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  • Writer's pictureKatie Bailey, MS, RD, LD, FNC

Collagen for Leaky Gut: Does it Truly Heal?

Updated: Dec 31


Video Transcript:


Hi everyone. Welcome back to our channel. Collagen has been gaining popularity over the years due to its many health benefits. One benefit that's been gaining attention is its role in gut health and the potential to help heal leaky gut.


You've probably heard of the term "leaky gut" before, as it's a popular topic in the health field right now, with many people seeking easy ways to heal from it. In today's video, we will review leaky gut and collagen, discussing collagen's role in helping to heal leaky gut.


I'll also explain the different types of collagen and how to incorporate them into your diet.


Hi, I'm Katie Bailey, a registered dietitian at Flusso Nutrients, where we provide supplement education and professional quality supplement options to make navigating the world of nutrition supplements a little easier.


As always, be sure to check with your main nutrition-literate healthcare professional before starting anything new, as we can't know your full medical history to provide a personal recommendation. So, without further ado, let's dive into today's topic.


Understanding Leaky Gut Syndrome


Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is a condition where the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged or leaky. In a healthy gut, the intestinal wall's lining is a tight barrier that only allows water and essential nutrients to enter the bloodstream.


When the gut becomes leaky, this barrier loosens, forming gaps that allow unwanted particles like undigested food, toxins, bacteria, and viruses to cross into the bloodstream.


The immune system then marks these particles as foreign invaders and starts attacking them, creating an immune response and a variety of symptoms.


Leaky gut has been associated with several health conditions, including chronic inflammatory diseases like Celiac and Crohn's, autoimmune diseases, mood disorders, and food sensitivities.


Potential root causes of leaky gut include poor diet, inflammation, infections, toxins, gut dysbiosis, and stress.


Causes and Symptoms of Leaky Gut


Excessive use of medications like NSAIDs, for example, ibuprofen, can cause gut inflammation and damage the intestinal lining. Chronic stress leads to elevated cortisol levels, weakening the immune system and causing inflammation in the gut, which can create gaps in the barrier.


The Standard American Diet, full of highly processed and inflammatory foods, has also been shown to cause inflammation and damage the gut lining. Lastly, toxins can degrade the gut lining and disrupt the beneficial bacteria, leading to dysbiosis.


You may wonder, how do I know if I have leaky gut? Symptoms may be gastrointestinal, like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, and food intolerances, or present as more general symptoms like headaches, brain fog, depression, anxiety, ADHD, fatigue, skin issues like eczema or acne, and joint pain, to name a few.


Collagen for Leaky Gut

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Leaky gut can cause numerous problems, so it's important to find ways to heal the gut lining, and collagen is a great starting point. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, making up 25 to 35% of the total protein mass.


It's a major building block of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and is also found in other body parts like eyes, teeth, and blood vessels. Collagen consists of three polypeptide chains arranged in a triple helix, giving it strength.


Often referred to as the body's glue, it provides structural support and protection. Collagen supports the removal of dead cells and the growth of new cells, as well as aids in blood clotting. It also supports joint and skin health.


The body can produce collagen naturally, but this production decreases with age. Stress and a poor diet lacking in vitamins, minerals, and protein can also decrease the body's natural collagen production.


So, what role does collagen play in gut health? Collagen forms the connective tissue in the gut, helping to strengthen it and prevent it from becoming leaky. The amino acids in collagen, like glycine and proline, can help rebuild tissues and seal the gut lining.


By promoting the creation of new cells and repairing damaged cells of the gut lining, collagen could potentially help resolve leaky gut. Glycine, an amino acid found in collagen, can also help reduce inflammation in the gut, preventing the formation of gaps.


Types of Collagen and Supplementation


Now, let's talk about the different types of collagen. Research has identified 28 different types of collagen, but there are three you'll see most often. Type I is the most common, making up 90% of the body's collagen, found in skin, connective tissue, and bones.


Type II makes up the cartilage in our joints, and Type III makes up the connective tissue in our organs and skin. You may also see bovine collagen, a combination of Types I and III, or marine collagen, a combination of Types I and II. Chicken collagen contains Type II.


Collagen supplements come in powder, liquid, and capsule forms. Some contain one or two types of collagen, while others contain multiple types in one formula. At Flusso, we offer options with multiple types in one formula or just bovine collagen, which I will link in the description box.


Recommendations for Collagen Intake


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What type of collagen is best for gut repair? We most often use bovine or marine collagen peptides, often sold as collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen. These forms are easy for the body to digest as they're already broken down into their smallest form.


Incorporating collagen into your diet is easier than you might think. Start by adding foods naturally high in collagen, like bone broth or meats with high connective tissue content, like brisket or pot roast.


You can also help your body naturally produce more collagen by consuming foods high in amino acids that build collagen, such as beef, chicken, fish, and eggs.


Although amino acids are collagen's building blocks, certain co-factors are also needed, so include foods rich in vitamin C, zinc, copper, and manganese.


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Conclusion


In conclusion, collagen could be a beneficial supplement for those struggling with leaky gut, as it plays a crucial role in maintaining gut lining health. While collagen is beneficial, it's not a cure-all.


A healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep all play crucial roles in gut health. Collagen should be seen as part of a comprehensive approach to improving gut health, not the sole solution.


If you're interested in trying collagen and incorporating it into your diet, I have linked a couple of quality supplements below in the description box. If you liked this video, please hit the like button and subscribe for more nutrition videos.


Let us know in the comments your experience with collagen or leaky gut or any questions you may have. Thanks for watching, and I'll see you next time.

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