Collagen Peptides Benefits: What You Need to Know (2024)

Collagen peptides have come up in nutrition a lot lately. Fans swear they can do everything from improving the look of your skin to giving your joints a boost, and they’re not wrong.

While you can find collagen peptides in a range of nutrition products, these are more than a buzzy ingredient—they can offer a lot of benefits for your body and overall health.

But what’s the deal with collagen peptides, exactly, and what are the exact benefits you can get from them? Here’s what you need to know.

What are collagen peptides?

Collagen is a protein structure found in many animals and humans, explains Scott Keatley, co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. “It is mostly made of three amino acids—building blocks of protein—and makes up about a third of the total protein in our bodies,” Keatley says.

Collagen peptides “are made by breaking down whole collagen proteins into smaller pieces, called peptides,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, senior dietitian at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and author of Recipe for Survival: What You Can Do to Live a Healthier and More Environmentally Friendly Life.

The reason you might want to have collagen that's broken down? It helps your body absorb it better, Keatley explains.

Collagen peptides are usually taken as supplements in powder or capsule form.

Collagen peptides benefits

There are a lot of claims out there about the benefits of collagen peptides. Experts say these are the accurate perks you can get from taking collagen peptides.

They can help replace collagen your body loses over time.

Your body naturally creates less collagen once you hit your 30s. In fact, research shows that your body’s collagen production drops by about 1 to 1.5 percent each year. But adding collagen peptides to your diet could help replace them as you age. “We used to think that collagen couldn't be replaced, but now we know that by ingesting collagen it will help with the collagen that's lost over time,” says Vanessa Rissetto, cofounder of Culina Health.

Taking collagen peptides isn’t a guarantee to help, though “just like if you eat liver, it doesn't automatically help your liver,” Keatley says. “Collagen, like other proteins, are broken down to individuals or pairs and brought into the body,” he explains. “These amino acids can be used for just about anything, not just collagen losses. But having the specific amino acids for collagen repair available will certainly help the odds.”

They can help boost your skin.

This is one of the biggest reasons why people take collagen peptides, and there’s research to support it. One meta-analysis of placebo-controlled studies of 805 people found that those who took up to 10 grams a day of collagen had better skin elasticity and hydration after several months than those who didn’t. The researchers called the results “promising.”

"Those wrinkles and fine lines you see developing on your face—that’s a result of less collagen in the body that would otherwise keep our skin tight and plump," says Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet. Collagen peptides “may help with hydration and elasticity by supporting the collagen that is already present in the skin,” Hunnes says.
But there is a limit to how much skin benefit you can get from taking collagen peptides, Keatley says. “There is a tipping point where adding more supplement does not do anything,” he says.

They provide an easy source of protein.

Protein is an important nutrient to help you build and maintain muscle and it can also help you feel fuller, longer. Collagen gives you a source of protein that’s gentle on your stomach. “Collagen is pretty easy to break down to begin with, [but] peptides are even easier since they’re already partially broken down before you even consume them,” Hunnes says.

They can help your joint health.

Collagen can help support the connective tissue in your joints. One meta-analysis found that collagen peptides had “beneficial effects” on people with osteoarthritis and cartilage issues. Another study specifically had athletes with knee pain take five grams of collagen peptides each day for 12 weeks. The researchers found that those who took collagen peptides had less joint pain when they worked out compared to those who took a placebo.

Collagen peptides are “thought to improve the elasticity and thickness of the cartilage between joints,” Hunnes explains.

They may help support good bone health.

Your bones are mostly made of collagen, so they can weaken over time as your body’s collagen production naturally dwindles, Gans says. "This is a completely normal part of the aging process, but bone unfortunately relies on collagen for strength, so less collagen can result in decreased bone mineral density and muscle mass," she says.

Research has shown that taking collagen peptides may help treat and prevent osteoporosis. One study of 102 post-menopausal women, for example, found that those who took collagen peptides for a year had better bone mineral density than those who took a placebo.

They may help with gut health.

The research on this connection isn’t as strong as some of the others, but there is some evidence to suggest that collagen peptides may help people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). One study found that patients with IBD have trouble breaking down collagen fibers; Another study specifically found that IBD patients have less of a particular type of collagen (type 4) in their blood.

Adding collagen to your diet if you have a digestive condition may help your gut heal, Rissetto says. “Especially the marine-based collagens have been shown to reduce barrier dysfunction in the gut, which may be a cause of some inflammatory bowel disease,” Keatley says.

It could boost your heart health.

There isn’t a ton of evidence for this one, but there is some. One small study of patients who took collagen twice a day found that they had better markers of atherosclerosis, i.e. plaque in their artery walls, than at the beginning of the study.

Collagen peptides can also “provide structure to your arteries and vessels, so ingesting them can help keep these healthy and sound over time,” Rissetto says.

Overall, experts say that collagen peptides can be good for a range of people. “Everyone can benefit—people looking to get in more protein, post-menopausal women, and athletes,” Rissetto says.

Collagen Peptides Benefits: What You Need to Know (1)

Korin Miller

Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.

Collagen Peptides Benefits: What You Need to Know (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dan Stracke

Last Updated:

Views: 6415

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dan Stracke

Birthday: 1992-08-25

Address: 2253 Brown Springs, East Alla, OH 38634-0309

Phone: +398735162064

Job: Investor Government Associate

Hobby: Shopping, LARPing, Scrapbooking, Surfing, Slacklining, Dance, Glassblowing

Introduction: My name is Dan Stracke, I am a homely, gleaming, glamorous, inquisitive, homely, gorgeous, light person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.