What is Collagen Powder (and How to Use It)

What is collagen protein and how to use it

I’ve been a big fan of gelatin since our family went on the GAPS diet and it helped my son be able to tolerate dairy again. I’ve also seen huge benefits with my skin, hair and nails since I started incorporating more gelatin and collagen in to my diet.

What is Collagen?

In short, collagen is an insoluble protein that accounts for 1/3 of the protein in our bodies and 70% of the protein in our skin. Many people are familiar with its role in the skin, which is why it is in many beauty products, but collagen is so much more!

Collagen is a distinct molecule made up of over 1,000 amino acids in a unique triple helix configuration of three polypeptide subunits. On a practical level, while there are 16 types of collagen, most in the human body is Type I-III. Type I collagen is incredibly strong… in fact, it is stronger than steel (gram for gram).

It is a complex protein, made up of many different amino acids, but most commonly proline, glycine and hydroxyproline. The important thing to know is that these amino acids are not present in muscle meats and many of us do not get enough of these with our modern diets.

The Many Reasons Collagen is Awesome

Here’s the thing… all of those beauty products that contain collagen won’t do much for your skin. This is because collagen molecules are too big to be absorbed through the skin. That doesn’t mean collagen isn’t really beneficial though, just that we have to get it from the inside out.

Collagen (and gelatin) are naturally found in high quality broth and in cuts of meat that contain skin or bone. If you’ve ever made bone broth and had it “gel” when it cooled, this is due to the gelatin and collagen naturally present in the bones.

The particular amino acids in collagen are said to be especially beneficial in the body for:

  • Supporting hair, skin and nails
  • For joint health
  • To encourage skin elasticity and reduce the signs of aging
  • Improving digestion
  • As a protein source

Gelatin and collagen contain 6 grams of protein per tablespoon and are relatively odorless and tasteless, making them easy to mix into warm drinks, smoothies, or recipes.

Ways We Consume Gelatin & Collagen

What is collagen hydrolysate and how to use itMy absolute favorite source of gelatin and collagen is homemade bone broth (or a high quality grass-fed bone broth like this one), but it isn’t always possible to have access to homemade broth.

As much as I love broth, there are also times (like a scorching August in Kentucky) when a cup of hot broth is not very appealing, so I prefer a different option instead.

Gelatin powder and collagen powder are great options that we use often instead of broth.

Gelatin Powder Uses:

We use gelatin for making a lot of different gut-healthy recipes like:

Gelatin is great because of its ability to “gel” in recipes. It works really well in jellos, marshmallows and other recipes for this reason. This is the grass-fed gelatin that we use.

The one downside to gelatin powder… it is hard to mix into drinks because of its ability to gel, so we use collagen in these ways instead:

Collagen Powder Uses:

Collagen has many of the same properties as gelatin and is the form actually found in the body.

So what is the difference?

The short answer is that they aren’t interchangeable, but they both do have their advantages. Some people, especially those with severe digestive issues won’t handle pure gelatin protein well until they address their digestive problems. Bone broth is a great option in this case, but another good option is Collagen Peptides, which is essentially a cold-water soluble and more easily digestible form of gelatin.

As one company explains:

Hydrolyzed Collagen is unique in its amino acid structure because of its high amounts of glycine, lysine and proline, which are found in lower amounts in other protein food supplements. These particular amino acids are found to generate cell growth much quicker because the natural ability to produce supporting amounts of connective tissue diminishes after the age of 25. Hydrolyzed Collagen is more easily digested because of its low molecular weight and is absorbed within 30 minutes. All of the amino acids collectively are beneficial to cell reproduction, but it is the distinctive spectrum of this product that impacts the metabolic pathways to healthy tissue.

Hydrolyzed Collagen is beneficial in replacing the synovial fluids between the joints and secondly, to repair and build cartilage weakened by overuse through impact and stress. Our bodies are made up of 30% collagen of which 70% of these proteins are connective tissue made of collagen.

Hydrolyzed Collagen is the missing link in supplying amino acids like glycine, proline and lysine that are required by the body to build connective tissue to regulate cell growth. It will benefit hair, skin tissue, muscle, cartilage, ligaments and blood cell growth. Some doctors are referring to this product as the new anti-aging product of the century.

Collagen powder (blue lid) won’t gel like regular gelatin, but it dissolves easily in cold drinks (like smoothies) and hot drinks (like my favorite coffee recipe).

I’ve found that it is absolutely perfect for blending healthy fats into a hot drink since it gives a delicious froth and creaminess. Various forms of butter coffee (especially Bulletproof Coffee) have become increasingly popular lately, and I prefer to add gelatin in collagen hydrolysate form for extra protein to these recipes. I’ve also tried similar recipes by adding grass fed butter, coconut oil, and grass fed collagen hydrolysate to herbal teas like dandelion root tea with similar results.

How Much Protein

Gelatin and collagen hydrolysate are also sources of protein, with 6-7 grams per tablespoon.

I’ve found that everyone in our family seems to digest the collagen hydrolysate form more easily, so we use that most of the time. I also still use regular grass fed gelatin in anything we need to “gel” and both of these options are good for an easy source of extra protein.

What We Do

We consume some form of gelatin or collagen almost daily (these are the ones we use), and also drink bone broth regularly.

I worked up slowly to consuming that much gelatin, but have found that my skin is smoother and heals much more quickly since I started this routine. Also, along with my autoimmune diet, I’ve noticed great results in managing my autoimmune disease.

To use collagen hydrolysate, I mix in cool or hot drinks. Most often, I blend in to organic coffee or herbal tea in the morning along with some grass fed butter and coconut oil.

I’m curious- have you ever tried gelatin or collagen hydrolysate? How did it work for you? Share below!

Collagen Hydrolysate is an easier to digest form of gelatin that does not gel but that contains essential amino acids like proline and glycine.

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Reader Comments

  1. I’ve been using collagen hydrolysate for a couple months – on average 1-1.5 tablespoons a day. I have some loose on the tata area from the baby! I haven’t seen any improvement yet.

    I also seem to be looser in the stool compartment. I am also taking magnesium, but I switched to oil form in case this was try culprit…but it may be this? Should I reduce for a while?

    • Magnesium makes my stools loose. I only take it when I get constipated. Just started the Collagen Hydrolysate yesterday, hoping it will keep me off the magnesium in conjunction with a modified paleo diet. Good luck!

      • try magnesium glycinate, the oxide and citrate make for loose stool.

      • I’m not taking magnesium and I just tried the Novell super collagen powder and the keratin and biotin powder in 8 oz of water on an empty stomach. I immediately became nauseas and in about 30 minutes, onset diarrhea. Why?

    • I have had considerable problems with my right hip ( too much sport when younger) and following investigation and xrays the doctors tell me the collagen is gone, so bone on bone hence pain and at some time soon a hip replacement . I have been trying all the usual recommended natural foods to try and help the situation gluesomme etc and to be honest I noticed no difference .

      A month ago I switched to Collagen Hydrolysate which I take in water twice a day and I really think it is making a difference , I no longer need a walking stick and I can do my shopping around the supermarket without using the trolley as a makeshift zimmer frame . I don’t think it’s me imagining it , it really appears to work . I am amazed and I will carry on with it . The Doctors told me that you cannot replace collagen once it is gone but if that is the case how is this working ?

      • Cartilage can regenerate. It’s in the literature but doctors either don’t know it, don’t read the research, or they may know it but downplay its significance because regeneration doesn’t happen by using surgery or drugs. Doctors tend to ignore natural self help methods that patients can pursue on their own as part of lifestyle health maintenance or self healing measures. The research is out there but “buried” or ignored.
        I am unable to post a link here that is about the existing research that shows cartilage, even in bone on bone situations, can regrow and heal. If the cause of the wear and tear is eliminated and the materials for repair are abundantly available, it may take time, but the body will slowly make progress to reverse the damage.
        Keep taking the collagen! It’s your raw materials for repair.

        • Can you just write in the name of the research and/or article your referring to about the regrow the of cartilage? Thank you

          • How long did it take to see the difference in your joint pain hair nails I’ve been on it for 2 weeks now hoping that my joint pain knee pain I have sciatic nerve damage knee damage shoulder damage and pain a lot hoping this will help me really thinning hair really thin nails just wondering how long did it take for you to see the difference in your body. Is this ok for my 14 year old she has knee damage also trying to loose w weight ?????? To this

        • Yes cartilage can regenerate…about 8 years ago I could hardly walk felt like glass was in my right knee. After my doctor told me of all the things she would do to my knee..and if those painful things didn’t work…like needles into the joints to deposit cartilage…then I would have to get a whole new knee. i left her office and never went back…even though it felt like glass was in my knee joint…instead I went to the drugstore…got protein in the form of collagen…and I have been walking fine every since.

      • From my experience, both borrelia and bartonella eat collagen, a favorite food, both are bacterias.. Would be interesting to check for lyme disease, although the blood tests are so inaccurate. A western blott from igenex and galaxy lab for bartonella could be conclusive.

      • This sounds so much like me…I just wanted to ask…not knowing if you’ll ever see this…by any chance were you made to wear a brace & corrective shoes as a young child? I had to for a couple of years…to make my feet straight. Seemed to be a fad in the 70’s. I’ve always noticed my right foot points outward more than my left now…and a few years ago, my right hip started hurting. I haven’t enjoyed walking as exercise in years…and I couldn’t figure out why. I have lost 45 pounds so that has helped…I’m eating keto…I did got get xrays and the doc says I have very little cartilage on my right hip. So I’ve been taking collagen for a few months hoping it will help. I was born in 67…and just wondered if you might have had to wear those braces too — that couldve affected your hip like it did mine?

      • I too have inflammation in my right knee, I do volunteer work which I have to stand for 4 hours, that knee get so stiff I have have to exercise it before moving to go on break and it is painful. It is swelling most times so I use a knee brace but after much deliberations about collagen powder and bone broth I tried the great Lakes collagen powder in the individual packs , easy for travel when you are rushed, I add it to my morning coffee have been using it now for 16 days as there are 21 packs in the box and I am feeling wonderful no knee problems to date getting better still monitoring for changes in skin and hair but will receive order and I stopped by butcher to check on beef bones . Now Now I will try making my own broth so keep doing what you’re doing it works . Thanks Wellness Mama

    • Would you recommend.a person to use a product with collegen hydrolysate in it if the person has a condition that causes the body to produce a overproduction of abnormal collagen. A type of protein fiber present in the connecto be tissue.
      I have Scleroderma do you think I should take this kind of collegen

      • Hi, my son has a connective tissue disorder. He takes this green can of collagen every day. As he is 17, sometimes he forgets. He notices and regrets it when he forgets. He has a lot of pain in his sternum, and taking collagen has helped tremendously. We have seen doctors who specialize in connective tissue disorders, and none if them have ever heard of taking collagen! Since scleroderma is a connective tissue disorder too, I think it is worth a try!

  2. I use it everyday!! Just made a bunch of blueberry lemon gummies and some berry ginger electrolyte chews with the gelatin. I use the collagen in either my morning coffee or smoothie.

    • Ginger Electrolyte Chews?! That sounds perfect. Can you post a basic recipe?

      • Sounds awesome for women in labor! I’d like the recipe too, please!

    • Deborah, I saw your post and after looking in this article didn’t see anything, I Googled “berry ginger electrolyte chews with the gelatin” and I got a lot of options. Good luck!

    • Would you mind sharing those recipes? ?

  3. I drink 3-4 TB a day- both in smoothies and water. The biggest thing I noticed was my nails! I’ve always had thin, flimsy nails. As soon as I started my daily gelatin, they became much harder- and they’re shiny! I actually have to cut my nails now. A first. My eyelashes have also gotten longer. I can’t think of anything else I changed, so it must be the gelatin. But it’s very noticeable. Have notice subtle differences in my skin, but nothing dramatic. I won’t live without this stuff ! We’re trying to incorporate the broth more, but I feel good we at least have this to fall back on.

  4. How interesting! My shipment of gelatin arrived in the mail yesterday! Don’t you live it when you get confirmation you’re on the right path?

  5. I used to use the gelatin in my coffee but switched over to the collagen because I wanted the benefits without the clumping factor. I consumed it regularly during pregnancy. I just had my baby last week and never got any stretch marks, even with a 35 lb weight gain. I am convinced it was the collagen!

    • How often did you take the collagen while pregnant

    • Is it safe to assume then that it’s okay to consume when nursing?

      • Yes, It’s food

      • I’m also wondering this. On call nurses haven’t been able to say whether it’s safe or unsafe.

  6. I love this stuff! I add it to my Yerba Mate every morning. I add it to my peppermint tea at night. My thinning hair is not so thin, it grows very fast. My nails are very strong and I have very few aches and pains any more. I seriously damaged my knee a few years ago and since starting the collagen it doesn’t ache all the time. I use this one because it mixes so well into many things. One can lasts quite a long time.

    • How long did it take to see the difference in your joint pain hair nails I’ve been on it for 2 weeks now hoping that my joint pain knee pain I have sciatic nerve damage knee damage shoulder damage and pain a lot hoping this will help me really thinning hair really thin nails just wondering how long did it take for you to see the difference in your body

      • Thinning hair and really ugly nails I started seeing a difference after twice a day taking it for one month! As a 37-year-old man I’m noticing that I could run better and work out stronger in the gym as well ! However I use hydrolyzed collagen !

  7. Hey, just wondering if it is possible to bake/ cook with Collagen Hydrolysate? Does the collagen break down if heated too high? I would like to add it to my kids pancakes and oatmeal if possible… Thanks

    • I am wondering the same thing about using it in baking, did you get an answer?

      • THM baking blend uses collagen so yes you can bake with it.

  8. I have been using the green can in smoothies. Are you following an auto immune protocol now? Do you plan to do a post on this and an update on your autoimmune thyroid condition?

      • I used the orange can in my smoothie, is that ok? I’m really confused about the orange & green! I have chronic constipation & lots of digestive issues. I want to make sure I use the right one. Thank You

      • Can I take collagen hydrolysis with L-Glutamine at the same time?

        • I have been taking collagen with l-glutamine for a while now and it seems to be just fine!

  9. I am using both of them green one in smoothie together with raw organic whey, but I am not sre if it has that benefit as bone broth cause it is made only from cows hide unfortunatelly no bones

  10. Hi, You always talk about recipes that require blending and I was wondering what type of blender / blending tools you use. I don’t usually do much with my blender becasue I don’t like cleaning it (Ninja blender). What kind of blender do you use for different blending tasks and how do you clean them? Any tips would be appreciated! Thank you.

      • Do you have to blend the collagen into drinks? Could it be stirred into coffee or tea?

        • The collagen blends quickly and easily in cold and warm drinks just by stirring. Its very easy to use, stir it into coffee, tea, juice, soup, etc.

    • I use an old fashioned milkshake blender….got it at Goodwill. Small area on counter top and removable cup easy to wash. I use it for everything to b blended….love it

    • To clean the Ninja..put 2-3 drops of liquid dish detergent in Ninja (blades inserted) the fill 3/4 full warm water. Run machine on highest setting for 30 seconds. Remove lid, pour out liquid, rinse.

      Now you have clean Ninja and blades.

      Love this kitchen system and use it daily..for everything!!

    • I have used a vitamix for that past at least 15 years, except for a brief time when I bought a Blendtec, as I was needing a new blender and they cost less. However, I found that the lid didn’t stay on when blending at high speed (resulted in a big mess). I contacted the company and got a replacement and it didn’t work any better. Then the blade assembly seized up. I gave up and went back to Vitamix. Well worth the higher price, in my opinion.

    • usually those types of blenders are self cleaning. Just add warm water and a drop of dish soap. Do not fill all the way or there will be to much suds. Run the water and soap in the blender and then pour out and rinse.

  11. Hi, I was wondering if you’ve done any research on Great Lakes gelatin products that you recommend. It does not look like it is organic. Grass-fed does not equal organic, nor does it mean that the animals were not treated with antibiotics or hormones. If Great Lakes has a good product, why don’t they seek certification or state something like “Non-GMO, “from animals not treated with antibiotics”, etc. on their products? I share your view on gelatin’s importance in our diet, just want to find the best possible product out there.. Thanks!

    • Hi!
      Their product is non-GMO, antibiotic and pesticide free, as well as free range. The beef gelatin is made from beef grazed in Argentina. Their pork version is from pigs raised in Iowa and Canada and they try their best to keep them GMO free. In the next several months they will be changing their labeling to reflect the above labels. I know this as I interviewed them personally.

      • Thank you, Christine! I just bought my first two canisters of gelatin and collagen hydrolysate and was a little nervous about the quality. This stuff isn’t cheap, but Great Lakes seems to offer the most reasonable prices (or, at least, what I can afford). Anyway, I’m just now starting more thorough research and was hoping someone could absolutely clarify this without my having to contact the company directly.

        • Hi Mary,
          I decided to call the company again since the label has not changed. I was now told that at this point, new labels are not coming out. Here is a link for FAQ: http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/consumer/FAQs.php. It does not specifically address the certified organic labeling. Hope this helps.

          • This link now got me wondering…I just started a can of Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate. I was definitely under the impression that it was just a different way of ingesting the gelatin obtained from bones – not from hides! I’m now wondering based on other things I’ve heard if this is really as effective as bone broth.

      • Is anyone concerned about the mad cow thing? Typically my meat is American. Seeing as these cows are Argentinian… I just worry.

      • FYI: Argentina has a HUGE agriculture of GMO crops!!!!! I would NOT use beef from there!!!

        • Argentina gets the GMO products ( seeds from Monsanto) from USA, that means that the meat and grains are not different from USA. I am Argentinean, I know what Iam talking about. The few organic farms there are exports their products to Europa.
          In USA , you can’t have a 100 % organic farm, because all the land is already contaminated with glifosato ( herbicide for GMO seeds) that other farmers used in their lands… Same problem in Argentina. Personally I trust more in products coming from Europa.

    • It seems both Great Lakes and the Vital brand collegen, is extracted from the hides.

  12. I tried gelatin after reading about the benefits on your site. I feel as if it makes me feel very tired and “funny” after taking it. Is there a condition in which it is hard to digest gelatin or certain proteins or amino acids? Any help would be great!

    • Some people with digestive problems do have trouble with regular gelatin but can do ok with bone broth or collagen.

      • So the green can would be better for me to try? It may be better tolerated with the same benefits? thanks

        • There was a review by an MSG-sensitive person who was unable to tolerate the collagen stuff. Her mom loves it, though.

          • Would you please explain the MSG connection?

        • I have tried the green can several times and always end up doubled over with painful stomach cramps for 24 hours! I don’t have any known digestive problems and consume a wide variety of fermented / probiotic foods all made at home, organic. I can’t find any info about these extreme side effects online…

          • I am also having trouble with the hydro collagen, Great Lakes brand, which is the ‘best’ brand according to everything I could find. I tend to have diarrhea, and this gives me severe diarrhea and a mild headache.

            At the same time, I can tell some parts of my body like it, too. My energy is good, my mind is pretty clear and calm.

            I’m wondering if
            1. I’m using too much
            2. If this is a healing reaction and then my body will adjust to it
            3. I don’t think I’m allergic to grass-fed beef…

            Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions?

            And does anyone have a blood test recommendation of a place that thoroughly tests for food allergies? I am already wheat, cow dairy, egg, msg and sugar free. I’m suspecting pork, legumes.

          • one clove of crushed garlic in warm water on an empty stomach and wait half hour before eating. you might have stomach cramps for first few days but persist with it and your digestion should improve as it eliminates the bad bacteria

          • I”m experiencing this as well….I’m going to take a break from it. I have been using it for about 6 weeks. They days I don’t, I have been drinking bone broth. I’m hoping that the collagen is the cause of this. I play golf on the weekends. and can’t hit the bathroom like this!

    • My mother gets this if she consumes anything even cooked or mixed with any pork product. Make sure you are not allergic to any animal and the source of the gelatin (i.e. All beef Kosher powder) I can’t eat turkey.
      I just started using the all beef Kosher power in water and after the first dose in water I was able to get up and walk on a bad knee and hip that kept me non weight-bearing the past 3 weeks and all my pain and inflammation from Fibromyalgia stopped within 2 hours. I am trying to take it in water at least 3 times a day. It also calmed down my tummy which has always bothered me. I also don’t seem super thirsty all the time. Before the more I drank water the more I peed but was still thirsty.

    • You know now that I read this I was thinking about that too I feel tired and driving and I thought this would bring me up and give me more go go go go but I am feeling too tired so what is it is there something that’s not agreeing with my body or what the question question question to this too please give me an answer thanks

      • I cut back to just a little scoop in my morning coffee and I’ve felt great ever since. ?

        • Did you have tummy troubles? Is that why you cut back Dee? If so how much do you use? Teaspoon?

    • I just started with collagen peptide powder two days ago an I’ve been tired TWO days. Did you find anything about this?

  13. Do you know of any vegetarian substances/foods that would give the same health benefits? I know that you mentioned in another post that you tried vegetarianism for a little while and I’d be really interested to hear why it wasn’t for you and what you feel the drawbacks are.

    Also, can’t wait for your essential oil diffuser review! Thanks! 🙂

    • Would also like to know this! I have Crohn’s, an auto immune condition as well as leaky gut. I need to repair the linings of the intestinal walls and heard collagen really helps this process. I have been vegetarian for 28 years. Any substitute from egg shell or something like it?

      • I am also vegetarian and would really like to try something similar. I have always worked outdoors, travelled a lot and I have pale dry skin, and now at 26 I’ve already got a lot of fine lines. I’d really like to find something to help

        • Unfortunately, I don’t know of any vegetarian products that work in the same way or that are a source of the same amino acids…

        • Vital protein brand is coming out with or will be with a vegetarian option.

      • I am vegetarian as well. Unfortunately, there is no vegetarian source of collagen. However, your body does make its own collagen, and there are supplements that are veg. and can help aid your body in producing it on its own.

    • Do you consume fish? Vital proteins has a marine collagen.

  14. Hi!

    Thanks so much for this post! Do you know that taking this and also doing the OCM is a good enough anti-aging regiment or is there more that should be done? (other than diet changes – unfortunately that never lasts long!)

    Also is there a pill version?


      • Can you provide link to your COM or oil cleansing recipe/regimen and routine as referenced here and what it has done for you? Also in trying to find some info on how to give college peptides (we take same brand in bulletproof coffee every morning) to our 10 month old baby as thought read that can give to them or in natural baby formula. He is breastfed currently.Thanks gor such fantastic content.

          • I have been oil cleansing for more than a year since I was introduced to your website. I LOVE it! My skin is normal to oily and our winter climate is very dry. I have actually seen a reduction in wrinkles around my eyes. Wouldn’t wash my face any other way!

      • What’s is OCM? And oil cleansing?

  15. Thanks, Katie for summarizing so well what I tell my clients about the benefit of gelatin in bone broth. Also, thanks for exploring the difference between the two major types of gelatin supplements. I’d like to excerpt your material in one of my blog posts and then point them to this blog entry. Is that OK with you?

  16. Thank you for recommending this product! I love your site. I am almost finished with the first bottle I bought after reading about it on your site. I think it really does help my skin and nails. I just ordered 2 more green bottles – I drink it in my coffee.

    • any side effects if taking coumadin and colllagen hydrolsate

      • I experienced a side effect, but have to mention first thatI need very little of any type of exogenous substance to affect m,e as my body seems to react more than others. After taking Great Lakes collagen joint care 10 days in juice every morning, my neck became more stable which was great because my ligaments were lax due to degeneration. But then my entire body started to become stiff. I have never had pain anywhere and tell people since I am 62 that my diet consisting of vegetables and fruits gives me plenty of minerals so I don’t have pain. This collagen caused me to start to become very unusually stiff and have pain everywhere I ever had an injury. I only took one teaspoon every day in juice for 10 days and then stopped when I started to get stiff. I would say that a person should start out very slowly with this since we all react differently. I am sorry I did not because the stiffness and pain is a drag. It is slowly abetting and I am hoping it eventually leaves so I can get back to my limber self again!

        • Be nice if there was some feedback here

        • I started a Specific Carb Diet to relieve intestinal problems that were ongoing for 30 days. The intent was to stop the diarrhea and then add one new food item ea day to see is I am wheat sensitive or what? I ate boiled chicken, drank the broth, ate jello made with purple grape juice and gelatin (green cannister) and ate some grass fed beef. I believe the jello or gelatin collagen gave me migraines. I had been without migraines for 2 weeks and now having them 2 x per day. What is the MSG connection that was mentioned above. That would be the likely culprit.

          • Interesting. I have tried collagen twice. The bottle said take it on an empty stomach, which I did. Within an hour I was nauseous and got a visual migraine headache, which I never get. This was so disappointing as I was looking forward to the great results people speak of.

          • It’s the enzymes used to break down the collagen. Gave my sister migraines. She can’t have any enzymes. Papain, bromelain, etc.

  17. I was wondering which of the two Great Lakes products would be best for skin, hair and nails if you do not have digestive issues. and how much should be consumed to see results?

  18. how do I make bone broth? Thanks, Susan

  19. My 11 year old daughter has very brittle finger nails. They have always been brittle. They split, peel and tear all the time. Would this gelatin product help her? How much per day should I stir into her drinks?
    I really enjoy your site and have learned a great deal. I first heard about you and your site on the Thyroid Summit. Thank you!

  20. I was always a fan of “gelatin” products – even when in high school (over 40-some years ago) but then somebody told me gelatin was made from horse tail or something like that! I didn’t read anywhere above what it actually “is” – did I miss it?
    Thanks, Rhonda

    • It’s connective tissue, basically. Hope that does not gross anyone out!

      • This link now got me wondering…I just started a can of Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate. I was definitely under the impression that it was just a different way of ingesting the gelatin obtained from bones – not from hides! I’m now wondering based on other things I’ve heard if this is really as effective as bone broth.

      • I know it is connective tissue essentially, but if the benefits come more from joints and knuckles (like when making our own bone broth), is the benefit of collagen hydrolysate the same? Great Lakes says their product is derived from skin/hides? I wasn’t expecting that so now I’m researching – or is it a different benefit taking collagen hydrolysate vs bone broth? My husband needs joint repair – I don’t – I just like seeing the effects.

    • I would like to try the collagen but afraid since it is an animal product. I stopped ALL animal protein and sugar 6 months ago and my fibromylgia is all but gone, if I “cheat” then the pain and fatigue return. I hate to try the collagen due to the expense. Any other collagen available? Fibro sufferers try this amazing elimination and see if it works. I know it does as all symptoms return when I try the least amount of animal product.

  21. I do bone broth when I can, but use the Great Lakes gelatin every single day. I aim for 2 tablespoons, and sometimes go up to 4. I have seen tremendous improvements in the thickness and health of my hair, as well as the firmness of my skin, particularly on my face. I kind of like the way the red can makes my tea a bit thick. As long as I stir well and add it slowly I don’t get too many clumps.

    • Is it ok to have collagen with other proteins? Like in a whey smoothie?

  22. Katie, thank you so much for all the healthy info I get from your blog. Also have 3 auto-immune diseases and looking forward yo your updates. Question – I am allergic to pork – are any of these collagens made from beef??

  23. I started using the GREAT LAKES UNFLAVORED GELATIN about 1 year ago. I add it to my coffee in the morning and my afternoon shake. I immediately noticed a difference in my joints as they were bothering me tremendously during my workouts. After doing more research on this, I read that many people were using this to hold off getting knee replacements…which my father desperately needed, but too scared to go through with it. SO, i bought some for my dad, and now he uses it daily as well, and swears his knee pain has improved. It also has improved my skin, hair and my digestion. I highly recommend this. I buy it on amazon in a pack of 2.
    Oh, and I have also made my kiddos vitamins, which were very simple!!

  24. Those who get cold sores…BEWARE!

    Over years of dealing with cold sores for many reasons, I found a piece of research about lysine/arginine ratios in those with cold sores. Apparently, a diet high in arginine and low in lysine can create cold sores in those with the virus. You can Google lysine/arginine ratios in foods and get easy info on this…much easier than years ago when I learned about it! I have since changed so much in my diet and lifestyle that I rarely get them anymore.

    Gelatin is VERY high in arginine. Still, I was so excited about this product that I had Katie’s Vanilla SuperLatte recipe with a tablespoon of it yesterday morning. Highly assimilated is right! I woke up with a cold sore this morning. I added a little lysine to try and balance it out, but I don’t think I added enough. It was so good that is was almost worth it!

    Thanks for all you do Katie.

    • Jess, ive been worried to take gelatin for that same reason. i wonder if taking collagen would have same effect??? i so wish i could take gelatin:( but i rather have bad skin and hair than to get cold sores and not kiss my baby.:(

    • I rarely get cold sores anymore. I used to get at least one every two months. Then I read how eating virgin coconut oil helps your white blood cells destroy the cold sore virus by first dissolving the outer lipid ring that normally protects the cold sore virus from destruction. I took 3 tablespoons per day for about two months, one with every meal. Unfortunately, I passed the virus on to my husband, and since he hates the taste of coconut, won’t eat virgin coconut oil. I will occasionally pick up the virus from him, but I just go back to eating coconut oil for a short time and I’m cold sore free again. He will use a small amt of coconut oil directly on the lesion up to three times per day and that will shorten the duration and discomfort of the cold sore significantly. Coconut oil can be absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes and benefits can be achieved that way too. Hope this helps.

      • Did you also cut out arginine rich foods?

    • Does anyone know if this is true of collagen too, or just gelatin?
      My husband gets cold sores & has found much relief by avoiding high arginine foods & taking a lysine supplement. We first learned about this while he had shingles (since it’s the same virus as the cold sore)

      • I would also like to know if collagen is ok to take for someone who gets frequent cold sores. My hair is thinning and skin is bad but I would hate to get cold sores even more frequently that I already am :/

    • Just thought I would also chime in on this one ….. I think i could REALLY benefit from collagen BUT i can almost completely eliminated high arginine foods from my diet due to the cold sores…. AND actually wonder if being so low in arginine now is causing my other problems…..

      Its a tough thing. I really wonder what the softest way to get collagen would be that would come in the most lysine balanced way. I won’t be experimenting soon but gosh… it is a real issue for those of us with all these skin issues.

  25. Hi, do you know this (collagen supplement) is safe for someone with hypothyroidism? Also, am I naive to believe I could find a good vegetarian version?

  26. Hi! I have used gelatin (orange can) for quite some time and saw great benefits with my nails, hair and skin. I ran out shortly begore i became pregnant. I am now 4 months pregnant and wondering if it would be a good idea to now start up again . Do you know? Thank you!

  27. I am vegetarian and would love to know of a non animal type collagen. I have heard there is a algae based collagen. do you have a suggestions? Thanks. Love your website. Kelley

  28. I currently make homemade stock for my family as part of our GAPS regime. Our main goal in using stock is to heal and seal our leaky guts. Do you find that the Great Lakes gelatin products are equally effective for the actual healing of the gut lining?
    Thanks , Jamie

    • I love my bone broth, but yes, these products are also excellent.

  29. What about cancer? I want to give it to my father, because of his joint problems, but I am afraid he has lung cancer or will develop it in the next 5-10 years. If collagen hydrolysate promotes cell growth, it seems like that would promote cancer cell growth too. I googled it, but I just saw one study about prostate cancer, and it was inconclusive.

    • If someone had breast cancer, would it be safe to take collagen,
      Also is it good for loose bowels?

      • From: http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/consumer/noMSG.php
        “The glutamic acid in gelatin at 11% are bound in the protein chain. It is only the free (not bound) amino acid that is a cause for concern. Free glutamic acid results with gelatin is at 0.01% and collagen hydrolysate is at 0.09%. We typically find more free glutamic acid in human blood than in our gelatins.”

  30. Hi Wellness Mama,

    You really provide some good information. Love your blogs. Have made handmade lotions, anti chlorine versions. Love it.

    I am a vegetarian. Apart from eggs, we don’t consume any meat. Are there any vegetarian options to Gelatin/Collagen with the same benefits. I have a 2 year old and would like to instill good habits/make sure her health is in great form right from the start.

    Can you please guide on the vegetarian options?

    Thanks in advance and keep up the good work

  31. I just ordered this and started it….im nursing my 5 month old is it okay to take during pregnancy and while nursing?

    Also just curious were you nursing while pregnant? Did it effect your milk supply?


    • I am also interested to know if these (especially collagen) is safe to take while nursing. My LO is 6 months old.

  32. Hi Katie,
    I have been using gelatin for 9 weeks now. I was born with dislocated hips and at almost 40 my hips hurt all the time and the extra weight hasn’t helped at all. After changing my diet, exercising everyday and putting gelatin in my morning and nightly cup of tea my hip pain is a thing of the past, not to mention i have lost nearly 15 pounds and still noticing my clothes getting bigger everyday. Gelatin is forever a staple in our home. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  33. I take collagen pills that I purchased on Amazon. Is this just as good as the powdered form? It seems to be more affordable overall.

  34. How much of the green can Great Lakes gelatin should I start my 4 yr son on? He is a super picky eater and I have been trying to figure how to start the gaps diet but I just don’t know how I will get him to eat any of these things much less bone broth! Help!!!

  35. Hello! I’d like to pop some of the green hydrolysate into my soup once it’s cooked as I often use a plain mineral broth. Reckon that works if I pop it in at the end?

  36. I love using this product. I put a tablespoon in my coffee each morning and a tablespoon in my tea at night. I have Crohn’s so I am excited for the internal benefits as well as external! I am almost done with my first can and have already noticed an increase in nail and hair growth & strength!!! I have terrible knees and they are now only a sometimes pain/stiffness instead of the constant pain/stiffness I was having. I recommend this to a lot of people to try. I look forward to trying out some of your recipes 🙂

  37. I started using the Collagen powder a few months ago. Only once a day in the Tulsi tea I have been drinking. Now I use it two, or even three, times a day. I would consider this one of my “must haves”.
    How many tablespoons are too many?
    Also…are there health benefits of the Gelatin that are missing from the Collagen only?

  38. hi do you have anything for rheumatoid arthritis

    • I had a patient who said oil pulling with coconut oil significantly decreased their RA symptoms.

  39. I’ve been using Great Lakes Gelatin for just a short time about 3 weeks. I add one Tablespoon to a blended salad to clear my psoriasis and it has worked amazingly at healing my leaky gut. So happy with the product. I’m going to begin trying it on my son who has some add/dyslexia issues, I’m thinking from heavy metals or a leaky gut as well.

    • Hi Michele!

      Which Great Lakes gelatin have you been using? The green or red can?


  40. I got great joint pain relief from taking a fish collagen capsule, however it is a non hydrolyzed or lyophilized collgen!

  41. Hey Katie, I love the blog, you are awesome.
    I’ve recently take a blood test and found out that I have an insane amount of allergies, (I have Leaky Gut apperantly)
    These allergies include beef. In fact the only proteins I CAN have is turkey, chicken, and tuna.
    No nuts, beans, or other meats..

    My question is, that since my body seems to be reacting to proteins, is collagen hydrolysate safe for me to use seeing as it is a protein and I am allergic to beef?

    Is this a stupid question??

    • I came to this site for the same reason; beef allergy. Were you ever able to find an answer? It would help me greatly 🙂

  42. I bought some collagen hydrolysate after reading this article mainly to help with my acne scarring. I also ordered glutamine capsules after my doctor recommended them, not realizing that they will also help build collagen. Just wondering if it is fine for me to use both? I plan to ask my doctor on Monday but thought maybe I could get an answer here first. Thanks!

  43. I have a two year old, can I put this into her green smoothies and how much would you say a day? Should a two year old do it daily, or how many times a week? We are veggies, but I feel I can use this on my family to help make sure we stay healthy. Thank you very much for anyone that can help me.

  44. I was reading the Amazon reviews for this and noticed a lot of complaints that the way this product is made that it turns the proteins into something resembling MSG, causing headaches, fatigue, and other issues. Obviously you haven’t had problems, but aren’t you concerned about long term excessive exposure to free glutamate?

    There was also a comment earlier about how they’re going to get certifications and whatnot for their certified grassfed beef status, but there’s a review from March of this year on Amazon talking about how Argentine beef is not grassfed, they’re as bad as American raised beef on GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, etc. In fact, that particular reviewer directly challenges that affiliates are lying to people about the quality of this product to continue making money.

    Just wondering what your thoughts are since that was just one of many comments to challenge the validity of what you’re stating and that maybe this isn’t that great of a product.

  45. Hi Katie,

    Just purchased a can of the Great Lakes Gelatin, Collagen Hydrolysate so yet to experience it – but suddenly wondered if it is ok to consume during pregnancy and nursing? Thanks 🙂

  46. Hi Katie!

    Where can i buy bone broth? Making it myself is too much for me lol!

  47. Hi
    Thanks for your blog. Would Irish Moss or karageen be a vegetarian alternative?


  48. I saw where someone ask the question about baking with it and adding it to pancakes, is it OK to do so? Sorry if missed the response.

  49. I love your blog and all your info. Thank you for sharing! I did want to share my experience with the gelatin…in case someone could benefit from this…and to see if anyone has a suggestion for me. I have been taking the Green can since June of this year (for leaky gut). At first it was hard on my stomach, but after I introduced a GI Repair powder I was able to handle the green can with no problem. I did notice my skin seemed softer, my nails grow faster, my hair seems to grow faster too. I also bought the Red can because there were so many good recipes for it, and because I red it works BETTER at healing the leaky gut. I ruined myself the first day by following directions on the can. It clumped up and looked disgusting, and I mixed it with a tea, and downed it…but I could not keep it down. The smell, taste, and texture were repulsive. I was so sad, because I had heard so many good benefits. So now months later I got brave enough to try a recipe using the Red can from a blogger, Chocolate mousse. It turned out great, and I loved it! Then I got brave the next day and made hot chocolate with cinnamon and added a tablespoon of the Red can gelatin. To my lovely surprise, it dissolved quite perfectly, and the hot chocolate was great! So I thought I was on to something here. Yay! So for a week and a half I started taking the Red can, 2 heaping tablespoons a day, one in the morning and one at night. After a week, I developed severe depression….and I just started feeling very strange. This was not me at all. It really affected my hormones and my mood. I also started having sinus problems….and itchy hives (that I typically have when I eat a food i’m allergic too) so one day I was trying to think what is wrong what do I need to change. The Red can gelatin was not the first thing to pop into my head BECAUSE there have only been tons of good reviews about it. But at the end of the day that was the only thing that I had changed in my diet or life. So I stopped and within one day my depression was gone. So I’m putting this out here just in case someone else has had this experience. I read that it might be because of a detox of the liver..and that after a few weeks it would go away. I might be willing to tough it out but I want to make sure this statement is true. Any suggestions? I’d love to hear from you!

    • Hi Stephanie, that you had hives makes me wonder if perhaps your body isn’t reacting to histamines. Have you looked into that at all? If that’s what your experiencing, it might make sense for your body to have a reaction to the gelatin but not the collagen, as your gut hasn’t healed enough for your body to be able to deal with the histamines. I am by no means an expert in anything, but I’ve recently been looking into such things for myself, and so your post rang a bell for me. Maybe you could stick to the green can until your gut has healed some more? Just a thought… I’d be interested in hearing how it turns out for you! 🙂

    • I started taking 1 tablespoon twice a day and it made me much more ill. I suffered from the exact same thing. When I take gelatin: itching, severe depression with intense & frequent crying and suicidal ideas, sugar cravings, etc.

      I stopped and, 20 hours later, I feel better already. Crazy.

    • Yes, I agree with you. I too noticed that Im having depression but not mood swings. After a dose i would feel emotional and cry for nothing. Yet i would still continue taking collagen, I’ve noticed big changes after only 2 weeks

  50. Hi, I have experienced the same but don’t have any answers for you! I switched from beef bones to lamb neck bones for my bone broth as I was reacting to the marrow and now I’m ok with it. I switched to the green can too and have noticed great changes. I sometimes use a small amount of the red one to make gravy or jelly for my daughter but I wouldn’t handle 2 tblsp of it a day. Perhaps stick to the green one?

    • Thank you for your reply Kate! i’m glad i’m not alone in this…I was just so sad because you typically read such great things about it. So you can tolerate the green can but not the red?
      I am giving myself a break from all of them for a week or two and let my body take a break. It was trully so bad that I am scared to try any of them again. Along with the depression, allergic reaction, and hormone related problems, my body hurt all over. But I do plan to introduce the green can back in eventually, thank you for the suggestion.

  51. I went to my Natural Grocers to get me some gelatin in pill form because the gummies were going down faster than I could make them. That grocery store had like a bookcase-sized wall of all kinds of different things: gelatin, collagens, hydrolyzed acid (or something). I stared at the dozens of bottles like /(@o@;;;)\ and had an associate help me. I don’t remember the name brand, but it does have vitamin C, shark/chicken cartilage, and a few other components that she said were basic to making sure everything fully absorbed. Is there one that’s really better than the other?? I got a bunch of information about the different types, but I’m not learned enough on the situation to make a good purchase. :/

  52. Kate — want to try this out! Curious — why the switch from the Great Lakes brand to the Vital Proteins? Is one better than the other? Thank you kindly for your response.

    • Both are great. I recently switched to Vital Proteins myself because they verify pasture-raised and grassfed, but I think both brands are great.

  53. I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos. Since reading all of the great reviews and benefits of collagen hydrolysate (Great Lakes green can) I decided to try it. I started small and worked up slowly, but felt like my Hashi symptoms were getting significantly worse. It took me a while to realize that it was the collagen that was affecting me. Anyone else have this problem?? Anyone have any better results with the Vital Proteins brand? I want the health benefits of collagen, but I can’t handle how it made me feel.

  54. Hi, I am about to make my first batch of homemade baby formula and have at home Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate. Is this suitable to use for the formula or do I need to buy the gelatin version? Thanks!

  55. Just saw this post and was wondering why you switched from Great Lakes to Vital Proteins? I’m not sure I can afford Vital Proteins on top of all our other less-than-cheap supplements and dietary choices…. I’m still using the plain old Great Lakes kosher stuff, hoping you’re not about to tell me their sources are shady…

  56. Disregard…I just saw your response to someone else saying you consider both brands good. *phew*

  57. I have seen a couple people asking but I don’t think I have seen a response. I am avoiding beef and pork, and would like to know if there is a chicken-based collagen hydrolysate that someone would recommend.

    Thank you.

    • There is a supplement called Hydraplenish Hyaluronic Acid (by Nature’s Way), which is sourced from chicken collagen (from chickens supposedly fed a natural vegetarian feed). This supplement emphasizes the hyaluronic acid part of the collagen, which has many benefits, but I believe it is roughly the same as a hydrolysed collagen. The other name for it is BioCell Hydrolysed Collagen Type II. Biocell collagen II appears in various other brands using this supplement, as I believe it is a patented process. I liked the Hydraplenish due to price, available at Vitamin Shoppe. But you can do a search for BioCell Collagen, and they have a lot of the health and science info on their site. As far as I know this comes in capsules so probably not to use in recipes but just to take as a supplement.

  58. I have used collagen for over a year. I had taken a part time job on a couple years back that I eventually had to take a break from due to several physical issues that I was having. It is fast paced, can be physically demanding, and has me on my feet for the duration. I have always been an advocate of supplementation, and in fact was already using several that had been very beneficial in managing my arthritis. However upon taking this job I began having issues again. Enter the collagen. I cannot tell you if it is just the collagen, a combination of my other supplementation with the collagen or what. But I am sooo grateful to the Lord for opening my eyes to this. I have since gone back to my part time job WITH ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEMS AT ALL like the problems I was having before. I can recall coming home from my shift and sometimes having such a hard time getting out of my car because of aches and pains! Now?? I can hop out of my car, and bound the steps leading to my door. I am amazed and very, very happy. I feel 10 to 15 years younger than my age, and can keep up with people young enough to be my children. I exercise for 30-40 minutes daily in addition to my job. I can’t say how it will work for others, but for me I plan to continue with its use!

    • Hi Lisa.
      I don’t know how old your post is, but hopefully you are still there to reply.
      Never seen posts without dates but your experience sounds like my husband and we really need help.
      Can you please let me know what you have used in regards to the arthritis & the collagen type/brands? What really worked for you?
      If we can get some of his pain under control it would be worth a try.

  59. I bought the collagen and the gelatin from Great Lakes about a month or so ago. I started taking the collagen prior to trying the gelatin, as I thought it was easier just to mix it into my drink twice per day, as I was pretty busy at the time. Anyway, I took one rounded tablespoon in the morning, and one before bed, as stated on the can, but the day after I began taking it, I had hives. I didn’t really think anything of it, as I was also taking two other supplements and thought it must have been one of them. I then had hives for two, almost three days(actually they only happened at night, which I still don’t understand-buildup?) following the initial hives, each day forgoing one of my two other supplements, and the collagen, but I still had the hives for another day after stopping all three. I was also awoken each night by terrible gastrointestinal pain, like heartburn to the extreme. I had read online that this type of pain, along with the hives, could indicate a histamine reaction, and could maybe be from the collagen. Have you ever heard of this? I just started taking the collagen again this morning after a little over two weeks of not taking it, but only took about half of a tablespoon, out of fear of it happening again…I still don’t know if I’m going to take any tonight yet or not. Do you think I should just work up to the recommended amount? I want to take it, for its touted health benefits, but don’t want to overload my system or something.

    • I haven’t heard of that reaction to collagen, but I’d definitely pay attention to your body and avoid it if it is a histamine reaction.

      • Thanks for your response. I didn’t get a full-blown reaction this time around, but I did get fairly itchy, so I took it as a sign that my body just doesn’t agree with it, and quit taking it.

    • look into how arginine affects the Human Growth Hormone (makes any sort of virus in the body act up) it can be combated apparently with lysisne I believe

  60. So if I have a Histamine intolerance, should I stay away from the collagen?

  61. I have seen several questions about pill forms of collagen but no answer, I have a hard time drinking different or odd flavors and would love a pill. Any recommendations?

  62. Hi! I ve been using the green one from Great Lakes… do you know if it is ok to use when pregnant?

    • It is food based and I’ve taken it during pregnancy, but check with a doc if you’re unsure.

  63. Can you add this to smoothies? Just trying to think of different ways to take it.

  64. I took this for the first time yesterday 1 tsp in a blueberry almond milk smoothie and become so very tired. Lethargic in fact. I fought sleep until 9:00 pm. Then slept pretty well. But I’ve still been tired today. Could this mean it’s doing what it needs to and I need the rest. Or is it just not for me. I’ve been under an extreme amount of stress for awhile it is affecting my health and my hair is falling out. I was so excited to start this. I just hope it means it’s working.

    • I think I was somewhat tired at first too… It might be something to do with the different amino acids but I’d check with a doc if it doesn’t get better.

  65. Do you know if the Collagen Peptides thins your blood or damages blood platelets? I have low platelets and have started having nose bleeds. I started with 1 scoop once a day and have only been taking the collagen for about a week.

    • I’m not sure but that would definitely be a question for a doctor and I’d stop if you think it could be connected

  66. I’m having a hard time stomach this stuff anyway I try! I was wondering what you thought about putting it in a vegetable capsule and just taking it? It might be a lot of capsules but I’m willing to give it a try if you thought it would doable (and still beneficia). Thanks!

  67. Whoa…..I just received my Vital Proteins ( the green lid) and am wondering if I ordered the wrong one. Sounds like the peptides are better in smoothies and digest better. How is the green lid one used?

  68. I have been taking the Green can for over a month no changes yet. However, I have been reading more online and another article said that for leaky Gut the Green can should not be consumed, the Red (not orange) can should be used.

    Do you have any comments on the Red can? It says that the Red and Orange cans are both GAPS approved and the Green is not GAPS approved. Yet in your post you say to not start the Orange until your stomach is stronger, in so many words.

    I would value your advice! I have been dealing with hives on my face for over 3 months since I started eating healthy and going crazy at this time!


  69. Hi,

    Could you please provide a links to the sources/studies that show this to be the case?

    I ask, because I did a Google search for “Collagen Hydrolysate and leaky gut,” and “Collagen Hydrolysate and GAPS,” narrowing the results to the past year, and only one article I could find (without going through literally hundreds of articles about CH) – http://nourishingplot.com/2014/03/27/options-when-gut-healing-gelatin-doesnt-work/

    The author of this one article, Becky Plotner, provides no source for her assertion that CH is not GAPS approved. So, I’m curious if you’ve found any other articles to which you can provide links that are credible and offer studies or source material for why the authors came to this conclusion and are stating as such. And to be clear, I’m not challenging you. But I would challenge that assertion if only one author in one article makes it – an author who provides no credible link/source/study to back what she’s written. Heck, I’d even challenge it if 30 authors make the assertion – without any credible link/source/study to back it.

    Just food for thought…


    • That is a good point! I didn’t even realize that there were no sources! I guess I will continue with the green can! 🙂

  70. Hi,
    This is prob a stupid question but is collagen and gelatin the same thing? Just made different?
    Thanks for any answers!


  71. I’m not making a comment I trying to read one. Susan

  72. Hi. I’ve just received my orange can and dissolved 1tbs in water, gross, I was gagging and it was the worst! Any other ideas on how to consume it?

  73. I am very interested in this thread and the uses and benefits of gelatin however through my research I’ve become a little concerned about some information regarding some safety concerns of hydrolyzed collagen.
    I didn’t see anything regarding this on your site so I have to ask your opinion on the potential risks of contracting TSE. (Specifically in regards to the Bovine Collagen, contraction of BSE)
    I had basically decided to begin the “Gelatin Regimen’ until I read about these concerns…I am more concerned about administering the gelatin to my 2 year old and 4 year old.
    Can you possibly alleviate my concerns, or at the very least provide anything further in order for me to make a more informed decision?
    Thanks so much for your time.

  74. I’d love to hear more about your comment at the beginning of this post, how gelatin helped your son to reverse his dairy allergy? Can you explain how it did, what you did exactly to achieve that? thank you!

      • im also very interested in more info on that! I have been putting collagen powder in my smoothies

  75. hi,
    This may sound silly but I am vegetarian and really dislike anything with gelatin in it. Is it possible to get another source of collagen ?

  76. Awhile back you endorsed Great Lakes gelatin and that excerpt from “one company” you used on this post is off their website. You now endorse Vital Proteins. I know new products emerge and as a well-followed blogger you get to try things, but as an inquisitive consumer I was just wondering if there was a food quality reason for the switch? Like am I getting less of a certain amino acid profile if I use one brand over the other?


    • I had good success verifying the quality of Vital Proteins, so I feel comfortable recommending them 🙂

  77. Does collagen hydrosalate increase histamine in the body? I read that bone broth is very high
    In histamines so I was wondering if collagen peptides were also?

  78. Received my Collagen and was wondering: once I take the powder on a regular basis, on average, how long before I will notice a difference with myself? What changers do most people seem to really notice first?
    Also, is this product OK for teens (13 and 14 year olds) to consume, and how much and how often should they be ingesting it?
    I could not find that info. Thank you!

  79. Patricia,

    I’ve been taking the CH since mid February and I’ve noticed the following:

    1. My asthma has improved significantly
    2. My weird hip and knee pain is gone
    3. I sleep deeper and can exercise longer (I’m consistently getting stronger)
    4. My hair is absolutely thicker, shinier and grows faster (even my hairdresser has commented and is now using CH herself!)
    5. My nails are lovely, strong and thick, also much clearer (if that makes sense)

    I can’t tell about my skin, but I was blessed with great genetics. My mother at 76 has hardly any wrinkles, and I’ve inherited her genes. But I’m sure the CH isn’t hurting any.

    I’m a convert and love the stuff, personally. And I haven’t experienced any side effects. I take 2 TBSP/day in my morning coffee. Dissolves perfectly and I don’t taste it at all.

    • Thank you so much for your reply. So I will be patient and see some changes in a coulpe of months!
      The other part of my question was about dosage for a 13 year old girl and a 14 year old boy. Should the collagen be an occasional supplement and how much should they be taking.

  80. I have been wanting to order this for a while now. I am currently 11 weeks pregnant and think it could be a really great addition to my pregnancy diet. It is completely safe to add during pregnancy?

    • I checked with my doc to be sure and felt comfortable taking it, but check with yours if you are unsure

  81. Hello….my husband (69 yrs.) mom (88) and myself (65) have been taking the Bulletproof collagen protein for
    two months – we have experienced something like a healing crisis….it feels like it is going around the body
    to past injured areas and we are having so much pain and stiffness – so far we have carried on, but not seeing any improvements just pain!! Also noticed that the liver was dumping out emotions but that has settled down now….mainly in the joints and feels deep down into the bone.

    Has anyone experienced this type of a healing crisis? Any opinions on any adverse effects on the liver?

    Thank you for your experiences and comments.

  82. I have taken cocollagen choco beverage today but I feel headache pain, what could be the problem?

  83. My son reacts strongly to amines and a leaky gut. Sounds like collagen hydrosyslate may be a possibility to help treat the leaky gut (gelatin is way to high in amines). Do you have any reports or experience on which brand of collagen hydrosylate is potentially lowest in amines?

  84. Is it safe to
    Use the collagen peptides while breastfeeding? I was planning to add it to smoothies in the morning

    • I always did because it is really a food not a supplement, but check with a doc or midwife to be sure…

  85. Have you ever tried Protein Essentials collagen? I decided to give it a try – because it was cheaper on amazon than the others I’ve used. It seems just as good – and I really like the resealable bag instead of the jars.

  86. Any one have any comments on using Collagen Hydrolsate while on Coumadin? Thanks

  87. I have some questions. I started using collagen hydrolysate 3 days ago (2 tbsp in the morning and 2 tbsp at night) and I have gained 5 lbs in this short period. Just followed the directions on the container. What is the recommended dose for initial ingestion? Also, should I not be eating during the day with the amounts mentioned above? I am not happy with the ballooning affect but there are so many advantages that I want to take this and do it the right way. Also, to see weight loss benefits, is exercise absolutely required (I do not exercise). Please help! Thanks so much in advance.

    • That is a big dose to jump into if you are new to it…. my guess is that the weight is water weight from a drastic change in amino acids. Maybe try starting much slower (a teaspoon or so) and working up.

      • Thanks so much. As a matter of fact, after a long work-out today and not taking that collagen today, I already she’d the weight. But, that was scary because my weight jumped 5 lbs and was at this state (using the same scale and surface) for two days. What a relief! Thanks again!

  88. Hi Katie! A few questions..
    I bought the regular Great Lakes gelatin but I still have some taste/texture issues with it. I am making my kids some gummies with it. However for me, I doubt I can eat enough gummies to get my dosage in each day and I don’t drink much coffee/tea.
    I figured I’d try capsules to help. I thought I read about the gelatin capsules not being as effective because they have to be activated in water first. Would the Now hydrolyzed beef gelatin capsules work? What’s the difference between that and regular gelatin capsules? I also see that magnesium stearate is an ingredient in them. Is that ok to take?
    Also, do you think I can make my own capsules with the big canister of gelatin powder? Would I need to mix with water first like a liquid gel?
    Thank you SO much for all the info!

    • I’m not completely sure on the capsules, since I’ve never tried them. The collagen powder (non gelling) may be easier though, since it doesn’t have really any taste and is easy to add to foods and drinks.

  89. Where does it say on the package that this collagen is from grass-fed cows? Their statement on their website is non-committal:
    “Ranchers in Argentina and Brazil have traditionally raised cattle in herds that graze freely on the natural grasslands. Based on visiting the region, it is our observation that this is the case”.
    That tells us nothing about their product. I’ve emailed the company but have yet to receive an answer as to whether they can guarantee that their product is indeed from grass-fed cattle. Even with a positive response, if they don’t state it on their package, I’d be very leery.

  90. Does anyone know how high you can heat the collagen powder without harming it? I have been adding a TBSP of it to my son’s waffle mix and then cooking it in a waffle iron. But, I’m wondering if I am denaturing it by using it this way? Also, does it harm the collagen by blending it at all?

    • I put collagen powder in my smoothies, my hot coffee or tea, and I do blend it. I think it’s fine.

  91. Ive just started taking CH, in the morning just mixed with yoghurt and at bedtime mixed with milk and chia seeds, I’m now wondering if this is ok to do …. Would the chia seeds absorb the collagen and stop me getting the best from it??
    I have already seen an improvement to my hair,skin and nails and lost 2 lbs without trying!

  92. I ordered the green lid one and though I have no issues digesting and already notice an improvement in my joints, swallowing it is not easy as it gels up even in my hot coffee — and I’m not usually like that. Taking it in anything cold is impossible as it gels into a gooey wad of farmyard inedibility! Any suggestion for choking it down more easily? I do think it is good stuff overall.

  93. Do you still use the Great Lakes collagen? Is it just a personal preference between the 2 brands?

  94. Hi Wellness Mama,

    I am curious, how safe is it to take collagen on a regular basis? I desperately want to try it, but have read stuff online that says it make contribute to breast cancer. Do you know if there is any truth to that? I imagine you wouldn’t take it everyday if that was the case.

  95. Hi Katie,
    I have really enjoyed your site and philosophy on raising your family. I have been intrigued about the collagen peptides and purchased the blue vital proteins. I was wondering if you knew much about the effects of adding it to the diet and female hormones? Also, (like you) I have thyroid problems; however, my thyroid was completely removed because of toxic nodules, so I am not sure how the collagen addition would effect my body and the hormones I get from my thyroid medicines. I love the benefits collagen can provide otherwise- I just don’t want to disrupt what my body is working to do with hormones. I realize you are not an MD, just curious about your personal experience. Thanks!

    • I have thyroid problems as well and I feel great on collagen. It is something that we should be able to get from food in a perfect world, and it is a food product, so I’ve always felt comfortable taking it, but I would check with a doc or naturopath if you are unsure.

    • Sorry Katie, I am cutting in on your conversation but I am having a partial thyroidectomy next week. Any problems after your surgery? I also have nodules. Any after effects?

      • Monica, I just came across this blog and saw your comment. I am a thyroid cancer survivor (it spread to the parathyroid and SEVERAL lymph nodes). As a nurse, as well, I hope you are doing well since your partial thyroidectomy. The key is to TAKE THE MEDICATION and get regular blood work drawn. It takes several weeks for your body to adapt to a dose adjustment of thyroid med (like Synthroid), and just monitor how you feel and make your doctor listen! Once you are stable, you will likely be stable for quite awhile. If you experience weight gain or loss, expect them to adjust your meds, as they prescribe your dose based on weight.

  96. I am also interested if you are still using Grate Lakes collagen that you used to recommend.

    • Both are good brands, but I’ve been able to verify the sourcing of Vital Proteins more and have switched to it… I’d still use great lakes if you have it though.

  97. I got the Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin (green lid) and I find it horrifying to consume… it smells and tastes like burnt skin!, which is actually pretty much what it is. Surely, nourishing food wasn’t meant to be so disgusting that we can’t consume it. Any suggestions on how to make it more palatable?

    • Smoothies 🙂 I add it to my smoothies made with fruit and coconut milk + a tbsp of coconut oil.

    • I too accidentally got the green lid – here is what I do: pour almost boiling water over a scoop, not too much, and add a squirt of honey. Drink it once it cools after stirring (it does have a terroir to it but just breathe through your mouth), then leave the mug on the counter, a gel gummy will harden on the bottom, peel off and eat. Not perfect but better than tossing what is essentially the animal’s gift.

  98. I have been adding a scoop of Vital Proteins to my daily cup of bulletproof coffee. It has been a little over a week and I have begun to suffer from mysterious tension type headaches. Has anyone ever heard of headaches being a side effect from the gelatin? Trying to figure this out..

    • Hi Sheana – I have had both positive and negative experiences from using Collagen Hydrosylate (Great Lakes brand). With a certain amount my mood lifts and my brain functions better which is completely wonderful and welcomed; and yet, if I have too much I experience an unshakable lethargy and I feel unmotivated. I feel great with maybe a teaspoon’s worth a day. At that level I experience benefits. (I also think it helps with muscle and joint pain/discomfort.) Too much for me would be two tablespoons a day, for several days. I have no idea why this is, but there’s something profound about amino acids and brain health. Definitely take a break from it and later if you wish to try it again, reduce the amount and see what happens. If the headaches continue I personally would cease using it to be safe.

  99. Ahhh…misread the comment – the green lid! Don’t put that in a smoothie 🙂

  100. I’ve started my second week drinking “the healthiest shot you’ll ever drink”. I want to make sure I’m putting the right collagen in. Is it the COLLAGEN PEPTIDES from Vital Proteins? Blue lid? Could you also give me the link with all the info on the healthiest shot. I printed off parts of the link but would like to read the whole thing again. I would like to know how much of the optional cayenne pepper you would add. Thinking about trying that. I’ve noticed how soft my hair is and how durable my finger nails are after just one week. No weight lose yet though.

  101. Do you still sponsor 20% off coupon code for Vital Proteins products?

      • I’m not sure when this was posted because I can’t see dates on these posts on my phone but I just tried it and it does not work. Is there a new one or was that just a limited time promotional offer ?

  102. I’ve been using it for about 6 months and it makes a world of difference to my knee and ankle joints. Before using it, my knees and ankles would be creaking when I exercised. Since using it- never again.

  103. Hi! Thanks for all the great info on your site – have been lurking here for a few years now.
    I started taking the collagen hydrolysate about 2 weeks ago – wanted to see what it would do for my asthma issues and skin. i’ve seen some nice results with my skin and hair – and it also seems to be a skin regulator.
    But for some reason it seems to have spurred some kind of healing crisis – or immune response – not sure what is going on. But my sinuses started acting up (they used to do that a lot before I got healthier) and I started coughing really bad. It seems like my body is trying to clear stuff out the problem areas. But since I can’t find any similar reactions online I’m thinking it might be an overreaction or sensitivity. I’m on day 5 of this – and it doesn’t feel like a common cold. Do you have any input on this?
    All the best and keep up the great work!

  104. I have adrenal fatigue and through my research I found out that collagen was beneficial. I started taking collagen about 5 days ago and did notice improvement with sleep and well-being, but I’ve been waking up with a headache since I started using it. I also noticed a bit a nasal drainage. Does anyone here have an idea why I am getting headaches from the collagen and is it something I should be concerned about? Any comments are appreciated. Thanks.

    • I started taking it yesterday, and have noticed within just a few minutes of drinking I get a little bit of a head ache and my nasal passages swell. I’m going to try adding OTC allergy meds to see if it helps. I love this stuff, do not want to have to give it up. Beef does not bother me at all, curious why this does?

  105. Ok so reading all of this I’m finding great information that’s informative, but I’m realizing that I’m still left and actually probably even more so, confused on which to get!? Suggestions please! I am currently 4.5 months pregnant and I am starting to pop! I am doing everything possible to prevent stretch marks. I plan to put this in my smoothies and hot drinks. Which would you suggest? On another note, I definitely want to try your homemade fruit snacks too! Can I use the same product or do I need to invest in the two different kinds you have suggested? Help help help. * I really appreciate any and all responses. Thanks in advance!*

    • I personally mix the collagen peptides into drinks because it dissolves and doesn’t gel but the green lid (collagen protein) is needed for fruit snacks. You could mix the kind that gels into both, but it is a little harder to dissolve and get the texture right with drinks. Either one will have the benefits so you could use just one or both.

  106. Is the hyrolysate or pure collagen protein better for treating leaky gut and motility problems? i tend towards hard stools and straining during morning BMs – thanks

  107. I started taking the collagen peptides about a week ago due to a shoulder injury. I decided to add 2 scoops to a cup of warm water with 1 Tbsp raw honey and 1 Tbsp raw Apple cider vinegar. I just got to wondering though if the acidity of the apple cider vinegar could be damaging to the nutrients in the collagen? I’ve been trying to research but not really finding information in this. Katie, do you know if this is an ok way to consume my collagen?

    • No expert and I can’t remember where I read it atm but some website said that yes acidic drink may lessen the potency. Or. . .something on those lines )I was drinking it with orange juice)

  108. Is collagen good for leaky gut?

    • There are some studies that show it can help seal the gut…

  109. Does the green collagen hydro slate have an ingredient similar to msg as I am allergic to it.

  110. The question has come up with healthier lifestyle for cancer treatment about the hydrolyzing process, and we’ve used Great Lakes Collagen Hydrosylate, but now wonder if this falls under the same category that can contribute to cancer? If not, great! If so, can you make some other recommendations for protein supplementation?
    Thank you for any feedback.

    • Hi Doede, did you ever get any feedback on this? I found your question very interested and I was curious myself.

      Thank you


  111. I have a question that is probably dumb, but here goes….I want to make some cleansing soups using bone broth for healing my gut, the recipe calls for collagen, I have the orange Great Lakes unflavored gelatin….will that work in place of the collagen or do I need to get the kind you have talked about here?

    • It depends on how you are using it, but if the recipe calls for collagen, I would try to use that specifically, as the plain gelatin will affect the texture of your broth significantly.

  112. Hi. When I take the green lid collegan, I start to get headaches so I stop taking it. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    • Kristen, I have been experiencing the same with both the green and the red lid powder (my headaches from the red lid powder are horrendous!). I am sorry that I am not here with a helpful suggestion, but I just wanted to say that there really seems to be a connection unfortunately and I also can’t figure out why. I would love if others share experiences and suggestions, I really want to continue taking it, the effects on my skin have been amazing.

      • It sounds like you could be sensitive to glutamate. I experience headaches too when I consume bone broth, it seems that the glutamine in it converts to glutamate and gives me the headaches.

  113. I just watched THE FAT SUMMIT & Dr AXE says different collagen is for different needs: Beef -type 1 & 3 for skin, hair, nails. Chicken -type 2 for gut & joint health & Fish for helping your body create its own collagen!
    So why is there no talk on this esp for GUT HEALTH ? I would love to find an organic chicken collagen powder & even a protein drink made with it. I have found the beef & beef collagen protein drinks which claim to help joints & even the gut but ??? So can you shed more light on this? Does the beef also help the gut & joints but maybe not as much as the chicken… THANKS!!!

  114. Are collagen supplements in pill for safe to take?

  115. Hi! I’ve been using great lakes for a long time and love how much its helped me but itJust made a switch bc a friend recommended I try perfect supplements brand they just came out with-love love love it! More protein and no taste or headaches!!

    • Where did you buy from have you a link

      • i am wanting to purchase collagen powder. I like Dr.Axe and was wondering if anyone knows if the collagen he sells is better and safer that the other?

        • I’m not a fan of his products for several reasons. He doesn’t actually make his own, but white labels and markets it as better than others. I definitely prefer Vital Proteins to his…

      • Go on Amazon.com and search for “Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate” or the Vital Proteins brand.

  116. Hello,
    I read your articles about benefits of Gelatin and have bought Vital Protein’s one. Me and my 11 months daughter have Hypermobility Joint Syndrome so I hoped it could help us. I started taking it and gave her a bit but then I read on the internet that bovine gelatin is dengerous because it can contain prions which can transmit BSE desease. It is why in Poland from I came they use only pork gelatin. Now I am really afraid that we can catch this desease… I haven’t found any information about BSE risk at your blog. Please write what is your opinion about it…

  117. I started taking Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate powder one week ago (2–4 tablespoons per day). I am taking it for leaky gut; I have emailed with a sales manager at Great Lakes, and they assured me that the collagen powder was best for treating my condition (compared to the red can, gelatin).

    My question is this – I am now dealing with substantial hay fever/cold like symptoms – swollen sinuses, sneezing, drainage, headaches, cannot taste food or drinks, etc. My guess is that I am histamine intolerant. Should I reduce the amount of powder each day, or stop taking it altogether? I understand that the health benefits are fantastic, but obviously I cannot feel this way every day.

  118. Hi, just wanted to know if the Great Lakes Hydrolysate collagen was safe for people with amine sensitivities?? Thanks

  119. A few people have mentioned msg linked to headaches and you never had responded. What are you thoughts on this. I just started taking hydrolyzed collagen yesterday and I literally woke up in the middle of the night from a terrible migraine.

    • Hi Lou, I don’t have any personal experience with headaches after taking it and in researching, found that there are somewhat rare genetic conditions that are linked to migraines in people who are really flexible (have high collagen levels). https://migraine.com/blog/possible-connection-between-migraine-joint-hypermobility-disorders/ Certainly, if you think it is the cause of your headache, I’d discontinue taking it until you can verify if it is the cause or not.

      • I am thinking this is more than a rare condition. I NEVER get headaches but every time I try collagen I get sick to my stomach and then get a visual migraine. Light flashes for about an hour and then a headache all day. VERY STRANGE.

        • You may be sensitive to glutamate.

          • So odd. I am 63 and never had a reaction like this to anything. I have tried 2 kinds of collagen powder and had the same reaction to both. This is so disappointing as I was looking forward to joint pain relief. And now I hear that the same thing will happen if I try bone broth!

  120. I just started taking it and have been using 1 tbs in my protein shake in the morning. I am planning to start incorporating it into my cooking, but I have two small children. Is it safe for children to consume?

    • It is essentially a food product, so I’ve always felt safe using it in cooking in normal amounts, but definitely ask a pediatrician if you have any concerns before using it.

  121. Wouldn’t it be better to be sourced from the beef bones, not the hides?

  122. I live in Japan so only have access to certain products. At the moment (until I’m waiting for my great lakes powder) I’m taking a local brand(Shiseido) hydrolized collagen powder. It’s high grade fish collagen but I’ve read on several websites that collagen derived from fish has high levels of calcium and can cause an overdose/buildup. Does anyone know anything about this?
    On that note I’ve also heard the same thing as Anna above, that beef collagen/gelatin can transmit BSE. I’ve even asked a few doctors and the responses were mixed. What’s up with that?
    Is there a difference in quality between pork, beef and fish collagen/gelatin?
    Is it possible to overdose on the stuff? I also read that it can cause some issues for certain people.
    I’d really appreciate your opinions.

  123. After reading the post I”m a bit confused. Are you recommending Vital Proteins or Great Lakes?

    • They’re both excellent options, but I was able to very the sourcing from Vital Proteins and also it tends to work better in some recipes flavor wise.

  124. Hi, I absolutely love reading your articles and taking on the knowledge that you so readily give.

    I use Young Living essential oils as well other products they carry and they just produced Pure Protein Complete in flavors chocolate and vanilla spice.

    The reason I am sharing this with you is because I trust their product and always know them to be pure.

    THANK YOU for allowing me to share this with you and with everyone else!

  125. Can you recommend a collagen capsule? I am a real estate agent on the run and it is easier to take my supplements this way. For older people like me – straight old MSM has also been a savior for degenerating joints.

    • The one that Costco sells is in pill form, six a day, and gets great reviews.

  126. Hi,
    I have a semi-sensitive stomach and was wondering which of these two you recommend or maybe you can tell me what the major differences between them are:



    Thank you for any help!

  127. Now what about hydrolyzed isn’t that msg I avoid all unnatural msg

  128. I”ve noticed that many people have expressed concern regarding BSE, but their questions have not been addressed. I have had the same concerns, but think I have come to a conclusion that I am comfortable with.

    Regarding this, realize that BSE comes from the nervous system of a cow (brain, spine), not the skin, meat or any other bones, joints, hoofs, etc., (I’ve read in above posts that Great Lakes uses the hides to make their product). I would actually be more concerned about bone broth that I didn’t make myself (how do I know that they didn’t use vertebrae?). If an animal is properly processed, the hide and nervous system tissues would never come in contact with each other, therefore the concern about BSE is greatly reduced. My husband owned a butcher shop for over 20+ years, so he’s given me lots of info about this. If you make your own bone broth, never use beef bones that come from the spinal column, including any neck bones in order to be safe. The way a cow is slaughtered and then broken down would typically keep the hides and nervous systems would never even come in contact with each other.

    If you are still nervous about BSE, Great Lakes makes a porcine gelatin that could be used instead.

    Regarding labeling. A friend of mine is using the Great Lakes product (green can) and it now bears the labels: NON GMO, NO MSG, and KOSHER and GLUTEN FREE. It is not labeled grass fed or organic, but I’m not particularly worried about that because if they are using any hormones or antibiotics, it would tend to be in the organs, muscle and especially fat, and since the hide is what is used, I’m not concerned. Knowing that it is GMO free makes me very comfortable since they obviously are taking great care in feeding and caring for the animals properly.

    They also clarify that it contains glutamic acid, NOT glutamate, and should produce no negative effects in MSG sensitive individuals: http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/consumer/noMSG.php

    I’m comfortable enough with the product now that I have placed an order for the green can, and will not be concerned with BSE.

    • Can you please share your results with the product you have ordered/using.
      I’ve had no success in replies when asking questions.

  129. I don’t eat red meat but would like to give collagen a try. I have had bone broth and have gotten horrible stomachaches the two times after consuming it so I am a little resistant to trying a collagen supplement. Do you think this has to do with the fact that my body is not familiar with this type of protein?

  130. I’m looking for the product you are describing, and on Amazon, it seems to be Great Lakes brand. Quick question–the 2 pack indicates hot/cold liquid soluble, but the 1-pack says only cold liquid soluble. Is there a difference I am overlooking??
    Then I noticed in the comments you gave a direct link to the product, but the pictures don’t look like the one at the top of your page, and they don’t appear to be Great Lakes brand. Can you help me find the one you are recommending? I’m only looking for some added healthy protein to help absorb calcium and prevent muscle loss (cancer survivor!)

    Thank you!

    • I typically just use Vital Proteins now, as it tends to mix better than Great Lakes…

  131. Hello, thank you for such wealth of information that you’ve provided here. I was have a question about the two products you’ve mentioned (blue or green lid) the collagen I got is the same container as the picture here; white lid with green container, and the gelatin orange container with white lid. Are you by any chance refering to another product or does the company also have different packaging?

    • There are two companies that I’ve used over the years and both are good, but have different packaging. Great Lakes (sounds like the one you have) has a green canister with white lid (non-gelling) and an orange canister (that does gel). Vital Proteins has white canisters but their blue lid does not gel while their green lid does. Hope that helps!

  132. I started talking collagen a couple weeks ago 1.5-2 tablespoons/day. Just wondering when I can expect to see a change in my skin! It’s getting loose and starting to sag in some areas. Thanks!

  133. I thought this was important enough to tell. I have been using the collagen, green can for about 2 1/2 months. I take 2 rounded tbs in a smoothie every a.m. I haven’t noticed anything different with my skin. But, it seems to have made my hair stop falling out and my hair seems to be more curly. I used to have curly hair when I was young, but then I hit menopause. I’m pretty sure that it’s the collagen that has made the change in my hair. Does anyone know how long it takes before you might see a change in your skin? My nails have been growing longer, but I have been using a great product called Nailtiques prior to starting the collagen, so I am not sure which is doing the job.

  134. Like too many sites that discuss nutritional supplements and various healthy foods, the advisability of cooking is never mentioned.
    How about some info. on the effects of heating this product up by, for example, putting it in a pot of oatmeal during the cooking process? This is , I believe, the best way to get better nutrition into meals being fed to small children and the elderly (eg. someone with Alzheimer’s).
    Heating do’s and don’ts for all supplements, herbs and spices would be appreciated.

  135. I have been using Collagen for a couple of weeks now. I can see a difference in the wrinkles around my mouth, but I am not taking it for cosmetic reasons. Trying to help with the Hashimoto’s symptoms and stomach, etc. I am curious to know if it makes anyone sleepy or makes your stomach hurt or feel weird? And by stomach I mean your actual stomach and not your abdomen. Any negative reactions? I am trying to decide if I should be taking it. I have had it every morning with some kind of cold juice (2 round tablespoons) sometimes in the late afternoon, but not always. My toes and knuckles seem to hurt MORE as does my neck and lower back. That may or may not have anything to do with the collagen, but I have no idea.

  136. I’m trying to find a good way to get protein in my daughter. She is allergic to milk proteins, soy, and gluten. Do you know if collagen peptides would cause an issue (I’m not sure if the proteins are similar to milk)? Is it safe to give a child?
    Thank you!

  137. I am looking to buy dehydrated bone broth/bone broth powder. Any recommendations?

    • Absolutely only consider one that is organic and grass fed/pasture raised.

  138. Not sure how long or old these posts are, but curious about the lack of response to the questions being asked. Is there a reason why you only promoted a couple of brands??? Do you get sponsored by them? What about Dr. Josh Axe & his Ancient Nutrition products? Jordan Ruben Makers Diet introduced me to the probiotic which made me pain free. Not being sarcastic, just curious. I have been dealing with severe stomach and intestine issues since I had my youngest son in 1985. This has become a crusade for my health as well as an education.

    Best regards,

    • I only recommend a couple of brands because those are the only ones I have been able to verify the quality of. I researched the brand from Josh Axe and was told that it is not grass fed, which is why I can’t recommend it. I’m glad you have seen great results from it, and it certainly still contains collagen and may have benefits, but I personally only stick with grass fed collagen and gelatin products and wouldn’t use his.

  139. Wow! I started reading the comments and didn’t realize how many there were, so I thought I should add one!!!

    Our doctor recommended Collagen Hydrolysate (green can/gold lid) for our teenagers – my daughter complained of thin fingernails and our son has aching joints. After seeing such great results in one-month’s time, hubby & I decided to use it too. We add 1 heaping TBSP to our whey protein shakes each morning — we’ve all noticed great improvements with hair, nails, joint, weight and skin issues.

    • @Barbara,
      Did you see any allergic reaction to this?

      Kinda confused as to which one to use.


  140. Thank you for this! I have been using Vital Proteins collagen peptides upon reading this and am now on my 4th cannister. I have enjoyed increased energy, mobility, and suprising weight loss! My hair is stronger, longer and so are my nails. Good stuff!

    My question is can I take this while pregnant and/or breastfeeding? I can’t seem to find any info on it and I wondered what you knew? Thanks!

    • Check with your Dr/midwife, but I took it without issue while pregnant and take it now while breastfeeding…

  141. Hi Katie, could you point me to your blog post where you share the auto immune diet you are on? Is it auto immune paleo? Do you have to stay permanently on a very strict diet or did you start out super strict and slowly add more foods? I have severe GERD and IBS and possibly SIBO. I recently got off of the Nexium, praise the Lord! The only thing is that now that I’m off the drugs, pretty much anything me reflux. I’ve been cutting more out and now I’m down to vegetables, squash, broth and quinoa and berries. Just trying to figure this out and hoping that I can move past only vegetables one day. I want to heal my gut, but I can’t stomach bone broth or much fat or meat. I just ordered the collagen so I hope that helps! Thanks so much for your info!

  142. Is this a paid post sponsored by Great Lakes?

  143. Hey wellness mama. So I love this post and chose vital proteins collagen because of it. I’m curious though, what are all the reasons you choose vital proteins out all of the many many brands to choose from? I know you said because they are grass fed from a trusted source but why vital proteins out of all the other grass fed? Thank you for posting this blog a few years ago it’s very helpful.

  144. Is there a reason you switched from Great Lakes brand to vital protein brand? I’ve noticed vital protein being more popular, and was wondering what the difference was and if it’s worth the extra money.

    • I’ve found it mixes better, plus I was able to personally meet the owners and was very impressed with them. Great Lakes is a good brand as well, but for many recipes Vital Proteins tends to work better for me…

      • Can you please suggest which version I should use since I tend to have allergies. I have read that some can cause allergic reactions.
        I really need the benefits I’ve read about.
        I have knee and spine (cervical & lumbar) problems from previous surgeries and injuries. Along with these are arthritis, CFS & Fibromyalgia. I’m desperate for an answer.

          • Hi Katie, first, thank you for doing what you do to help others. I just purchased VP Marine Collagen for my joint pain and leaky gut with the help of your recommendation until it hit me like a ton of bricks- this is from pacific-caught snapper. I have been conflicted about eating seafood with the radiation presumably found in even wild-caught Alaskan salmon, and can only imagine that levels in fish caught around Hawaii, sustainably and GMO-free or not, may test positive for higher-than-safe levels of radiation. As I cannot eat bovine collagen due to sensitivity to beef, or find an organic chicken collagen product that is similar, I’m at a loss!! I feel stuck with my research and wanted to ask if you think this product is still be safe to consume for a young person wanting to minimize their risks of cancers?? I already take fish oil that is from an unknown source to me through Xymogen supplements as well as eating wild-caught Alaskan fish once per week and I’m hesitant to add more seafood in to my regiment all of a sudden. Have you come across any evidence that the collagen would still be safe? Thank you in advance if you get to this long comment!!!!

  145. Is this basically what the “Upgraded Collagen” is in the Bulletproof Collagen Protein? Do you have any idea?

    • I think it is just regular collagen powder. “upgraded” is one of their URLs so I think that just refers to the company name.

  146. Hello is it possible to consume too much of the collagen? If so are there any none side effects!

  147. Katie Wellnessmama, you mentioned that collagen helps your son tolerate dairy. Would you elaborate? My BIL is dairy intolerant, and I’d love to be a hero to him!


    • We did the GAPS diet, which helped stop his reaction and now he still takes collagen and probiotics daily and can tolerate dairy without a problem now.

  148. You used to use Great Lakes brand of gelatin and collagen? Why did you switch?

    • I was able to verify more accurately Vital Proteins sourcing, and it tends to work better in many of my recipes…

  149. I have been taking Pure Marine Collagen Peptide Powder, made by JoyOfHealth, for about 2-weeks. Soy free, Gluten free, & non-GMO. It is made from fish skin collagen (wild caught) through an enzymatic hydrolysis process & is pre-digested into component with a low molecular weight amino acid for optimal absorption & utilization.
    I’m 65, with rheumatoid arthritis, terrible psoriasis & sciatica damage from rear-end car accident (about 20-years ago) (I opted-out surgery). This addition to my regime has been nothing short of a miracle – on every front. I take 1-scoop (looks to be about 1-Tbls) in 6-8 ozs filtered water/1x/d. It has been been especially noticeable in psoriatic lesions/scales on my skin. Amazing!
    Cost is $21.95 for 200 grams (7.1 oz). That’s 30 doses if taking 1-scoop/d. You may be able to find it less expensive at Amazon, or even eBay.

  150. What is the difference between collagen hydrolysate and collagen peptides?

    I see you use the hydrolysate, but the link goes to the peptides?

    Which is better, especially for joints and hair/nail heath & strength?

    • They are the same thing…. different companies just call them different things. I use collagen peptides from vital proteins most of the time.

  151. I don’t know if anyone will read this but wanted to share that besides adding it to practically anything to boost protein- soups, yogurt, soaked then cooked oatmeal, smoothies, bulletproof coffee,, baked goods, etc, my most exciting use of collagen was when I started using collagen to make baby food purées with excellent results which I haven’t read anywhere else but seems like a no brainier. Around 7-8 months my second baby was really hungry and wanting to eat more solids but didn’t have any teeth still, and I was at a loss since my first baby had teeth earlier and we never did baby food just soft foods at first then bits of what we ate and he fed himself. But my second wasn’t able to feed himself well enough yet but was so hungry so being sick of giving him bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, and egg yolks over and over I started cooking veggies in just enough broth, blending it up while still warm and adding coconut oil and collagen(usually both regular and some hydrolyzed too) to get the mixture to thicken to a puree/ gel when poured into small mason jars and refrigerated. The texture was so much easier to feed him then just a runny liquid and there are so many ways to vary what is in the puree. I followed the directions on the collagen as far as how much is needed per fluid ounces to gel plus the homemade broth I’m sure added some collagen. Id make a bunch and fridge or freeze them in the little mason jelly jars. It was so helpful and convenient and awesome to give him so much good stuff. For anyone nervous about giving a baby (old enough for solids) collagen, I’d say just start with a bite or two for a few days to acclimate their body to digesting it/ see if it’s a problem for them. And be sure to add a good whopping of fat from coc oil or pastured butter so they’re not trying to digest all that protein without the necessary fats to smooth things along ?

  152. I tried collagen for approx a month. I drank it with green powders, pea protein, and blueberries every morning. I noticed no difference. :(. So I did not purchase more.

  153. I started to take the Collagen after reading your info on FB. I have been suffering from knee pain since surgery two years ago. I had been on a walk with my kids and over did it and could hardly walk when I read about collagen. I read all the pros and cons and decided to give it a try. The day it arrived I took 2T in my protein shake and I couldn’t believe how much better I felt! I am now walking normal with minimal pain. Thank you! I told my brother about it and he tried it too and is getting awesome results. I didn’t think I would ever be able to walk and hike like I used to, now there is hope!!

  154. I use collagen every single day, I have arthritis and it helps considerably with the joint pain in my hands. I also use it in my shampoo….it makes the shampoo feel so creamy and makes my hair fluffy and shiny….I also use it in my dog’s food, and he is so shiny and his eyes are so bright.

  155. I love adding gelatin to my smoothies 🙂 I’ve also made marshmallows and tried your gummies recipe!

  156. Katie,
    I recently found out I have a food sensitivity to beef, but I’m already hooked on collagen powder! I’m a fellow Hashimoto’s suffer trying to heal my gut by cutting out the foods I’m sensitive to. Do you have any information on whether collagen powder would still be okay since it is from the hide and not the meat? If not, do you know of any non-bovine collagen powders that you could recommend? I’ve done some searching of my own, but have only met with frustration. I would greatly appreciate your input!

  157. Hi Wellness Mama!
    Did you consume the Vital Proteins Collagen powder and topical magnesium while breastfeeding?


    • Yep 🙂 Check with your doc if you aren’t sure though, but I used both with great results

  158. Hi, I drink a high quality home made bone broth daily. Would you recommend taking a collagen supplement in addition to this or is this overkill? I had a severe allergic reaction (hives, wheezing) to the vital proteins bovine products so I’m thinking about trying the fish collagen. Thank you and cheers to good health.

  159. Great, thank you!

  160. Hi there,
    I am going to order the blue jar and add them to my smoothies. Wondering if we should still take our multi vitamin, vit c and fish oil with these?
    Thank you

  161. So far when I take the bone broth collagen the only thing I notice is that I am much more tired after taking it.
    Can you reference any credible articles about he benefits of collagen bone broth?

  162. I have started using Vital Proteins Collagen every morning. Does this replace the use of bone broth? Or should one still consume broth as well?

  163. How much would be good for a 4 year old to have? I would be adding it to our breakfast smoothies. Thanks

  164. Has anyone heard of lyophilized collagen? I’ve been reading that it’s the best type of collagen but I’m not sure where to buy it from. I’ve been taking NeoCell liquid collagen from Whole Foods.

  165. Still not sure what is the difference from taking a whey protein.

  166. I put a tablespoon in a glass of warm water with lemon. Then I add half a teaspoon of turmeric. This is my tonic in the morning before breakfast. My husband and my 16 yr old son love it too. I noticed that my skin became dewy, glowing and I was getting a lot of compliments.

  167. Awesome info! Have you used a powdered bone broth protein? What would be the difference in using a powered bone broth or the collagen hydroxylate?

    • I’m working on a post on this, but most bone broth protein powders I’ve seen are not organic or grass fed and come from factory farmed chickens. I have not found a good one I like (and the most popular one out there is definitely not one I’d try).

  168. Are there any side effects of taking this Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate? Could someone tell me if I understand this correctly…..the collagen hydrolysate turns into gelatin if not put in a warm drink? Also, is this the same as bone broth only a powder form? Thanks!

  169. Can anyone confirm collagen powder (such as the the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides) is ok to give to young kids (mine are 2 and 4)? I’m trying to find the best way to get the benefits of bone broth into their diet since they won’t really eat bone broth or soups. Thanks!

  170. Can I get the berry ginger electrolyte chews recipe? I have a very tender tummy!

  171. I wasn’t really into this bone broth hype before but since a friend recommended it to me a lot of changes happened with my body. I’m currently drinking Au Bon Broth and I felt much better and healthier. My friends even compliment me that my skin looks glowing.

  172. Hey, just joined and I have a question. Can you take Collagen daily while you eat meat. The reasons for this question is, I’m a 70 year old woman and have just started Ketogenic (4 months) diet for health reasons, and to loose weight. I am off all my medication for the past year or so. The thing is I need to cut down my protein to about 85 gram per day. I’m trying so hard to eat more greens, but recently I have noticed I am in Ketosis. I felt so bad for about 3 days, nausea’s, lethargic and really ill, Yesterday after my brunch, I puked up all my food. Gone off eating and I’m so afraid of eating, because I feel ill just thinking I have to eat something, but I go ahead and eat, because I know it’s not good for me not to eat anything. The thing is this morning, I decided to up my potassium, and began taking Liquid Chlorophyll from waking up. Also took Salt in glass of water (I do intermittent fasting, so I eat twice daily) and within an hour, my headache has gone, my stomach is settling down, and I can even drink my favorite tea of earl grey with lemon, which I haven’t had, because of being off with eating. I think what did the trick is the new addition of Liquid Chlorophyll.
    So, the thing is how do I take Collagen with eating protein each day, and not have too much protein in my diet. I don’t want to give up this diet, I really am happy on it. Can someone advice me as what to do about my Protein intake. I take about 9 gram of Collagen in my tea twice a day, and take 75 gram of protein (meat) twice a day)

  173. I have been using collagen powder in my coffee (along with coconut oil) in place of cream for about 6 weeks. Aside from feeling fuller longer having good protein and fat in my coffee, I am noticing that my heels are much smoother. Even in winter time, I battle cracked heels all the time. I have tried every lotion and potion imaginable and still end up with painful cracked heels. I noticed this past week or so with the start of sandal season that I am not struggling nearly as much with my heels.

    The only other change I have made in this time is my increased consumption of chia seeds. Mostly in the form of Chia Fresca beverage, but also adding chia seeds to yogurt and breads.

  174. I was researching and reading reviews on the Vital Proteins collagen and became aware that this particular one uses Brazilian cows which their source for food is widely known for their non-organic, fields sprayed with chemicals, soil not passing clean tests. Yes, ‘grass fed’, however, not clean grass, plus not 100% grass fed, according to the Brazilian people who live there and have seen with their own eyes the process, and witnessed the grains used. They also derive their collagen from the hides instead of the bone. I looked into this further and other grass-fed brands also use the hide. I was disappointed in this, but find the Zint brand to be very easy on the stomach, as well as this brand is produced in a gelatin/collagen-only plant and is free of wheat, gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nut, and soy. Their certified 100% grass fed cows are from Argentina, are non-GMO and kosher. It would be great to find a collagen that was derived from the bones instead of the hide. I’ll keep searching and researching as I have been using grass-fed collagen daily for the last 6 months and have noticed stronger fingernails…but my hair is graying double-time since 5 weeks in and am wondering if this has anything to do with it. Every body is different in current needs for various nutrition, so keep on keepin’ on gang.

  175. The marine collagen is the best. Whenever I use it consistently, my skin is so nice and smooth, and has a healthy glow. I use it with MSM and Vitamin C as I hear Vit c helps your body process the collagen better.

  176. Can you take collagen peptides while breast feedings? I have the vital proteins brand.

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