Doctors' opinions on collagen: fish, marine, for joints and for drinking

Check out, doctors' opinions on fish and marine collagen, and find out what pharmacists and nutritionists think about it.

Ludwig Jelonek - AuthorAuthorLudwig Jelonek
Ludwig Jelonek - Author
AuthorLudwig Jelonek
Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

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Witold Tomaszewski - Reviewed byReviewed byWitold Tomaszewski
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Witold Tomaszewski - Reviewed by
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Doctor of Medicine, food and pharmaceutical law expert and experienced medical professional.

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Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited byEdited byBartholomew Turczynski
Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited by
Edited byBartholomew Turczynski
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Bartłomiej Turczyński is the editor-in-chief of Natu.Care. He is responsible for the quality of the content created on Natu.Care, among others, and ensures that all articles are based on sound scientific research and consulted with industry specialists.

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Emilia Moskal specialises in medical and psychological texts, including content for medical entities. She is a fan of simple language and reader-friendly communication. At Natu.Care, she writes educational articles.

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Doctors' opinions on collagen: fish, marine, for joints and for drinking
29 April, 2024
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Collagen is an extremely important building protein for your body. This is where everyone will agree. Collagen production declines with age. Here too, zero controversy. But...

What do doctors think of collagen as a health and beauty supplement? I asked a doctor of medicine, pharmacists and nutritionists for their opinion -

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From this article you will learn:

  • What are the opinions of doctors about collagen.
  • What are the opinions of pharmacists about collagen?
  • Whether pharmacists think the same.
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  • And what nutritionists have to say on the subject.
  • And what dietitians have to say on the subject.

See also:

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Collagen - doctors' opinions

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Doctors' opinions about collagen are varied. While they agree that collagen is very important for the body, opinions vary when it comes to supplementation. Some doctors make the assumption that if something were to work, it would be a drug. And there is no collagen drug, so they are sceptical.

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The doctors' approach is also slightly different from the rest of the population. They deal with very serious health problems on a daily basis (burns, fractures, osteoporosis), so their expectations are also much higher than someone who wants to improve skin hydration or reduce joint pain after a workout.

They also have a lot more to look forward to.

See what they think about collagen supplementation:

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Does drinking collagen work?

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Supplemented collagen (e.g. in capsules, powder or liquid) can support its synthesis in the body. Two amino acids - lysine and proline - play a key role in this process.
Dr. Witold Tomaszewski.

Vitold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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How to accelerate the effects of collagen supplementation?

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The effects of collagen supplementation will only be noticed with a systematic and minimum three-month treatment. It is important to be regular and use quality preparations in the correct daily dose.
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Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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Does collagen work on the skin?

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The body's collagen content affects the appearance of your skin. Healthy skin, regardless of age, should be hydrated, with a healthy tone, free of imperfections and heal quickly - all of which collagen takes care of.
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Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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What portions in collagen supplements are safe?

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The servings of collagen in supplements are usually 5-10g. If taken according to the manufacturer's and doctor's recommendations, they should not harm us.
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Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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Is collagen safe?

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Low-quality collagen supplements can result in skin sensitisation. Furthermore, preparations used orally can lead to food allergies. Usually, adverse reactions are experienced with products of questionable origin, so it is advisable to use preparations from recognised suppliers.
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Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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Is there vegan collagen?

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There is no such thing as vegan collagen. When claiming a product, the manufacturer is not verified in any way - they can write absolutely anything on the packaging. Collagen is made up of amino acids (including proline, glycine and lysine), but providing these to the body in a plant-based supplement does not make it the protein of youth (as long as there is no research to support this).
Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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When is it worth drinking collagen?

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I have not heard of such a thing as the best time of day to drink collagen. I have not seen research on this either.
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Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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Is collagen for horses better than for humans?

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Despite its size, the horse is a sensitive animal and most often needs smaller doses of medication than humans. Furthermore, many animal products may simply be harmful to humans due to different metabolic pathways.
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Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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What is collagen deficiency?

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When we talk about "collagen deficiency", what we actually mean is impaired collagen production. And poorer synthesis of the youth protein is typical of the ageing process. Sometimes, however, the impairment of these processes can occur faster than physiological norms suggest.
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Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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Does collagen help joints?

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Collagen is the building block of many of the elements that go into joints, such as cartilage, ligaments and fascia.
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Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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Does collagen in cream work?

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Collagen in cream, or any other form applied externally, does not work as presented by manufacturers. Its molecules are too large to reach the dermis. Therefore, the effect provided by collagens in cream (moisturising or smoothing) is only temporary. However, these preparations will not support the dermis.
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Dr Witold Tomaszewski.

Witold Tomaszewskidoctor of medical sciences

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Doctor's opinion on fish collagen

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The doctor's opinion on sea collagen is positive. The doctor of medical sciences explains, that the structure of fish collagen is similar to human collagen, which promotes assimilability in the body - the formula works faster and better. The production process of fish collagen is also simpler, so supplements are cheaper.

See also:

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Collagen - pharmacist reviews

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Pharmacists' opinions on collagen are positive. They point to numerous health benefits, such as improved hair, skin, nails and joints. According to experts, regular supplementation with collagen can significantly improve overall health. Collagen also rarely causes side effects. 

When do we start to run out of collagen?

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With a poor diet and unfavourable lifestyle (alcohol, cigarettes), it can happen that even before 30 years of age, your body is losing more collagen than it is producing. That's when deficiency symptoms can appear.
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Luke Borula.

Lukasz Borulamagister of pharmacy

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Is there collagen in drug form?

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In pharmacies or online shops you will not find collagen with drug status. All preparations that contain the youth protein are dietary supplements. They are most often capsules, tablets, liquids or powders intended for the preparation of a drink.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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See also:

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Does collagen work on your hair?

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Collagen is a substance full of amino acids that are crucial for the synthesis of keratin, the protein that forms the basis of hair structure. A collagen deficiency can lead to degeneration of the hair structure, causing brittleness and weakness. However, a regular supply of collagen to the body can improve the condition of the hair.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Choosing a specific collagen product for hair care should depend on your individual needs. If you are looking to improve the appearance of your hair, it makes sense to choose products for external use, such as lotions or hair masks. However, when you are looking for a source of amino acids essential for collagen formation, it is worth choosing hydrolysed collagen. Its effectiveness has been supported by scientific studies.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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One study has shown that regularly taking 450 mg of hydrolysed egg membrane collagen over a 12-week period can improve facial skin and strengthen hair.
Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Can you supplement collagen during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

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Collagen supplementation during pregnancy is most often not recommended. If any mothers-to-be are struggling with poor hair condition or joint pain, it is recommended that they supplement collagen through natural sources such as broth.
Luke Borula.

Lukasz Borulamagister of pharmacy

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Breastfeeding women may want to consider supplementation with high quality, natural collagen liquid.
Luke Borula.

Lukasz Borulamagister of pharmacy

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See also:

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Does collagen work for joints?

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Supplementation of collagen during arthritis can alleviate the symptoms of the condition. But be warned, it is not a cure for the condition.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Collagen is responsible for rebuilding cartilage tissue, and also strengthens tendons.
Luke Borula.

Lukasz Borulamagister of pharmacy

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Decline in collagen in bone, joint and skin tissues is associated with a number of factors, such as advancing age, hormonal profile, obesity, inflammation, lack of physical activity, excessive mechanical stress or joint damage.
Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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A small dose of type 2 collagen -just 40 mg-is enough to get results in supporting the treatment of arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Scientific research confirms that regular use of 10g of collagen for at least six months can reduce stiffness and pain in the knee.
Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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See also:

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Does collagen have side effects?

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Collagen is a supplement known for its few potential side effects. When used according to guidelines, it should not lead to negative effects. However, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and people with allergies to eggs, fish or shellfish should be cautious.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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See also:

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Is hydrolysate the best form of collagen?

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One of the advantages of using collagen hydrolysates over the natural form, is their superior bioavailability, which translates into better absorption, distribution, and more efficient utilization by the human body.
Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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The molecular mass of collagen peptides oscillates between 0.3 and 8 kDa (kilodaltons). Peptides with a lower molecular mass usually show better bioactivity compared to peptides with a higher molecular mass. For comparison, the molecular mass of natural collagen (native) is approximately 300 kDa.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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The highest bioavailability is demonstrated by collagen peptides of 3.5-4.5 kDa, which have a helical structure.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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See also:

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Is there vegan collagen?

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Manufacturers are outdoing themselves with ideas and producing 'vege-collagen'. However, this is not real collagen, but a mixture of amino acids and peptides extracted from plants.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Can you overdose on collagen?

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Collagen overdose is related to its distribution in the body. The rate of accumulation of this protein varies according to the location in the body. Collagen metabolism can be long-lasting, such as in the lens of the eye and cartilaginous structures, where the half-life is about 114 years, but it can also be very rapid, as in the Achilles tendon, where the half-life is only about 72 hours (especially after intense exercise).
Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Excessive amounts of collagen can lead to the formation of keloids, which are formations composed of this protein. Too much collagen can also contribute to calcification of blood vessels, which is often associated primarily with kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension and ageing.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Is bovine collagen safe?

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Animal collagen carries the risk of contracting a zoonotic disease, so fish collagen is preferred.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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About 3% of people worldwide are allergic to bovine collagen.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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See also:

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Is hydrolysed collagen better than freeze-dried collagen?

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It is difficult to say definitively which form of collagen is better. The amount of scientific research comparing hydrolysed products with liophilised is negligible. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that hydrolysed collagen may prove to be more beneficial. Better absorption by the human body is a strong argument in its favour.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Dietitians' opinions on collagen

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Dietitians value collagen for its multiple health benefits. They assert that regular use of this protein can improve the condition of hair, skin, nails and joints. What's more, experts recommend also using collagen to athletes who need adequate recovery after physical training.

What are the best collagen supplements?

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Collagen supplements are most effective when they contain vitamin C or natural variations of it (for example, rosehip extract), which are better absorbed. Sometimes, the presence of vitamin C can be more crucial than the protein portion alone, as it supports the proper absorption of collagen in the body.
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Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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See also:

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Does collagen help your bones?

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Collagen peptides have a beneficial effect on bone strength and bone mineral density, which is helpful in treating diseases that weaken these structures, such as osteoporosis.
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Marta Kaczorek.

Marta Kaczorekclinical nutritionist and personal trainer

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See also:

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When to start supplementing with collagen?

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As early as the age of 25, collagen production begins to decline. In contrast, after the age of 35, fibroblast activity wanes, resulting in even poorer synthesis of the youth protein.
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Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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How does the menopausal period affect the body's collagen content?

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During and after menopause, the amount of estrogen production, which is responsible for collagen production, decreases in women. For this reason, it is worth considering supplementation of this protein during these periods.
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Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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What supports collagen in the diet?

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I recommend combining collagen-containing foods with flavonoids, which you will find in vegetables and fruits. Flavonoids protect the protein from degradation and increase its bioavailability.
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Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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How to take collagen

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Collagen can be added to oatmeal or desserts, but should be avoided with hot drinks because heat treatment has a negative effect on the active ingredients, such as vitamin C.
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Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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See also:

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How does collagen support athletes?

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Collagen also has the potential to support muscle recovery after exercise. It helps alleviate muscle soreness resulting from muscle damage, commonly referred to as 'soreness' and technically referred to as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
Marta Kaczorek.

Marta Kaczorekclinical nutritionist and personal trainer

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See also:

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How to safely supplement collagen?

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When taking long-term collagen supplementation, it is important to focus attention on the other active ingredients in the supplement and their possible overdose.
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Julia Skrajda.

Julia SkrajdaDietitian

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How does collagen work for joints?

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Collagen has key functions in maintaining tendon elasticity and minimising the risk of sports injuries. Collagen bonds support the structural resistance of tendons to intense tension and shear forces.
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Marta Kaczorek.

Marta Kaczorekclinical nutritionist and personal trainer

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Today there are no effective medicines for joint risks and conditions. Therapies focus on relieving pain, inflammation and joint stiffness. This is why it is a good idea to take care of your joints from a young age, especially if you are physically active.
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Marta Kaczorek.

Marta Kaczorek clinical nutritionist and personal trainer

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See also:

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Collagen - physiotherapist opinion

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Collagen has the potential to promote joint health in people with active lifestyles. The decisive aspect, however, is proper nutrition and principles related to exercise hygiene. These include correct posture, ergonomic workplace design and regular muscle relaxation exercises.
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Michal Bojemski.

Michal Bojemskiphysiotherapist

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See also:

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Summary

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  • Doctors' opinions on collagen for drinking, tablets or capsules are varied, but most of them look at it with a favourable eye.
  • Doctors' opinions on collagen for drinking, tablets or capsules vary.
  • The doctor's opinion of fish collagen is positive.
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  • According to the pharmacist, the first symptoms of collagen deficiency appear at the age of 25.
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  • The pharmacist indicates that side effects of collagen supplementation are rare.
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  • In the opinion of a clinical nutritionist, the best collagen supplements contain vitamin C.
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FAQ

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. What builds collagen?.

Collagen is naturally synthesised in the body by fibroblasts - the cells responsible for producing connective tissue. This process requires vitamin C, amino acids such as proline, lysine and glycine, as well as minerals such as copper. A diet rich in these ingredients can support collagen production.

. What is the benefit of taking collagen?.

Collagen supplementation has many health benefits. It can increase the elasticity and hydration of skin, helping to reduce wrinkles and dryness. Additionally, it supports the health of joints by reducing joint pain. Collagen also supports the health of your hairnails, teeth, digestive system and may benefit muscle mass levels.

. Can collagen be combined with vitamin C?.

Yes, collagen can and even should be combined with vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis - it is needed for the hydrolysis of proline and lysine, two amino acids that are essential for building collagen. Without adequate vitamin C, collagen production can be significantly reduced.

. Does collagen help the complexion?.

Yes, collagen can help with the complexion. Taking collagen regularly can increase the elasticity of the skin, reduce dryness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. A number of studies indicate that collagen supplements can help improve skin health by promoting hydration and elasticity, as well as helping to reduce wrinkles.

. Does collagen strengthen veins?.

Yes, collagen plays a key role in maintaining the elasticity of veins. It is the main structural protein in blood vessel walls, and its deficiency can lead to weakened veins. There is also evidence that collagen supplements can support cardiovascular health, although scientists are still researching this topic.

. Is it okay to drink alcohol while taking collagen?.

Drinking alcohol does not directly affect the effect of collagen supplements. However, excessive alcohol consumption can inhibit the body's ability to produce collagen, which can ultimately negate the benefits of supplementation. Moderate alcohol consumption during treatment with collagen supplements is recommended.

. Does hair fall out after collagen?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that collagen supplementation causes hair loss. On the contrary, collagen may counteract hair loss by strengthening hair follicles and improving overall hair condition. 

If you are experiencing a hair loss problem, it is worth consulting your doctor as it could be caused by a variety of factors.

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Sources

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Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J., & Voss, W. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients11(10), 2494. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102494

Campana, V., Milano, G., Pagano, E., Barba, M., Cicione, C., Salonna, G., Lattanzi, W., & Logroscino, G. (2014). Bone substitutes in orthopaedic surgery: From basic science to clinical practice. Journal of Materials Science. Materials in Medicine25(10), 2445-2461. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10856-014-5240-2

Fisher, G. J., Quan, T., Purohit, T., Shao, Y., Cho, M. K., He, T., Varani, J., Kang, S., & Voorhees, J. J. (2009). Collagen Fragmentation Promotes Oxidative Stress and Elevates Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 in Fibroblasts in Aged Human Skin. The American Journal of Pathology174(1), 101-114. https://doi.org/10.2353/ajpath.2009.080599

Garnero, P. (2015). The Role of Collagen Organization on the Properties of Bone. Calcified Tissue International97(3), 229-240. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00223-015-9996-2

Harris, E. D., DiBona, D. R., & Krane, S. M. (1969). Collagenases in human synovial fluid. The Journal of Clinical Investigation48(11), 2104-2113. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI106177

Jendricke, P., Centner, C., Zdzieblik, D., Gollhofer, A., & König, D. (2019). Specific Collagen Peptides in Combination with Resistance Training Improve Body Composition and Regional Muscle Strength in Premenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients11(4), 892. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040892

Jelonek, L. (2023). Collagen. Everything you need to know (B. Turczynski, ed.; 1st ed.). Natu.Care. https://books.google.com/books?vid=9788396887801

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Meet the team
Ludwig Jelonek - Author

Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

Witold Tomaszewski - Reviewed by

Doctor of Medicine

Verified by an expert

Doctor of Medicine, food and pharmaceutical law expert and experienced medical professional.

Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited by

Editor-in-Chief

Bartłomiej Turczyński is the editor-in-chief of Natu.Care. He is responsible for the quality of the content created on Natu.Care, among others, and ensures that all articles are based on sound scientific research and consulted with industry specialists.

Emilia Moskal - Fact-checking

Natu.Care Editor

Emilia Moskal specialises in medical and psychological texts, including content for medical entities. She is a fan of simple language and reader-friendly communication. At Natu.Care, she writes educational articles.

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