When it comes to supplements, it is normal to wonder if these additional nutrients will have some kind of side effect on your body. The same question applies to all kinds of supplements, whether they are vitamins, nutrients, or proteins.
When it comes to those who are asking if collagen supplement is safe, don’t worry, you’re not alone and this is a great and normal question to ask. To better understand the safety of these types of supplements, you should start with the basics and learn what natural collagen is.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of fibrous protein that is considered as one of the building blocks of a body’s connective tissues. As humans, we produce a good amount of collagen when we are young. However as we get older, the lower the production, the higher the need becomes, which causes imbalance in the body.
Collagen can actually be synthesized by the body from the amino acids we consume in food but not all foods have a healthy amount of collagen. This is why collagen supplements are very popular among older people and people who subject their bones, muscles, and joints to continuous stress.
Types of Collagen and Where We Get Them
Now that you have learned about what collagen is and how it’s formed in the human body, the next questions to address are: what are the types of collagen in the market and where are they sourced from? These are basic questions to ask when you’re looking for the answer to the question, “Are collagen supplements safe?”
There are a few different types of collagen found in the market today. All of which have their pros and cons and their loyal followers. Here is a quick summary of these collagen types and their advantages as well as disadvantages:
- Pill Form – It is the most common collagen supplement type. They are easy to find and are OTC pills. They are usually taken to help ease the pain of osteoarthritis.
- Topical Ointments – They are easy to find and cheap but not very effective in treating internal concerns.
- Injections – They are considered very They greatly reduce wrinkles but require a medical professional to administer.
- Powder Form – One of the most common and popular types of collagen available. It is easy to consume and very affordable.
The most common source of collagen used for supplements is bovines. This is because cows are bigger and they produce more collagen as compared to other animal sources. Other collagen sources can include chicken, fish, shellfish, and eggs.
Although most people prefer 100% beef collagen supplements, others find that supplements with a mix of two or more collagen sources provide faster and more noticeable results. One of the most recommended collagen supplements with a mixed collagen source is Dr. Collagen Multi Collagen Protein.
How to Determine if Collagen Supplements are Safe?
People who have never tried using collagen supplements are very hesitant to start using products like these because of the fear of added chemicals. This concern can be linked to the fact that collagen supplements are not regulated by the FDA.
This means that standards depend on and vary from one company to another. If you are concerned about what you are putting in your body, here are some features to look for in collagen supplements:
- Sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine
- Gluten-free and soy-free
- Paleo diet friendly
- Non-GMO, no additives, no growth hormones
- Water soluble
These are just a few factors that you should consider when you are trying to determine if collagen supplements are safe to consume. Not all of these features will be found in all supplements. Therefore, make a list of the most important ones and choose a supplement that fits your needs.
Caution: Some Side Effects of Collagen Supplements
Our bodies function differently and ingesting supplements may have some undesired side effects, especially if you are prone to allergies or have a weak stomach. The most common unpleasant side effects are:
- Extreme stomach cramps due to high levels of calcium
- Hormonal imbalances
- Joint pains in very rare cases
Even with those side effects, are collagen supplements safe? These are very rare instances but they do occur. If you feel uneasy while using any form of collagen supplements, discontinue its use immediately.