Pure Gold Collagen Drink Review: The Science Plus What Happened After 30 Days

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Pure Gold Collagen is one of the many collagen drinks now available in the UK – but when I first wrote this post back in 2012, it was completely new. Nothing like it had been seen before – liquid collagen you could drink it was unheard of outside of Japan – and no-one really knew how it worked. Despite that and it was selling out in Boots faster than they could stack it on the shelves.

bottles of Pure Gold Collagen lined up for review

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I wasn’t so bothered about how it worked, I just wanted to know if it worked – and so figured only way to really tell whether it made any difference was to drink bottles of the stuff and see whether it really created younger-looking skin – which was exactly what I did.

But now, things have moved on – we know a lot more about how collagen drinks work and that they DO work. So, before we get to the review part of this Pure Gold Collagen review – let’s talk science.

Where Did the Idea of Collagen Drinks Start?

There has actually been a long tradition of consuming collagen-based foods and drinks in Asia and that’s where the idea came from.

It started out in traditional cooking and medicine. In Japan a soup called Motsunabe, which contains intestines (that are rich in collagen) is known for its anti-aging powers; chicken’s feet eaten in China and Malaysia are another great source of collagen.

But, over time, as people got busier companies started making food and drink based beauty supplements – collagen-infused sweets, yogurts and drinks – that didn’t require hours of cooking. The latter was the one that reached the UK.

At the time collagen drinks came out in the UK, we only knew two things – a study had found that if you ate or drank collagen it did make its way into the bloodstream and therefore theoretically it could impact on the skin.

A second study had found that collagen applied to bits of skin in a lab environment stimulated activity in skin cells called fibroblasts.

Theoretically, therefore, if you add the two studies together it’s possible that  eating/drinking collagen-containing goodies like Pure Gold Collagen drink could improve skin health – under a microscope at least.

image of a collagen molecule

However, there was still some doubt – would stomach acid kill off the collagen (it seems not) and was the collagen molecule too large to pass into the bloodstream? This too was a no.

In reality yes it is, but brands had thought about this and they had started to create the type of collagen found in Pure Gold Collagen – this is known as a hydrolysed collagen and it has a much smaller molecule – and this changed a lot of opinions.

It’s now believed that the particles do reach the skin but they don’t lodge there – instead, the body sees the presence of the particles is a sign that your collagen is breaking down which triggers it to start repairing the damaged areas – stimulating your own collagen making process and increasing collagen production.

The Evidence for Minerva Gold Collagen

When you’re talking about a product and whether it’s proven to work, there’s two ways of doing it. you can talk about studies that use the same ingredients – which gives you a clue as to what might go on (although the actual product you’re reviewing may have slightly different levels or co-factors) but the dream is when you find a published trial, in a scientific journal, of the product itself. And Minerva Research Labs, the creators of Gold Collagen have one.

Published in 2014 in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, it clearly states in the results. “Supplementation with 50 ml of Pure Gold Collagen on a daily basis for 60 days led to a noticeable reduction in skin dryness, wrinkles, and nasolabial fold depth. In addition, a significant increase in collagen density and skin firmness was observed after 12 weeks. The data from this study suggest that Pure Gold Collagen can counteract signs of natural aging.”

The study used 294 people and found…
69% of people had a clear improvement in lines
43% saw an improvement in pigmentation
82% saw their skin hydration improve
37% of people noticed a clear improvement in nasolabial lines (the ones that run from mouth to nose)
Collagen levels around the crow’s feet improved by 19%
If you want to read the trial for yourself, you’ll find it here.

What are the Ingredients in Pure Gold Collagen?

The primary ingredient is hydrolysed collagen and each bottle contains 5000mg. It also contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, copper, biotin, zinc, borage oil, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and N-Acetyl Glucosamine – all of which are involved in general good skin health or collagen formation.

All of these work together to strengthen the skin, hydrate the skin and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. There’s 22 calories in a bottle, if you’re worried about that kind of thing.

What’s the Difference Between Pure, Forte and Active Gold Collagen?

When I first wrote this review, the Gold Collagen range only came in one type Pure – now the range is a bit more targeted and contains two other products Gold Collagen Forte and Gold Collagen Active. So what’s the difference?

They say Pure is for younger skins – those aged 20-40. It’s ingredients are listed above.

Gold Collagen Forte aims at the 40+ market. It contains the same amount of collagen and other nutrients as Pure Gold Collagen but also includes specific antioxidants including pomegranate and resveratrol that may fight skin ageing. It has added vitamin A and vitamin D and also contains Evening Primrose oil alongside the borage which is good for hydrating skin. There are 34 calories in a bottle. It also contains no sugar which is good as sugar and skin are not friends, particularly as we get older.

Active Gold Collagen is designed as an all-round age fighter. It contains the same level of collagen as Pure and Forte, but higher levels of glucosamine and added chondroitin which it’s claimed may boost joint health (although admittedly the science on this is mixed). It also contains maca, l-carnitine and a wider range of B vitamins to enhance energy. There is some evidence that collagen supplements do boost joint health

My Pure Gold Collagen Review

So, does Pure Gold Collagen work? Here’s my verdict after the 30 days of consuming it.

At the time I wrote this, my skin was in pretty good nick – but, I had just started getting fine lines and wrinkles. My skin is naturally very dry but I’m told I look young for my age. I took one bottle a day for a month. The box claimed it should help in three different areas, so in turn…

The Claim: It can help promote younger looking skin
My verdict: Yes, while I’ve noticed no major difference in the deep lines around my eyes which are my personal determinant of how old I feel – but my skin does look plumper and dewier overall. So yes, in that respect it does look better – and younger. Result out of 10: about a six

The Claim: It improves skin hydration
My face is still dry –but I’m not really feeling the need to apply moisturiser so it’s doing something. I do also notice that I don’t have my normal scaly shins: Result out of 10: about a six

The Claim: Reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles
As I say, it has made no difference to my crow’s feet – the lines between my nose and mouth which I have treated with fillers do seem to be less pronounced, fillers plump out with increased hydration so that might be a sign that it’s doing something. My decotallage, however, is still crepey! Result out of 10: about a three

Admittedly the big results the company claim say they arrive between 8-12 weeks and I only got to test it for four so things could improve. On the positive side, I find it much easier to take a supplement than apply a cream so the bonus of slightly less dry skin from within was a good one.

Now, since I wrote this (I’m updating it eight years later!) my opinion has changed a little. At the time, I said I wouldn’t spend the cash it cost for a 30-day course because it didn’t feel worth it. But then I was having Botox and fillers – now, a few years later I’m having neither of those things – and, in hindsight, yep, I’d probably spend the money to hold back time a bit longer.

Illustration of how the skin structure changes with age

Why? Because we lose about 1.5 per cent collagen from our skin each year – and that amount increases as you get older. I’m figuring that while the Botox and the fillers hid what was happening to my skin, using a collagen drink long term might have meant I’d be building a bigger base of collagen, it probably would have helped keep things plumper for longer.

I’ve now tipped into Gold Collagen Forte territory though!!!

Where to Buy Gold Collagen

The range is available in Boots, but you can also buy Gold Collagen on Amazon and have it delivered to your door (which you might want to do as a whole 30-day supply is actually quite heavy) – click the links (or pics) below to go straight to the page for your favourite

Pure Gold Collagen – Great if you’re under 40. Click here to buy or check the prices on a 30-day supply now. or, if you just want to give it a try, you can buy a 10-day sample pack here– but you probably won’t see huge results in such a short time. I did notice my skin looked a bit more glowy in about ten days though so it might be good for a quick pep up before a special event.

Gold Collagen Forte – for 40 plus skins. 

Click here to see more about it or to buy a 30-day supply. Again, if you’re not quite ready to commit to that you can buy a ten-day course as well. See more details here..

Active Gold Collagen – for sporty folk or those 40+ who also want to look after their joints.

From what I can work out, this only comes in a 10-day supply, but you can check that out here, GOLD COLLAGEN Active 10 Day Program

Oh, and just in case you have any other questions – here’s a few other queries that came up while I was pondering all that is the world of collagen drinks…

What does Pure Gold Collagen Taste Like?

Thankfully, I was surprised at how pleasant it was – I was expecting, well, let’s be frank – slimy goo that felt like swallowing snot. Actually, it’s just like a thin smoothie – and it tastes nice and fruity, if a bit acidic (not really surprising as it contains added vitamin C), it was certainly not a problem to consume it every day.

Is Gold Collagen Vegan?

No – the collagen comes from fish so it’s not. However, they do have a skin-supporting supplement in the range called Pure Gold Collagen Vegan.

This doesn’t use collagen per se, but inside uses ingredients like rice peptides, the amino acid glycine and vitamin C that support collagen production. It also contains borage oil and hyuralonic acid which help support skin health.

If you want to check that out, you can see more information and check prices and ingredients here..

Can You Use it on a Keto Diet?

This question has just reminded me that at one point I was testing Gold Collagen Forte for a follow up to this piece and came off it as I was on the super strict keto diet I do – and never did write that post up.

Turns out it wouldn’t have mattered anyway as Forte contains no sugar so shouldn’t affect a keto diet. Pure Gold Collagen does have a little carbohydrate, but only 0.1g. Active has 0.7g of carbs but no sugar.

Is Pure Gold Collagen Safe?

Collagen in a natural substance – if you’ve ever eaten fish skin or bone broth or a soup made of bones (let alone those foods we talked about originally like chicken’s feet or intestines) you have already consumed collagen. Assuming the collagen you are consuming comes from a clean, safe source (and that in Pure Gold Collagen comes from a fish farm in France that sells fish for normal consumption), there’s no reason why it should be any more risky than consuming it in any other kind of food.

The exception is if you are allergic to fish – as I said, the collagen in Minerva Pure Gold Collagen comes from two different types of fish – farmed Tilapia and Pangasius fish. If you have issues with fish you obviously shouldn’t consume it. Other collagen supplements may come from different sources.

It also contains soy so don’t use it if that’s a problem (or, if you have allergies or intolerances to any of the other ingredients).

In the study none of the people taking the collagen drinks had any adverse effects. Some people do report that collagen upsets their stomach a bit, but generally there’s no side effects linked to Pure Gold Collagen.

So, there you have it, my Pure Gold Collagen drink review. I hope you found it helpful. I also reviewed Skinade collagen drink as well if you want to check that out too.

If you’re interested in the science of skincare, check out this review on the SkinDNA test which can tell you if you’re prone to collagen breakdown.

Further Reading

If you like the sound of fighting wrinkles from within, there’s a couple of great books I also recommend. They talk about how good nutrition can support skin health – and fight the aging process – so you might want to check these out too…

Reverse The Sights of Aging by Dr Nigma Talib. She’s responsible for the skin of stars like Sienna Miller and Penelope Cruz and her inside-out plan aims to turn back time through changing your diet. Click the pic below to find out more.

Futureproof Your Skin by Dr Stefanie Williams. This dermatologist is one of the first people I call when I am working on a skin article and this book is a great introduction to how to look after skin from within.  Click the pic below to see more about it.

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Bottles of collagen drink lined up for review

2 thoughts on “Pure Gold Collagen Drink Review: The Science Plus What Happened After 30 Days”

  1. I took the gold 40+ for about 4 years, my hair, skin and nails were amazing, everyone ask me what I was doing to look so great, I stopped for a couple of years, I definitely missed the healthy hair, so I am back on it again, I definitely feel it works from the inside out, I would give it a 8 of 10.

    • Thanks for sharing that – I haven’t addressed the benefits of collagen on hair in this but maybe I should add a section as it does seem to help. Thanks for the suggestion.


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