Collagen supplementation has increased exponentially and has gained increasing attention, however, not all collagen is considered equal. Collagen supplements can come from a variety of sources such as, porcine, bovine, or marine. In addition, there are variations in quality and molecular weight which limit absorption and efficacy.

Collagen is digested in the gastrointestinal tract and mainly broken down into single amino acids and di-peptides and enter the blood stream and accumulate in various tissues depending on the molecular weight.

According to a recent systematic review and meta-analysis published last month in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers investigated the effects of collagen peptide supplementation on cardiovascular disease related biomarkers.

Collagen peptides play essential biological roles including inhibiting the activity of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE), acting as signal messengers in cellular processes in cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, and activating the mTOR signaling pathway.

Over the last decade several clinical investigations targeted the effects of collagen peptides on cardiovascular disease-related markers producing conflicting results.

This review included 12 randomized, placebo-controlled trials published up until November 2021.  The dosing ranged from 900 mg per day up to 15 grams per day over a period of 6 to 12 weeks. As a result, the research team demonstrated that collagen peptide supplementation significantly decreased fat mass and increased fat-free mass based on body mass percentage. In addition, collagen peptide supplementation showed a significant reduce in serum LDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure. Collagen peptides suppress high blood pressure by inhibiting ACE, activating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), and decreasing arterial stiffness by increasing nitric oxide. There was no effect on glycemic markers. Collagen peptides have several effects on lipid metabolism as well. It suppresses hepatic protein expression for fatty acid cholesterol synthesis as well a reduction in gene expression of C/EBP-α, PPAR-γ, and adipocyte protein 2 (aP2).

This review demonstrated that collagen peptide supplementation reduces fat mass, LDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure while increasing fat-free mass.

Other benefits of collagen supplementation include improving skin, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and insulin resistance. It important to use a quality collagen supplement that has research behind it and is a low molecular weight to optimize absorption and efficacy.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Jalili Z, Jalili J, et al. Effects of Collagen Peptide Supplementation on Cardiovascular Markers: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trials. Br J Nutr. 2022 Jun 6;1-43.




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