Our Response to the NY Times “Collagen is Risky Business” Article


Eric Sharp

May 18, 2021

The New York Times recently published an article titled "Those Buzzy New Collagen Products Are Risky Business." Is the opinion accurate? Does it capture the dark side of collagen or are they making sweeping generalizations? Here are our 7 main takeaways.

The New York Times recently published an article about collagen titled, Those Buzzy New Collagen Products Are Risky Business.

It wasn’t the first time NY Times chimed in on the collagen market. Back in November 2019, they published a not-so-scathing opinion titled Are There Benefits to Collagen Supplements? Maybe! But get ready for a long-term relationship.

Quite the change of heart.

Why we feel the need to respond

Being a supplement company focused solely on multi collagen protein products and quality education via Collagen College™ that’s reviewed for medical and scientific accuracy by Dr. Cate, M.D., we see sharing our observations as important.

We’ve never avoided voicing a strong opinion around nutrition, collagen, and supplements. It’s in our DNA to be transparent, educate, and have tough conversations that many other supplement companies simply avoid.

The article presented collagen supplements in a bad light and makes some sweeping generalizations about collagen products, their efficacy, and safety. We have a beef with that (pun intended).

With the setup out of the way, here are our 7 rebuttals, er, takeaways/observations. 🙂

1. Bone Broth is not mentioned.

Let’s start with a broad observation from Dr. Cate:

“I find it significant that bone broth is not mentioned once in the article — suggesting something is missing from the knowledge base and thought processes on the part of the writer”, shares Dr. Cate.

Bone broth is the original collagen supplement and superfood.

Not a good start, NY Times.

2. Collagen is the devil.

“It’s the devil to me now,” she said.

We get it. You need a controversial and impactful one-liner for an article like this.

But the devil? Goodness.

We have no problem saying that collagen supplements aren’t for everyone. That’s why we publish content that recommends competitors collagens (exhibit A:  Can I take your Multi Collagen if Allergic to Chicken or Eggs?) and realize there’s a small percentage of people that our supplement isn’t a good fit for. That’ll be the case for pretty much any consumer product — find me one that works for 100% of the population.

3. Adding a variety of ingredients.

Since many of these collagen products include a variety of other ingredients, including biotin and hyaluronic acid, it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s actually triggering a negative reaction.

Our products DO NOT contain anything except food, there are no added extract or chemicals. Many collagen products DO add a variety of other ingredients to their formula. But, we don’t. And we won’t. We believe in keeping it clean, so we don’t attempt to make collagen a “complete” protein by adding synthetic tryptophan and we don’t add vitamins/minerals to our collagen — more about collagen and vitamin C.

We also certainly do not add sugar and none of our products (including our flavored collagen) have carbs.

4. Shellfish.

Experts report that they are more likely to ignite allergic reactions because of potential shellfish contamination.

Our product has zero shellfish. We use both wild-caught Tilapia and Red Snapper as our marine collagen source.

5. Contradicting Statements.

This statement:

Experts say that studies claiming to show collagen as having a positive impact on skin elasticity and overall youthfulness are too small and anecdotal to lend the products real legitimacy.

Contradicts this statement:

The results support that ingesting collagen can reduce skin wrinkles and improve elasticity and skin hydration.

6. Taking Supplements Indefinitely.

Supplements in any form are not meant to be taken indefinitely.

Listen, we are the no supplement company. We consistently encourage everyone to get their nutrition from food FIRST, then supplement. However, collagen is different and we’re pragmatic about today’s lifestyle. Our collagen supplement is food. The ingredients are animal connective tissue (skin or hide, bones, cartilage) from grass-fed pasture raised beef, wild caught fish, and cage free chickens.

We believe taking a quality collagen supplement is like brushing your teeth. You do it daily, unless you’re getting all the collagen protein you need from these foods that contain collagen — the keyword being CONTAIN, not collagen-boosting.

7. You can’t turn back time on a Supplement

The article ends with:

You can’t turn back time with a supplement.

But, this conflicts with Dr. Cate’s research and her experience with patients.

She goes on to say, “Not likely with a single supplement, however, I have turned back time for my patients suffering from infertility, diabetes, memory problems, joint pain, and on and on but I use a holistic dietary approach, and sometimes supplements are part of that.”

Final Remarks

Our supplement is one of the cleanest supplements in the world, because our multi collagen is NSF Certified. It takes hard work, money, and dedication to consistently ensure we’re providing a quality product to people wanting to improve their health.

Not all collagen supplements are made the same and we encourage you to find the differences in ingredients, manufacturing practices, and customer service.

Thanks for being here!

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