Collagen Peptides

Collagen is the most plentiful protein in our body, making up about 30 percent of the proteins present in the body. Collagen is the fundamental structural protein that guarantees the elasticity,  cohesion and strength of all the connective tissues in our body, such as, skin, bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

Tissue Collegan Make Up:

  • Cartilage-20% of mass
  • Bone-90% organic mass
  • Tendon-90% by dry weight

The amino acids which make up collagen are:

  • Glycine-Makes up about 33% of collagen
  • Proline-Makes up about 10% of collagen
  • Hydroxyproline-Makes up about 10% of collagen
  • Glutamine
  • Arginine

In reality, collagen is the natural ‘glue’ that clasps everything together. It reinforces various structures in the body as well the robustness of our skin. There are several different forms of collagen in our body, but 80 to 90% of them are Type I, II or III. But, majority of them are type I, and the type I collagen fibrils possess massive tensile strength, meaning they can be stretched without being severed.

Collagen contains huge amounts of the amino acids glycine, lysine, and proline. These amino acids are important for many bodily functions, such as development connective tissues, repair of connective tissues, joint surfaces and bone matrix, maintenance of hair and skin.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids. They are natural biological or artificially manufactured. Natural peptides are extremely bio-available, water soluble and digestible.

What are the musculoskeletal health benefits of collagen?

1. Collagen Peptides May Support Joint Health

Some research supports collagen dipeptides stimulatory effect on type II collagen and proteoglycan synthesis by cartilage cells.  Optimal amounts of  collagen and proteoglycans support a healthy cartilage extracellular matrix that arms the joint with proper shock absorbing properties and strength  Additionally, glycine, a major amino acid in collagen, has been shown to inhibit inflammation stimulating cytokines. Chronic low grade inflammation is a risk factor for osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and sarcopenia(extreme muscle wasting)

Researchers from the University of Belgium evaluated the efficacy and safety of CH supplementation in a randomized double blind study with 200 patients of both genders, aged 50 years or older, and who suffered from joint pain. For six months half of the group of subjects received a daily dose equivalent to 1,200mg of collagen dipeptides and the other half received a placebo (gel cap). At sixth months, the treatment groups pain scores improved significantly compared to the placebo group. (Bruyère O, Zegels B, Leonori I, Rabenda V, Janssen A, Bourges C, Reginster JY. Effect of collagen hydrolysate in articular pain: A 6-month randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. Complement Ther Med [Internet] 2012 [acesso em 16 maio 2014];20(3):124-30.)

2. Collagen Peptides May Support Bone Health

Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of bone resorption supersedes the rate of new bone formation, resulting in overall bone loss. In animal models,  supplementation with collagen dipeptides has lead to increased synthesis of type I collagen, new bone building cells referred to as osteoblasts, and increased bone mineral density.

French researchers investigated the effect of hydrolyzed collagen on a mouse model of osteoporosis. The authors found that hydrolyzed collagen increased the activity of bone building cells and the diameter of the mice’s thigh bones.(Guillerminet F, Beaupied H, Fabien-SouléV, Tomé D, Benhamou CL, Roux C, et al. A. Hydrolyzed collagen improves bone metabolism and biomechanical parameters in ovariectomized mice: an in vitro and in vivo study. Bone 2010;46(3):827-34.)

3. Collagen Peptides May Support Muscle Health

Investigators have started to better understand how collagen peptides may support muscle function, including:

  • Provides rapidly absorbed amino acids that act as building blocks for new protein
  • Rich source of arginine and glycine, both are important substrates for creatine synthesis
  • Associated with pain reduction that allows for a more intense work out
  • Improves blood flow to muscle

German researchers examined the effect of protein and collagen supplementation combined resistance training. Study subjects exhibited significant increase in fat-free mass, bone mass, quadriceps strength, and sensory motor control compared to non treatment group. (Zdzieblik et al. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly  sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Nutrition (2015), 114, 1237–1245)

Other potential health benefits of collagen

  • Boosts skin and hair health
  • Supports gastrointestinal health
  • Boosts metabolism


 

Safety First

Although collagen supplements are safe for the most part, some side effects may occur:

High calcium levels

According to MedicinePlus (NIH supported website), hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium) may occur due to collagen supplement intake. Collagen supplements, especially, those derived from marine sources including shell fish and shark cartilage, contain high amounts of calcium.

Hypersensitivity

Collagen supplements made from some marine sources such as shell fish, may cause allergic reactions. This abnormal response of the immune system may trigger hypersensitivity reactions.

Bad taste in mouth

Collagen supplements that come from marine sources normally have an unpleasant taste and may leave bad odor in the mouth.

 

References

 

J.P.J. Van Vijven, P.A.J. Luijsterburg, A.P. Verhagen, G.J.V.M. van Osch, M. Kloppenburg, S.M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra. Symptomatic and chondroprotective treatment with collagen derivatives in osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 20 (2012) 809e821

Henrotin Y, Lambert C, Couchourel D, Ripoll C, Chiotelli E. Nutraceuticals: do they represent a new era in the management of osteoarthritis? A narrative review from the lessons taken with five products. Osteoarthr Cartil [Internet] 2011 

Vista ES, Lau CS. What about supplements for osteoarthritis?: A critical and evidenced-based review. Int J Rheum Dis 2011;14(2):152–8.

Zague V, Freitas V, Rosa MC, Castro GA, Jaeger RG, Santelli GM. Collagen hydrolysate intake increases skin collagen expression and suppresses matrix metalloproteinase 2 activity. J Med Food [Internet] 2011

Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, Aukermann DF, Meza F, Millard RL, et al. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin 2008;24(5):1485-96. 

Oesser S, Seifert J. Stimulation of type II collagen biosynthesis and secretion in bovine chondrocytes cultured with degraded collagen. Cell Tissue Res 2003;311(3):393-9.

Cosgrove, M.C., Franco, O.H., Granger, S.P., Murray, P.G. and Mayes, A.E. 2007. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86: 1225-1231.

Asghar, A and Henrickson, R.L. 1982. Chemical, biochemical, functional characteristics of collagen in food system. Advances in food research, 28 :231-372.

Iwai, K., Hasegawa, T., Taguchi, Y., Morimatsu, F., Sato, K., Nakamura, Y., Higashi, A., Kido, Y., Nakabo, Y. and Ohtsuki, K. 2005. Identification of food-derived collagen peptides in human blood after oral ingestion of gelatin hydrolysates. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 53: 6531-6536.

Wu, J., Fujioka, M., Sugimoto, K., Mu, G. and Ishimi, Y. 2004. Assessment of effectiveness of oral administration of collagen peptide on bone metabolism in growing and mature rats. Journal of bone and mineral metabolism, 22:47-553.

Oesser, S., Adam, M., Babel, W. and Seifert, J. 1999. Oral administration of 14C labeled gelatin hydrolysate leads to an accumulation of radioactivity in cartilage of mice (C57/BL). Journal of nutrition, 129:1891-1895. Referenced from http://jn.nutrition.org/content/129/10/1891

Wienecke, Elmar. Performance Explosion in Sports: An Anti-doping Concept: Revolutionary New Findings in the Area of Micronutrient Therapy: Training Continuity, Training Optimization, Injury Prevention Through Personalized Micronutrients. Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2011. ISBN 978-3-89899-652-5;

Hoffman, J. R., et al. “Effect of creatine and ß-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes.” Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab 16 (2006): 430-446.

Lobo, V., Patil, A., Phatak, A., & Chandra, N. (2010). Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacognosy Reviews,4(8), 118. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.70902

Richardson, C. T., Walsh, J. H., Hicks, M. I., & Fordtran, J. S. (1976). Studies on the mechanisms of food-stimulated gastric acid secretion in normal human subjects. Journal of Clinical Investigation,58(3), 623-631. doi:10.1172/jci108509

Backing, C. (2006, August 22). “Gelatin Treats Ulcers.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/50126.php.

Broth is Beautiful; Weston A. Price, 2003: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/why-broth-is-beautiful-essential-roles-for-proline-glycine-and-gelatin/

Lin, M., Zhang, B., Yu, C., Li, J., Zhang, L., Sun, H., . . . Zhou, G. (2014). L-Glutamate Supplementation Improves Small Intestinal Architecture and Enhances the Expressions of Jejunal Mucosa Amino Acid Receptors and Transporters in Weaning Piglets. PLoS ONE,9(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111950

Rapin, J. R., & Wiernsperger, N. (2010). Possible links between intestinal permeablity and food processing: a potential therapeutic niche for glutamine. Clinics,65(6), 635-643. doi:10.1590/s1807-59322010000600012

 

  •  

 Lucas J. Bader MD

Learn more about the doctor here.

 

Video

VIEW ALL

 

Products

LEARN MORE