Side effects of collagen: the most important questions and answers

Nebenwirkungen von Kollagen: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

The term collagen is primarily associated with skin tightening aids. The collagen can also be used for many other areas and is the most important structural protein for the body. In the meantime, the protein can be easily and quickly ingested in various forms as a dietary supplement.

This article is intended to give you an understanding of the main types of collagen, the effects of collagen, as well as daily requirements and possible side effects. In the following, this article contains valuable tips that should help you with the correct intake and dosage of the structural protein.

the essentials in brief

    • Collagen is a protein that is the most important structural protein for the body. A total of 28 different types of collagen are known today. The main difference between collagen and other proteins is its effect.
    • There are now a wide variety of methods for absorbing collagen. In addition to capsules or collagen powder, certain foods are available that can lead to an increase in collagen production.
    • The structural protein collagen has a number of positive effects on the body. With this protein, the skin can be tightened, the connective tissue supplied with fluid or joint and cartilage pain prevented.
  • Reward your skin...

    with the collagen complex with Q10!

    • With hyaluronic acid, zinc, vitamin C and biotin 🌿
    • Optimal anti-aging effect 🤗
    • Get a 21% discount automatically if you buy now đź’°
    A N O R D I C O I L C O M P A N Y

Definition: what is collagen?

Collagen is a protein that is the most important structural protein in the body. The structural proteins include all proteins that primarily serve as a framework in the cells and tissues of the human body.

oranges and lemons

The combination of organs and collagen powder is ideal because, on the one hand, the oranges provide a good taste and contain vitamin C, which strengthens the effect of collagen. (Image source: unsplash / freestocks)

Compared to other proteins, collagen does not act as an enzyme, but gives the cells and tissues their shape and tension. This protein ensures a balanced strength or elasticity in the structures. Along with creatine and elastin, collagen is one of the most important structural proteins.

Background: What you should know about collagen and the side effects of collagen

Before you are given tips on the intake and correct dosage of collagen, you should acquire some background information on the subject of collagen. For this reason, the following paragraphs will answer the frequently asked questions for you.

What types of collagen are there?

The structural protein collagen can be divided into different types. Type I in particular occurs primarily in humans and is therefore used as a synonym for collagen. 28 different types of collagen are now known. In this section you will be introduced to the most important types.

collagen type Description
Type I Can form fibrils and is found in bones, fibrocartilage, ligaments, tendons, fascia and skin
Type II Is also a fiber-forming structural protein and is found in the eye again.
Type III Responsible for fiber formation and an important component of reticular fibers and connective tissue. Found in body structures such as cartilage, dentin or tendons.

The first type of collagen is Type I, which is very thick and has transverse stripes. This type can form fibrils and occurs in the following structures:

  • Bone
  • fibrocartilage
  • ribbons
  • tendons
  • fascia
  • skin

Another important type of collagen is type II. This is also a fiber-forming structural protein that is part of cartilage. This type is found in the fibrocartilage or vitreous body of the eye.

In addition to collagen type I, there is collagen type III, which is equated with type I primarily because of its shape. Collagen III is also responsible for fiber formation and is also an important component of reticular fibers and connective tissue. The fibers are characterized by the net-like structure. This type of collagen is an important component in body structures such as cartilage, dentin, tendons, bones or the heart.

How is collagen constructed?

In general, proteins are made up of amino acids. In this case, collagen is composed of the following proportions of the amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline:

amino acid Portion
glycine 33 percent
proline 12 percent
hydroxyproline 10 percent

The collagen is formed by the fibroblasts. These are connective tissue cells in which more than 1000 amino acids can be strung together to form so-called alpha chains. Such alpha chains are held together by hydrogen bonds and exhibit a helical shape.

What effect does collagen have on the body?

First of all, you have to know that the fibre-forming proteins are responsible for the body's strength. In addition, collagen is able to bind water. Consequently, around 60 percent of the weight is due to the water content.

Collagen has a preventive effect against bone fractures and cracks.

The binding of the water creates both the passive stabilization and the active elasticity of the collagen. Researchers have discovered that the contractions of several collagens can have preventative effects against fractures or cracks in the bone structure. (1)

Furthermore, collagen ensures the formation of organs in the body and contributes to the regulation of the water content in the tissue. As a result, ligaments and tendons are much more stable and tear-resistant. Ultimately, people cannot see without collagen, as collagen also provides firmness and clarity in the cornea of ​​the eye.

What leads to the build-up or breakdown of collagen?

Two components are required for the body to build collagen. The first component is the amino acids and the other is the vitamin C. If the vitamin C is missing, the structural protein is formed without hydroxyproline. Consequently, the helix structures become unstable and disintegrate at temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius.

On the other hand, collagen can be degraded by various environmental influences and lifestyle factors. Examples include aging processes, stress, strong sunlight or smoking.

The production of the structural protein in particular slows down with age.

As a result, bones become less stable, hair falls out more often, the skin loses its firmness or vision deteriorates.

What Makes Good Collagen?

Because collagen is an animal product, the quality of the structural protein depends on how animals are kept. High quality collagen occurs in animals raised and fed to organic standards.

The preparation of the collagen plays an important role.

Apart from animal husbandry, you have to make sure that no additives or fillers such as sugar are used. Furthermore, how the structural protein was prepared is decisive for the quality. Using these three factors, you can quickly find products that contain high-quality collagen.

What is the daily requirement of collagen?

First, you need to know that there is no exact need for collagen. In principle, the body is able to produce collagen itself. As already mentioned, the body's own production decreases with age.

Finally, as a rule of thumb, you can remember that the recommended daily consumption is between 2 and 10 grams.

In addition, you should be aware that daily requirements depend on personal characteristics and can therefore vary greatly. For example, a person who suffers from joint problems has a higher collagen requirement than a person without problems.

When should you take collagen?

There are no guideline values ​​for when collagen can best be absorbed. For you, this means that you should best absorb the collagen when it suits you best.

For example, you can consume the structural protein at breakfast by adding it to a drink. You can also take collagen after a workout in the afternoon or evening.

What is the effect of collagen in the intestine?

According to estimates, about a quarter of the population in industrialized nations suffers from intestinal problems. Such complaints occur mainly due to flatulence, cramps, diarrhea or constipation and can be caused by certain intolerances such as lactose, cereals, fructose.

The intestinal problems are due to damage in the small intestine cells or in the intestinal mucosa. Collagen has the effect of helping the intestine to repair the intestinal cells and the intestinal mucosa. (2.3)

First and foremost, the main component glycine has a particularly positive effect on the healing process.

What effect does collagen have on connective tissue, cellulite and during pregnancy?

Many women are plagued by cellulite on parts of their body such as their abdomen, legs or buttocks. In addition to cellulite, stretch marks can also be caused by heavy stress on the connective tissue due to weight fluctuations or pregnancy.


Unpleasant stretch marks can occur during pregnancy. Collagen can be helpful against stretch marks. (Image source: unsplash / freestocks)

Cellulite and stretch marks cannot be treated with therapeutic treatments. On the other hand, a study has shown that cellulite can possibly be treated by taking collagen.

The study found that taking 2.5 grams of collagen over a period of six months led to an improvement in cellulite. Therefore, taking collagen can potentially help with cellulite or stretch marks. (4,5,6)

What side effects does collagen have?

Since collagen is a protein, allergies can occur in rare cases. The risk of an allergy decreases the more similar animal collagen is to human collagen. Consequently, chicken, beef or pork are less risky sources of collagen from fish or jellyfish.

The allergies are not caused by consumption.

The allergies are not caused by eating, but rather by cosmetic or surgical treatments. So it may well be the case that allergic reactions can occur when using collagen as a dermal filler or when using it in eye surgery. Apart from that, skin rashes can be caused by collagen hydrolysates in hair conditioners. (7)

In a study, it was found that no toxic effects occurred in animals at a dosage of 5 grams. In addition to this study, there are other studies that show that even with an intake of up to 10 grams of collagen, there are no side effects. (8.9)

You can therefore take away that taking collagen up to a certain amount has no side effects.

Collagen: 3 approaches to intake and the right dosage of collagen

In this section you will not only be shown three approaches to the intake and correct dosage of collagen. On the one hand, these approaches should help you to meet your collagen requirements and, on the other hand, not to exceed the maximum amount so that no side effects can occur.

collagen powder

One form you can take collagen in is in the form of a collagen powder. This is a whitish powder that can be optimally added to hot or cold drinks.

As a rule, the powders are odorless and tasteless, so they can be used in practically any drink. In addition, the powder dissolves easily in the water due to the preparation. In addition to drinks, the collagen powder can also be combined with many dishes such as soups, mueslis or bowls.

powder spoon

A spoon with a measuring device can be helpful for an ideal dosage. (Image source: unsplash / HowToGym)

It is important that the collagen should be hydrolyzed. This guarantees a better absorption of the structural protein. Ideally, collagen synthesis can be additionally promoted with a combination of collagen powder, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Another thing to keep in mind with the powder is that natural flavors are better for synthesis than lower-quality flavors.

  • odorless and tasteless
  • Can be combined well with food and drinks
  • pleasant intake
  • better absorption when powder hydrolyzes
  • a bit difficult to dose
  • less suitable for on the go than capsules
  • weak effect with artificial flavors
  • With this intake, it is advisable to read the description carefully and to comply with a consumption recommendation of between 2 and 10 grams.

    collagen capsules

    In addition to taking it in the form of a powder, capsules are another method available to you. For example, if you want to avoid mixing, you should use collagen capsules or collagen tablets.

    Reward your skin...

    with the collagen complex with Q10!

    • With hyaluronic acid, zinc, vitamin C and biotin 🌿
    • Optimal anti-aging effect 🤗
    • Get a 21% discount automatically if you buy now đź’°
    A N O R D I C O I L C O M P A N Y

    Due to their nature, the capsules can be taken quickly and without much effort. This form of recording is ideal for you, especially when you are on the road or traveling.

    • can be taken quickly
    • Ideal for on the go
  • some contain lactose or gelatin
  • unsuitable for people with special eating habits or lack of dreaminess
  • When buying collagen capsules, you should note that some capsules contain lactose or gelatin and are therefore not suitable if you are a follower of certain cultures or religions with special eating habits.

    In general, when it comes to capsules, it is usually recommended that you take about two collagen capsules. Of course, most are pre-dosed, so the amount of collagen is predetermined. For this reason, it makes sense that you discuss the number of capsules with a doctor so that you can find the right dosage.


    This section shows you foods that contain collagen. This allows you to save yourself the collagen powder or collagen capsules if you follow the guidelines in a disciplined manner.

    Which foods contain collagen?

    There is a lot of collagen in the bones, joints and skin of animals. The main sources are as follows:

    • Marrow and sand bones, cartilage tendons of cattle, pork
    • oxtail
    • Pork and Chicken Feet
    • Pork Skin, Salmon Skin, Chicken Skin
    • Beef, chicken or fish bone broth

    Which Plant Foods Contain Collagen?

    If you are a vegetarian, you must note that there is no plant-based collagen. Nonetheless, there are sources that you may consider as a vegetarian or vegan. The following table should give you an overview of the collagen sources:

    food type Description
    jellyfish collagen Jellyfish have no nervous system and are therefore painless. Because of this, jellyfish are considered a reasonable source by vegetarians.
    White Lupine A collagen-like substance can be obtained from the seed coat, which leads to an increase in collagen production in the skin.
    Plants high in amino acids Plants, which contain many amino acids and vitamin C. Examples include peanuts, sunflower seeds, seasame seeds, poppy seeds or yeast flakes.
    medicinal mushrooms Medicinal mushrooms can be considered another useful source. Medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake, chaga, lion's mane or others are rich in antioxidants and are therefore able to boost collagen production.


    The structural protein collagen is an important protein for the body because it ensures elastic and wrinkle-free skin and can therefore be helpful for cellulite or stretch marks. In addition, this structural protein ensures that the connective tissue is supplied with sufficient fluid and joint and cartilage pain can be prevented.

    Collagen can be taken in many different forms. Ingestion can be as a powder in food or drink, as a capsule, or from the ingredients of food. It is important that you determine your daily requirement with a doctor so that you can achieve the optimal amount. No side effects were found when taking collagen.


        Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. New York: WH Freeman; 2000. Section 22.3, Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix. Available from:
        Samonina G, Lyapina L, Kopylova G, et al. Protection of gastric mucosal integrity by gelatin and simple proline-containing peptides. pathophysiology. 2000;7(1):69-73. doi:10.1016/s0928-4680(00)00045-6
        Razak, MA, et al. 2017. Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Volume 2017, Article ID 1716701, 8 pages,
        Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S, Proksch E. Dietary Supplementation with Specific Collagen Peptides Has a Body Mass Index-Dependent Beneficial Effect on Cellulite Morphology. J Med Food. 2015;18(12):1340-1348. doi:10.1089/jmf.2015.0022
        Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(1):9-16
        Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-119. doi:10.1159/000355523
        Niinimäki A, Niinimäki M, Mäkinen-Kiljunen S, Hannuksela M. Contact urticaria from protein hydrolysates in hair conditioners. allergy 1998;53(11):1078-1082. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.1998.tb03818.x
        Daneault A, Prawitt J, Fabien Soulé V, Coxam V, Wittrant Y. Biological effect of hydrolyzed collagen on bone metabolism. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017;57(9):1922-1937. doi:10.1080/10408398.2015.1038377
        Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(1):9-16
    Back to blog
    Vorheriger Beitrag

    Nächster Beitrag


    Hallo Guten Morgen…Nehme seit ca. 8 Monaten regelmäßig das Glow Kollagenpulver ein, habe vor ungefähr 7 Wochen einen Ausschlag oder Allergie im Gesicht bekommen und es geht nicht mehr weg, kann es sein dass das von dem langzeitigem Gebrauch des Pulvers kommt? Freue mich über jede Antwort..Vielen Dank!

    Angie Rich

    Super informiert.


    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.