How long will it take to see results from taking collagen supplements?
There's an ever growing body of clinical research, scientific studies and anecdotal evidence illustrating a number of health and aesthetic benefits provided by collagen supplements.
This post explores some of the published research and reported timelines of results from taking collagen supplements.
Skin: 4-12 Weeks
Facial skin is the first area you're likely to notice an improvement in after taking collagen supplements.
The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology published evidence from different placebo-controlled clinical trials. One test investigated skin hydration (aging of the skin is associated with a decrease in water content), this found that collagen significantly increased skin moisture level by 16% after 4 weeks of treatment. This increased to as much as 28% after 8 weeks.
The journal also reports on a clinical study investigating collagen supplements with collagen fragmentation (wrinkles) this showed minor results in as little as 4 weeks with major results (up to 31.2%) seen by week 12.
While this, double-blind placebo study found that women taking a collagen peptide saw a 20% reduction in wrinkles after 8 weeks.
Hair: 8 Weeks
Nutritional Reports International Scala J et al conducted a clinical trial whereby subjects took collagen for 62 days. The thickness and strength of their hair was measured at baseline, upon trial completion, and after cessation of collagen treatment.
Thickness and strength of the hair increased significantly. The increase in thickness was greater for women than for men, possibly because the women’s hair was thinner at the onset of the study. After treatment stopped, hair thickness returned to its original level.
Nails: 8-24 Weeks
Recent findings published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reports that a 24 week trial of oral collagen peptides resulted in a 12% nail growth rate and a decrease of 42% in the frequency of broken nails. The majority of participants (80%) agreed that the use of the collagen peptides improved their nails' appearance.
Joint Pain: 3-6 months
The Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition reported on a double-blind, placebo controlled study of 120 days of collagen supplements leading to improved knee joint extension and demonstrating the potential to lengthen the period of pain free strenuous exertion.
Further studies have shown women aged 40-70 with knee joint problems (osteoarthritis classification: 0-III) receiving collagen peptide daily for a period of 6 months resulted in a 32% decrease in joint pain and 44% improvement of stiffness.