Hydrolyzed collagen

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Hydrolyzed collagen is a form of collagen. It is also called collagen hydrolysate, collagen peptide, gelatine, gelatine hydrolysate and hydrolyzed gelatine.


Hydrolyzed collagen is produced from collagen found in the bones, skin, and connective tissue of animals such as cattle, fish, horses, pigs, and rabbits. The process of hydrolysis involves breaking down the molecular bonds between individual collagen strands using combinations of heat, acids, alkalis, or enzymes. Typically, with skin-sourced collagen, hides are put in a lime slurry pit for up to 3 months, loosening collagen bonds; the hides are then washed to remove lime, and the collagen extracted in boiling water. The extracted collagen is evaporator concentrated, desiccated with drum driers, and pulverized.[1][unreliable source?]


The hydrolysis process results in reducing the collagen proteins of about 300,000 Da into small peptides having an average molecular weight between 2000 and 5000 Da.

Amino acid content[edit]

The amino acid content of hydrolyzed collagen is the same as collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen contains 20 amino acids, predominantly glycine, proline and hydroxyproline, which together represent around 50% of the total amino acid content.

Amino acids Percentage
Proline/Hydroxyproline 25%
Glycine 20%
Glutamic acid 11%
Arginine 8%
Alanine 8%
Other essential amino acids 16%
Other non-essential amino acids 12%

Health impacts[edit]


Glycine and proline concentration is as much as 20 times higher than other food sources of protein.[2] Hydrolyzed collagen contains 8 out of 9 essential amino-acids,[3] including glycine and arginine[4]—two amino-acid precursors necessary for the biosynthesis of creatine. It contains no tryptophan and is deficient in isoleucine, threonine, and methionine.


The bioavailability of hydrolyzed collagen was demonstrated in a 1999 study; mice orally administered 14C hydrolyzed collagen digested and absorbed more than 90% within 6 hours, with measurable accumulation in cartilage and skin.[5] A 2005 study found hydrolyzed collagen absorbed as small peptides in the blood.[6]

Skin health[edit]

A preclinical study investigated the effects of oral ingestion of hydrolyzed collagen, along with vitamin C and glucosamine, suggested that the moisture content of skin, its viscoelastic properties, and smoothness benefit.[7]

The mechanism of action of ingested hydrolyzed collagen on skin may be the increased density of collagen fibrils and the fibroblasts' density (the fibroblasts being the main cells of the dermis, and those producing collagen).[8] It may be that that the peptides of ingested hydrolyzed collagen have chemotactic properties on fibroblasts[9] or an influence on growth of fibroblasts.[10]

Joint and bone health[edit]

Some clinical studies report that the oral ingestion of hydrolyzed collagen decreases joint pain, those with the most severe symptoms showing the most benefit.[11][12] Beneficial action is likely due to hydrolyzed collagen accumulation in the cartilage [5] and stimulated production of collagen by the chondrocytes, the cells of cartilage.[13] Several studies have shown that a daily intake of hydrolyzed collagen increases bone mass density.[14][4] It seems that hydrolyzed collagen peptides stimulated differentiation and osteoblasts activity- the cells that build bone- over that of osteoclasts (cells that destroy bone).

However, other clinical trials have yielded mixed results. In 2011, the European Food Safety Authority Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies concluded that "a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of collagen hydrolysate and maintenance of joints".[15] Four other studies reported benefit with no side effects; however, the studies were not extensive, and all recommended further controlled study.[16][17][18][19] One study found that oral collagen only improved symptoms in a minority of patients and reported nausea as a side effect.[20] Another study reported no improvement in disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.[21] Another study found that collagen treatment may actually cause an exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.[22] [23] [24]

Efficacy assertions[edit]

It has been claimed that hydrolyzed collagen may promote lean muscle mass through and the burning of fat rather than carbohydrates and proteins, toning and thickening skin, joint rebuilding, arterial strengthening, increased energy, organ rebuilding, alleviate osteoporosis, as well as lessening the symptoms of arthritis, high blood pressure, bladder weakness, chronic fatigue, shallow breathing, autoimmune, skin problems, and splitting nails.[25][unreliable source?]

Safety concerns[edit]

Hydrolyzed collagen, like gelatin, is made from animal by-products, including skin, bones, and connective tissue. It is possible that consumption of hydrolyzed collagen risks contraction of Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with support from the TSE (Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) Advisory Committee, has since 1997 been monitoring the potential risk of transmitting animal diseases, especially bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The FDA study concluded: "...steps such as heat, alkaline treatment, and filtration could be effective in reducing the level of contaminating TSE agents; however, scientific evidence is insufficient at this time to demonstrate that these treatments would effectively remove the BSE infectious agent if present in the source material."[26]


In cosmetics, hydrolyzed collagen may be found in topical creams, acting as a product texture conditioner, and moisturizer.


  1. ^ http://www.naturalpigments.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=510-21GRSG5
  2. ^ "What is Hydrolyzed Collagen?". Rousselot. Retrieved 31 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Bensaid, A.; Tomé, D., L’Heureux-Bourdon, D., Even, P., Gietzen, D., Morens, C., Gaudichon, C., Larue-Achagiotis, C. and Fromentin, G. (2003). "A high-protein diet enhances satiety without conditioned taste aversion in the rat". Physiology and behavior 78 (2): 311–320. doi:10.1016/S0031-9384(02)00977-0. PMID 12576130. 
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  5. ^ a b Oesser, S.; Adam, M., Babel, W. and Seifert, J. (1999). "Oral administration of 14C labelled gelatine hydrolysate leads to an accumulation of radioactivity in cartilage of mice (C57/BL)". Journal of nutrition 129 (10): 1891–1895. PMID 10498764. 
  6. ^ 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 gelatine hydrolysates". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 53 (16): 6531–6536. doi:10.1021/jf050206p. PMID 16076145. 
  7. ^ Matsumoto, H.; Ohara, H., Ito, K., Nakamura, Y. and Takahashi, S. (2006). "Clinical effects of fish type I collagen hydrolysate on skin properties". ITE Letters 7 (4): 386–390. 
  8. ^ Matsuda, N.; Koyama, Y., Hosaka, Y., Ueda, H., Watanabe, T., Araya, T., Irie, S. and Takehana K. (2006). "Effects of ingestion of collagen peptide on collagen fibrils and glycosaminoglycans in the dermis". Journal of nutrition vitaminology 52 (3): 211–215. doi:10.3177/jnsv.52.211. 
  9. ^ Postlethwaite, A.E.; Seyer, J.M. and Kang, A.H. (1978). "Chemotactic attraction of human fibroblasts to type I, II, and III collagens and collagen-derived peptides". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 75 (2): 871–875. doi:10.1073/pnas.75.2.871. PMC 411359. PMID 204938. 
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  11. ^ Moskowitz, R. (2000). "Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease". Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism 30 (2): 87–99. doi:10.1053/sarh.2000.9622. PMID 11071580. 
  12. ^ Ruiz-Benito, P.; Camacho-Zambrano, M.M., Carrillo-Arcentales, J.N., Mestanza-Peralta, M.A., Vallejo-Flores, C.A., Vargas-Lopez, S.V., Villacis-Tamayo, R.A. and Zurita-Gavilanes, L.A. (2009). "A randomized controlled trial on the efficacy and safety of a food ingredient, collagen hydrolysate, for improving joint comfort". International journal of food science and nutrition 12: 1–15. doi:10.1080/09637480802498820. 
  13. ^ Oesser, S.; Seifert, J. (2003). "Stimulation of type II collagen biosynthesis and secretion in bovine chondrocytes cultured with degraded collagen". Cell tissue research 311 (3): 393–399. doi:10.1007/s00441-003-0702-8. PMID 12658447. 
  14. ^ Nomura, Y.; Oohashi, K.; Watanabe, M. and Kasugai (2005). "Increase in bone mineral density through oral administration of shark gelatine to ovariectomized rats". S Nutrition 21 (11-12): 1120–1126. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2005.03.007. PMID 16308135. 
  15. ^ European Food Safety Authority - EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies. Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to collagen hydrolysate and maintenance of joints pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/20061. EFSA Journal 2011;9(7):2291.
  16. ^ Barnett ML, Kremer JM, St Clair EW, Clegg DO, Furst D, Weisman M, Fletcher MJ, Chasan-Taber S, Finger E, Morales A, Le CH, Trentham DE: Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with oral type II collagen. Results of a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum 1998 Feb;41(2):290-7.
  17. ^ Ausar SF, Beltramo DM, Castagna LF, Quintana S, Silvera E, Kalayan G, Revigliono M, Landa CA, Bianco ID: Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis by oral administration of bovine tracheal type II collagen. Rheumatol Int. 2001 May;20(4):138-44.
  18. ^ Trentham DE, Dynesius-Trentham RA, Orav EJ, Combitchi D, Lorenzo C, Sewell KL, Hafler DA, Weiner HL: Effects of oral administration of type II collagen on rheumatoid arthritis. Science 1993 Sep 24;261(5129):1727-30.
  19. ^ Bagchi D, Misner B, Bagchi M, Kothari SC, Downs BW, Fafard RD, Preuss HG: Effects of orally administered undenatured type II collagen against arthritic inflammatory disease: a mechanistic exploration. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 2002;22(3-4):101-10.
  20. ^ Sieper J, Kary S, Sorensen H, Alten R, Eggens U, Huge W, Hiepe F, Kuhne A, Listing J, Ulbrich N, Braun J, Zink A, Mitchison NA: Oral type II collagen treatment in early rheumatoid arthritis. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Jan;39(1):41-51.
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  23. ^ Helps to reduce joint pain associated with osteoarthritis (Bruyère et al. 2012; Benito-Ruiz et al. 2009; Clark et al. 2008).
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  26. ^ U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "The Sourcing and Processing of Gelatin to Reduce the Potential Risk Posed by Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in FDA-Regulated Products for Human Use".