Due to growing popularity of collagen supplements and a number of inquiries we’ve received about it, we reviewed the literature on collagen supplements and published a summary of findings.
- There is little research to support the use of collagen supplements for most purposes, with the exception of osteoarthritis and skin appearance.
- Several controlled trials have found that collagen supplements may decrease joint pain, stiffness, and function in some people with hip or knee osteoarthritis.
- A handful of studies found improvements in skin elasticity, skin hydration/moisture, collagen density of the skin, and/or eye wrinkle volume among older women after 4-12 weeks of collagen peptide supplementation.
- A major limitation of the studies on collagen supplements is that most do not control for protein intake, a known factor in collagen production. To draw any conclusions about the efficacy of collagen, we’d want to see human trials testing collagen versus an equivalent amount of other protein (especially plant protein).
- It’s possible that eating extra protein can substitute for taking collagen supplements, but this hasn’t been studied.