Collagen & Wound Healing: Our Analysis of 10 Studies
You may have read in various places across the web that you can use collagen to heal wounds. Some sites extol the virtues of collagen wound healing, claiming that it is the number one supplement that you can use to heal wounds. But do you believe what these sites have to stay?
You are right to be skeptical. Some websites advertise the tremendous benefits of their products, without having any scientific studies to back up what they say. Perhaps they include one or two studies, but that’s it.
We feel like only referencing a few studies isn’t good enough. To this end, we’ve compiled a list of collagen wound healing studies so you can feel confident in the healing benefits of your supplement.
Today we will go over a number of studies, give our thoughts on each, and explain how to find the best type of collagen supplement for wound healing.
10 studies supporting collagen wound healing
Here are 10 reputable studies showing the healing benefits of collagen for skin, muscles, joints, and more.
1. Collagen healing benefits for skin
Collagen has long been touted as a beneficial skin supplement - and the science backs it up. This review of a number of collagen studies lets us know that oral collagen is effective for open wound treatment, both in the short term and long term.
It also includes some information on other studies that look at the benefits of oral collagen for skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density. This means if you use collagen wound healing, as an added bonus, you can also beautify yourself!
2. Jellyfish collagen for wound healing
Collagen benefits can sometimes come from surprising sources. One study we found investigates the wound healing potential of collagen derived from jellyfish. The collagen from jellyfish is type I collagen, which is the most common kind of collagen. Type I collagen is also found in fish, bovine, and porcine collagen.
Following analysis, it was found that collagen from the jellyfish (Rhopilema esculentum) does, in fact, accelerate wound healing.
Researchers in the study speculate that jellyfish collagen wound healing could be used in clinics in the future to help patients move through the stages of wound healing faster.
3. Porcine and bovine collagen wound healing
In the next study we examined, collagen peptides were used for wound healing. Collagen peptides have been shown to be more effective than collagen in the whole form. This study also used type I collagen, but this time using porcine or bovine sources.
The text highlights some issues that regularly occur in healing, and includes a little about physicians facing particular problems when patients have vascular disease or are dealing with diabetes wound healing, which tends to be slower and more difficult.
There is also some information included on how collagen wound healing occurs. The study notes that: “Collagen peptides are absorbed in the gut, distributed by the bloodstream, and accumulate in the skin where they stimulate fibroblasts to produce dermal extracellular matrix components.”
The study involved two groups: patients that were due to undergo surgical intervention and did not have any conditions that might affect wound healing (normal group, NG), and another group that had already undergone surgical intervention, had conditions like diabetes that could affect wound healing, and had at least one badly healed wound (disturbed group, NG).
The patients were then either given collagen or a placebo. Patients in the normal group were given 5 grams of collagen per day, and patients in the disturbed group were given 10 grams per day.
There were no reported side effects or intolerance to the collagen. All wounds closed and healed in a satisfactory time frame. No patients had problems with secondary bleeding, or infection of purulence. In both groups, patients who had been given collagen showed “clearly better” results than the patients who had been given a placebo.
In the normal group, 100% of the patients had a “good” or “very good” outcome for wound healing.
In the disturbed group, 3 of 10 patients showed very good wound healing results, while 7 had good results.
None of the 10 patients in the placebo group had “very good” wound healing, five had good results, three had suboptimal results, and two patients had bad results.
The study shows conclusively that collagen wound healing is effective when taken as part of a wound healing diet. The authors state this is “mainly due to a direct impact on dermal extracellular matrix turnover with a subsequent significant increase in collagen and elastin synthesis.”
In other words, taking a collagen peptide supplement boosts your natural collagen synthesis and makes it easier for your body to produce new tissue cells to fill in wounds.
4. Collagen for healing after C-sections
Authors Meihong Xu, Rui Liang, Ming Zhao, Zhaofeng Zhang, and Yong Li produced important research on whether collagen peptides could be used to improve wound healing following cesarean sections.
Researchers use rats in studies like this because they are anatomically, physiologically, and genetically similar to humans. Positive indications that a certain drug or therapy works for rats indicate that the same drug of therapy may also be effective in humans.
The authors note that “wound complications are a major source of morbidity after CS and contribute to prolonged hospital stay and readmission,” making how to heal deep wounds faster a priority area for wound healing research.
The metrics which were used to measure the effectiveness of collagen wound healing for cesarean sections all showed that when using collagen, wound healing after C-sections was significantly accelerated.
This is great news for any expectant mothers, and makes it worth talking with your OBGYN about collagen supplements. In fact, there are many benefits of collagen during pregnancy as well!
5. Collagen for healing burns
Collagen is important for healing more than just surgical incisions. Another study on collagen wound healing researched the effectiveness of collagen wound healing for burns.
This was a randomized and double-blind controlled study of 31 men aged 18-60 years old, with 20-20% total body surface burns. These patients were even given a collagen-based supplement or a placebo over a period of four weeks.
Results were conclusive, and showed that “a hydrolyzed collagen-based supplement could significantly improve wound healing and circulating prealbumin, and clinically reduce hospital stay in patients.”
Expedited signs of a healing wound were shown during the collagen wound healing process, and total healing was also faster - showing that collagen supplements could bring great relief to burn victims.
6. Collagen dressings for wound healing
Not all collagen wound healing is done with oral supplements. In fact, collagen wound dressings have been found to be very effective as well.
While traditional materials used for wound healing include chemicals like silver sulfadiazine, nadifloxacin, and povidone iodine, one study looked at whether collagen dressings, which are impermeable to bacteria, have greater efficacy for treating burn and chronic wounds when compared with these conventional dressing materials.
The findings of the study showed that 60% of the group who were given dressings with collagen wound healing technology had a wound that was sterile after the end of two weeks of treatment.
Only 42% of the group treated with traditional dressings had sterile wounds.
Collagen dressings also came out as more efficacious in a number of other metrics.
The study notes that using collagen wound healing dressings does not “offer significantly better results over conventional dressings in terms of completeness of healing of burns and chronic wounds,” but there ARE slightly better results. Collagen dressings may also help avoid the need for skin grafting, which could be a big plus for some patients.
7. Collagen for bone healing
Postmenopausal women often suffer from reduced bone mineral density, caused by the drop in estrogen levels that happens around the time of menopause. Women may lose up to 10 percent of bone mass in the five years following menopause. This bone loss is dangerous, as it can easily lead to fractures.
Researchers in one study examined whether physicians could use collagen for bone healing. Results came back conclusive, and demonstrate that collagen peptides did, in fact, increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.
Collagen supplementation was also associated with greater bone formation and reduced bone degradation - which is an all-around win for bone health and healing!
8. Collagen for osteoarthritis and other joint problems
If collagen wound healing can work on your skin and bones, can it work on your joints too? One literature review we found pointed towards the answer of “yes”!
The 7 studies included in this review showed that collagen provided improvements in pain and function for some men and women with osteoarthritis and other joint conditions.
That’s because collagen is also found in your cartilage and connective tissues like ligaments and tendons. If you take a high-quality collagen supplement on a regular basis, it can rebuild and strengthen all these important components of your joint structure - providing you with more stable and pain-free joints.
9. Collagen biomaterials for wound healing
The benefits of collagen are numerous, and we continue to learn more and more ways to apply this powerful healing supplement in the medical field. Indeed, in a recent study, it was claimed that “no protein has had as much practical utility” as collagen.
The study covered the “recent use of natural collagen in sponges, injectables, films and membranes, dressings, and skin grafts”. These are all ways that collagen can be used to improve wound healing when it is used externally.
This study shows that collagen is already being used in a wide range of different applications, but is likely to be used for even more reasons in the future.
10. Collagen for healing chronic wounds
Even if you have a wound that simply will not go away, studies show that collagen could be the answer to swift healing. In one study, 961 patients with chronic wounds were treated in 11 controlled trials. 485 of these patients had their wounds treated with collagen dressings, and the rest were treated with dressings sans-collagen.
Upon conclusion of the study, it was found that the patients with chronic wounds who were treated with collagen showed better and faster healing than those in the placebo groups.
With efficient healing, and no side effects, it may be concluded that collagen can assist with even the most troublesome wounds.
The research proves it: Collagen is effective for wound healing
There is no longer any ambiguity about collagen wound healing. Thanks to all this research, we now know that we can certainly use collagen to heal wounds, and that collagen is particularly beneficial for people who have conditions that slow down wound healing.
We also know that collagen for bone healing is also super effective. Not only can collagen stop bone loss, but it can actually reverse it!
If you are dealing with wounds that won’t heal, or have a condition that is causing bone loss, it is time to start using a medical-grade collagen, like the liquid protein for wound healing from ProT Gold.
This collagen wound healing formula is regulated by the FDA and overseen by medical professionals, making it trusted for use in medical facilities. In fact, nearly 4,000 hospitals and clinics across the United States have chosen ProT Gold medical-grade collagen for wound healing and medical nutrition.
Talk to your doctor today to find out if collagen wound healing could be beneficial for you.