How Much Collagen Should You Take Per Day for Gut Health?

by JJ Virgin on April 13, 2023

While strong muscles and healthy bones help you age powerfully, what supports and connects those things is also critical. Collagen comes from the Greek word “kolla,” which literally means glue. Think of this ubiquitous protein as the glue that holds your body together. 

What Does Collagen Do? 

About one-third of your body’s total protein is made up of collagen. Among its many duties, collagen: 

  1. Helps maintain the structure and elasticity of connective tissues, including skin, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and even your teeth. 
  2. Supports the development of organs and wound healing. 
  3. Provides the strength necessary to withstand the stresses of movement, including the cartilage that cushions and supports joints.  
  4. Creates a framework to deposit the minerals that support strong bones. 

How Does Your Body Use and Make Collagen? 

To make collagen, your body needs amino acids and specific nutrients. Glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline make up around 50% of the total amino-acid content of collagen. Other amino acids, including lysine and arginine, help stabilize and connect collagen fibers. Vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, zinc, and copper help your body produce collagen, too.  

These supportive nutrients are found in things like bone broth, wild-caught fish, leafy greens, berries, and other plant foods. 

Even when you’re regularly eating these foods, however, your body may struggle to make collagen.  

Production decreases with age. Once you turn 20, your body produces about 1% less collagen every year. The results? Wrinkles, sagging, blemishes, and other skin problems can become more common.1 

Loss of collagen can lead to other issues as well, including joint pain. That’s why many studies focus on collagen supplements for healthy skin and strong, supple joints.2 But optimizing collagen can have other not-so-obvious benefits, including gut health. Let’s look at a few of the ways collagen supports a healthy gut. 

Collagen Supports Gut Integrity 

Your intestinal lining is a single layer of cells that forms a barrier between the contents of the gut and the rest of the body. This thin barrier prevents harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. 

If this border erodes, larger molecules, bacteria, and toxins can leak through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. Your immune system responds, staying in overdrive when it shouldn’t be. 

Numerous factors can erode the intestinal lining, including a poor diet, chronic stress, antibiotics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The resulting condition, called leaky gut, means the intestinal lining becomes more permeable.  

Research shows that collagen supplements can strengthen the intestinal lining by maintaining its integrity and preventing the gaps or leaks that can allow harmful substances to enter the bloodstream.3 One reason: collagen is rich in glutamine, an amino acid that provides energy to the cells lining the intestine, while supporting the growth and repair of these cells.4 

Collagen Helps Manage Gut Inflammation 

Leaky gut and the resulting immune response create a low-grade type of inflammation called chronic inflammation. Left unchecked, chronic inflammation can lead to gut problems like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).5 Animal studies show that collagen may protect against these conditions, as well as colitis or inflammation in the colon.6  

Collagen provides the amino acid glycine, which has anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that glycine supplementation enhanced the intestinal barrier and improved both inflammation and insulin resistance.7 Along with proline and hydroxyproline, glycine can inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase anti-inflammatory cytokines. 

Chronic inflammation doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It often goes along with oxidative stress, which results from an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body's ability to neutralize them with antioxidants. This can lead to more inflammation and damage. 

Collagen contains antioxidants, including vitamin C, which can help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. In one animal study, researchers found that collagen supplements improve inflammation and oxidative stress while supporting healthy gut bacteria.8 

Other Gut Benefits of Collagen 

Underlying gut health are the trillions of bacteria that optimize digestion, support the immune system, and so much more. Studies show that collagen supplements can have a prebiotic effect, providing the fuel for those trillions of bacteria. It also supports the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which provide energy for the colon.9 

Collagen can support optimal digestion, too. One study looked at how collagen supplements could help manage digestive symptoms. Female participants took a 20-gram collagen-peptide supplement (split into two dosages) every day for eight weeks. The results were impressive: researchers concluded that collagen may reduce bloating and improve mild digestive symptoms, even without other interventions.10 

Who Should Take Collagen Supplements? 

Beyond age-related declines in collagen, other conditions like chronic inflammation and UV radiation from the sun can also damage your body’s production of this protein.  

Supplements offer an easy way to optimize collagen and get its numerous benefits. The results of 20 years of research show collagen-peptide supplements are effective for various age- and exercise-related conditions.11 

Studies show that collagen supplements support wound healing and increase skin elasticity, hydration, and density.12 Other research shows that collagen can support age-related declines such as reducing joint pain and inflammation to alleviate osteoarthritis and other joint conditions.13 

Gut health is critical for so many reasons, including finding the motivation to exercise and weight loss. Athletes and active folks can also benefit from collagen to support joint health and reduce the risk of injury. 

But collagen can support gut health in various ways, especially when you combine a supplement with other gut-healing strategies including eating the right foods and managing stress levels. 

How Much Collagen Should I Take Every Day for Gut Health? 

Most studies on collagen supplementation use doses ranging from 2.5 to 15 grams per day, with the most common dose being 10 grams per day. For gut health, researchers use doses of five to 20 grams of collagen per day, with the most beneficial doses coming from 10 grams once or twice per day. 

I developed Collagen Peptides Powder to provide this gut-healing nutrient that also supports glowing skin, supple joints, and so much more.* Every scoop provides 12.5 grams of collagen peptides to support healthy bones, joints, gut health, skin health, and more.*

Collagen Peptides Powder is flavorless and mixes well into many liquids and foods. Some of my favorite ways to use it include: 

  1. Adding to coffee or tea. A scoop of collagen powder in your morning coffee or tea provides a nice protein boost. Collagen peptides dissolve easily and maintain their efficacy in hot liquids. Be aware that if you’re fasting, collagen contains calories and will break your fast. 
  2. Blending it into a loaded smoothie. Collagen is my favorite way to upgrade the protein boost of a loaded smoothie!   
  3. Adding it to baked goods. Boost almost any recipe with a scoop of collagen powder. I’ve even got a collagen-boosted cookie recipe!  
  4. Mixing it into no-sugar-added coconut yogurt or steel-cut oats. Just stir it in. Talk about an instant protein upgrade!  

I made sure every shake recipe in my Loaded Smoothie Cookbook provides optimal 30+ grams of protein, so you get the many benefits of this mighty macronutrient. It’s FREE, so grab your copy today. 


  1. Scientific American®: Why Does Skin Wrinkle With Age? What Is the Best Way to Slow or Prevent This Process? 
  2. Radiance by WebMD: Collagen: Can It Really Help With Skin and Joints? 
  3. Chen Q, Chen O, Martins IM, Hou H, Zhao X, Blumberg JB, Li B. Collagen peptides ameliorate intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction in immunostimulatory Caco-2 cell monolayers via enhancing tight junctions. Food Funct. 2017 Mar 22;8(3):1144-1151. doi: 10.1039/c6fo01347c. PMID: 28174772. 
  4. Rao R, Samak G. Role of Glutamine in Protection of Intestinal Epithelial Tight Junctions. J Epithel Biol Pharmacol. 2012 Jan;5(Suppl 1-M7):47-54. doi: 10.2174/1875044301205010047. PMID: 25810794; PMCID: PMC4369670. 
  5. Mind Body Green: How to Use Collagen to Fight Inflammation 
  6. Rahabi M, Salon M, Bruno-Bonnet C, Prat M, Jacquemin G, Benmoussa K, Alaeddine M, Parny M, Bernad J, Bertrand B, Auffret Y, Robert-Jolimaître P, Alric L, Authier H, Coste A. Bioactive fish collagen peptides weaken intestinal inflammation by orienting colonic macrophages phenotype through mannose receptor activation. Eur J Nutr. 2022 Jun;61(4):2051-2066. doi: 10.1007/s00394-021-02787-7. Epub 2022 Jan 8. PMID: 34999930; PMCID: PMC9106617. 
  7. Chen J, Yang Y, Yang Y, Dai Z, Kim IH, Wu G, Wu Z. Dietary Supplementation with Glycine Enhances Intestinal Mucosal Integrity and Ameliorates Inflammation in C57BL/6J Mice with High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity. J Nutr. 2021 Jul 1;151(7):1769-1778. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab058. PMID: 33830211. 
  8. Lv Z, Zhang C, Song W, Chen Q, Wang Y. Jellyfish Collagen Hydrolysate Alleviates Inflammation and Oxidative Stress and Improves Gut Microbe Composition in High-Fat Diet-Fed Mice. Mediators Inflamm. 2022 Aug 8;2022:5628702. doi: 10.1155/2022/5628702. PMID: 35979013; PMCID: PMC9377926. 
  9. Larder CE, Iskandar MM, Kubow S. Gastrointestinal Digestion Model Assessment of Peptide Diversity and Microbial Fermentation Products of Collagen Hydrolysates. Nutrients. 2021 Aug 7;13(8):2720. doi: 10.3390/nu13082720. PMID: 34444880; PMCID: PMC8401164. 
  10. Abrahams M, O'Grady R, Prawitt J. Effect of a Daily Collagen Peptide Supplement on Digestive Symptoms in Healthy Women: 2-Phase Mixed Methods Study. JMIR Form Res. 2022 May 31;6(5):e36339. doi: 10.2196/36339. PMID: 35639457; PMCID: PMC9198822. 
  11. Paul C, Leser S, Oesser S. Significant Amounts of Functional Collagen Peptides Can Be Incorporated in the Diet While Maintaining Indispensable Amino Acid Balance. Nutrients. 2019 May 15;11(5):1079. doi: 10.3390/nu11051079. PMID: 31096622; PMCID: PMC6566836. 
  12. Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Jan 1;18(1):9-16. PMID: 30681787. 
  13. García-Coronado JM, Martínez-Olvera L, Elizondo-Omaña RE, Acosta-Olivo CA, Vilchez-Cavazos F, Simental-Mendía LE, Simental-Mendía M. Effect of collagen supplementation on osteoarthritis symptoms: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Int Orthop. 2019 Mar;43(3):531-538. doi: 10.1007/s00264-018-4211-5. Epub 2018 Oct 27. PMID: 30368550. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern.