It’s important to note that—unlike most vitamins and minerals—collagen is a peptide and has no upper limit, explains mbg’s own vice president of scientific affairs, Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN.
Additionally, collagen as a protein source is incredibly safe, notes Ferira. The science also backs this up, as she explains here: “Daily supplementation in randomized controlled trials, like this one, for example, have proven collagen to be safe and well tolerated, with no negative incidents reported,” she says. “As a unique protein supplement, hydrolyzed collagen demonstrates a robust safety profile from an impressive and growing body of clinical trials in those who are young and older.”
Given all that, you might be eager to incorporate collagen into your routine as much as possible. But can you take too much?
First, let’s unpack the question. “Asking whether one can have too much collagen is like asking if you can take too much protein powder, drink too much bone broth, or eat too much chicken with the skin on,” explains Ferira. In other words, yes—too much of a good thing, like collagen, is always possible.
And despite the safety of collagen, excess protein intake in general should be avoided, says Ferira. “For some, too much protein can be upsetting to the stomach. Too much protein (or any macronutrient) can contribute to fat stores, and protein metabolism requires healthy kidney function to process the urea,” she adds. Longevity dietitian and mbg contributor Ella Davar, R.D., CDN, echoes Ferira, sharing that excess protein intake can negatively affect the kidneys.
Ultimately, it comes down to this: “The bigger picture is that we each have daily protein needs based on our size, body composition, gender, physical activity levels, and health status. And the goal there is to consume a wide variety of protein sources to deliver the amino acids our body needs, day in and day out,” says Ferira. “And as it turns out, the science demonstrates that collagen can be genuinely helpful in this endeavor.”
Besides, taking more supplements of any kind won’t necessarily yield faster results. The time it takes for collagen to work depends on many factors, including the body’s natural way of absorbing and using nutrients. As Davar explains, the body has the ability to balance processes inside our biochemistry. “[Most] foods, supplements, etc., consumed in excessive amounts will be absorbed, filtered out, and excreted—but not without side effects,” she adds.
Given all that, it’s best to stick to the recommended dosage range for your desired results. This will ensure that you’re on the right path for your needs while following science-backed suggestions. While you’re at it, always talk to your medical practitioner before taking a new supplement, collagen or otherwise.
TL;DR? “Everything in moderation, even collagen,” says Ferira.