Intrinsic ageing produces many physiological changes that affect how the body looks and feels, which depends, at least in part, upon the structural integrity of the connective tissue. Connective tissue binds the organs and other tissues of the body. Ageing gradually weakens the connective tissue by depleting components of the extracellular matrix (ECM), including collagen, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and proteoglycans by UV-initiated photo-damage and other lifestyle risk factors such as smoking or chronic exposure to environmental pollutants.
Many internal and external factors influence the pace and effects of ageing. There is a link between the progression of ageing and the steady deterioration of the ECM in connective tissue, which results from decreased synthesis and increased degradation of molecules essential for connective tissue integrity.
Since collagen and GAGs such as chondroitin sulfate (CS) and hyaluronic acid (HA) are the major molecular constituents of the ECM, their replenishment could help counteract various undesirable effects of ageing. These effects include overall bodily weakness, vulnerability to injury, and visible facial changes.
Nutraceuticals have been used for several decades to promote healthy ageing. However, very few science-backed dietary supplements on the market address the physiological degradation of connective tissue, the associated age-related loss of these structurally essential molecules. Among these nutraceuticals is a patented healthy ageing dietary supplement ingredient trademarked BioCell Collagen®, developed and distributed by BioCell Technology, LLC of Irvine, CA, USA. Multiple human clinical trials—including safety, efficacy, and bioavailability studies—have demonstrated that oral ingestion of BioCell Collagen® promotes joint health and skin beauty.
CPG brands that use the BioCell Collagen® ingredient in their finished consumer products can substantiate specific structure-function claims based on clinical evidence with regulatory compliance.
The unique molecular nature of BioCell Collagen®
There are at least 28 different types of collagen found in the body. Much diversity exists among ingredients in the collagen space that can impact efficacy; such factors include type, source, molecular composition, molecular weight, and manufacturing process. BioCell Collagen® is much more than isolated or purified collagen protein. BioCell Collagen® is a unique synergistic ingredient composed of naturally occurring hydrolyzed collagen type II peptides, chondroitin sulfate, and HA. Aristotle once said, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." BioCell Collagen® is not a blend of isolated collagen, chondroitin, and HA. The complex matrix of molecules found in BioCell Collagen® is clinically proven. One cannot expect the same results from using isolated molecules or ingredient blends.
BioCell Collagen® is derived exclusively from hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken sternal cartilage, a rich source of type II collagen, HA, and CS, which closely mirrors the composition of human articular cartilage. Cartilage is a clean and desirable source because it is free from the blood supply and devoid of lymphatics and nerves, unlike other parts of the carcasses of fish, cows, pigs, or chicken used to manufacture the majority of collagen ingredients on the market, including gelatin. Gelatin products may also be referred to as hydrolyzed collagen, collagen hydrolysate, gelatine hydrolysate, hydrolyzed gelatine, collagen type I, collagen type I & III, multi-collagen, and collagen peptides after it has undergone hydrolysis. These products, including bone broth powders, typically contain high protein content (>90%) and are predominantly Type I collagen since it is the most abundant collagen in the body. Collagen Type II is more valuable due to the scarcity of its source and unique molecular composition. Collagen Type II comes from cartilage, where it makes up most of the protein content and coexists with GAGs CS and HA.
The manufacturing of BioCell Collagen® uses strict procedures that subject the chicken sternal cartilage to various processes, including filtration, purification, concentration, hydrolysis, sterilization, and testing to ensure consistent quality before distribution. BioCell Collagen® is self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), is non-GMO, and free of gluten, soy, shellfish, fish, egg, milk, peanuts, and sugar. BioCell Collagen® is made in the United States and Germany.
Scientific studies of BioCell Collagen®
The ingestion of BioCell Collagen® is thought to stimulate chondrocytes, which play a role in the renewal mechanism of cartilage, and stimulate fibroblasts for skin renewal, thus supporting all three major collagen types (I, II, and III). Moreover, BioCell Collagen® demonstrated concentration-dependent inhibition of hyaluronidase, the enzyme that degrades HA, contributing to signs of ageing on the skin and loss of viscoelasticity of joint synovial fluid. BioCell Collagen® also attenuates deleterious changes in biomarkers including creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and C-reactive protein (CRP), adding further clues into its mechanism of action (Lopez et al., 2014).
In a published randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 500 mg of BioCell Collagen®, taken twice daily, was found to reduce common signs of visible skin ageing. This included a measurable improvement in signs of ageing in women, represented by increased skin elasticity, reduction of crow's feet, and improvement in depth and number of fine lines and wrinkles within 12 weeks of daily use. The study evaluated the use of BioCell Collagen® among 128 women aged 39 to 59 (Schwartz et al. Altern Ther Health Med. 2019 Sep;25(5):12-29.)
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 80 subjects ingested 2 g/d of BioCell Collagen® for ten weeks. The subjects experienced statistically significant improvements in their ability to engage in physical activities (Schauss et al., 2012). These results corroborated the results of an earlier double-blind placebo-controlled trial on 16 people. (Kalman et al., 2004).
Clinically validated structure-function claims
Dietary supplements that contain a daily dosage of 1 gram of BioCell Collagen® can substantiate:
- Reduces facial lines and wrinkles*
- Reduces crow's feet*
- Improves skin elasticity*
- Reduces skin dryness*
- Boosts skin collagen and hyaluronic acid*
Dietary supplements that contain a daily dosage of 2 grams of BioCell Collagen® can substantiate:
- Promotes joint comfort and mobility*
- Promotes cartilage health and stimulation*
- Promotes synovial fluid health*
- Boosts hyaluronic acid*
*NOTE: These statements have not been evaluated by the [US] Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.