Collagen Supplements For Better Health: Do They Really Work?

Human bodies are capable of naturally producing the collagen protein but its generation becomes slower with time. This is when supplements are recommended to be taken since collagen is responsible for skin elasticity, binding the ligaments in the knee and other joints. 

About 28 types of collagen are found in the body but it is types I, II and III that comprise 80 to 90 percent of all the collagen present in the body. While the first two types are present in the skin as well as bones, the type III is present in the joints. 

The supplements are developed from the collagen derived from the bones and joints of cows and pigs, which tend to have collagens I, II and III. The supplements can be bought online in the form of capsules, powders and tablets. The content of the supplement varies from hydrolyzed, raw to gelatin.

There are not many studies to vouch for the benefits of the supplements and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not endorse the claims of any company manufacturing supplements. Effectiveness of the supplements depend on each person’s needs and constitution.

Here are some of the potential benefits:

Bone Density

Type I collagen is one of the main components inside our bones. Collagen supplements allegedly prevent bone loss, benefiting people with osteoporosis. Most of the research so far has been conducted on animals and more studies based on human beings are needed to fact check this possibility. 

One study on 131 post-menopausal women demonstrated the positive effect of taking the collagen supplement. When women took 5 grams of the Fortibone supplement, a hydrolyzed version of collagen, everyday for a year, their bone density increased by 3 percent in the spine and by 7 percent in the femur bones. 

Muscle Mass

If accompanied by resistance training, the collagen supplement could possibly stimulate muscle growth. The evidence is limited. When older men and premenopausal women took collagen supplements along with consistently performing resistance training, they experienced an increase in muscle mass compared to participants who took  placebo in these two different studies.  


Some evidence suggests that taking collagen increases its presence in the skin, thus increases skin elasticity, ironing out wrinkles. The skin has the first three types of collagen. A few studies indicated that the skin may stop growing by one percent, thereby reducing aging. 


The cartilage, the cushioning present inside joints, is made up Collagen type II and its supplementation allegedly relieves pain. A few studies suggested that collagen supplements lessen joint pain, especially on people suffering from osteoarthritis. 

collagen Limited amount of studies associate consumption of collagen to better skin health, improved arthritis symptoms, faster wound healing and lower risk of muscle wasting. Pixabay