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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow Collagen for Weight Loss: Is It a Thing?

Collagen for Weight Loss: Is It a Thing?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 7, 2023
5 min read 1409 Views 0 Comments
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Collagen supplements have numerous health benefits, from aiding muscle repair to improving skin health. The weight reduction effects, however, are lesser-known. Here we talk about all things collagen and weight loss.

Collagen for Weight Loss

Collagen is a major structural protein found in the human body. It is responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity and provides structural support to the connective tissue in the bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage.

You may associate collagen with youthful, glowing skin if you’ve heard of collagen supplements. And while collagen is ideal for the skin, it also flaunts several other health benefits. 

Although there is limited research that focuses on the science behind collagen and losing weight, the natural features of collagen may inadvertently promote weight loss.

So, if you’re hoping to lose weight, you might be interested in taking collagen supplements. This article covers everything you need to know about adding collagen to your weight loss regime.

Collagen for Weight Loss – Does It Help?

While many believe collagen supplements will effectively boost weight loss results, there is limited evidence to suggest the direct impact of collagen on losing weight.

However, collagen brings health benefits that may contribute to your weight loss efforts, from building lean muscle mass to suppressing appetite. Therefore, collagen helps with fat loss indirectly in some cases.

What Is Collagen? 

Collagen is the primary structural protein found naturally within the connective tissues of mammals. It makes up the skin, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels, providing flexibility and strength. In fact, the collagen protein makes up 25–30% of your body’s entire protein content. 

The collagen family encompasses 28 collagen types primarily made up of amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, shaped like chains that tightly bond together. 

While natural collagen is manufactured in the body, collagen supplementation is derived from animal bones and tissues, from bovine or marine sources. Collagen supplements are widely used for various health-promoting reasons.

How Does Collagen Help You Lose Weight? 

Collagen supplements may aid the weight loss journey in the following ways: 

#1 May increase satiety 

Collagen supplements can potentially increase feelings of satiety, likely due to the protein content. An increase in satiety deters individuals from consuming as much food, thus aiding weight management. 

Protein is an essential macronutrient known for promoting feelings of fullness for a more extended period. High-protein diets are linked to weight loss because of the increased secretion of satiety hormones and the reduced secretion of the hunger hormone ghrelin. 

Hydrolyzed collagen (also known as collagen peptides and collagen hydrolysate), popular in collagen powder supplements, can stimulate the production of incretins, impacting satiety and influencing food intake.

#2 May reduce body fat

Studies reveal potential anti-obesity effects from collagen peptides derived from skate skin by suppressing fat accumulation and regulating fat metabolism. The results suggest promising benefits for reducing body fat in overweight adults.

#3 Increases muscle mass

Collagen is an essential component of muscles as it is the main structural protein in the body. A collagen supplement can help increase skeletal muscle, especially when combined with exercise.

For instance, collagen peptide supplementation, coupled with resistance training, further enhances muscle mass and strength. 

Increasing muscle mass helps you lose weight by increasing the number of calories you burn. Ultimately, collagen can boost metabolism as muscle burns more fat than at rest.

Do Collagen Supplements Cause Weight Gain? 

In short, collagen supplements are not associated with weight gain, but it definitely helps build muscle. 

Taking collagen supplements improves your body composition by aiding muscle growth; therefore, your body weight may increase as muscle is denser than fat mass. Thereby, collagen consumption may indirectly cause your weight to increase. 

However, gaining weight is not usually a concern with collagen.

Other Benefits of Collagen

Many people can benefit from taking collagen. As collagen levels decline with age, a collagen supplement can significantly help the aging process. Here are three perks.

#1 Improves hair and nails

Collagen is commonly associated with healthy hair and nails. As collagen is rich in amino acids, it enables your body to build the keratin protein that makes up the hair and nails.

Supplementation of specific collagen peptides can improve nail growth and reduce nail breakage.

#2 Relieves joint pain

It’s worth noting that collagen supplements (particularly hydrolyzed collagen) can reduce joint pain, with studies showing promising results in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

In alleviating joint pain, individuals can return to a more active lifestyle and increase their exercise level. The increase in mobility and physical activity supports fat burning and reduces the risk of gaining excess weight. 

In turn, losing weight also reduces stress and pressure on the joints.

#3 Boosts skin elasticity 

The impact of collagen on the skin is well-researched. Oral collagen supplements have been clinically proven to increase the skin’s elasticity and dermal collagen density

Further research shows a collagen supplement improves skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density. 

Collagen production declines with age, leaving skin prone to wrinkles and sagging. Introducing collagen peptides to your skin routine can help restore the natural loss of collagen.

Possible Side Effects of Collagen 

Generally, collagen peptides don’t cause side effects. But as with other dietary supplements, they may cause mild effects in some people. 

The most common side effect of consuming collagen is digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas, constipation, and heartburn. This may be due to the body adapting to new collagen levels in the system, or you may be taking more collagen than your body can tolerate.

If symptoms don’t clear up, you may want to adjust the type and dose of collagen you are taking.

Another adverse effect is a bad taste in the mouth. Oral collagen supplements may have an unpleasant odor and taste, putting many people off taking them. Collagen powder is beneficial as you can mix it with food and drinks, limiting the taste left in the mouth.


What type of collagen should I use for weight loss?

Type III collagen may be best for weight loss. Collagen peptides are usually rich in types I and III.

How much collagen do I need daily to lose weight? 

Between 2.5 and 15 grams of collagen per day is the recommended dose. It won’t guarantee weight loss but will help build lean muscle and increase overall strength. 

Does collagen make you retain water?

Collagen is unlikely to cause water retention, but it may cause bloating in the initial states of supplementation or if you are taking excessive amounts.

Does collagen help cellulite? 

Collagen can help with cellulite as it strengthens the skin’s connective tissues and can help repair the damage to collagen bands in the skin.

A Word From Nutritionist

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, present in the skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. It holds the body together, and collagen makes up approximately one-third of your body’s overall protein content.

Collagen helps you in several ways, from maintaining your joints to providing stretchiness and flexibility to your skin. Your existing collagen naturally breaks down during the aging process, and your body can no longer produce as much as it once did.

For this reason, many people turn to collagen supplements to replenish lost collagen. And aside from boosting the skin, hair, nails, and muscles, these supplements may contribute to reduced weight by increasing satiety, reducing the accumulation of fat cells, and promoting muscle growth.

Collagen supplements come in different forms. Depending on your preference, you can purchase collagen capsules, collagen powder to mix in with food and drinks, or liquid collagen.

You can boost your natural collagen levels with protein-rich foods. Further food collagen peptides include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, and soy.

Although collagen is usually well-tolerated, remember that collagen supplements are made from animal proteins and contain common food allergens. Marine collagen, for example, is not suitable for those with fish and shellfish allergies.


You shouldn’t expect collagen supplements to work like a magic pill, but including collagen within your regimen might indirectly give your weight loss plan the boost it needs. 

You should look for a high-quality collagen peptide supplement to include as part of a healthy lifestyle that won’t interfere with any allergies or intolerances you have.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 7, 2023
5 min read 1409 Views 0 Comments

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