Is Collagen Protein Good for You (or just marketing hype)?

Is Collagen Protein Good For You?

In a time when we are all searching for the truth, it’s hard to know what to believe anymore! Today’s day and age is filled with an overabundance of media sources, all intensely competing for our attention, making it harder to filter out the fluff and get straight to the facts. After all, the facts and the science are really all that matters—especially when it comes down to the big, important, and dare I say, life-changing decisions.

I am talking about COLLAGEN. What else did you think I was talking about? Okay, so maybe your decision on collagen isn’t the biggest, most important choice you are making day to day. But with so many people advertising its miracle effects, it’s easy to be convinced that it might be the end all, be all—at least when it comes to nutrition.

Collagen is regularly touted as the modern-day fountain of youth, benefiting everything from skin to hair to nails to joints to gut to immunity to mood to longevity to… you name it. But can a simple protein really produce all those benefits? Like many, I am determined to find out. When it comes to what others claim I should be putting in my body, I always tend to waver on the side of skepticism. I’ve always believed if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, which subsequently leads us to dig into the science and sort out the facts.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein, and like all proteins, it is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are built out of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen and are the building blocks of the body. Specifically, collagen mainly contains glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Although its structure may suggest collagen is your basic protein, it is anything but simple.

Collagen is a vital component to the body. So much so, collagen actually composes about a third of all the protein in the human body, making it one of the most abundant substances in your body. To put things a little bit more into perspective, collagen makes up 70% of the protein in the body’s largest organ, our skin.

Undoubtedly, with the body’s extensive demand for collagen, it is naturally produced. However, the body’s ability to produce collagen naturally decreases as we age, beginning as early as age 25. Even more, external factors such as sun exposure, smoking, and poor diet can inhibit collagen production. This realization of the reduction in our natural collagen production has thus spiked interest in the market of collagen supplementation. But this leads us right into the main topic of discussion: Is collagen protein good for you (or just marketing hype)? Let’s see the science.

Is Collagen Protein Good For You?

Much of the research on collagen benefits has fixated on its potential for improving joint health. This makes sense as collagen accounts for 70 – 80% of the dry weight in ligaments. 1 In small trials, oral collagen supplementation has been shown to help reduce exercise-related joint pain among healthy adults. 2,3 Other studies have also found it may help reduce activity-related joint pain among athletes. 4,5 And for aging joints, a 2018 review found that hydrolyzed collagen supplements may provide relief from pain. 6

Another major focus in collagen research has been on skin health. This is because, as previously mentioned, collagen is the most plentiful protein in the skin. Research has shown that adding collagen into the diet may improve the skin’s hydration and elasticity. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial found through the analysis of skin biopsies that daily oral supplementation with collagen may result in a significant improvement in skin elasticity. Another placebo-controlled trial found that supplementation with collagen peptides for eight weeks may significantly improve skin hydration and increase collagen density in the skin, while also reducing collagen fragmentation. 8

Collagen is also thought to aid in maintaining bone health and guarding against bone loss. That is, collagen peptides have been shown to stimulate the cells that synthesize bone. 9,10 Additionally, a handful of trials suggest that collagen supplementation may help improve bone mass and prevent bone loss. 11,12

Among other benefits relating to collagen are that it supports hair, nail, and gut health. One study found that consumption of collagen peptides increased nail growth and decreased nail brittleness and breakage. 13 Collagen is also a primary component of the cells in the gut lining.

Without question, the science is there to support the healthful benefits of collagen. But there is still more to uncover to really determine if all the collagen out on the market is as good for you as they say they are or if they just seek to tag along on the collagen bandwagon. Of course, not all supplements are created equal, and this becomes especially true as collagen varies in both source and type. Here is a closer look at the most important types of collagen.

The Most Important Types of Collagen

Type I Collagen: Most of the collagen found in the body is composed of Type I collagen. This type of collagen can be found in the skin, bones, connective tissue, and blood vessels. 14 As a result, this type of collagen is most widely recognized for its anti-aging properties. Deficiencies in Type I collagen are most recognizable by the appearance of sagging skin and wrinkles. 15

Type II Collagen: This type of collagen is recognized for supporting joint health. This is because Type II can be found in much of the elastic cartilage in the body. Additionally, Type II collagen is the most efficiently absorbed type of collagen.

Type III Collagen: Type III is the second most prevalent in the body as it provides structure for muscles, organs, and blood vessels. As such, Type III collagen supports healthy blood clotting as well as aids in muscle growth. 16

Type V Collagen: This type of collagen is found in most intestinal tissue as well as in skin, hair, and the cornea of the eye. However, one of the most important places Type V can be found is in the placenta as it is essential for neonatal development. 17 Becoming deficient in Type V collagen is associated with a decline in eye health and decreased transparency in the cornea, which can impair vision. 18

Type X Collagen: Type X collagen is primarily found in cartilage. Type X collagen is thought to play a role in providing mineralization and structural support for articular cartilage. Further, it is essential to bone growth and is considered a good biomarker for new bone growth. 19,20

These 5 types of collagen are critical when considering a collagen protein supplement. So, if you want to make sure you are interested in a collagen supplement that you are getting the best collagen to benefit the most areas of your body. Therefore, it’s essential to get all five of these key types.

Complete Collagen Protein

As you may remember, not all powders and supplements are created the same. Finding a brand you can trust is challenging, which is why I suggest BioTRUST Ageless Multi-Collagen Powder™. Ageless Multi-Collagen is a best-in-class collagen protein, which contains all 5 types of collagen and is third-party tested for purity and potency. Not only that, Ageless Multi-Collagen provides the scientifically correct proportions to gain the maximum benefit from collagen and experience powerful results, and that’s a big reason why Ageless Multi-Collagen powder is lightyears ahead of so many other collagen powders.

With that, we have reached the final conclusion on the big question. Collagen is more than just marketing hype. It is, in fact, very good for you! However, this just scratches the surface of all the data out there in the expanding world of collagen, so if you’re itching to learn more, I invite you to research further. Finding the facts is at the foundation of learning and making good decisions, so share your findings with us: We would love to learn from you too!


  • 1. Grimsby O, Rivard J. Science, theory and clinical application in orthopaedic manual physical therapy. Taylorsville, UT: Academy of Graduate Physical Therapy, Inc.; 2009.
  • 2. Lugo JP, Saiyed ZM, Lau FC, et al. Undenatured type II collagen (UC-II®) for joint support: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy volunteers. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013;10(1):48.
  • 3. Czajka A, Kania EM, Genovese L, et al. Daily oral supplementation with collagen peptides combined with vitamins and other bioactive compounds improves skin elasticity and has a beneficial effect on joint and general wellbeing. Nutr Res. 2018;57:97-108.
  • 4. Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, et al. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008;24(5):1485-1496.
  • 5. Zdzieblik D, Oesser S, Gollhofer A, König D. Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2017;42(6):588-595.
  • 6. Liu X, Machado GC, Eyles JP, Ravi V, Hunter DJ. Dietary supplements for treating osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2018;52(3):167-175.
  • 7. Zajka A, Kania EM, Genovese L, et al. Daily oral supplementation with collagen peptides combined with vitamins and other bioactive compounds improves skin elasticity and has a beneficial effect on joint and general wellbeing. Nutr Res. 2018;57:97-108.
  • 8. Asserin J, Lati E, Shioya T, Prawitt J. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: Evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015;14(4):291-301.
  • 9. Fu Y, Zhao XH. In vitro responses of hFOB1.19 cells towards chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) skin gelatin hydrolysates in cell proliferation, cycle progression and apoptosis. J Funct Foods. 2013;5:279-288.
  • 10. Guillerminet F, Fabien-Soulé V, Even PC, et al. Hydrolyzed collagen improves bone status and prevents bone loss in ovariectomized C3H/HeN mice. Osteoporos Int. 2012;23(7):1909-1919.
  • 11. Elam ML, Johnson SA, Hooshmand S, et al. A calcium-collagen chelate dietary supplement attenuates bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteopenia: A randomized controlled trial. J Med Food. 2015;18:324-331.
  • 12. König D, Oesser S, Scharla S, Zdzieblik D, Gollhofer A. Specific collagen peptides improve bone mineral density and bone markers in postmenopausal women: A randomized controlled study. Nutrients. 2018;10(1).
  • 13. Hexsel D, Zague V, Schunck M, Siega C, Camozzato FO, Oesser S. Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017;16(4):520-526.
  • 14. Ricard-Blum S. The collagen family. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. 2011 Jan 1;3(1):a004978.
  • 15. Asserin J, Lati E, Shioya T, Prawitt J. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: Evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo‐controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2015 Dec;14(4):291-301.
  • 16. Farndale RW. Collagen-induced platelet activation. Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases. 2006 Mar 1;36(2):162-5.
  • 17. Madri JA, Foellmer HG, Furthmayr H. Type V collagens of the human placenta: Trimer α-chain composition, ultrastructural morphology and peptide analysis. Collagen and Related Research. 1982 Jan 1;2(1):19-29.
  • 18. Meek KM, Knupp C. Corneal structure and transparency. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 2015 Nov 1;49:1-6.
  • 19. Aigner T, Reichenberger E, Bertling W, Kirsch T, Stöss H, Von der Mark K. Type X collagen expression in osteoarthritic and rheumatoid articular cartilage. Virchows Archiv B. 1993 Dec 1;63(1):205.
  • 20. Karsdal M. Biochemistry of collagens, laminins and elastin: Structure, function and biomarkers. Academic Press; 2019 May 28.