Top Doc Reveals 9 Surprising Benefits Of Collagen For Joints, Bones, Immunity, Heart Health & More
How Much Collagen Does Your Body Really Need For Best Results?
Senior Wellness Expert
By Oestepath Sam Hewitt - Inner Vitality Founder
Many health seekers know that collagen supplements have been said to help keep bones and joints strong while promoting youthful skin and healthy hair as we age.
What’s more, new research shows us collagen's potential in promoting heart and artery health along with supporting stronger immune function.
But how much collagen do you really need in order to reach these health outcomes?
In the following article, Osteopath Sam Hewitt examines what the clinical evidence reveals when it comes to experiencing maximum results with collagen supplementation.
Collagen Is Not A “One-Size-Fits-All” Supplement
At the molecular level, collagen protein consists of over 1,000 amino acids twisted into a compex helix formation.
This tightly twisted helix gives collagen the strength to build the various tissues in our body, such as our joints, bones, organ lining, skin, and hair.
There are also 16 different known collagen fiber types and each play a different role within the body.
Therefore the amount and type of collagen an individual should supplement with will be dependent on their unique needs.
“The big mistake many people make when it comes to using collagen is that they’re actually not taking enough,” says Oestepath Sam Hewitt
The amount of collagen an individual needs to take daily in order to see results depends on two major factors:
Factor No. 1
Collagen Needs Vary Depending On Age
Aside from water, collagen is the most plentiful substance in our bodies and is considered the primary building block for joints, muscles, bones, skin, as well as the lining of our gut and artery walls.
Over time, the ideal levels of collagen our bodies naturally produce begin to wane each year starting in our 20’s
As we age, the collagen fibers which hold the tissues of our body together gradually break down.
Within our joints and connective tissues, this collagen decline causes the strength of our bones, muscles, and cartilage to degenerate - often leading to chronic pain, injuries, and fractures.
Since our body can no longer regenerate collagen fibers on its own, this often leads to a “deflation” effect on the surface of the skin. The dermis becomes less supple, resulting in hair follicle thinning.
Within our gut, the loss of collagen creates gaps within our intestinal lining. Over time, this increased permeability allows lethal pathogens to easily pass through our intestinal tract and infect the blood - putting a massive strain on our immune system.
This is a major reason why older adults are more vulnerable to diseases that impact the immune system as well as joints.
This body of evidence suggests that the older one is, the larger their collagen deficit will be.
This means that in order to fulfill their collagen needs, older adults must first restore the collagen deficit just to reach baseline levels.
Once baseline levels of collagen are restored, individuals can experience the benefits of added collagen supplementation.
Simply put, this research conveys that older individuals must supplement with higher doses of collagen than individuals of younger age in order to experience full results.
The best way to restore age-related collagen deficit is through collagen loading, a strategy Osteopath Sam Hewitt with his senior patients to effectively replenish age-related collagen loss.
Factor No. 2
The Amount Of Collagen Depends
On The Desired Health Outcome
Whether you’re considering using collagen to promote hair growth, improve skin complexion or rebuild joint and bone strength - the dose of collagen the body requires will vary.
For example, if you’re looking for topical benefits such as filling in fine lines, the amount of collagen needed will be anywhere from 10-30 grams a day. However, if you’re looking to repair joints or enhance a post-surgery recovery period - the body will require a much larger daily dose of collagen.
Moreover, depending on age, diet and other environmental factors, an individual may have to supplement with collagen on a consistent long-term basis (month-long durations to even years) to see results.
As with all supplements, collagen is no “magic cure” - it takes time, patience and consistent daily use in order for best results to be fully realised.
Here’s a look at what the research says about how much collagen is needed based on the desired health outcome:
9 Science-Based Benefits Of Collagen And The Clinical-Dose Needed To Experience Best Results
1.) Helps Prevent Bone Loss
Our bones are made mostly of collagen, which gives them structure and helps keep them strong.
As collagen levels deteriorate with age, bone mass does too, leading to crippling mobility concerns including severely low bone density and higher risks of bone fractures.
Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may have certain effects in the body that help inhibit the bone breakdown.
In one study that looked at bone health in 103 postmenopausal women, 66 women were given 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 months. The women who took the collagen had an increase of up to 7% in their bone mineral density (BMD), compared to women who did not consume collagen.*
According to this study, collagen supplementation was associated with a favourable shift in bone markers, indicating increased bone formation and reduced bone degradation
For stronger, healthier bones, research shows that at least 12 months of daily collagen supplementation (5 grams/day) is required.
2.) Reduces Joint Pain
Collagen helps maintain the integrity of your connective tissues such as our joints, muscles, and cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints.
As the body’s collagen levels decrease with age, the risk of developing degenerative joint disorders increases.
Some studies have shown that taking a collagen supplement may help improve symptoms of joint disorders and reduce joint pain overall.
In one study, 73 participants who consumed 10 grams of collagen daily for 24 weeks experienced a significant decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest compared to a group that did not take it.*
For improved joint health and relief from joint-related pain, research shows that at least 24 weeks of daily collagen supplementation (10 grams/day) is required.
3.) Strengthens Muscle Tissue
Between 1–10% of muscle tissue is composed of collagen. This means that collagen protein is vital for keeping our muscles strong and functioning properly as we age.
Studies suggest that collagen supplements help boost muscle mass in people with sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that happens with age.*
In one study, 27 participants took 15 grams of collagen for 12 weeks. Compared to participants who did not take collagen, they gained significantly more muscle mass and strength.* This research shows great promise for helping older individuals maintain their independence as they age.
Research shows that 12 weeks of daily collagen supplementation (15 grams/day) yielded improvements in muscle mass and strength.
4.) Promotes Heart & Artery Health
Collagen provides structure to your arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Without enough collagen, arteries may become weak and fragile.
In one study, 31 healthy adults took 16 grams of collagen daily for six months. By the end, they had experienced a significant reduction in measures of artery stiffness compared to before they started taking the supplement.*
According to research, 6 months of daily collagen supplementation (16 grams/day) was shown to elicit positive results for promoting heart health.
5.) Enhances Skin Complexion & Reduce Wrinkles
Collagen plays a role in strengthening skin, plus may benefit elasticity and hydration. With age, the body produces less collagen, leading to dry skin and the formation of wrinkles.
However, several studies have shown that collagen supplements may help slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness.
One study found that women who consumed a collagen supplement daily for 12 weeks experienced increased skin hydration and a significant reduction in wrinkle depth compared to a control group.*
While modest skin benefits can be seen in 8 weeks, for major improvements in skin health including reduction of deep wrinkles, research shows that at least 12 weeks of consistent daily collagen supplementation (5 grams/day) is required.
6.) Improves Hair Health & Slows Follicle Thinning
Collagen makes up 70% of your dermis, the middle layer of your skin that contains the root of each individual hair. Therefore, providing the body with collagen may help maintain a healthy dermis and prevent hair thinning.
In an eight-week study, 69 women aged 35–55 found that taking a daily collagen supplement significantly improved dermis elasticity and hydration compared to a placebo, translating to enhanced overall skin & hair health.*
When it comes to improving hair health, research shows that at least 8 weeks of consistent daily collagen supplementation (5 grams/day) is required for results.
7.) Reduces The Risk Of Digestive Issues & Immune Deficiency
Collagen contains glycine, an amino acid which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
This amino acid has been linked to inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress associated with the opening of tight junctions in the connective tissue of the intestinal lining.
When the gut lining loses its strength, a variety of ailments including indigestion, gas, abdominal bloating and even inflammatory conditions such as IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome) are commonly experienced.
Not only this, but because 80% of immune function occurs within the gut, these digestive imbalances can compromise our immune function.
Thus, making it more difficult for the body to protect itself from foreign invaders.
In studies involving individuals with digestive imbalances, researchers found these subjects to also have low collagen levels.
For this reason, may experts agree that supplementation with collagen protein is key to providing relief for digestive ailments as well as bolstering stronger immune function.
Across many studies, the amino acids delivered to the body by hydrolysed collagen peptides are used to heal and seal the gut, helping to prevent digestive discomfort. When there is damage or inflammation to the intestinal lining, collagen supplementation (10 grams/day) has been shown to help reinforce the smooth muscle cells that make up the stomach lining.
8.) Supports The Detoxification Of Pathogenic Flora
Because collagen is a hydrophilic molecule, it has an attraction to water and acidic molecules, which aids the digestive process. When ingested, collagen surrounds itself with water and stomach acid as it moves through the GI tract, which assists the breakdown of other proteins and carbohydrates in the intestines.
Additionally, by holding water in the intestine, collagen helps move food through the GI tract more smoothly for faster (and more regular) excretion wastes and toxins.
From beginning to end the adult digestive tract is about 30 feet long - that's a lot to structure and a lot to regulate. Findings convey that type I & III collagen fiber types play a significant structural role in the lining of our gut. Because maintaining strength and elasticity of our intestinal tissues is an on-going need to keep our digestive tract toxin free, it’s thought that using at least 10 grams of collagen a day is necessary for optimal detoxification.
9.) Helps Prevent Autoimmune Conditions & Leaky Gut Syndrome
Processed foods, lack of sleep, stress, and use of antibiotics all affect the lining of the gut. Over time they can cause it to become more permeable and to leak substances through the intestinal wall.
This means that toxins and bacteria can end up in the bloodstream instead of excreted - something experienced with leaky gut syndrome.
When this happens, harmful substances can quickly spread throughout the body and cause a variety of illnesses.
Fortunately, collagen peptides (namely type I & III fibers) provide the specific amino acids needed to rebuild the intestinal wall and help prevent a leaky gut.
A leaky gut not only leaks toxins and bacteria but also nutrients. A permeable gut lining can prevent vitamins and minerals in food from being absorbed properly. So regardless of how good your diet is, all of that goodness could literally go to waste without strong gut integrity.
According to research, a daily dose of 12-15 grams daily (for a minimum of 12 weeks) was shown to be beneficial for helping to repair and maintain the structural integrity of our intestines and promote optimal digestive functions.
“What the research clearly tells us is that collagen DOES
work - But we must have the patience and fortitude to follow
through with consistent daily use to reap its benefits.”
Based on clinical evidence, experiencing the many benefits of collagen may require anywhere from 8 weeks to 12 months of daily use to be fully realised.
Taking a scoop here and a scoop there won’t cut it when it comes to seeing results with collagen; consistent, daily use is necessary.
While it’s very possible to experience positive results as early as the first few weeks of consistent supplementation, and many of Sam's patients do, individuals aged 60+ may require longer durations of daily collagen use to experience dramatic results.
Generally, a daily collagen dose of 5-10 grams is recommended but for older individuals, their collagen levels are already at a deficit - putting them severely below normal healthy ranges.
This means doubling up the dose may be the best approach for older individuals to reap collagen’s maximum benefits; a protocol that’s better known as collagen loading.
Doubling the dose works to effectively rebuild lost collagen and allows the body to easily overcome the age-related deficit.
While some individuals may only need to “load” (10-20g daily) for a matter of months, many find the most success by using the loading dose long-term. This helps ensure that collagen levels stay elevated for good.
How To Get More Collagen In Your Diet
Though it is possible to obtain extra collagen through diet (consuming animal products such as gelatinous meats, the cartilage on bones such as chicken drumsticks, and skin from poultry), some may find it unappealing or difficult to eat enough to support their body’s requirements.
For this reason, supplementing with a high-quality collagen protein powder is often recommended.
But not all collagen supplements are created equal...
As more and more collagen supplements burst onto the stage, it’s important to understand the different types of collagen, as well as the different sources and health benefits associated with the most important types.
The Best Collagen For Women Over 60
Collagen types contain different proteins which serve separate purposes within the body.
However, most thoroughly researched specifically for anti-aging & mobility benefits aretypes I and IIIcollagen.
These are frequently thought to be useful for the broadest number of people who are seeking to maintain an active lifestyle well beyond their 60’s.
Type I collagen, which is the most abundant collagen naturally found in the human body, is useful for visible anti-aging benefits such as:
Getting rid of wrinkles
Skin hydration & elasticity
Wound healing, the formation of scar tissue
Reduction in cellulite, possibly even stretch marks
Moderate weight loss
Type III collagen, which is the second most prevalent collagen naturally found in the human body, is useful for physical anti-aging benefits:
Muscle, ligament & tendon strength
Restoring mobility within connective tissues
Mitigating muscle soreness, aches & pains
Bone & joint health
Gut lining & digestive health
Injury & fall prevention
Of all collagen’s health benefits, research is most certain about Type I and Type III’s ability to support ageless skin, hair, nails as well as effectively boost muscle, ligament and tendon strength to support healthy joints as well as an active lifestyle.
Therefore when choosing a collagen supplement, it’s important to ensure Type I and Type III collagen is present in the formula.
What to look for when shopping for a collagen supplement
Based on recent clinical trials, there are 3 keys to getting the absolute best results with collagen supplementation.
1.) Avoid “Multicollagen” Marketing Scams
While multicollagen supplements tend to be less expensive, there are a few key reasons why choosing bargain brand blends may not be the smartest option for meeting your daily collagen needs.
For starters, research indicates that certain collagen types should be taken together while others should be taken separately.
For example, because collagen Type II protein makes up the fluids in the cartilage and joints, Type II collagen supplements should be taken separately from Types I & III to ensure adequate absorption.*
For this reason, taking multicollagen supplements that combine all the various types of collagen into 1 serving isn’t recommended as this will blunt the absorption, hindering the body from reaping the full benefits.
Additionally, it's cheaper to source collagen fibers that don't have ample research proving their efficacy. These low-cost collagen types are often used in multicollagen supplements as fillers to mitigate manufacturing costs - ultimately yielding a far less effective supplement.
Therefore in order to experience maximum anti-aging results with collagen supplementation, use apowder that combines Types I & III - and leave out all the rest.
2.) Make Sure It's Certified Grass-Fed Collagen
If you’ve considered supplementing with collagen then you probably already know that picking a collagen source can be a bit confusing.
Bone broth collagen, bovine-collagen, chicken-collagen, marine-collagen…
With so many options to choose from - how can you decide which is the best option for you?
Here’s what you need to know about the source:
It actually doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.
While the ratio and concentration of amino acids may vary slightly from source to source, structurally, collagen is the same whether it’s coming from a cow, chicken, fish or bone broth.
The key difference maker to pay attention to isn’t the animal; it’s how the animal was cared for.
In other words, whether the collagen comes from a grass-fed, pasture-raised, cage-free, free-range, and antibiotic-free source, (or not), will have a direct impact on the absorption, effectiveness and ultimately the safety of the supplement.
Grass-fed cows are never fed any genetically modified organisms and are not exposed to growth hormone treatment (rBGH & rBST), chemicals, antibiotics, or injected pathogens. This makes grass-fed collagen one of the healthiest (and safest) protein supplements to include in your diet. It is free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and steroids.
The only way to ensure you are avoiding this risk of toxin exposure is by using a collagen supplement that is Certified Grass-Fed.
3.) Look For “Hydrolysate” On The Label
To ensure your body can easily digest and put the collagen to immediate use, make sure the supplement is fully hydrolysed collagen. When hydrolysed, collagen is carefully reduced to smaller, more digestible peptides during the manufacturing process. Studies indicate properly hydrolyzed collagen peptides are available in the bloodstream within two hours of ingestion —usually within only one hour. In other words, using a hydrolysate collagen means your body will be able to start reaping the age-defying benefits much more rapidly.
Bottom Line: If You Are Interested In Trying Collagen, Doctors Agree That It’s Important To Choose Wisely…
Consuming pure Grass-Fed, Type I & III collagen fibers that are fully hydrolysed for fast absorption will give your body a huge advantage when it comes to staving off joint pain as well as reducing visible signs of aging.
At Inner Vitality, Osteopath Sam Hewitt (Founder) has played a critical role in developing a breakthrough formula to make meeting daily collagen needs easier and more effective than ever.
The Doctor-Recommended Formula
Inner Vitality Collagen
Collagen Types I & III for Healthy Joints, Hair, Skin, Nails, Muscles, Bones & Long-Lasting Mobility
Taken together, Collagen Types I & III have been shown to help:
Rebuild bone density to help prevent falls and fractures
Strengthen joint & muscle tissue for a pain-free lifestyle
Support intestinal health for optimal immune function
Repair artery lining for improved circulation & cardiovascular health
Increase skin cell regeneration for a more youthful complexion
Enhance dermal hydration to promote healthy hair growth
Every scoop of Inner Vitality Grass-Fed Collagen is consistently formulated with 9 grams of the highest-quality grass-fed, Type I and Type III collagen which are critical for maintaining the youthful function and appearance of the skin, hair, nails, joints, bones, muscles and more.
Using an advanced hydrolysed collagen peptide formula, Inner Vitalities’s premium collagen powder allows for maximum absorption and potency.
This means it can be broken down, converted, and absorbed back into the body to rebuild joint strength, fill in fine lines and promote graceful aging much more effectively than non-hydrolysed collagen brands.
To learn more about how to replenish collagen back to youthful levels with Inner Vitality Grass-Fed Collagen, click the button below.