Collagen is all the rage these days due to its touted fountain of youth benefits in helping skin look younger, joints healthier, and hair and nails strong. But did you know collagen’s benefits may be more than skin deep? Check out these three incredible collagen protein benefits that go beyond the surface.
What is Collagen Protein?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the entire body, making up 90 percent of our connective tissue and 70 percent of our skin. It is the main structural component of our skin, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and bones. Starting in our 20’s our body becomes less efficient at replacing and rebuilding collagen, causing the skin to look drier, saggier, and (sadly) wrinkled.
Collagen is naturally found in foods such as gelatin, bone broth, and organ meats. Collagen supplements are made from hydrolyzed collagen, also known as collagen peptides, which are well absorbed in the body for collagen production.
Healthy Gut Promoter
Collagen contains amino acids essential for creating a healthy intestine and stomach lining, including glycine, glutamine, and proline. Collagen intake can supply the body with the building blocks it needs to repair and rebuild the digestive system. A healthy gut lining may prevent some digestive issues associated with increased gut permeability, also known as “leaky gut.” Leaky gut can happen when gaps in the intestinal walls open and allow food or harmful bacteria into the blood system. Symptoms of increased gut permeability may vary, including gas, bloating, new food allergies or intolerances, autoimmune diseases, diarrhea, “foggy brain,” and constipation. A variety of environmental factors can increase someone’s risk for “leaky gut.” I see most often stress resulting in “leaky gut” symptoms. Eating a well-balanced diet that includes amino acids glycine, glutamine, and proline, along with healthy stress management, can help promote a healthy gut.
Increasing collagen in your diet may promote bone health and fight against osteoporosis. In lab studies, collagen peptides have been shown to stimulate the production of osteoblasts in the body. Osteoblasts are cells that create bone matrixes. These matrixes are then mineralized, building bone’s strength and stability. As we age, bone mineralization decreases, and bones may become weak and brittle, leading to osteoporosis. Collagen supplementation may help improve bone density and prevent bone loss; further research is needed.
Weight Loss Stimulator
Collagen may help people manage weight more efficiently. Multiple research studies have shown collagen intake at meals or snacks can promote satiety resulting in better portion control and easier weight management. In addition, a small control study showed collagen supplementation might also promote weight loss from fat when compared to a control.
Regardless of the source, protein has proven to promote satiety, increase metabolic rate, and aid muscle building. Collagen peptides are an easy and versatile diet addition to help meet anyone’s protein goals.
Adding collagen into the diet is incredibly simple and made easier with Designer Protein’s Designer Collagen. One serving has 10 g of highly absorbable multi collagen proteins, including collagen peptides type 1 and type 3, which the body needs to make over 90% of the collagen in your body. Designer Collagen also contains medium change triglycerides and fiber to promote gut health plus magnesium, vitamin C, calcium, and hyaluronic acid to help build healthy skin, hair, nails, and strong bones. Designer Collagen is easy to add to water, water, coffee, tea, smoothies, and anything you can dream up. I love adding my unflavored collagen protein to my sparkling water in the afternoon with lemon to help curb my afternoon sweet tooth and cravings.
By Ginger Cochran, MS, RDN, CDCES, CEP-ACSM
Flushing Hospital: Benefits of Collagen for Maintaining a Healthy Gut
Leaky Gut Syndrome: Kyu-Nam Kim*, Kwang-Min Kim, Department of Family Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
Today’s Dietitian: Supplements: Collagen Supplements
Psychology Today: Can Collagen Really Help You Lose Weight? Ongoing research on collagen shows that it may help with weight loss.
Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism: Volume 30, Issue 2, October 2000, Pages 87-99 Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint diseaffect of Oral Ingestion of Low-Molecular Collagen Peptides Derived from Skaeatinga Kenojei) Skin on Body Fat in Overweight Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial