Collagen Protein Is a Waste of Cash, Science Says


Key Takeaways

Collagen is the principle element of your physique’s connective tissues, which implies it’s the first constructing block of many bodily elements, together with your pores and skin, tooth, cartilage, bones, and tendons.
The primary purpose folks take collagen protein is to replenish their physique’s collagen shops and thereby enhance their joint, pores and skin, and hair well being and enhance muscle development and restoration.
Sadly, collagen protein is little greater than a low-quality meals that possible doesn’t supply any particular advantages.

Previously few years, collagen protein has turn into a glittering moneymaker.

Based on some, it’s the brand new fish oil, what with its lengthy checklist of advantages for almost each main a part of your well being and physiology.

The most well-liked claims embody . . .

And if none of that tickles your processors, then perhaps you’d be taken with boosting immunity, making your hair prettier, and enhancing your digestion?

However, collagen protein detractors say that the advantages are misrepresented, overblown, or flat out false. You recognize, like most dietary supplements.

Who’s proper? Properly, the brief reply is that this:

Collagen protein is mainly rubbish—actually and figuratively.

Whereas some types of collagen can assist your joints, most, are nothing greater than low-quality however extremely worthwhile fodder for complement shysters to separate folks from extra of their money.

And on this article, you’re going to study why.

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What Is Collagen Protein?

Collagen is a protein that serves because the important element of your physique’s connective tissues, which implies it’s the first constructing block of many bodily elements, together with your pores and skin, tooth, cartilage, bones, and tendons.

The collagen present in collagen protein dietary supplements comes from the connective tissues of varied animals, together with cows, chickens, and fish. There are over 37 totally different sorts of collagen in animals, as properly, and they are often categorized into differing kinds (sort l, sort ll, sort lll, and so forth.) primarily based on their particular amino acid make-up and the place they’re discovered within the animal’s physique.

For instance . . .

Kind I collagen is probably the most plentiful sort of collagen within the human physique, and it’s current in scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, pores and skin, bones, and extra.
Kind II collagen protects joints towards harm and helps protect their operate.
Kind lll collagen helps varied organs such because the liver and bone marrow in addition to tissues within the lymphatic system.

Now, most collagen protein dietary supplements come as a tasteless powder that appears like this:

collagen protein source

And most are fabricated from a mixture of several types of collagen extracted from beef pores and skin, rooster and fish bones, or byproducts of meals processing like egg shells or intestines.

What Are the Advantages of Collagen Protein?

Based on varied “gurus,” and “specialists,” collagen protein helps forestall or heal every kind of minor to extreme well being points, together with:

Joint ache
Wrinkles and sagging pores and skin
Brittle hair and nails
Infections of every kind
Leaky intestine syndrome
And extra.

Some folks additionally devour collagen protein as a result of they consider it’ll assist them construct muscle and get better sooner from their exercises.

As an alternative of exhaustively analyzing the entire claims made about collagen protein, let’s have a look at what the proof has to say concerning the three most typical promoting factors.

Collagen Protein and Joint Well being and Perform

Based on collagen hypesters, all it takes is a pair scoops of collagen protein in your day by day smoothie, espresso, or protein shake, and also you’ll be properly in your strategy to having fun with considerably more healthy, quieter, much less painful joints.

The most well-liked rationalization for this nearly miraculous feat goes like this:

As you age, your joints (and different connective tissues) steadily lose collagen at a charge of round 1 to 2% per 12 months after age 30.

This collagen must be changed if you wish to stay sprightly, and the best and handiest means to do that is consuming collagen protein. This fashion, your derelict, broken, and collagen-depleted joints can revitalize themselves by absorbing the brand new, pristine collagen molecules you’re gulping down day-after-day.

A research usually trotted out in help of this was carried out by scientists at Penn State College the place researchers cut up 147 faculty athletes with joint ache into two teams:

Group one consumed 10 mg of collagen protein dissolved in 25 ml of water day-after-day.
Group two consumed roughly the identical quantity of xanthan gum (a type of fiber) dissolved in the identical quantity of water day-after-day.

Each teams adopted this protocol for six months, and each earlier than and after the therapy interval, the scientists estimated the athletes’ joint well being by recording a number of knowledge factors:

What number of athletes had been taking painkillers or anti-inflammatory medication (an indicator of how a lot joint ache they had been experiencing)
What number of confirmed indicators of joint harm and to what diploma
Which joints harm and the way a lot

On the finish of the research, there was no distinction between the teams by way of joint harm or anti-inflammatory or painkiller utilization, however when the topics had been requested to charge their stage of joint ache whereas performing totally different actions, the group taking collagen protein reported that they had barely much less ache than the group taking the placebo.

Hardly something to put in writing house about, and particularly when you think about the next:

The outcomes weren’t spectacular. The group that consumed collagen protein skilled barely much less joint ache than the group consuming the placebo. Moreover, on many of the exams the researchers did, neither group fared higher than the opposite.
The research was funded by Gelita Well being, which makes and in addition equipped the collagen protein used within the research. Whereas this doesn’t routinely invalidate the outcomes, it’s an apparent purple flag. Unsurprisingly, almost the entire most optimistic research on collagen protein—of which there aren’t many—had been funded by firms who produce and promote it.
There was no group within the research that took a extra highly effective, well-researched drug or complement for joint ache, like ibuprofen or curcumin, to determine the actual magnitude of the collagen protein’s advantages. And primarily based on its comparatively anemic efficiency right here, it’s possible that collagen protein would’ve been left within the mud by one thing already confirmed to work.

So, consider it or not, that’s the strongest scientific proof at present obtainable that collagen protein can assist with joint ache. There are a handful of different research on the matter, however they endure from comparable methodological flaws and easily can’t be taken critically.

You recognize what there’s much more proof of, although? That collagen protein does mainly nothing on your joints.

To grasp why it is advisable first perceive how collagen protein is digested by the physique.

As you realized a second in the past, collagen is a protein, and whenever you eat it, it’s digested and absorbed like every other protein.

That’s, it’s damaged down into particular person amino acids, a few of that are used to create collagen within the physique, a few of that are burned for power, and a few of that are used to make many different issues like hormones, tissues, cells, and so forth.

In different phrases, most types of collagen protein are processed in the identical means as protein from peas, beef, rooster, or whey, and by the point the amino acids they comprise enter your bloodstream, they’re indistinguishable from amino acids from every other meals.

(There’s one notable exception, which we’ll get to in a minute.)

This alone explains why consuming collagen protein doesn’t essentially improve the quantity of collagen in your joints. Most sorts of collagen protein present the physique with amino acids that will or is probably not changed into collagen in your joints, relying on many alternative physiological elements.

On this means, most types of collagen protein are not any extra conducive to joint well being and performance than every other sort of protein.

Furthermore, even when all types of collagen might make their means by way of your digestive system intact, there’s nonetheless no assure it could enhance joint well being as a result of there’s no telling whether or not the collagen molecules can be used to revive cartilage, tendons, and ligaments or for different functions, like creating glucose or setting up cells.

No research have been completed to research this, however primarily based on what we learn about human physiology, it’s unlikely that infusing our blood with collagen molecules would assist our joints.

The quantity of collagen in your physique at any given time is basically dictated by your age, exercise ranges, and genetics, and it’s wishful considering that simply dumping collagen molecules into our blood would have an effect on this to a significant diploma.

One other declare usually made by collagen crooks is by ingesting a particular mix of collagens, you possibly can heal achy joints by “activating the collagen receptors in your physique.”

Or not.

Whereas it’s true that many cells have collagen receptors, they reply to the collagen naturally produced throughout the physique—not animal collagen that you just’ve eaten, which is usually damaged down into amino acids anyway. Consuming a number of sorts of collagen doesn’t change this, both, as most are damaged down in the identical means.

“However wait,” I hear a scumbag someplace mendacity, “that’s why you want my patent perpetually pending hydrolyzed collagen protein!”

Unsuitable once more.

Protein comprises lengthy, interlocked chains of amino acids, and hydrolyzation is a course of that breaks these chains into shorter ones. In different phrases, hydrolyzation “pre-digests” protein for you, which permits your physique to digest and take up it sooner.

This doesn’t change the truth that hydrolyzed proteins of any form are changed into amino acids earlier than being launched into the bloodstream, nevertheless.

The truth is, you can argue that since hydrolyzed protein is already partially digested, and requires much less work to transform into amino acids, it’s even much less more likely to survive digestion intact than non-hydrolyzed collagen protein.  

All of that is possible why a report written by researchers for the European Meals Security Authority concluded that “a trigger and impact relationship has not been established between the consumption of collagen hydrolysate and upkeep of joints.”

Right here’s another excuse to snort at hydrolyzed collagen protein powders: Gelatin, one of many least expensive, most generally obtainable meals components, is simply hydrolyzed collagen. One other identify for gelatin is collagen hydrolysate, which is simply one other means of claiming hydrolyzed protein.

So, on the entire, collagen protein is a dud for enhancing joint well being. There’s, nevertheless, a type of collagen that helps joints, and it’s referred to as undenatured sort ll collagen, also called UC-ll, which is what we use in our joint complement, Fortify.

Analysis reveals this sort of collagen, partially survives digestion and is ready to exert optimistic results on joint tissues.

The way it does this, nevertheless, isn’t what you’d count on. As an alternative of rebuilding broken joints and replenishing misplaced collagen, undenatured sort ll collagen minimizes a pure however undesirable immune response within the physique that steadily eats away our joint cartilage over time (a course of referred to as arthritis).

Research present that undenatured sort II collagen accomplishes this by “educating” the immune system to cease attacking the proteins in joint cartilage, which in flip can considerably enhance joint well being and performance and reduce and even remove ache and swelling.

In different phrases, undenatured sort II collagen permits your physique to acknowledge its personal joint collagen as a protected substance that doesn’t should be destroyed. And the very best half about sort II collagen dietary supplements is that these results have been demonstrated in folks with wholesome joints along with these with joint issues.

That is important as a result of it makes undenatured sort II collagen one of many solely dietary supplements identified to assist protect joint well being and performance (versus simply treating joints which can be already broken and dysfunctional).

That mentioned, there’s nonetheless little or no analysis on undenatured sort ll collagen, and it’s nonetheless unclear simply how useful it’s for various sorts of joint situations and accidents.

It does have a major draw back as properly: it’s extraordinarily costly. For this reason most collagen dietary supplements, together with collagen protein, both comprise no undenatured sort ll collagen or so little that it’d as properly comprise none.

An excellent rule of thumb: If the components of a complement don’t particularly checklist undenatured sort ll collagen, the product doesn’t comprise any, and if it does however doesn’t present an quantity, assume it’s a negligible dose.

If you wish to study extra about undenatured sort ll collagen, take a look at this text:

The Definitive Information to Collagen Dietary supplements

Abstract: Collagen protein dietary supplements received’t enhance joint well being or cut back joint ache, and the one sort of collagen that may assist your joints—undenatured sort ll collagen—usually isn’t included in collagen protein dietary supplements as a result of it’s very costly.

Collagen Protein and Pores and skin, Hair, and Nail Well being

collagen peptides benefitscollagen peptides benefits

Collagen protein is commonly offered as a magnificence product, and right here’s the everyday spiel:

We lose 1 to 2% of our physique’s collagen per 12 months, which makes our pores and skin, hair, and nails ugly, dry, and brittle, and supplementing with collagen protein boosts our physique’s collagen ranges and thereby reverses these results and makes us look prettier.

The primary downside is what we touched on earlier: Nearly the entire collagen you possibly can devour is broken- down into amino acids earlier than it ever will get an opportunity to work together together with your hair, pores and skin, or nails.

Thus, there’s no purpose to consider that collagen protein would beautify you greater than every other sort of protein, and no research have proven this to be the case.

That doesn’t imply that entrepreneurs don’t have research to bandy about, nevertheless. Individuals promoting collagen protein usually refer to some research that appear to point out outcomes, however whenever you look beneath the hood, you rapidly understand it’s simply extra chicanery.

As an illustration, two research generally cited are one carried out by scientists at Minerva Analysis Labs and one other carried out by scientists at Worldwide Analysis Providers. Should you merely learn the abstracts of those papers, you’d in all probability conclude that consuming collagen protein for eight to 12 weeks can lower the looks of dry pores and skin, flaking, traces, and wrinkles and improve the collagen and moisture content material of your pores and skin. 

As anticipated, nevertheless, there are some main issues with this analysis. Particularly . . .

1. Neither of the research had been blinded.

In each circumstances, the researchers and the topics knew precisely who was consuming what, which all however ensures the outcomes had been influenced a minimum of considerably by the placebo impact. That is particularly possible on this research, because the outcomes had been primarily based on principally subjective opinions about how the contributors’ pores and skin regarded.

2. Each of the research had been funded by the businesses that manufacture the collagen protein used (Minerva Analysis Labs Ltd. and BioCell Expertise, LLC.).

Moreover, in each circumstances the scientists conducting the analysis had been employed by the businesses, which raises severe questions on researcher bias.

For instance, within the research carried out by Minerva Analysis Labs, their Analysis and Growth Supervisor, Thane Aung, was concerned within the course of. He was allowed to assist however wasn’t listed as one of many authors. As an alternative, his identify was hidden on the backside of the paper within the acknowledgments part, nearly like they didn’t need anybody to note it was there . . .


Possibly it’s as a result of Thane’s additionally concerned in Minerva’s PR and advertising and marketing, as evidenced by this puff piece on collagen the place he claims that “Our pores and skin will get thinner and drier and replenishing it’s the solely strategy to get wholesome, young-looking pores and skin. We are able to get collagen, a protein, from fish and it helps hair, pores and skin and even our temper.”

No, no, that will be a unclean conspiracy idea, and everybody is aware of that conspiracies not often occur and most everybody in every single place nearly at all times acts as truthfully and straightforwardly as possible- regardless of the exercise or stakes.

three. In each of the research, the researchers used some doubtful strategies and instruments to measure the looks and collagen and moisture content material of the topics’ pores and skin.

For instance, enhancements in pores and skin look had been primarily based on subjective assessments by the researchers (“her pores and skin appears higher, doesn’t it?”), and collagen and moisture content material was measured utilizing a machine that’s usually used for measuring melanin content material. The machine isn’t accepted for evaluating collagen and moisture, and there’s no analysis displaying it’s a dependable strategy to do both of this stuff.

Individually, any of those factors can be causes for skepticism, and when taken collectively, it makes it laborious to take both of those research critically.

Abstract: There’s no legitimate proof that collagen protein improves pores and skin, hair, or nail well being, and no purpose to assume it could.

Collagen Protein and Muscle Constructing

muscle building

muscle building

The very best forms of protein for constructing muscle are people who comprise an abundance of important amino acids, notably leucine, and are digested and absorbed properly.

Important amino acids are amino acids that may’t be produced by the physique, in order that they have to be obtained from the meals you eat.

Most important amino acids, equivalent to lysine, methionine, and histidine, are key constructing blocks of muscle proteins, and leucine is exclusive in that it additionally instantly stimulates muscle protein synthesis—the formation of recent muscle proteins.

In different phrases, leucine is especially good at kickstarting your physique’s muscle-building equipment, so to talk, and for this reason high-leucine meals equivalent to beef, poultry, fish, and dairy are thought of finest for constructing muscle.

When evaluating a protein by way of its muscle-building advantages, then, the very first thing to have a look at is its amino acid profile. If it’s excessive in important amino acids and leucine specifically, then it’s in all probability going to be good for constructing muscle.

The subsequent factor to think about is how properly the protein is digested and absorbed. Whereas that is harder to measure, animal proteins are usually simpler to digest and take up whereas plant proteins are usually much less so.

Collagen protein, nevertheless, is a uncommon exception to this rule. Whereas it’s simple to digest and take up, its amino acid profile is severely missing in important amino acids vital for muscle acquire.

The three major amino acids in collagen protein are glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, none of that are important amino acids or are required or useful for muscle constructing.

Moreover, collagen is about 2.7% leucine by weight, whereas beef protein is round eight% leucine by weight, and whey protein is about 10% leucine by weight.

Collagen profiteers would possibly retort that muscle comprises collagen, nevertheless, and for this reason collagen protein can assist maximize muscle development.

To bolster their case, they could additionally consult with a research carried out by scientists on the College of Freiburg that has made the rounds on the Web.

Researchers divided 60 males aged 65 years or older who had skilled substantial muscle loss previously three to 4 years into two teams:

Group one consumed 15 grams of collagen protein per day.
Group two consumed 15 grams of silicon dioxide, a protected meals additive that appears just like collagen protein however passes by way of the digestive system intact.

All the contributors adopted a full-body resistance coaching program that concerned three one-hour exercises per week for 12 weeks. They had been instructed to drink the collagen protein (or placebo) inside one hour of their exercises on their coaching days and at roughly the identical time they’d usually end their exercises on their off days.

On the finish of the research, scientists discovered the group that consumed collagen protein day-after-day gained about 25% extra muscle and misplaced about 30% extra physique fats.

That makes for a neat headline and horny gross sales pitch, however there’s truly no purpose to get too excited over these outcomes. Right here’s why:

1. Each teams had been possible consuming little or no protein to start out with.

We don’t understand how a lot protein contributors had been consuming earlier than the research (downside), however we do know one of many major causes of muscle loss within the aged is low protein and calorie consumption.

And whereas consuming an extra 15 grams of protein per day might not look like sufficient to make a distinction, it might need been sufficient to tip the steadiness in favor of the group consuming collagen protein. As an illustration, if the collagen group’s common protein consumption was simply 60 grams per day, bumping it as much as 75 grams per day is a 25% improve.

2. Each teams had been severely under-muscled and thus primed for muscle acquire.

This could additional enlarge the advantages of the collagen group’s improve in protein consumption.

three. This is among the solely research obtainable demonstrating any such advantages, and it’s completely potential that future research might not produce the identical outcomes.

Let’s additionally not overlook this: collagen protein doesn’t infuse your muscle mass with collagen. As an alternative, it infuses your blood with amino acids that will or is probably not used to create collagen or muscle tissue—amino acids that may be obtained from every other supply of protein as properly.

Abstract: Collagen protein isn’t a great supply of protein for constructing muscle as a result of it’s low in important amino acids—and leucine specifically—in comparison with different, a lot tastier and extra reasonably priced meals like beef, fish, rooster, and whey protein.

Collagen Protein Is Sizzling Rubbish

collagen protein pillscollagen protein pills


It’s a red-hot moneymaker that’s produced by boiling down, filtering, and drying the connective tissue, bones, toes, and different collagen-rich elements of animals which were discarded after butchering or processing—stuff that will in any other case be changed into animal feed, pet meals, or fertilizer.

And guess what which means? Margins, child!

Collagen protein is each dust low cost to make and in excessive demand by customers (who’ve been misled into wanting it) and thus extraordinarily worthwhile, and that’s why so many “gurus” and “specialists” have hopped onto the collagen protein bandwagon and intend on driving it till the wheels fall off.

To wit, folks spent about $100 million on collagen protein dietary supplements and meals in 2017, and specialists count on that quantity to surpass $250 million by 2021.

If that sounds a bit cynical to you, properly, welcome to the complement trade, which is brimful of cheats, charlatans, and crazies perpetrating all method of shams and scams to scratch their eternally itchy palms.

That’s why I’m the man who sells dietary supplements but additionally recurrently tells folks issues like . . .

You don’t want dietary supplements in anyway. You may attain all of your well being and health objectives with food plan and train alone.
No quantity of drugs or powders are going to alter your life. Dietary supplements are supplemental by definition and might by no means exchange the necessity for correct consuming and exercising.
Most of the hottest dietary supplements in the marketplace do completely nothing and aren’t definitely worth the bottles they’re offered in.

If you wish to study extra about what’s incorrect with the complement trade and what I’m doing in another way, click on right here.

Abstract: Collagen protein is a rip-off. It’s a low-quality protein complement that doesn’t work as marketed, and the first causes it’s so fashionable are it’s low cost to supply and straightforward to market.

The Backside Line on Collagen Protein

Collagen is a protein that serves as the principle element of your physique’s connective tissues, which implies it’s the first constructing block of many bodily elements, together with your pores and skin, tooth, cartilage, bones, and tendons.

Most individuals take collagen in hopes that it’ll:

Enhance their joint well being and cut back joint ache
Enhance the looks and well being of their pores and skin, hair, and nails
Increase their muscle development and restoration

Most pitches for collagen protein revolve across the declare that the physique loses collagen at a charge of about 1 to 2% per 12 months after round age 30, and this causes myriad issues within the physique together with joint degeneration and ache, dry, unhealthy, and unattractive pores and skin, hair, and nails, and impaired muscle development and restoration.

By consuming collagen protein, nevertheless, you possibly can supposedly replenish your physique’s collagen shops and mitigate and even reverse lots of these situations.

That is horseshit.

Whereas a particular sort of collagen not often ever present in collagen protein dietary supplements (undenatured sort ll collagen peptides) can enhance joint well being and performance, collagen protein can’t.

There’s additionally no sturdy proof collagen protein can enhance pores and skin, hair, or nail well being, and no purpose to assume it could.

And satirically, collagen protein is among the worst proteins for constructing muscle as a result of it’s low in important amino acids—and leucine specifically—in comparison with different, a lot tastier and extra reasonably priced meals and dietary supplements like beef, rooster, and whey protein.

The explanation so many individuals are speaking about collagen protein nowadays has nothing to do with its supposed deserves and every little thing to do with its monetary benefits. It’s low cost to supply and package deal and straightforward to promote at a premium, and that makes it irresistible for carpetbaggers who’d steal the pennies off a lifeless man’s eyes.

In different phrases, collagen protein is an out-and-out rip-off. Don’t purchase it and don’t observe the recommendation of anybody who says you must.

The one sort of collagen value swallowing is undenatured sort ll collagen, which, by the best way, is what you’ll discover in my joint well being complement, Fortify (together with three different components confirmed to enhance joint well being: curcumin, grape seed extract, and Boswellia serrata extract).

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