Collagen: What Is It and Why You Need More of It

Collagen is one of the most plentiful, naturally occurring proteins in mammals. It’s responsible for a variety of biological functions, including providing structural support for the body’s connective tissue, muscles, and skin. Sufficient amounts are also responsible for skin elasticity.   

Many people take collagen supplements in order to improve the look and overall health of their skin. To make it easier for the body to absorb collagen, manufacturers will often break down the collagen into the form of peptides by using a process called hydrolyzation. However, the quality of this process can vary widely from one manufacturer to the next. 

Collagen supplements are credited with a variety of health benefits: 

Muscle mass: A 2015 study found that elderly men who took a combination of collagen peptide supplements along with strength training were able to increase their muscle mass and strength more than a placebo.1 

Arthritis: In a different study, collagen supplements were given to people who suffered from osteoarthritis. They experienced a decline in pain throughout the length of study compared to those who took a placebo.2  

Skin elasticity: In a 2014 study, women who took a collagen supplement showed improvements in skin elasticity.3 

Although the body creates collagen naturally as a structural protein in the skin, the skin (and its collagen) can be damaged by too much sun exposure, smoking, as well as eating sugar and refined carbohydrates on a regular basis. 

To help promote your own best skin and collagen health, consider adopting a natural, plant-based diet, rich in organic fruit and vegetables, along with taking a quality collagen nutritional supplement. Get that fresh-faced glow again!  


  1. Zdzieblik D, Oesser S, Baumstark MW, Gollhofer A, König D. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2015;114(8):1237–1245. doi:10.1017/S0007114515002810 
  2. Schauss AG1, Stenehjem J, Park J, Endres JR, Clewell A.Effect of the novel low molecular weight hydrolyzed chicken sternal cartilage extract, BioCell Collagen, on improving osteoarthritis-related symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. JAgric Food Chem. 2012 Apr 25;60(16):4096-101. doi: 10.1021/jf205295u. Epub 2012 Apr 16. 
  3. Proksch E, Segger D, Degwert J, Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S: Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014;27:47-55. doi: 10.1159/000351376