Collagen peptides have been gaining in popularity and you may be wondering… Can I have collagen peptides while pregnant?
Maybe you have been taking collagen supplements for a while, and now that you are pregnant you are curious if they are still safe. Or, maybe you find yourself with multiple undesirable pregnancy symptoms, and are looking for some relief!
If so…then keep reading!
Regardless of which category you fall, we will go through why you may want to consider taking collagen peptides while pregnant, what (if any) risks there may be, sources of collagen, and some reputable brands to consider.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein that is naturally found in the human body. It is a major component in bones, muscles, skin, and cartilage. Collagen helps with creating structure in skin and bones as well as skin elasticity.
Sources of Collagen
Collagen can be found in many natural sources. Collagen itself is only found in animal products, however, the precursors to (or what is needed to create) natural collagen production can be found in many animal and plant sources.
For example, bone broth, chicken, red meats, fish with skin and bones, and gelatin all contain collagen. It is not surprising that the richest source of collagen are specifically found in the tougher forms of the meats where all the connective tissues are found. Therefore, if you have a very lean piece of steak, it will contain less collagen than a tougher piece that may usually be used in a stew or pot roast. Similarly, if you eat the skin of the fish you will getting a richer source of collagen than if all the skin is removed.
Foods containing zinc and vitamin C help boost your body’s natural production of collagen. So, even though they themselves do not contain collagen, you may see some of the same benefits. Some foods naturally high in zinc or vitamin C include whole grains, meats, nuts, legumes, citrus fruits, or peppers.
Natural vs. Supplement
There are always pros and cons when it comes to consuming the food form vs. the supplement form of any vitamin, mineral, nutrient etc.
Due to the natural bioavailability (how well your body is able to absorb and use the nutrient) of most nutrients in food, it may typically be a better choice to consume the food form. However, there may be times where the actual food form may not be an option – can you say “hello morning sickness and food aversions?”!
You may or may not be aware that the supplement industry is not regulated. Therefore, it is difficult to know for sure what is actually in the supplements you are buying and consuming. So, especially during pregnancy, when you are not only concerned about your own health, but also the health of your growing baby, it is imperative to choose wisely.
Benefits of Collagen
Consuming collagen peptides can have many benefits. The popularity of youth preservation in today’s world has sparked the interest of many people for collagen consumption and supplementation.
A few benefits include: (1)
- Reducing formation of wrinkles
- Increased skin elasticity
- Skin hydration
- Reduced joint pain
- Improve heart health
- Strengthened hair and nails
During pregnancy there may be times when you feel nauseous, simply not hungry, or having food aversions. Therefore, it may be difficult to meet your elevated protein needs from food sources alone. Adding a supplement of collagen to your smoothie, coffee, tea, or soup can be an easy way to see some of the benefits of collagen and meet your protein requirements.
Collagen Peptides While Pregnant: Is it safe?
Overall because collagen is widely found in sources of food and is naturally formed in our own bodies, it is considered safe to consume. Of course during pregnancy, caution should always be observed when starting any new diet or supplement regimen.
However, if you decide to supplement your diet with collagen peptides while pregnant, it is recommended to avoid marine derived collagen. This is because of the potential for high levels of mercury. Instead, look for ones that are called bovine derived. This means they are deriving the collagen from meat sources.
There are currently no known risks associated with consuming collagen in its natural form or from supplements.
The supplement industry is booming. Store aisles are filled and the internet is exploding with companies selling all different kinds of supplements. So, it can get very confusing to know or to figure out what to buy when looking to purchase a collagen supplement.
Very Well Health put together a list of some of the best collagen supplements to help narrow down your search.
Should I Start Taking Collagen?
Ultimately that decision is up to you (and your doctor!). Taking collagen peptides while pregnant may give you many benefits with very little risks. Speak to your doctor or your Registered Dietitian to analyze your specific situation to see if this is something that may benefit you!
All in all, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. And, there may be many benefits from consuming collagen – either through food sources or from supplements.
Whether you are already taking collagen or interested in some of the benefits to alleviate some dreaded pregnancy symptoms, the good news is that collagen peptide supplements are generally thought to be safe even during pregnancy!
Of course just make sure you let your doctor know your plan before you start!
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This article is meant for information purposes only. When deciding to start a new diet or supplement regimen, it is recommended to discuss with your doctor first!