Will Taking Collagen Cure a Leaky Gut, Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Will Taking Collagen Cure a Leaky Gut, Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Is Hydrolysed Collagen good for gut health and will it restore and repair a leaky gut, Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Well the answer is YES and in this article there are over 70 references to scientific studies and research to prove it. In fact this is the most comprehensive review of the literature you will find. So please, read on.

You probably already know that most foreign antigens enter the body through the digestive tract.

What you may not know though is that recent studies support potential therapeutic roles for specific amino acids (including glutamine, glutamate, arginine, glycine, lysine, threonine, and sulfur-containing amino acids contained in hydrolysed collagen powder) in gut-related diseases. Results of these new lines of work indicate trophic and cytoprotective effects of amino acids on gut integrity, growth, and health in animals and humans.(1)

The dietary amino acids in Hydrolysed Collagen Powder are major fuels for the small intestinal mucosa, as well as important substrates for syntheses of intestinal proteins, nitric oxide, polyamines, and other products with enormous biological importance.

The unique amino acid profile of collagen heals damaged cells and build new tissue in the intestinal wall, as well as coating, protecting and soothing the lining of the gut wall. This aids in healing and repairing a leaky gut as this study (2) shows. It reports that:

“Amino acids caused a much greater increase in serum gastrin concentration and enhanced acid secretion”.

These amino acids found in Hydrolysed Collagen Powder, increase production of hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach. This has several positive implications and it can help prevent further damage. HCI breaks down proteins. Without sufficient hydrochloric acid, undigested proteins can cause allergic reactions which lead to the inflammatory immune system response that comes with leaky gut and further damage the lining of the stomach (3). HCl kills off pathogens. HCl kills many organisms that can come from tainted, rotten, or undercooked food. HCl also helps your body to absorb minerals.

Amino Acids such as Lysine, Methionine and Threonine, Arginine, Glycine, and Glutamic Acid, are all contained in balanced amounts in Hydrolysed Collagen. These Amino Acids play critical roles in maintaining or promoting gut health and gut functions (4) (5)

This study (6) found that Hydrolysed Collagen showed significant anti-obesity effects on the high-fat diet mouse model and also modulated the overall composition of the gut microbiota. Hydrolysed Collagen not only significantly increased the levels of some beneficial bacteria, but also decreased the levels of bacteria involved in inflammation.  

Gelatin, a derivative of Collagen, has also been studied extensively in the maintenance and repair of the gut. Scientists used Gelatin tannate in their studies. Gelatin tannate is a mixture of tannic acid and gelatin.  

They showed that Gelatin tannate reduces the proinflammatory effects of lipopolysaccharide (also known as endotoxins) in human intestinal epithelial cells (7). Another study used Gelatin Tannate successfully in reducing acute diarrhea (8)

Supplementing the diet with Collagen decreases ulcerative lesions in the gut (9) and another study found that Hydrolysed Collagen enhanced the stability of the gastric mucosa to the action of ulcerogenic factors, such as ethanol and stress, and exhibited a protecting antiulcer effect. (10)

Glycine, the simplest of the amino acids, makes up a whopping 20% of the amino acids contained in Hydrolysed Collagen. It is an essential component of important biological molecules, a key substance in many metabolic reactions, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brain stem, and an anti‐inflammatory, cytoprotective, and immune modulating substance.(11)

Glycine has very vital roles in metabolism and nutrition of many mammals and humans. Of the total amino acid content in the human body, 11.5% is represented by glycine and 20% of the total amino acid nitrogen in body proteins is from glycine. Generally for supporting the growing human body, 80% of the whole body glycine is used for protein synthesis. In the collagen molecules of our body, glycine is located at every third position. Glycine residues bring together the triple helix of the collagen.

Furthermore, glycine is a significant component of bile acids secreted into the lumen of the small intestine that is necessary for the digestion of dietary fat and the absorption of long-chain fatty acids.(12) 

The conjugation of bile acids in humans is facilitated by glycine. Thereby glycine indirectly plays a crucial role in absorption and digestion of fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K.

In published scientific studies, Glycine was shown to dramatically increased the tolerability of Aspirin in the upper GI tract (13) and it influenced stomach acid secretion and protected against chemical and stress-induced ulcers (14)

In fact, Glycine possesses significant anti-ulcer activity (15) and prevents chemically induced colitis in animal models (16) Glycine prevents alcohol-induced stomach lesions when used as a pretreatment in animal models (17).

In small intestine grafts, glycine improves smooth muscle dysfunction after transplantation as well as reduces inflammation (18) and Glycine is able to maintain intestinal wall integrity and mucosa in cancer treatment irradiation in animal models (19).

Glycine protects our intestine against oxidative damage caused by ischaemia-reperfusion (IR) injury and prevents or reverses experimentally-induced colitis.

Jacob et al. (2003) reported that glycine protects the stomach from damage during the mesenteric ischemia (a blockage in an artery cutting off blood flow to a portion of the intestine) by suppressing cell death (20). Lee et al. (2002) demonstrated that glycine gives protection against intestinal IR injury by a method consistent with uptake of glycine (21).

Tsune et al. (2003) have reported that glycine has protected the intestinal injury caused by trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid or dextran sulfate sodium in chemical models of colitis. The epithelial irritation and damage caused by the trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid or dextran sulfate sodium were cured by glycine (22). The study confirmed that glycine alleviated diarrhea, body weight loss, ulceration, and inflammatory changes in the colon. These results suggest that glycine has prophylactic and therapeutic activity against colitis. The study concludes that:

" glycine may be useful for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases as an immunomodulating nutrient".

Howard et al. (2010) (23) reported that the direct effects of glycine on intestinal epithelial cells could show a particular influence on the complete inflammatory status of the intestine by significant change of redox status which is completely different from anti-inflammatory effects of glycine on several molecular targets of other mucosal cell populations. The study identified that 2 days of oral glycine supplementation after 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid administration is very effective in lowering inflammation, which shows therapeutic and prophylactic benefits of glycine.

Acid secretions causing gastric ulceration are decreased by glycine and glycine also protects against  gastric lesions as described in this study on rats (24).

Another amino acid contained in Hydrolysed Collagen is Glutamic Acid. In fact over 11% of Hydrolysed Collagen is Glutamic Acid. Glutamine is derived from glutamic acid and is the most abundant free amino acid of the human body. Besides its role as a constituent of proteins and its importance in the transfer of  amino acids from one molecule to another, (especially from an amino acid to a keto acid), glutamine has regulatory capacity in immune and cell modulation.

Moreover, Glutamine is presently the best known compound for reducing Intestinal Permeability (leaky gut)!! In fact a number of studies show that nutritional depletion of Glutamine is known to result in increased leaky gut.(25) (26) (27) (28). 

This study demonstrates major abnormalities in intestinal permeability in glutamine-deprived rat pups.(29)

Other recent evidence indicates that glutamine maintains the tissues that line the outer surfaces of organs and blood vessels throughout the body, as well as the inner surfaces of cavities in many internal organs and decreases permeability.(30)

In addition, glutamine supplementation has been shown to increase intestinal barrier function in malnourished children.(31)

Glutamine is the preferential substrate for enterocytes (intestinal absorptive cells), and it works in combination with other amino acids, such as leucine and arginine (both found in Hydrolysed Collagen), to maintain integrity and function.(32)

Improvements in the intestinal barrier have been shown in experimental bile duct obstruction, after ischemia/reperfusion (33) and even in severe clinical situations, such as in critically ill patients, in whom glutamine lowered the frequency of infections (34) following abdominal surgery.(35)

Glutamine exerts a trophic effect on the intestinal mucosa, decreases the intestinal permeability and thus may prevent the translocation of bacteria.(36)

Mucositis is when your mouth or gut is sore and inflamed. It's a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer. In this review of the literature (37), oral glutamine was shown to be effective in treating the condition in 11 of the 15 studies. It significantly reduced the incidence of grade 2, 3, or 4 mucositis and/or reduced weight loss as well as the duration, time of onset, and/or maximum grade of mucositis.

In low birth weight children, allergies were improved by glutamine treatment during the first year of life.(38).

Because of the high turnover rate of glutamine, even high amounts of glutamine up to a daily administration of 30 g can be given without any important side effects.(39) 

Glutamine enhances secretory and gastroprokinetic responses to protein and amino acid rich diets like those supplementing with Hydrolysed Collagen, but has no effect when applied alone or with carbohydrates.(40)

In Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) treatment, the use of glutamine alone or in combination with other amino acids such as those found in Hydrolysed Collagen is considered promising.(41)

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of IBD. IBD comprises a group of diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis, particularly the chronic persistent form is characterized by the presence of active inflammation and extensive areas of ulceration in the colonic mucosa. 

Inflammatory bowel disease is characterized by severe diarrhea, electrolyte loss, bleeding and abdominal pain, and causes significant morbidity. IBD also increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two types of IBD, have distinct pathological and clinical characteristics: Crohn’s disease can involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract, but most commonly affects the terminal ileum and perianal regions. Ulcerative colitis usually affects the large intestine and the rectum. Transmural inflammation is characteristic of Crohn’s disease, but in ulcerative colitis, inflammation is typically limited to the mucosa and caused by white blood cell infiltration. Because of its complex etiology and complicated symptoms, IBD is very difficult to treat.

Some studies, primarily conducted in rodents and pigs, are of interest because they have provided evidence that certain amino acids, particularly glutamine and arginine, found abundantly in Hydrolysed Collagen, may influence the progress of IBD (42). They may act to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and the levels of proinflammatory cytokines. 

Interestingly, serum amino acid levels have been shown to differ in IBD patients and healthy controls, suggesting the existence of a link between amino acid profiles and IBD (43,44,45). Moreover, malnutrition in IBD patients is common, and nutritional therapy is frequently used to overcome nutrient deficiencies and to alter the inflammatory status. Hydrolysed Collagen, as a therapeutic candidate, may ultimately help to maintain intestinal integrity in IBD patients. 

There is mounting evidence that Glutamine supplementation is beneficial in improving disease symptoms and intestinal structure and barrier function. This amino acid can increase intestinal-friendly microbiota (Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria), while decrease harmful bacteria (Oscillospira and Treponema) (46).

In animal models, glutamine was found to protect against intestinal damage and preserve gastrointestinal function. Weight loss (47), epithelium injury and loss (48), mucosal hypoplasia (49), submucosal and serosal fibrosis (50), colon edema (51), and disruption of colonic architecture (52) characteristic of chemically induced models were reduced by glutamine administration. The evidence suggests glutamine may have antioxidant, antiapoptotic, and anti-inflammatory activity in IBD. 

Taken as a health supplement, Hydrolised Collagen inhibits colonic inflammation and reduces tissue injury in DSS-induced acute UC mice (53). Hydrolysed Collagen inhibits mucosal inflammation by suppressing inflammatory cells. Again, these findings suggest that Hydrolysed Collagen has potential applications as a new functional food for IBD patients.

Collagen hydrolysate treatments showed a significant reduction in the rectal bleeding compared to the reference mesalamine treatment and untreated negative control of induced colitis in mice model (54). Collagen hydrolysate treatments showed significant reduction in mucosal damage score and facilitated faster regeneration of damaged mucosa. The study concluded that Hydrolysed Collagen inhibits colonic inflammation and reduces tissue injury in DSS-induced acute UC mice. Hydrolysed Collagen Powder inhibits mucosal inflammation in the colon. 

Another amino acid contained in Hydrolysed Collagen, Threonine, is of critical importance to intestinal mucosal integrity and barrier function. Almost 3% of Hydrolysed Collagen is comprised of the amino acid Threonine. 

Threonine is an essential amino acid necessary for intestinal mucosal protein synthesis, especially mucin, and for intestinal integrity, immune barrier function, and oxidative status (55,56). 

The major components of mucus are mucous glycoproteins (mucins), which are secreted by epithelial goblet cells and submucosal glands. They have biological functions including host defense by entrapping inhaled bacteria or viruses and preventing their attachment to our tissues. Threonine is an essential component of mucus glycoproteins (approximately 40% of the protein) in the Gastro Intestinal Tract (57)

Threonine supply is critical for maintaining gut immunological functions by aiding mucus production to maintain gut barrier integrity.

Faure et al. (58) reported that increased feeding of an amino acid cocktail containing threonine promoted mucin production and a healthy microbiota and favor colonic protection and mucosal healing in DSS-treated rats. An adequate threonine supply appears crucial to restoration of intestinal integrity during IBD and therefore to enhance recovery.

An equally important Amino Acid contained in Hydrolysed Collagen, Arginine, makes up almost 9% of its content  and plays an important role in cell division, wound healing , removing ammonia from the body, immune function, and the release of hormones. It is a precursor for the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO), making it important in the regulation of blood pressureArginine can greatly reduce the degree of tissue damage in intestinal ischemia, promote intestinal mucosa healing (59), and reverse intestinal dysfunction (60).

Arginine administration has been shown to maintain normal intestinal physiology and to facilitate mucosal healing when the intestine is affected by inflammation (61,62,63). Arginine treatment of mice with DSS colitis was shown to reduce mucosal permeability, and expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines and to increase nitric oxide synthesis activity (64). Other evidence from animal models indicates that dietary arginine may improve clinical and biochemical parameters in DSS colitis (65)

When Arginine was combined with Glutamine, Arginine had synergistic effects on reduction of major proinflammatory cytokines active in Crohn’s disease (66).

Sukhotnik et al. (67) reported in rats that oral Arginine supplementation improved the duodenal, jejunal and ileal weights and mucosal cell proliferation, as well as restored the intestinal absorptive function after ischemia.

Hurt et al. (68) also demonstrated in rats that diets supplemented with Arginine and Glutamine  helped the maintenance of intestinal tissue oxygenation and/or brush barrier function, and improved systemic nitrogen balance. 

The amino acids Proline and Aspartic Acid, contained in Hydrolysed Collagen at 6% and 11% respectively, also participate in immune responses (69) that may maintain intestinal health and protect against animal and human diseases. It has been demonstrated that Aspartic Acid improved intestinal tissue integrity, enhanced mucosal energy status, and reduced proinflammatory cytokine expression and enterocyte apoptosis in pathological conditions (70,71,72,73). Proline inhibited endotoxin-induced inflammation in vivo in weaned piglets (74). Dietary threonine, serine, proline, and cysteine supplementation improved mucin production, restored healthy microbiota, protected gut epithelium and promoted mucosal healing in DSS-treated rats (75).

This Hydrolysed Collagen Powder is the globally leading collagen peptide brand. These bioactive collagen peptides have been specifically developed to deliver multiple health benefits and functional properties. Collagenx is a high-purity, natural product, containing more than 97% protein that exhibits a multitude of health benefits for diseases of the gut.

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