Bariatric surgery can be a life-changing procedure for those who struggle with obesity and its related health problems. However, weight loss surgery can also result in significant changes to the body, including changes to the skin and other connective tissues. Collagen, a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin, can be particularly affected by bariatric surgery.
In this blog post, we'll explore the role of collagen in the body, how bariatric surgery can impact collagen production, and what steps you can take as weight loss surgery patients to support collagen synthesis and maintain healthy skin after weight loss surgery.
Of all the macronutrients, protein intake is especially emphasized after bariatric surgery. While the general public typically meets or exceeds protein recommendations, patients who have undergone bariatric surgery face challenges meeting these recommendations. “Protein First” has become a mantra that dietitians teach their patients to encourage adequate intake and avoid protein malnutrition and its associated complications.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is a hard, fibrous protein that makes up one-third of all protein in the human body. It gives structure to our hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments, and tendons. Thanks to natural collagen formation, we’re better able to move, bend, and stretch.
In the skin, collagen serves as a base for new cells to grow, and it replaces and restores dead skin. Some collagen serves as a protective covering for organs. While we age, the production of collagen decreases, wrinkles form, and joint cartilage weakens. Collagen can be broken down, converted, and absorbed back into the body. Adding a serving of collagen, through high protein foods or supplementation, to your diet may help ease joint pain, reverse skin aging, build muscle, strengthen hair and nails, and improve digestive health. Collagen peptides are comprised of short chain amino acids which are not complete proteins. Bariatric surgery patients should not count the protein contained in collagen supplements towards their daily protein goals because collagen does not contain essential amino acids.
Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides are easy for the body to absorb. It makes up connective tissue, like skin, tendons, cartilage, organs, and bones. The collagen is reduced to smaller peptides, making it available quickly to the bloodstream. From the bloodstream, it is transported to key areas to be used as a building block for cells, and this may increase the production of new collagen.
There are at least 16 different types of collagen protein. Each type has a different structure and function. 80-90% of collagen products are made up of Types I, II, and III.
Collagen makes up so make critical components of our bodies, making it essential to overall well-being.
To begin a new collagen supplement, start with 1-2 servings daily. Collagen can be used in many ways: smoothies, shakes, baked goods, and other beverages.
Blend ingredients together in blender.
Whisk ingredients together in saucepan on stovetop over medium heat until boil. Pour into favorite mug, add toppings, and enjoy!
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