Revealed: How Collagen Supports The Healing Process
You’ve no doubt heard that collagen has a wide range of potential benefits, from promoting youthful skin, hair and nails, to supporting healthy joints.
What many people don't realise is the important role it may play in the healing process.
Could it be that in the future, collagen is the go-to remedy for mending painful cuts and burns? And might it hold the secret to a healthy, happy gut?
In this article, we’ll explore some of the incredible ways collagen has been used to promote (and even accelerate) healing, and how it may benefit you more than skin deep.
Let’s take a look.
First Things First: What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant type of protein in the body. It forms a major part of connective tissues, helping to keep our tendons, ligaments, skin and muscles strong and supple.
Although collagen is produced naturally in the body, it can also be consumed through certain foods and in supplement form.
Collagen & Healing: What the Science Says
1. Collagen Bandages Can Speed up Wound Healing
Over the past few decades, collagen-infused wound dressings have increasingly been used in hospitals to help with cuts, burns, ulcers and chronic wounds.
A 2008 study concluded that:
“Collagen plays a critical role in all phases of wound healing (hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodelling).”
It's thought that collagen helps to rebuild the Extracellular Matrix - providing direct structural support for cells and receptors, and stimulating the growth of new tissue.
As well as bandages, topical collagen powder is also used in a hospital setting. In fact, a 2019 study showed that collagen powder is just as effective in managing skin biopsy wounds as using stitches!
2. Oral Collagen Supplements Also Have Healing Properties
It's not just medical collagen that can facilitate the healing process...
A 2017 paper highlighted the fact that oral consumption of collagen peptides in supplement form can accelerate wound healing and result in less scarring.
3. Collagen May Help Combat a Leaky Gut
Healing isn’t just an outside-in job! It’s thought that many people suffer from leaky gut, where micro-tears in the gut lining can lead to discomfort, bloating and food sensitivities.
The good news?
Collagen peptides have been shown to prevent the breakdown of the intestinal lining, as well as reducing inflammation in the gut. Potentially a promising solution for those who tend toward stomach issues!
The Bottom Line
More research is needed, but the evidence so far appears to show that collagen, in both wound dressings and supplement form, can be a safe and effective way to support the healing process.