Collagen is a major component of healthy skin, hair, and nails, as well as healthy joints, connective tissue, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, muscles, and arteries
Your body naturally produces collagen, and key nutrients that support Collagen production include Protein, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Copper
Collagen-rich foods primarily include bone broth, eggs, and the skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments of animal food sources
Due to limited research on the effects of Collagen supplementation on pregnant women, consult with your doctor on the risks and benefits of taking a Collagen supplement while pregnant
Women typically take prenatal vitamins before and during pregnancy, since these specially formulated supplements support mom’s nutritional needs and promote baby’s growth and development.† But what about Collagen, the abundant protein that the body naturally produces? You might have been hearing more about the benefits of Collagen, especially as they relate to being components of healthy hair, skin, nails, and joints. But what exactly is Collagen? Can you take Collagen while pregnant—and if so, how much? Read on to learn more about Collagen for pregnancy.
What Is Collagen?
The body produces more than two dozen types of Collagen, making it one of the primary proteins in the body.  While Type II Collagen helps maintain cartilage, two other types of Collagen make up about 90% of your hair, skin and nails, including:
Type I Collagen: This is extremely strong and able to stretch without breaking.
Type III Collagen: This is found alongside type I Collagen in the skin and is important for the development of skin.
Collagen serves as one of the primary building blocks of bones, connective tissue, fibrous cartilage, ligaments, organs, skin, teeth, tendons—and even the gastrointestinal system. 
Despite the abundance of Collagen in the body, your body produces less of it as you age—leading to issues such as loss of skin elasticity (a.k.a., saggy skin), dry skin, and wrinkles. [4,5]
As always, you’ll find the best source of any nutrient in food, and Collagen is no exception. The best food sources of Collagen include beef, pork, poultry, eggs, and fish (primarily in their skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments) and bone broth.
Besides eating collagen-rich foods, you’ll need to eat a variety of animal- and plant-based foods that increase the body’s production of collagen. Make sure your balanced diet includes a variety of healthy foods rich in proteins as well as other key nutrients to be readily available for the body to use as “collagen building blocks.” These key, collagen-building nutrients include Protein, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Copper. 
Because the food sources of Collagen are fairly limited, you might be considering a Collagen supplement. In fact, the market for Collagen supplements has exploded in recent years, so it helps to know the different Collagen sources you might find in these products. Collagen supplements are generally made from connective tissue, bones and other parts of cows, pigs, chicken and fish.  This means the product packaging might say “bovine Collagen” or “marine Collagen.”
In supplements, the primary forms of Collagen include:
Hydrolyzed Collagen: Commonly found in Collagen supplementation and Collagen-enriched foods, hydrolyzed Collagen (a.k.a. Collagen peptides) often comes in powder or capsule form. Why is this form so common? Because “hydrolyzed” means water-soluble, which makes it easier for the body to absorb collagen. 
Undenatured Collagen: Known as raw collagen, Undenatured Collagen comes from chicken cartilage.
In general, taking s generally considered safe and nontoxic with no harmful side effects for most healthy adults. But can you take Collagen supplements while pregnant? Because of very limited research on the effects of Collagen supplementation on pregnant women, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider on the risks and benefits of taking a collagen supplement while pregnant.
As a general rule of thumb, pregnant women should avoid taking more than twice the recommended dietary allowances of vitamins and minerals. 
Your body naturally produces collagen. You can also eat collagen-rich foods such as beef, pork, poultry, eggs, and fish (primarily in their skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments) and bone broth. Certain key nutrients—including Protein, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Copper—serve as the body’s “collagen building blocks.” That’s why it’s important to eat a varied, healthy diet. Very little research exists on the effects of Collagen supplementation on pregnant women, so it’s best to consult with your physician on the risks and benefits of taking a collagen supplement while pregnant. And, as a general rule of them, if you’re pregnant or nursing, talk with your doctor first before taking any dietary supplements.
Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.
Lisa Beach is a seasoned journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Eating Well, Parents, AARP’s Disrupt Aging, Optimum Wellness, and dozens more. She also writes for a variety of health/wellness-focused brands. Check out her writer’s website at www.LisaBeachWrites.com.
As a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Sandra educates healthcare professionals and consumers on nutrition, supplements, and related health concerns. Prior to joining Pharmavite, Sandra worked as a clinical dietitian at University of Chicago Medicine in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, with minors in Spanish and Chemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. She earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from RUSH University in Chicago, IL. As part of her Master’s program, Sandra performed research on physical activity participation and correlates in urban Hispanic women.
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