“Is collagen good for the liver?” is an exceptionally good question and one to which there’s no easy answer. The liver is the part of the human body that converts proteins into collagen. One of the symptoms of a diseased liver is the presence of high amount of collagen appearing in clusters. This is one of those questions on which the medical jury is still out, but not sitting on its hands waiting for answers to be delivered.
To understand why this is such a very good question you will need to consider what your liver does in your body. First of all, it detoxifies. It strains out harmful substances in your body and allows you to expel them through urine elimination. But it also regulates your blood sugar levels, and it produces certain proteins, one of which is collagen. If you’re injured, your liver will tend to produce more collagen.
But is added collagen good for you?
Some people say yes. The reason for this is because the liver uses collagen to produce glycine, a substance that helps with the detoxification process. One person noted a lessening of bloat, swelling and similar symptoms that are indicators of poor circulation and of an over-worked liver.
Other people say that we should stop, wait a minute and think about this idea. You see, one of the symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver is excess amounts of collagen that has built up in clusters in the liver. These clusters create obstructions and keep the liver from doing one of its primary jobs, which is detoxifying your body. The question becomes whether that buildup is the result of some sort of injury that has occurred to the liver, causing it to produce extra collagen in an effort to repair damages or whether the collagen buildup is the whole problem.
Therefore, there is more than one way to look at taking collagen supplements for liver health. On the one hand, it might be that the supplements will help provide quality protein sources so that your liver doesn’t have to work as hard to produce the building block cells that your body needs to repair damages. The other is that if your liver has, as Bill Cosby said in his skit about tonsil removal, “gone over to the bad side,” then you could be contributing to an already existing problem – that of producing too much collagen that isn’t getting moved to where it should go.
That getting it moved to where it should go is something that truly needs consideration. It’s universally recommended that collagen be accompanied by Vitamin C. Vitamin C does a lot of different things in our bodies, and one of them is to interact with the amino acids in collagen cells. It helps add hydrogen and oxygen to them so that they reproduce and distribute properly.
Should you take collagen to help your liver’s health? Talk it over with your doctor. People have similar bodies, but no two bodies work exactly alike. Your doctor has diagnostic tools that will help determine the best approach to maintaining a healthy liver.
There are some basic things that you can do to help the organ that’s most instrumental in producing collagen for your body. These include avoiding alcohol, using caffeinated drinks moderately, being aware of the effects of various herbal teas on the urinary system, and eating a rainbow. No, no, you don’t need to chase the real thing across the sky but do eat vegetables that come in all the colours of the rainbow, because each colour of vegetable has something unique to offer to your health.
Collagen could be beneficial for you. But even the best supplements are most effective when you’re doing all the other things that are good for your body. Eating a balanced diet, avoiding questionable substances – including sugar, drinking the right amount of clean water and getting plenty of exercise are all part of your personal recipe for good health.
Since the liver is so important to the human body, studies are being done that are looking at collagen’s potential. One of the big questions is whether oral collagen supplements can help keep it healthy.