Collagen Supplements: The Secret Weapon for Weight Loss?

by Dr. Nick Zyrowski February 25, 2023

Why are there so many collagen supplements on the market today? Everywhere you look, you see a new product pop up in stores and online promising dramatic skin results if you use it. The problem is many supplements contain inferior ingredients and chemicals you don’t want in your body. Also, most powders focus on skin health but don’t mention the weight loss benefits that collagen may offer. Let’s explore how a quality collagen supplement may be your secret weapon for weight loss.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It makes up about 80% of your skin and connective tissues. Collagen is what gives skin elasticity and strength. As we age, our collagen production declines, which may lead to wrinkles and skin sagging.

Collagen isn’t just great for your skin. It may also help you lose weight by reducing body fat and building lean muscle. Since collagen forms a scaffold that provides strength, it’s an essential part of connective tissues and helps keep the body’s cells together. Collagen is so powerful, doctors have even used it for wound healing techniques. (1)

Collagen and weight loss

A happy gut microbiome

One of the things collagen is incredible for is gut health. When your gut is healthy, it helps with weight loss because you can absorb more nutrients and will have lower inflammation. Your gut health can also directly impact how efficient your body is at burning calories. (2)

Increases satiety

One of the ways collagen may help with weight loss is by increasing satiety. When you consume collagen at breakfast, it makes you feel full. When you feel full, you want to eat less. That may help reduce snacking and cravings for unhealthy foods that people tend to reach for when they get ravenously hungry. You’ve often heard you shouldn’t go to the grocery store hungry because you’ll buy all the wrong foods.

Protein products are used to promote better satiation. The issue with many of these products is that they contain unhealthy fillers and unnatural additives to make them taste better. Collagen is great when it is used in its pure form because it has no sweeteners or additives. Using a quality collagen supplement will help you stay satisfied without ingesting harmful substances. (3)

May suppress appetite

A scoop of quality collagen may increase weight loss benefits by suppressing your appetite. Studies have shown that participants who increased their intake of collagen experience a release of satiating hormones in the blood. Once they consumed collagen, they had a reduced appetite, which resulted in decreased food intake. Collagen played a crucial role in their ability to lose weight since their appetites were satisfied.

When hunger hormones are satiated, it helps with weight loss because you aren’t as tempted to give in to unhealthy food cravings. Your desire isn’t as strong to eat, so losing weight may be easier. (4)

Helps retain muscle mass

As we get older, our bodies tend to lose muscle. Unfortunately, we sometimes replace it with fat. The loss of muscle mass often correlates with increased dietary protein needs. Collagen may help maintain lean body mass and preserve nitrogen balance as we age. (5)

Nitrogen balance is the measurement of the amount of nitrogen you consume versus the total amount of nitrogen you excrete, mostly in urine. This is the formula used by researchers to test whether you are losing or gaining muscle. Retaining muscle mass is crucial for weight loss and generally staying healthy. Collagen also promotes muscle recovery, which is critical to keeping you on the right path when losing weight. It’s much easier to stay active and continue your exercise routine when your muscles aren’t so sore!

Further, building muscle is essential when trying to lose weight. That’s because muscle burns more calories when your body is at rest, which increases your calorie expenditure. Since collagen can help increase muscle mass, it makes sense that it can contribute to weight loss by relationship.

Decreases fat accumulation

Research has shown that collagen may reduce the development and accumulation of fat cells. (6) In 2019, studies showed the potential of collagen to have anti-obesity effects through the suppression of fat accumulation. Changes in body fat were significantly better than subjects in the control group that did not consume collagen. (7)

After 12 weeks, body fat declined from the baseline. The results from these tests suggest beneficial uses of collagen in the reduction of body fat in adults who are overweight.

Helps relieve joint pain

You may not think about joint health when it comes to weight loss, but if you’re in pain it’s extremely difficult to exercise. Healthy joints are crucial for any exercise routine because you need to move comfortably to be physically active.

The use of collagen can dramatically reduce joint pain while increasing mobility. It can also help people who have osteoarthritis by maintaining proper joint health. (8) Collagen helps control the progression of osteoarthritis and has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties since it’s absorbed in joint tissues.

What to look for in a supplement

There are tons of collagen supplements available. Knowing how to choose the appropriate one is critical for seeing the benefits of weight loss. When you look for collagen, you want a product that contains no additional flavors, additives, or sweeteners. You also want to get collagen that has no hormone in it. Find a grass-fed, bovine, or wild-caught fish collagen product to get the most health benefits.

How to use collagen

The great thing about quality collagen is that you don’t have to reinvent the diet wheel to use it. Collagen fits into any lifestyle or diet. You typically only need a scoop of collagen powder each day, and you can add it to beverages or use it in cooking.

Remember, collagen isn’t a magic bullet for weight loss. It won’t do all the work for you, so don’t make the mistake of thinking any supplement can erase a bad diet or make up for a lack of exercise. Collagen is incredible for providing you with the tools to help you reach your diet and fitness goals. Try taking a quality collagen supplement as part of your holistic lifestyle regimen. It’s also a great idea to talk to your functional medicine specialist for a specific plan to incorporate collagen into your daily routine. Give us a call to talk about our programs and available products for your health. Transformative lifestyle changes come through nutritional knowledge, so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on natural healthcare.

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Dr. Nick Zyrowski
Dr. Nick Zyrowski