The Benefits of Collagen for Your Mental Health 

by JJ Virgin on March 12, 2024

Mental well-being can be easy to overlook when you're focused on physical health. Yet your mental health is a fundamental cornerstone of overall wellness, substantially impacting your quality of life. 

A sound state of mind leads to greater happiness and fulfillment, elevates productivity, enriches relationships, and equips you with the resilience to navigate life's obstacles effectively. Nurturing good mental health isn't just about a happier today—it can also pave the way for a longer and healthier life. 

Collagen is one of the body’s most abundant proteins, made up predominantly of three amino acids: glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Your body makes collagen through a process that relies on various enzymes and nutrients, including vitamin C.1 

However, collagen production naturally decreases with age. This decline can impact your skin, joints, and other tissues that depend on collagen. Other factors that can impair your body’s production include: 

  • Poor nutrition 
  • Smoking 
  • Excessive sun exposure 
  • Chronic stress 
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Hormonal shifts (including those during menopause)2  

Supplementing can improve collagen levels, replenishing your body’s supply of this important protein. People use collagen supplements for healthier skin, stronger joints, a healthier gut, and other physical benefits.  

However, its vast potential for mental well-being often gets overlooked. The research is catching up: one study among active middle-aged adults found that using a collagen supplement for six months could improve various physical and mental health measures, including pain management.3 

5 Benefits of Collagen for Mental Health  

1. Collagen Can Help Your Brain Work Better 

Collagen provides glycine, an amino acid that helps your brain and spinal cord's nerve cells communicate with each other. Glycine molecules bind to specific receptors, creating electrical signals that allow communication throughout your nervous system.4 

Glycine also helps build brain chemicals or neurotransmitters like dopamine, which impacts attention, learning, and memory. Optimal dopamine levels can improve motivation, focus, and a feeling of satisfaction, contributing to a balanced and positive mood.5 

This amino acid can also protect against age-related brain decline. Glycine does this by turning off harmful pathways in your brain that can lead to problems like inflammation. Chronic inflammation can damage brain cells and contribute to brain-related issues like Alzheimer's disease and depression.6 Because it can reverse damage caused by factors that harm brain cells, glycine is a promising option for age-related brain diseases.7 

2. Collagen Can Improve Your Mood 

Glycine in collagen helps make two brain chemicals or neurotransmitters that can support a healthy mood. Dopamine plays a crucial role in your brain's reward and pleasure pathways. Optimal levels of this neurotransmitter are essential for regulating mood, feeling motivated, and emotional well-being.8 

The second is serotonin. Glycine helps convert the essential amino acid tryptophan into 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which becomes serotonin.9 This neurotransmitter supports mood regulation, emotional well-being, and a range of functions, including managing mood, sleep, appetite, and pain perception.  

3. Collagen Can Help Manage Stress Levels 

Proline in collagen plays a crucial role in stress management, helping your body adapt to and cope with various forms of stress, including physical, chemical, or environmental stressors.10 

This amino acid also helps make gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter prized for its calming influence on the brain.11 Elevated GABA levels can support a more serene mental state, helping you manage stress better.

4. Collagen Can Improve Sleep 

Quality sleep is a fundamental pillar of good mental health, helping to stabilize your mood and well-being. Collagen, rich in glycine, can enhance sleep quality, potentially reducing the time it takes to fall asleep. Researchers found that collagen supplementation could reduce waking up in the middle of the night and support overall brain function for physically active adults with sleep complaints.12 

One reason: glycine helps make melatonin. I mentioned this amino acid helps convert tryptophan into 5-HTP. This pathway goes on to make your feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, which then becomes melatonin.13 

This sleep hormone orchestrates your body's internal circadian rhythms, regulating your sleep-wake patterns. When melatonin levels rise in the evening, you feel drowsy. Maintaining these levels within the appropriate range can lead to better sleep quality and a more restful night's rest. 

Sleep Candy™ combines 3 mg of melatonin with 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. Inositol and L-theanine provide additional calming support, while vitamin B6 helps convert 5-HTP to melatonin.* 

5. Collagen Can Improve Gut-Brain Communication 

Your brain communicates with your gut through a system scientists call “the gut-brain connection.” This involves complex interactions between your gut and the central nervous system, impacting physical and mental well-being. 

Collagen supplements have the potential to bolster gut health. In one study, collagen supplements helped improve bloating and enhance mild digestive symptoms among healthy women.14 

Collagen plays a role in maintaining a healthy gut lining, preventing harmful substances from leaking into the bloodstream, a condition often called leaky gut.15 This helps reduce the risk of inflammation and immune responses, potentially lowering the likelihood of developing health problems like autoimmune diseases.16 Additionally, a healthy gut lining aids in absorbing nutrients from food, ensuring that your brain receives the necessary nutrients for optimal performance. 

Getting the Many Benefits of Collagen Supplements 

Whether your goals include preventing age-related cognitive decline, creating a more relaxed mental state, sleeping more soundly, or supporting gut health, collagen can do wonders to improve brain health.  

I’ve found using a supplement consistently provides the biggest benefits. Adding a scoop of collagen powder to your morning coffee, loaded smoothie, or water is a simple way to reap the rewards, including skin health, joint health, lustrous hair and nails, a healthy gut, and a wide range of mental-health benefits.  

Collagen Peptides Powder provides a unique blend of collagen peptides to support healthy bones, joints, GI health, skin health, and more. Every serving delivers 11 grams of protein from 12.5g of Verisol®, Fortigel®, and other collagen peptides.* This easy-to-use unflavored powder blends into your favorite loaded smoothie or other beverage.

Order Collagen Peptides Powder here


  1. Wu M, Cronin K, Crane JS. Biochemistry, Collagen Synthesis. [Updated 2023 Sep 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: 
  1. Al-Atif H. Collagen Supplements for Aging and Wrinkles: A Paradigm Shift in the Fields of Dermatology and Cosmetics. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2022 Jan 1;12(1):e2022018. doi: 10.5826/dpc.1201a18. PMID: 35223163; PMCID: PMC8824545. 
  1. Kviatkovsky SA, Hickner RC, Cabre HE, Small SD, Ormsbee MJ. Collagen peptides supplementation improves function, pain, and physical and mental outcomes in active adults. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2023 Dec;20(1):2243252. doi: 10.1080/15502783.2023.2243252. PMID: 37551682; PMCID: PMC10411303. 
  1. Avila A, Nguyen L, Rigo JM. Glycine receptors and brain development. Front Cell Neurosci. 2013 Oct 21;7:184. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2013.00184. PMID: 24155690; PMCID: PMC3800850. 
  1. Harvard Health: Dopamine: The pathway to pleasure
  1. Sartori AC, Vance DE, Slater LZ, Crowe M. The impact of inflammation on cognitive function in older adults: implications for healthcare practice and research. J Neurosci Nurs. 2012 Aug;44(4):206-17. doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3182527690. PMID: 22743812; PMCID: PMC3390758. 
  1. Ullah R, Jo MH, Riaz M, Alam SI, Saeed K, Ali W, Rehman IU, Ikram M, Kim MO. Glycine, the smallest amino acid, confers neuroprotection against D-galactose-induced neurodegeneration and memory impairment by regulating c-Jun N-terminal kinase in the mouse brain. J Neuroinflammation. 2020 Oct 15;17(1):303. doi: 10.1186/s12974-020-01989-w. PMID: 33059700; PMCID: PMC7566050. 
  1. Bromberg-Martin ES, Matsumoto M, Hikosaka O. Dopamine in motivational control: rewarding, aversive, and alerting. Neuron. 2010 Dec 9;68(5):815-34. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.11.022. PMID: 21144997; PMCID: PMC3032992. 
  1. Verywell Health: Glycine: Benefits, Side Effects, and Risks
  1. Liang X, Zhang L, Natarajan SK, Becker DF. Proline mechanisms of stress survival. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013 Sep 20;19(9):998-1011. doi: 10.1089/ars.2012.5074. Epub 2013 May 23. PMID: 23581681; PMCID: PMC3763223. 
  1. Yao Y, Han W. Proline Metabolism in Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders. Mol Cells. 2022 Nov 30;45(11):781-788. doi: 10.14348/molcells.2022.0115. Epub 2022 Nov 2. PMID: 36324271; PMCID: PMC9676987. 
  1. Thomas C, Kingshott RN, Allott KM, Tang JCY, Dunn R, Fraser WD, Thorley J, Virgilio N, Prawitt J, Hogervorst E, Škarabot J, Clifford T. Collagen peptide supplementation before bedtime reduces sleep fragmentation and improves cognitive function in physically active males with sleep complaints. Eur J Nutr. 2023 Oct 24. doi: 10.1007/s00394-023-03267-w. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37874350. 
  1. Maffei ME. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): Natural Occurrence, Analysis, Biosynthesis, Biotechnology, Physiology and Toxicology. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 26;22(1):181. doi: 10.3390/ijms22010181. PMID: 33375373; PMCID: PMC7796270. 
  1. 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. 
  1. Ouabbou S, He Y, Butler K, Tsuang M. Inflammation in Mental Disorders: Is the Microbiota the Missing Link? Neurosci Bull. 2020 Sep;36(9):1071-1084. doi: 10.1007/s12264-020-00535-1. Epub 2020 Jun 27. PMID: 32592144; PMCID: PMC7475155. 
  1. 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. 

*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.