Collagen and Gut Health
Collagen is a part of our bodies, but many people are now seeking it out as a supplement due to its alleged health benefits. Collagen is a structural protein made up of many amino acids found in the connective tissues of our bodies. It is purported to have many health benefits including improving gut health, reducing constipation, improving sleep and decreasing anxiety. But is there enough evidence to support these claims?
One research study focused on the role of glutamine, an amino acid that makes up collagen, and how it can potentially protect the intestinal wall. The study showed that a lack of glutamine in the diet can result in functional disturbances of the immune system and the gut, causing the intestinal barrier to deteriorate. When this occurs, nutrients are not absorbed properly. Glutamine helps protect the lining of the intestines and promotes cell growth.
Does collagen benefit gut health or is it the glutamine in collagen promoting gut health? This is a topic that needs to be further studied, but it is safe to say that glutamine is important for gut health, especially in critically ill patients.