Do collagen supplements work?

By now I hope you’re convinced of the benefits of adding more collagen building nutrients to your diet. And you’ve probably noticed I’m a big fan of collagen supplements. I’ve shared many studies above, but here are a few more to help drive my message home…

  • In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, women (ages 45 – 65) received either a collagen peptide supplement (CPS) or a placebo for 8 weeks. Four weeks into the treatment phase, the CPS group experienced an average 7.2% reduction in eye wrinkles as compared to the placebo group.

At the end of the 8 week treatment period, the CPS group experienced an average 20.1% reduction in eye wrinkles when compared to the placebo group. And the maximum reduction observed was 49.9%.

Further, 4 weeks after the treatment ceased, the CPS group still showed an average 11.5% reduction in wrinkles.

After the completion of treatment, the researchers in this study also measured the following compounds and reported the following results when compared to the placebo group:

  • Procollagen (collagen precursor) – 65% increase
  • Elastin (elastic skin protein) – 18% increase
  • Fibrillin (protein used to make elastic fibers) – 6% increase (although this last measurement was not statistically significant)

In this small placebo-controlled study, researchers found a 19% increase in collagen density in the crow’s feet area around the eye as well as a 12% increase in the left forearm of those receiving treatment when compared to the placebo group.

Among a larger group of participants, these researchers also found that 37% of subjects experienced a significant increase in skin elasticity after 80 and 130 days of treatment.  

  • In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 53 elder males with sarcopenia (muscle loss associated with aging) went through a 12-week guided resistance training program. Half of the participants received a collagen peptide supplement after their workout. The other half received a placebo.

At the end of the study, all participants experienced a significantly significant increase in fat free mass, bone mass, muscle strength, and motor control. Fat mass was also significantly lower. But the results for those receiving the collagen peptide supplement were significantly more pronounced for all measures except for motor control.

  • This systematic review found that collagen hydrolysate supplementation is beneficial to those with osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. They concluded the benefits may be due to an increase in bone density, a protective effect of joint cartilage, and pain relief.