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Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, and More

By Published On: May 15, 20244.9 min readViews: 860 Comments on Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, and More

Collagen is a protein found naturally in your body, which is most abundant on your skin, but it’s found also in your teeth, bones, ligaments, and organs. As you age, collagen levels are reduced, resulting in symptoms like sagging and wrinkled skin.

Liquid collagen is a supplement usually made from collagen extracted from animal tissues. Many people turn to manufactured collagen products to improve their skin. But other potential benefits of collagen supplements include improved bone health, stronger muscles, and better heart health.

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Collagen products, including liquid collagen, are most well-known for treating the skin. Research has found that when you take collagen orally (by mouth), it can affect the deeper layers of your skin— reducing wrinkles, increasing firmness, improving skin elasticity, and making the skin appear younger and more vibrant.

For example, one study of women aged 40-60 who took oral collagen for 12 weeks. Participants noticed improvements in wrinkles, skin hydration, and skin elasticity. Another 2018 study found that women aged 35-65 who took collagen supplements for three months saw an increase in skin firmness, elasticity, and thickness.

Though the research isn’t yet robust, there’s some evidence that taking collagen supplements can help with heart health.

One study looked at how collagen affects heart health by looking at indicators such as lipid cholesterol levels, toxic advanced glycation end-products (TAGE), and the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI). After taking a collagen supplement twice a day for six months, participants saw improvements in their cholesterol and TAGE levels. Researchers concluded that collagen supplementation may contribute to heart disease prevention and treatment.

Collagen is a major building block of the muscles in your body. Research has found that collagen supplements can boost fat-free mass (FFM) and improve muscle strength in older men.

One study looked at the effects of combining collagen supplements with resistance exercise training in young men. Collagen supplements along with resistance training resulted in increases in body mass, FFM, and muscle strength. The researchers found that the combination of collagen supplements and resistance training was more beneficial than resistance exercise training alone.

Collagen plays an important role in bone and joint health. Some research shows that taking collagen may help with conditions like osteoporosis (decreased bone density and bone mass, often due to age) and osteoarthritis (when joint cartilage breaks down over time). Researchers found that collagen supplementation may help strengthen bones and improve cartilage health.

Collagen supplementation may help improve the appearance and health of your fingernails. In one small study of 25 people with brittle nail syndrome (when nails become rough and may begin to peel), participants took 2.5 grams of collagen supplements daily for 24 weeks. The majority of participants experienced improved nail appearance and nail growth.

There are many types of collagen supplements, including powdered collagen and liquid collagen. Some liquid collagen supplements also contain other vitamins, minerals, and herbs. People sometimes mix liquid collagen with other beverages, but you can usually drink it on its own.

Many liquid collagen products come in single-dose containers or dropper bottles. You should follow the instructions on the particular liquid collagen product you’ve purchased, which often advises you to shake the bottle before opening and drinking. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before taking liquid collagen. They can advise you about which products to try, when to take them, and what dose is right for your body.

Dosage

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate dietary supplements like liquid collagen. This means that they also don’t determine factors like serving size or dosage. Instead, the product manufacturer recommends the dosage and serving sizes of liquid collagen supplements.

There are no specific guidelines about the correct collagen dosage including how much is too much. That’s why it’s important to ask your healthcare provider what dosage is best for you.

One systematic review found that taking oral collagen supplements is generally safe. Additional research shows that collagen is safe when used for a short period.

That said, there isn’t information about the side effects of taking liquid collagen during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Pregnant and breastfeeding people should avoid taking collagen unless their healthcare provider gives them approval.

Potential Drug Interactions

It’s unclear whether liquid collagen might interact with other medications or supplements. That’s why it’s important to discuss collagen supplementation with your healthcare provider before starting it.

What To Look For

The FDA doesn’t test, regulate, or review supplements like liquid collagen. It recommends contacting the manufacturer directly if you want more detailed information about a particular supplement—such as how it was made or where the materials were sourced from.

Certain independent organizations test supplements. Look for supplements tested by a quality assurance tester. Quality assurance testing doesn’t guarantee that the product is safe, but it can be helpful to learn more about the supplement. Some organizations that offer this type of quality testing include ConsumerLab.com, U.S. Pharmacopeia, and NSF International.

Side effects are not common when taking liquid collagen. However, some discomfort may occur, including:

More serious reactions may happen, and you may have more serious symptoms if you are allergic to liquid collagen.

Liquid collagen is composed of animal products you may also be allergic to. For instance, you may have an allergic reaction if you take a liquid collagen supplement or marine collagen supplement made from shellfish and have a shellfish allergy. Look carefully for allergens in the ingredients of the collagen supplement you are taking.

Liquid collagen is often used to treat aging skin. It can also be used for bone and joint repair, muscle strength, and nail health. Collagen supplements do not have many side effects and are not known to be harmful. Still, it’s important to double-check with your healthcare provider before adding collagen supplements to your routine.


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