by Khyati Kapur
It’s inevitable nobody can escape aging and the different manifestations our bodies go through. Collagen has a sudden spurt of popularity in regards to gut health, and we are going to discuss the reasons why. It is often thought that collagen is beneficial regarding skin, hair, and nail health. This anti-aging product is making a run for it in the cosmetic industry, but what people don’t know is that it can have lasting benefits for your gut health as well.
Gut health. The dreaded topic that often gets pushed to the back burner because we are too embarrassed to discuss it. Come on, people! We have all been there: the constant bloating, agonizing stomach pain, the discomfort of constipation, inconvenience of diarrhea. It is a lot more common than people think and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. So, let’s talk about it!Collagen can help you resolve those issues!
Statistics show that of the general US population, 15-30% of people experience bloating symptoms, and worldwide, approximately 10-15% of people have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Flatulence and bloating, although very common, are extremely uncomfortable and are continuing to happen for a reason. What’s the underlying cause? Excessive gas and bloating can be caused by food residue in your colon, change in the microflora (which is considered the healthy bacteria of the gut), poor absorption of nutrients or constipation.
IBS is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine. A person with IBS will experience symptoms a minimum of once a week for 3 months before being diagnosed. There is a multitude of symptoms associated with IBS, but the most common will be abdominal cramping, pain and bloating, excess gas, diarrhea or constipation, or mucus in the stool. Similar to flatulence and bloating, one of the causes of IBS is changes in the intestinal microflora. Outside of the apparent discomfort that comes with IBS, it is also associated with poor quality of life and mood disorders. You may have heard the term “gut-brain” before, which refers to the connection between your brain and your gastrointestinal tract through the vagus nerve. Studies have shown that depression and anxiety can be linked to some GI problems as well.
So, the question posed: how do we prevent these problems before they occur?
And if they are already present, how do we find relief of symptoms?
Well, taking extra collagen can help you. And the good news is, there are multiple therapies you can use to improve your gut health and incorporating collagen into your diet is a simple adjustment! Let’s dive into the fundamentals of collagen.
Collagen is a protein and is the most abundant protein in the human body; making up approximately one-third of our bodies. There is a minimum of 16 types of collagen. However, the majority of collagen in our bodies are either type I, II, or III with type 1 being the most prominent. Type I is found in skin, tendon, bone, ligaments, dentin, and intestinal tissues. Although various types of collagen form different structures, they all work for the same end goal: to allow for the elasticity of muscles in our body and to aid in recovery and normal function. So how does this correlate with our gastrointestinal tract?
The intestinal wall is comprised of four layers in this order from inner to outer: the mucosa, submucosa, muscularis propria, and adventitia. The structure of these layers varies in different regions of the digestive tract, depending on their function. There are two critical roles that the intestinal wall plays: the barrier and permeability.
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The intestinal barrier is a substantial mucosal surface that helps counteract the loss of water and electrolytes. It allows for the absorption of nutrients while blocking the entry of antigens and unwanted microorganisms into the body. There are villi on the wall that are finger-like projections that aid in the absorption of nutrients by increasing the surface area. They also have specialized cells which help transport certain nutrients into the blood. Intestinal permeability is a function of the wall that controls the molecules and nutrients passed through to the body.
Inside the intestines, you will find the largest bacterial community in the human body. The intestinal microflora is involved in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients and prevention of colonization of pathogens, amongst other things. The barrier and intestinal permeability work together to allow for equilibrated permeability. When this equilibrium is off, we see changes in the microflora which has been linked to several GI diseases, including IBS.
Our intestinal epithelial are also renewed about every 5 days. This allows for the dead cells at the villus and epithelial surface to be cleaned out, which creates the best environment for peak function. We can help avoid a shift in our microflora, aid in the natural features of our bodies and allow for optimal performance and absorption of nutrients by modifying our diet and making sure our body is getting what it needs, like collagen.
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As we age, our levels of collagen naturally decrease, which is why it is so important to replenish them. Supplementing your diet with collagen powder will help you maintain optimal levels. To reap the full benefits of collagen powder, we would recommend having a minimum of 1 scoop daily with a maximum of 2.5 scoops. The critical component here is that it needs to be taken consistently. If you are not already experiencing any GI symptoms, you are one step ahead and are on the right track to maintaining a healthy gut! If you are experiencing symptoms, typically, you would start to notice relief in about 1 month. In many cases, the use of collagen daily may be more beneficial than taking a probiotic every day.
Seva Soul's Peptides powder is extremely versatile and easy to use. The powder itself is tasteless so it can be added to any drink or baked good without altering the result. Many people choose to add it to their morning coffee, a mid-afternoon smoothie, or even in baked goods like pancakes or oatmeal. You can find many recipes on our website, and social media account to make it easy to get started. To name a few: protein banana almond butter chocolate chip muffins, keto-friendly bulletproof coffee, fresh donuts, and low carb snickerdoodle cookies. If improving your gut health is as easy as this, what’s stopping you from making a change?
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by Khyati Kapur