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Can Collagen Help you Heal?

Recovery from a procedure or injury may require an extra boost in nutritional needs.

A very common product today seen in various health and beauty trends are collagen-based products that come in all varieties; gummies, pills or powder for water or coffee creamers.

It can be a fantastic product to add to while you are healing because it has been shown to improve strength, elasticity and skin hydration.

Collagen is the most common protein found in the human body. In fact, 25-35 percent of all protein in the body is made up of collagen. There are 3 essential types that make up different essential components of your body's structure. One of the main components of skin is collagen; about 70% of dermal volume. Skin gets its ability to retain moisture and bounce back from trauma from collagen.

You may be deficient in collagen if:

  • Notice more wrinkles, dry skin and laxity

  • Hair and nails are brittle and weak

  • Joints are achy and/or are prone to injury

  • Wound issues like an incision reopening

Collagen is found mostly in food products derived from animal sources like bovine, porcine and marine sources created from the animal's muscles, joints, bones and skin. Finding the most naturally organically raised and fed sources with little by-products will be important. For plant-based foodies, vegetarians and vegans, there are no direct food sources. However, taking supplements that include glycine, proline and Vitamin C will promote the body to produce and absorb collagen. Incorporate foods with a wide variety of sources to boost collagen uptake like Citrus Fruits, Berries, Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds and Green Leafy Veggies. Limit those sugary, white flour processed foods that cause inflammatory damage to your current collagen structure.

How much should you take?

In most cases, it's best to follow manufacturer guidelines, so read your labels and follow those recommendations to start. According to Healthline, A 2019 review of clinical studies found that taking 2.5–15 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptides each day may be safe and effective. A smaller daily dose of 2.5 grams could benefit joint pain, skin health, and hydration. Larger doses of 15G, mostly been used to improve muscle mass and body composition.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin so any excess amounts will be excreted in the urine and fairly safe to consume to the maximum recommended daily dose of 2,000 mg. Collagen products may produce some side effects like gastrointestinal upset. To avoid any kidney, liver issues when adding new supplements, also incorporate increased water intake.

Check the link below for Collagen Products we have used and recommended.

Want more help, consider checking out the Nutrition for Wound Healing Guide

by Heather Flexer, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Certified Wound Specialist Creator at Better Wellness PT/Better Wounds


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