Weight loss magic!. That's what happens when collagen is added to coffee. Or so it says on the website of popular naturopathic physician, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci about her SLIM Collagen Coffee. Truth be told, collagen supplements were pretty popular in the 1990s. Since then, they've kept a pretty low profile until recently when I started seeing them pop up on social media. To be sure, there are some big names touting the benefits of bone broth, collagen protein and other collagen concoctions. But do they work? In this review I want to specially look at one of those products – Dr. Kellyanns SLIM Collagen Coffee. As you can tell from the name, weight loss is implied. So, does this weight loss coffee really work? Let's look at the evidence and see what we can discover.
SLIM Collagen Coffee Nutrition
According to Dr. Kellyanns website (DrKellyAnn.com) each packet (8 grams) of her collagen coffee contains 30 calories and the following nutrition information:
|Percent Daily Value|
|Total Fat 0g||0% DV|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0% DV|
|Trans Fat 0g||0% DV|
|Cholesterol 0g||0% DV|
|Sodium 25 mg||1% DV|
|Total Carbs 0g||0% DV|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0% DV|
|Total sugars 0g||0% DV|
|Added sugars 0g||0% DV|
|Protein 6g||12% DV|
|Vitamin D 0g||0% DV|
|Iron 0g||0% DV|
|Calcium Og||0% DV|
|Potassium 0g||0% DV|
As can be seen from the table, each packet of collagen coffee has 6 grams of protein. That's less than the protein in a cup of milk. See the Protein and Weight Loss section below for more information.
SLIM Collagen Coffee Ingredients
According to Dr. Kellyann's website, the ingredients in Slim collagen coffee are as follows:
- Grass-fed collagen
- Coffee powder (100% Brazilian coffee beans)
- Sea salt
- Natural flavor
Since collagen doesn't actually “eat” anything, my guess is that grass fed collagen really means that the collagen was extracted from cows that were fed grass. The country of origin of the cows is not stated. I'll assume it is the US. I'm not sure what the natural flavors are. The website does say SLIM coffee contains no sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
SLIM Collagen Coffee Research
The only way to know for sure if SLIM Collagen Coffee helps weight loss in people is to test it. That said, I cannot locate any clinical studies on SLIM Collagen Coffee. Neither Pubmed.gov, clinicaltrials.gov or Dr Kellyanns website show any evidence. SO for now, there doesn't appear to be any proof for its weight loss properties.
I will be glad to update this section if I become aware of any studies on this issue.
Protein and Weight Loss
Dr. Kellyanns website calls adding collagen to coffee “weight loss magic.” But why? Here are a few reasons why protein might assist with weight loss:
- Protein can make people feel full longer. This can lead to a lesser chance of overeating.
- Protein has fewer calories than fat (4 calories vs. 9).
- Protein causes metabolism to works harder. The harder it works, the more calories it uses. This is called
But these facts are also true for any type of protein. In other words, it's not just collagen. And, the effect of protein is far from magical, unless of course, someone eats only protein and severely reduces carb intake. Then weight loss will occur, but that's mostly water weight in the beginning.
The downside to eating only protein is that it's hard for most people to maintain such an eating program for very long.
At the end of the day, it's still unfortunately mostly about calories -eating fewer of them.
Collagen and Weight Loss
Can collagen really help people lose weight? Let's look at some of the studies on this issue. Collagen, like all protein, contains many amino acids. Two amino acids that Dr. Kellyann calls attention to are glycine and proline. In a blog post on her site that describes the weight loss benefits of glycine and proline, Dr. Kellyann cites that Glycine promotes fat loss and helps preserve muscle tissue.
That study involved overweight mice that were put on a diet.
Glycine does seem to stimulate human growth hormone (HGH) release. Dr. Kellyann rightly points to this study published in 1978. In this investigation, glycine was orally given to 19 normal weight people and 12 people who had part of their stomachs removed.
In both groups, growth hormone levels were significantly higher afterwards, but HGH was highest in those who had stomach surgery. This study did not discuss weight loss.
In a more recent investigation, researchers noted that a combination of glycine, glutamine and niacin (5 grams total) promoted HGH improvement when given to a group of middle aged and older adults for 3 weeks. This study did not discuss weight loss. See the review of nicotinamide riboside on another application for niacin.
Glycine might also improve how well insulin works (insulin sensitivity). Researchers in 2001 randomly gave 12 relatives of type II diabetics either 5 grams of glycine or a placebo in the morning. Relatives of type II diabetics were chosen because diabetes tends to run in families.
While insulin levels did not go up, the insulin worked better (it was better at lowering blood sugar) in those those getting the glycine amino acid compared to the placebo group.
In a collagen exercise study, researchers gave 53 older men with muscle loss (sarcopenia) either a placebo or 15 grams of collagen per day. All the men did resistance training 3 days per week for 12 weeks. After the study was completed, the men who took 15g of collagen per day improved more in strength and fat loss than those who took a placebo.
This is an interesting study but I noticed one of the researchers worked for the “collagen research institute.” It was also stated that part of the study was funded by a company that's involved with making gelatin. Gelatin is basically collagen. While the authors declared no conflicts of interest, I'd like to see this investigation replaced, or pit collagen against whey protein.
Collagen Weight Loss Research Summary
After looking over the research, here's what I think is the big picture answer is to the question of does collagen help people lose weight:
- Most collagen studies are older, involve small numbers of people or lab animals. That's a problem.
- There is no evidence that collagen effortlessly or magically promotes weight loss.
- There are no studies – yet -that collagen added to coffee helps people lose weight.
- If collagen works, it needs to be combined with eating fewer calories.
- There is no proof that collagen is superior to whey protein, soy protein or any other protein supplement.
All that said, if you want to add some collagen or glycine or other protein to your coffee, that's fine. Let me know what happens:
Who Is Dr. Kellyann?
Dr. Kellyann Petrucci is a doctor of naturopathic medicine (ND). Shes appeared on several TV shows such as Good Morning America and the Doctor Oz Show. She is the author of a variety of books available on Amazon, ranging from the Paleo Cookbook for Dummies to The Bone Broth Diet.
What About Allergies?
The nutrition label for SLIM Collagen Coffee does state that the product is made in a facility that also processes milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. Those with allergies should pay attention to this.
Is Slim Collagen Coffee Vegan?
My guess is that SLIM Collagen Coffee is not vegan. This is based on the statement above that it contains “grass fed collagen.” This makes me believe the collagen comes from cows or some other animal. Either way, meat is not on the menu for Vegans.
How Much Caffeine?
The label does not say how much caffeine is in collagen coffee. My guess is it's probably similar to other coffee, being around 100 mg/ cup.
SLIM Collagen Coffee Side Effects
Overall, I think if you're healthy, SLIM Collagen Coffee will be as safe as any other cup of coffee you drink. That said, here's a few things to keep in mind when using this product:
- Don't drink collagen coffee close to bedtime. The caffeine may keep you awake.
- Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant/breastfeeding.
- Caffeine can cause changes heart rhythm and blood pressure.
- Follow your doctors instructions on what to drink/eat just prior to surgery.
- Collagen, like protein in general, may cause constipation.
- While rare, avoid if you are allergic to collagen.
- Those sensitive to caffeine may want to avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
Does SLIM Collagen Coffee Really Work?
Ok, here's what I think. If you want to add in some hydrolyzed collagen powder to your coffee, it may make you feel full a wee bit longer. This might cause you to snack a little less. If someone does that enough times, it might eventually foster some weight loss. In a perfect world, that makes sense to me. In that same perfect world, the same thing would happen if you added any other type of protein -whey protein, soy protein etc. – to coffee too. Despite the hype, I don't think collagen has any special -or magical – weight loss properties. If you like Dr. Kellyann's SLIM Collagen Coffee and can afford it, great. Coffee is generally regarded as a healthy drink. If on the other hand, you are searching for a weight loss miracle and hoping this is it, well, I don't think it is, but since I didn't try it, let me know what you think.