As of December 2014, some research suggests that collagen supplements may preserve lean body mass in aging women, according to Cathy Wong for About.com. Some proponents also claim the supplements improve hair and skin, promote eye health, protect against heart disease and enhance athletic performance.
Although collagen supplements are often sold as anti-aging products that can restore the body's collagen supplies to improve the appearance of skin, there is little scientific evidence to support this benefit, explains Wong. A 2010 study published in the journal Maturitas suggests that collagen supplements may not improve bone health in postmenopausal women. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2009 confirms the possible benefit of hydrolyzed collagen to preserve lean body mass.
Hydrolyzed collagen is a type of collagen made from animal bones and connective tissues that is commonly used in supplements and collagen-based beauty products, states Wong. Individuals also use collagen injections to reduce fine lines and other signs of aging, but the effects are temporary and normally require repeat treatments. The safety of collagen supplements is still unknown, so pregnant women, nursing women, children, individuals taking medications and individuals with other health conditions should speak with a doctor before taking collagen supplements.