Collagen is an amazing natural supplement which is great for gut health - but can it really make a difference to IBS sufferers?
What is IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also known as IBS, is a relatively common health condition which affects the digestive system.
In the UK, it is estimated that between 10-20% of the population have IBS - but as it is often undiagnosed due to the nature of its symptoms, it is likely that this figure is much higher.
The onset of IBS usually happens between the ages of 20 and 30 years. IBS is also twice as common in women compared with men.
Interestingly, food intolerances such as lactose and gluten intolerance have also been found to be precursors for IBS. So you're more likely to have IBS if you have a food intolerance or allergy.
However, it should be noted that having IBS is thought not to increase your risk of other bowel-related conditions, or of bowel cancer.
Signs & Symptoms of IBS
As IBS is a digestive condition, most of its symptoms relate to the gut and digestive system.
Symptoms can vary between individuals, over time and are also affected by external factors like stress and the food we eat.
Common signs and symptoms of IBS include:
- Abdominal pain & cramps
Less common symptoms include:
- Acid reflux
- Lack of energy
- Mood changes
👉 Remember: If you have experienced any of these symptoms, we'd recommend discussing that with your GP. It's also super important to discuss any changes in your bowel habits with a medical professional - and avoid self-diagnosing something like IBS.
An Introduction to Collagen
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is needed for healthy joints, bones, tissue, tendons and skin.
It is also used in the digestive system to provide strength and structure to the gut wall.
We make our own collagen in the body, but this natural production declines as we age - from as early as in our 20s.
So, supplementing your diet with collagen can help to mitigate the effect of this and optimise health throughout the body.
Want to learn more? Hunter & Gather co-founder Amy met with functional nutritionist Pauline Cox to discuss all things collagen. Check out the interview below for a comprehensive introduction to collagen!
8 Ways Collagen Can Help You to Manage IBS
As collagen supplementation has been shown to support a healthy gut, there is much discussion around the potential of collagen to help manage IBS.
First things first, at the moment there is sadly no cure for IBS - that incudes collagen.
That's because IBS is considered to be a lifelong condition - so nothing can truly heal it as such - but we can work to putting it into remission.
IBS can be very well managed with diet and lifestyle. One thing which could help is supplementing your diet with collagen. Let's explore!
Collagen supplementation can help to reduce digestive symptoms - One study found that after 6 weeks of daily collagen supplementation, 93% of participants with IBS reported a reduction in digestive symptoms including bloating, pain and irregular bowel movements.
Collagen supplementation supports overall digestive health - Collagen protein powder has been shown to help to repair damage in the gut and strengthen the gut lining. It contains the amino acids proline and lysine, which help to strengthen the intestinal wall and reduce gut wall permeability. As IBS is a condition which can potentially damage the gut, collagen can be a useful supplement to help mitigate the effects of this.
Collagen supplements are free from lactose & gluten - Lactose and gluten are commonly found in many foods and supplements, but some IBS sufferers need to avoid them due to an associated increased prevalence of lactose and gluten intolerance. As collagen protein powder is free from lactose and gluten it is a safe, allergen-free supplement for people who are intolerant to them.
Collagen may help to reduce the risk of conditions associated with IBS - As IBS is a lifelong condition, it can cause damage to the gut - even with an early diagnosis and good management. Taking a collagen supplement can help to repair the gut and prevent the onset of associated conditions such as Leaky Gut Syndrome.
- Collagen may help to improve hydration in the gut - Collagen is a hydrophilic molecule, which means that it is attracted to water. If you take collagen mixed with water, this can help to hydrate the gut and keep it functioning optimally. This can also be helpful for keeping bowel movements regular.
Collagen may help to boost circulation in the gut - Studies have shown that collagen's function in strengthening arteries and blood vessels means that it can help to improve circulation. This means that nutrients are delivered to the gut more efficiently, which can also help to promote healing.
Collagen could help to balance pH levels in the gut - Imbalanced pH levels in the gut can accelerate stomach acid production and worsen symptoms of IBS such as indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux. Research has shown that collagen supplementation helps to rebalance pH levels throughout the body, including the gut - hopefully helping to manage these symptoms.
- Collagen is great for overall health and wellness - As well as having amazing benefits for the digestive system, collagen is an all round friend of the body and helps to nurture optimal health. It also contains amino acids which support a healthy immune system, which is beneficial to any health condition - including IBS.
The potential for collagen to help manage and improve symptoms of IBS is promising, but like most things requires more research to back up these claims!
What we do know for sure is that collagen supplementation has some incredible benefits for the immune system, digestive system and for overall health - making it an invaluable supplement for IBS sufferers.
Hunter & Gather Collagen Peptides Protein Powder
Hunter & Gather Collagen is 100% pure and hydrolysed collagen powder sourced from Grass Fed bovine and Wild Caught fish.
We developed our premium collagen peptide powder to provide a supplement that will help to boost natural collagen levels so that you can enjoy the amazing benefits of this.
Our collagen peptides are unrivalled on bioavailability and are incredibly easy for the body to absorb and utilise. They're also lab tested for purity and are free from allergens.
You can add between 10-30g collagen peptides to your usual meals and drinks, for a daily collagen boost. Check out our collagen recipes here which all incorporate this wonderful supplement!
And grab yours to see what all the fuss is about for yourself! 👇
Learn more about the health benefits of Collagen Peptides...
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.