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What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is the essential “glue” that helps to hold connective tissues together. Collagen can be found in muscles, bones, skin, ligaments, and tendons. However, the amount of collagen production starts to decline as you age. Collagen in full length cannot be absorbed in the digestive tract because of its length and spatial conformation.

On the other hand, collagen peptides, i.e.. hydrolyzed collagen is a shorter form of collagen, making them more bioavailable and easily absorbed. Therefore when we talk about collagen supplements, we are actually talking about collagen peptides supplements. These supplements are mainly derived from the bones of animals, the skins of cow and fish scales.

Different collagen supplements like hydrolyzed collagen pills, collagen powder, and collagen drinks, have become popular in recent years. Advertising taglines claim that consuming collagen can improve skin health and relieve joint pain. Do collagen supplements really work?

Benefits of Collagen supplements

Benefits of Taking Collagen supplements

1. Improve Skin Health

Collagen can strengthen our skin to prevent the formation of wrinkles. It can also enhance the skin elasticity and hydration to soothe dry and broken skin. According to the research results, daily intake 2.5–5 grams collagen supplement for 8 weeks can help the skin cells keep renewing and repairing. Skin elasticity and skin moisture can be improved significantly.

wrist bones injury

2. Improve Joint Health

Collagen helps to protect the integrity of cartilage to enhance the flexibility of joints and reduce joint pain. Based on some studies, you are suggested to consume 8–12 grams of collagen supplement daily to relieve joint pain and slow down age-related joint deterioration.

Bone structure 3d illustration, normal and with osteoporosis

3. Improve Bone Health and Prevent Bone Loss

Bones are mainly made of collagen. That’s why collagen is good for the formation of new bone. It can also strengthen the bones. With reference to the study result, women who took 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 months increased around 7% in the bone mineral density.

Type of collagen supplements: collagen powder, liquid collagen & collagen pills

There are different forms of collagen supplements, but the differences really lie in the formula and prep time rather than the form itself. Here are the pros and cons of various forms of collagen supplements.

Collagen powder

A hydrolyzed and powdered version of collagen taken from animal tissues.


  • Adequate doses per serving size, with the average serving size for a single scoop of collagen powder ranging from 10 to 20 grams (because that’s the most effective dose of collagen), while the serving size for liquid collagen is anywhere from 4.3 to 7 grams.
  • Can be added to anything, from coffee, yogurts to smoothies
  • Cheaper cost compared to liquid collagen for the same doses


  • Can have a chalky taste if not mixed thoroughly

Liquid collagen

Usually formulated with marine collagen, which contains predominantly types I and II collagen.


  • digested and absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly & efficiently
  • Convenient to consume, great grab-and-go option


  • May have less collagen per serving than collagen powder
  • May have higher calories with added flavors
  • Single-use, tend to be less eco-friendly

Collagen pills


  • Convenient to take
  • Easy to add to the routine


  • Smaller collagen doses per capsule or pill compared to per serving of collagen powder
  • Less flexibility in ways of taking

Side effects

Generally, collagen supplements are considered safe to consume without any major side effects. Some people may experience mild digestive symptoms e.g. bloating & feeling of fullness after taking the supplements.

If you have food allergies, make sure to purchase supplements that don’t contain your allergens, e.g. seafood & eggs.

A rarer side effects of taking collagen could be both diarrhea and constipation, as your body is overload with processing a lot of collagen proteins from your supplements.

Always talk to your healthcare provider or doctor before taking a supplement.


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