Collagen 101: What It Is and Why Your Body Needs It

By Nikki Lyn Pugh

Reading Time: 8 minutes

This article discusses emerging/ongoing science and research. It is intended for general informational purposes only. This content is unrelated to products offered by Organixx and does not contain any representations about the performance of such products.

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It seems like everybody is talking about collagen these days, and for a good reason! To help you get up to speed on this hot anti-aging health and beauty trend, here’s what you need to know about collagen… what it is, where it comes from, and most importantly – why it’s so vital for looking and feeling terrific!

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein; the most abundant kind in the human body. In fact, different kinds of collagen molecules make up about one-third of the total protein in the human body. It is found all over, especially in the bones, skin, muscles, and tendons.

You can think of collagen as the stuff that binds your entire body together. It forms a firm yet flexible foundation to provide structure as well as strength to the skeleton and surrounding tissue. It is the substance that connects cells and gives skin elasticity as well as strength.

To get a sense of what collagen is, touch the area underneath your cheekbone. The substance just underneath the skin here is collagen. How does it feel when you press in on this area? Is it firm like it is on a child, or soft and squishy?

The sad news is that as we age, we lose collagen. This is why our cheeks (and many other areas) get progressively softer as we get older and the skin on top starts to sag as there’s less collagen to hold it up.

Are You Collagen Deficient? 5 Good Reasons to Add Collagen to Your Health & Beauty Regimen

There are a little more than a dozen kinds of collagen proteins [1], although most fall into types I, II, or III. Collagen molecules pack together in “fibrils,” which are long, thin fibrous formations. Collagen proteins are very sturdy. Some types, especially type I, are packed so tightly on the molecular level they are said to be “as hard as steel.”

Collagen is vital for maintaining the structure and integrity of your entire body. Here are a few specific reasons why it’s so beneficial:

#1 – Strong Cartilage and Muscles.

Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that is made up of collagen [2]. Your nose, earlobes, and joints are vital points on your body that are made up of this tissue. When you lack collagen, joint instability, stiffness, and pain can result.

Likewise, muscles need cartilage to adhere themselves to the ends of bones. This is why muscle aches are one of the most common complaints of individuals with low collagen levels.

#2 – Healthy Teeth.

Collagen is needed to keep teeth in place in the gums [3]. Loose teeth, toothache, sensitive teeth, and even tooth loss can result from a lack of collagen overall.

#3 – Thick Hair.

Collagen plays an important part in hair growth since it fills in the spaces around each hair follicle. One way to tell if you are collagen deficient is to notice the quality and state of your hair. Dull, thin hair is a sign of low collagen levels. Collagen also helps fight free radicals that can damage hair.

#4 – Smooth Skin.

sagging skinWrinkling and cellulite are other unfortunate results of low collagen in the body. and sag, causing those pesky wrinkles as we age.

Cellulite is another telltale sign of low collagen. The special makeup of this protein helps keep skin taut around the frame. Lack of collagen causes the skin sometimes to pucker and become thin and weak, allowing liquid to build up under the skin’s surface which results in the appearance of cellulite.

A 2015 Brazilian study [4] found that women who took collagen peptide supplements for six months had marked improvement in moderate cellulite conditions.

#5 – Good Gut Health.

Finally, the newest research on collagen is connecting it to the healthy functioning of the digestive system. This is why many protocols for “healing the gut” these days involve collagen supplementation through bone broth or powders. In a nutshell, collagen helps heal the gut because of its ability to “seal the gut.” Leaky gut has been linked to autoimmune conditions and neurological conditions like autism.

One of the latest in the dozens of studies that make the connection between gut health and autoimmune conditions is a 2017 joint U.S.-Italian study that found that:

“(i)n individuals with a genetic predisposition, a leaky gut may allow environmental factors to enter the body and trigger the initiation and development of autoimmune disease [5].”

How to Help Your Body Create Collagen Naturally

There are two basic kinds of collagen. The first is endogenous collagen, which is naturally produced and synthesized by the body. The other is exogenous collagen which comes from an outside source such as pills and powders in supplement form as well as directly from animal products, such as bone broths.

Unfortunately, it is part of the “normal” aging process that by the time we reach around age 30, our natural, endogenous collagen production begins to wane. For most people who chose to eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) and live a sedentary yet stressed-out lifestyle, it pretty much goes downhill from there.

As internally created collagen production lessens, the result is not only wrinkles and sagging skin, but also joint pain, aching muscles, blood pressure issues, digestive complications, and an increased susceptibility to many kinds of chronic disease. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however.

Before we go into the kinds of collagen that you can get from external sources, let’s first take a look at some natural ways to boost the effectiveness of your internal collagen production in your body.

Yes, it is possible to increase your naturally occurring collagen levels, even as you age.

As with any essential substance, it is always best to eat a diet and live a lifestyle that promotes the healthy synthesizing of your own natural healing and repair mechanisms. This goes for collagen production as well.

African American couple cooking healthy meal in kitchen

What NOT to Do

Sometimes it is easier to remember what not to do than what to do when it comes to health. This is the case with collagen. There are two foundational and vital rules to remember as the very first steps to upping collagen production in your body:

  • First of all, don’t overdo it when it comes to exposing yourself to UV radiation from the sun.
  • Secondly, if you smoke cigarettes, quit now!

There are also many whole foods which have collagen-boosting as part of their long list of benefits. Some of these include Aloe vera, ginseng, cilantro, and algae products like spirulina as well as foods that are high in vitamin C.

Keep in mind that collagen is a protein. This means it is made up of amino acids like arginine and glycine. Be sure you are eating a healthy, organic, whole foods diet that will allow you to replenish essential amino acids that form the building blocks for endogenous collagen production.

Stress Damages Collagen Production

Finally, you must manage your stress! Studies have shown that high-stress states maintained over the long term can raise homocysteine levels [6], which in turn may affect the way collagen fibrils link together. This ultimately results in potential bone weakening [7] and a greater risk of chronic disease.

Is Collagen Supplementation Beneficial?

Last but certainly not least is the option of collagen supplementation. As both the medical and cosmetic benefits of collagen make their way into media outlets, new collagen products seem to pop up almost daily. Lotions, powders, gel pills, even gummy bears and collagen-infused beers [8] are making their way into the marketplace at a dizzying rate.

What Is Collagen In?

In general, there are essentially two sources where you can get exogenous (externally derived) collagen. The first is from homemade bone broth and sinuous meats. The second is in a more traditional supplement form, such as some of the ones listed above. (We don’t recommend beer as your source!)

If you are a meat eater, bone broth and beef roasts with a lot of connective tissue are great sources of collagen. If you are getting your collagen from meat products, it will actually come in the form of gelatin; this is what collagen turns into when it is cooked.

Bone Broth in a Bowl

For both bone broth and roast, it is important to cook them long enough to convert the collagen to edible gelatin. In the case of bone broth, it is also important to boil the bones long enough to completely extract all the minerals and marrow from them for added nutrients.

Ensure that your broths and meat dishes are prepared using grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat for optimal benefits.

Collagen supplements come in many forms, including bone broth powders and isolated collagen products such as collagen hydrolysate, hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen peptides.

Whatever kind you try, there is definitely evidence that collagen supplementation works. A study conducted by Penn State University in 2008 found that athletes with joint paint who received collagen hydrolysate supplementation for 24 weeks had less joint pain than a control group, even when lifting weights [9].

Regarding healthy skin, a 2017 Chinese in vivo study on mice found that collagen peptides from bovine bone “significantly improved the antioxidative enzyme activities in skin” after only eight weeks of supplementation [10].

And finally, studies going back to the 1990s have correlated collagen supplementation with improvements in osteoarthritis. For instance, a 2009 study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences found that arthritis pain dropped by an average of 26% for those who took collagen supplements [11].

So what’s the bottom line? The hype around collagen’s beauty and health-enhancing virtues may be a passing fad in the fickle world of beauty. But the facts around the role these vital proteins play in how your body functions every day are sure to stand the test of time.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.

Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens
Nikki Lyn Pugh
Nikki Lyn Pugh, MFA, INHC is a natural health researcher and writer. She is also an integrative nutritional health coach specializing in autoimmune conditions, chronic stress, and energy medicine. She loves to inspire people to become empowered with their health through education and gentle guidance. Nikki lives and works in Cottonwood, AZ, with her bunny "Mr. Dot."

Article Summary

  • Collagen is a protein; the most abundant kind in the human body.

  • Collagen is vital for maintaining the structure and integrity of your entire body.

  • There are more than a dozen kinds of collagen proteins, although most fall into types I, II, or III. Collagen molecules pack together in “fibrils,” which are long, thin fibrous formations.

  • Here are just a few reasons why collagen so beneficial:

    • Strong cartilage and muscles
    • Healthy teeth
    • Thick hair
    • Smooth skin
    • Good gut health
  • Collagen supplements come in many forms, including bone broth powders and isolated collagen products such as collagen hydrolysate, hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen peptides.

  • Clean Sourced Collagens from Organixx contains five types of collagen from four quality sources.

  • Check out our Clean Sourced Collagens.


  1. I'm 65 and I feel and look years younger. Thanks to collagen. I really like Organixx. It's the best. Try it. You won't regret it..

    • That's amazing, Maxine!

      We are so glad to know that you are loving our Clean Sourced Collagens so far. Thank you so much for your support and trust in Organixx!

      We would love to know more about you. How do you like to take your Organixx Collagens?

      Wishing you a lovely weekend!

  2. I took another companies colleges supplement for three months. My hair was still thinning, finger and toe nails weak.

    I have been taking Organixx collagen now for three weeks, my hair is not falling out while washing like it was before. My nails are much stronger and new growth looks healthier. I was not expecting to see such a difference in such a short time. This product seems to be working great for me. I add it to my tea or coffee or just water on days I am not drinking a hot beverage. It mixes in easily. I have been traveling during this time. I even take it into the restaurant sometimes to mix into my beverage there. When I return to the USA I will be ordering more. I am interested to see how my skin reacts after more time. I am 67 years young.

    • Hi Elsie,

      Thank you for your question and interest. We're sorry to hear about your current health condition.

      Please know, since Organixx cannot diagnose, treat, or give advice regarding one's health and individual use of our product(s), we highly recommend showing your trusted healthcare practitioner the Clean Sourced Collagens supplement label so they can help you determine whether taking this product would be beneficial for your current health needs.

      You may find the enlarged product label listed below:

      Hope this helps. Wishing you all the best on your wellness journey!

  3. Hi, wondering if it is okay to take the collagen supplement at the same time as the Organigreens in a smoothie or should it be taken at a different time.

    • Hi Brenda, we appreciate your interest in our Clean Sourced Collagens and OrganiGreens.

      We're happy to address your question on consuming multiple Organixx products at the same time.

      Organixx researches and develops a broad range of nutritional supplements to assist people in accomplishing a wide range of health goals. While some of our supplements were developed and designed to be taken together as a system, others were created for a more specific, targeted health goal.

      Most people shouldn't have any issues consuming all of our nutritional supplements together, however, it's always a wise step to consult with your primary healthcare practitioner in assisting you with your own unique health needs and health challenges. When taking multiple products in conjunction with one another, you can always start slowly with smaller doses and gradually work your way up to the recommended dosage per product.

      Please know, Organixx cannot diagnose, treat, or give advice regarding one's health and individual use of our products. If you have any questions regarding the individual use of our products, please consult with a physician or specialist.

      Thank you so much. Wishing you all the best on your wellness journey!

  4. You guys are the best!! I needed a hip replacement

    for the pass six years. I want to make it to sixty five before I have anything done or stem cells. I am bone on bone but walking fine because of your collagen. Thank you!!

    • That's amazing, Nora! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Glad our Clean Sourced Collagen has made such a positive impact in your life. We wish you all the best in your wellness journey.

    • Thank you for your testimonial! I've just ordered the collagen and came here looking for exactly this kind of feedback. Good luck with your hip replacement.

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