Side Effects Of Taking Collagen Supplements: What To Know

collagen supplement side effects

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Did you the collagen supplement market in North America was valued at $928.1 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2026?  Obviously, people have discovered the powerful benefits of collagen, but what about the side effects of taking collagen supplements?

In this article, we'll talk about what to expect regarding collagen and how you can lessen any negative side effects of taking collagen supplements.

Importantly, we recommend consulting with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, including collagen.

Let's get started!

What Exactly is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in women's and men's bodies.

Actually, it's often called the 'glue' or 'scaffolding' that holds the body together.

This abundant protein appears everywhere, especially in your skin.

But it also appears elsewhere in your body such as in:

  • Cartilage (cushioning between joints)
  • Nails
  • Hair
  • Bones
  • Muscles
  • Arteries
  • Gut
  • Eyes
  • Organs

What is collagen made from?

It's a combination of amino acids (glycine, proline and hydroxyproline) which are then synthesized by vitamin C and zinc.

Finally, collagen supplements primarily come from cows/cattle (bovine), chicken and fish (marine).

The supplements can come in capsules, powder, liquid and even collagen protein bars!

Believe it or not, collagen powder supplements can also be vegan! The best vegan collagen supplements don't contain any animal protein.

Actually, the ingredients are designed to help the body create new collagen.

We have reviewed the best vegan collagen-boosting supplements, so check that article too.

The Health Benefits of Collagen

First, you'll need to know that once you start approaching your 30s, your body's natural collagen production begins to drop.

Not only that, but you may have participated during your life in activities like eating an unhealthy diet, smoking, stress or too much sun, all of which can damage existing collagen.

After hitting 30, what happens is that your skin loses elasticity and hydration. This double whammy causes the skin to forms wrinkles and fine lines, joints start to ache, hair starts to fall out and becomes dull, nails become brittle and bones, the gut becomes crankier and arteries become weaker.

Certainly, the health benefits of collagen can be gained through eating nutritious food. However, today's modern diet doesn't tend to provide as much collagen and important amino acids your body needs.

As a result, many people add hydrolyzed collagen peptides supplements derived from animals and fish, and also bone broth, into their daily routines.

The benefits of collagen include:

  • Softening of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Stronger hair and nails
  • Sturdier bones and arteries
  • Improved gut health

The Side Effects of Taking Collagen Supplements

Collagen supplements are believed to be generally safe. Most people can take them without any problems.

However, there are some who do experience side effects from taking collagen. 

These are the most common collagen supplement side effects that may be experienced:

  • An uncomfortable feeling of fullness and bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Allergic reaction to collagen source (fish, beef, chicken)

(As always, check labels of any collagen supplement or food product to be clear on what's included in the ingredient list.)

In rarer instances, some may experience a rash or dizziness.

Avoiding the Side Effects of Collagen Supplements

If you really want to take collagen supplements and find you're experiencing side effects, then you may try these strategies to get your body to better adapt:

Start Slowly

When starting any new supplement, best practice is to start slowly. Lower the recommended dosage and build up from there, noting if you experience any side effects.

Adjust Dosage

Maybe the full, recommended dosage is too much for your body. You should feel comfortable with a dosage that works best for your body or perhaps not take it every day.

Take at Different Times of the Day

Some people do better taking their collagen supplement before bedtime. 

Actually, the amino acid proline, which is a big part of collagen protein, is known to help with sleep quality.

Try Vegan Collagen-Boosting Supplements

If you have an allergy to meat or fish or have side effects from collagen powder supplements derived from animals, you may want to try plant-based vegan supplements.

Vegan supplements are designed to help your body to naturally create and increase collagen production.

Click on image to learn more

Sip on Bone Broth

Bone broth is rich in the amino acids that make up collagen protein.

Also, bone broth includes collagen protein and may be easier on your system.

Eat Collagen-Friendly Foods

A diet rich in nutritious foods, especially rich in vitamin C, is another excellent way to maintain and increase collagen production.


The use of collagen supplements has been on the rise. Because of the promise of collagen, it's expected to continue to be a popular natural supplement.

It should be noted, we always recommend consulting with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.

Although generally well-tolerated, collagen supplements may produce uncomfortable side effects such as a feeling of fullness, a bad taste in the mouth, heartburn or even an allergic reaction.

Before giving up on collagen supplements, you can try to start taking the supplement slowly, adjust dosages accordingly, take at a different time of the day, sip on bone broth instead and, of course, eat nutritious foods.

The anti-aging and other benefits of collagen are definitely worth a try!