Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Collagen Powder and Gut Health
What is collagen?
Collagen is a strong yet pliable and flexible protein. It is found throughout the body, making up at least some proportion of almost every organ. You can think of it as the glue that holds your body together. There are multiple types of collagen (I, II, and III being the most popular). When you take collagen in supplement form, the body recognizes it and breaks it down like any protein, so it can then use the collagen-building blocks to make new collagen of its own. These building blocks can also be used to make other proteins as well.
What is leaky gut syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome is a collection of symptoms, including bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort. While it’s not a formal medical diagnosis, leaky gut is a useful term for talking about specific types of intestinal issues. Leaky gut is thought to indicate intestinal permeability. This is a condition where substances that should be contained in the intestine can escape through the gut wall and into the bloodstream. People with Crohn’s and celiac disease often develop intestinal permeability, but it can occur in individuals without these conditions being present.
What is IBS?
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a disorder that affects the large intestine. Symptoms include bloating, cramping, gas, and both constipation and diarrhea. For a few people, the condition can be challenging to manage and may require medical intervention. For most, though, IBS is more of a nuisance than a serious medical issue. It can typically be managed through diet and lifestyle.
Collagen for digestive issues, collagen for gut health
While more investigation is needed before it can be definitively said that collagen is good for leaky gut syndrome or IBS, it is certainly true that studies show mechanisms by which collagen may help. Many people report positive results from taking collagen peptide powder for their GI problems. From what we do know, it’s clear that collagen could help with digestive issues in many different ways.
Di-Peptide fortified collagen supplements may help with leaky gut syndrome by encouraging the body to repair the permeable intestine. As with most organs in the body, the gut tissues are partially made up of collagen. In theory, by taking a collagen peptide powder, you can provide your body with the material it needs to strengthen your tissues — including your gut. While this has not been conclusively proven to happen, it does fit what we know about collagen supplements.
Collagen may also improve blood circulation by providing the compounds that the body needs to build healthy veins, arteries, and blood vessels. Improving the blood supply to all your tissues, including the gut, may promote healing.
Another way that collagen might help is by hydrating the intestinal tract. Collagen is a hydrophilic molecule, one which is attracted to water. This means that if you take collagen supplements and water, you can help keep your gut hydrated. The water bonds with the collagen and is carried through your system, passing through the GI tract.
Collagen has also been put forward as a means to help balance stomach acid levels. While too much stomach acid can cause gastric reflux and indigestion conditions, too little stomach acid means that your body can’t digest foods as effectively. This means that improperly digested food can enter your intestine, ferment and irritate your GI tract. Improper digestion also means that you’re not getting the nutrients you need from your food. Collagen can help to promote a healthy pH in your stomach.
But remember that not all collagens are created equal. If you’re looking to maximize the effects of this miracle protein in terms of gut health, make sure to choose collagen supplements that offer:
- Collagen Di-Peptides
- A refined and hydrolyzed powder
- Probiotic support (3 billion CFU or higher)
BK’s Digestive Balance Collagen Powder checks everything on your list, including 5 billion CFU of probiotics.
If you’re suffering from gastric problems, discussing the issue with your doctor can be helpful. A medical professional can also help you determine whether collagen peptide powders are right for you. It may be that supplementation with collagen and other commonsense lifestyle changes are all you need to resolve your GI symptoms.