At Mexicali Bariatric Center, we are always up to date with the latest in science to make sure you receive quality attention and only the best recommendations. Our goal is to help you reach your ideal weight with the least trouble possible, all the while improving your overall health.

Lately, we have been receiving many questions about consuming hydrolyzed collagen. Because collagen is protein, many patients ask whether taking their daily hydrolyzed collagen capsules could substitute for other sources of protein in their meals, knowing a high protein diet is essential to achieving weight loss goals. Although collagen is in fact protein, it can’t substitute the protein coming from actual food. It is not a good source of high-quality protein and doesn’t contain the essential amino acids the body needs. Protein containing foods, such as chicken, fish, and eggs, are rich in amino acids.

Collagen is the most abundant type of protein present in the entire human body. There is collagen in the bones, muscles, skin, and all the connective tissue, i.e. tendons, cartilage, etc. To put it simply, it’s the substance that holds the body together.

There are at least 16 different types of collagen, but type 1 makes for over 90% of the collagen in the body.Our bodies produce collagen naturally; however, its production decreases with age, wrinkles are formed and the cartilage in the joints weakens. A deficiency in collagen can lead to skin problems and osteoporosis.

When manufactured, it is called hydrolyzed collagen. It is a form of collagen produced from animal connective tissue through a process called hydrolysis. Processed as powder, collagen is typically compacted into solids or gel capsules, and it has become widely popular as a supplement because one of collagen most important roles is cell regrowth. Studies have shown that collagen hydrolysate may have protective effects on skin collagen. In one study, after 4 weeks of taking the supplement, collagen strength increased significantly and the effect remained present during the 12-week study.

Bariatric patients may be recommended hydrolyzed collagen supplements as part of their daily supplements. After surgery, because the body is adapting and going through quite a few changes, vitamins and supplements are very important in this phase. The amount each patient needs varies and should be taken as directed by their surgeon.

Studies have also shown that bariatric patients must include high-quality protein to prevent lean body mass loss and favor healing after surgery. Collagen supplements that bariatric patients take are mainly intended for the effect it has on the connective tissue, and for tissue regeneration. Taking it regularly is considered truly useful when patients consume enough food based high-quality protein, vitamin C, and water.

Be careful with protein drinks, make sure they are not collagen-based by reading the label.

To sum up, collagen supplements are not an adequate sole source of protein, taking them in addition to your main protein source is fine. Remember that following your doctor’s dietary guidelines after surgery guarantees the best results.