5 Most Common Reasons Your Collagen Supplement DID NOT Work

5 Most Common Reasons Your Collagen Supplement DID NOT Work

So, you excitedly tried hydrolysed collagen for the first time. You waited in anticipation for radiant skin and hair, or maybe relief from your joint pain, or maybe restored gut health. But in reality, you didn't really notice anything at all.


Well, while hydrolyzed collagen peptide powder has been widely demonstrated to have great benefits on skin, joint and bone health, and gut health, individual responses to supplementation can vary.

In this article we dive deep into the 5 most common reasons why the brand of collagen powder you tried didn't work for you as promised.

The 5 reasons we cover are:

  1. The product was not pure – (we show you how to identify a quality brand)
  2. The brand used an inferior processing procedure – (we warn you what to watch out for)
  3. The molecular size of the collagen was too large - (we explain why size matters)
  4. The incorrect dosage was recommended – (we help you find the right dose for you)
  5. You didn’t take the supplement consistently or for long enough – (we’ll show you a realistic timeframe to expect results)

 So lets dive straight in.

1. Your collagen may not be pure

If the collagen you are taking is of inferior quality then it's very likely you will not  get the optimal benefits through supplementation. In fact, you could be inadvertently harming yourself. This is because not only is low quality collagen powder a nutritionally inferior product, but it could very well contain nasty impurities.

With so many collagen brands on the market, the quality and source of the collagen peptide powder can vary dramatically. Collagen powder comes from different animal sources, made in various different countries, all with differing laws and regulations, using different manufacturing processes, and, unfortunately for unsuspecting customers, some having little regard for quality control.

Simply put, all collagens are not equal!

Choosing a quality brand isn't just about getting the most bang for your buck. It's about safeguarding your health and ensuring you receive the potential benefits you seek.

  • Safety: Contaminated or low-quality collagen can expose you to harmful substances like heavy metals, pesticides, and artificial sweeteners like Erythritol (which has been linked to cardiovascular disease - read more HERE).
  • Efficacy: Without proper sourcing, processing, and dosage, you might not experience the desired results.

So how do you find a pure collagen brand I hear you ask?

Well, look for a collagen brand that is backed by a global leader in collagen production and one that gives you confidence that you are choosing a product that meets the highest industry standards. So, the question to ask the brand here is, 'who is the manufacturer?' This information should be open and transparent. If it's not, then maybe steer clear.

Choose a brand whose production plants are Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and International Featured Standards (IFS) certified meeting the highest international quality standards. This signifies independent testing for purity, quality, and label accuracy.

A high purity brand is more likely to ensure full traceability throughout every step of their production process, and is free from any preservatives or additives. They should also test for, and be free from, heavy metals and Glyphosate (a widely used herbicide).

Avoid brands with unnecessary fillers, additives, or artificial sugars. These dilute the collagen content and could potentially trigger allergies or digestive issues.

Some collagen supplements on the market may contain emulsifiers, phosphates, and other chemical additives to enhance flavor, texture, or shelf life. However, these additives can potentially interfere with the bioavailability and effectiveness of the collagen peptides.

A study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology (2018) investigated the impact of additives on the stability and functionality of collagen peptides. The findings suggested that certain additives, such as phosphates, could negatively affect the solubility and stability of collagen peptides.

Ensure the product specifies "hydrolyzed collagen" or "collagen peptides." This process breaks down collagen into smaller molecules, improving absorption and bioavailability.

Look for a brand that displays their quality control system. If they don’t have one then beware!

While cost shouldn't be the sole deciding factor, remember that high-quality ingredients and ethical sourcing come at a cost. Ultra-cheap options might have questionable practices or lower collagen content.

Research the brand's history, customer reviews, and scientific backing for their claims. Positive testimonials and clinical studies lend credibility to their product.

This brand ticks all these boxes.

 2.  The brand you chose used an inferior manufacturing process.

The process by which collagen is made can significantly impact its bioavailability (absorption into the body) and effectiveness.

Collagen can be made through either an acidic process or an enzymatic process. The acidic process you don't want, as it involves using harsh chemicals that can degrade the collagen, leave acidic residues in the collagen, and reduce its efficacy.

In contrast, the enzymatic process is a gentler method that preserves the integrity of collagen's structure, leading to better absorption and utilization in the body.

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2016) compared the properties of collagens produced through different extraction methods. The findings indicated that enzymatically extracted collagen exhibited higher solubility and bioavailability compared to acid-extracted collagen.

When you choose a collagen supplement, you should select a brand that produces its collagen powder using the enzymatic process to ensure optimal quality and effectiveness.

Reputable collagen producers, like Peptan, (a global leader in the production Hydrolysed Collagen) know this, and use the enzymatic process.

However beware, not all producers use this best-practice method.

 3. The molecular size of the collagen you purchased was not optimal

The molecular size of collagen peptides plays a crucial role in their absorption and utilization by the body. Collagen peptides with smaller molecular sizes are more easily absorbed through the digestive tract, allowing for better bioavailability and distribution to target tissues.

If you've experienced limited benefits from collagen supplementation, then you should consider brands that emphasize the use of smaller collagen peptides for better absorption and efficacy.

Look for a collagen powder with a molecular size of 2000 daltons like this one.

 4. You didn’t take the supplement for long enough

Consistency is key.

Taking collagen is no silver bullet or magic pill. It takes time.

Collagen supplementation is necessary to elevate our natural collagen synthesis and to maintain the optimal amount of collagen in our body for our age and lifestyle.

Sufficient supplementation with collagen peptides stimulate the production of new collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Stopping the supplementation too early or not taking it consistently (ie: every day), will quickly deplete the body of its collagen content and revert back to suboptimal collagen synthesis.

Although everyone's different, generally speaking, most people see health improvements between 4 - 6 weeks with an optimal dosage and consistent use every day.

Hydrolysed Collagen is completely safe so larger doses can be taken with confidence. (see next dot point)


     5. Did you take the correct dosage for you?

    Collagen supplementation is not a one-size-fits-all.

    In fact, the dosage of collagen supplementation can have a huge influence on its effectiveness.

    Our research found that studies exploring skin benefits use daily doses ranging anywhere  from 2.5 grams to 15 grams. Now that's a big variance. So, if you're looking for improvements to your skin, and haven't seen any, upping your dose may be the way to go.

      But there are some important considerations to note:

      • Individual needs: Optimal dosage might vary depending on factors like age, skin type, and other conditions (we explore these individually below).
      • Study Limitations: Many clinical studies have limitations, like small sample sizes or short durations, making definitive conclusions challenging.

      Some studies suggest that higher doses or longer periods of supplementation may be needed to observe significant effects on skin, joint, or other health parameters. [Reference: Asserin et al., 2015]

      It's important to note that the scientific literature on this topic is extensive but not exhaustive, and individual responses can still differ.

      Here are some reasons why some people may need larger or more frequent doses or may need to change their collagen brand altogether!

      Factors influencing dose include:

      • Your Age

      As we age, our bodies undergo a natural decline in collagen synthesis, and  enzymes that destroy collagen become more active (a double whammy). Studies show that the combination of reduced synthesis and increased degradation contributes to the visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and sagging skin.

      Also, as people age, stomach acid production tends to decrease, potentially impacting the digestion and absorption of collagen peptides.

      A study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (2017) suggests that age-related changes in the gastrointestinal tract may affect the absorption of collagen peptides.

      So taking only small infrequent amounts of hydrolysed collagen is likely having little impact on aging skin and hair. This is common with people who take collagen pills as they contain only a small amount of collagen.

      •  Your sex - Male versus Female

      While both men and women can benefit from collagen supplementation, there are specific reasons why women may need to consider a higher dose of collagen peptide supplementation more than men.

      That's because higher concentrations of estrogen (found in females verses males) has a negative impact on collagen synthesis.

      This study found that collagen synthesis in females was significantly reduced with increasing local estrogen concentration.

      The study reports that even in females with normal levels of estrogen, collagen synthesis was reduced by more than 40%, and at pharmacologic levels, by more than 50%.

      This is compelling evidence to suggest that ladies need higher doses.


      • Your digestive health 

      Research in the journal Nutrients (2019) indicates that individuals with certain digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel diseases, may experience compromised absorption of collagen peptides. Digestive disorders can alter the permeability of the intestinal wall, affecting nutrient absorption.

      If you have IBS or other gut issues, the right amount of collagen can be a great help on the road to recovery. There’s some great information on the right protocol and dosage to use here.


      • Your metabolism and body weight 

      A study in the Journal of Nutrition (2015) suggests that metabolic rate and body weight can influence the distribution of collagen peptides in the body. Individuals with higher body weight or faster metabolism may require larger doses to achieve similar concentrations in tissues compared to lighter individuals.

      So, if you are on the 'plus' side of average, and not seeing results from taking a quality collagen powder, then you might want to consider increasing your dose.


      • UV radiation 

      Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is a major culprit in collagen degradation. UV rays activate enzymes in our body that breakdown collagen and generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), triggering oxidative stress. This oxidative stress damages collagen fibers and impairs the synthesis of new collagen. The result is premature aging and increased susceptibility to skin disorders.

      If you love spending time outdoors in the sun, or working on that golden brown sun tan, then a good dose of collagen peptide powder every day is best.


      • Smoking 

      Smoking is a well-known contributor to collagen breakdown. It not only reduces blood flow, limiting nutrient delivery to skin cells, but also increases the production of enzymes that break down our collagen. Additionally, the thousands of chemicals in tobacco smoke generate oxidative stress, accelerating further the degradation of collagen and elastin fibers.

      Smokers need to compensate for the accelerated degradation of their natural collagen. Stopping is best, but taking adequate collagen peptide powder every day is essential to counteract the damage.


      • Chronic Stress 

      Chronic stress can impact collagen production through hormonal imbalances.

      Studies have shown that elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, interfere with collagen synthesis and promote its degradation. What makes this worse is that cortisol levels rise naturally as we age. This double-whammy results in skin thinning, loss of elasticity, and impaired wound healing.

      Getting stress levels under control is crucial and a good dose of hydrolysed collagen can counteract the amount of harmful cortisol in the bloodstream.

      If you are over 40 years of age and live a stressful life (lets face it, who doesn't) and you're not seeing of feeling benefits from taking collagen powder, then it might be because you are taking too little.


      • Physical activity levels 

      Active individuals and athletes have a higher demand for collagen due to increased wear and tear on joints and connective tissues. They also need an adequate supply of protein for energy and muscle synthesis. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2019) suggests that athletes may benefit from increased collagen intake to support joint health.

      So if you are pushing your fitness levels three or more times a week then you probably need 15-20 grams a day.

      CollagenX uses Peptan® in all our products. 

      Peptan collagen peptides are bioactive collagen peptides that have been specifically developed to deliver multiple health benefits and functional properties. Many scientific studies have demonstrated Peptan’s ability to promote healthy living, with proven benefits in the key areas of Beauty, Bone and Joint Health, and Sports Nutrition and Recovery.

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