How Much Collagen You Really Need To Be Taking In Order To Experience Results

How Much Collagen You Really Need To Be Taking In Order To Experience Results

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.

But despite the abundance of clinical evidence supporting collagen’s many benefits, a fair amount of skepticism around collagen supplementation still remains—and it’s no surprise why.

Read the review columns for any top collagen brand on Amazon and you’ll see gobs of unsatisfied collagen customers disappointedly reporting that they did not see the results they were promised.

So why is there such a contrast between what research says about collagen versus what real collagen consumers are saying?

Dr. Chad Walding, DPT, Senior Wellness Expert & NativePath co-founder says it’s due to one little-known collagen mistake.

“Perhaps the biggest reason why people fail to see results with collagen is because they aren’t using the proper dose required in order for those results to be experienced. Depending on the patients' age and the specific benefits they’re seeking, the amount of collagen needed for full results will vary.”

In the following article, Dr. Chad Walding encourages collagen skeptics to examine what the cited research says about how to reap maximum results with collagen supplementation before drawing definitive conclusions on its effectiveness.

Collagen Is Not A “One-Size-Fits-All” Supplement

With most standard multivitamin supplements, they’re typically formulated to be taken as a straightforward once-daily dose.

Collagen supplementation, on the other hand, is a bit more complex than that.

“With over 16 different known collagen fiber types, collagen users must be aware that each ‘type’ plays a different role within the body. Therefore, expecting a collagen supplement to work miracles without researching the formula first is a quick way to not have expectations met.”

In its basic form, collagen protein is made up of an ensemble of amino acids. Since digestive processes vary from person to person, there’s no guaranteeing how effectively the protein will be broken down, absorbed and utilized after it’s ingested.

Furthermore, when we look at the body's ability to benefit from collagen supplementation, there are several other often-overlooked facts about collagen that must be addressed before deciding which fiber types best suit one’s needs.

Fact #1.) Collagen Needs Will 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, hair, and nails.

Over time, the ideal levels of collagen our bodies naturally produce begin to wane each year starting in our 20’s.

Within our joints and connective tissues, this collagen decline causes the strength of our ligaments and muscles to weaken - often leading to stiffness, soreness, and chronic pain.

Collagen fibers break down or no longer regenerate, and lead to a “deflation” effect on the surface of the skin and also causes hair follicles to become brittle and fall out.

Therefore it can be concluded that the older one is, the larger their collagen deficit will be.

This means that in order to fulfill their collagen needs, older individuals 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 will need to 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 Dr. Chad Walding uses with his senior patients to effectively replenish age-related collagen loss.

Fact #2.) Collagen Results Are Benefit-Dependent

Whether you’re considering using collagen to promote hair growth, prevent balding, improve skin health or restore joint strength - the dose of collagen your body requires will vary.

Moreover, depending on age, diet and other environmental factors, you 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 realized.

Here’s a look at what the research says about how much collagen is needed based on the desired benefit:

Enhance 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.*

SUMMARY: 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.

Improve Hair Health & Slow 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.*

SUMMARY: 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.

Relieve 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.*

SUMMARY: 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.

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 favorable shift in bone markers, indicating increased bone formation and reduced bone degradation.

SUMMARY: For stronger, healthier bones, research shows that at least 12 months of daily collagen supplementation (5 grams/day) is required.

Strengthen Muscles

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.

SUMMARY: Research shows that 12 weeks of daily collagen supplementation (15 grams/day) yielded improvements in muscle mass and strength.

Promote 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.*

SUMMARY: According to research, 6 months of daily collagen supplementation (16 grams/day) was shown to elicit positive results for promoting heart health.

“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 realized.

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 Dr. Chad Walding’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.

“With collagen loading, my most successful senior patients take between 10-20 grams of collagen a day…”

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

Now that you know a bit more about how much collagen your body really needs in order to experience results, you’ll also want to know the doctor-recommended approach to getting 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), most find it unappealing or difficult to eat enough to support their body’s requirements.

Plus, the absorption is not as efficient as that of hydrolyzed collagen powder supplements. The collagen in supplements has already been broken down, or hydrolyzed, which is why it is thought to be absorbed more efficiently than the collagen in foods.

This is why supplementing with a high-quality collagen protein powder has become the preferred method for increasing collagen levels within the body. Most collagen powder supplements include a pre-dosed measuring scoop that makes adding more collagen to one’s diet seamless.

But not all collagen supplements are created equal...

“While skepticism surrounding collagen may remain for some time, there’s no denying its miraculous benefits - so long as you’re using the right formula to suit your needs.”

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 Fiber Types For Seniors

Collagen types contain different proteins which serve separate purposes within the body

However, most thoroughly researched specifically for anti-aging & mobility benefits are types I and III collagen. 

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 multicollagens 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 and function 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, many collagen fiber types that don’t have ample research backing their effectiveness are cheaper to source. 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 a powder that combines Types I & III - and leave out all the rest. 

#2.) Make sure your collagen supplement is certified grass-Fed

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 hydrolyzed collagen.

When hydrolyzed, 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 hydrolyzed 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 NativePath, Dr.Chad Walding (DTP & Co-Founder) has played a critical role in developing a breakthrough formula to make meeting daily collagen needs easier and more effective than ever.

Next article The Gut Microbiome: Where Collagen And The Immune System Meet

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Comments

Jackie Thacker - May 19, 2020

I have osteoporosis lots of pain. My bones hurts so bad I can’t get around anymore. I have permanent nerve pain in my neck. I am having stabbing needle pain in my back. Or should I say across going down my ribs. I am a mess. Please help me. Your mother story hit so close to me. I have broken my hip and keep having broken spots in my spine.

Joe Marsch - May 19, 2020

Hi Dr. thanks for your hard work. I’m a hard working carpenter of 35 years and still going strong. I started changing my diet after my brother had lost his life from massive heart attack around that time. He was 44 and I was 42. Learning how I could make a difference in my health from eating better became a big part of my free time. High cholesterol levels and heart palpitations during the night had me seeking advice from a family dr. He gave me Lipitor and sent me home with a monitor than I used during sleep and when an occurrence happened I pushed a button to record rhythm. After a month I told results in to him and it showed racing rhythms many times. He said at least it’s not slow rhythm and send me home. That’s when I started my journey of organics. I through the prescription away and started healing myself. I am 56 and feeling better than ever. My biggest complaint is my shoulder joints. I started taking marine collagen a month ago and my left shoulder is back to normal. I’m about out of the collagen and ordered yours today. I told my mom of it and will be giving her a few bottles when I receive it. Can’t Waite to see the difference in her pain and her husbands. Thanks again and may God bless you and your family.

SHANNON - May 7, 2020

I am 82, broke hip 5 months ago, ordered collagen today and plan to take 5 grams daily. I can tell that I really need it very soon.

eunice sieger - May 7, 2020

Hi Dr. Chad, I finish one bottle and have seen improvement in my health. I was given an antibiotic that did me bad, with my bowels and a uti. I went thru 5 antibiotics trying to cure the uti. It ruin my gut. It was dead. Nothing I ate tasted good. They gave me Cipro which took it all away. I couldn’t get my walking right. I hung on to the walls and furniture. Your Collagen has help me tremendously. My stomach still isn’t right yet but I will be trying something I found called Enzymes. I contacted Dr. Zepf in Colorado and she sent me phase 1. I just got in the mail. I am anxious to try this out for my gut. Hope this doesn’t interfere with the collagen. I have gone to the outside to get help by that I mean you and the other doctor. I could go on and on about this but I won’t. I just wanted you to know why I am trying what I can to help myself. I understand what your mom went thru and so glad you could help her like you did. I know you have other products but I just want to conquer the problem I have at the moment. I live on a tight budget. I am in debt to the other doctor so I don’t want to add to my debt. Thank you.

eunice sieger - May 7, 2020

Hello Dr. Chad, I have finish 1 jar and have seen some improvement in my health. I was given a medication and was give

Teresa (Tess) - May 7, 2020

I am looking forward to taking this formula and I feel it’s going to help me a lot. I am an Aesthetician, Electrologist, and an almost Massage therapist. In my seniors years, I going to need this. I have two hip replacements and neck fusion and this should help me as well. Also, I do take vitamins and good ones and bio-identical as well that are made with a certain machine. Believe me, they helped me a lot and help me sleep better. I feel with these combinations and I will really be a new woman. Thanks for sharing, I cannot wait to get started.

Rose Khalsa - May 7, 2020

I just ordered three cans.
Hope it helps.
My husband and I are 66.
How much should we use a day?
Rose

Olivia Cruz-Abell - May 7, 2020

I saw the article about your mom, and how you helped her. I was an active senior, who traveled extensively. I’m a widow of a career Marine. We were married for 43 yrs, before he succumbed to the chemical Agent Orange while on combat in Vietnam.I’m a victim of both age, and color of skin. I had a little pain on a small spot on my right knee, “just” from one position, from sitting to standing, otherwise I
had no problem walking, This was in the Spring 2018. I went to see my doctor, he took x-rays, and referred me to an orthopaedic doctor for a cortisone injection.. According to my doctor I had arthritis, reason for the slight pain. The orthopaedic doctor had x-rays taken of both knees. He said that both my knees are bone to bone, and my only “option”, a total knee replacement. I was not informed what was a total knee replacement. I asked him if he could I can have the cortisone injection. He refused, re-enforcing, my “only option” was a TKR. There was no doctor – patient relationship. He told me if I wanted him to do the surgery, I can schedule it with his scheduler on my way out. I had to asked him if he have a model that he can show me as to the surgery. He got a model of the knee, and causally told me he was going to insert a metal on the center of the knee cap. That’s all I was told. My foot was hurting rather bad, but I didn’t mention it to my in-home physical therapist. I assumed it was part of the recovery from surgery. I started my out patient physical therapy, the 5th week after surgery. I mentioned my concern about the bottom of my right foot, being so painful, shooting pain, electric shock, feel swollen, hot. My PT asked me when was my post surgical appt. with the surgeon. He said I should see him sooner, he believe I’ve got some injury to the tibial nerve. I saw the orthopaedic doctor for my post surgical appointment. I told him about my concern with the pain, swelling, shooting pain, electric shock.on the bottom of my right foot. He said, it was just a bruise. I asked him if he can take a look at my foot for it was swollen. He continued to work with his computer. He said, he’ll see me next week. He never looked at my surgical knee if it’s healing properly, or sign of infection. I came back to see him the following week. I asked him again if he can “please” take a look at my foot. He mentioned it was just a bruise. I asked him if he can tell me where is the bruise, and what does a bruise meant, for I can’t see any bruise. He said, all he can do is prescribe Gabapentin, and he hope it’ll help me for he does not perform miracle. He walk out the room leaving me emotional shaken. Never took a look at my wound if it’s healing properly.. He said, I’ll see you in 6 months, and walked out the door. I never went back to see him. My provider had referred me to, two physiatrist. The first physiatrist did a test, she asked if I had a nerve block shot for surgery. I did, three very painful ones. I didn’t get to meet the anastisologist before surgery, nor the surgeon. I was wheeled into the OR, a gentleman “told” me to sit up. He never identified himself, or his position. He draped his shoulders with a towel and told me to put my hands on his shoulders, and squeeze as hard as I need to. I can sensed there where two individuals behind me. I assumed two anastisologists. Never have I ever experienced anything like it before, and I’ve had a cervical fusion, Lumbar surgery, and hesterectomy. I met the anastislogist, told me what form of anastisia I was getting, I get to talk to the surgeons before surgery, not so with the “unnecessary” TKR that I’ve suffering for almost 2 years now. I was not comfortable not knowing who administered the nerve block injection. Oh, when the anastisalogist give me those three shot, I was not told anything as I sat on the gurney, or bed in the OR. He asked if I feel numbness going down my leg. None. A total of three very, very painful injection was administered each time asking me if I feel numbness going down my leg. no prepping, just a painful injections without letting me know what they were doing. I’m being council in home, saw a physocoligist, a Chaplin. I attempted to end my life once, I can’t hardly bare the pain to this day. I’ve seen 5 anastisialogists, 12 epidural injections, pain management doctor, none of the injections helped. I’ve been prescribed, Gabapentin, Fentanyl, Opiods, none of them ease the pain. Severe muscle spasms keep me in fear of falling asleep. Developed a fear of OR/ER/Hospitals/darkness. I obtained the names of the anastisalogists, One had been practicing for 16 years, the 2nd name is a Certified Registered nurse anastiasts. I believed I was taking advantage bcs of age, and I sensed a strong feeling of being set apart bcs of skin color. I tried not to go there, for I didn’t grow up in such inviorment. On Guam, we don’t know a stranger, but after being here due to my husband’s duty as a head recruiter of a very large district, the Marine Corps kept him here for seven years. At one point we had to sell our home. It was written on the wall, we weren’t welcome, between my husband and his military uniform, driving a U.S. Government vehicle, we both knew the Vietnam Veterans were the “Forgotten Ones”.It was written on the wall. I tried to let it roll down my back, and my husband to be to thicken my skin, for there are alot of ignorant people who aren’t exposed to other culture. I can handle those things, even being snob in church, but now it’s my health. They’ve taken away my independence. I live in agonizing pain. Walking is very challenging, it affect my equalibrium. I live alone, and this is the time where I need my health. This is not living, it’s just exsisting. My daughter live out of state, my son and his family live about half an hour from me. Both of them are traumatize by my injury. They saw me being went from someone that loves to get behind the wheel, and drive cross country. Traveling is one of my passion. House chores has become very challenging, and being on a fix income, I can’t afford outside help. My life of independence no longer exist. This is not living, it’s just exisiting. It hurts that the orthopaedic surgeon stated in my medical record that I was told about the risks either by him or his P/A. That was not true. I tried to seek justice for my injuries both physical, mental, emotional for the last year two years. I can’t get an attorney to talk to me. I was immediately told, I have no case. It’s depressing to the point that I don’t want to go on. I’ve never seen the inside of an ambulance until I had this surgery. Chad, thank you for allowing me to vent my feelings out. I feel so alone, and helpless. I believe there are laws for the wealthy. I came from a humble, Christian family, whose father was the first one to be slaughtered by the Imperial Japanese soldiers when they invaded our island simultaneously with Pearl Harbor, Haw"aii. leaving my mother to raised 6 boys, 3 girls. Hard times in concentrations camps, my mother had to carry me, and marched from one camp to another that according to her, could take 2/3 days. I’m thankful that I was raised with a loving hard working mother. It molded me into the person that I am today. Once again, thank you for letting me write this lengthy comment. I am looking forward for the Collagen. I pray it’ll help me. Too many doctors, injections, medications. I’m grasping for straws. All The Best..Olivia

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