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Collagen Peptides: A promising option with beneficial health benefits!

by Maria Kirmanidou, Dietitian & Sport Nutritionist

16 May 2024 • 0 min read

Let's start with collagen and its definition..

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, supporting about 1/3 of our body's structure. We are used to associating the word protein with muscle mass. However, protein is the "structure of our life" we would say... It is not only a component of our muscles, but it supports and protects our skin, hair, nails, vital organs, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels. There is no life, then, without the necessary amount of protein. One of the most important and abundant proteins that support our body is collagen, which is actively involved as a fundamental part in the building of various tissues in our body, playing a key role in skin elasticity and tissue flexibility.

Peptides. Another unknown word?

A protein is made up of hundreds of amino acids, bound together. We would say, then, that amino acids are the "bricks" of protein molecules. Protein molecules in nature come in different sizes. The small protein molecules - made up of a few amino acids - are called peptides. Collagen peptides are therefore very small collagen molecules, easily digestible, easy to move, and therefore easily absorbed and used by the body.

What does the science say? Do peptides work?

The research around collagen and collagen products has been widely increased in the last few decades. It makes perfect sense, considering that we are talking about a component that is found almost everywhere in the body. Apart from our skin - which, more or less, we all associate with it - we find it in our hair, nails, joints, ligaments, muscles, bones and even the walls of our blood vessels. Different types of collagen are found in every part of our body, with types I & II being the most common types of collagen.

Some of the scientific evidence we have in hand from clinical studies is listed below:

  • The systematic review and meta-analysis (one of the strongest scientific articles), conducted by de Miranda's scientific team, which studied 1124 patients, showed a significant reduction in wrinkles and an increase in skin elasticity after consistent consumption of collagen for 60-90 days.
  • Administration of 10g of collagen peptides to Japanese women, aged 40-59 years, for 8 weeks, enhanced skin hydration and reduced the tendency to redness.
  • Administration of 10g of collagen peptides to men and women, aged 50-75 years, for 12 weeks, reduced knee pain and significantly helped knee mobility.
  • Administration of 15g of collagen peptides for 4 months to a sample of young men, with an average age of 24 years, significantly improved muscle mass and strength.
  • The scientific team of Khatri and colleagues, in February 2021, studied the effect of collagen peptides on body composition and recovery after injury, demonstrating significant benefits in reducing pain and increasing joint mobility.
The clinical studies are numerous and are characterized by heterogeneity among them in dosage, time interval of administration as well as sample size. However, positive data are increasingly accumulating for collagen peptides, making them a promising option with beneficial health benefits.

Collagen Peptides. To whom they are being addressed?

Collagen peptides are for everyone, regardless of age, considering that collagen production already starts to decline just before we reach 30. There are, however, certain people who will benefit most from the positive effects of peptides, such as:

  • People who live in big cities and want to protect their skin. Exposure to pollutants and the intense pace of life (increased stress) in a large urban center is a major factor in the onset of premature aging.
  • Athletes - especially during injury, such as a sprain, fracture, torn ACL, torn meniscus, and any injury involving the musculoskeletal system.
  • People with intense physical activity, where demands of healthy mobility in joints and muscles is increased.
  • People with chondromalacia (CMP) or a history of chondromalacia.
  • Peri – Menopause & Menopause. The period before and during menopause is accompanied by a drop in estrogen levels, which is directly linked to a decrease in Bone Mineral Density.
  • Middle-aged / elderly people. As we age, collagen production - unfortunately - decreases by up to 1% each year.
  • People with a history of fractures / osteopenia / osteoporosis.
  • Individuals with knee and/or hip osteoarthritis and/or a history of arthritis.
  • Individuals who want to help hair health and/or prevent any severe hair loss.

Are collagen peptides considered as safe?

Of course. Collagen peptides are completely safe and very well tolerated ingredients, derived from animal sources, the most common being fish, bovine and chicken. It can be taken alongside any medication - but always check with your GP. Except for people with disorders in kidney function, where protein - and therefore collagen - intake is strictly controlled by a qualified dietician.

In conclusion

Collagen peptides are perfectly safe ingredients that are increasingly bearing strong scientific evidence, confirming their multiple benefits to our overall health. After all, is there anyone, among us, who doesn't want a firm and glowing skin, alongside a strong and flexible body? Well, I don’t think so!

Scientific References

Campos, L. D., Junior, V. D. A. S., Pimentel, J. D., Carregã, G. L. F., & Cazarin, C. B. B. (2023). Collagen supplementation in skin and orthopedic diseases: A review of the literature. Heliyon.

Czajka, A., Kania, E. M., Genovese, L., Corbo, A., Merone, G., Luci, C., & Sibilla, S. (2018). Daily oral supplementation with collagen peptides combined with vitamins and other bioactive compounds improves skin elasticity and has a beneficial effect on joint and general wellbeing. Nutrition Research, 57, 97-108.

de Miranda, R. B., Weimer, P., & Rossi, R. C. (2021). Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and metaanalysis. International Journal of Dermatology, 60(12), 1449-1461.

Khatri, M., Naughton, R. J., Clifford, T., Harper, L. D., & Corr, L. (2021). The effects of collagen peptide supplementation on body composition, collagen synthesis, and recovery from joint injury and exercise: a systematic review. Amino Acids, 53(10), 1493-1506.

Kviatkovsky, S. A., Hickner, R. C., Cabre, H. E., Small, S. D., & Ormsbee, M. J. (2023). Collagen peptides supplementation improves function, pain, and physical and mental outcomes in active adults. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 20(1), 2243252.

Supplements with Collagen

Natures Plus Collagen Peptides 294g

by [Nature's Plus]