Are you researching oral collagen supplements, and want to find out more about their benefits?
In this blog we explain what collagen is and what it does, reveal natural sources of collagen, and discuss some benefits you may experience by adding collagen supplements into your routine.
What is Collagen, and What Does it Do?
Collagen is the most abundant protein, making up 30% of total protein in the body.
It is responsible for providing structure, stability and strength to various tissues, tendons, ligaments as well as skin and teeth.
Collagen production in the body naturally slows down as we age, and this decline can be exacerbated by sun exposure, smoking, lack of sleep, physical inactivity and excess alcohol consumption.
Sources of Collagen
Collagen is naturally found in animal and plant sources, with the most abundant coming from bovine and marine organisms.
Food sources include:
- Gelatin, and
Collagen is also available in the form of powders, supplements, as well as in cosmetic topical creams and lotions.
Research suggests that topical use of collagen (i.e. via creams and lotions) is not as effective as oral collagen consumption, which is believed to be better absorbed by the body.
Potential Benefits of Oral Collagen Supplements
- Convenience: After bariatric surgery, it can be difficult to meet your protein requirements from food alone, due to significant restriction. Protein powders are a helpful tool as they can be used to fortify your food / fluids without requiring you to eat a larger portioned meal.
- Blends in well with hot and cold drinks. The Feel Good Protein Tasteless Collagen Powder in particular can be mixed in with food / fluids without altering the taste and without leaving clumps and residue.
- Aids in wound healing and recovery.
- May help provide structure to hair, skin and nails. There is some research to suggest that collagen has the potential to have an impact on our skin elasticity, hydration and dermal collagen density.
- May improve joint pain associated with osteoarthritis and other arthritic conditions.
- Considered generally safe with no reported adverse side effects.
It is important to note that when collagen is consumed, it is digested in the stomach and broken down into amino acids (the building blocks of protein). These amino acids are then distributed throughout the body where it is needed the most, which may or may not be for collagen formation.
Collagen protein powders can also be expensive. 500g of Feel Good Tasteless Protein Collagen powder costs $39 (when purchased in clinic), and offers 33 serves (i.e. 33 scoops). Each scoop provides 14.2g of protein*.
Collagen Supplements after Bariatric Surgery
After bariatric surgery, as part of a healthy diet, protein powders are recommended to fortify your food and fluid intake, helping you meet your overall protein requirements.
Collagen-based protein powders are specifically recommended (compared to whey based protein powders) as they tend to be easier to work with and blend in well with hot and cold foods/fluids.
*Note: not all brands of collagen powders are the same in terms of protein and micronutrient content. Look at the Ingredients list to see what else is in your collagen protein powder.