find the highest quality collagen powder designed to support your gut health.