How Long Does It Take For Collagen Supplements To Work? 

With the boost of social media awareness on health and fitness, many people have started adopting a healthy lifestyle. Hence, consumption of multiple health supplements has vastly increased. 

Collagen supplements, in particular, help maintain youthful and healthy skin and improve nail and hair growth. Moreover, regular consumption of these supplements may strengthen your bones and improve joint health. 

Moreover, the manufacturing process and the potency of the supplements may also alter the time necessary to expect the results. Here, we will discuss both personal and manufacturing factors affecting the efficacy time of collagen supplements in detail.

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a structural protein found in the body’s connective tissues. These connective tissues include bones, skin (or animal hides), tendons, and ligaments. Moreover, collagen protein is the most abundant protein in mammals, including humans.

Collagen peptide is also present in blood vessels, corneas, and teeth. Collagen makes up 25 to 35% of the body’s overall protein content.

The natural collagen production process starts with the formation of procollagen. The procollagen is a smaller and initial form of the complex collagen structure. Further, the peptide strands and vitamin C formulate procollagen.

After the formation of procollagen, the triple helix of amino acids bond together and form a fibril. These collagen fibrils assemble, grow and form our hair, skin, ligament, nails, or tendons.

Collagen is known for its triple-helical structure. Moreover, this helix consists of two identical and one slightly different chain of amino acids. These three strands consist of glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.

The researchers have identified 28 different types of collagen to date. Among these, fibril-forming collagen peptides are the most significant. These collagens include Type I, Type II, Type III, Type V, Types XI, XXIV, and XXVII collagens. The most common among these types is type I collagen, as this type accounts for more than 90% of the human body’s collagen.

Type II collagen is present in cartilage, and type III collagen mainly makes up skin, muscle, and blood vessels. Type V is the major component of cell surfaces and placental tissues. Types XI, XXIV, and XXVII collagens or the minor collagens are essential for the mechanical functions of tissues.

Overall, all types of collagen are vital for the normal function of the human body. Thus, taking collagen daily, either in the form of collagen powder or pills, is essential.

What Results to Expect With Collagen Intake?

Regular collagen supplementation can offer you many health benefits. Although with natural collagen production, our body maintains normal collagen levels. But in severe health conditions, your body may experience a marked reduction in collagen levels.

For instance, people suffering from scurvy, scleroma, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteogenesis imperfecta have low collagen levels. Thus, supplementing with collagen peptide is vital to maintain and support the collagen level in your body. 

Intake of collagen peptide supplementation along with a balanced diet is crucial to expect positive results. Moreover, daily intake of collagen reduces the symptoms of skin aging, offers you joint support, and improves nail health.

Benefits of Collagen Supplements for the Skin Health

High collagen levels keep your skin smooth, firm, and soft. Plus, collagen assists in the production of new skin cells, thus resulting in fresh and glowing skin. However, with time, collagen production slows down in the body, and the collagen loses its quality as well. Hence, in later years, your skin loses its firmness, causing the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and other skin problems.

Collagen pills have provided you with an easy and accessible remedy to get rid of skin aging issues. Daily consumption of a collagen supplement can offer you a safe and effective way to retain skin moisture and have glowing and firmer skin.

Benefits of Collagen Supplements for Hair Health

Collagen supplements can improve your hair health and hair texture. When you take collagen supplements, your body absorbs this protein and breaks it down into amino acids. 

All proteins are made with 20 essential amino acids. The difference in the type and number of amino acids and variations in the structure and conformation make different types of proteins. 

As discussed earlier, collagen peptides contain three amino acids proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline. Among these, proline is a vital amino acid in the keratin protein. Thus, taking collagen supplements provides a building block for your body to produce keratin protein, thus improving hair growth.

Hair contains keratin protein. After the breakage of collagen protein, your body produces a new protein with some of these amino acids. Moreover, your scalp’s skin starts losing elasticity with age due to low collagen production. With an unhealthy dermis, you may start experiencing hair fall. But regular intake of collagen supplements can improve the elasticity of your scalp’s skin and increase hair growth. Thus, people who are experiencing hair thinning should start taking collagen supplementation.

Likewise, collagen supplements may also slow the hair graying process. Collagen protein has antioxidant properties. And one major reason for gray hair is that free radicals damage the function of hair color-producing cells. These free radicals may produce within your body due to stress, environmental pollutants, or poor diet.

Your body fights against these free radicals via natural antioxidants. However, with age, your body’s natural ability to fight against free radicals reduces, and you need extra support to maintain overall health. Research has revealed that collagen protein may prevent the premature graying of hair for its antioxidant properties. Thus, it is advised to start taking collagen supplements daily to reduce the hair graying process along with other aging symptoms.

Benefits of Collagen Supplements for Nail Growth

Collagen supplements may help improve your nail growth. Although, there is not enough scientific proof available to back this claim. But a small study conducted in 2017 has revealed that oral consumption of collagen may increase nail growth and strengthen the nails. Moreover, many people have reported notable improvements in osteoarthritis symptoms and severe arthritic pain. 

Overall, regular intake of collagen strengthens your body, improves muscle mass, and reduces the major signs of aging.

What Factors Determine When You May See Results?

Scientists have focused on its impact on human health rather than reducing collagen’s efficacy time. Therefore, most of the research conducted on collagen protein has revealed its benefits for human health.

Moreover, the people who took collagen supplements daily have also reported varying periods. Thus, it is quite impossible to give an exact time range to expect the collagen benefits. However, with the knowledge of factors affecting this time, you may reduce this time duration. The efficacy time of collagen supplements depends on various factors, including personal and commercial aspects.

Personal factors include health, age, and lifestyle. The commercial factors include the manufacturing process of the supplements, the type of collagen, and other ingredients used during the production. These factors may change the amount of drug absorbed by the body, also referred to as bioavailability.

Personal Health and Lifestyle Factors

Certain personal and lifestyle aspects can influence the bioavailability of collagen in your body. Some of the most important personal factors include age, diet, medical condition, metabolic rate, and nutritional status. For instance, your body’s collagen production rate decreases by 1 to 1.5% after you enter your twenties. Though this slight change is unnoticeable at the start, you start feeling a noticeable change within a few years. 

Thus, it is better to start taking collagen supplements in your thirties rather than later in your fifties. Taking collagen supplements in your thirties will maintain and support the natural collagen level within your body. Whereas in older age, collagen supplements will first take time to improve the collagen level to the required level.

Moreover, nutritional status may also affect collagen efficacy. If you are not taking a balanced diet and your body has a reduced level of vitamin C, then it will affect the collagen level. As discussed earlier, vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis. Thus, its deficiency can decrease collagen levels in the body.

Likewise, lifestyle factors also pose a huge impact on your collagen efficacy time. These factors include smoking and alcohol consumption, distress, anxiety, lack of sleep, exercise, and increased sun exposure. People with healthy lifestyles have a higher probability of noticing faster and more promising results than people with unhealthy habits.

Besides supplements, you may also improve collagen levels with natural sources. As collagen is present in all animals, you can get collagen from its natural sources as well. The collagen-rich foods include bones, ligaments, and skin of animals, such as bone broth and chicken skin. Moreover, some seafood, including jellyfish, fish skin, and fish scales, also contain collagen.

Ingredient and Manufacturing Factors

In addition to the personal and lifestyle factors, the characteristics of the supplements also affect the efficacy time. One of the most crucial manufacturing factors is the collagen type used in supplement formation.

More than 98% of our body contains three main types of collagens, type I, II, and III. Hence, most manufacturers formulate collagen supplements using these common collagen types. All these collagen types offer varying health benefits to the human body. 

Type I collagen is the most abundant collagen found in eyes, skin, ligaments, bones, and hair. This collagen helps in wound healing, improving skin and hair health. Type II collagen is present in joints, gut lining, and cartilage, and this collagen maintains and supports immune function and gut health. Type III collagen is present in organs, muscles, and blood vessels. The main function of this collagen is to help in healthy blood clotting. The manufacturers may use any of these collagen types depending upon the target function of the supplements.

Likewise, collagen supplements also differ based on the manufacturing practices used. The US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not have the authority to check the quality control, safety, and effectiveness of dietary supplements. According to The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, the manufacturers of all dietary supplements are responsible for the safety and effectiveness of their products. Moreover, as per this law, the manufacturers are also accountable for all the claims about their products.

Indeed, this law held manufacturers accountable. Still, many products with false claims entered the market. Without the authorization and guidelines of the FDA, there is minimal quality control check for these products. To get safe and quality products, look for a third-party verification seal on the packaging.

Which Collagen Results May Be Felt First?

Most regular users of collagen supplements have reported that they have noticed the initial effects of collagen on the skin and nails. Moreover, collagen supplements take longer to reduce joint stiffness and improve bone health. Yet, this is the most popular opinion, and the efficacy and timing of the results may vary from person to person.

Another vital thing to consider is that most people consume collagen supplements to improve skin and hair health. In comparison, a lower proportion of people use it to boost joint fitness. Thus, more data is available to back the effects of collagen on hair and nail growth than on joint health.

Unfortunately, there is no scientific value in any of the results mentioned above. Moreover, there is no concrete scientific research available telling which collagen result is noticeable first. Further scientific research is needed to understand the difference between the efficacy time of collagen products.

How Long Do Skin Benefits Take?

Within the past few years, collagen has gained immense popularity in cosmetic dermatology. Collagen has become one of the major parts of various skin elasticity treatments. Among all the cosmetic procedures, people found intake of collagen pills or powders as one of the easiest methods to consume collagen.

Amidst the frenzied boom of collagen consumption, many health-conscious people started looking for scientific proof of the advertised collagen advantages. Moreover, with the boost of collagen products in the skincare industry, several new research has recently come to the surface.

One such study published in 2014 revealed the positive collagen effect on 114 middle-aged women. The study has shown that after eight weeks of regular intake of hydrolyzed collagen, these women experienced a 20% decrease in wrinkles. 

Another similar study published in 2017 studied the effect of hydrolyzed collagen on 75 women aged 35 years and more. The results showed that after 12 weeks of daily collagen supplement intake, it increased skin hydration by 28% and reduced wrinkles by 27%.

Indeed, all these results are promising and confirm advantages for your skin health. But further research is needed to display the benefits of all different types of collagen on skin health along with their efficacy time. In brief, you may start experiencing noticeable changes in your skin within 8 to 12 weeks of daily collagen consumption.

How Long Do Joint Results Take?

Any collagen supplement containing type II collagen is great for improving and maintaining joint health. Taking collagen supplements every day can help reduce joint pain and stiffness. Moreover, it can improve joint mobility and bone health.

Moreover, collagen also speeds up the fat-burning process, thus increasing muscle mass. Yet, the time required to experience such results is a bit longer than that of its effect on the skin.

The consumption of collagen supplements containing type II collagen is helpful for people suffering from bone issues. For instance, in osteoarthritis (OA), the cushioning cartilage between the joints wears off. Hence, this condition causes acute pain, stiffness, inflammation, and reduced function. There are a couple of studies available where collagen use has reduced joint stiffness and pain in OA patients. In one study, the patients consumed 2 grams of collagen (hydrolyzed form) daily for two weeks. After two weeks, the researchers reported a reduction in the stiffness and pain of OA patients by 38%.

Also, a handful of studies have revealed the beneficial impact of collagen use on patients who have rheumatoid arthritis. However, further studies will show this effect in detail. Further, the consumption of collagen may also be helpful for the pain caused by intense exercise. A study conducted on athletes suffering from joint pain has shown positive results in collagen consumption.

Overall, regular use of correct collagen dosage can offer a marked improvement in the health and fitness of joints and bones.

How Long Might Any Additional Benefits Take?

In general, it takes about 12 weeks to a year for evident results of collagen supplements. Moreover, it is essential to maintain frequency in taking collagen supplements.

Collagen usage shows the fastest results in the improvement of the skin. Indeed, much research is required on the efficiency of collagen on human health. But most of the available research shows collagen’s benefits on the skin.

A study published in 2019 revealed that a daily intake of 2.5 to 10 grams of collagen regularly for 24 weeks can improve skin elasticity and hydration and reduce roughness and wrinkles. Hence, the study proves beneficial aspects of collagen peptides for the improvement of the skin.

Besides, there are a handful of studies showcasing the collagen benefits on the fitness of athletes. A study published back in 2020 examined the effect of collagen on 20 athletes suffering from damaged Achilles tendons. The results showed that intake of 2.5 grams of collagen twice a day reduced joint pain and helped in the treatment of tendons.

In addition to skin health and bone health, a couple of studies have also shown the useful aspects of collagen on nails. For instance, a review first published in 2017 showed that daily intake of collagen could improve nail growth and reduce nail brittleness.

The researchers conducted the study on 25 women suffering from brittle nail syndrome. The participants consumed 2.5 grams of collagen (bioactive) for 24 weeks. Later, the results showed about 80% improvement in nail appearance and 64% improvement in nail brittleness. Overall, collagen offers an ideal treatment for improving nail growth and strength.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does collagen supplement improve muscle growth?

Yes, the inclusion of collagen products in your daily diet can help improve your muscle growth. The collagen protein contains arginine and glycine amino acids, and these amino acids aid in the formation of creatine. Creatine is one of the most effective supplements to build muscle mass.

However, it is crucial to have a positive lifestyle and eat a healthy diet to experience changes while taking collagen products. Notably, there is a lack of research on the effect of collagen on muscle growth, and further research can help understand this effect better.

What is the correct dosage for collagen supplements?

The health officials have not yet given any guidelines regarding the daily dosage of collagen supplements. However, it is advisable to read the label before consumption. All the reliable manufacturers mention the ingredients, percentage, and daily dosage of the pills. Moreover, the recommended dosage varies based on the form of the collagen and the purpose you have for consuming it.

For instance, a study showed that a daily dosage of 2.5 to 15 grams of hydrolyzed collagen is safe and effective for nutritional balance. Another study showed that 2 grams of hydrolyzed collagen usage for at least 70 days could relieve joint pain and stiffness. If you are taking undenatured collagen, then intake of 10 to 40 grams of collagen is beneficial to gain its benefits. Collagen supplements come in either hydrolyzed or undenatured form.

The manufacturers formulate their dietary products considering all the available research on the subject. You need to buy products from a reliable and accountable manufacturer that has earned strong customer support.

What is hydrolyzed collagen?

Hydrolyzed collagens are small collagen peptide chains. The hydrolysis of collagen produces this hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides. This form of collagen protein is popular in the hair cosmetics and skincare industry. The manufacturers use hydrolyzed collagen in makeup, bath products, and shampoos.

Hydrolyzed protein can improve hair texture, softness, and sheen. Also, this collagen has the natural ability to be absorbed in the hair and enhance hair’s tensile strength.

Moreover, this form of collagen can also repair physically damaged or excessively treated hair. In skincare products, hydrolyzed collagen reduces the dryness and roughness of the skin. Moreover, it helps enhance its suppleness and softness. Moreover, hydrolyzed collagen can improve sun-damaged and wrinkled skin.

Can I include collagen supplements in my daily protein count?

Yes, the addition of collagen protein in your daily diet affects your daily protein count. So, include collagen protein in your regular protein count when tracking your daily intake.

A study published in 2019 showed that the addition of functional collagen peptides in your daily diet adds effective collagen dosage to your routine

The effective recommended collagen dosage varies between 2.5 to 15 grams per day. Most of the collagen supplements available in the market provide this range. Thus, intake of a single supplement per day will count as a single serving of collagen protein.

Is high temperature bad for collagen supplements?

There is a common misconception that high temperature or heat can damage collagen supplements. Collagen has a solid helical structure that does not lose its conformation with high temperature.

However, a very high temperature of 300°C or 572°F can affect the collagen protein. Thus, adding your collagen supplements to a hot cup of coffee will not ruin their efficacy, but baking them in the oven can surely do.

Conclusion: Do Collagen Supplements Work?

Indeed, taking collagen supplements is excellent for the maintenance and improvement of our nail, skin, and hair health. In the same vein, health-conscious people need to know the most accurate time duration to expect significant health improvement. There is no set time as to when you will see an improvement since it depends on lots of various factors. Personal factors and the type of collagen you use can affect your body differently.

Research has not yet provided any concrete time range for the expected efficacy of collagen. Moreover, there are a few studies conducted on groups of individuals suffering from different health conditions. 

In summary, collagen improves skin health the fastest than nail growth and takes the most time to improve joint fitness. The results of these studies give us a rough idea about the expected time for the collagen intake results and what you can at least expect from them.

Moreover, the efficiency time also varies from person to person. Thus, you may observe marked improvement with one type of collagen much sooner than others. However, there is only one way to find that out, and that is to include the right collagen in your diet. Do not wait until you are late in your thirties; take collagen supplements from one of the most trustworthy companies and start using them today.

About the author

Nikhil Goswami

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