Can Collagen Affect Your Gut Health?
If you've been reading about skincare and beauty products lately, you must have come across the word collagen a fair number of times. Collagen is an essential protein that supports the structure and function of our skin.
As we grow older, the natural production of collagen from our body reduces, which is when collagen supplements or products with added collagen might be helpful. But can consuming collagen also help improve your gut health? Let's find out!
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein in the human body, mainly in the skin, joints, muscles, and bones. The most abundant protein in our body helps keep the skin and other tissues strong and healthy.
As we age, our body naturally reduces the production of collagen, which is why wrinkles and aging skin become more apparent. The best way to combat aging is by stimulating collagen production through dietary sources or supplements.
Consuming collagen supplements has become all the rage in the skincare and beauty industry due to their impressive results on the skin. Besides the skin, collagen also benefits our gut health by promoting the growth of good bacteria.
It, in turn, helps to improve digestion and protect us from inflammatory diseases like IBS, IBD, or even colitis. Although no studies prove how consuming collagen supplements can help with gut health, there is enough evidence that collagen can benefit our skin and connective tissues.
How Does Collagen Benefit The Skin And The Gut?
As mentioned above, collagen is an essential protein responsible for our skin's structure and function. The best way to get collagen from food is by consuming protein-rich foods like fish, eggs, poultry, red meat, and legumes.
Collagen supplements, on the other hand, are created from the skin of cows or pigs and might not be vegan-friendly. The benefits of collagen for the skin are many. It helps reduce wrinkles, and fine lines, make the skin softer and smoother, and prevents premature aging, making it an essential anti-aging supplement for older adults.
The benefits of collagen for the gut are limited. However, collagen peptides are vital for good gut health. They are broken-down collagen amino acids usually extracted from chicken or fish.
These peptides are the essential building blocks of collagen and can be easily absorbed by the body. Some studies show that dietary collagen peptides can improve gut health by stimulating the growth of good bacteria. So, consuming more collagen peptides can help with our gut health.
Side Effects Of Taking Collagen Supplements
As with any supplement, there are potential side effects associated with taking collagen. These include:
- Allergic reactions - This can happen if you have a history of allergic reactions to animal-based products, like collagen supplements made from the skin of cows or pigs.
- Diarrhea - This happens if you have consumed collagen supplements that contain high amounts of the amino acids glycine and hydroxyproline. These are present in large quantities in marine collagen.
- Dizziness - This can happen if you have consumed a high dose of collagen supplements. It is recommended to follow the label's instructions and consumes collagen supplements under a professional's supervision.
The benefits of collagen outweigh the potential side effects. What's more, no studies link collagen supplements to any long-term side effects.
It would help if you ate more high-protein meals to benefit from collagen in your diet. Fish, poultry, eggs, red meat, and legumes are protein-rich. These also contain collagen peptides.
Apart from these, collagen supplements are also made from plant extracts like aloe vera, coconut, and sunflower seeds. They can be easily found in skincare or health stores. You must eat more high-protein foods if you want to profit from collagen.
The best way is to incorporate fish, poultry, eggs, red meat, and legumes into your diet. You can also consume collagen supplements to get the benefits of collagen in your diet.
Foods That Help Build Collagen And Improve Gut Health
Gut health is all about consuming the correct type of food. Certain foods are rich in collagen peptides that can help promote gut health. These include
- Aloe vera - This tropical plant is a rich source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of collagen.
- Coconut milk, coconut water, and coconut oil are rich in lauric acid that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
- Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, which can reduce gut inflammation.
- Green leafy vegetables - Collagen is made from abundant amino acids in green leafy vegetables.
Collagen is the most prevalent protein in our bodies, as was already discussed. It supports the structure and function of the skin and connective tissues. As we age, our body naturally reduces the production of collagen, which is why wrinkles and aging skin become more apparent.
The best way to combat aging is by stimulating collagen production through dietary sources or supplements. Although no studies prove how consuming collagen supplements can help with gut health, there is enough evidence that collagen can benefit our skin and connective tissues.
The best way to reap the benefits of collagen is by consuming more high-protein foods. You can also consume collagen supplements to get the benefits of collagen in your diet. Foods that are rich in collagen peptides can help promote gut health.