Collagen Peptides: Myths vs. Facts

Written by: Brilliant Staff

Fact checked by: SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

Collagen Peptides: Myths vs. Facts

Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, there are many myths and misconceptions about collagen peptides, their benefits, and who should take them. This article explores common collagen myths and presents research-backed facts to help you determine if collagen supplementation is right for you.  

Myth: All collagen supplements are the same. 

Fact: There are actually different forms of collagen supplements on the market. The most common are collagen peptides (also called hydrolyzed collagen). Other supplements like collagen protein powder or collagen capsules contain larger collagen molecules that may be more difficult to digest and absorb; collagen peptides are more easily absorbed by the body. 

Myth: Collagen peptides don’t work and are a waste of money.

Fact: Numerous scientific studies have shown collagen peptide supplements can increase skin elasticity, hydrate skin, and reduce occasional joint discomfort. A 2019 double-blind placebo-controlled study found collagen peptide supplementation increased skin elasticity after eight weeks compared to placebo. 

A 2018 meta-analysis of 11 studies also found collagen peptides significantly reduced joint discomfort. More research is still needed, but the current preliminary evidence suggests collagen peptides provide meaningful benefits for skin, joints, and connective tissues in the body.

Myth: Taking collagen peptides will make your skin look younger. 

Fact: Collagen peptides have been shown to improve some signs of aging, like skin dryness, elasticity, and hydration. However, they likely won’t dramatically reduce wrinkles or make you look years younger. Collagen peptide supplements have more moderate benefits on skin health and aging. Using them alongside other skin care strategies like sunscreen, retinoids, and moisturizers will offer more significant skin effects.

Myth: Collagen peptides only benefit your skin.

Fact: While the benefits for skin are most well-researched, several preliminary studies also show joint benefits. A 24-week study found collagen peptide supplements improved joint comfort and function in athletes. The effects extend beyond the skin.

Myth: You need large amounts of collagen peptides to see results. 

Fact: Research shows benefits with intakes as low as two to five grams per day. Consuming 10 to 15 grams daily provides more health benefits, but taking huge servings (30+ grams per day) likely won’t improve results. Smaller servings of collagen peptides (two to five grams) taken consistently can help promote skin and joint health while improving overall wellness.

Myth: Collagen peptides cause weight gain. 

Fact: Collagen peptides are low in calories and carbohydrates. Because of their protein content, they may also help build lean muscle mass when combined with exercise, which may increase weight but in a healthy way due to it being muscle mass.

Myth: Anyone can take collagen peptides.

Fact: Certain people need to exercise caution with collagen supplements. These groups include the following:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women since not enough research exists on safety.
  • People taking medications that affect bleeding or blood clotting due to a risk of collagen increasing bleeding. 
  • People with food allergies, since collagen comes from fish, eggshell membranes, or bovine sources.
  • People with diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or osteogenesis imperfecta (OI, or "brittle bone disease") due to lack of safety research.

It's important to always talk to your doctor before adding a collagen supplement to your routine.

Myth: Collagen peptides have serious side effects.

Fact: Multiple studies report collagen peptides do not cause significant side effects. Minor side effects can include mild digestive symptoms like heartburn, bad taste, nausea, or diarrhea. These side effects are generally mild. More research is still needed, but current evidence suggests collagen peptides have a relatively good safety profile.


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