Collagen Peptides and Anti-Aging: Hope or Hype?

Collagen peptides are the latest “it” supplement… “It reduces wrinkles.” “It relieves joint pain.” One thing is for sure, it’s the rage with health-conscious consumers.

Most are using collagen to reduce the signs of aging–the most obvious one being wrinkles.

Some people are taking it for joint pain relief because they’ve heard that it improves pain, and in some cases decreases the need for painkillers.

Many are using collagen supplements to treat their osteoporosis and rebuild bone density.

Others are taking it for leaky gut to help patch up the parts of the intestinal lining that have weakened.

It sounds like a miracle supplement. But is this all hype or is their hope for our aging bodies?

Taking Collagen Makes Sense But Does It Have to Be Hydrolyzed?

Collagen certainly is necessary for the body to survive. Without it, all the connective tissues in the body suffer – the muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bones. Even the tissues that surround the internal organs and hold them together need collagen.

Thus, whenever, there’s a protein deficiency – or a collagen deficiency, the entire body suffers. This shows up in different ways. You may age faster than usual because your skin is unable to plump up its internal tissues. Your bones may start to become weak. Your muscles, tendons and cartilage may start deteriorating and develop pain more often in them or don’t recover quickly from workouts.

Collagen supplements come in three different forms:

  1. real foods, as in bone broths, and actual animal protein foods;
  2. gelatin; and
  3. hydrolyzed collagen supplements.

All forms of collagen are good, but the absorption rate of hydrolyzed collagen is over 90% compared to only 27% or less in food. Gelatin has long chains of amino acids while hydrolyzed collagen has shorter chains of amino acids that are easily digested and get to their target organs within hours of consumption. This reason is why many people are opting for taking the supplements.

Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen that’s in the foods you eat. As you cook meats and chicken, the collagen is broken down into a gelatinous form. This is pretty evident when you boil a chicken and let it cool in the pot, and then refrigerate it. The gelatinous layer on the bottom of the pan is actually “gelatin collagen” – the same type of collagen your body benefits from.

Hydrolyzed Collagen Anti-Aging Hype

So which of the claims about hydrolyzed collagen are true and which aren’t?

Well, first it’s important to know that hydrolyzed collagen is not just some fad in the U.S. manufactured by marketing gurus.  There are decades of research into collagen and its health benefits which are just now becoming popular.  The awareness of what hydrolyzed collagen does for the body and how it can help beautify the skin has been rising more than 10% each year, according to marketing experts.

The Asian countries of Japan and China are the most savvy about how hydrolyzed collagen rebuilds hair, skin and nails. Their demand for the product is rising by about 3% annually. The market for the product in both these countries is primarily the beauty market.

Bone Density and Hydrolyzed Collagen

In Europe, the primary market for collagen supplements is for those who want to improve their bone health.

Studies prove that as little as 10 grams hydrolyzed collagen mixed into water will begin showing bone remineralization effects in as little as one month. With rising rates of osteoporosis in Europe, the U.S., and throughout the world, a better solution than drugs needs to be offered to those suffering from this brittle bone disease.

The primary drug used for osteoporosis is Fosamax, and its side effects include making bones weaker and more brittle over time. The drug also causes the jaw bone to die, which in itself causes a plethora of health problems as well as dental problems.

Who does taking the medication for osteoporosis make sense to? Many consumers are outraged and refuse to take these drugs for osteoporosis.

With hydrolyzed collagen, the remineralization can actually become a reality. Of course, you still need vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin K and others. But the hydrolyzed collagen forms the initial matrix in the bone upon which these extra nutrients are deposited on. There are no negative side effects for taking hydrolyzed collagen to build bone.

The demand for hydrolyzed collagen is increasing 5% per year in Europe and in the United States as more and more savvy consumers discover it. However in South America, demand is increasing 20% per year for both the beauty and the bone.

Scientists Reinforce the Claims of the Hydrolyzed Collagen Supplement Companies

Hydrolyzed collagen (HC) supplements have already passed the scrutinizing eye of scientists. Here are some of their findings:

Hydrolyzed collagen contains all the amino acids needed for life, especially proline, glycine and hydroxyproline. More than 50% of the total amino acids in hydrolyzed collagen are these three amino acids, which are not found in many other protein sources.

  • HC is bioavailable, meaning it gets into the cells where you want them to go. Within six hours, there’s a 90% absorption rate into the cartilage and the skin.
  • Only 10 grams HC creates better skin elasticity, increased moisture in the skin, lessens the depth of wrinkles and smooths out the skin’s look – in about two months.
  • When you consume HC, it increases the cells that produce collagen in the skin plus the cells that make new bone cells.
  • When the joints receive HC, they get the primary nutrient needed to rebuild them. In studies, patients have been delighted with joint pain relief. This even occurs in those with the most severe joint pain.
  • Athletes benefit from hydrolyzed collagen supplements, too. Sports and workouts take a toll on the body, breaking down muscle proteins, bone cells, and constantly trying to renew bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. In one study, athletes noticed benefits after six months of supplementation of only 10 grams hydrolyzed protein taken daily.
  • Hydrolyzed collagen supplements can also act as a sunscreen, protecting your skin from UVA and UVB damaging rays.
  • Hydrolyzed protein is popular in many countries for one primary reason – it works and is backed by scientific studies.

The claims about it are real and valid.  Using as little as 10 grams hydrolyzed collagen daily will start to show benefits and results within the first 2 months.

As you can see, there’s a lot of legitimate scientific research behind the hype about collagen.  Real people are seeing miraculous results in studies and in the field.  If you still haven’t tried a collagen supplement, you can try Collagen Complete now.

You can find references to the studies above here.

About the Author

Dr. France Carpentier has over forty years of experience as a healthcare professional. She started as a Registered Nurse in Quebec, Canada, which was followed by over thirty years as a Chiropractor in Florida. She has always had a focus on nutrition using a holistic approach to health and wellness.