June 22, 2021 3 min read
If you’ve been keeping up with the online health world, you’ve no doubt noticed that collagen is everywhere. In vitamin supplements, in skincare products, in powdered form and so much more. But have you ever wondered what collagen actually is and the health benefits it can have? In today’s post, we’ll cover the health benefits of powdered collagen you may find in the popular health supplements. Some of which you may already have at home and others that you’re interested in purchasing.
What Is Collagen?
First, let’s quickly discuss what collagen actually is. Collagen is an abundant protein found in our muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons and is often referred to as the “glue” that holds the body together. It also helps give our skin strength and elasticity and as such, starts to naturally deplete as we age.‡
Containing nineteen different amino acids, collagen is a complex protein that includes a combination of both nonessential and essential types. The highest percentage of these amino acids found in collagen include proline, glycine, glutamine and arginine.‡
Since it’s much easier for our bodies to absorb, hydrolyzed (broken down) collagen has become extremely popular in health and fitness communities in recent years. If you visit any health food or wellness store, you’ll likely see various powdered collagen supplements to choose from including bovine, chicken and fish varieties. Since you can use it in your smoothie, coffee or tea, powdered collagen is a quick and easy way to incorporate this complex protein into your routine.
Collagen’s Role in Maintaining Digestive Health
As previously mentioned, collagen is an abundant protein found in our digestive tract and as such, can play an essential role in maintaining strong connective tissue throughout the body.‡ Why is this important? Well, without a strong and healthy digestive tract and stomach lining you could end up with a condition known as “leaky gut.” According to Flushing Hospital Medical Centre, leaky gut occurs when food and waste particles pass into your bloodstream and cause inflammation in your body.‡ It can also cause stomach cramps, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), bloating and gas.‡
Since leaky gut can lead to sensitivities in foods that are wheat-based, contain gluten and are high in sugar, it’s a good idea to record how you feel after you eat these foods.‡
Collagen’s impressive amino acid profile (namely glycine and proline) can be especially beneficial to maintaining gut health.‡ So finding ways to add more collagen or support its production through your daily diet is a great strategy.‡
Collagen helps break down proteins and soothes your gut lining which in turn, heals damaged cell walls while infusing them with amino acids.‡ However, the biggest impact that collagen can have on the body’s digestive tract is helping supports and maintain the healthy connective in the gut which provides a protective lining.‡
In fact, this study, from NCBIfound that patients with inflammatory bowel disease, used serum concentrations of collagen and were able to support healthy bowel function.‡ Supplementing with powdered collagen can help overall gastrointestinal health and function.‡ Collagen can also support things moving freely out of the body because it helps with the function of healthy digestion and hydration.‡
Luckily, there is a vast supply of collagen powders readily available in health food stores nowadays. And while many are animal based, there are plant-based alternatives to help support collagen production such as our Chaga Powder Mix.Chaga can be great option as Chaga also supports the production of collagen, a protein that helps with the restoration of the skin’s elasticity.‡
The best part is that collagen powders are an easy way to get the important amino acids your body needs. Let’s touch on the different types of collagen powder and the benefits of each.
Hydrolyzed Bovine Collagen (cow or beef)
This comes from cow bones, skin and muscles and is a rich supply of glycine and proline which is useful for creatine production, building muscle and helping the body make its own collagen.‡
Hydrolyzed Chicken Collagen
This type of collagen is great for supporting healthy cartilage, making it beneficial for joint health.‡ It also has chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate which aids in anti-aging and skin health.‡
Hydrolyzed Fish Collagen
According to Dr. Axe, fish collagen has been found to have the best bioavailability (easily absorbed by the body) and provide amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline.‡ This can be associated with benefits for the joints, skin, digestion and bones.‡
While there are many collagen powder benefits for gut health out there. We still think it is possible to find plant-based alternatives such as Chaga, Cordyceps and other adaptogenic herbs and botanicals that are both effective and support a plant-based lifestyle.
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