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What are collagen peptides and how to supplement them?

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Collagen Peptides

What are collagen peptides?

Collagen is a protein found in our skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and connective tissues, which provides the strength and flexibility we associate with these areas of our bodies.

Amino acids form the building blocks of proteins. Collagen peptides are tiny chains of amino acids derived from collagen and play an essential role in many biological processes. Some examples of peptide use in the human body are signaling molecules, hormones, and enzymes.

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As compared to proteins, which can be made up of 50+ amino acids bonded in length, peptides are shorter and less complex. The bond between each amino acid is formed by a condensation reaction, where water is released as one carboxyl group joins with another to create a bond called a peptide.

The main takeaway here is that collagen is a type of (incomplete) protein.

What is collagen used for?

Collagen peptides for skin rejuvenation & anti aging

Researchers conducted a study to examine the effects of collagen peptides from two sources: collagen peptides present in serum after oral administration and collagen peptides isolated from serum metabolites.

They assessed the effects of these peptides on cell growth, hyaluronic acid secretion, and collagen synthesis in skin cells exposed to UVA radiation. What they found was rather interesting.

Collagen seemed to activate a pathway responsible for collagen synthesis (i.e. the growth of new healthy collagen cells), while suppressing the proteins involved in collagen breakdown. Additionally it demonstrated antioxidant properties, overall preserving the body's natural antioxidant defense systems.

the face of a beautiful older woman with collagen peptides on a yudae blue background

Another study aimed to investigate the effects mechanisms of orally administered collagen peptides from chicken bone on skin aging caused by UV radiation. It found chicken bone collagen exhibited typical collagen properties (meaning no different from previously tested marine collagen) and improved antioxidant levels, plus a reduction in inflammation.

The extent of rejuvenation increased with higher doses of CPs (collagen peptides). Additionally they found that CPs primarily reduced skin oxidation and suppressed collagen breakdown.

Overall, whether sourced from marine life, or derived from chicken bones, collagen peptides have been shown in multiple studies to alleviate skin inflammation and collectively contribute to the reversal of skin aging and the formation of healthy skin cells.

Collagen peptides for bone & joint health

Two things happen as we age: 1) we lose bone mineral density (BMD), and 2) we lose muscle mass and strength. Both of these increase the likelihood of falls and injury as we age. Athletic women, specifically postmenopausal athletic women, are at an increased risk of decreased BMD due the female athlete triad.

illustration of woman doing yoga pose with collagen peptides on a yudae blue background

Previous research has shown certain collagen peptides (called SCP) can help improve bone formation and density. This study aimed to determine the effects of taking 5 grams of SCP daily for 12 months on bone density in women who had decreased bone density as a result of menopause.

A total of 131 women participated in this study, which assigned them randomly to either take SCP supplements or a placebo. After one year, the main outcome measured was the change in bone density in the hip (femoral neck) and spine.

It determined that postmenopausal women with decreased bone density who supplemented collagen peptides had an increase in bone mineral density in the lumbar spine and femoral neck.

Additionally, the group taking collagen peptides experienced a significant increase in the formation of new bone (P1NP), while the control group showed a significant increase of bone breakdown (CTX 1).

Collagen peptides for wound healing

Along with studies demonstrating the anti-aging and skin rejuvenating properties of supplemental collagen peptides, this study, which researched the effects of collagen peptides derived from fish (salmon and tilapia) on wound healing...

They analyzed the levels of proteins involved in tissue repair, immune responses, and microbial colonization in the wound tissue itself, as well as the structure and diversity of the microbial communities in the wounds.

first aid kit with collagen peptides on a yudae blue background

The findings suggest that both salmon-derived collagen peptides and tilapia-derived collagen peptides promote wound healing by enhancing tissue repair and regulating immune responses. Additionally, they play a role in influencing the colonization of beneficial microorganisms, contributing to the overall improvement of skin health.

This suggests that supplementation of collagen peptides derived from organic marine organism may be beneficial in both improving skin quality and reducing the negative cumulative effects of sun damage on the skin.


collagen peptide supplement chart

Collagen has been shown in multiple studies to have benefits across the board for overall health and wellbeing, improving immune system, bone density, and healing time.

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