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Causes, symptoms and effects of excess collagen in the body

Find out what the symptoms and effects of a deficiency are in the body.

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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Ilona Bush - Reviewed byReviewed byIlona Bush
Verified by an expert
Ilona Bush - Reviewed by
Reviewed byIlona Bush
Master of Pharmacy

Ilona Krzak obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of Wrocław. She did her internship in a hospital pharmacy and in the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently working in the profession and also runs an educational profile on Instagram: @pani_z_apteki

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Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited byEdited byBartholomew Turczynski
Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited by
Edited byBartholomew Turczynski
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.

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Emilia Moskal - Fact-checkingFact-checkingEmilia Moskal
Emilia Moskal - Fact-checking
Fact-checkingEmilia Moskal
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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Causes, symptoms and effects of excess collagen in the body
29 April, 2024
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Collagen is a good employee who takes care of your health and beauty. When there is too much of it, it turns into an authoritarian boss who brings chaos to the office. Excess collagen will leave your work alone, but it can mess with your body severely.

That's why, together with Ilona Krzak, M.Sc. in pharmacy, we outline how excess collagen affects your health, beauty and why it's worth paying attention.

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From this article you will learn:

  • What are the causes, symptoms and effects of an overdose of collagen in the body.
  • What are the causes, symptoms and effects of an overdose of collagen in the body?
  • What disease can lead to an excess of collagen.
  • How to treat an excess of collagen.
  • How to treat too much collagen in the body.
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See also:

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Can you overdose on collagen?

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Yes, but it is unlikely - virtually impossible. Collagen occurs naturally in the body. Even so, huge doses can lead to the symptoms and effects of a collagen overdose. Researchers have not yet established an upper limit for collagen supplementation, so follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

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Collagen overdose is dependent on its location in the body. The protein is deposited more slowly in certain areas and more rapidly in others. The turnover of collagen is long-lasting, e.g. in the lens of the eye and cartilaginous structures (with a half-life of about 114 years), and very rapid in the Achilles tendon with a half-life of about 72 hours (after exercise).

Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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What are the causes of excess collagen in the body?

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Excess collagen in the body is very rare. Collagen overdose from supplements occurs incidentally during extremely irresponsible supplementation. Therefore, autoimmune diseases, genetic mutations, tissue damage or endocrine disorders are more likely to lead to excess.

  • Autoimmune diseases. Several autoimmune diseases, such as systemic scleroderma, can lead to an excess of collagen in the body. They are caused by the body's own immune system attacking its cells, including the fibroblasts responsible for collagen productionand.
  • Genetic mutations. Genetic abnormalities or mutations can lead to abnormalities in the structure, or function, of collagen, as well as overproduction of collagen .
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  • Tissue damage. The wound healing process is linked to collagen production. If tissue is damaged, too much collagen may be produced. This will result, for example, in keratinisation of the skinand.
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  • Unwise supplementation. Inappropriate use of dietary supplements containing collagen can lead to an excess of collagen in the body.
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  • Hormonal disorders. Inflammatory conditions or hormonal disorders can result in excessive collagen production. For example, increased cortisol (a stress hormone) can stimulate fibroblasts to increase collagen productionand.
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A dangerous disease that causes micro-damage to organs is also diabetes. Often in patients with this condition, obesity or metabolic syndrome, cardiac fibrosis can be observed, which not infrequently contributes to sudden death.

Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Symptoms of excess collagen in the body

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Symptoms of excess collagen in the body include thickening and hardening of the skin, tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes, joint pain, gastrointestinal problems (heartburn, bloating, constipation) and muscle weakness. Symptoms of collagen overdose also include heart palpitations and chest painsand.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned or suspect you have excess collagen, consult your doctor. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can prevent the serious consequences of a collagen overdose.

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Cardiac fibrosis is very dangerous because it impairs the function of this organ - it impairs nerve conduction and worsens contractility.

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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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See also:

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What can be the effects of excess collagen in the body?

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The effects of excess collagen primarily include organ scarring, tissue fibrosis, stretch marks and problems with wound healing. In the long term, excess collagen can also lead, for example, to systemic scleroderma, an autoimmune disease manifested by, among other things, hardness of the skin.

  • Tissue problems - too much collagen can lead to tissue thickening and fibrosis. This will result in interference with the proper functioning of organs such as the lungs, liver and kidneys.
  • Collagen problems.
  • Organ scarring - the process by which healthy and elastic tissues are replaced by rigid scars made of collagen.
  • Systemic scleroderma - an autoimmune disorder that leads to excessive collagen production in the skin and internal organs. Scleroderma can result in fibrosis and dysfunction of organs such as the lungs, kidneys and heart.
  • Wound healing problems - excess collagen risks scarring, reduced skin elasticity and, ultimately, impaired wound healing.
  • Stretch marks - the skin's ability to stretch is linked to collagen levels. Too much can contribute to the formation of stretch marks.
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Excess collagen leads to the formation of keloids - collagen nodules. It can also be a cause of vascular calcification associated especially with the course of kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension and advanced age.

Collagen is also a major cause of vascular calcification.

Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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What is systemic scleroderma?

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Systemic scleroderma (or scleroderma) is a rare autoimmune disease. It attacks connective tissue and manifests as hardening and tightness of the skin. It can also lead to problems with internal organs, blood vessels or the digestive tract. Scleroderma is caused by an excess of collagenand.

The most common causes of scleroderma are genetics, problems with the immune system or exposure to viruses.

Symptoms of systemic sclerodermaand:

  • hardening, tightness, itching and swelling of the skin,
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  • digestive problems,
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  • joint and muscle pain,
  • pain.
  • feelings of numbness in the fingers and toes,
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How to treat systemic scleroderma?

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Most often, treatment of systemic scleroderma is limited to symptom relief. The doctor then gives the patient agents to reduce the activity of the immune system or drugs to improve blood circulation. Other treatments include taking steroids to relieve joint and muscle painand.

If, however, drug treatment does not work, surgery may be necessary. In most cases, the aim will be, for example, to remove specific lumps under the skin .

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See also:

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How to treat excess collagen?

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Treating excess collagen depends on the cause of it. Below are the most common treatments for this condition. Remember that consulting your doctor or dermatologist is key. It will help diagnose the problem and suggest the appropriate treatment.

How to treat excess collagen?

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  • Anti-inflammatory drugs. In some cases, doctors may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids to relieve the symptoms associated with excess collagen.
  • Immunotherapy.
  • Immunosuppressive medications. If the cause of excess collagen is autoimmune connective tissue disease, doctors may prescribe immunosuppressive medications to help relieve symptoms.
  • Physiotherapeutic therapies. Physical therapy and manual therapies can help improve flexibility and reduce tissue hardening caused by excess collagen.
  • Operations. In some cases, when excess collagen causes significant deformity or reduced mobility, surgery may be necessary to remove the excess tissue.
  • Healthy lifestyle. A diet based on nutritious foods such as fruit, vegetables, protein and fibre, combined with moderate exercise and avoidance of stress, can help maintain health and minimise symptoms associated with excess collagen.

How to check collagen concentration in the body?

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Today, there is no clear and direct test to accurately assess the concentration of collagen in the body. In contrast, there are various methods available, performed in laboratories, which can provide some information on this subject. These include:

  • Histopathological examination. These are performed on selected tissue taken from the patient, usually from the skin. The tissue is analysed under a microscope to assess the structure and amount of collagen fibres.
  • Histopathological examination.
  • Collagen peptide assay. Collagen fragments - collagen peptides - circulate in the body. Their concentration can be tested with specific assays, allowing an estimate of collagen concentration.
  • Imaging studies. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound can provide information on the structure of the connective tissue, which can indirectly highlight the amount of collagen.

If a collagen-related disorder is suspected, it is advisable to consult a specialist. Your doctor may order appropriate tests to assess the problem more accurately.

Collagen overdose and excess collagen - are they the same thing or not?

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No, collagen overdose and collagen excess are two different terms that refer to different conditions. Collagen overdose is possible by taking too much collagen supplements. In this case, the dose consumed exceeds the recommended daily dosage. The result of an overdose is an excess of collagen in the body.

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In contrast, excess collagen is a condition in the body that can be caused not only by an overdose, but also by other factors such as metabolic or genetic disorders or autoimmune diseases.

In short: an overdose of collagen leads to an excess of collagen. But an excess of collagen is not always caused by an overdose of collagen.

Summary

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In summary

  • Collagen overdose from dietary supplements is very rare.
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  • The most common causes of excess collagen in the body include autoimmune diseases, genetic mutations and unreasonable supplementation.
  • The most common causes of excess collagen in the body include autoimmune diseases, genetic mutations and unreasonable supplementation.
  • Symptoms of excess collagen in the body include thickening and hardening of the skin, tingling and numbness in fingers and toes, joint pain and gastrointestinal problems.
  • The effects of untreated excess collagen include systemic scleroderma, fibrosis, organ scarring and wound healing problems.
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FAQ

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. Does collagen have side effects?.

Yes, collagen can have some side effects, but they are usually mild. Some of these include allergic reactions, digestive problems and upset stomachs. If you are concerned about side effects, consult your doctor before using collagen supplements.

. Collagen - morning or evening?.

It doesn't matter when you drink collagen. What is important is that you supplement regularly with this protein, and not necessarily choose a specific time of day. Identify the time that best suits your lifestyle, and maintain this routine to achieve optimum health benefits.

. How long can collagen be used?.

In most cases, you can use collagen supplements for an extended period of time without any problems. There is no set upper limit on how long you can use collagen. In fact, using this protein for an extended period of time will have positive effects on the health of skin, joints, nails and hair.

. When does the body stop producing collagen?.

The body does not stop producing collagen completely. Nevertheless, its synthesis naturally decreases as we age. This decline usually starts around the age of 25 and steadily decreases as the years go by. The skin loses firmness and elasticity, and wrinkles and fine lines appear. Joints, tendons and ligaments also become weaker.

. Does alcohol damage collagen?.

Yes, excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect collagen in the body. Alcohol leads to dehydration, which can weaken the structure and function of collagen, particularly in the skin. Dehydration of skin results in loss of firmness and elasticity, and contributes to the formation of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.

Also, alcohol reduces the concentration of vitamin A, which is essential for the production of collagen. Hence, maintaining moderate alcohol intake and keeping the body properly hydrated are key to adequate concentrations of this protein.

. Does collagen rejuvenate?.

Collagen can contribute to the rejuvenating effect as it is a key component of the structure and elasticity of skin. Regular intake of collagen supplements or use of cosmetics containing collagen can lead to an improved complexion.

. Which products contain the most collagen?.

Collagen can be found mainly in animal products. What is collagen?

  • Offal: Skin, cartilage, bones, tendons and fat from animals are natural sources of collagen.
  • Collagen is found in animal products.
  • Bone broth: Cooking animal bones in water releases collagen, creating a protein-rich broth.
  • Bone broth:
  • Bone broth.
  • Gelatin:Gelatin is a collagen derivative, obtained from processed animal skin, cartilage and bones.
  • Fish, especially fish skin: Fish, especially its skin, contains large amounts of type 1 collagen, which is beneficial for skin health.
  • Meat, poultry: They are rich in amino acids that contribute to collagen production.
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Sources

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Abate, M., Schiavone, C., Pelotti, P., & Salini, V. (2010). Limited Joint Mobility in Diabetes and Ageing: Recent Advances in Pathogenesis and Therapy. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 23(4), 997-1003. https://doi.org/10.1177/039463201002300404

Birbrair, A., Zhang, T., Files, D. C., Mannava, S., Smith, T., Wang, Z.-M., Messi, M. L., Mintz, A., & Delbono, O. (2014). Type-1 pericytes accumulate after tissue injury and produce collagen in an organ-dependent manner. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 5(6), 122. https://doi.org/10.1186/scrt512

Demyelinating Syndrome in Systemic Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica. (2019, September 18). https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.2.9142/v3

Fouda, A., Shams Eldin, A.-W., Ibrahim, N., & Mostafa, M. (2021). Pulmonary Involvement in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis. Benha Medical Journal, 38(1), 221-233. https://doi.org/10.21608/bmfj.2020.125574

Ghosh, A. K. (2002). Factors Involved in the Regulation of Type I Collagen Gene Expression: Implication in Fibrosis. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 227(5), 301-314. https://doi.org/10.1177/153537020222700502

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https://www.facebook.com/nhswebsite. (2017, October 18). Scleroderma. Nhs.Uk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/scleroderma/

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Kann, P., Piepkorn, B., Schehler, B., Lotz, J., Prellwitz, W., & Beyer, J. (1996). Growth hormone substitution in growth hormone-deficient adults: Effects on collagen type I synthesis and skin thickness. Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes, 104(04), 327-333. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0029-1211462

Ladin, D. A., Garner, W. L., & Smith Jr, D. J. (1995a). Excessive scarring as a consequence of healing. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 3(1), 6-14. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1524-475X.1995.30106.x

Ladin, D. A., Garner, W. L., & Smith Jr, D. J. (1995b). Excessive scarring as a consequence of healing. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 3(1), 6-14. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1524-475X.1995.30106.x

López, B., González, A., Hermida, N., Valencia, F., de Teresa, E., & Díez, J. (2010). Role of lysyl oxidase in myocardial fibrosis: From basic science to clinical aspects. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 299(1), H1-H9. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00335.2010

Majidian, M., Kolli, H., & Moy, R. L. (2021). Management of skin thinning and aging: review of therapies for neocollagenesis; hormones and energy devices. International Journal of Dermatology, 60(12), 1481-1487. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijd.15541

Revision Surgery After TJR: A Family Affair: Commentary on...: JBJS. (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2023, from https://journals.lww.com/jbjsjournal/Fulltext/2022/04060/Revision_Surgery_After_TJR__A_Family_Affair__.13.aspx

Sander, E. A., Hadi, M. F., & Barocas, V. H. (2013). Multiscale Mechanical Models for Understanding Microstructural Damage in Fibrous Tissues. 425-426. https://doi.org/10.1115/SBC2011-53781

Sawamura, S., Makino, K., Ide, M., Shimada, S., Kajihara, I., Makino, T., Jinnin, M., & Fukushima, S. (2022). Elevated Alpha 1(I) to Alpha 2(I) Collagen Ratio in Dermal Fibroblasts Possibly Contributes to Fibrosis in Systemic Sclerosis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(12), Article 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23126811

Somatic Mutations in Collagens are Associated with a Distinct Tumor Environment and Overall Survival in Gastric Cancer. (2021, April 1). https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-378412/v1

The Correlation between Serum Cortisol Levels with Stretch Marks in Gymnastic Male | Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences. (2023). https://oamjms.eu/index.php/mjms/article/view/8109

Wahyudi, H., Reynolds, A. A., Li, Y., Owen, S. C., & Yu, S. M. (2016). Targeting collagen for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic delivery. Journal of Controlled Release, 240, 323-331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.01.007

Warrington, K. J., Nair, U., Carbone, L. D., Kang, A. H., & Postlethwaite, A. E. (2006). Characterisation of the immune response to type I collagen in scleroderma. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 8(4), R136. https://doi.org/10.1186/ar2025

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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.

Ilona Bush - Reviewed by

Master of Pharmacy

Verified by an expert

Ilona Krzak obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of Wrocław. She did her internship in a hospital pharmacy and in the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently working in the profession and also runs an educational profile on Instagram: @pani_z_apteki

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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