7 Signs & Symptoms of Collagen Deficiency & Treatment – Research Studies

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a protein molecule, which comprises amino acids. The primary function of collagen is to provide support to the extracellular connective tissue. The peculiar characteristics of collagen, including resistance to stretching and rigidity, makes this molecule the ideal substance for providing structural support to the matrix of bones, ligaments, skin, and tendons. While type I collagen is the most common collagen found in the human body, there are up to 28 different types of this protein molecule. [1]

The primary constituent of collagen is either glycine-X-hydroxyproline or glycine-proline-X amino acid. The constituent amino acids are arranged in three chains, which wound together to give rise to a triple helix structure of collagen, which is a tight configuration, allowing collagen to withstand stress. The specialized cells in the body responsible for the synthesis of collagen are fibroblasts. [1] 

Various genetic mutations can give rise to impaired collagen production both extra- and intracellularly. Nutritional deficiency such as that of collagen may also lead to altered collagen production due to impaired function of the hydroxylase enzyme. [1]

Why Collagen is Important?

The clinical importance of collagen is associated with the clinical manifestations of collagen synthesis. Scurvy is described as the nutritional deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This leads to impaired collagen production, which results in gum disease, weakness, general fatigue, anemia, and poor healing of wounds. Another disorder associated with impaired collagen production is osteogenesis imperfecta. This genetic disorder causes the bones to become weak and prone to fractures. Gene mutations in osteogenesis imperfecta influence the formation of procollagen, whereby glycine is replaced by other amino acids, altering the triple helix structure of collagen molecules. [1] 

7 Signs & Symptoms of Collagen Deficiency

1. Poor Wound Healing 

Poor wound healing is characterized by delayed acute or chronic wounds, which indicate failure of the wound healing cycle to undergo normal stages of healing. Several local and systemic factors contribute to an impaired wound-healing process. Age-related delay in the synthesis of collagen can lead to impaired wound healing. Decreased remodeling and turnover of collagen also contribute to decreased wound strength. Systemic glucocorticoids may also suppress the wound responses at the cellular levels, causing a decline in the proliferation of fibroblasts and the production of collagen. Similar is observed in individuals who are subjected to chemotherapeutic drugs. [2]

2. Weak and Fragile Bones 

Similar to collagen loss in the skin, this protein is gradually lost from the bones, which is associated with the process of aging. Age-related deficiency in collagen corresponds with decreased bone density, which is associated with the development of osteoporosis. [3]

3. Joint Pain 

Individuals lacking sufficient concentration of collagen in the joint matrix may suffer from wear and tear of the joints, ultimately developing osteoarthritis. This condition is prevalent and is one of the most frequent causes of disability. The clinical significance of collagen in joint pain is reflected by the role of collagen supplementation in improving the symptoms of osteoarthritis including relieving pain. [4]

4. Loss of Vision

Collagen is also implicated in the pathogenesis of glaucoma, being associated with selective loss of the visual field during the early stages of glaucoma. Primary changes in collagen weaken the ocular tissues, which increases the risk of the development of glaucoma. [5]

5. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease 

Altered expression of collagen III in the esophagus may give rise to altered strength of esophageal tissue and also modifies the flexibility of esophageal tissue. The esophageal lining with altered expression of collagen III is vulnerable to wounds and mucosal damage. This also makes individuals susceptible to the development of hiatal hernia, increasing the risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease. [6]

6. Hearing Loss 

Gene mutations implicated in the synthesis of collagen may also give rise to hearing loss in susceptible individuals. Collagen type II is present in the basilar membrane, tectorial membrane, spiral ligament, and spiral limbus. [7]

7. Wrinkles 

In extrinsic skin aging, reduced concentration of collagen type VII may weaken the bond between the outer and inner layers of the skin, resulting in the development of wrinkles. In photoaged skin, collagen is reduced and distributed sparsely is a manifestation of increased degradation of collagen by matrix metalloproteinases. In order to prevent the development of wrinkles, it is important to cease the degradation of collagen, elastin, and other structural constituents of the skin. Topical formulations containing collagen and other factors associated with the production of this protein molecule aid in the prevention of the formation of wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. [8]

Collagen Deficiency Treatment 

Collagen-based treatments are implicated in different therapeutic applications such as bone defects, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, skin regeneration, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and periodontal disease. Collagen is added in different oral and topical pharmaceutical formulations. The advantages of collagen treatment include the treatment of various chronic diseases, skin anti-aging effects, boosting muscle mass, relieving joint pain, and preventing bone loss. However, this treatment may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. [1] 

Take advantage of free consultation with one of our Health Coach through the chat icon on the website to determine of appropriate dosages. ASTR Collagen Active supplements are recommended for patients who suffer from a deficiency of this molecule in the body. 


  1. Wu M, Cronin K, Crane JS. Biochemistry, Collagen Synthesis. [Updated 2022 Sep 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507709/
  2. Guo, S., & Dipietro, L. A. (2010). Factors affecting wound healing. Journal of dental research89(3), 219–229. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022034509359125 
  3. Shuster S. (2020). Osteoporosis, like skin ageing, is caused by collagen loss which is reversible. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine113(4), 158–160. https://doi.org/10.1177/0141076820910315
  4. García-Coronado, J. M., Martínez-Olvera, L., Elizondo-Omaña, R. E., Acosta-Olivo, C. A., Vilchez-Cavazos, F., Simental-Mendía, L. E., & Simental-Mendía, M. (2019). Effect of collagen supplementation on osteoarthritis symptoms: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. International orthopaedics43(3), 531–538. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-018-4211-5
  5. Huang, W., Fan, Q., Wang, W., Zhou, M., Laties, A. M., & Zhang, X. (2013). Collagen: a potential factor involved in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. Medical science monitor basic research19, 237–240. https://doi.org/10.12659/MSMBR.889061
  6. Asling, B., Jirholt, J., Hammond, P., Knutsson, M., Walentinsson, A., Davidson, G., Agreus, L., Lehmann, A., & Lagerström-Fermer, M. (2009). Collagen type III alpha I is a gastro-oesophageal reflux disease susceptibility gene and a male risk factor for hiatus hernia. Gut58(8), 1063–1069. https://doi.org/10.1136/gut.2008.167353
  7. Meyer zum Gottesberge, A., Gross, O., Becker-Lendzian, U. et al. Inner ear defects and hearing loss in mice lacking the collagen receptor DDR1. Lab Invest 88, 27–37 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/labinvest.3700692 
  8. Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A. I., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermato-endocrinology4(3), 308–319. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.22804