Can You Take Too Much Collagen?

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    Collagen has become a popular supplement. But can you take too much of it? Read on to learn more.

    Collagen is increasingly popular these days, and for good reason. But what is it, exactly?

    Collagen is a protein in your body that serves as a crucial building block for your body’s skin, as well as bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and other connective tissues. We need collagen to provide our bodies with structure and support. Of all the protein in your body, collagen accounts for about 30% of it.

    Your body naturally uses certain amino acids – proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline – to create collagen. But, as we age, our collagen production tends to decline. Some lifestyle factors, too, including smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, and too much UV exposure, can cause the collagen already in our bodies to break down more rapidly. That’s where collagen supplements come into play, with many people now swearing by them and their myriad health benefits.

    Once regarded as a cosmetic supplement and a mainstay of beauty aisles, today people are using collagen for a whole range of other health benefits. But, of course, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. In this article, we’ll explore whether it’s possible to take too much collagen.

    Is It Okay to Take Collagen Daily?

    Yes, it’s okay to take collagen daily. In fact, for collagen to be effective in supporting your health goals, you’ll probably want to take it daily. Consistency is the key! Most studies of collagen follow participants for anywhere between 8 and 24 weeks, monitoring the effects of daily use.

    How Much Collagen is Too Much Per Day?

    While the available research on collagen to date is somewhat limited, no amount of collagen has been found to be toxic for your system. In existing studies, the range of doses varies from 2.5 g to 15 g of collagen; some have even used higher doses.

    At Care/of, we offer two forms of collagen: The Skin Hero, which is a form of grass-fed bovine collagen, and the Good Egg, a vegetarian collagen derived from eggshell membranes. We generally recommend taking 10 g of our grass-fed bovine collagen per day, with a suggested serving of two scoops in a 8-10 ounce liquid of choice.

    How Much Collagen Should You Take?

    At the present time, there’s no official recommended daily allowance of collagen. Your best bet is to talk to a medical professional about a dose that’s right for you – and to otherwise follow the instructions on the label for the product you’re using.

    What are the Side Effects of Taking Too Much Collagen?

    Generally speaking, collagen is considered a safe supplement. Reported side effects have affected a relatively small number of people and have typically been related to the digestive system. Collagen is a protein, after all, and your body has to work to break it down. Some have reported experiencing indigestion, bloating, and gas after taking too much collagen.

    When choosing a collagen supplement, it’s important to find one that’s been third-party tested, which means that an unbiased outside organization has verified that the supplement is what the labeling claims it is. Some collagens, for example, have been contaminated with heavy metals – and you don’t want that! Stick with a trusted source – Care/of, for example – so you know you’re getting exactly what you pay for. You should also check the label to see that your collagen supplement is C.L.E.A.N. certified and made from non-GMO ingredients. You can eliminate unknown or unlisted ingredients by taking high quality supplements.

    Can You Consume Foods that Contain Collagen While Taking a Supplement?

    Yes, you can! Some foods high in collagen include brisket, pot roast, beef – all meats packed with connective tissue. Other foods, while not containing collagen themselves, have been shown to support collagen production in the body. Some of these foods include poultry, fish, eggs, and soy. You’ll also want to be sure that you’re getting food rich in zinc and vitamin C, since they’re both necessary for healthy collagen production in the body.

    Benefits of Taking Collagen

    The collagen in your body supports your health in a number of ways. But what do you do as you age and your collagen production starts to decline?

    Well, some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can be quite good for you. For example, studies have found that taking collagen can support skin health and bone health. In one study, postmenopausal women who took 5 g of collagen per day over the course of a year saw improvements in bone mineral density compared to the placebo group. In another, women who took 2.5 g of collagen daily over a six month period saw vast improvements in skin health.

    Studies also point to collagen’s benefits for boosting muscle mass. This study found that participants who engaged in resistance training while supplementing with collagen saw increases in muscle size and strength. There’s also research to suggest that collagen can support gut health, with this study of healthy women finding that collagen supplementation can help maintain healthy digestion.

    Should You Take Collagen Supplements?

    Before deciding whether you should take collagen supplements, be sure to talk to your doctor about your particular needs and goals. Since collagen production declines with age, it’s possible that you’d benefit from adding collagen supplements to your routine. Furthermore, most people can get enough collagen from food, so try to add some collagen-rich and collagen-producing foods to your diet. You can take supplements along with a collagen-rich diet.

    The Bottom Line

    Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, comprising 30% of your body’s total protein composition. It plays a key role in your body’s structure and connective tissues.

    As we age, our collagen production tends to decline, and the collagen already in our bodies breaks down more quickly. Collagen supplements are becoming increasingly popular as a way to address our natural loss of collagen production and to support health in a number of ways. Studies have shown that collagen can support skin health, bone health, and gut health. It can also help boost muscle mass.

    Taking too much collagen shouldn’t really be a concern. Stick to what the labels recommend – or, better yet, take your doctor’s advice. Side effects related to collagen supplementation are rare, and when they do occur, they tend to be mild and short-lived.

    At Care/of, we recommend taking 10 g of collagen per day, or a serving of two scoops of our grass fed bovine collagen powder in a 8-10 ounce of a liquid of your choosing. We offer two forms of collagen: The Skin Hero, which is a form of grass-fed bovine collagen, and the Good Egg, a vegetarian collagen derived from eggshell membrane. Both are third-party tested and C.L.E.A.N. certified.

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Our Editorial Staff
    Freelance Contributor
    The Care/of Editorial Team is made up of writers, experts, and health enthusiasts, all dedicated to giving you the information you need today. Our team is here to answer your biggest wellness questions, read the studies for you, and introduce you to your new favorite product, staying up to date on the latest research, trends, and science. Each article is written by one of our experts, reviewed both for editorial standards by an editor and medical standards by one of our naturopathic doctors, and updated regularly as new information becomes available.