Odds are, you’ve heard of collagen before — especially as a supplement for healthy skin and hair. But for those that may be unfamiliar with the importance of collagen, allow us to give you a quick rundown. Collagen is a protein that helps to provide structural support for our tissues and keep our muscles, joints, and skin flexible yet strong.
The wellness community regards collagen highly because it helps our skin to stay hydrated and joints to stay elastic. However, this super protein provides a lesser-known benefit that we don't talk about as often: digestive support.
Discover why keeping healthy collagen levels is vital for a healthy, well-functioning digestive system:
1. Collagen can support your intestinal tract and help reduce symptoms of leaky gut.
If you're familiar with gut health (the balance of microorganisms in your gastrointestinal tract), you'll know that it's an important part of overall digestive health. A balanced gut relies on healthy intestinal walls, which allow nutrients to pass while filtering out harmful microorganisms.
But not all intestinal walls are as healthy as they should be, and compromised intestinal walls lead to leaky gut syndrome. The damaged gastrointestinal barrier allows toxins and harmful microorganisms to pass, upsetting the careful balance of microorganisms that support gut health. This results in unpleasant symptoms like indigestion, diarrhea, and bloating.
So, where does collagen fit in? Well, studies have found that collagen production may positively influence support for the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, studies have linked collagen peptide supplementation to positive effects on the health of your intestinal walls. So if you suffer from gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you may want to pay attention to your collagen levels.
2. Collagen may support a healthy inflammation process response.
The liver is another vital organ within the digestive system that performs dozens of functions that keep you healthy. To name a few, the liver:
- Produces bile, which helps you fully digest food by allowing your intestines to break down essential compounds like vitamins.
- Metabolizes carbohydrates and proteins while stabilizing your blood sugar; these functions all play a crucial role in energy production.
Unfortunately, the liver is susceptible to damage from inflammation caused by excessive alcohol, poor diet, and more. In the worst case, inflammation in the liver can lead to scarring and dangerous complications in digestive function.
However, glycine (the main amino acid in collagen) may aid in recovering a healthy liver. Glycine supports a positive inflammatory response, encouraging a healthy and well-functioning digestive system. In fact, some studies suggest glycine may even help reduce damage from excessive alcohol drinking, although more research is required to study these promising results in humans. For these reasons, proper collagen levels can support a healthy inflammation response in the liver.
3. Collagen can encourage healthy insulin response.
Simply put, insulin is a hormone that signals how your body should use glucose. It can direct your body to store glucose when levels are too high and to use glucose for energy when needed. For those healthy insulin responses, this process happens without a hitch. But for those with diabetes, insulin response becomes impaired; it can contribute to digestive complications like gastroparesis, which impairs your ability to digest food and causes bloating and pain.
Fortunately, glycine support from healthy collagen levels may help to encourage a healthy insulin response. Studies have linked glycine to the stimulation of otherwise-impaired insulin responses, which means those with diabetes may benefit from glycine supplementation. (Note: always remember that diabetes is a serious condition that requires proper medical attention from your primary healthcare provider.)
4. Collagen can facilitate quality sleep.
Sleep and digestion — they're connected! Sleep is vital to our overall bodily functions, including digestive health. When we sleep, we provide our body with the opportunity to restore and rebuild tissues in our digestive system. In fact, sleep deprivation can actually aggravate inflammation, daytime hunger, and other complications that impede our ability to digest foods and drive healthy eating habits. Doctors have even found connections between poor quality sleep and gastrointestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and liver disorders.
Proper collagen levels may help you get better sleep. The aforementioned glycine can promote higher quality sleep in multiple ways, like supporting you to fall asleep faster. So, stock up on your collagen intake and prepare for restful nights.
The Best Collagen Supplement for Digestive Support
There’s no shortage of collagen supplements on the market, so how do you select the best supplement for digestive support? Luckily, you don’t need to look far. NatureWise Enhanced Collagen Peptides are formulated with unique ingredients that encourage healthy digestive function:
- Hydrolyzed Collagen Type I & III: There are more than 20 types of collagen, but types I and III specifically help maintain hair, skin, and bone health. These are also the most commonly found collagen types in our bodies.
- DigestSEB® Super Multi-Enzyme Complex: A blend of over a dozen plant enzymes, this ingredient stimulates the digestion of proteins and nutrients in your body. It also promotes the digestion of fiber- and protein-rich foods like beans, dairy, soy, or meat.
- AstraGin®: This plant-based formula supports a healthy gut and maximum amino acid absorption, helping you get more out of your collagen supplement intake.
So the next time you reach for collagen supplements, bear in mind that you're getting more than joint, hair, and skin support; you're aiding your digestive health, too!