Hydrolyzed collagen – What is it and how to take it? Effects, benefits and contraindications

Hydrolyzed Collagen – What is it?

Collagen is a high molecular weight protein that forms the basis of the body’s connective tissue. It represents between 25% and 45% of all proteins in the body. In humans, collagen is part of the elastic structure of the skin and provides mechanical strength to the muscles. It also supports the organics (1) and is the raw material for muscle regeneration.

Hydrolyzed collagen is a dietary supplement with potential health properties. That collagen is hydrolyzed means that it has gone through a hydrolysis process. This is a method used to improve the absorption of this molecule in the digestive system.

Benefits of taking hydrolyzed collagen:

  1. Relieves joint pain
  2. Improve skin health
  3. Prevent bone loss
  4. It May help increase muscle mass.
  5. It may improve cardiovascular health.

1. Relieves joint pain

One of the leading causes of osteoarthritis is the reduction of collagen in adulthood. Research has confirmed that taking hydrolyzed collagen every day is an effective way to improve joint lubrication and movement. (6) (4)

2. Improve skin health

Taking marine collagen can significantly reduce dry skin and improve elasticity. There are several studies (1) (2) (5) that have proven the benefits of taking 5 g of hydrolyzed collagen per day in improving the hydration and health of epithelial tissue.

3. Prevent bone loss

Taking hydrolyzed collagen promotes the synthesis of proteins that help prevent the deterioration of bone mass. Combining hydrolyzed collagen with calcium is one of the treatments that has given the best results in preventing the effects. (7)

4. May help increase muscle mass

Collagen is a protein that is part of muscle fibers. Including hydrolyzed collagen in supplements can help increase and prevent muscle loss in adulthood. (1)

5. May improve cardiovascular health

Although there are still more studies to confirm the benefits of hydrolyzed collagen in improving cardiovascular health, studies suggest that it may effectively prevent arteriosclerosis and other chronic heart diseases.

Lack of collagen in the skin

The skin loses collagen with age. This is because, over time, the synthesis of this molecule is gradually reduced. Upon reaching adulthood (around 25-30 years), the body loses about 1-2% of the total amount per year. Taking hydrolyzed collagen can help prevent this effect.

The older a person gets, the less collagen they have. Gradually, the renewal of this molecule in cells slows down, and they begin to lose moisture. At this time, wrinkles and stretch marks appear, and the skin looks dry. While taking hydrolyzed collagen does not guarantee an immediate effect, it has been confirmed that it can bring long-term benefits.

How to take hydrolyzed collagen?

It is recommended to take hydrolyzed collagen in a dose of 5-10 grams 1 time per day. (4) (5) Ideally, take half an hour before each meal and on an empty stomach.

Some studies claim that to get the benefits of hydrolyzed collagen, it is best not to combine it with high protein supplements such as whey protein. (1)

Some brands of hydrolyzed collagen combine associated enzymes and peptides that help improve absorption as well as they can be combined with probiotics and prebiotics to enhance their effects.

Vegetable hydrolyzed collagen Does it exist?

Vegetable collagen does not exist. For those on a vegetarian diet, getting a sufficient dose of collagen is a complex task. However, some supplement companies have succeeded in synthesizing hydrolyzed collagen from bacteria.

That algae are a source of plant collagen is a myth. The vegetable or vegan hydrolyzed collagen supplements on the market are derived from microorganisms. Although microorganisms are not considered animals, they do not belong to the plant kingdom.

What about marine collagen?

Marine collagen is a dietary supplement made from fish and invertebrates such as sponges or jellyfish. In the food industry, up to 75% of the weight of marine animals is discarded. (1) Fish skin, bones, heads, and scales are sections with high concentrations of marine collagen.

From the chemical processing of fish cartilage, it is possible to make high-quality marine hydrolyzed collagen supplements or type 2 collagen. The use of this type of supplement has been confirmed to be effective in treating cases of arthritis, as some studies affirm that one of its benefits is to increase the lubrication of the joints and ligaments. (1) (2)

Contraindications of hydrolyzed collagen

Hydrolyzed collagen is considered a safe supplement. To date, no studies have proven serious contraindications to taking this supplement. Isolated cases of particular allergies to animal proteins, particularly seafood or fish meat, have been recorded.

The best-hydrolyzed collagen supplements How to buy?

Hydrolyzed high molecular weight collagen derived from mammalian cartilage is worse absorbed than low molecular weight collagen derived from marine fish cartilage. So we recommend choosing the second option.

When purchasing hydrolyzed collagen, pay attention to the source of origin. The high quality is the low molecular weight or type II collagen. On the other hand, using hydrolyzed collagen in cream is not practical: this molecule cannot be absorbed directly. (2)

According to EFSA, combinations of hydrolyzed collagen with hyaluronic acid, lycopene, proanthocyanidins, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and beta-carotene are the best option to stimulate the natural production of collagen. The mixture of these components acts synergistically. Ultimately, it positively affects the quality of the skin (6).

Hyaluronic Acid Hydrolyzed Collagen Supplements

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance in the human body. 50% of this molecule is concentrated in the skin. It is an enhancer and precursor of collagen synthesis. In an experiment at the University of Michigan, people were injected with hyaluronic acid in combination with hydrolyzed collagen in the forearm. After four weeks, skin biopsies were analyzed. Hyaluronic acid had filled the gap left by lost collagen (5).

ABSTRACT

  • Hydrolyzed collagen is a dietary supplement made from animal derivatives or microorganisms. The benefits of marine collagen are: alleviating the typical pain of osteoarthritis, improving skin health, and preventing bone loss. In addition, some studies suggest that it may have potential benefits in maintaining muscle mass and improving cardiovascular health. It is recommended to take 5-10 g of hydrolyzed collagen per day on an empty stomach and for no less than six weeks.

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