How Long Does it Take for Collagen Supplements to Work?

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Many people wonder how long it takes to see all the amazing benefits of hydrolyzed collagen.

The answer to this question depends on the benefits you’re looking for. I’ve broken down some of the peer-reviewed scientific studies on hydrolyzed collagen into a handy chart for when we should start to see individual benefits.

Skin

  • 4 weeks to start seeing results
  • 12 weeks for max results

I’m starting here because one of the first things you’ll notice when supplementing with a collagen supplement such as gelatin hydrolysate or Youtheory’s hydrolyzed collagen will be skin improvements. These are the effects that kick in first. But I’d rather look at hard science than product advertisements – so here goes:

In 2015, a series of studies published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that oral collagen peptide supplementation resulted in marked decreases in the hallmarks of skin aging. These benefits including decreases in wrinkles and a substantial increase in skin moisture. These benefits were dose dependent, meaning that greater results were observed when participants drank more of the collagen.

The study showed minor results as early as 4 weeks and major results at 12 weeks with collagen fragmentation (wrinkles) being reduced by up to 31.2%

The publication also cited two studies with related results. One showed an increase in dermal collagen density at 12 weeks and another clinical trial detected an increase of procollagen and elastin in skin lymph fluid after 8 weeks of oral supplementation.

Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2006 found that Hydrolyzed Collagen in combination with a topical application of astaxanthin repaired damage caused by ultraviolet radiation and reversed photo-aging over the course of 24 weeks.

Joint Pain

  • 3 months for healthy individuals with sports related injuries
  • 3-6 months for osteoarthritis

A 2013 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found significant improvements in joint mobility and reduction at 120 days of supplementation with only 40mg of type II collagen. This study was performed on healthy subjects who had no prior history of arthritic disease or joint pain at rest but experienced joint discomfort with physical activity. The study concluded that type II collagen supplementation both prolonged how long one could exercise before joint pain occurred and shortened recovery time after exercise.

A 2009 study in the International Journal of Medical Science found that subjects with arthritic knees showed significant enhancement in daily activities after 90 days of supplementing with 40mg of type II collagen, suggesting an improvement in their quality of life. The effects were a substantial improvement over supplementation with glucosamine/chondroitin. Notably results continued to improve over time.

Since hydrolyzed collagen does not always contain type II collagen I want to go ahead and cite one more study.

Another 2009 study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that 6 months of supplementation with powdered hydrolyzed collagen resulted in a significant improvement in knee joint comfort as assessed by visual analogue scales to assess pain and the Womac pain subscale. Those who benefitted most were individuals with the most joint deterioration and the least intake of meat proteins in their regular diets.

It is worth noting that there are many other peer-reviewed published studies citing the benefits of hydrolyzed collagen for joints and osteoarthritis. I have come across several blogs in my research on collagen where writers claim to debunk claims that hydrolyzed collagen supplements improve joint pain. Please, rely on real scientific research which is incredibly optimistic about this supplement.

Conclusions

Collagen peptides (hydrolyzed gelatine) can provide remarkable health and healing benefits with long term supplementation. However, you’re not going to see results within the first few weeks. Some results may even take up to 6 months.

This is unfortunate for many suppliers on review-heavy site like amazon who get negative reviews and returns by customers who expect results too quickly. If a recommended brand has some negative reviews on these sites always look closer. If those bad reviews are customers who were disappointed in their lack of results in the first few weeks, consider giving the brand a shot anyway.

This doesn’t bother me as I personally plan to take hydrolyzed collagen for the rest of my life. My nails are stronger, my hair has never been in better shape, my skin has markedly improved, and longterm back and knee pain are noticeable decreased. Anecdotally this supplement has practically been a miracle for me and my entire immediate family. That’s why I’m so obsessed with reasearching and writing the truth about it here.

I believe everyone should have the chance to benefit from collagen hydrolysate.

 

Citations

Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T. and Prawitt, J. (2015), The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. J Cosmet Dermatol, 14: 291–301. doi:10.1111/jocd.12174

Yoon HS, Cho HH, Cho S, Lee SR, Shin MH, Chung JH Supplementating with dietary astaxanthin combined with collagen hydrolysate improves facial elasticity and decreases matrix metalloproteinase-1 and -12 expression: a comparative study with placebo. J Med Food  2014;17:810–6.

Lugo JP, Saiyed ZM, Lau FC, Molina JP, Pakdaman MN (2013) Undenatured type II collagen (UC-II®) for joint support: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy volunteers. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 10(1):48. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-48.

P. Benito-Ruiz, M.M. Camacho-Zambrano, J.N. Carrillo-Arcentales, M.A. Mestanza-Peralta, C.A. Vallejo-Flores, S.V. Vargas-López, R.A. Villacís-Tamayo & L.A. Zurita-Gavilanes. A randomized controlled trial on the efficacy and safety of a food ingredient, collagen hydrolysate, for improving joint comfort. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. Vol. 60, Iss. sup2, 2009 

Crowley DC, Lau FC, Sharma P, Evans M, Guthrie N, Bagchi M, Bagchi D, Dey DK,Raychaudhuri SP. Safety and efficacy of undenatured type II collagen in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: a clinical trial. Int J Med Sci. 2009 Oct 9;6(6):312-21. PubMed PMID: 19847319; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2764342.