What Are The Best Collagen Supplements in 2017?

As we age, the micronutrients which were once abundantly available within our bodies become fewer and fewer with every year that passes. For those looking to turn back the clock, the best collagen supplement will replenish the natural production of hyaluronic acid, helping to fight wrinkles.

But when it comes to collagen supplements, which are the best? Take a look and find out.

What Is Collagen?

As we know, protein is one of the most abundant macronutrients within the human body. Around 30% of all protein is made up of collagen (source).

Collagen has a number of functions in the body, most notably supporting the structure of our skin, giving skin its elasticity and keeping signs of aging at bay.

There are 28 types of collagen in the body (source) although around 80% of the collagen we have is type I, II or III.

  • Type I collagen - This is the most readily available form, known as the “major matrix protein”. It gives skin its firmness.
  • Type II collagen - Type II makes up our movable joints and can be used to treat joint pain and aging (source)
  • Type III collagen - Type III comes in just behind type I collagen as the second most available form. Babies and small children have lots of this form, giving their skin that associated plumpness, as we age, this is replaced by stronger type I collagen.

What Do Collagen Supplements Do?

The purpose of collagen supplements, regardless of which form you choose (pills or liquid collagen), is to encourage your body to restore its natural collagen production (source).

Many users believe that collagen supplements can erase up to ten years of aging within a matter of weeks. Who wouldn’t want that? Sign me up please!

All collagen supplements differ slightly from brand to brand, however all will provide your skin with antioxidants, nutrients, moisture and hydration.

That said, it’s not all about the skin. Research has shown that collagen supplements can be of use to the hardcore gym goers in the fight to achieve the perfect body.

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, revealed that that the combination of resistance exercise and collagen peptide supplementation resulted in a more pronounced improvement of body composition, as indicated by a significant increase in muscle mass” (source).

How Much Collagen Do We Need?

Although research varies, most major studies conclude that in the form of supplementation, we need 7 grams per serving in order to reap the benefits.

What to Look For In A Collagen Supplement

When considering purchasing a collagen supplement, there are a few things you ought to consider before buying. Here are the top things to look out for.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability in simple terms means the amount of active ingredient that is absorbed by the body. This is something important to look for in all dietary supplements, not just collagen.

For example, if the supplement contains 1000 mg and the bioavailability of the supplement is 70%, then you will receive 700 mg of the active ingredient per serving.

As you can imagine, bioavailability is one of the most important factors in letting us know how well a supplement will work. When it comes to collagen, there are two major things to consider in regards to the bioavailability of the supplement.

Firstly, when nutrients are in liquid form, they are better absorbed by the body. Therefore, a liquid collagen supplement would be more bioavailable than that of pills or powders.

Also, collagen molecules are very large making them generally too big to be absorbed by the blood stream, meaning they never reach the dermis layer of skin. Therefore, you need a supplement which is hydrolyzed. This means the collagen molecules are smaller and can be readily absorbed by the body.

Ingredients

Collagen on its own (at the right dosage) can do wonderful things. However, like many micronutrients, there are other ingredients that will assist collagen including:

  • Vitamin C - Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a higher intake of vitamin C was associated with a less wrinkled appearance of skin in middle-aged American women (source).
  • CoQ10 - CoQ10 is a naturally abundant enzyme in our body that acts as an antioxidant and protects skin from free radical damage and aging.
  • Hyaluronic acid - Hyaluronic acid is a molecule naturally produced by the body that gives our skin the ability to retain water. This is what keeps skin looking plump and hydrated.
  • Ceramide - Ceramide is a waxy lipid molecule that comes from corn and promotes health of the epidermis layer of skin. This protects the underlayers and helps skin to retain moisture.

Sources of Collagen

When it comes to collagen supplements the main sources include bovine (cow), porcine (pig) and marine (fish).

Collagen sourced from fish is the most bioavailable. Marine-derived collagen is easily absorbed by the body and keeps skin wrinkle free. Although manufacturing costs are higher, this form of collagen is more pure than cheaper bovine or porcine alternatives.

Reputation of Manufacturer

When buying any form of dietary supplement, it is of utmost importance that you choose a product that is produced by a reputable manufacturer. Simply because you need to have confidence in the quality of a product that your will regularly be putting into your body.

Firstly, avoid supplements made in China and other countries where manufacturing practices, standards and regulations are loose. Stick with a supplement made in the USA, if possible one that is manufactured in a certified GMP and/or FDA approved facility.

Even better if you can find a company who can provided a certificate of analysis from vendors for the raw ingredients and something that is third party lab tested to guarantee the purity of the product.

Collagen Side Effects and Precautions

Like most dietary supplements, there are a number of side effects linked with the use of collagen supplements. They won’t affect everyone or even most people that use them, however a small number of users will experience unwanted effects, especially those with pre existing conditions.

Some collagen supplements, most notably those from marine sources carry high levels of calcium. Too much calcium, or hypercalcemia is an associated side effect with the use of collagen supplements.

The other most noted side effect is hypersensitivity reactions. It is important to ensure you are completely aware of all ingredients and sources of any supplement. If you have a pre-existing food allergy, ensure there is nothing included that will harm you. For example, if you have a shellfish allergy and a product is listed as marine collagen, be sure to check the source is not from shellfish.

The Best Collagen Supplement

Choosing a supplement for the first time can be a difficult task, especially when trying to bear all the numerous buying factors in mind. This is why I have taken the hard work on for you and looked at all the collagen supplements available, choosing 5 top products to share with you today.

I have broken down each product into pros and cons to help you make an informed buying decision. At the end I’ll leave you with my overall favorite product.

Quality

Price

Our rating

Without a doubt, this collagen supplement has to gain the top spot.

This product offers 100% pure, hydrolyzed collagen derived from pasture raised, grass-fed cattle. With a huge 11,000 mg of collagen per serving, this product also boasts 10 grams of protein and 18 amino acids.

Made in the USA in a GMP facility, this product is excellently priced, especially for a six week supply. It comes in the form of an unflavored powder, is paleo friendly, certified kosher, non GMO and gluten free.

The only slight downfall for some users was the taste. Quite often when it comes to supplements, powders claiming to be “unflavored” don’t make the best addition taste wise to your morning beverage. But, this is totally personal to each individual.

Pros


  • Collagen supplement
  • 11,000 mg per serving
  • 41 servings per container
  • Bovine collagen
  • Sourced from pasture raised, grass-fed cattle
  • 10 grams of protein per serving
  • 18 amino acids
  • Added calcium and potassium
  • Excellent price
  • Paleo friendly
  • Certified kosher
  • Non GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Unflavored powder form
  • Made in the USA
  • Produced in a GMP facility

Cons


  • Bad taste

Quality

Price

Our rating

This collagen supplement from Neocell offers 6,600 mg of a combination of type I and type III hydrolyzed collagen sourced from bovine collagen.

I have to note that this is exceptionally priced, therefore this could be a good low cost, long term option. It comes in powder form, which is great for those who want to avoid taking numerous pills daily. It’s also made in the USA, sourced from grass-fed cows making it paleo friendly, non GMO and gluten free.

The only downside to this product is that some users experienced side effects like nausea after use. It is important to remember though that supplements can affect everyone in different ways, and although some users may experience side effects doesn’t mean you will. Likewise, one supplement may cause side effects for you, however, this doesn’t mean you should write them off totally as another brand may be fine.

Pros


  • Collagen supplement
  • 6,600 mg per serving
  • 30 servings per container
  • Type I and type III collagen
  • Bovine collagen
  • Hydrolyzed for better absorption
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows
  • Non GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Paleo friendly
  • Powder form
  • Great price
  • Made in the USA

Cons


  • May cause side effects

Quality

Price

Our rating

This collagen supplement by Youtheory offers 6000 mg of a combination formula of type I, II and III collagen from bovine and chicken sources.

This is hydrolyzed collagen with added vitamin C, it comes at a middle of the road price for around a 6 week supply. It has 18 amino acids, is made in the USA and is gluten, soy and dairy free.

There are a couple of factors letting this product down. Again, the serving size is 6 huge tablets. For anyone who doesn’t like swallowing pills, you may want to find an alternative.

Also, many people who have used this product have experienced gastrointestinal discomfort after taking it. This may be something to consider if you have any pre-existing stomach issues.

Pros


  • Collagen supplement
  • Type I, II and III collagen
  • Bovine and chicken sources
  • 6000 mg per serving
  • Tablet form
  • Hydrolyzed for better absorption
  • Added vitamin C
  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free
  • Soy free
  • 18 amino acids
  • Made in the USA

Cons


  • Not suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • One serving is 6 tablets
  • Large tablets
  • Some users experienced gastrointestinal side effects

Quality

Price

Our rating

This collagen supplement from Certified Nutraceuticals comes in powder form and offers 100% pure collagen made from wild cod fish skin.

This product is hydrolyzed in order to aid absorption, is non GMO and is soy and gluten free.

This supplement offers 6,600 mg per serving of a combination of type I and type III collagen and offers 30 servings per container. On the plus side, even though this is a marine derived collagen, there is no fishy smell or taste associated with the powder.

Unfortunately, this product does come at a higher cost, however this is to be expected of marine collagen as it is classed as the ‘gold standard’ and is more expensive to manufacture. However, for anyone watching the wallet, for a month's supply, this may be out of your price range. Also, many users found this product didn’t dissolve well.

Pros


  • Collagen supplement
  • Type I and type III combination
  • 6,600 mg per serving
  • Marine collagen
  • Made from wild cod fish skin
  • Hydrolyzed
  • 100% pure
  • Non GMO
  • Soy free
  • Gluten free

Cons


  • Expensive
  • Made outside the USA
  • Doesn't dissolve well

Quality

Price

Our rating

This is our first collagen supplement which comes in tablet form. It offers 3000 mg per serving of combined type I and type III collagen with added vitamin C.

This product comes from Doctor’s Best, a well known and respected health supplement brand.This product is gluten free and non GMO, it is made in the USA and comes at an excellent price with a good supply. Unfortunately though, there are a couple of issues which let this product down.

Firstly, it contains magnesium stearate, you may notice this in a number of supplements across the board and is basically a cheap filler product. It has however, been linked to damage with long term ingestion.

Moreover, my biggest problem with this supplement is that the serving size is three very large tablets twice per day. For me, attempting to swallow 6 tablets daily is simply out of the question.

Pros


  • Collagen supplement
  • 3000 mg per serving
  • Type I and III combination
  • Added vitamin C
  • Non GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Made in the USA
  • Trusted brand

Cons


  • Includes magnesium stearates
  • 6 tablets to be taken daily
  • Large tablets which are hard to swallow

Our Choice:

Overall, the Perfotek band has to be the best collagen supplement out there.

First and foremost, this products offers a huge serving of collagen without the need to take huge amounts of pills daily. For me, that’s a major plus.

Moreover, as this product offers 10 grams of protein as well as a full amino acid profile, it makes a great choice for the fitness conscious out there, covering three supplements in one.

Of course, the fact that it is derived from grass-fed cattle making it friendly to the followers of the paleo diet, as well as being kosher and gluten free, opens its use up to a wider audience. And the fact that it is made in the USA at a GMP facility gives you confidence in the quality of the product.

The best part is, it comes at a great price, making it an affordable, long term option.

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!

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