Do Collagen Supplements Work? A Plastic Surgeon Weighs In



“Traditional doctors will tell you that when you ingest collagen, your stomach acids will break it down, and it doesn’t do anything. People say that many, many times and comment on some of my videos,” Youn says regarding his popular TikTok page. “But there are studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals that do show that people who do take collagen supplements have an increase in the collagen content of their skin. And this is a direct correlation of ingesting collagen supplements.”* 

Hydrolyzed collagen peptides, in particular, have been shown to help promote the body’s natural production of collagen and other molecules that make up the skin, like elastin and fibrillin.* That hydrolyzed distinction is important, since research shows that hydrolyzed collagen peptides are absorbed more easily by your bloodstream and body than normal sized collagen molecules.*

“There are also studies that do show that people who take collagen supplements do appear to have skin that is more hydrated, has less wrinkles, and looks more youthful,”* notes Youn. Again, we have research to back up the claim: In 2019, the J Drugs Dermatol published a review of oral collagen’s effects on the skin, showing that collagen peptides will support skin elasticity and hydration levels and promote youthful texture.*

And as mbg’s vice president of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, once told us regarding collagen’s efficacy: “When there are enough clinicals to compile them in a systematic review or meta-analysis, that’s definitely a sign that a certain bioactive or nutritional component has a noteworthy breadth of clinical evidence.” Ferira goes on to say that, “the pervasive myth that collagen ‘doesn’t work’ or has no science behind it is utter nonsense. The people saying that must not spend much time in PubMed like us scientists and healthcare practitioners do.”

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