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Do Collagen Supplements Work?

Do Collagen Supplements Work

Do Collagen supplements Work?

Do Collagen Supplements Work

Do Collagen Supplements Work? This is a question I get asked a lot and the answer is, maybe. Collagen is one of the most popular supplements for women and even my wife and her friends have either asked about it or tried using it.

There is more and more clinical studies being done every year on Collagen but I’m still not convinced that can you believe them.

Industry Funded Studies

Many of the studies that I have seen are at least partially industry funded and that can mean biased results. Before we get into the science and the issues with the current science consider this . . . .

Do Collagen supplements work or are they a scam?

Is Collagen A Scam

 The New Snake Oil Of The 21st Century – If someone was to tell the average north American that Chinese men eat the penises and testicles from donkey, goat, dog, bull and deer because they believe it increased potency and sexual prowess they would probably think they are a little bit crazy. I know I do!

According to my research, some Chinese people believe that eating the body part of an animal will benefit the body part of the person eating it.

Maybe then, if I ate a dogs knee my knee joints would improve, what do you think?

Sounds pretty silly doesn’t it. I’m sure that many people would think that this way of thinking is ridiculous and that those old ideas from the past need to be buried forever because the science just doesn’t prove it.

Should We Believe Collagen Supplements Work?

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are consuming collagen supplements from animals like cow, pig, chicken and fish because they think the Collagen from these animals will increase the Collagen in their skin, nails and hair.

This animal Collagen is ground up into a powder or made into a gummy or pill and is sold as Collagen supplements by many brands touting big health benefits.

Some people are even boiling bones for over 12 hours hoping to extract the collagen and then drinking it, YUK….

And all this because they believe that by eating or drinking collagen means more collagen in their skin and in their joints, giving them improved skin, thicker nails, better hair and healthier joints.

When you think about it, eating collagen to increase collagen is not really any less ridiculous than eating bulls penises to improve penis function in men.

The Science Of Digestion Should Be Enough Proof

Unfortunately, the science shows eating a body part of an animal does not improve the body part of the person consuming it and this is not how the body works.

You’re stomach acids break down everything you eat into smaller components like amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and more and then uses them for whatever the body requires. Maybe that requirement is to boost your immune system, or your digestive system, or maybe to create blood or energy or to grow muscles or even fuel the brain.

This is why thinking that eating Collagen is going to go straight to your skin, nails, hair and joints and to improve you own bodies collagen actually makes no scientific sense.

But why are so many people taking Collagen supplements then?

Collagen Supplements are Big Business

The Collagen market is estimated at over 1 billion dollars which is likely going to expand to over 7 billion dollars in the next 7 years.

With big sales like that there is big marketing involved and the supplement companies that are making millions off Collagen supplements are using the few industry funded studies to show that Collagen works and are promoting it like crazy. They are hopeful that consumers are falling for all that marketing, and consumers are.

The question is, are these studies actually legit and do Collagen supplements work?

There are studies showing that collagen supplements work and are showing some impressive positive benefits of regular Collagen supplementation, but, and are there any risks?

Do the clinical trials show that Collagen supplements Work?

The Science of Collagen

First, lets look at the studies. There is a lot wrong with some of the clinical science behind Collagen supplements and many experts are skeptical of it’s use.

Some studies on Collagen can show good results but it’s often unclear if it’s a specific amino acid or a group of amino acids within the Collagen. It’s also unclear if it’s just an increase in protein from taking Collagen supplements that is causing the health benefits.

Although some studies are answering the question do Collagen supplements work they may be flawed in their findings and it’s very possible that just taking a combination of the same amino acids in another form might be just as good or even a better. It might even be cheaper than Collagen itself and it may even be possible that just improving your diet and exercising may work better.

Do The Studies Clearly Show That Collagen Works?

One study showed a significant increase in muscle in an elderly group of men who lifted weights and took 15 grams of Collagen daily compared to a second group that only lifted weights and had little to no muscle increase.

 A study like this looks promising if you don’t put any thought into it and big brands might use this to promote the fact that Collagen builds muscle.

However Collagen is a protein and it’s likely that any form of added protein, including proteins derived from plants would have likely had the same or even better results.

But they didn’t compare other proteins or look to see why these results occurred. So was it the added Collagen or the added protein that built muscle?

This study only proves that adding protein can build muscle but does not prove that Collagen supplements work.

 This is how industry funded clinical studies can be flawed and is why some experts are skeptical of these studies.

When I see this it just makes me wonder how many other studies may be misinterpreted or flawed.

Another study that found that women who took 1 gram per day of a chicken-derived collagen supplement for 12 weeks had 76% less dryness and 12% fewer visible wrinkles and better blood flow in the skin.

That sounds like some really good substantial findings, but, how do we know that taking another type of protein would have not had the same results, and how do we know that maybe just the extra water they were consuming with the collagen didn’t cause more hydration in the skin and improve the dryness, and make their skin more hydrated which also made it less wrinkly and improve blood flow?

Unless all this was taking into consideration, this study is also inconclusive in my opinion and it does prove that collagen supplements work.

The Risks of Collagen Supplements

When we’re talking about Collagen we’re talking about ground-up fish, chicken, pig, and cow parts, and these parts tend to act as sponges for contaminants and heavy metals and even tests done by Consumer Labs showed high concentrations of heavy metals in some Collagen products.

That is why were are so careful when recommending a collagen supplement, because nobody really knows how many more Collagen supplements are like the ones with high levels of contaminants, especially since we found many supplements that were not 3rd-Party tested?

There is also some concern that Collagen could carry diseases like bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, or even Bovine Leukemia which studies now show is found in women with breast cancer.

We don’t know for sure if Collagen supplements actually work so are they worth the risk?

Is it risky taking Collagen supplements Work?

Is The Risk And Lack Of Science Worth It?

It may take up to 3 months to see any real results and that could cost you hundreds of dollars and then you don’t even know if it’s just the additional amino acids and proteins that is causing the benefits.

Maybe you could get that extra protein from a much healthier and maybe a cheaper source?

And did you know that some sources of protein like that from cows have been linked maybe over 50% increase in heart disease, stroke and even kidney disease.

It’s also not uncommon for people that decide to take Collagen to also start eating better and exercising more which could also be a reason for some of the benefits they see.

The Best Collagen Supplements

Some of you may have heard from friends or family that Collagen worked for them and maybe you’re willing to try it out and see for yourself anyways, despite the lack of scientific evidence, and that’s OK. But, if you are going to try it, at least get a clean product with less risks and one with good reviews and is tested for impurities. Check out our Best Collagen Supplements Page where we tell you which ones we have found to be the best and safest.


Many experts agree that this is one of those supplements that requires a lot more clinical and unbiased research to answer the question ” Do Collagen Supplements Work?” It’s up to you to educate yourself and make your own decision. Right now we would not recommend or use this product.

Our Top 3 Recommended Collagen Supplements


  • $1.78 per 20 gram serving
  • 14 servings per bottle
  • 10 Grams per scoop gives you 28 half servings
  • .89 cents per scoop – 10oz bottle
  • Added Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C
  • Sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine
  • Tested and Approved by ConsumerLabs
  • 3rd-Party Tested
  • USDA Organic Certified
  • NSF certified cGMP
  • 5511 – 4.5 star reviews
  • Amazon’s Choice Product

Clean Choice Award


  • $1.52 per 12 gram serving
  • 38 servings per container
  • Sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine
  • Tested and Approved by ConsumerLabs
  • 3rd-Party Tested
  • FDA registered and a SQF certified Level 2 facility through Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
  • Kosher – Pareve, Gluten-Free, Contain No MSG, Non-GMO, Keto Certified, Paleo Friendly, Verified Glyphosate Free, All Natural, and USP/NF Compliant.
  • 8219 – 4.5 star reviews

Best Vegan


  • 2,500mcg Whole Food Biotin from Organic Sesbania
  • 10mg Whole Food Silica from Organic Bamboo
  • Full Of Vitamins and Minerals
  • Antioxidants from Organic Pomegranate, Turmeric, Amla, Green & Rooibos Tea
  • Made from over 30 Certified USDA Organic Whole Foods from Organic Farms
  • manufactured by cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) third-party audited facilities

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Graham - SmartWays Supplement Expert

In pursuit of health and wellness!

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