Whether you’re on a mission to obtain gorgeous skin, strong nails, or luscious hair, you’ve likely come across collagen. Touted as a long-time miracle ingredient in the realm of beauty, collagen is quickly making waves in the world of health and wellness, too.
From promoting gut health and easing joint pain to supporting muscle mass and boosting bone density, it’s no wonder why collagen is such a hot commodity these days — but is it possible to take too much? We’ll tell you.
Read on to discover all there is to know about collagen, including what it is, how much you should take, and more. Are you ready?
Let’s dive in!
What Should I Know About Collagen?
First things first — what exactly is collagen?
Simply put, collagen is one of the main types of protein that makes up the body. It’s found in your skin, cells, tissues, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and joints, as well as your blood vessels, nails, bones, corneas, and teeth — so basically, it’s needed all over the body.
There are at least 28 unique kinds of collagen that have been identified to date, but the main types include:
- Type I Collagen — the most prevalent type of collagen in the body, this type of collagen is the ultimate building block for healthy skin.
- Type II Collagen — this type of collagen is the main component of cartilage and is extremely healthy for the skeletal system.
- Type III Collagen — generally found in reticular fibers, this kind of collagen is the second most common type found naturally in the body and a significant component of your organs and skin.
- Type V Collagen — found naturally in the cornea, this type of collagen is responsible for the optimal fibrillary formation and tissue quality in the human body.
- Type X Collagen — responsible for bone formation, this type of collagen is found in joint cartilage.
What Are the Signs You Have a Collagen Deficiency?
Your body makes collagen naturally, but certain factors like aging, poor diet, and certain health conditions can decrease the amount of collagen your body produces. Here are some of the telltale signs to look for if you’re worried you may be deficient:
Sign #1: Wrinkles in Skin
One of the first signs of collagen deficiency is wrinkly skin. While wrinkles don’t necessarily indicate a deficiency, this could be a symptom if you find them in your twenties.
This is because up to a whopping 80 percent of your skin is made up of collagen — so when you’re lacking in the collagen department, your skin can lose its natural structure, which leads to wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin.
Sign #2: Joint Pain
Remember how we mentioned a little earlier that collagen is the main component of cartilage? Well, when collagen levels are too low, the body can’t produce an adequate amount of cartilage. This means that there is less insulation to protect the joints when the bones move. Without this crucial protection, inflammation can develop in the joints, leading to a whole lot of pain.
Sign #3: Flat Hair
Is your hair thin, dry, or flat-looking? The collagen in your follicles is responsible for delivering healthy nutrients to your hair, so a deficiency means that this delivery is much slower, leading to your hair appearing much thinner and duller.
More than that, though, a collagen deficiency means that your body can’t combat icky free radicals as well as it did before. This can result in the texture of your hair being destroyed, further contributing to the appearance of lackluster and brittle hair.
What Are Collagen Supplements?
You can promote super supple skin and joints by noshing on collagen-rich foods — such as bone broth, eggs, red meats, fish, and spirulina — but sometimes, eating a nutrient-dense diet can be much easier said than done. In fact, according to recent research, more than 80 percent of Americans fail to eat a balanced diet.
So, what’s a busy bee to do?
Enter: Collagen supplements
For those struggling to reach their daily dietary targets, supplements sure come in handy — especially collagen supplements. Also called collagen peptides, these popular supplements go through the process of hydrolyzation, meaning that the manufacturer has broken the collagen in the supplements down into itty-bitty peptides, making it much easier for the body to absorb and use.
How Much Collagen Should You Take?
After learning about all of the incredible benefits of taking collagen, we’re sure you’re just chomping at the bit to get your hands on a great supplement — trust us, we don’t blame you— but first, let’s chat a bit about dosing, shall we?
Unlike most vitamins and minerals, collagen is a naturally occurring peptide and has no upper limit. It’s incredibly safe, and there’s actually quite a bit of research backing this claim.
Of course, too much of a good thing isn’t always a “good thing,” so be sure to follow the dosage guidelines on the collagen supplement’s packaging, as the actual collagen content per serving can vary from brand to brand and product to product.
What Happens if You Take Too Much Collagen?
Best case scenario? Nothing. Worst case scenario, you may experience some tummy discomfort, but that’s about it.
Note: The FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements — including collagen peptides — for safety and effectiveness, so it’s of the utmost importance that you do your due diligence and only purchase collagen supplements from reputable sources.
What Are the Benefits of Collagen Supplements?
Collagen has something to offer just about everyone. It’s one of the most versatile supplements on the planet because our unsung hero (aka collagen) works in so many different parts of the body.
With this in mind, here are some of the benefits that you may reap from taking a collagen supplement:
Benefit #1: Helps Maintain Skin Health
Collagen is the cement that holds your skin, tissues, cells, ligaments, and bones together, making up about one-third of the protein in your body. The thing is, your body starts producing less of it as you age, which can lead to a slew of issues, including wrinkled and dull skin.
Collagen peptides may help to combat the signs of aging by stimulating your body to produce more collagen. These popular supplements may also promote the production of other essential proteins that help structure your skin, like fibrillin and elastin.
Pro Tip: For bright, glowing, and wrinkle-free skin, we recommend pairing your collagen supplement with Good to Glow — this powerful formula tackles skin concerns for people of all ages to enhance smoothness for clear, radiant complexions.*
Benefit #2: Thickens Hair
Sure, bald hair is a total #Vibe, but for those dreaming of long, luscious locks, a good collagen supplement — like Call Me Collagen — is the way to go.*
But don’t just take our word for it; a recent study found that women with thinning hair saw significant increases in their hair’s quantity, scalp coverage, and thickness while taking a daily collagen supplement.
Give your hair an extra boost of nutrients and pair your collagen peptides with Healthy Hair Probiotics. This hair-lovin’ formula is made with clinically-tested ingredients that stimulate the hair growth cycle and reduce hair loss. It also addresses root-cause reasons behind hair breakage, like stress, hormones, and more.*
Benefit #3: Supports Healthier Nails
Collagen is one of the major proteins found in your nail beds. It supports the nail infrastructure, so when your body lacks it, you’ll likely notice that your nails will be brittle. One of the major benefits of collagen peptides is the amino acid arginine, which transports nitric oxide through the capillaries and into the nail bed.
In simpler terms, collagen helps to nourish the nail bed, helping to promote health and growth.
Benefit #4: Supports Lean Muscle Mass
Did you know that up to ten percent of your muscle is made of collagen? Yup, it’s true — and according to a few experts, collagen peptides, along with regular exercise, may increase body and muscle mass.
Pro Tip: To keep your brain sharp and mood balanced while pumping iron at the gym, we suggest taking XOmegas. Not only can omega-3 fatty acids increase protein synthesis, but research shows that the more you have, the better your chances are of building and maintaining lean muscle.
Benefit #5: Strengthens Bones
Your bones are made up mostly of — you guessed it — collagen. That said, just as the collagen production in your body begins to slow down with age, so does bone mass. This may lead to painful conditions, such as osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and a much higher risk of bone breaks and fractures.
Fortunately, collagen peptides can increase the quantity of collagen in your bones, which can help to combat bone mineral density loss caused by decreased collagen levels.
Benefit #6: May Ease Joint Discomfort
“I love joint discomfort!” — said no one ever.
Achy-breaky joints can make it especially difficult to exercise, quickly knocking you off the path toward your goals. Taking a good quality collagen supplement — like Call Me Collagen — just might be what you need to help get you back on track.
According to experts, collagen peptides may help protect your tendons and ligaments — so they’re definitely worth trying for anybody with post-workout pain.
Benefit #7: Supports Heart Health
Collagen is often touted as the holy grail in skincare, but did you know it’s good for the heart, too?
Collagen provides structure to the arteries — aka, the vessels that carry blood from the heart throughout the body. Without good structural support, your arteries can become weak, stiff, and inflexible.
Some research also suggests that glycine — one of the primary amino acids in collagen — can promote good heart health by reducing blood pressure and protecting against arterial damage. So, if you’re looking to support a healthy heart, you might want to consider a collagen supplement.
Benefit #8: Maintains Gut Health
In inflammatory digestive conditions — like leaky gut and irritable bowel disease — there’s a “gut healing” theory about collagen.
Although more research is needed, there is evidence showing that collagen levels are quite low in those with these common conditions — and by taking collagen, you would help to rectify a deficiency.
Moreover, collagen peptides may also support gut health by helping seal and heal the lining of the digestive tract. This may reduce constipation, excess gas, belly bloat, and other digestive issues.
Pro Tip: Dealing with a messy gut? Try our Bloating Kit — this healthy gut trio is designed to increase regularity, banish bloating, and boost digestion.
Benefit #9: Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep is crucial in everything from mental health to healing and metabolic function. But sometimes, catching good quality Zzzs can be tough. The good news is that glycine (an amino acid in collagen) can help.
According to a number of studies, researchers found that glycine improves the overall quality of sleep and even significantly improves daytime sleepiness and fatigue in those who struggle with insomnia.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans struggling to summon the Sandman at bedtime, we recommend trying Sleeping Beauty.
The natural ingredients found in this snoozy formula help relax and calm the mind, so you can fall into a deep, restful slumber, leaving you drowsy-free the next day. And unlike many other sleep aids on the market, the only side effect of Sleepy Beauty is waking up feeling refreshed.*
Benefit #10: Combats Cellulite
Cellulite is caused by a breakdown of the connective tissues that help to keep skin smooth and bump-free. Collagen supplementation may help to reduce the appearance of these bumps by helping to repair this connective tissue.
Of course, collagen peptides alone won’t magically banish your cellulite, but they can help when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise. Need help keeping your food cravings and energy levels in check?
We recommend Metabolove — this doctor-developed blend of plant-based ingredients and antioxidants supports healthy weight management and gives you an extra energy boost.*
So, is it possible to take too much collagen?
The short answer? No, not really.
You see, collagen is generally considered to be a safe and nontoxic supplement that doesn’t have any adverse side effects. But at the end of the day, everyone is different — in other words, your experience with collagen supplementation may vary from your bestie’s experience and vice versa.
When in doubt, consult with your health care provider to ensure that you’re taking the right type of collagen in the right dosage.
Not sure where to find a great collagen supplement? Although there are many options available on the market, we recommend Call Me Collagen. This grass-fed collagen peptide powder is made with gluten-free VERISOL® Bioactive Collagen Peptides® and packaged in 30 individual easy-to-tear sticks that are completely recyclable and convenient to take on the go.
Here at Love Wellness, we offer products that lift women up and heal their bodies — not change how they look or smell. Whether you’re searching for products curated for personal hygiene, sleep support, or sexual or vaginal health, you can always count on us to have just what you need to feel your best.
75 Percent of Americans Say They Eat Healthy — Despite Evidence To The Contrary | The Salt | NPR
Hair follicle aging is driven by transepidermal elimination of stem cells via COL17A1 proteolysis | PubMed
Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails | PubMed
Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomized controlled trial | PubMed
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment the muscle protein anabolic response to hyperaminoacidemia-hyperinsulinemia in healthy young and middle aged men and women | PMC
Is glycine effective against elevated blood pressure? | PubMed
Misbalance in type III collagen formation/degradation as a novel serological biomarker for penetrating (Montreal B3) Crohn’s disease – Haaften – 2017 – Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics | Wiley Online Library
The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus | NCBI
A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study | NCBI