Best known for their ability to enhance skin beauty, collagen peptides are widely used in face creams and dietary supplements. However, they have far more to offer than just beauty benefits, as growing numbers of health-conscious and physically active consumers around the world are discovering.
Collagen has been used for a wide range of beauty and healthy-related purposes for centuries: in the 12th century, abbess and scholar Hildegard von Bingen advised people to get relief from joint complaints by taking broth made from calves’ feet—and therefore containing collagen peptides. In Asia, collagen has also been a dietary staple for many centuries, for example in hotpots based on bone broth as well as other collagen-rich dishes, such as pig’s trotters and chicken feet. To many people throughout history, the health benefits of collagen peptides have been a given. Today, collagen peptides are rapidly extending their reputation for skin beauty as a strong, science-based nutraceutical ingredient for musculoskeletal health as well.
The efficacy of collagen peptides for skin health has been demonstrated in numerous scientific studies.1,2 A clinical study published in 2015 presented the first comprehensive scientific publication of research into the anti-ageing benefits of collagen peptides.3 Appearing in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, this study revealed strong clinical evidence of the ability of collagen peptides to restructure the collagen network in deep skin layers. The data also showed a statistically significant effect of collagen peptides on skin hydration due to the stimulation of hyaluronic acid production.
Consuming collagen peptides does not only help supply the body with the amino acids needed for the renewal of skin tissues, however. It also delivers amino acids to other areas where they are needed, such as joints, bones and muscles. It has been proposed collagen peptides act as a messenger to cells: they trigger the synthesis and reorganisation of new collagen fibres in tissue structure. In vitro and in vivo studies have proven collagen peptides’ efficacy in maintaining a healthy bone metabolism and biomechanical parameters by stimulating the endogenous production of collagen. They also improve bone mass density and bone strength.4,5,6,7 And as a bioactive protein, collagen peptides can support muscle health, too.8
The joint health benefits of collagen peptides have been proven in many different studies. This applies in particular to collagen peptides produced under the Peptan brand, which are among the most extensively researched collagen peptides on the market. In one randomised, placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial, daily intake of Peptan was shown to reduce joint discomfort and regenerate joint cartilage.9 A study published recently in PLoS ONE demonstrated Peptan’s ability to slow cartilage degeneration under conditions of induced osteoarthritis. It also stimulated chondrocyte proliferation and proteoglycan synthesis, while normalising synovial inflammation, the main cause of joint discomfort.10 Joint health efficacy was also demonstrated in an earlier double blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. In this study Peptan treatment resulted in a significant overall decrease of the WOMAC score, linked to a 32 percent decrease in joint pain and 44 percent improvement of stiffness.11
More and more consumers around the world are recognising the multiple health benefits of collagen peptides and the solid science behind those benefits. For many people, collagen peptides are becoming part and parcel of an active lifestyle. This trend creates exciting opportunities for finished product supplement manufacturers in the health and nutrition markets. When sourcing collagen peptides, it is important to look for a strong, reputable brand whose products and services are backed by solid science and global support. After all, what’s healthiest for your consumers, is healthiest for your business.
- Postlethwaite, A. E., et al., 1978. Chemotactic attraction of human fibroblasts to type I, II, and III collagens and collagen-derived peptides. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 75(2), 871-875. doi:10.1073/pnas.75.2.871
- Gniadecka, M., 1998. Water and protein structure in photoaged and chronically aged skin. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 11. doi:10.1016/s0926-9959(98)95059-0
- Asserin, J. et al., 2015. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, doi: 10.1111/jocd.12174
- Guillerminet, F. et al., 2010, Hydrolyzed collagen improves bone metabolism and biomechanical parameters in ovariectomized mice: An in vitro and in vivo study. Bone, 46:827-834
- Guillerminet, F. et al., 2012, Hydrolyzed collagen improves bone status and prevents bone loss in ovariectomized C3H/HeN mice. Osteoporosis International, 23(7):1909-1919
- Daneault, A. et al., 2014, Hydrolyzed collagen contributes to osteoblast differentiation in vitro and subsequent bone health in vivo. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 22:S131
- Daneault, A. et al., 2017, Biological effect of hydrolyzed collagen on bone metabolism. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57(9):1922-1937
- Hays N.P. et al., 2009, Effects of whey and fortified collagen hydrolysate protein supplements on nitrogen balance and body composition in older women. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109:1082-1087.
- Jiang J.X. et al., 2014, Collagen peptides improve knee osteoarthritis in elderly women: A 6-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Agro FOOD Industry Hi Tech 25: 19-23
- Dar, Q. et al., 2017. Daily oral consumption of hydrolyzed type 1 collagen is chondroprotective and anti-inflammatory in murine posttraumatic osteoarthritis. PLoS ONE 12(4):e0174705
- Jiang J.X. et al., 2014, Collagen peptides improve knee osteoarthritis in elderly women: A 6-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Agro FOOD Industry Hi Tech, 25:19-23