Fit Healthy Momma Rating: 9.7/10
Primal Harvest Collagen promises 6 core benefits highlighting the main ones as healthy hair, skin and joint health. It's made in the USA with complete ingredient transparency, including grass-fed bovine collagen.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and it’s important for helping blood clot and giving structure to the skin and connective tissue.
The word “collagen” actually comes from “kolla”, which means “glue” in Greek. It’s found mostly in connective tissue in the skin, bones, tendons, and cartilage, but it’s also found throughout the body in the arteries, muscles, and internal organs.
There are over 16 different types of collagen in the body, but the primary types are I, II, and III.
While the body makes collagen naturally, collagen supplements have become popular in recent years and are thought to have various benefits like improving hair, skin, and nails as well as relieving joint pain (1).
One collagen supplement on the market is by Primal Harvest. With over 800 mostly positive reviews on Amazon, it’s obvious this is a favorite, and a top-rated collagen powder for weight loss as well. Let’s take a closer look at Primal Harvest Collagen to determine whether or not it’s worth adding to your routine.
Quick Summary of Primal Harvest Collagen Review
Powerful supporter of healthy bones, joints, and skin elasticity.
Dan Harper (Founded in 2018)
Made in USA:
$36.95 for 1x purchase, or $29.56 if you subscribe
20% off with this link and choose subscription
Avg. User Rating:
4.9/5 (over 365+ reviews on primalharvest.com)
What Is Primal Harvest Collagen?
Primal Harvest Collagen is a powdered collagen supplement that may offer several health benefits including hair, skin, nail, bone, and gut health.
The Brand That Makes Primal Collagen
Primal Harvest is a supplement company that focuses on a holistic approach to health and wellness and believes in living the way our ancestors lived many years ago. This means living with a focus on whole, unprocessed foods, staying active, and minimizing artificial ingredients.
Quality of the products is valued at Primal Harvest and all of their facilities meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards for current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations.
According to the website, every product has also been third-party tested and verified for safety and quality standards, though the third-party testing organization is not disclosed.
Important Ingredients Analysis
Each serving of Primal Collagen contains 40 calories and 10 grams of collagen that is derived from grass-fed and pasture-raised bovine. This particular collagen supplement contains types I and III collagen, which are found mostly in the skin and bones.
About 90% of the collagen found in the body is type I and it’s made of densely packed fibers that provide structure to connective tissue, skin, bones, tendons, and cartilage. Type III collagen is found in the internal organs, muscle, and arteries.
The only ingredient in this collagen supplement is the collagen itself, which is great if you’d like to avoid any additional calories, flavors, or additives. It also means you get exactly what you’re looking for, without any unnecessary fluff.
Additionally, without any added flavors, you can mix it into anything without needing to worry about it changing the flavor.
The collagen is formulated with GelcoPEP® Technology, which is meant to make the powder easy to mix into any beverage without leaving any unpleasant clumps behind.
On a similar note, the collagen itself is hydrolyzed, meaning it’s broken down into smaller peptides, which makes it easier for the body to digest and absorb (2).
It’s also gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and made without antibiotics and added hormones.
Essential Amino Acids
Typically collagen supplements do not contain all of the essential amino acids, which means they are not a complete form of protein.
The collagen used in Primal Collagen contains all nine essential amino acids histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
These amino acids are considered essential because we cannot synthesize them in the body, which means they must be consumed through diet.
Both essential and nonessential amino acids have various roles in the body, including helping with energy production, tissue growth and repair, nutrient absorption, and more.
Most protein sources, particularly meat, eggs, and poultry, provide all nine essential amino acids so if you eat these foods regularly, you likely don’t need to be concerned about not getting enough. Plant-based proteins like quinoa, buckwheat, chia seeds, spirulina, and hemp also contain all nine essential amino acids.
Primal Harvest Collagen Health Benefits
Collagen has been studied quite a bit, especially in recent years, and has been found to have various health benefits, but some of the research is still new and a bit mixed. Let’s check out some of the supposed benefits of taking a collagen supplement.
Bone and Joint Support
Type II is the type of collagen that is found mostly in the cartilage of the joints, so most of the benefits seen are with type II supplementation (3, 4).
Because Primal Collagen uses only types I and III, the research doesn’t support it being effective in alleviating joint pain or stiffness.
That being said, according to the Primal Harvest website, many customers report having less joint stiffness after taking the collagen supplement daily for 1 month, and even less joint discomfort after 3 months.
So, anecdotally speaking, you may notice positive changes.
While type II may be in the joints, our bones do have type I, which is included in this particular collagen supplement (5).
There is some promising research that indicates that supplementing with type I collagen can help prevent osteoporosis and improve bone density in women (6, 7).
Stronger evidence, particularly from clinical human trials, is needed in order to confirm collagen supplementation’s benefits on bone health.
Gut and Liver Health
According to the Primal Harvest website, taking their collagen supplement can help improve liver health, digestion, and the gut barrier thanks to its amino acids, glycine and glutamine.
The role of glutamine in supporting gut health has been well-researched and accepted. So, because collagen contains a good source of glutamine, it very well could help improve gut health (8).
Supplementing with collagen could also help improve gut health by helping to fight the inflammation in the intestines in those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (9).
Additionally, there is some thought that the improvements in the skin that comes from taking collagen could also have an effect on gut health. While there is some research indicating that there is a link between gut and skin health, there is currently no specific data supporting this yet (10).
Hair, Skin and Nails Health
Collagen is found in abundance in the skin, but research has shown that we lose about 1% every year and this can contribute to the appearance of aging (11).
Collagen boosts the production of keratin, a structural protein found in hair, skin, and nails. Along with another protein, elastin, collagen helps maintain youthfulness in the skin (12).
Because of this, taking collagen as a supplement has been shown to boost skin elasticity and hydration. However, most of the research supporting this implemented supplements that were a combination of ingredients, rather than just collagen (13, 14, 15).
Collagen has antioxidant properties that may help protect your hair from damage from free radicals, but the research on this is still limited (16, 17, 18).
As for your nails, there is some research supporting its ability to improve brittle nails and increase growth. It may also lead to fewer nail breaks (19).
Collagen is a protein source, but most forms lack the amino acid, tryptophan, making it an incomplete protein.
Primal Harvest’s collagen is different because it contains tryptophan so it’s considered a complete protein source. This is important because the body needs complete proteins in order to carry out important functions like building and repairing muscle, helping absorb nutrients, and more.
This collagen supplement provides 10 grams of complete protein and about 40 calories, making it a low calorie protein source. However, it does not contain healthy carbohydrates or fats, so it should not be considered a well-balanced meal.
Is Primal Collagen Healthy?
Primal Collagen is a healthy source of protein that may provide some added benefits.
However, remember that adding collagen to your routine will not make or break it. Focus on overall healthy lifestyle habits like eating well, exercising, staying hydrated, and prioritizing sleep first and foremost.
Who Should Consider Using It?
Anyone can consider using Primal Harvest Collagen, but I do recommend reviewing any new supplements with your doctor first.
Because this particular collagen provides a complete source of protein, it could serve as one way of getting extra protein in your day, if this is something you struggle to do through food alone. However, a whey or casein protein powder is typically superior for this purpose.
If you want to try this collagen out to see if you notice benefits to your hair, skin, and nails or even your gut health and joints, it might be worth a shot!
However, this supplement is not suitable for vegans. Generally speaking, collagen is derived from animal sources, so most collagen supplements will not be vegan. While some plant-based collagens do exist, the research supporting the benefits of collagen is not done with plant-based collagen.
Safety and Side Effects
Collagen supplementation is safe for most healthy adults but some people have experienced side effects, including an upset stomach and diarrhea.
While the powder itself does not contain common allergens, it is processed in a facility that processes common allergens. So if you do have a severe allergy, this may not be the best collagen supplement for you.
Again, as a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to run any new supplements by your doctor before starting them, just to be safe.
Cost and Where to Buy
Primal Collagen costs $36.95 if you decide you want to purchase it one time. You can subscribe and save 20% (on their official website), as the purchase price goes to $29.56 when choosing a subscription option.
You can purchase Primal Collagen on their official website (primalharvest.com/products/primal-collagen) or at Amazon. You can also subscribe and save at amazon. The price for a one-time payment is the same on both amazon and Primal Harvest's website. That said, we always recommend to purchase a product directly from the brand's website, so you aren't dealing with any 3rd party issues, which come up more than you think. Also, shipping is very fast anywhere you go these days and amazon really doesn't have that advantage anymore.
Ratings and Reviews: What Are Customers Saying?
Overall, reviews on the Primal Harvest Collagen are positive, with a 4.3 out of 5 rating on Amazon (with 834 global ratings). Many customers have commented on seeing improvements in skin and nails, and some even feel their gut health has improved with taking this supplement.
Others say the powder mixes well and does not have a taste, making it easy to add into their beverage of choice during the day. On the other hand, unhappy customers found the powder did not mix well with cold drinks and found the taste to be unpleasant.
Let's take a look at what the customer reviews look like at Primal Harvest's official website and their Collagen product page:
Alternatives Compared to Primal Harvest Collagen
There are a handful of really good collagen products out there from reputable brands that we've covered here at FHM. For example, 1st Phorm Collagen is a great product, USA made, and people see results. Consumers who have purchased directly from these manufacturers highly recommend Vital Proteins Collagen, Vitauthority Collagen, LiveWell Labs Collagen and Skinnyfit Super Youth. Below, you'll see a table comparing Primal Collagen to these alternatives.
$36.95 for 1x purchase, or $29.56 if you subscribe
4.9/5 (366 reviews)
4.9/5 (2,668 reviews)
$27 for 1x purchase, or $20.25 if you subscribe
4.7/5 (8,073 reviews)
$34.99 for 1x purchase, or $26.24 if you subscribe
4.8/5 (8,765 reviews)
$34.99 for 1x purchase, or $28.99 if you subscribe
4.8/5 (3,277 reviews)
Worth it? Our Dietitian’s Recommendation
Taking Primal Harvest Collagen might be worth it, depending on your goals and preferences.
If you’re looking for a supplement with the potential to improve your hair, skin, and nails or to perhaps benefit other areas like bone or gut health, you might want to try collagen out.
I would not recommend relying on collagen powder as a source of protein in your diet, as whey protein powder has been found to be the most bioavailable for those purposes.
However, if you are in the market for a collagen supplement, Primal Harvest has my stamp of approval because it has been third-party tested to guarantee its safety and quality and it’s only ingredient is the collagen itself.
Tips for Success From the RD
Don’t expect huge results by adding collagen to your routine. You might notice benefits in your hair, skin, and nails and maybe even your joints and gut health. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while some research is there, it’s not enough to guarantee huge results.
That being said, many individuals do notice results so it may be worth trying it out for yourself!
Just remember, just like with any other supplement, collagen supplements are not necessary for your overall health and the body produces collagen naturally.
Your first line of defense should always be focusing on eating well, exercising, sleeping well, and hydrating. Supplements are never meant to replace any of those major contributing factors to overall health.