Is Collagen Supplementation Good for Thyroid Health?

Posted June 2024

Is Collagen Supplementation Good for Thyroid Health? - The Collagen Co.

You’re tired, unusually intolerant of the cold, and gaining weight — just last week, a well-meaning colleague looked at your puffy face and immediately asked if you had been sleeping poorly.

You didn’t. Also, you haven’t made any drastic lifestyle changes recently, so what’s going on?

A possible culprit may be your thyroid. Many of the symptoms you’re experiencing correspond with those of hypothyroidism, an endocrine disorder where your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones to meet your body’s needs.

Admittedly, that sentence mentioned “thyroid” way too many times without explaining what it is and what it does.

So, let’s fix that before moving on to how collagen peptide supplementation may benefit thyroid health.

Meet your thyroid

Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, near the base of your throat, where a bow tie normally rests. It produces 2 main thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).

Both hormones affect practically all bodily systems in the human body, generally increasing their function and metabolism, for example:

  • Heart: Regulates heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output, and contractility
  • Muscles: Controls muscle contractions
  • Nervous system: Supports wakefulness, alertness, and responsiveness to external stimuli
  • Metabolism: Stimulates the breakdown of macronutrients (i.e., protein, fat, and carbohydrates) for energy

  • To that end, when you have an underactive thyroid that produces insufficient T3 and T4, many of your body’s functions slow down, leading to symptoms like:

    • Fatigue
    • Weight gain
    • Puffy and pale face
    • Joint and muscle pain
    • Constipation
    • Dry, thinning hair
    • Brittle nails
    • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
    • Depression
    • Slow heart rate

    Is hypothyroidism common?

    In Australia, hypothyroidism is thought to affect about 4% of the population and is more prevalent among women and those above 40.

    Then, there’s also another 4-5% of the population with subclinical hypothyroidism, an early form of hypothyroidism that presents:

    • Elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels with normal T4 levels
    • (Sometimes) mild symptoms of hypothyroidism, including weight gain and fatigue

    Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) — what’s that?

    Well, see, your thyroid gland doesn’t produce T3 and T4 hormones on its own accord. Instead, it’s regulated by TSH, an “upstream” hormone produced by your pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland located at the base of your brain, below your hypothalamus.

    If everything’s OK with your endocrine system, the pituitary gland will release:

    • More TSH if your T3 and T4 levels are too low
    • Less TSH if your T3 and T4 levels are too high

    But if something’s wrong, your TSH and thyroid hormones will go out of whack, and this is something a blood test at the doctor’s office can easily tease out. For reference, here are the “normal” values (note: this can vary among laboratories) for:

  • TSH: 0.45 to 4.5 mU/L
    • T3: 80 to 220 ng/dL
    • T4: 5.0 to 12.0 μg/dL

    Hypothyroid complications

    If you suspect your thyroid gland is sleeping on its job, please visit your primary healthcare provider and express your concerns ASAP.

    If untreated, hypothyroidism could lead to a range of health problems, including obesity, infertility, joint pain, and heart disease. For those who are pregnant, untreated hypothyroidism increases the risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications.

    Very rarely, severe untreated hypothyroidism may lead to myxedema coma.

    This is an extreme complication in which patients exhibit multiple organ abnormalities and progressive mental deterioration. Even with early detection and appropriate treatment, mortality ranges from 30% to 60%.

    How could collagen peptides help with thyroid health?

    First and foremost, collagen peptide supplementation isn’t meant to and cannot address the root cause of subclinical or clinical hypothyroidism (if you indeed have either; please check with your primary healthcare provider).

    What collagen can do, however, is support optimal thyroid health and alleviate symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid:

  • Supply amino acids: Collagen peptides are made up of amino acids, the “building blocks” your thyroid needs to synthesize the amounts of T3 and T4 it needs (because they’re protein-based hormones).
  • Promote satiety: Collagen peptides, like all dietary proteins, help curb appetite and make you feel fuller for longer, potentially reducing your overall daily calorie intake and, in turn, weight gain.
  • Support joints and muscles: Research shows supplemental collagen peptides may accumulate in cartilage and stimulate increased collagen production, lowering inflammation and reducing joint pain. Collagen peptides are also shown to improve muscle recovery and soreness.
  • Stimulate collagen production: Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are bioactive compounds that appear to increase the activity and number of fibroblasts in the body. For the uninitiated, fibroblasts produce the rich extracellular matrix of connective tissues (e.g., collagen and elastin). So, by stimulating fibroblast activity and proliferation, collagen peptides help promote healthy skin, hair, and nails.

  • Not convinced? The Collagen Co’s customers have something to say about that:

    After not losing anything for the past few years, Tez shed an impressive 12 kg after 12 short weeks of taking Glow Shakes, our collagen meal replacements, which pack 17.5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptides per serving.

    There’s also Rebecca, who bid farewell to her dry and itchy skin after taking our Premium Collagen Peptides for 4 weeks.

    Collagen and thyroid medication

    But wait a minute. If you have subclinical or clinical hypothyroidism, is it safe to take collagen while you’re on thyroid medication? Will collagen interact with your medication?

    Good news: there’s no evidence of supplement-drug interactions between collagen supplementation and various thyroid medications. That said, it’s always best to check with your doctor before taking any supplement.

    They can look at the product and analyze if it’s safe for you depending on your health status.

    Collagen is not the only supplement beneficial for thyroid health

    Here are some of the other nutrients important for thyroid hormone production:

    “Huh,” you may be wondering, “How am I going to get all that while focusing on losing weight?”

    If you struggle with meeting your nutritional requirements through a well-balanced, nutritious diet, The Collagen Co’s Glow Shakes can help.

    In addition to the 17.5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptides (as mentioned earlier), each weight-friendly, 205-calorie serving also packs a slew of thyroid-health-supporting vitamins and minerals. Show your thyroid you care. Shop here.

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