Can a collagen peptide supplement help regenerate nerves?Elaine
Great question, Elaine!
Since collagen’s superpower is connective tissue building, one can assume that collagen can aid in repairing nerve damage. Collagen’s benefits are long and impressive, and though we’re huge believers in collagen in general (duh), we have a firm grasp on the scientific evidence currently available and never hesitate to be honest about those facts.
Back to the question. We’re going to let both Charlie (our Founder) and our awesome Dr. Cate, M.D. respond separately to Elaine’s question about whether collagen is good for nerve damage.
So, does collagen help with nerves?
While there is no scientific evidence that says collagen does help to regenerate nerves, if you think about it, it does make sense that collagen would indeed help.
Here is my simplest explanation. Collagen is the main ingredient in connective tissue and when we consume collagen, our bodies get told to “go make/repair connective tissue” from the specific amino acid peptide chain found in collagen. And nerve endings are found all over and in our connective tissue.
Therefore, if our connective tissue becomes stronger, the nerves might also benefit from this.
There is research on the role of collagen in peripheral nerve repair, but there’s no scientific evidence (yet) that proves collagen can help repair nerve damage.
Dr. Cate’s response
There’s definitely truth to what Charlie said because your nerves do need to be supported by connective tissue.
Not only does the tissue that your nerves travel through need to be strong in order to avoid over stretching your nerves, your larger nerves themselves are wrapped in bundles of collagen, and so in that sense collagen is quit literally required to keep those nerve bundles tightly wrapped and well protected.
In addition, we do know that components in collagen have general anti-inflammatory properties. And the benefits may depend on exactly what has damaged the nerves.
But I also believe that not getting these components in your diet (see: What Foods Have Collagen?) is a kind of nutritional deficiency and any time you correct that all sorts of things can improve.
I hope that helps!