Collagen for Gut Health

Powder collagen in bowl with wooden spoon in front of fern leaf with the words collagen for gut health.

The human body can lose 1% of collagen per year after 40 and collagen production reduces up to 75% after age 80 (1). Let’s discuss why collagen is important for gut health.

*This article contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. 

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein that is abundant in the body. It accounts for ¼-⅓ of all protein in the body (2)

It is necessary for tissue, muscle, tendon, bone, and skin structure. This includes the colon. 

Collagen is what allows the colon to expand and still maintain its strength (3). Structural changes can occur with age. 

Types of Collagen

There are 28 types of collagen with type 1 accounting for 90% of the body’s collagen (4). Other types of collagen found in the body are types 2 through 5 (1)

Sources of collagen include (1):

  • Bovine (cow)
  • Porcine (pig)
  • Marine (fish, jellyfish, sponges)
  • Algae 
  • Chicken
  • Duck (uncommon)
  • Rabbit (uncommon) 
Sources of collagen: bovine with green cow picture, porcine with green pig picture, marine with green fish, chicken with green chicken.

Benefits for Collagen for Gut Health

Many have heard of collagen for skin health, however research is beginning to explore potential benefits for gut health. 

Collagen for gut health: prebiotic effects, improve gut bacteria, IBS prevention, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, ulcer prevention, decreased bloating, reduced constipation.

Prebiotic Effects

Prebiotics are food components that can cause beneficial changes to the bacterial profile of the gut. 

They can help regulate inflammation, act as antioxidants, and even reduce symptoms of metabolic disorders, especially arthritis (5)

When fermentation of prebiotics occurs, the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) increases. The number of SCFA is representative of overall gut health (5)

Collagen acts as a prebiotic in the gut, having these benefits.

Improved Microbiota

Gut microbiota refers to the organisms inside the gastrointestinal tract. Collagen can improve the microbiota of the gut (5)

Gut health is linked to inflammation, osteoarthritis (OA), and overall joint health (5). So, these positive changes to the GI environment can decrease systemic inflammation. 

This can improve OA symptoms and progression by regulating joint inflammation, bone spur formation, joint mineralization, and increasing cartilage cells (5).

Improved gut bacteria may also benefit irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, and some autoimmune disorders (6)

Production of Branched-Chain Fatty Acids

Collagen may increase the production of branched-chain fatty acids (BCFA) (5). This has been associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) prevention (5)

Antibacterial Activity

Some collagens have shown to have antibacterial effects and antimicrobial properties against organisms such as E. coli, staphylococcus aureus, and pseudomonas aeruginosa (1)


Collagen can target the body’s inflammatory responses, which can reduce inflammation and be protective against gastric ulcers (2).

It may even reduce susceptibility and the severity of colitis (inflammation of the colon) (2)

Decreased GI Symptoms 

Bloating is a common digestive symptom that can cause pain and impact quality of life. Collagen may help reduce bloating (7).

There is also some indication that collagen could help reduce constipation as well (7)

Collagen Supplementation

Collagen supplements contain the building blocks of protein. They are made from the connective tissue and bones of various animals or fish depending on the type. 

Many collagen supplements are available on the market for purchase. Most are unflavored powders that can be mixed into a beverage. 

Some do come in a variety of flavors and even coffee creamer. 

There are also some protein powders that include collagen, which can be a great option if you’re already making protein shakes. 

Some also come in capsule form. Always consult with your healthcare provider before trying new supplements. 

Here is my favorite collagen supplement. It is completely tasteless, so it could be mixed into whatever your morning beverage of choice is.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Practical Takeaways

Collagen is made of amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Many supplements, from animal or fish bone and connective tissue, are available to increase intake.

Consuming collagen can improve gut health by having prebiotic effects, improving gut microbiota, antibacterial effects, decreasing inflammation, and even improve bloating and constipation. 

If your healthcare provider approves, try adding collagen to your morning routine. It even mixes into coffee. 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top