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December 08, 2022 9 min read

Collagen is the latest buzzword in health and wellness - and for a good reason! Collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in our bodies, and it's what gives us strength, supports our skin's elasticity, and overall helps to support healthy joints. Many people take collagen supplements in hopes of improving the appearance of their skin, hair, and nails. However, this protein can also provide support for your thyroid gland, helping those with hypothyroidism to ease their symptoms.

But as a hypothyroid patient who is taking thyroid hormone replacement medication on a regular basis, you might be wondering if you can take a collagen supplement. Well, to answer your question, here's what you need to know about collagen and hypothyroidism.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, accounting for 30% of your body's protein. It's found in all kinds of tissue, from blood vessels to bones. Being a major component of the skin, hair, nails, and bones, collagen is the protein that gives skin its elasticity, hair its strength, and tendons their toughness.

Collagen is made up of long chains of amino acids. These chains are arranged in a triple helix, which gives collagen its fiber-like structure. This structure is what makes collagen so strong. It's also why collagen is used to make connective tissue, a type of tissue that connects different tissues in our body. It provides a scaffold for cells, helping to hold them in place and keeping them together. Moreover, collagen plays an important role in wound healing, providing support for new tissue growth. It also helps to keep our bones strong and healthy.

There are many different types of collagen, each with its own functions. For example, type I collagen is found in tendons and skin, while type II collagen is found in cartilage. As we get older, our collagen levels inevitably drop.

What causes low collagen production?

As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, and joint pain. But besides aging, there are several factors that can contribute to low collagen production. One of the most common is sun damage. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can break down collagen fibers, leading to reduced elasticity and strength in the skin.

Smoking is another major factor that can decrease collagen production. The chemicals in cigarettes damage collagen fibers and reduce the body's ability to produce new collagen. Poor diet and nutrition can also contribute since a diet lack in certain vitamins and minerals can make it difficult for the body to produce collagen.

Does collagen have benefits for hypothyroid patients?

In the mainstream, collagen is popular as the protein that helps to keep the skin elastic and youthful, and it also helps to promote healthy hair and nails. But the good news for people with underactive thyroid: it does have benefits for your thyroid function. Here's how collagen can help your thyroid health:

Improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar management

The amino acid glycine is the foundation of collagen. Inadequate glycol levels can bring on hypothyroidism. Glycine is an essential amino acid because it stimulates the production of digestive toxins that flush sugar from the bloodstream. Since hypothyroid patients are at risk for insulin resistance and weight gain, collagen supplementation may help reduce those risks by improving insulin sensitivity and blood sugar management.

Increase dietary protein while eliminating tryptophan

By adding tryptophan-free collagen supplementation to your diet, you can get more protein without having to increase the risk of hypothyroid fatigue.

Lower cortisol levels

Collagen can bring down cortisol levels in your blood, which helps to improve your liver's capacity to convert thyroid hormone into active thyroid hormone known as T3 (thyroid hormones include T3 and T4). This may help with a thyroid imbalance.

Enhance cardiovascular health

Hypothyroid patients are more likely to experience cardiovascular issues than the general population. According to a study, consuming collagen protein may help stave off atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Moreover, taking collagen supplements can lower the levels of bad cholesterol in your body.

Promote muscle strength

Muscle weakness is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Integrating collagen with resistance training has been shown to promote muscle strength and mass.

Alleviate joint pain

People with hypothyroidism often report experiencing joint pain. Collagen supplements can alleviate some of that pain and stiffness.

Eliminate dry skin

As a hypothyroid patient, you know all too well the struggles of dry skin. Aside from lotions and creams, taking a collagen supplement can help enhance the skin's suppleness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Improve gut health

Since collagen contains a high amount of amino acid glutamine, it may help improve your gut health. It may even help treat leaky gut, which is a problem associated with autoimmunity and hypothyroidism symptoms.

Weight loss

For many people, weight gain is the most annoying symptom of hypothyroidism. Even if you are eating healthy and exercising regularly, your sluggish thyroid can cause unwanted pounds to pack on. But collagen can be the help you're looking for. Since collagen has a high protein content, it may help you feel fuller longer, so you can cut down the number of calories you consume each day.

How to incorporate collagen protein into your diet?

You should strive for daily collagen consumption of 35 grams to maintain good health. But getting this amount can be hard with food alone. One of the easiest ways to get your daily dose is by taking collagen peptide protein supplements made from grass-fed and organically-raised animals.

The first step when taking a collagen supplement is to make sure you're choosing the right type of collagen. Different types of collagen exist, so it's important that you do some research to find out which one best suits your needs. For easier absorption, hydrolyzed collagen protein is especially recommended. Hydrolyzed collagen protein is made by breaking down the large molecules of regular collagen into smaller pieces called peptides. Peptides are easier for the body to absorb

Most collagen supplements come with dosage instructions, so make sure to follow these carefully; taking too much or not enough won't get you the desired effects.

Collagen supplements come in many forms, so there are many ways you can incorporate collagen into your daily diet. Here are some of the options.

Collagen powder

Collagen powder is one of the most popular forms for taking these supplements because it's so easy. Generally speaking, all you need to do is mix it into something like your morning smoothie or oatmeal; it's flavorless, so it won't affect the taste of your meal.

Collagen water

Collagen water is another convenient way to get your daily dose of collagen. This type of supplement usually comes packaged in bottles as flavored water that has been enriched with the powder of hydrolyzed collagen peptides. If you don't want flavors, there is unflavored and calorie-free collagen water on the market as well. In most cases, each bottle usually contains about 10 grams of collagen.

Collagen capsules

Taking collagen capsules is the easiest way to get your daily dose of this essential protein; just pop one or two capsules with water each day for the best results. It's flavorless, so there's no unpleasant taste like some other supplements!

Most collagen capsules are also made with natural ingredients and are free from artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives, and fillers which makes them great for anyone looking for an all-natural solution. Moreover, anecdotal data from a few specialists suggest they may be more effective than powders in some situations.

Collagen Liquid

Another way to get collagen is by taking liquid collagen. It contains hydrolyzed proteins and usually comes in standard and sugar-free varieties. They typically have 16 grams of protein and 18 grams of cellulose.

What are the side effects of collagen supplements?

Collagen supplementation is safe, and most of these side effects are mild and generally harmless. For example, some people may experience an unpleasant taste in their mouth or mild digestive symptoms such as abdominal cramps, constipation, and bloating. In some cases, it may also cause difficulty sleeping, rashes, irritability, heartburn, and mild headaches.

That said, your overall health may determine the side effects.

Can you get collagen from food?

Absolutely! Collagen is everywhere, and it's just waiting to be put to good use. While collagen supplements are the easiest way to get more collagen into your diet on a daily basis, you can also find it naturally in certain types of foods. The best food source for collagen is bone broth, but organ meats like the liver of beef, pork, and lamb are also good.

Other collagen-rich foods include chicken, oxtail, fish, pork rinds, eggs, head cheese, and gelatin desserts like Jell-O.

Additionally, you can consider eating foods that are rich in the nutrients that can help your body's ability to produce collagen, such as vitamin C, proline, zinc, glycine, and copper.

So, can you take collagen while taking thyroid medication?

Yes, you can take collagen supplements with thyroid medication! However, you might want to watch out for an ingredient called tryptophan. This ingredient can make you sleepy and is found in some collagen supplements. People with thyroid problems should avoid collagen supplements with this ingredient. The good news is that tryptophan is not found in many popular brands of collagen peptide powder or capsules.

How to take collagen supplements with thyroid medication?

Taking collagen supplements while taking thyroid medication can be a great way to boost your health (and beauty). But the combination of these two treatments can come with its own set of challenges since they may interact with each other. That's why it's a good idea to take them at different times. Whether you're taking levothyroxine or natural desiccated thyroid (NDT), it's recommended that you take your thyroid medication on an empty stomach to ensure your body can absorb it properly.

The most common approach is to separate your collagen and thyroid supplement or medication for at least four hours so that they don't interfere with each other.

It's also important you speak with your doctor first for advice on dosage and timing when taking collagen and thyroid medication together.

How to take collagen supplements with thyroid medication

What other foods and supplements are good with thyroid medications?

The thyroid gland is essential for the metabolism of almost every cell in the body. That's why having healthy thyroid and balanced thyroid hormones are important. You might want to add the following food and supplements to help treat your thyroid dysfunction.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in many aspects of health, including thyroid health. Scientific papers have also shown that vitamin D is linked to several autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D balances blood sugar by controlling how much insulin is made and how sensitive it is. Therefore, vitamin D is recommended with thyroid medication, as long as you take them at separate times.

Alpha lipoic acid

Alpha-lipoic acids are compounds with antioxidizing properties. Our bodies make this in small amounts, and it can also be found in food and supplements. Taking this supplement might be able to help people with hypothyroidism.

However, alpha lipoic acid may not be safe to take with the thyroid hormone drug levothyroxine because it may lower the T3 thyroid hormone levels and raise thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.


Iodine is a trace mineral that plays an essential role in maintaining optimal thyroid health. It's essential for the production of thyroid hormones. If you have hypothyroidism, iodine may help increase your thyroid levels. While iodine is naturally present in many foods, it can also be supplemented through diet or medication to ensure adequate intake.


Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a role in many metabolic processes, including thyroid health. Without adequate amounts of zinc, the body's ability to produce thyroid hormones can be impaired. Supplementing with zinc may help improve your thyroid function, enhance thyroid hormone production, and reduce symptoms associated with hypothyroidism. For this reason, it is important to make sure you are getting enough zinc in your diet or through supplementation if needed.


Selenium is another essential mineral for healthy thyroid function. It helps to enhance and regulate the production of this hormone, thus allowing for proper metabolism and energy levels within the body.


If you have hypothyroidism, collagen can be an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that helps provide structural support for skin, bones, and even the digestive system. Not only does it provide essential nutrients for overall health, but it also has been shown to have positive effects on people with thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism. It can help improve the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, dry skin, and joint pain.

You don't have to worry about taking collagen supplements with thyroid medication. Taking both is safe, as long as you separate them by at least 4 hours.

For those with hypothyroidism looking for ways to supplement their diet with collagen, buying natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) like VitaliThy could be a great option. NDT is made from dried animal glands that contain T4 and T3 thyroid hormones, which makes it work more effectively than T4-only medications like levothyroxine.

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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