Should You Be Taking Collagen Supplements?

Should You Be Taking Collagen Supplements?

collagen protein powder on a tablespoon against rustic wood

Collagen is one of the popular buzzwords in health and fitness. It’s being added to everything from protein bars, nutritional powders, pills, and even coffee creamer. But what is it, is it safe, and should you be following in this latest trend?

What Is It?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and can be found in skin, hair, tendons, and ligaments. You need adequate amounts to maintain strong bones, smooth skin, and healthy joints. In your 30s, the body naturally begins to produce less and less collagen so it makes sense that supplement companies have been pushing it. Many claim that collagen can help your skin look younger, strengthen hair and nails, reduce joint pain, and even improve gut health, but what does the research say?

The Research
The research on collagen is limited. Some studies have found that taking collagen supplements may help reduce pain in osteoarthritis sufferers as well as in athletes. Another study found that the intake of collagen supplements can help reduce age-related skin wrinkles. With such limited research on various health-related issues, it’s tough to make straight out claims on its benefits– more research is needed.

Safety
The Therapeutic Research Center’s Natural Medicines database states that when taken orally, collagen type II in up to 2.5 mg per day doses for no more than 24 weeks, is possibly safe. Some other types of collagen products, such as bovine collagen, have been shown to have possible side effects, such as nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, drowsiness, skin reactions and headache, but there currently doesn’t seem to be any known reactions with drugs, foods, herbs or supplements. Whenever purchasing supplements, always look for ones that are certified by a third-party quality-testing company, such as NSF or USP.

Bottom Line
If you want to give a collagen supplement a try, then take it in the dosage listed above. However, if you’re hoping for health benefits there’s no clear evidence that you’ll see any results. Keep in mind that collagen is a form of protein so if you’re using collagen supplements, taking protein supplements, and eating a balanced diet with protein then it can be easy to overdo.

To get enough collagen from food, eat a well-balanced diet from a variety of protein foods including meat, fish, and soybeans. Also, eat foods high in vitamin C like citrus fruits, potatoes, and bell peppers, and iron like lean red meat, green leafy vegetables, and beans. Both vitamin C and iron help with your body’s natural production of collagen.

13 Comments
  • Angelina Brown
    Posted at 06:31h, 05 April Reply

    Good article! Collagen should be included in our regular diets, particularly in women who have reached menopause, as their bodies fail to make calcium after certain age. Collagen is essential in maintaining the bones and the supplements can help in preventing or managing diseases like Arthritis.

  • Richard  Henricks
    Posted at 07:16h, 05 April Reply

    thanks to sharing this.

  • Positive Vibe
    Posted at 12:14h, 18 November Reply

    I got a massive headache and drowsinessfor 2 days when I took some. Not worth it.

  • Xerix
    Posted at 05:40h, 29 May Reply

    I started taking a collagen supplement and found myself constipated and with bowel cramps. This was the only site to list any possible side effects or link. Thank you.

  • Mary Jo Bankard
    Posted at 18:39h, 27 July Reply

    I had constipation and a bloated abdomen before taking collagen, so I can’t blame it on collagen.

  • W. Collinge
    Posted at 13:17h, 16 September Reply

    I have been taking it for about ten days and will be stopping. It upsets my stomach, nausea and acid reflux.

  • Phyllis green
    Posted at 10:37h, 30 December Reply

    I took collegen for a week and this happened, it literally locked up my bowels. I was in pain and misery for over two weeks. Now I have to eat kefir and yogurt everyday to have a bowel movement. Would NEVER take this poison again! Almost put me in the hospital! Don’t listen to the HYPE

    • Lee Webb
      Posted at 19:18h, 23 April Reply

      I’ve been taking marine collegen for 15 days, have had a headache on my left side for 4 days, Hot flushes have come back after 3 months if not having them and have lost my appetite. Will stop taking for a few days to see if there is any improvement. Only benefit I feel is nice smooth skin.

  • Susan Adamson
    Posted at 04:36h, 20 February Reply

    I had just taken collagen from company So collagen.
    I have been so ill I started within a few hours with a muzzy head that went into the worst migraine of my life!!.
    I never slept all night and I am still not right my head is just awful and I feel so rough from taking it.
    They do not list the possible side effects on packet in studies I have now read it’s the biggest one. Awful headaches!! read up on it and maybe better to do full research as now I am thinking it’s just amino acids any way.

  • Terri
    Posted at 15:17h, 23 March Reply

    I have been taking hydrolyzed bovine collagen for three weeks in powder form. I felt sleepy with low energy and got headaches that made my head feel heavy. I didn’t see the connection and didn’t realize it was the collagen. As soon as I stopped taking it, I felt better. I will never use it again.

  • tina
    Posted at 20:09h, 29 April Reply

    I have been having the WORST heart burn. Im thinking it might be the collagen, because its really the only thing that I have changed in my diet. Its type 1-3. I sure hope if I stop taking it that I will feel better.

  • Kay
    Posted at 08:47h, 16 May Reply

    Useless article.

    There are different types and sources of collagen and they will have different effects and side effects.

    It seems that one specific brand of bovine collagen often gives me a headache.

  • Patricia Lewis
    Posted at 12:54h, 23 July Reply

    I also have gotten headaches on the bovine collagen. will they get any better? I felt like I needed to supplement since I’m in my 70’s, with pain in joints, wrinkles, and can’t take the chemicals in pain drugs. I take Herbagesic for headache and it usually goes away.

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