Collagen has received a fair amount of time in the beauty spotlight for the major role it plays in supporting healthy hair, skin and nails. But its health effects don’t just stop there – did you know that collagen proteins also have a positive impact on our gut health?
As a consumed supplement, there have been multiple positive outcomes regarding collagen peptides for joint, bone and muscle health as well as an aid for athlete recovery. This isn’t surprising as collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, making up 30% of its dry mass. Collagen essentially maintains the structural integrity of our major connective tissues aka the glue that holds us together.
Fun Fact: The word collagen actually originates from the Greek word ‘Kolla’ meaning glue!
So, when it comes to gut health how can collagen support us?
Strengthening The Gut Lining
Structurally the gut lining or wall is built like a puzzle with tight junctions that regulate the movement of substances such as water and nutrients across the intestinal barrier. It is an active barrier between the external and internal environment of our gut. Although, these junctions can become weak due to chronic disease or stress, which allows for increased intestinal permeability, or otherwise referred to as ‘leaky gut’. Leaky gut is known to trigger inflammatory immune responses due to the infiltration of toxins that would otherwise be eliminated.
The gut lining is made up of amino acids, some of which are found in collagen protein- in particular glutamine & glycine. Studies on intestinal permeability have revealed that consistent collagen supplementation has the ability to improve these tight junctions and reduce symptoms of leaky gut- bloating, acne, constipation, eczema. Leaning into foods high in collagen such as bone broth and fish can also be beneficial.
Optimizing Nutrient Absorption
The intestinal or ‘gut’ lining is where most nutrients are absorbed from our food. If the lining is impaired such as in cases of intestinal permeability this allows for loss of nourishing nutrients that would otherwise be absorbed. Prioritising the repair of your gut lining is going to significantly improve proper nutrient absorption so that nutrient deficiencies and inflammation are ameliorated.
Including a variety of glutamine rich foods - such as eggs, dairy, red meats and fish – is a sure-fire way of ensuring you are getting enough of the amino acids and collagen needed for gut lining support. However, taking a daily collagen supplement such as Active Collagen All-In-One can help boost your levels of collagen and amino acids with piece of mind.
Inflammatory health issues that are shown to relate to ‘leaky gut’ such as inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease are serious and should not be self-prescribed. Talk to your doctor before starting any sort of supplementation.
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