Hydrolysed Collagen: When and Why Use It?

Hydrolysed collagen has become one of the best-selling nutritional supplements. It has numerous properties, many of which are backed up by scientific studies. Others, however, have not been sufficiently supported. In our article, we will look at the actual benefits of collagen products. 

Almost 30% of our proteins are collagen. This structural protein is present, above all, in tendons, bones, ligaments, skin, cartilage, and blood vessels, amongst other organs. However, the synthesis of collagen declines after the age of 30. This is why many people take hydrolysed collagen. But does it really help? 

Key Facts 

  • Hydrolysed collagen supplements are some of the best-selling products in the industry. They possess beneficial properties for the skin, bones, joints, and various metabolic processes. Our level of collagen begins to drop from the age of 30. 
  • Hydrolysed collagen is extracted from land and marine animals. In that regard, there is no such thing as vegan collagen. It is synthesised by transforming the proteins of natural collagen into smaller and more easily assimilated ones.
  • Hydrolysed collagen is commercialised in various formats, primarily in the form of powder or granules. Its positive effects are enhanced when combined with other trace elements such as vitamin C, E, and magnesium. 

Hydrolysed Collagen: What You Need to Know

Collagen is a very abundant protein in our body. However, it is widely spread in different tissues. Since it is a large protein, our body has difficulty assimilating it. This is why collagen must undergo a chemical process called enzymatic hydrolysis before we can metabolise it (1)

The molecules of the hydrolysed collagen obtained from this chemical process are smaller. That way, they pass more easily through the walls of the intestine, reaching the tissues faster. The functions of this wrinkle-preventing protein are not only aesthetic; it is also an essential part of our body’s structure. 

girl with a good skin
Sun exposure, excessive sugar intake, smoking, alcohol abuse, and environmental pollution can all accelerate the loss of collagen. (Source: Puhhha: 133496689/ 123rf.com)

Where is hydrolysed collagen extracted from? 

Hydrolysed collagen is sourced from the processing of bones, tendons, cartilage, skin, and other animal tissues. It is primarily derived from cattle and pigs, although you can also find collagen from various fish species. In fact, several studies have highlighted the quality of collagen extracted from marine species. 

Hydrolysed collagen is obtained through the action of various enzymes and the application of heat. The hydrolysed collagen produced consists of low molecular weight peptides that the body can easily assimilate. This form of collagen is water-soluble, which facilitates its consumption as food supplements (2)

Why should I take hydrolysed collagen? 

We start losing collagen very early, between the age of 18 and 29, with this loss accelerating from the age of 40 at a rate of almost 1% per year. Other factors, such as unhealthy diets, smoking, and alcohol, can aggravate the loss of collagen. Let’s have a look at why replacing lost collagen is essential (2)

  • It contributes to the development of the organs. 
  • It promotes tissue and wound healing.
  • It strengthens the scalp and gums. 
  • It influences vision, improving the functioning of the cornea through collagen’s optical properties. 
  • It is essential for the development and differentiation of cells. 
  • It is present in practically all tissues: skin, bone, cartilage, tendons, muscles. 

Who benefits from the use of hydrolysed collagen? 

Until the age of 30, it is not very necessary to take any collagen supplements. However, you can start to feel the effects of its gradual loss from that age onwards. In any case, some younger people may need to take a supplement of this protein (8)

  • Athletes and people who exercise regularly. They can suffer from collagen loss in joints and tendons due to premature deterioration. 
  • Obese individuals. The pressure of excessive weight on the knee joint can cause a loss of collagen.
a spoon with collagen
Hydrolysed collagen is a supplement obtained from the partial degradation of collagen found in ligaments, tendons, bones, skin, cartilage, and scales of various animals. (Source: Acevedo: 110893218/ 123rf.com)

What are the symptoms of a collagen deficiency?

Starting in middle age, collagen loss is experienced as a series of discomforts and disorders. As we age, these symptoms become more severe if we do not replace the collagen we no longer metabolise. The most obvious symptom is the loss of skin elasticity, with the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, and flaccidity. 

Collagen is the main component of the cartilage present in the joints. That is why joint pain, such as arthritis, arises when its levels decrease. Some studies support the use of hydrolysed collagen supplements to relieve joint pain (3). Collagen deficiency also increases bone porosity. When we lose collagen, we also lose the calcium salts that are attached to it.  

How does hydrolysed collagen improve the skin? 

With age, the collagen in our skin decreases, and wrinkles, stretch marks, and expression lines appear. Various clinical trials have demonstrated that hydrolysed collagen is capable of slowing down skin ageing. In women between the ages of 40 and 60, it was found that the skin appeared more hydrated, elastic, and with fewer wrinkles after a 12-week treatment (2, 4)

a guy at the gym
Athletes and people who exercise regularly can suffer from collagen loss in joints and tendons due to premature wear. (Source: Maragos: YVz1LxVJqoA/ Unsplash.com)

How should I take hydrolysed collagen? 

Collagen supplements are marketed in various formats: capsules, tablets, powders, and creams, amongst others. Because it is more easily absorbed by the body when dissolved in liquid, powder is one of the most common formats of hydrolysed collagen. Nutritionists recommend that it be taken on an empty stomach to avoid interfering with other proteins. 

Factors to consider when taking hydrolysed collagen 

Collagen loss is an inevitable metabolic process. However, you can slow it down by using hydrolysed collagen supplements. Here are a few factors to bear in mind before you take this type of product. 

  • Age. We start to lose our collagen at a rate of 1% every year from the age of 40 onwards. At the age of 80, we will only keep 75% of the collagen we had when we were young. 35 is, therefore, a convenient age to start taking this type of supplement. 
  • Recommended amount. The dose of hydrolysed collagen can vary, although the recommendation is between 2 and 10 g per day. 
  • Duration of treatment. It can range from 4 to 24 weeks. No breaks in consumption are necessary. 

When do you notice the effects of hydrolysed collagen supplements? 

The time it takes for us to start experiencing the effects of hydrolysed collagen varies from one person to the next. Some studies state that benefits appear between 4 and 8 weeks after treatment begins (6). Liposomal collagen is even better absorbed than hydrolysed collagen because a protective film called liposome shields the protein and facilitates its assimilation. 

a curly girl in a pink background
Hydrolysed collagen supplements are some of the best-selling products in the industry. (Source: Averi: 4nulm-JUYFo/ Unsplash.com)

Micronutrients that enhance the effects of hydrolysed collagen 

Certain trace elements, such as vitamin C, are involved in the synthesis of collagen by our organism (7). This is why many doctors recommend combining the intake of hydrolysed collagen with ascorbic acid supplements, such as Sundt’s liposomal vitamin C. Other nutrients like vitamin E have proven effective in enhancing the effects of hydrolysed collagen. 

Hydrolysed collagen with magnesium is quickly becoming one of the most prominent supplements. Like collagen, magnesium is a fundamental substance for the functioning of our metabolism. Some studies suggest that this product can improve the health of our skin and promote recovery from injuries and wounds, amongst other benefits (5)

Does hydrolysed collagen have side effects? 

Hydrolysed collagen is a protein that is easily assimilated by our organism, which is why it hardly produces any unwanted effects. You can take this type of supplement over long periods of time without experiencing any discomfort. At the very most, it could leave a bad taste in the mouth when taken in the form of powder or granules (9, 10).


Our Conclusions 

Are you getting close to your thirties? Do you lead a sedentary life and have a few extra pounds? If that’s the case, you may want to consider taking hydrolysed collagen supplements. Your skin, bones, and joints will thank you for it. Throughout our article, we have discussed the properties of this animal protein that has become so popular in recent years. 

Hydrolysed collagen supplements have few side effects and are easy to take. They come in various forms, sometimes paired with other micronutrients that enhance their action, such as vitamin C. Sundt’s liposomal magnesium is also an excellent complement to collagen supplements.

We hope that you found our article useful. Feel free to share it on social media and don’t hesitate to leave any question you have in the section below. We’ll be happy to get back to you! 

References(10)

  1. Quintero J, Zapata J. Optimización de la Extracción del Colágeno Soluble en Ácido de Subproductos de Tilapia Roja (Oreochromis spp) mediante un Diseño de Superficie de Respuesta [Internet]. Facultad de Ciencias Farmacéuticas y Alimentarias, Grupo de Nutrición y Tecnología de Alimentos, Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia); 2017 [cited 6 November 2020].
  2. León-López, A., Morales-Peñaloza, A., Martínez-Juárez, V. M., Vargas-Torres, A., Zeugolis, D. I., & Aguirre-Álvarez, G. (2019). Hydrolyzed Collagen-Sources and Applications. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(22), 4031. [cited 6 November 2020].
  3. Bello, A. E., & Oesser, S. (2006). Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature. Current medical research and opinion, 22(11), 2221–2232. [cited 7 November 2020].
  4. 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 (New York, N.Y.), 57, 97–108. [cited 7 November 2020].
  5. Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T., & Prawitt, J. (2015). The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 14(4), 291–301. [cited 7 November 2020].
  6. Proksch, E., Segger, D., Degwert, J., Schunck, M., Zague, V., & Oesser, S. (2014). Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin pharmacology and physiology, 27(1), 47–55. [cited 7 November 2020].
  7. Datos sobre la vitamina C [Internet]. National Institutes of Health USA; 2019 [cited 7 November 2020].
  8. Figueres Juher T, Basés Pérez E. 62Nutr Hosp. 2015;32(Supl. 1):62-66ISSN 0212-1611 • CODEN NUHOEQS.V.R. 318Revisión de los efectos beneficiosos de la ingesta de colágeno hidrolizado sobre la salud osteoarticular y el envejecimiento dérmico [Internet]. Nutrición Hospitalaria; 2015 [cited 8 November 2020].
  9. Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J., & Voss, W. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients, 11(10), 2494. [cited 8 November 2020].
  10. Moskowitz R. W. (2000). Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism, 30(2), 87–99. [cited 8 November 2020].
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Scientific Article
Quintero J, Zapata J. Optimización de la Extracción del Colágeno Soluble en Ácido de Subproductos de Tilapia Roja (Oreochromis spp) mediante un Diseño de Superficie de Respuesta [Internet]. Facultad de Ciencias Farmacéuticas y Alimentarias, Grupo de Nutrición y Tecnología de Alimentos, Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia); 2017 [cited 6 November 2020].
Go to source
Scientific Article
León-López, A., Morales-Peñaloza, A., Martínez-Juárez, V. M., Vargas-Torres, A., Zeugolis, D. I., & Aguirre-Álvarez, G. (2019). Hydrolyzed Collagen-Sources and Applications. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(22), 4031. [cited 6 November 2020].
Go to source
Scientific Article
Bello, A. E., & Oesser, S. (2006). Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature. Current medical research and opinion, 22(11), 2221–2232. [cited 7 November 2020].
Go to source
Scientific Article
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 (New York, N.Y.), 57, 97–108. [cited 7 November 2020].
Go to source
Scientific Article
Asserin, J., Lati, E., Shioya, T., & Prawitt, J. (2015). The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 14(4), 291–301. [cited 7 November 2020].
Go to source
Scientific Article
Proksch, E., Segger, D., Degwert, J., Schunck, M., Zague, V., & Oesser, S. (2014). Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin pharmacology and physiology, 27(1), 47–55. [cited 7 November 2020].
Go to source
Scientific Article
Datos sobre la vitamina C [Internet]. National Institutes of Health USA; 2019 [cited 7 November 2020].
Go to source
Scientific Article
Figueres Juher T, Basés Pérez E. 62Nutr Hosp. 2015;32(Supl. 1):62-66ISSN 0212-1611 • CODEN NUHOEQS.V.R. 318Revisión de los efectos beneficiosos de la ingesta de colágeno hidrolizado sobre la salud osteoarticular y el envejecimiento dérmico [Internet]. Nutrición Hospitalaria; 2015 [cited 8 November 2020].
Go to source
Scientific Article
Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J., & Voss, W. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients, 11(10), 2494. [cited 8 November 2020].
Go to source
Scientific Article
Moskowitz R. W. (2000). Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism, 30(2), 87–99. [cited 8 November 2020].
Go to source