Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
How To Improve Your Gut Health With Collagen Supplements
Science is continuously revealing new ways that your gut influences your overall health. Research has found that immune system function relies heavily on your gut microbiome, and those gut health problems can lead to many problems. In addition, scientific inquiry indicates that collagen peptides may potentially improve gut health. Read on to learn more about the benefits of collagen for the gut.
What Is Gut Health, Anyway?
Gut health is the term for the condition of your stomach. The organ does more than just digest food. Your stomach is actually an ecosystem home to more than 100,000 trillion microorganisms. Many of them are healthy bacteria called probiotics, but others are harmful. In a person with good gut health, the beneficial and detrimental bacteria are well balanced.
The term gut health also refers to the condition of the stomach lining. When the lining is fully intact, the stomach is sealed off from the rest of the body. However, if bacteria damage the lining, you could develop leaky gut syndrome. This condition occurs when the body doesn't digest food properly, leading to symptoms like bloating and widespread inflammation.
Why Is Collagen Good for Gut Health?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. You must often see it discussed when skin health arises because the protein provides support for the tissue. When levels of collagen drop, skin loses its elasticity and becomes more prone to sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles. In addition to its role in skin health, collagen is also an essential component of other connective tissues in the body, including the stomach lining.
As you age, collagen production naturally slows. UV energy and pollutants can also destroy existing collagen fibers. Plummeting collagen levels can make it difficult for your body to maintain your stomach lining properly. As a result, people sometimes take collagen supplements. These supplements supply collagen peptides that your body can break down into amino acids for digestive health and use in other parts of the body.
Benefits of Collagen for Gut Health
Although research into the benefits of collagen is still ongoing, early findings suggest that it may aid in the following:
Gut Lining Repair
Collagen contains a number of amino acids, including glycine and proline. Both are needed by the immune system to repair damaged tissues throughout the body. A collagen supplement may give your body more glycine and proline to assist with gut lining repair. One study also showed that collagen helped repair stomach ulcers caused by excessive acid production in the stomachs of mice.
Relief From Leaky Gut Symptoms
Collagen may diminish leaky gut symptoms in more than one way. By supporting gut lining repair, the protein may address the condition's underlying cause. In addition, it supports the production of glutamine, an antioxidant that your body manufactures. Glutamine's job is to defend the body from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Antioxidants have been shown to ease widespread inflammation, another symptom of a leaky gut.
Improvements in Digestion
Research shows that collagen may improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. Collagen is highly attracted to both water and stomach acid found in the gut. Its digestive system may make it easier for food to pass through to be fully digested. Improved digestion may alleviate symptoms like nausea, indigestion, and diarrhea.
Types of Collagen
If you're considering a collagen supplement for gut health, it's important to understand that there are three types of collagen:
- Collagen Type 1 is found in the lining of the digestive system as well as bones, skin, hair, and nails
- Collagen Type 2 found in cartilage
- Collagen Type 3 found in skin, muscles, and blood vessels
Collagen supplements can contain collagen from one of two sources:
- Marine collagen is derived from shellfish and other sea life rich in type I and II collagen.
- Grass-fed bovine collagen is derived from cows and is rich in type I and III collagen.
Which Collagen Is for Gut Health?
For gut health, the best collagen supplement contains type I collagen. Both marine and grass-fed bovine collagen usually feature it. A product that provides collagen from both sources, like Body Kitchen Youthful Beauty Advanced Capsules and Body Kitchen Original Body Boost Collagen Capsules, may be more beneficial.
Be sure to check the number of actual dipeptides supplements provide per serving. Products with higher levels give you more of the vital building blocks of collagen.
How Much Collagen Per Day for Gut Health?
Scientific research has yet to develop an exact dosage of collagen for supporting gut health. The best approach is to choose a high-quality supplement and follow the directions for use provided by the manufacturer. Also, consult your medical provider before taking any new supplement.
"I am seeing results from taking the capsules for about two months now." - Red