Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is found in connective tissue, blood vessels, muscles and skin, and makes up about 30% of the body’s proteins. It provides the strength and elasticity to keep all these crucial parts of our body strong and effective.
However, as we age the amount of protein in our bodies reduces. By the age of 40 we can have lost as much as 20% of our collagen. This is what slows us down, makes our joints ache and our skin wrinkle and sag. Collagen supplements are designed to increase the amount of collagen in your body and provide you with several anti-ageing and general health benefits.
Once you dig into the supplements available you will soon realise that there are so many options it’s hard to know what to choose. Let’s go through the things you need to know about them and get you started with our selection of the best available in the UK.
How do collagen supplements work?
Adding collagen to your diet won’t automatically increase the amount that’s available for use. Most of it will be immediately broken down by your body.
However, collagen peptides can be obtained when collagen is broken down by hydrolysis. They are long chains of amino acids that form the building blocks of proteins and can be used in specific tasks as enzymes. These peptides are easily absorbed by your body, can stimulate the production of collagen and are used to build new proteins.
Collagen powders and capsules containing peptides have been found to reach your bloodstream between 30 minutes and two hours. However, the effects are usually noticeable between four and twelve weeks. It is often claimed that liquid collagen supplements are easier for your body to use. This maybe the case but there is no conclusive evidence yet and the difference in the long term will be minimal.
Other supplements contain ingredients that have been found to stimulate the production of different types of collagen. These ingredients are often used in vegan or vegetarian supplements because they don’t require a source of protein.
The benefits of collagen
It reduces joint pain
Several studies have found a strong link between taking collagen supplements and a reduction in joint pain. It is though that taking collagen can reduce the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint disorders.
Promotes skin health and reduces the appearance of ageing
Collagen is an important component in your skin. It provides it with strength and elasticity. As you get older and the amount of collagen you produce decreases your skin becomes dry and wrinkly.
It could enhance muscle mass
A 2015 study found that older, frail men who took collagen showed an increase in muscle mass and strength. Between 1% and 10% of muscle tissue is made from collagen and its present also stimulates the production of other muscle proteins such as creatine. There is no conclusive evidence of collagen supplements giving a guaranteed muscle mass boost, but current studies are promising.
It has potential for weight reduction
There are many users who believe that collagen plays an important role in stimulating and supporting weight loss. While there is no conclusive evidence yet, some forms of it have been found to stimulate the production of hormones that produce the feeling of being full.
How do I choose the best collagen supplement for me?
Collagen types – Because collagen has so many different uses there are also different types available. Always check the label and look at the collagen types to help you decide if the product will suit your needs.
Amino acid profile- The main three amino acids present in collagen are glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Look for products that list every amino acid individually on the label.
Third party certificates- Look out for products that have certificates from official bodies. You can check these out via the third party and see what standards they have had to meet.
The source of collagen– Collagen supplements are usually made from cow protein, fish protein, yeast and bacteria produced protein or from plant sources. At Health and Wellness Reviews we prefer vegan collagen supplements but have reviewed all varieties to find the best. Where possible choose collagen produced from quality sources such as, certified grass-fed cows, sustainably sourced fish or organically farmed natural ingredients.
Simple ingredients- Keep things simple and natural. Don’t accept any added flavours, dyes, or preservatives. Straightforward ingredients will avoid any extra sugars or chemicals.
Are there any side effects?
As with any supplement it is important to talk it over with a doctor before you begin. The side effects that have been reported are mild and use is considered to generally safe. Side effects can include:
- a bloated stomach feeling
The best collagen supplements available in the UK
Bovine Hydrolysed Collagen Protein Powder by Edible Health
Target area: Wrinkles, Hair, Skin, Nails, Bones, Joints, Gut, Pain, Injury, Sleep and Fitness.
This bovine collagen supplement contains a huge 13,000mg of collagen peptides and contains 13 amino acids. It comes in powder form with the recommended daily dose being 13g or approximately 2 teaspoons.
Customers praise the value for money and the easy to use, flavourless powder. However, others disagree saying that it has an unpleasant odour and it doesn’t dissolve easily. This is the largest amount of hydrolysed collagen per serving that we have found so far.
Hydrolysed bovine collagen
13g per serving
£23.95 per tub
Pure Collagen (Bovine) by Planet Paleo
Target area- Skin, joints, bones, blood vessels and the lining of the digestive tract.
This bovine collagen is a rich source of the amino acids glycine and proline. It is gluten and dairy free and sourced from pasture fed beef. It is a powder that is easily added to hot drinks. Planet Paleo also do a full collagen range allowing you to choose other collagen types to suit your needs. The tub contains 30 daily servings which is a total of 225g.
£24.99 per tub
Marine Collagen by Healthspan
Target area- Skin, bones, tendons and other connective tissues.
This is a blend of hydrolysed marine (fish) collagen and vitamin C. The presence of the vitamin C is designed to aid the production of more collagen in the body. It provides high levels of glycine, proline and leucine. It comes in tablet form with a recommended one tablet a day delivering 500mg of collagen and 20mg of vitamin C. This is a great value marine sourced supplement, but it contains several other ingredients to form the tablet and has a much smaller serving size than others.
Hydrolysed marine collagen
500mg collagen per tablet
20mg vitamin C per tablet
£15.95 per bottle
Collagen Complex (Marine) by Golden Greens
Target area: Skin
This marine collagen powder is derived from sustainably fished Pangasius and Tilapia fish. It is specifically designed to reduce wrinkles and soften skin. Each serving contains 5000mg hydrolysed collagen, 100mg of hyalauric acid for skin hydration and is free from lactose and artificial sweeteners. It also contains additional nutrients from organic lucumca, blueberry and acerola powders.
This is a very popular skincare product and customers praise how effective it is.
Includes hyalauric acid
5000mg hydrolysed collagen per serving
£36.98 for 30-day supply
Vegan Collagen Advanced by Weight World
Target area: Skin and joints
There are different ways of producing vegan collagen, but this is a natural plant-based product. It is designed to improve bone and joint health as well as reducing the signs of skin ageing. The 60 capsules contain collagen powder designed to stimulate your bodies own collagen production. Each serving also contains Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Zinc, Vitamin E, Resveratrol, MSM, Vegetable Powders and Lactobacillus Acidophilus. These are all added to provide extra benefits to the skin and joints.
Customers report that they chose this product over others because of the range of other beneficial ingredients. This is one of the best vegan collagen supplements we have found.
30 days worth
500mg per capsule
£16.95 per bottle
Other ingredients including Hyalauric acid and Vitamin C
My Kind Organics, Organic Plant Collagen Builder (Vegan) by Garden of Life
Target area: Hair, skin and nails
This is an organic plant blend designed to stimulate your body into building its own natural collagen. It is a completely vegan product and is full of vitamins and natural chemicals that are great for your body. The focus is hair, skin and nails but it is also great as a general wellness booster. It has numerous relevant certifications:
- Certified organic
- Non-GMO Verified
- Vegan Certified
- Gluten Free Certified
These certifications are all verifiable by a third-party authority.
Because of the range of ingredients, it is important to check for allergens.
2 tablets per day
60 tablets per bottle
Range of natural collagen boosting ingredients
Collagen Plus Complex (Vegan) by Vegavero
Target area: General
The last supplement, but our favourite, is vegan and totally natural. It is a wide range of collagen promoting ingredients combined with the amino acids proline and lysine.
It promotes the production of many different collagen types making it great for general health as well as skin, joints, hair and nails. There are no additives and it is gluten free and suitable for vegans.
Natural plant source
375mg of L-Prolin and 360mg of L-lysin per 3 capsules dosage
Vegan Society Approved
Lactose & GMO-free
Free from artificial additives
3 capsules per day
120 capsules per bottle
Boosting the collagen in your body has the potential to bring lots of benefits. However, it is not as simple as just eating collagen. Choosing a supplement that will promote collagen in the right way is important. Look carefully at each product before you make your choice to decide if it suits your need.
The variety displayed here covers the best of the many varieties available in the UK. They are all great to get started on and will often provide you with more positive effects than you were expecting. Why not get started today?