Hydrolyzed collagen: what is it, health benefits, uses


Hydrolyzed collagen (HC), also known as collagen peptide or collagen hydrolyzate, is a type of collagen that is easily absorbed into the bloodstream when used as a supplement .

In recent years, carbohydrate supplements have become popular with people looking to give their skin a more youthful appearance, relieve joint pain , or improve bone health. It has also been used in clinical trials as an additive to accelerate wound healing after burns .

However, the use of collagen supplements is controversial. There is no regulation of the quality or quantity of ingredients in OTC collagen supplements, as there is a minimal amount of peer-reviewed literature to support their benefits .

In 2016, the collagen market was valued at $ 3.71 billion and is forecast to reach $ 6.63 billion in 2025.

While some research has produced promising results on the benefits of collagen supplements for skin aging, bone and joint health, and other conditions, more research is needed to fully understand how collagen supplements work.

Get medical information / Alex Dos Diaz

Understanding collagen and hydrolyzed collagen

A key protein produced in the body, collagen is found primarily in skin, bones, cartilage , tendons, and teeth. It plays a fundamental role in the structure and function of cells and tissues in the body, such as blood vessels, cornea , gums, and scalp. And it promotes wound healing and bone repair.

Collagen production decreases with age. Some people take hydrolyzed collagen supplements to help repair depleted collagen.

Loss of collagen begins between the ages of 18 and 29, and after age 40, the body may lose about 1% of its collagen per year; Around the age of 80, collagen production can be reduced by 75% compared to that of younger people .

The collagen found in supplements can be extracted from a number of different animal sources, including cows and pigs.

Recent studies have shown the good properties of hydrocarbons found in skin, scales and bones from marine sources such as fish and invertebrates such as shellfish, jellyfish or sponges. Some manufacturers also extract collagen from algae. Alternative sources of hydrocarbons that have shown excellent functionality include chicken feet and feet and frog species native to China and Mongolia.

Health benefits of hydrolyzed collagen

Collagen supplements have been reported to have health benefits.

Collagen research has specifically focused on:

  • Anti-aging skin
  • Bone and joint health
  • Wound healing
  • Body composition

Less research on the effects of collagen on weight loss, nail growth, and heart and eye health.

Skin health

Collagen makes up 70 to 75% of our skin, the largest organ in the body that protects us from external damage, helps regulate temperature, and performs other important bodily functions. As we age, the collagen in the inner layer of the skin can become depleted, resulting in dryness, loss of elasticity, wrinkles, and wrinkles.

Recent studies have shown that oral carbohydrate supplements are effective in slowing down the signs of skin aging.

In 2017, Genovese et al. Examined 120 healthy subjects who took a nutricosmetic formulation containing 50 milliliters (ml) of carbohydrates or a placebo. The analysis showed that the nutricosmetic composition improved the structure of the epidermis .

It has also improved the structure and layers of collagen fibers in the dermis . In a post-study survey, 95% of participants agreed that their skin was more hydrated, more elastic (91.6%), firmer (81.7%), and thicker (91.7%) .

Another study, an eight-week study of 114 healthy patients, showed that collagen intake showed a significant reduction in eye wrinkles compared to placebo. The subjects also showed an increase in the content of procollagen type 1 (65%) and elastin (18%).

Finally, a 12-week study in 106 white women showed that oral consumption of fish-derived collagen resulted in a significant increase in collagen density of 8.83% compared to 0% in the placebo group and a decrease in collagen density. collagen fragmentation by 31.2% compared to increased fragmentation in the placebo group.

While these studies offer some promising results, the use of collagen supplements in dermatology is controversial due to the lack of large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Also, some people who use collagen-based products for dermatological purposes may have unrealistic expectations about the results.

Joint and bone health

To date, more than 60 studies have been conducted on the efficacy of HA in reducing collagen damage, osteoarthritis (joint pain and erosion), and osteoporosis (loss of bone density). These results, as well as a high level of tolerability and safety, may make HA supplementation attractive for long-term use in degenerative bone and joint diseases .

Recent results include a study of 51 postmenopausal women with osteopenia (bone loss) that showed that adding carbohydrates to calcium and vitamin D supplements can improve bone metabolism .

In another study of 250 patients with knee osteoarthritis, participants received 10 grams of CH per day for six months. At the end of the study, there was a significant improvement in knee comfort based on both visual analog scores and pain scores. The subjects with greater deterioration in the state of the joints gained more .

Wound treatment

Recent research suggests that hydrocarbon supplements can significantly improve wound healing and prealbumin circulation, as well as clinically shorten hospitalization time for burn patients. The low levels of prealbumin found in burn patients on admission indicate a longer hospital stay.

In a 2019 pilot clinical study, 31 adult men with burns ranging from 20 to 30% of their total body area were randomly assigned to receive collagen supplements or placebo for four weeks .

Serum prealbumin, wound healing rate, and length of hospital stay were assessed at the start of the study and at the end of the second and fourth weeks. The researchers found that serum prealbumin levels were significantly higher in the second and fourth weeks in the collagen group compared to the control group.

Changes in prealbumin concentration were also significantly greater in the collagen group at weeks 2 and 4. Hospital stay was clinically, but not statistically, less in the collagen group compared to the control group.

Another study evaluated the effect of collagen supplementation in the treatment of pressure ulcers (stages II and IV) in 89 patients in the long term. Collagen-treated patients showed statistically significant wound healing according to the pressure ulcer healing scale. (PUSH) versus placebo (score 3.55 ± 4.66 versus 3.22 ± 4.11).

Body composition

Although little human research has been done on the effects of collagen peptides in reducing body fat, early results are promising.

A 2019 Korean study examined the efficacy and tolerability of stingray skin collagen peptides (SCP) for reducing body fat in overweight adults. Ninety healthy volunteers with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 25.6 ± 1.9 kg / m² were assigned to the intervention group, which received 2000 mg of SCP per day, or to the control group, which received placebo for 12 weeks; 81 (90%) participants completed the study.

Changes in body fat were assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA scan) . At the end of the study, the percentage of body fat and body weight in the intervention group was found to be significantly better than that of the subjects in the control group. SCP was well tolerated and neither group reported notable side effects .

The second study also showed positive results. In a cohort of 77 premenopausal women, resistance training combined with collagen supplements produced significantly greater gains in fat-free mass and grip strength than resistance training combined with a placebo supplement .

Furthermore, the experimental group showed significantly greater fat loss and more pronounced increases in leg strength compared to the control group.

Side Effects and Precautions

The high level of safety of HC makes it attractive as an agent for long-term use. However, some people may experience side effects, such as mild digestive problems.

Of course, those who are allergic to fish or shellfish should avoid any food that contains these ingredients. They are also not suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as they contain animal by-products.

Additionally, the FDA has sent warning letters to cosmetic companies that make unsubstantiated claims about their products or classify them as drugs rather than cosmetics. These letters state that the products are sold with drug claims, indicating that they are intended to treat or prevent disease or alter the structure or functions of the body.

These include claims that certain foods increase collagen and elastin production, resulting in firmer, more elastic skin with fewer wrinkles .

Consumers should always consult with their healthcare professional before embarking on any supplement regimen.

Finally, the safety of collagen supplements has not been tested. This includes certain groups in the population, such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, people with medical conditions, or those who take medications.

Administration and dosage

In most cases, collagen supplements are taken by mouth in tablet, capsule, or powder form. HC is also often used as an ingredient in nutritional supplements, as it has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It can also be consumed with bone broth or pork skin .

Depending on the condition being treated, the recommended doses can range from 2.5 to 30 grams per day .

It is important to note that not all collagen supplements are created equal. That is, many over-the-counter HC supplements contain other ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and minerals, which can make it difficult to determine the correct dosage for a particular condition .

Get the word of drug information

Collagen plays a fundamental role in the body. As people age, they tend to produce less collagen, so some of them have to take collagen supplements to replace it. This has created a large market for hydrolyzed collagen supplements from cows, pigs, chickens, and marine animals. While some research on the effects of collagen on skin, bones, and joints and wound healing has shown promise, more research is needed.

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