Is Daily Collagen Supplementation Safe?


Categories: Collagen

Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years, with supporters claiming benefits for skin, hair, nails, joints, muscles, and more. But is taking collagen supplements on a daily basis actually safe? This article will explore the science behind collagen supplementation and potential side effects to help you decide if daily collagen is right for your health goals.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up 30% of total protein content. It is the main structural protein found in skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues. Collagen gives strength and structure to tissues and helps maintain elasticity and youthfulness of skin.

There are at least 16 different types of collagen in the human body, but 80-90% consist of types I, II, and III. Collagen production starts declining around age 25 and drops sharply after 40. This loss of collagen is a major contributing factor to signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and joint discomfort.

How Do Collagen Supplements Work?

Collagen supplements supply extra collagen from animal sources like fish, cattle, chicken, and eggs. They provide amino acids like glycine and proline that the body uses to synthesize its own collagen. Consuming collagen may also stimulate collagen production.

Collagen peptides are absorbed intact into the bloodstream for distribution throughout the body. However, research suggests they accumulate in certain tissues more than others. Small collagen fragments are better able to penetrate the dermal layer of skin, potentially improving elasticity and hydration. Hydrolyzed collagen supplements may also accumulate in cartilage and stimulate regeneration.

Potential Benefits of Collagen Supplements

  • Skin health - Several studies show collagen peptide supplements improve skin hydration, elasticity, and dermal collagen density. This leads to fewer wrinkles and dryness.
  • Joint and bone health - Clinical trials demonstrate collagen supplements reduce joint pain and improve mobility. Collagen may also protect bones from deterioration.
  • Hair, nail, and teeth health - Collagen supplements strengthen hair and nails by providing missing amino acids. They may also minimize hair loss. Some early evidence shows benefits for teeth too.
  • Muscle mass - Emerging research suggests collagen supplements in combination with resistance training may boost muscle mass compared to training alone.
  • Heart health - Population studies associate higher collagen levels with lower cardiovascular disease risk. Collagen supplements may inhibit arteriosclerosis.
  • Sleep quality - One study found collagen before bed significantly improved sleep quality and reduced daytime fatigue.
  • Brain health - As a major component of the blood-brain barrier, collagen may aid cognitive function. But more research is needed.

So in summary, preliminary evidence indicates collagen supplements may provide targeted benefits, especially for skin, joints, hair, nails, and sleep. But high quality clinical trials are still needed for many applications.

Are Collagen Supplements Safe?

The existing research suggests collagen supplements are likely safe for most people when taken appropriately. However, there are some cautions to keep in mind:

  • Source - Marine and bovine collagens pose lower allergy risks than pork or chicken. Look for quality sourcing.
  • Dose - Up to 10-15g daily appears safe long-term. Higher doses may cause mild gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Drug interactions - Collagen supplements may intensify anticoagulant medications. Check with your doctor.
  • Safety issues - Collagen sourced from unsafe materials may carry a prion disease risk. Choose reputable brands.
  • Allergies - Those with egg allergies should avoid egg-derived collagen. Individuals with shellfish allergies should avoid marine collagen.
  • Contaminants - Collagen from less regulated sources may contain heavy metals and toxins. Opt for pharmaceutical grade collagen.

Overall, research suggests collagen supplementation is likely safe when used appropriately. Mild side effects like feeling full or heartburn may occur. Pay close attention to sourcing and dosage to minimize risks. Of course, consult your healthcare provider before starting supplements.

Who May Benefit from Collagen Supplements?

The following groups stand to benefit most from extra collagen:

  • Older adults who want to counteract natural collagen loss
  • Those seeking to improve skin elasticity or reduce wrinkles
  • People wanting to ease joint discomfort and inflammation
  • Athletes aiming to support joint and bone health
  • Individuals with brittle nails or thinning hair
  • Anyone with connective tissue disorders or injuries
  • Those recovering from surgery

Healthy younger individuals with ample natural collagen may see fewer benefits from supplementation. But for middle-aged adults and beyond, collagen can promote strong, youthful connective tissues.

Top Considerations for Daily Collagen Supplements

Here are some tips if you're considering a daily collagen supplement regimen:

  • Consult your healthcare provider - Make sure collagen is right for your health status and won't interact with medications.
  • Choose quality sources - Look for marine or bovine collagen peptides from reputable regulated companies.
  • Take an optimal dose - Most benefits are seen with 10-15g daily. Start low and increase gradually.
  • Time it right - Take collagen supplements 30 minutes before exercise for joints or before bed for overnight skin repair.
  • Combine with vitamin C - Vitamin C helps optimize collagen absorption and synthesis.
  • Consider a powder or liquid - These dissolve easily for better absorption compared to pills.
  • Give it time - Wait at least 8-12 weeks to see benefits. Improvement is gradual.
  • Maintain lifestyle habits - Pair supplements with diet, exercise, and other healthy practices.

Is Daily Collagen Supplementation Safe? Conclusion

Early research suggests daily collagen supplementation provides structural support and extensive benefits throughout the body. Marine and bovine collagen sources appear safe for most people at moderate doses. However, those with allergies or on medications should exercise caution. When sourced appropriately and combined with a healthy lifestyle, taking 10-15g of a quality collagen supplement per day may safely promote youthful skin, strong joints and bones, improved sleep, and optimal health as we age. However, individuals should consult with their healthcare provider before starting any new supplement routine.

Resources used to write this article

Borumand, M., & Sibilla, S. (2015). Daily consumption of the collagen supplement Pure Gold Collagen® reduces visible signs of aging. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 10, 1747–1758.

Choi, F. D., Sung, C. T., Juhasz, M. L., & Mesinkovsk, N. A. (2019). Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD, 18(1), 9–16.

Elrahman, S. A., El-Raggal, N. M., & youssef, S. M. (2019). Efficacy of Collagen Supplements on the Levels of Collagen-Related Biomarkers in Skin Aging. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 16(5), 589–602.

Hou, C. W. (2019). The Use of Collagen-Based Supplement for Bone and Joint Health. Nutrients, 11(10), 2224. MDPI AG. Retrieved from

Kim, J., Kim, I. S., Cho, T. H., Lee, I., Lee, H. R., & Lee, Y. J. (2019). Effects of Oral Collagen Peptide Supplementation on Skin Properties: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients, 11(11), 2662. MDPI AG. Retrieved from

Oesser, S., Adam, M., Babel, W., Seifert, J. (1999). Oral administration of (14)C labeled gelatin hydrolysate leads to an accumulation of radioactivity in cartilage of mice (C57/BL). The Journal of nutrition, 129(10), 1891–1895.

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.

Shimomura Y., Suzuki M., Sugiyama S., Maruyama N., Suzuki K. (2020). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Study of a Chicken-Sourced Collagen Peptide Supplement on Joint Health in Exercising Subjects. Nutrients. 12(8):E2280.

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