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Collagen Supplements: Healthy or Harmful?

Collagen supplements have gained substantial popularity in recent years, with claims of several health benefits. However, it's important to understand both the potential advantages and potential risks associated with their use.

what is Collagen Supplements?

Collagen supplements have gained popularity in recent years due to their claims of health benefits.

In this blog post, we will explore the benefits and dangers of taking collagen supplements, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision about their inclusion in your health routine.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is an important protein that plays a crucial role in our bodies because it is the main component of our tendons, skin, ligaments, and connective tissues, which provides strength and forms the structure.

It also supports healthy hair, nails, and joints, and contributes to the health of our gut lining.

Collagen comprises three-quarters of the skin and one-third of the body’s protein.

Given its numerous benefits, it’s no wonder that collagen supplements have gained significant popularity in recent years. People are turning to these supplements as a convenient way to boost their collagen levels and potentially improve various aspects of their health.

But are they what they appear to be? Let’s find out if there are any health hazards associated with collagen supplements, in addition to their benefits.

Benefits of Collagen Supplements

Benefits of Collagen Supplements

Collagen in the body degrades as you age, making it more difficult for the body to produce more. As a result, many people turn to collagen powder or other collagen supplements like capsules, candies, and liquids.

1. Improved Skin Health

Collagen is a vital component that provides structure and elasticity to the skin. Collagen production tends to reduce naturally with age. It leads to sagging skin and wrinkles. There are many skin foods that are available to maintain good skin health, ActivatedYou Essential Skin Food being one of them.

Incorporating collagen supplements into your routine can provide several benefits for your skin. Let’s explore two key advantages supported by scientific studies:

Collagen is a vital component that provides structure and elasticity to the skin. Collagen production tends to reduce naturally with age. It leads to sagging skin and wrinkles.

Anti-ageing effects

Supplementing with collagen has been shown to improve skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that participants who consumed collagen peptides experienced a significant improvement in skin elasticity compared to a placebo group.

Increased moisture retention

Healthy and young skin depends on adequate hydration. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology has confirmed that collagen helps to improve skin moisture retention by attracting and retaining water molecules.

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2. Joint and Bone Health

Joint and Bone Health

Collagen supplements have shown promising benefits for joint and bone health. Here’s a closer look at how collagen supports joint mobility and reduces joint pain, as well as its effects on bone density and strength.

Collagen is a major component of cartilage, the tissue that cushions joints. Joint stiffness and discomfort begin with increasing age because of the natural decline in collagen production.

Replenishes natural collagen

Collagen supplementation helps replenish the body’s collagen stores and support joint health, as collagen peptides have been shown to improve joint flexibility and reduce symptoms of joint pain and inflammation.

Helps with joint pain

Collagen supplementation may help alleviate joint pain associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis. Collagen peptides help stimulate the production of new cartilage cells and protect existing cartilage from damage.

This can lead to improved joint function and reduced pain, allowing individuals to maintain an active and pain-free lifestyle.

Improves bone density

Collagen is also a vital component of bone tissue. It provides structural support and helps maintain bone density. Adequate supplementation may improve bone health by increasing bone mineral density and reducing the risk of fractures

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Note for Caution!

However, further research is needed to establish a direct link between collagen supplementation and bone health benefits.

It’s important to note that while collagen supplements have shown potential benefits for joint and bone health, they may not work the same way for everyone.

Results can vary depending on factors such as age, overall health, and the specific formulation of the collagen supplement.

3. Collagen and Gut Health

Collagen plays a crucial role in supporting gut health by helping to repair the gut lining and promoting optimal digestion.

The amino acids found in collagen, such as glycine and proline, are essential for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal wall and preventing the leakage of toxins into the bloodstream.

Collagen also supports the production of gastric acid and enzymes, which aids in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.

By incorporating collagen into your diet or through supplements, you can provide the necessary building blocks for a healthy gut and improved digestive function.

4. Effect of Collagen on Hair and Nail 

Studies suggest that collagen supplementation may help improve hair thickness, reduce hair loss, and enhance nail growth.

  • Collagen provides essential amino acids that are building blocks for hair and nail proteins.
  • It helps strengthen hair follicles, leading to reduced hair breakage and improved hair growth.
  • Collagen improves nail strength and reduces brittleness, promoting healthier and more resilient nails.

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Potential Dangers and Considerations of Collagen Supplements

In addition to the health benefits, it’s highly essential to be aware of potential dangers or side effects associated with collagen supplementation.

While collagen supplements are generally considered safe for most individuals, some people may experience digestive issues, such as bloating or diarrhoea. It’s recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase if tolerated well.

Benefits and Dangers of Collagen Supplements

Allergies and Sensitivities:

Collagen supplements may cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

  • It is important to carefully check the ingredients for potential allergens before consuming collagen supplements.
  • If you have a known allergy or sensitivity, consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating collagen supplements into your routine.
  • Allergic reactions in the form of itching, swelling, rash, or difficulty breathing are commonly seen in cases of sensitivity.

Some collagen supplements are derived from sources like fish, shellfish, or eggs, which could pose a risk for individuals with allergies to these ingredients. It is essential to carefully check the product labels and opt for hypoallergenic collagen supplements if you have known allergies.

Please note that individual responses to collagen supplements may vary, and it is important to consider your specific health needs and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary supplements.

Interactions with Medications or Health Conditions:

Collagen supplements may interact with certain medications or health conditions, potentially affecting their effectiveness or causing adverse effects. Here are a few key points to consider:

People who are on blood-thinners

Collagen’s potential blood-thinning effects could increase the risk of bleeding when combined with blood thinners. Therefore, individuals taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin should exercise caution.

Diabetes medications

Collagen supplements may have an impact on blood sugar levels. Individuals on diabetes medications should be more cautious to monitor their blood sugar levels closely when using collagen supplements to ensure they remain within a safe range.

People with Kidney diseases

People with kidney diseases may need to exercise caution when taking collagen supplements, as excessive protein intake can strain the kidneys. Consulting with a healthcare professional gets more critical to determine the appropriate dosage and suitability in such cases.

Note for Caution!

It is important to note that the interactions between collagen supplements, medications, and health conditions can vary based on individual circumstances. It is crucial to inform your healthcare provider about any supplements you are taking to ensure their compatibility with your medications and overall health condition.

Tips for Choosing and Using Collagen Supplements

Tips for Choosing and Using Collagen Supplements

When considering collagen supplements, it’s important to make informed choices to ensure their effectiveness and safety. Here are some key tips to help you select and use collagen supplements:

Collagen Types

Different types of collagen serve various purposes in the body. For specific benefits like skin health or joint support, opt for supplements that contain collagen types known for those benefits, such as type I and type II collagen.

Additionally, consider the source of collagen, such as bovine, marine, or plant-based, depending on your dietary preferences.

Bioavailability and Absorption

Bioavailability refers to the extent to which the body can absorb and utilise collagen. Look for supplements that undergo processes like hydrolyzation, which breaks down collagen into smaller peptides for improved absorption. This enhances its effectiveness in the body.

Quality of the product

Ensure that the collagen supplement you choose undergoes rigorous quality control measures. Look for products that are third-party tested, as this provides an additional level of assurance regarding their purity, potency, and absence of contaminants.

Dosage & Frequency

It’s advisable to start with a lower dosage of collagen supplements and gradually increase as needed. This allows you to observe how your body responds to the supplement and helps identify any potential side effects or allergies. 

Can the body produce collagen naturally?

Yes! Collagen can be produced naturally by combining amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins found in food. For producing collagen, the body requires:

  • Proline is present in dairy, mushrooms, egg whites, cabbage, and asparagus.
  • Glycine is present in chicken and pork skin, gelatin, and a variety of other protein-rich foods.
  • Vitamin C is available in citrus fruits, guava, and bell peppers.
  • Zinc is available in various nuts and seeds, cheese, milk, beans, lentils, chickpeas, lamb, beef, pork, and shellfish.
  • Copper is found in cashews, lentils, sesame seeds, organ meats, and cocoa powder.

Incorporate Collagen Into Diet; Do Not Rely Solely on Supplements

While supplements can be a convenient option, they should not replace a well-rounded and nutrient-rich diet. Incorporating collagen supplements into a balanced diet is essential for maximising its benefits.

Whole foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts also contribute to collagen production in the body. These foods provide a wide range of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that work synergistically with collagen to support overall health.

Additionally, a balanced diet ensures a diverse intake of other important nutrients that collagen supplements cannot provide.

By focusing on a varied and balanced diet, you can optimise your collagen intake while reaping the benefits of a holistic approach to nutrition.

Collagen can be a supplement to your healthy lifestyle, but not a replacement.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is collagen powder always non-vegetarian?

No, collagen powder is not always non-vegetarian. Collagen is primarily sourced from animal tissues, such as bones, skin, and scales. However, there are vegan-friendly collagen alternatives available in the market that are derived from plant-based sources or produced synthetically.

Q: What are the ingredients in collagen?

Collagen supplements typically contain hydrolyzed collagen peptides derived from animal sources, such as bovine or marine collagen. Other ingredients may include flavourings, sweeteners, and additives to enhance the taste and texture of the supplement. It’s important to read the product label or consult the manufacturer for specific ingredient information.

Q: How much collagen intake is safe?

The safe intake of collagen can vary depending on individual factors and health conditions. As a general guideline, most collagen supplements recommend a daily dosage of around 10 grams or as directed by a healthcare professional. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate intake based on individual needs and any specific health considerations.

Q: How can I obtain collagen from a natural diet?

You can obtain collagen naturally through your diet by consuming foods that are rich in collagen-building nutrients. Some examples include bone broth, chicken or fish skin, organ meats, and certain types of fish like salmon and sardines.

Incorporating foods that support collagen production, such as fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, can also be beneficial.


  1. Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T., & Prawitt, J. (2015). The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 14(4), 291-301. doi:10.1111/jocd.12174
  2. Proksch, E., Segger, D., Degwert, J., Schunck, M., Zague, V., & Oesser, S. (2014). Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 27(1), 47-55. doi:10.1159/000351376.
  3. McAlindon TE, et al. (2011). Change in knee osteoarthritis cartilage detected by delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging following treatment with collagen hydrolysate: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Reference:
  4. Bello AE, et al. (2006). Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: A review of the literature. Reference:
  5. National Institutes of Health. (2021). Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from
  6. Asserin, J., Lati, E., & Shioya, T. (2015). The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 14(4), 291-301. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12174

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