- What is collagen? Collagen is a type of protein found in the skin (types I and III collagen), joints (type II collagen) and other parts of the body. It uniquely contains the amino acid hydroxyproline, along with other amino acids. Collagen in supplements is typically hydrolyzed, i.e., broken down to amino acids and/or chains of amino acids (peptides) to improve absorption as well as the ease with which it mixes into liquids (see What It Is).
- Health benefits of collagen: Collagen appears to modestly reduce wrinkles and slightly improve the appearance of cellulite. It may also modestly improve joint pain and flexibility in osteoarthritis. These effects can require two to six months of daily use (see What It Does).
- What did CL's tests of collagen supplements find? ConsumerLab's tests showed that products contained their listed or expected amounts of collagen, ranging, per daily serving, from about 3 grams to 25 grams among powders and liquids, and from 0.01 grams (10 mg) to 6 grams for tablets, capsules, and chews. One product was Not Approved due to contamination with cadmium, a toxic heavy metal (see What CL Found).
- Best collagen supplements? Among the products Approved in testing, ConsumerLab selected a Top Pick for skin (wrinkles) and a Top Pick for joint pain.
- How much collagen to take: Typical daily dosage of hydrolyzed collagen is 1 to 10 grams. Dosing with UC-II, a cartilage-based product, is much lower. Collagen may be taken with or without food. For details see What to Consider When Buying and Using.
- Collagen supplements safety and side effects: Collagen supplements are generally well-tolerated, but mild side effects including gastrointestinal symptoms, headache, dizziness and rash can occur. People with allergies to specific sources of collagen (such as fish) should avoid collagen products derived from these sources (see Concerns and Cautions).
Collagen Supplements Review
The Best Collagen Supplements for Wrinkles and Joints Revealed. Find Out If Collagen Really Works and Which Reviewed Products Are Best In Our Tests and Comparisons.
Alphabetical list of collagen supplement brands compared in this review
Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein
Besha Inc Collagen Peptides
Bulletproof Chocolate Collagen Protein
GNC Women's Collagen
Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate - Pure Unflavored Protein
Healthy Origins Natural UC-II
LiquiVive Liquid Collagen
Neocell Beauty Bursts - Super Fruit Punch
Olly Vibrant Skin
ProCap Laboratories Marine Collagen Peptides
Puritan's Pride Hydrolyzed Collagen
Reserveage Nutrition Collagen Booster
Trunature [Costco] Health Skin Verisol Collagen
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides - Unflavored
In this comprehensive review of collagen supplements you'll learn:
- Which collagen supplements failed testing, which passed, and which are CL's Top Picks
- How collagen supplements compare on the amounts of collagen they contain, impurities, quality, price, and other ingredients
- The clinical evidence for and against using collagen supplements for wrinkles and dryness in aging skin, joint pain and stiffness, and building muscle, as well as information about hyaluronic acid (an ingredient added to some collagen products)
- The differences among types of collagen (types I, II and III), forms of collagen (collagen hydrolysate, collagen peptides, gelatin, and "raw" undenatured collagen), and branded ingredients (Verisol, NeoCell, BioCell, UC-II, and NT2)
- Dosage for specific uses including wrinkles, joint pain, and building muscle
- Safety and side effects with collagen supplements
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