Taking collagen after bariatric surgery can help improve the appearance of loose skin from rapid weight loss. Here’s why you should add it to your routine.
Bariatric surgery—such as lap band or a gastric bypass—can be life-changing if you’ve been struggling with obesity or trying unsuccessfully to lose weight using other methods. However, this surgery does result in some huge changes in the way your body absorbs and uses nutrients. Rapid weight loss can also result in loose, sagging skin.
Collagen supplementation may be a great choice for you if you’ve had weight loss surgery, especially if loose skin is a problem.
This article reviews what collagen is, how it can help after bariatric surgery, and how much you need.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein that forms the cushiony matrix found in your joints, soft tissues, and skin. Collagen provides structure to this matrix while also allowing for flexibility and movement.
There are several different types of collagen found in the body, each with its own unique functions.
Unfortunately, collagen production decreases naturally as we age, and it can also be affected by diet quality, stress, lack of exercise, and other factors. Over time, this may lead to wrinkles, loose skin, or even joint discomfort. Because of this, some people choose to supplement with collagen.
How can it help after bariatric surgery?
After bariatric surgery, collagen production is suppressed. Alongside the rapid weight loss that occurs following weight loss surgery, this can result in large amounts of loose, sagging skin.
Because of this, collagen supplementation may help to add structure back to excess skin, making it less saggy and improving its appearance.
Another benefit to overweight or obese people is that collagen supplementation may help restore the cushioning in joints that can become weak from carrying excess weight, such as the knee joints.
How much you need
After bariatric surgery, you will likely follow a very strict supplement routine containing vitamin B12 and iron to help prevent deficiencies of these vitamins, along with biotin to help prevent hair loss—which is a common side effect of rapid weight loss.
You will also have increased protein needs to promote healing and prevent muscle loss.
Although collagen is a type of protein, it’s considered an “incomplete” protein because—unlike other proteins found in animals—it doesn’t contain all nine of the essential amino acids the body needs to acquire through diet. For this reason, collagen shouldn’t be taken on its own but in addition to your protein and other supplements to promote healthy skin and joints.
Dosage recommendations vary based on the product you buy, but typically, one or two scoops of a collagen supplement daily—mixed into your favorite beverage—is plenty. You can also get natural collagen from broths that are slow-cooked with animal bones. These bone broths can be bought at most grocery stores, or you can make them at home using bones leftover from meals you prepare.
If you’re interested in supplementing with collagen, Medlixr also offers high-quality collagen products that are ideal for people who’ve had bariatric surgery.