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No longer just the secret to reverse-aging and disappearing wrinkles, collagen is now being consumed to improve joint pain, prevent bone loss, expedite post-injury recovery, promote hair and nail growth, boost muscle mass and even improve heart health. You can think of collagen as an essential protein or “building block” of the body. If you are someone who struggles to meet your general protein needs, a collagen supplement may be a helpful tool. Collagen supplements are often flavorless, dissolve easily and therefore easy to add to coffee or other foods and beverages for extra protein. Some studies show that taking collagen supplements for several months can improve skin elasticity, (i.e., wrinkles and roughness) as well.

The new trend of collagen supplements suggests that ingesting collagen can aid in overall tissue health by improving bone health, aiding in muscle repair, and supporting hair and skin strength. Yes, collagen peptide supplements contain amino acids that are needed for everyday functions. What’s more, there is some scientific evidence that collagen supplementation improves wound healing, skin aging and arthritic stiffness and pain. The research on collagen supplements is still preliminary and study sizes are small.

While it’s possible to consume collagen directly, either in the form of a supplement or in the form of foods containing collagen, doing so isn’t necessary to support production of collagen in the body, Farris says. According to the Therapeutic Research Center Natural Medicines database, collagen type II—a major structural protein responsible for tensile strength and toughness in the cartilage—taken orally is possibly safe in doses up to 2.5 mg/day for no more than 24 weeks.5 Other collagen products, including bovine collagen, have caused allergic reactions. As is the case with any supplement, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration does not monitor collagen powders for safety or efficacy unless a manufacturer claims its supplement can cure disease. As you can see, hydrolyzed collagen should never be used as a protein supplement.

To make matters worse, hydrolyzed collagen can actually decrease the efficiency of high-quality proteins. Meaning that if you combine hydrolyzed collagen with a whey protein, it will actually cause the whey protein to be less efficient. The recommended dosage for UC-II collagen is 20 to 40 milligrams per day, and this supplement provides 40 milligrams per capsule.

The Vitamin Shoppe says that its products go through rigorous testing and meet the FDA’s guidelines for GMPs. The company also offers a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.

List of related literature:

One must understand that collagen bonds are remodeled from mobilization or exercise.

“Cooper's Fundamentals of Hand Therapy E-Book: Clinical Reasoning and Treatment Guidelines for Common Diagnoses of the Upper Extremity” by Christine M. Wietlisbach
from Cooper’s Fundamentals of Hand Therapy E-Book: Clinical Reasoning and Treatment Guidelines for Common Diagnoses of the Upper Extremity
by Christine M. Wietlisbach
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

Both collagen (figure 3.7) and resilin meet our requirements well.

“Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World Second Edition” by Steven Vogel
from Comparative Biomechanics: Life’s Physical World Second Edition
by Steven Vogel
Princeton University Press, 2013

Nonpermanent fillers such as collagen, fat transfer, dextran, hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm), and poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra) usually are biodegraded over several months to years.

“Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology” by Brad W. Neville, DDS, Douglas D. Damm, DDS, Carl M. Allen, DDS, MSD, Angela C. Chi, DMD
from Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
by Brad W. Neville, DDS, Douglas D. Damm, DDS, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

It is suggested that training should be consistent, and that only a few minutes of appropriate exercises, performed once or twice per week, is sufficient for collagen remodeling.

“Fascia: The Tensional Network of the Human Body E-Book: The science and clinical applications in manual and movement therapy” by Robert Schleip, Thomas W. Findley, Leon Chaitow, Peter Huijing
from Fascia: The Tensional Network of the Human Body E-Book: The science and clinical applications in manual and movement therapy
by Robert Schleip, Thomas W. Findley, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013

Note that most collagen supplements are a combination of type 1 and type 3 collagen, which provide the amino acids needed to repair collagen throughout the body.

“The Keystone Approach: Healing Arthritis and Psoriasis by Restoring the Microbiome” by Rebecca Fett
from The Keystone Approach: Healing Arthritis and Psoriasis by Restoring the Microbiome
by Rebecca Fett
Franklin Fox Publishing LLC, 2017

Type V collagen co-distributes and assembles into fibrils with both types I and III collagen in which it is suggested to assist in regulating fibril diameter.

“The Biology of the Skin” by Dr. R. K. Freinkel, D.T. Woodley
from The Biology of the Skin
by Dr. R. K. Freinkel, D.T. Woodley
Taylor & Francis, 2001

The crosslinks form strong; mature collagen type I fibre that provides bone with tensile strength [119].

“Novel Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine” by Heung Jae Chun, Kwideok Park, Chun-Ho Kim, Gilson Khang
from Novel Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine
by Heung Jae Chun, Kwideok Park, et. al.
Springer Singapore, 2018

Collagen thickness may vary dramatically from site to site in individual patients and should be evaluated only in well-oriented sections.

“Surgical Pathology of the GI Tract, Liver, Biliary Tract and Pancreas E-Book” by Robert D. Odze, John R. Goldblum
from Surgical Pathology of the GI Tract, Liver, Biliary Tract and Pancreas E-Book
by Robert D. Odze, John R. Goldblum
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2009

Collagen provides the oriented template or scaffold upon which these mineral crystals are deposited.

“Osteoporosis in Men: The Effects of Gender on Skeletal Health” by Eric S. Orwoll, John P. Bilezikian, Dirk Vanderschueren
from Osteoporosis in Men: The Effects of Gender on Skeletal Health
by Eric S. Orwoll, John P. Bilezikian, Dirk Vanderschueren
Elsevier Science, 2009

Studies have shown that Type III collagen is essential for fibrillogenesis of Type I collagen in normal development [17–20].

“Asthma and COPD: Basic Mechanisms and Clinical Management” by Peter J. Barnes, Jeffrey M. Drazen, Stephen I. Rennard, Neil C. Thomson
from Asthma and COPD: Basic Mechanisms and Clinical Management
by Peter J. Barnes, Jeffrey M. Drazen, et. al.
Elsevier Science, 2009

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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31 comments

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  • Yes it works for clearing up eczema. I have been taking type 1 and 3 and my eczema has gone away and my skin looks much better.

  • I suffer from nail breakage, to the point of them being super thin and painful. Taking collagen has helped tremendously. When I stopped taking collagen I noticed my nails started to break again. I began taking supplements again and they improved once again. I eat a very clean diet with lots of fruit and veg and barely anything processed. For me it works!

  • Hi Nadine. Have you heard of the supplement called ceramiracle? I would really, really appreciate your opinion on it. Thank you. xxx

  • My Ex told me to take Collagen to help my severe cystic acne. We broke up I wasn’t taking care of myself as much didn’t take it and I began to get Ice pick scars. There are many other factors that could have caused them but I really think it was the supplement.

  • Ever since I started seeing an alternative medicine Dr I’m not quick to believe alot of these supplements trends. Its all a big scam to keep women feeling insecure & buying stuff to try to better looking & younger for men who sit at home and get happily get fat and old

  • Hi, what ingesting collagen for rebuilding a busted/herniated/ bulging disc? Would it reach the spine before hair skin and nails?

  • Do you still recommend these same products Nadine. I’m really thinking these could help me, with anxiety, general health, & also IBS.

  • Really great info. What are some of the things you should look for right away in a third party tested company? Do you only think that longitudinal studies are enough to prove the benefits of collagen, and in terms of study size how big is big enough?

  • Thank you so much for this video. As someone with a faulty collagen gene (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) I’ve always wondered about collagen supplements. I’ll stick to a fresh diet and skin care.

  • Hello Dr. Abraham, I am a pharmacy student in California who loves your videos! Do you have any American pharmacist friends to film a video with comparing pharmacy practice in America vs in the UK? I think it would be super interesting to see the differences in OTC products, controls, handling insurance, etc. Thanks, you’re awesome:)

  • I just love to listen to you. Seriously you’re so funny. Your accent is the best. You say things and have so many expressions that remind me of myself and my sisters. Your personality is fabulous. As a farmer’s daughter, Midwest USA, now a Nurse, I’ve become somewhat of a Diva who loves health and beauty. Totally enjoying all your videos. Couldn’t agree more with you so many of your recommendations

  • I feel like I wasted so much money over such stuff, thankyou for explaining it so Cutely and not irritating any pharmaceutical company genius ��☺

  • I imagine most of the collagen gets digested by pepsin in the stomach, especially if the supplements are being taken with food/meals. I think your basic “hair skin and nails” multivitamins would be more beneficial but that’s just my hot take.

  • Oh no missed the early squad. Wonderful video. I love how AbrahamThePharmacist integrates evidence into his recommendation. #evidencebasedmedicine.

  • Hello from Bangladesh…. excellent video with useful information….loved it…I would like to know how to become a pharmacist in abroad!? Can you make a video on that topic?! Thanks ��

  • Hi, thank you for doing all of this research and translating it in laywoman’s terms. I am vegan and have been seeing ads for plant based collagen boosters. I’d like to learn your thoughts on this.

  • Finally I know the story behind the angry looking cat, thank you Abraham:) I think the cat will be there for a very long time ��

  • Another point I’d mention is that I’ve seen a LOT of Bovine collagen supplements available in the uk are formed of Amazon farmed cattle. And we all know cattle farming in South America is responsible for the decimation of the Amazon eco system. Save the planet ��

  • I have been watching your videos like them for a while but this is my first time to subscribe, thanks a lot your videos are just amazing {Maria from Uganda}

  • i love your videos they are so straight to point….can you tell me what are the best resources to refresh the informations of a new pharmacy grad?

  • for the vegan video it would be great if you can touch on the actual health benefits or disadvantages of a vegan diet. eg regarding the essential amino acids that are only found in meat as well as their significance

  • I have a training question. What type of training is best for a sprinter? I am a sprinter and can put down 1700w power but can’t hold on to be there till the end (40-60 miles). Which part of training would be best to focus on? Z2? SS? Threshold? Thanks in advance and the Vids are great, keep them coming.

  • Also amino acids absolutely do get absorbed in the gut and travel in the bloodstream. It is the protein that needs to be hydrolyzed. If you break down amino acids any further they will no longer be amino acids.

  • Sorry gents this one is gross. I’ll get my aminos from food and let my body build up all collagen it needs. Eating Rocky Mountain oysters ain’t gonna make you a bigger bull.

  • I have difficulty getting my head around this one. Presumably anything ingested will be broken down through digestion so all you are getting is the constituent amnio acids rather than collagen absorbed through the gut. Assuming that this is true then if you eat a healthy diet with lots of complete protein (a complete protein is one that contains all the essential amino acids) then your body can synthesize what ever amino acid it needs anyway, i.e. your diet should contain all the raw material it needs to make collagen without extra collagen supplements. Therefore I can’t really see how ingesting a collagen supplement (basically containing a few specific amono acids, most of which are none essential and can be synthesised by the human body) helps in any way or form. This sounds more like a myth taken from Chinese folklore. Just don’t mention rhino horns (also a source of collagen) and its reputed effects!

    Have anyone seen any study on the ingestion of collagen? I am a bit out of date on my biochemistry but I dont things has changed that much. Hit me up with the research (even by projects sponsored by companies with a commercial interest) and I will gladly read up and reconsider my opinion. I am open minded to good science.

  • FYI, this is the correct TrainerRoad Forum link for this podcast. https://www.trainerroad.com/forum/t/stage-racing-insights-multi-sport-training-camps-collagen-and-more-ask-a-cycling-coach-248/30608

  • I haven’t been able to find one study not done by the supplement industry that proves topical or oral collagen supplementation enhances collagen production!

  • Huge help. I just got some collagen in France and will now take it 1 hour before my workouts. Thank you for your helps guys.

    My father also just started taking glucosamine. Should he switch?

  • I started a few weeks ago… i have major issues with inflammation and my skin is insanely dry due to 365 day use of antihistamines for 10 years now and chicago weather. I also love that i can get a protein boost in my tea! Haven’t noticed any changes yet, but i am still plugging along!

  • Dr Dray, can you explain more which one is better between marine collagen and bone broth collagen?
    Thanks in advance. I am one of your subcriber from Indonesia��

  • What is the names of the actual products used as oral suppliments which had the best results in the specific trials mentioned? Or the name of any brand suppliments with 3 atoms of collagen?