Best Collagen Supplements Reviews and Ratings
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Though most of us aren’t aware of the exact perks collagen brings into our bodies, but surely you must have heard of it somewhere! It is a pretty common term in the advertisement world of cosmetics and skin products. From there you might have guessed that it has something to do with your skin. But in reality, collagen and its magic goes beyond that. Here we will marvel at the natural power of collagen and which companies have succeeded in making the ten best supplements utilizing that power.
Collagen and its Significance in Human Body
Your body consists of a huge/diverse collection of organs and fluids, each with a different composition and a unique purpose. Ever wondered how all these manage to stick together no matter what way you move your body or how much stress you put on it? The answer/secret is collagen.
Collagen is the main fibrous protein which constitutes connective tissues of vertebrate animals. It is mostly found in skin, along with bones, muscles and tendons. This way, its amount in the human body seems the most prominent among all proteins – 30% to be exact.
Scientifically there are 16 varieties of collagen where more than 80% belong to types I, II and III. However, from a more generalizes perspective, it mainly exists in two categories termed endogenous and exogenous. Endogenous collagen is the one which your body makes up on its own and exogenous is the one that comes from an external source like the supplements we will talk about shortly.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Pure Hydrolyzed
- Gluten Free
- Soy Free
- Vital Proteins
How does Collagen help us?
Glue of the body
Collagen is often termed as the glue of the body that holds all organs together by helping in the cell formations within. It helps to form cellular networks and protective coverings of some delicate organs, along with elongated fibers and various other structures due to its superior linking ability. These structures then help in building and strengthening the support of the body, ultimately keeping all its elements at their respective places. These elements include hair, skin, muscles, bones, eyes and internal organs.
This insoluble protein is the magician who can really swing its wand of wonderful chemicals to keep our skin strong, smooth and firm. It keeps aging of skin at bay and makes up for the reduced collagen production in the body, especially in women after menopause.
According to a study report from 2015, it was found that taking regular doses of collagen hydrolysate for 8 weeks reduces wrinkles and gives the skin more moisture. It can also replace dead skin cells and help in curing elastosis by increasing elasticity of the epidermis.
Some variations of collagen like type I, form fibrils which have such massive tensile strength that they are considered to be stronger than steel in a gram-for-gram comparison.
The protein supplements centering around collagen help in the synthesis process of creatine – an organic acid that provides energy for muscle contractions. Creatine also plays a vital role in increasing the muscle’s size and power. As a result of its accelerated production, your body mass can increase to its ideal range and thus you can perform better in athletic activities.
Repair of body tissues
Exogenous collagens contribute in the repairing process of body tissues by encouraging more cellular interaction and regeneration. Due to its naturally open microstructure, collagen has the capability to restore the tissue structures on skin and therefore fix the damaged tissues. For this property, membranes having collagen as a constituent are used in implant sessions to assist in growth of certain cells.
Since it can influence tissue growth, collagen can heal wounds by providing sites to develop new tissue and also by drawing new skin cells to the wounded area. For its healing capabilities, it is often used in dressings for several kinds of wounds including necrotic, granulating, chronic, second-degree burns and wounds which release fluids like sweat or urine.
Helps in dental operations
After going through a dental therapy, collagen can help with the subsequent healing by contributing in clot formation and stabilization. Besides, it can also provide assistance in recreating the epithelial cells, forming new blood vessels and ultimately function as an important agent to resist bleeding.
Even in oral surgeries, it helps to keep the space necessary for tooth cells to grow again in the operated area. Membranes based on collagen are used in periodontal therapies to stop the cells of gingival epithelium from migrating to the wound.
Helps treat Osteoarthritis
According to a 2006 study on osteoarthritis patients and a 2015 study of similar maner, regular doses of 10g collagen hydrolysate proved to be a more fruitful mechanism to reduce pain in joints and seemed more tolerable to the subjects than placebo tablets. Though many experts differ in their views about collagen’s efficiency in this matter, collagen supplements are considered to be beneficial for patients with joint pain by rebuilding extracellular matrix in the cartilage.
Helps cure leaky gut/digestive
If you have the leaky gut syndrome where toxic chemicals can get a pass through your digestive tract causing inflammation throughout your body. Collagen can help with this condition by repairing the damaged cell walls in that area and introducing amino acids to further heal them. The amino acids called proline and glycine of collagen help to soothe the protective lining of your gastrointestinal tract, preventing the toxins from entering the gut.
The glycine of collagen can also transform glucose into energy which in turn helps to form muscle tissues. Besides, it keeps digestive and nervous systems healthy which are essential to maintain a standard metabolism no matter what age you are.
The amino acid called proline of collagen helps your artery walls to get rid of the fat inside and release it in the bloodstream. Thus the amount of fat in arteries lessens and prevents arteriosclerosis. It is also known to have a positive effect on controlling blood pressure.
Hair and nails
Many of us notice that our nails are starting to break down on the top or its layers are coming off. This can be a sign that your body is running low on collagen since it is the main building block of nails, hair and teeth. Collagen can help in regenerating hair follicles and thus be a cure for hair loss.
As we all know, amino acids play a big role when it comes to balancing hormones. The several amino acids present in collagen like arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline stimulate hormone productions and thus help to keep them in balance. Additionally, collagen keeps the stress hormone called cortisol under control by supporting healthy thyroid function.
Since collagen is one of the most powerful elements which can get you better skin, hair and a much more physically sound body, it is very popular in the supplements’ market. Out of many products utilizing its benefits, we picked the following ten based on customer feedback, reasonable prices and reliability of their manufacturers.
10 Best Collagen Supplements
1. Pure Hydrolyzed Premium
The powder is water-soluble and thus can be taken with any hot or lukewarm drink including coffee and tea. It also comes with a 99-day satisfaction guarantee which allows you to ask for a refund if you are not getting the desired results.
This collagen powder has been certified by the Paleo and Keto Foundation and verified as non-GMO by IGEN program. So you can put your full trust here.
For those of you keeping an eye on your weight and looking for a catalyst to tone it down, this can be a best friend to your diet. It is gluten-free and is made with a gut-friendly formula. With this and the magic of collagen, your slim and trim body will glow with naturally bright skin and flawless hair.
Not for healing joint pains
Can cause headache
It is produced using an advanced hydrolyzation process where large collagen molecules are hydrolyzed into small peptides. As a result of this, the protein becomes more useful for the body due to low molecular weight.
This product is clinically tested and according to its results, it can keep the skin 21% more hydrated than usual.
Free from Gluten and Soy
There are many health-conscious people who go that extra mile to ensure a long lifetime by avoiding gluten and soy. This will be of great help for them while also giving them better complexion, thicker hair and strong nails.
Longer and thicker hair
No extra taste
More flexible joints
3. Vital Proteins
This paleo-friendly product has been approved by Whole30 which means it is 100% free from alcohol, legumes, dairy, unhealthy additives and uses high quality protein only.
These collagen peptides are made from the pasture-raised and grass-fed cows whose genes were not messed with in any way. This powder does not contain gluten or hormones to ensure cleaner supplements for you.
Higher collagen ratio per serving
Faster nail growth
Strong taste and smell
4. Zint Beef
They manufactured this product using collagen from grass-fed, pasture-raised and non-GMO cattles of South America and therefore can guarantee 100% purity of their product. It is also free from gluten, ractopamine and rBGH.
Compared to its contemporaries, it gets dissolved much faster without creating any lump in the liquid. Customers were more content with its diffusing capability than other similar products they have tried.
Helps to sleep better
5. Perfotek Hydrolyzed
The only little drawback is that it often comes with an unpleasant smell which you can get rid of by mixing it with a strong-flavored drink like coffee, cranberry juice, orange juice etc.
Like all other top manufacturers of collagen supplements, Perfotek also took the extra measure of ensuring that the bovine to produce these collagens from are non-GMO, pasture-raised and grass-fed. The hydrolyzed collagen powder is packed with 18 amino acids to give you an extra boost of nutrition.
Very affective on nails
Most of the users were very happy with the way their nails were showing difference after using this product for two weeks or more. The nails were growing faster, stronger and became less prone to breaking down.
Strong growth of nails
Thicker and faster growth of hair
No noticeable taste
Does not dissolve easily
6. Dr. Axe
In addition to the benefits it offers skin and hair, it has also proved to be beneficial for people with digestive problems and weak immune system. Pain in joints has also vanished for some customers and some of them admitted to having sleep with better quality after using it.
Contents of this powder are not limited to just bovine-based collagen, rather it has a combination of hydrolyzed bovine, chicken bone broth, hydrolyzed fish and eggshell membrane collagens. This amazing blend including types I, II, III, V and X of collagen has made this product a source of high quality protein.
If it proves to be no good to you, you can return it and ask for a refund within 30 days of buying it. Thus, you will not be victim to any financial loss.
Solves skin problems
The product contains 100% natural collagen with no additive or artificial ingredient. Each serving contains 9 grams of this protein and targets improvement of skin and hair primarily.
Unlike other collagen supplements in the market, this one dissolves without putting up a fight in both hot and cold liquids. Its taste is also pretty negligible and does not affect the drink’s taste at all.
On almost every negative review with constructive criticism, the BioOptimal people themselves offer refund and money-back guarantee within 90 days. So you don’t even have to reach out to them to establish your rights as a customer, they will do it for you.
Better skin and nails
Takes time to show results (at least 30 days)
8. Further Food
This powder can show you an improvement in skin and hair within as few as nine days! It has also proved to solve joint pain and problems among many of its users.
Dissolves in both hot and cold liquids
It is a usual issue with collagen supplement powders that they do not mix well with cold liquids. But this one gets dissolved easily in both hot and cold beverages without any difficulty.
Stronger nails and joints
9. Youtheory Advanced Formula
This product has combined poultry and bovine collagens so that you can get the benefits of types I, II and III at the same time. With the addition of Vitamin C, this is all you need to buy in a month or two to satisfy your cellular needs.
Users have expressed their satisfaction with the results where they got thicker hair, faster nail growth and glowing skin. Their joint pains had also reduced remarkably and helped them feel younger.
Thicker hair and eyelashes
Takes time to show results
Fewer collagen per serving
10. Reserveage Nutrition
Though verisol bioactive collagen peptides are the main ingredient here, this powder also contains a powerful nutritious blend of hyaluronic acid and ascorbic acid containing vitamin C. All these together encourage more production of collagen throughout the body.
The powder does not contain corn, soy, lactose, milk, sugar, salt, starch, egg, fish, artificial coloring and preservatives. It is also gluten-free and non-GMO.
Stops hair fall
Short amount, only half the container is filled
Checklist Before Buying
Backed by science
Almost every supplement nowadays declares proudly that their product has been approved by scientific methods and has passed the test to trigger reliability in you for the product. Make sure these claims the company is making on the website or in its advertisements about their product being completely dependent on science is really the scenario.
Go through their research documents for a while to see if they are based on just statistics or generic surveys of people or if there is any real scientific element to them. Sometimes they just get away with it by promoting researches based on collagen rather than their specific product solely for marketing purpose.
Type of collagen
There are mainly three types of collagen available in these supplements and each of them cater to the health of a specific part of the body. For example, if you are looking for a way to make your skin brighter and smoother, you need a supplement where 90% of it is type I collagen.
Type II is good for healthy joints and stronger bones. They also support the cartilage and don’t have much to do with hair, skin and nails. If you have arthritis or similar disease then you need to buy a supplement with this type as the majority.
Type III collagen works like type I and have influence on the similar area. It improves skin and needs to be taken with type I for best results.
Source of collagen
Collagen can be made from a variety of sources including pig, cow, chicken and fish. Out of all these options, fish is considered to be the best but needs to be taken in smaller amounts than other sources, preferably just two per week. If they are made from oily fish, you can get the added perks of the omega 3 fatty acids along with collagen.
Poultry sources are the second best since it possesses the least amount of unhealthy fat after fish. Lean protein which helps to support the body and muscles can be found in abundance here.
Pigs and cows are the cheapest of these sources so make sure to notice where these animals are coming from. Never show any interest in the companies which follow inhumane ways to produce these products from those animals. The pigs and the cows should be void of any chemical or antibiotic so that these harmful elements don’t pass on to you when you take them.
In the original state of collagen molecules, they seem way too large for our body to take in. For this, collagen fibers are broken down into smaller collagen chains with the help of hydrolysis process patented by a Japanese company. These smaller chains can get absorbed into the bloodstream and place themselves in the skin where more collagen can be produced.
Besides, each of these peptides contains a complete amino acid sequence which is indispensable for the supplement to work properly. This is why you need to make sure the collagen you are buying is hydrolyzed, otherwise your body will not benefit from it at all.
Collagen supplements will of course contain collagen in them, but some include additional ingredients. You need to see if these extra elements are complementary with collagen and if they have any contribution in the overall process.
For skin, along with types I and III of collagen, inclusion of elastin and hyaluronic acid can prove to be fruitful. These two can help our skin regain its elasticity, structure and firmness over time. Vitamin C, Ceramide and chondroitin sulfate are also significant in this regard by helping in the synthesis of collagen and fighting wrinkles.
Hydrolyzed collagens have a strong taste and therefore often sugar and other preservatives are added to it. Sugar also has its types including some artificial ones like Aspartame and Sucralose which are known to have long-lasting adverse effects on health.
The sugar needs to be natural, originated from plants and with a low glycemic index. Some examples of this type of sugar or sweetener are honey, palm sugar, coconut sugar, molasses and stevia. However, supplements with no sugar or preservative at all are the best and safest choices.
Color and smell
Though it is not possible to know how the supplement will smell like to you if you are buying it from an online source, as soon as you get it in hands test it quickly for any suspicious color or smell. If the color is close to yellow or brown or if it shows any color after mixing with water, it is not a healthy supplement. Try to buy from a bran which allows return and refund of the product within a number of days from purchasing.
Are all supplements tested to ensure their safety and effectiveness?
As much as we would like to tell you “yes”, the answer is actually “no”. The FDA has limitations in their set of rules and regulations which binds them to treat these sensitive supplements just like any other food item.
So the product you have chosen to try out, might actually be completely fraudulent and ineffective. It might also have harmful elements but there is no way to know it unless you decide to go through their customer reviews on different sites.
Your only other hope can be the few ingredients which have been tested on humans and animals to ensure their safety.
How long should I wait to see if the collagen supplement is working?
These supplements vary in their composition and dosages, the people who take them also have their individual physical traits. So there is no exact answer to this. But from our research, we can tell you that the standard time period when you can expect to see some changes is between two weeks to two months.
Though the professionals say it should take about four months for your body to fully have the effect of the collagen ingredients since that is the time required for healthy tissue to replace unhealthy tissue.
Should I take supplements without consulting a doctor?
Of course, you should since none of us or your friends can give proper expert advice about these supplements. All we can do is assume and estimate. Though it is very tempting and adventurous to go through all these supplements’ profiles on the web and judge them based on our study and instincts, ultimately none of them can give you a conclusive and reliable decision.
Your doctor, on the other hand, doesn’t need to conduct any prolonged study of these things and can let you know his verdict after just looking at the bottle once or twice. Also, if you are well- acquainted with him then he can let you know if it will be the right choice for you depending on your current physical conditions and past medical history.
What exactly to ask the doctor about the supplements?
It would be a good decision to start by asking him if the ingredients mentioned are compatible with your current medical conditions. For example, collagen from shellfish often increases calcium in the body and it can lead to adverse situations if it increases your body’s calcium quotient to an excess level.
He can also let you know the actual ideal amount of collagen to take on a daily basis and how long you should continue it. Since he is from the medical world, he might also know if the manufacturing company is worthy of your trust after all or not.
How long-lasting are the improvements of these collagen supplements?
Unfortunately, the effects of these supplements will go away as soon as you stop taking them. This goes for both positive and negative experiences you had with it.
If it improved your skin by making it brighter and clearer, the skin will start getting dull again from two to three days after you stop taking them. So to have consistent results, you need to take them consistently for as long as you can. You can, of course, change brands in the meantime to find better quality supplements and for variations in taste.
How can I ensure the quality of the supplement?
Ideally, all supplement manufacturing companies need to follow the GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) standards but some of them put a rebellious attitude against that rule. Over the years there have been many cases where the quality promised on the advertisement is not what the customers were getting.
Sometimes even the ingredient ratio or amount mentioned turns out to be false, sometimes an element is added in the list of its components even though no trace of it is found in the actual product.
To keep yourself from being a victim to all these you can check the product container for a seal of approval from a trustworthy and relevant organization like US Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab, NSF International etc. who conduct tests on these products and grant their approval based on the test results.
How can I verify the supplement’s claims?
Not all companies respect their customers and the trust that comes with it. It is a corporate world only for these people and they are ok with making any claim that sells the product. So to find out if the company you are trusting right now is included in this group of unethical organizations, you can simply ask your physician or look into the research results from their claims.
Customer reviews on different websites based on your current product at hand can also be of use but the catch is, many of these reviews are paid. But there is no way for you to know for sure if they are so or if they have genuinely enjoyed using this product. Besides, you can always email them personally to have a direct conversation about this.
What age is ideal to start taking collagen supplements?
Since collagen production starts deteriorating from our 20s, it is safer to start taking them from that age range. Besides, you can wait for any sign of aging on your skin like wrinkles or intense stretch marks and then decide to go for it. Usually, women start taking them in their 30s but starting them a decade before can be of huge help in the long run.
What should I do if I have a side effect from a supplement?
Whenever you find yourself being a victim of the side effects of a supplement, first of all, contact your personal doctor to get you out of any risky situation as soon as possible. Then after going through the necessary immediate treatment, dial the FDA’s number to make a report of it.
This call may help other customers in future since this way they can know about this reaction before buying the product. You can contact FDA through this number – (800) FDA-1088 or visit their site to report the problem.
Are these supplements safe to use for long terms?
Yes, they are. Since collagen is a natural part of our body composition, keeping their production to the ideal amount should not affect us negatively. There are customers who have been using these supplements for more than a decade and continue to do so! Just make sure you take them in appropriate doses and ask your physician’s remarks on the new supplement you have chosen.
Is taking collagen supplement safe for pregnant or lactating women?
From the perspective of biology and medical science, there is no negative effect collagen has on women in this state. But since pregnancy and breastfeeding both are pretty sensitive issues for the body, please never forget to consult with your doctor before deciding to take these supplements in such conditions.
Out of all the wonderful options, we talked about here, our clear winner turns out to be Further Food collagen peptides because there was no drawback of this product other than its high price.
In addition to improving the density of hair, enhancing its texture, making nails stronger and resolving the joint problem, it is free from any unpleasant odor or tangy taste and also dissolves easily in both hot and cold liquids. In short, it resolves the most common issues the users have to deal with while taking these supplements, but due to its great quality, falls a little on the pricier range. We can surely be okay with that right? After all, if a product is great, it’s worth every penny of the purchase!