Collagen for Canine Gut Health: Integral K9
The most common health challenges dog owners tell us about are the GI tract issues in their dogs. These issues include sensitive stomachs, diarrhea, constipation, leaky gut, inflammatory bowel disease, auto-immune problems, and food allergies.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates proclaimed that “all disease begins in the gut.” At BioStar, we know that this means good health begins in the gut.
With better gut health in mind, BioStar now introduces Integral K9, a newly formulated supplement for dogs that recognizes the important role collagen plays in healthy canine GI tract function.
Collagen and the extracellular matrix
Together with elastin, fibronectins, and glycosaminoglycans, collagens form a complex network of proteins called the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM is a scaffold for cells that is present in all tissues and organs. It is essential for many physiological actions including adhesion, migration, proliferation, and homeostasis.
In addition to providing cells with structural support and a selective barrier to the external environment, the ECM holds water (ensuring hydration of tissues) and interacts with cells by modulating phenotypes and functions.
ECM and the GI tract
Collagen and other proteins play a critical role in the GI tract and the ECM.
ECM remodeling regulates cell differentiation and is an essential process in tissue homeostasis. Recent studies have shown that a disturbance in this regulation is the cornerstone of several gut disorders.1 In cases such as IBD, degradation of the ECM can contribute to an imbalanced inflammatory response in the gut.2
Native collagen versus denatured collagen
Collagen can be found in two forms: as intact, native collagen, or as denatured collagen (also known as hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides).
BioStar uses native eggshell membrane collagen, because this is collagen in its biologically active form, produced with water and mechanical presses in Spain — no chemical processing. Since the body recognizes native collagen as an endogenous substance, this form of collagen requires a lower dose for efficacy. After studying various forms of collagen, we have found that eggshell membrane collagen is a superior source of collagen for dogs and horses.
Collagen peptides (hydrolyzed collagen) are the result of denaturing collagen strands by enzymatic or chemical hydrolysis into smaller molecules, and then sterilizing them. Collagen peptides require a higher dosage for efficacy.
Native collagen dosing for dogs: 250 to 1000 milligrams per day (specifically eggshell membrane collagen)
Collagen peptides dosing for dogs: 1000 to 20,000 milligrams per day
Benefits of eggshell membrane collagen
A 2017 study published in Nature showed that eggshell membrane powder has the potential to assist in intestinal health and microbial balance.3
Researchers found that eggshell membrane powder decreased the numbers of pathogenic bacteria (Enterobacteriaceae and E. coli) and increased the diversity of beneficial bacteria. The eggshell membrane reduced the severity of the colitis, including improvement in the mitochondrial dysfunction.
Key components of eggshell membrane collagen
Our eggshell membrane collagen provides type I, type V, and type X collagen, plus fibronectin, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid (one of the glycosaminoglycans, or GAGs), elastin, and keratin.
Remember that collagen, elastin, keratin, fibronectin, and the GAGs are essential for the integrity of the ECM, and the ECM is essential for tissue homeostasis.
EGGSHELL MEMBRANE COLLAGEN TYPES
• Type I collagen is one of the important components of a healthy gut. It plays a critical role in rebuilding and strengthening the GI tract with the amino acids glutamine, proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine. Type 1 collagen promotes a healthy microbiome, supports the lining of the intestinal wall and the tight junctions, and plays an important role in the gut-brain connection by supporting the central nervous system.
• Type V collagen is a fibrillar collagen, which contributes to the bone matrix, the cornea, and the interstitial matrix of muscles, liver, and lungs.
• Type X collagen is essential for repairing and restoring bones and cartilage.
- Is both a wellness formula and a restorative formula.
- Supports the GI tract, the extracellular matrix, and the body system at large.
- Provides ingredients researched and studied for efficacy and results.
- Provides native collagen for superior bioavailability, Ayurvedic support from triphala and holy basil (tulsi), immune support and growth factors from colostrum, gastroprotection from lion’s mane mushrooms, and prebiotic support from apple pectin.
What goes into BioStar’s Integral K9?
Triphala is a renowned therapeutic blend in Ayurvedic medicine, and considered a cornerstone of gastrointestinal support and rejuvenation. It combines three plants: amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki. Our Triphala is from the aerial parts of the plants — flowers, leaves, stems — and is cut by hand.
Triphala is classified as a tridoshic rasayana: balancing to all three doshas. Triphala benefits the very young, the elderly, the infirm and the healthy. It is known to support a healthy inflammatory response in the gut, support a healthy microbiome, and to nourish healthy tissues.
Lion’s Mane is gastroprotective and can support a healthy inflammatory response in cases like IBS, leaky gut, colitis, and gastritis, by helping to restore the essential barrier function in the GI tract.
Apple pectin provides prebiotic support. It also can help preserve the integrity of the tight junctions and regulate issues stemming from excess body weight.
Bovine colostrum supplies growth factors, nutrients, bio-active proteins, immunoglobulins, glycoproteins, lactoferrin, and immune-modulating factors.
The GI tract is tasked with digestion and uptake of nutrients along with maintaining immune homeostasis, which is why bovine colostrum is so important for the GI tract.
As bovine colostrum is high in lactoferrin, it can help lower cytokine IL-6, thus helping reduce the negative effects of leaky gut.
Holy basil (tulsi) is one of the most revered and sacred plants in Ayurvedic medicine. It provides adaptogenic support, helping to mitigate the adverse effects of stress on the body system at large. Tulsi supports the vital life force prana.
SALMON COLLAGEN: In addition to the ingredients listed above, this version provides native salmon bone broth, a marine-sourced type I collagen to support the GI tract, ligaments, bones, muscles, and joints.
GOAT WHEY: This formula provides undenatured whey protein from goats, with high levels of the BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) to support muscles and metabolism. These compounds can help offset the negative effects of dysbiosis in the GI tract, which can affect muscles and bone structure in dogs. This option also provides organic barley grass powder for added chlorophyll, and fiber to promote a healthy, diverse gut microbiome and enzymes for nutrient absorption.
The gut is not static!
The GI tract is not a static environment. It is constantly adjusting to internal and external forces, and is in constant communication with the brain, the central nervous system, and the adrenal glands.
The dynamics of the GI tract must be respected when it comes to food and supplementation. What we feed our dogs is not simply nutrition. Every food, treat, and supplement will impact the GI tract, the brain, the central nervous system, and the adrenals.
Restoring balance to an imbalanced system is only achieved over time.
1 – https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2021.610189/full
2 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5562400/
3 – https://www.nature.com/articles/srep43993#
4 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8228205/
5 – https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2021.651721/full