Many people take supplements for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to help with a medical condition or just to improve the appearance of their hair or skin.
Scientific research has long debated the effectiveness of taking supplements, as often the ones you buy over the counter aren’t strong enough to have any real impact.
However, it should not be dismissed that these supplements can have effects on the body but may also be impacted by prescribed medications too.
It is well known that some medications counteract the effectiveness of others, so it is important to ask if that is true of supplements too.
Learn in this article whether or not collagen supplements interact with medications in a negative way.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is an abundant protein found in the human body.
This protein plays a major role in providing strength and support to structures within the body such as skin, cartilage, and bones.
There are two types of collagen; endogenous and exogenous.
Endogenous collagen is natural which means it is synthesized by the body, whereas exogenous collagen is synthetic and comes from an external source such as food or supplements.
All humans need a strong amount of collagen to maintain healthy bones, joints, protection of the organs, and skin elasticity.
This is why you may have heard of collagen relating to beauty treatments as many people use it to make their skin appear more youthful.
What Are Collagen Supplements?
Often known as collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen when sold on the market, these supplements can come in pill or powdered form.
Both of these variations contain broken-down forms of the protein collagen, which are more easily absorbed into the system.
What Is In These Supplements?
The majority of collagen peptides contain protein from either beef or pork sources. Other sources can include marine sources such as fish skin or fish scales.
As a result, these are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians and as the protein itself comes from the bones and skin of animals, there are currently no effective alternatives.
What Do Collagen Supplements Do?
When taken as a food supplement, the idea is that the broken-down collagen will help to build up skin and cartilage in the body which can help with a number of skin and joint conditions (see also “Does Milk Cause Inflammation In the Joints?“).
Common examples of these include aging skin and osteoarthritis.
Today, taking collagen supplements has increased dramatically in popularity as many people aim to recapture the skin of their youth.
Certain human trials have shown that these supplements can improve joint mobility and decrease pain levels with issues such as osteoarthritis.
Other reasons people take collagen supplements are to improve the appearance of their skin, some research indicates that consuming hydrolyzed collagen and certain nutrients helps to boost natural collagen production in the body to keep skin looking firmer and younger.
Collagen can also be used by medical professionals to assist with wound healing.
Applying collagen to a wound can help to control bleeding, restore skin elasticity, encourage new tissue growth, and more.
In this context, the collagen may come in the form of a dressing, gel, or powder.
Will Taking Collagen Supplements Interact With Medications?
Sometimes dietary supplements can interfere with the absorption, metabolism, or excretion of prescribed or over-the-counter medication.
If you have a life-threatening condition that relies on these drugs, you may be seriously impacted.
A healthcare professional will usually indicate this when you start taking a new medication but always double-check.
Currently, research surrounding this topic is a little lacking.
However, the research that has been done hasn’t found there to be any interactions of bioactive collagen peptides with any medication or pharmaceutical drugs when taken as a food supplement.
As they are similar to the proteins that are made in our own bodies, they can be taken up by the body in a similar manner.
To ensure your own safety, keep up to date with the latest guidelines on taking supplements from the FDA and other trusted sources.
Will The Supplement React With Anything Else?
Other than medications, did you know that supplements can react with other supplements, herbs, and even foods?
According to recent studies, there are no known interactions between collagen supplements and any of these sources.
Are There Any Risks Of Taking The Supplement?
Dietary supplements aren’t currently regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) which means that there is the potential for harm by all supplements and not just collagen supplements.
The risks involved could be from an unsafe company, or your personal reaction to the supplement.
Therefore, research and reviews are important to pay attention to as with taking any supplement or medication.
Some dietary experts have stated that collagen is generally very safe to take as it comes from sources that we may already consume.
Possible adverse side effects experienced from taking the drug include mild diarrhea, a heavy feeling in the abdomen, or a rash.
These side effects depend on the individual as with any supplement or medication taken.
If these symptoms occur, stop using the supplement immediately and consult with a healthcare professional.
Choosing The Right Supplement For You
Look out for the labels of any supplements you want to take, reading the ingredients list will give you a clear idea of what you’re getting.
The main ingredient in collagen supplements should be collagen, there may be a few other things such as flavorings if you’re buying it in powdered form.
If there is a long list of ingredients, then it’s best to avoid that brand and find something simple!
The Bottom Line
Taking supplements can be a great way of keeping on top of your health and giving you a little extra boost. However, it’s always important to do this safely.
Always talk to a healthcare professional when taking any new supplements whilst taking existing medications.