Clinical research shows that reduction of collagen in the body can be linked to common diseases such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and other degenerative joint issues. Research shows that reintroducing collagen into the body in a supplemental form (collagen hydrolysate) has a positive effect on these conditions.
Other studies suggest that hydrogised collagen supplement can be helpful in the promotion of lean muscle mass, toning and strengthening of the skin, increased energy, joint and organ rebuilding, reducing high blood pressure, skin conditions and splitting nails.
Bioavailability of Collagen
This term refers to the proportion of collagen hydrolysate that has reached the circulation system and is available to have an effect. Usually liquids given intravenously are considered to be 100% bioavailable as they are administered directly to the circulation so all of the liquid may have an effect. Some bioavailability is, however, lost in the absorption process.
Two Japanese studies (Iwai K et al in Jag Food Chem 2005, and Watanabe-Kamiyama M et al in J Agric Food Chem. 2010) undertook field and clinical lab tests on healthy subjects, ensuring fasting prior to the tests. After oral ingestion of collagen hydrolysate, testing of blood serum and plasma showed how peptides were found in high hydroxyproline concentrations in the blood stream. These high peptide levels persisted for about 4 hours following oral ingestion but had achieved a maximum level after 1-2 hours.
Oesser et al, in the Journal of Nutrition (2003), demonstrated that orally-administered, hydrolysised collagen was digested and absorbed by more than 90% within 6 hours and 95% within 12 hours. This was determined during clinical lab tests when radioactively-labeled collagen hydrolysate was monitored through the body. As part pif. This trial, a clear pattern of tissue accumulation was seen in the joint region comprising of cartilage and bone.
In experimental laboratory studies, i.e. cell cultures, high accumulations/ concentrations of type I collagen hydrolysate in soft tissue (e.g. cartilage) were found to stimulate the chondrocyte metabolism to produce
type II collagen biosynthesis.
Clondrocytes are the only cells found in healthy cartilage and they produce and maintain the cartilaginous matrix comprising mainly collagen and proteoglycans. Hence it is considered essential that good quality, pure collagen hydrolysate be utilised to ensure proportionately higher bioavailability and absorption. (Gelita internal research white paper, 2011).
It was recently determined, during MRI trials (McAlindon TE, 2011), with a delayed Gandolinium Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Image (dGEMRIC), that the actual take-up of collagen hydrolysate can be seen as a positive change in ‘proteoglycan’ content (i.e. the filler substance between cells, giving it a gel-like nature ) in the knee cartilage after 24 weeks.
Collagen Hydrolysate Dosage
There is no formal , specific, recommended dosage of oral collagen hydrolysate nor industry standard at this time. However, a large number of clinical and pre-clinical studies have taken place over the last 30 years. many are in the public domain and provide evidence of methods used and dosages to achieve positive results. See list below. These provide an indication of suitable suggested dosage range.
2012 Dr Oliver Bruyere (et al. Comp. There Med;20 2012) undertook a comparative, randomised , placebo-controlled, double-blind, multi-venter study of 200 patients who were at least 50 years old and experiencing joint pain at lower or upper limbs or at the lumber spine. This was to evaluate the effects of 1,200mg/day of collagen hydrolysate when compared to the placebo group.
These tests showed little difference at 3 months, however , clear differences between the groups at 6 months. Hence it is recommended that collagen hydrolysate at this dosage be taken orally for at least 6 months.
In 2008, an important first attempt at ‘primary prevention of joint tissue injury’ commenced with subjects who were young, healthy and active. Dr Kristine Clark (et al. Curr Med Res Opin; vol 24 2008) at Penn state university undertook a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 72 male and female athletes. This evaluation was to investigate the effect of 10g/day of collagen hydrolysate on activity-related joint pain caused by strenuous effort and physical exercise over a 24-week period. These trials showed a positive result for the use of collagen hydrolysate.