There's a Lot to Know About Collagen. Here Are 16 Fast Facts

Written by Claire Hannum

Updated on November 24, 2023

Nothing boosts your morning coffee or tea like a healthy dose of collagen. Collagen is a building block of your bones, skin, muscles, and more, and supplementing with it can keep you radiant and glowing day after day. Want to know more before taking the plunge? These 16 facts might surprise you…

  1. Without proper collagen supplementation, your collagen levels will decline by 50% by the age of 60 (1).
  2. Starting in your 20s, your natural collagen production begins to decline by 1% each year (2).
  3. Collagen makes up one-third of your body's protein, 75% of your skin, and 90% of your bones (34).
  4. The most abundant "types" of collagen in the body are Types 1 and 3. Type 1 collagen makes up 85 to 90% of your body’s collagen (56).
  5. The structure of collagen was first discovered in 1954 by scientist Gopalasamudram Narayana Ramachandran (7).
  6. Collagen is found in the skin, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, intestinal lining, and blood vessels (8).
  7. Collagen comes from the Greek word "colla", meaning glue. Because of this, collagen is often referred to as the glue that holds your body together (910).
  8. Hydrolyzed collagen (AKA collagen peptides) is collagen that’s been broken down into peptides. This makes it easier for the body to digest and absorb (11).
  9. Certain foods like bone broth, salmon, chicken, citrus, berries, beans, garlic, egg whites, and leafy greens can help increase collagen production (12).
  10. Topical skin creams containing collagen don't work.
  11. Collagen peptide supplements help reduce joint pain, increase bone density, fill fine lines and wrinkles, promote heart health, strengthen nails, boost hair growth, and potentially boost muscle mass (13).
  12. Collagen decreases faster when a person’s lifestyle includes UV exposure, smoking, air pollution, and unhealthy eating habits (141516171819).
  13. Exercise can improve your collagen levels. When you work out, oxygen, vitamins, and nutrients are delivered directly to the skin cells that create collagen. Collagen sets the tone for how smooth your skin is, so an exercise-fueled boost will amp up your glow (2021).
  14. Combining Type 2 collagen with Type 1 and 3 will counteract the collagen’s positive health effects. It’s okay to take Type 1 and 3 together, but if you also want to take Type 2, you should do it at a separate time of the day (2223).
  15. There are about 5 grams of collagen in one cup of organic bone broth (24).
  16. The ideal amount of collagen to take per day is 20 to 40 grams (2526). (Your personal dose may be slightly different based on your goals, age, and lifestyle, but 20 to 40 grams is the dose we recommend for most people.)
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Claire Hannum
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Claire Hannum

Claire Hannum is a New York City-based writer, editor, wellness seeker, and reiki practitioner. Her writing has appeared in Self, Health, Prevention, and over a dozen other publications.

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NativePath has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

    Medical Disclaimer

    This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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