Collagen has long been known for its age-defying effects on our skin, hair, and nails. Research has also found that it has a positive effect on our joints and muscles. Its use may even extend to providing temporary relief from occasional pain, inflammation and digestive health.
Collagen is a naturally occurring compound that makes up 30% of our body’s protein. Collagen has three primary types: Type I, Type II, and Type III. For intestinal and gastric health, all three are beneficial. Collagen contains the amino acid glycine, which protects the intestinal integrity and soothes inflammation. Glycine also supports liver and kidney function, aids in detoxification, and promotes the production of bile that helps to remove waste from the body. Usually collagen is extracted from animal products, but it is possible to supplement with plant based collagen, which has shown to be as effective as animal-based options.
Collagen for Digestive System Support
Collagen works as a prebiotic for the healthy bacteria that are tasked with breaking down the amino acids in collagen. When broken down, these bacteria use amino acids for energy and growth. For people on a low carb or no carb diet, it is important to incorporate collagen in your daily diet. Typically, bacteria use carbohydrates for energy, but without a source of carbohydrates, bacterial quality can diminish.
When talking about the break down of collagen, it is important to understand that collagen is not broken down by bacteria. This has led to some confusion as collagen contains a strong triple helix form that would normally make it resistant to break down without a secondary factor such as bacteria. So what’s the cause? Results have shown that pepsin at acid pH and naturally occurring digestive enzymes such as the protease in pancreatic juice that is found in the digestive system is enough to break down collagen.
Collagen for Leaky Gut
The amino acids that are so abundant in collagen are the same amino acids that compose our digestive tract. As a result, supplementing with collagen may help to aid in the repair of our large and small intestines. This can include relief from leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is characterized by the absorption of food particles into the bloodstream. The immune system sees these food particles as invaders and goes on the attack, causing damage throughout the body.
Leaky gut can also allow viruses, harmful bacteria, and fungi into our bloodstream. Normally, ‘good’ bacteria in the gut help to kill ‘bad’ bacteria. When bacterial quality is insufficient and proper digestion does not occur, the body becomes defenseless.
The Best Collagen For You
Plant based collagen support can help with some of these issues. Some plant based collagen supplements are derived from wholly organic nutrients and have additional benefits to your health and digestive system that other protein based supplements may not.
Plant based collagen sources are shown to decrease flare-ups of digestive disorders and are the most popular collagen sources. While fish derived collagen has also been shown to decrease permeability of the intestines by closing tight junctions in the intestinal tract, those who have used plant-based supplements have seen similar benefits when combined with a healthy diet.
Overall, collagen has been shown to be an excellent and versatile supplement for many ailments. Collagen can be used to support the joints, skin, digestive system, muscle development, and much more. Taking a collagen supplement is a healthy and natural way to ensure our body is getting the nutrients it needs to stay happy and healthy.