In this article:
- What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
- What are probiotics?
- What is marine collagen?
- The dual defense: Soothing IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome, IBS, is a common healthcare disorder affecting the large intestine. Some red flags include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, along with diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a long-term chronic issue that will need to be managed. In order to diagnose this condition, physicians look at your history of symptoms and how often they occur.
Although some people with IBS have severe signs and symptoms, the majority of people can control it by managing diet, lifestyle, and stress. Major symptoms can be managed with medication and counseling. The symptoms of IBS often differ but studies show that they may last for a long time. The most notable signs include:
According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms that are often related include bloating, increased gas, or mucus in the stool.
If you are suffering from symptoms like these, you know very well how unpleasant it can be. In some cases, your daily activities can be affected by these disturbances. Let’s look at the first weapon in our soothing, defensive arsenal...the “probiotic”.
Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria and yeasts that help us to digest and absorb nutrients from foods. An infection results from an increase in bad bacteria, which then knocks our systems out of balance. Good bacteria help replace bad bacteria, returning the balance.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body, by boosting your immune system. Good bacteria work to replace the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
Some of the conditions that may be alleviated by increased amounts of probiotics in your body (through food or supplements) include:
There are many probiotics on the shelves at your grocery, pharmacy, or even in online stores such as Amazon and various wellness outlets. Choosing the right probiotic for your gut is entirely up to you. Yet not all probiotics are the same. There is a simple science experiment you can do at home to see if you're getting your money’s worth. Now, this might make you feel like you're back in 8th-grade biology, but it is very interesting to watch and see what happens. First, place one tablet or capsule of your probiotic in a small glass of milk. Leave that sit out and on the third day take a look at your probiotic mixture. Has the milk turned into something resembling cottage cheese? The thicker and lumpier it is, the more live bacteria are present in that probiotic, meaning more benefit for your gut. I've personally done this with two different probiotics, a cheap one and a top-priced one from a wellness store. The comparison was unbelievable! The cheaper one was merely the same glass of milk I started with, while the other curdled to a thick-looking "milkshake." So be advised when making your selection.
Now let’s explore the second defensive weapon in our arsenal: the dietary supplement known as marine collagen, along with the benefits of collagen.
Collagen is a protein that is essential to the elasticity and regeneration of connective tissues in the body, such as tendons and ligaments. It's also involved with bone health, skin elasticity, and the intestinal lining. Collagen will not only help your gut issues but can also produce healthy skin and ease joint pain. Marine collagen is procured from marine life, usually fish scales or skin, rather than a bovine source. It is typically found in the form of collagen peptides. Collagen peptides are also known as hydrolyzed collagen. They are a form of collagen processed to be soluble in cold and hot water and are easily digested. The body naturally produces collagen protein, but as we age, collagen production slows. Collagen peptides are not just for graceful aging!
Fish collagen provides essential and non-essential amino acids. They are the building blocks of proteins. Marine collagen provides eight of the nine major amino acids that the body needs. Marine collagen peptides have a very different amino acid makeup, with a large amount of glycine, hydroxyproline, and proline. Proline and glycine are amino acids that are essential for the regulation of glucose, muscle building, and for guarding cells from free radicals.
Furthermore, collagen amino acids help keep the intestinal lining intact thereby protecting it from the things we digest. This prevents our systems from getting out of whack, which otherwise would lead to intestinal wall breakdown. When this breakdown happens we are left with an abundance of gut issues including, but not limited to, IBS. Marine collagen fills in those areas that have been compromised so the balance in the gut is restored. In other words, marine collagen may not prevent IBS, but it can surely help to speed up the healing process. Strengthening the connective tissue of our intestinal lining reduces the severity of the symptoms of IBS while improving and strengthening our gut health.
As with probiotics, marine collagen protein powders, and other collagen products can be found at many stores. You can also check out most of these products online at places like Amazon or Amandean’s website. Again, as with probiotics, do your own research or consult a doctor on what will be best for you. If this is your first time, take a look at Amandean’s best sellers and skim through the reviews. Amandean’s premium collagen supplements are unflavored and can be mixed with a drink or sprinkled on your meals, turning them into superfoods!
When we use both probiotics and marine collagen peptides together, we are setting ourselves up for great gut health. While they may not prevent IBS, they can certainly alleviate and even stop the symptoms that come with it. Unhealthy bacteria in the gut exacerbates those nasty feelings of bloating, diarrhea, cramping, and constipation. As mentioned above, probiotics displace these unhealthy microbes. The change of the bacteria can assist those amino acids, such as glycine, to properly digest what we eat. Collagen plugs in the gaps in connective tissue that have been created in the intestinal lining. Think of marine collagen as the soothing ointment on a burn, while probiotics help the body to heal the burn.
While there have not been many scientific studies conducted on this relationship, it is "time-tested," meaning that we have lots of anecdotal evidence of its efficacy. However, we do have scientific evidence that, separately, marine collagen and probiotics produce healthy effects in the gut. It only stands to reason that using both together can increase your chances of taking your life back from IBS. Happy Gut Health To You!