Collagen for weight loss
Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years for their many touted health and beauty benefits. One of the purported benefits of collagen is its ability to promote weight loss. But can taking collagen really help you lose weight? Keep reading to learn the facts about collagen and weight loss.
- What is Collagen?
- How Collagen Helps With Weight Loss
- Recent 2023 Collagen Research Related to Weight Loss
- Best Types of Collagen for Weight Loss
- Proper Collagen Dosage for Weight Loss
- How to Use Collagen for Maximum Weight Loss
- Additional Lifestyle Habits that Maximize Collagen Benefits
- The Bottom Line: Collagen and Weight Loss
Frequently Asked Questions About Collagen and Weight Loss
- How long does it take to see weight loss results from collagen?
- When should I take collagen - morning or night?
- Can I only get collagen from supplements?
- Does collagen powder work as well as liquid collagen?
- Are there any risks or side effects to taking collagen?
- Can vegetarians/vegans use collagen?
- Will I experience “collagen overload” if I take too much?
- Does collagen interfere with other supplements or medications?
- Collagen for weight loss: Conclusion
- Resources used to write this article
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up around 30% of total protein content. It is the main structural protein that forms connective tissues throughout the body, including tendons, ligaments, skin, bones, teeth, cartilage, blood vessels, and muscles.
There are at least 16 different types of collagen in the body, but around 90% consist of types I, II, and III. Collagen provides structure and flexibility to tissues, acting as the “glue” that holds the body together. It also plays a vital role in tissue repair and wound healing.
As we age, collagen production starts to decline, leading to common signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging skin, brittle bones and joints, and weakened muscles. This age-related decline in collagen has led to the popularity of collagen supplements designed to counteract these effects.
How Collagen Helps With Weight Loss
Research on the direct link between collagen and weight loss is limited. However, there are some potential mechanisms by which collagen may promote weight loss:
1. Increasing Satiety and Reducing Appetite
Collagen is highly satiating, meaning it helps you feel fuller for longer after eating. This is likely due to collagen's ability to gel and thicken liquids in the stomach, slowing down digestion and prolonging feelings of fullness.
By reducing appetite and hunger cravings, collagen can promote weight loss by helping you eat less without feeling deprived. Multiple studies show collagen peptides increase satiety and reduce food intake compared to placebo.
2. Supporting Metabolism Through Muscle Mass
Collagen helps reduce age-related loss of muscle mass, which normally leads to a slower metabolism. By supporting metabolism and muscle mass retention, especially during periods of weight loss, collagen can help your body burn more calories throughout the day.
3. Reducing adipose tissue and body fat percentage
Some research indicates collagen supplements may alter fat storage and energy usage in the body, leading to reduced adipose tissue and body fat percentage in overweight individuals. The mechanism behind this effect needs more research.
4. Supporting Exercise Performance and Recovery
Collagen can improve joint, bone, and muscle health, allowing for better workout performance and injury recovery. This allows you to exercise more consistently to maximize calorie and fat burn. Collagen may also reduce exercise-induced joint pain.
5. Improving Gut Health
Collagen helps strengthen the protective lining of the digestive tract. A healthy gut optimizes nutrient absorption and reduces inflammation, both of which facilitate weight loss. Collagen also promotes growth of beneficial probiotics.
6. Regulating Lipid and Glucose Metabolism
Some research indicates collagen supplements may help regulate fat and glucose metabolism. Better blood sugar control and reduced lipid absorption from meals could promote fat loss. But more studies are needed in this area.
Recent 2023 Collagen Research Related to Weight Loss
In 2023, there have been a few studies investigating the potential link between collagen and weight loss:
- A 2023 animal study did not find a direct connection between collagen supplementation and weight loss, showing this area of research is still emerging 1.
- A 2023 study found collagen peptide taken with a high-fat diet influenced gut microbiome ratios in a way that exerted anti-obesity effects 3.
- A 2023 review showed hydrolyzed collagen promoted skin hydration and decreased wrinkles but did not directly address weight loss 4.
More human clinical trials are needed to establish definitive links between collagen and weight loss. But early research shows promising areas to explore further.
Best Types of Collagen for Weight Loss
Not all collagen supplements are created equal when it comes to weight loss. The two best types are:
Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
Collagen peptides are created by hydrolyzing collagen from animal tissues like bone broth or hides. This process breaks the long collagen protein chains into shorter peptide fragments that are easily absorbed.
Look for a grass-fed, pasture-raised source of collagen peptides for purity. Collagen peptides mixes easily into hot or cold liquids.
Bone Broth Collagen
Drinking homemade or quality pre-made bone broth provides collagen from natural gelatin that forms when slowly simmering bones. The collagen in bone broth also contains beneficial amino acids like glycine and glutamine.
Bone broth offers ideal electrolyte balance and gelatin content to promote satiety. Look for bone broth made from organic, grass-fed bones.
Proper Collagen Dosage for Weight Loss
The most researched daily dosage of supplemental collagen for weight loss seems to be around 10-15 grams per day. This equates to around 1-2 scoops of collagen peptides.
When consuming collagen via bone broth, aim for around 100-200mL bone broth per day to get an equivalent collagen content. Be sure to follow dosage instructions on any collagen supplement product.
How to Use Collagen for Maximum Weight Loss
To see optimal results on your weight loss efforts, be strategic with how you incorporate collagen:
- Consume collagen consistently - Take collagen every day instead of sporadically to see a consistent impact on appetite and body composition over time.
- Have collagen in the morning - Consuming collagen protein in the morning helps curb appetite and cravings throughout the day.
- Combine with exercise - Engage in regular exercise and activity to maximize fat burning. Collagen helps make exercise more possible and effective.
- Eat a protein-rich diet - Aim for a high-protein diet to support muscle retention and metabolism. Let collagen supplement your other protein sources.
- Avoid sugary, fatty foods - Reduce empty sources of calories to amplify collagen's satiating effects for easier caloric deficit.
- Be patient - It takes consistent collagen use over weeks or months to see gradual but lasting changes in body composition, rather than quick fixes.
Additional Lifestyle Habits that Maximize Collagen Benefits
To boost collagen absorption and efficacy for weight loss, also focus on:
- Consuming collagen-boosting foods - Eat sulforaphane foods like broccoli, vitamin C foods like citrus, greens, and zinc foods like seafood.
- Staying hydrated - Getting adequate water improves collagen production and helps supplements work better.
- Limiting alcohol - Alcohol can inhibit collagen production so limit intake to support collagen synthesis.
- Quitting smoking - Smoking damages existing collagen so quitting supports collagen function.
- Managing stress - High cortisol from stress impairs collagen. Practice relaxing activities to lower stress.
- Getting 7-9 hours of sleep - Quality sleep allows collagen production to thrive and helps maintain metabolism.
The Bottom Line: Collagen and Weight Loss
While collagen isn't a magic bullet for weight loss, the current research shows it can support weight management through several mechanisms:
- Increasing satiety and reducing hunger hormones
- Supporting metabolism through muscle retention
- Potentially altering fat storage and adipose tissue
- Enabling better exercise performance and recovery
- Improving gut health for better nutrient absorption
- Regulating lipid and glucose metabolism
To see these benefits, choose a hydrolyzed collagen peptide powder or collagen-rich bone broth and take around 10-15 grams daily. Pair collagen with better lifestyle habits for amplified effects. Most importantly - be patient and consistent! Over time, collagen can augment a healthy diet and exercise routine to help you lose weight in a sustainable way.
Frequently Asked Questions About Collagen and Weight Loss
How long does it take to see weight loss results from collagen?
It can take 2-4 weeks of daily collagen supplementation to start noticing subtle changes in body composition and appetite. But collagen works gradually, so it may take 2-3 months of consistent use to see more significant weight loss.
When should I take collagen - morning or night?
Most research shows taking collagen in the morning helps control appetite and cravings throughout the day. But you can experiment with timing to see when collagen works best for your body.
Can I only get collagen from supplements?
No, eating collagen-containing foods like bone broth, meat, fish skin, and eggs will provide a natural source of collagen. But supplements offer concentrated, convenient collagen if you cannot get enough dietary collagen.
Does collagen powder work as well as liquid collagen?
Yes, collagen peptides powders that fully dissolve in water or smoothies get absorbed just as efficiently as liquid collagen supplements. Choose a hydrolyzed form for better digestibility.
Are there any risks or side effects to taking collagen?
Collagen supplements are generally safe, with few reported side effects. Some people report mild digestive discomfort. As with any supplement, consult your doctor before starting a collagen regimen.
Can vegetarians/vegans use collagen?
Most collagen comes from animal sources, but there are some marine and plant-based collagens. A vegan doctor can advice you on collagen alternatives like nutritional yeast.
Will I experience “collagen overload” if I take too much?
It's unlikely. Your body will use what it needs and excrete any excess collagen through urine. But follow dosage guidelines and start low to assess tolerance.
Does collagen interfere with other supplements or medications?
Collagen does not normally interact with medications or supplements. However, consult your doctor if taking medications that affect platelet aggregation, coagulation, or blood pressure.
Collagen for weight loss: Conclusion
Collagen offers several evidence-backed ways it may augment your weight loss efforts alongside proper exercise and nutrition. With few risks and many potential benefits, collagen supplementation is worth consideration as a daily regimen to control hunger, retain muscle, strengthen your gut, and help your body shed excess fat.
Be diligent about choosing high-quality collagen from reputable brands. Implement lifestyle habits that maximize collagen production and absorption. Over time, taking collagen consistently and strategically can accelerate your path to sustainable weight loss success.
Resources used to write this article
- Peric, M., Dumic, J., Nordin, A. C., Novak, S., Bilic-Curcic, I., Jelic, M., & Kucic, N. (2023). The potential of collagen supplements in body weight reduction: A systematic review of animal studies. Croatian Medical Journal, 64(1), 59–65. https://doi.org/10.3325/cmj.2023.64.59
- Daneault, A., Prawitt, J., Fabien Soulage, C., Coxam, V., & Wittrant, Y. (2017). Biological effect of hydrolyzed collagen on bone metabolism. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 57(9), 1922–1937. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2015.1098750
- Chen, X., Zheng, Y., Zhu, J., Jiang, H., & Cui, L. (2023). Antiobesity effect of collagen peptides in high-fat diet-induced obese rats and the regulation on gut microbiota. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 71(25), 7051-7061. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.3c02838
- Elattar, S., & Satyanarayana, A. (2023). Collagen supplementation in skin and orthopedic diseases: a review of the literature. PubMed, 32(3), 263–268. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35428189/
- Clark, K. L., Sebastianelli, W., Flechsenhar, K. R., Aukermann, D. F., Meza, F., Millard, R. L., Deitch, J. R., Sherbondy, P. S., & Albert, A. (2008). 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Current medical research and opinion, 24(5), 1485–1496. https://doi.org/10.1185/030079908x291967