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How long before Kollo's collagen works?

NW by Natasha Whiting
27 June 2022

How long before Kollo's collagen works?

When you start taking a new supplement as part of your daily routine, you expect to start seeing results at some point. But it can be frustrating when those results take a long time to materialise. In life, there are some things you can expect to happen quickly, but you may need to practice patience to see some of the most desirable results from taking a supplement. In this post, we take a look at what you might expect to get out of a marine collagen supplement. We explore how long it typically takes to see results for different benefits and also the things that may speed up or slow down your progress.

Why do we take collagen supplements?

Experts and regular folk alike give many reasons why a collagen supplement is part of their routine. You have undoubtedly heard about the good things that can happen when you take them - perhaps this is what has led you to this article. The health claims surrounding collagen vary somewhat because it is actually a protein. The collagen protein exists in many areas of the body, such as the skin, joints, muscles and digestive system.

There are actually at least 28 types of collagen that have been discovered in vertebrates. The most common are collagen Types I, II and III. Collagen is primarily produced through our cell fibroblasts, but as we age our natural ability to produce collagen diminishes and eventually expires. This is why many of us seek to stimulate our natural production through supplements in the form of liquids, powders, pills and topical creams.

Here are some of the proven benefits of collagen that you may experience:

1. Promoting good skin health

Research shows that collagen peptides can support the elasticity of our skin and boost collagen density in the dermis. This can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and give us taut, firm skin. This is achieved because the amino acids that your body extracts when it breaks down the peptides promote your natural production of collagen. Hydrolysed collagen peptides are most efficiently absorbed into the system to yield the best results.

2. Improving joint health

Type II collagen is a structural component of our joints. A clinical trial indicated that people taking a Type II collagen supplement for 180 days experienced improved physical function and reduced joint stiffness. There have also been indications that athletes who take collagen regularly experience better overall joint health and comfort. And a meta-analysis of 5 different studies showed that collagen supplements supported joint stiffness.

3. Supporting a healthy gut

The gut health benefits have become increasingly understood recently. Some people with certain digestive challenges have been found to have lower levels of certain collagen types in their blood. The amino acid L-glutamine, one of the components of collagen, has been found to fuel the cells of the intestine to support digestive health. The lining of our gut also uses proline and glycine - two other amino acids in collagen - for energy.

4. Strengthening hair and nails

Though there has been less research into these benefits, there is lots of evidence that collagen may help with the health and strength of your hair and nails. With hair, the connection is theoretical, but supported by thousands of anecdotal reports. Hair is composed of keratin and structural lipids. The body requires amino acids that are present in collagen peptides to produce these substances. For the nails, a study was undertaken in which patients took collagen daily for 24 weeks. Patients reported various improvements in nail health, including reduced breakage, better growth rates and improved appearance.

5. Healthier muscle growth

Collagen lacks the amino acid tryptophan, so it is not considered a complete protein. But it still contains almost 20 amino acids with the ability to support muscle mass when used in combination with exercise. In one human study, men who took collagen daily while sticking to a regular exercise plan gained more muscle mass than those who only carried out the exercise plan. So how long does it take to see the results with marine collagen?

If you are in a hurry to see the time frames, here's a broad outline of how long it takes to see improvements:

  • Skin benefits: 4-12 weeks

  • Joint health: 4-6 months

  • Bone density benefits: 12 months

  • Nail benefits: ~24 weeks

  • Muscle mass benefits: ~3 months

  • Tendon strengthening: 3-6 months (combined with strengthening exercises)

  • Reduced soreness after workouts: A few days

Read on for more detail on all these benefits.

How long before to see the benefits for skin?

Research has indicated that 12 weeks is a pretty common timeframe to start seeing benefits for your skin elasticity, density and hydration. For some people, it takes as little as 6 weeks to see those results. In essence, you may begin to see improvements within the second month of daily use of marine collagen supplements. But you should stay the course for at least 3 months before deciding it isn't working for you.

How long to see benefits for the joints and tendons?

If it is joint support you are after, it may take between 12 weeks and 6 months to get the results you want. The lower time frame is generally associated with more localised support, according to studies.

Joint mobility may improve within 12 weeks, and knee health may improve within a similar timeframe. If you are after broader joint support all around the body, research indicates it is more likely to take ~6 months.

Tendons and ligaments may improve in 3-6 months, but the supplement should be combined with strengthening exercises.

What is the timeframe for collagen to work for hair and nails?

As the benefits for collagen on hair are not yet fully understood. There isn't a timeframe available to suggest when you might start to see results. For nails, the studies have shown that improvements in nail strength and brittleness tend to come in around the 24-week mark.

When will I see improvements in bone density?

The turnover for bone growth is slow, so you can't realistically expect to see improvements from collagen supplements in less than 12 months. This study found that postmenopausal women began showing improved bone density around the 12-month mark from consuming collagen.

How long before I seen results for muscles?

The time frame with muscle varies depending on what results you are after. For general muscle soreness following exercise, a study found that you may experience benefits after just 2 days. However, if it's enhanced muscle mass you want from collagen protein, you will need to commit to your resistance training and take collagen supplements for at least 3 months.

What can affect how fast marine collagen works?

Collagen supplements come in varying levels of quality and everybody's body composition and lifestyle is different. As such, there are various factors that will impact on how beneficial collagen is and how quickly you see results. Here are some to keep in mind:

  • Dosage: If you fail to take the correct daily dosage, your results will be limited. Look for supplements that offer 10-20g in a serving and follow the instructions on the packaging. Your dosage should be rooted in science so do your research for the health benefits you want.

  • Collagen type: Different types of collagen support different functions in the body. You should select collagen based on your needs. If it's joint health you are pursuing, choose Type II. If you are looking to improve your skin health or more holistic benefits, look for Types I and III.

  • Diet: As previously noted, collagen is not a complete protein as it is lacking in some of the 9 essential amino acids. You should take collagen supplements to complement a healthy. balanced diet filled with proteins and vitamins from high-quality sources.

What form of collagen works fastest? 

You should always seek out hydrolysed collagen peptides. The process of hydrolysis breaks it down into smaller protein chains called collagen peptides, and these can be swiftly and easily absorbed by the body. Collagen itself cannot be easily absorbed because the molecule is too large. Hydrolysed collagen is 'pre-digested' so it is swiftly absorbed into the bloodstream and your body can use it to stimulate natural production in no time.

Final thoughts

Collagen has a wealth of benefits that support many of the essential bodily functions as well as providing the obvious beauty benefits. However, the speed at which those benefits start to materialise when you take marine collagen varies. It really depends on the results you are hoping to achieve, the quality of the supplement and the dosage you take. Other factors that impact the speed include your genetic makeup and your underlying nutrition. This information in this article is a good guide to work with - now you need to do your research and work on getting the results you want.

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