What is that
Hydrolyzed collagen is obtained by subjecting native type I collagen to thermal, acid, alkaline and / or enzymatic hydrolysis processes, with the aim of reducing it into protein fragments of lower molecular weight.
Breaking down the native collagen into a certain number of peptide chains, more or less long, has the purpose of enhancing or breaking down its gelling power, favoring its digestion and food absorption, and to allow - in the case of topical (cosmetic) application - the "cutaneous absorption of the peptide chains that compose it.
Potential Benefits of Hydrolyzed Collagen
Gelatin is nothing more than collagen denatured by boiling, thus exploiting the heat to alter the triple helix that characterizes its secondary structure. Despite being of animal origin (collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals), gelatin is deficient in some essential amino acids, in particular tryptophan, isoleucine and methionine.
For this reason it cannot be considered a good protein supplement; nevertheless, collagen and gelatin are particularly rich in the amino acids necessary for the synthesis of collagen itself, such as proline and hydroxyproline, often lacking in the diet. The primary purpose of integrating collagen is therefore to promote and stimulate its synthesis within the body, providing the cells with the necessary amino acid pool.
Uses of Hydrolyzed Collagen
The great interest in hydrolyzed collagen is dictated by the role that the protein plays within the organism; collagen is in fact the primary structural element of bones, cartilages, tendons, ligaments and skin. Hydrolyzed collagen is therefore used to promote joint health, for example to promote recovery from trauma or prevent arthrosis and osteoporotic phenomena. In addition, collagen has been proposed to aid recovery from burns in the medical field.
The uses of hydrolyzed collagen, however, do not end there. In fact, it is also used as an anti-aging treatment on the skin.
The concentrations of collagen in the skin tend to decrease with aging, subtracting firmness and firmness from the skin. Considering the difficulty of large protein fragments to cross the epidermis, it is generally preferred to include collagen in the formulation of specific supplements rather than in cosmetics. of dubious utility; in the latter, strongly hydrolyzed collagens or small precursor peptides such as Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 are generally used. Other times, in the outpatient setting, substances capable of stimulating its synthesis are used, as happens with retinoic acid.
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Integration of Collagen
Formulative Proposals and Doses of Taking Hydrolyzed Collagen Supplements
A good collagen supplement should not only focus on its contribution (which among other things has a very modest cost); rather than resorting to megadoses of collagen, it seems more sensible to take substances that favor its synthesis and hinder its degradation. Unless there are protein deficiencies in the diet, in fact, the extra intake of food collagen can hardly provide significant benefits; this is because at the gastrointestinal level the protein is hydrolyzed into the individual amino acids that compose it, just like any other protein taken with the diet. Although the integration of collagen can enrich the pool of amino acids and peptides used by the body for the synthesis of collagen, once absorbed, if present in excess these amino acids are not used for the re-synthesis of collagen, but as structural elements of other proteins or as energetic substrates to be used in case of need. To make the concept even more obvious, let's think to proteins and protein supplements: although these nutrients are essential for the synthesis of muscle tissue, eating a 1kg steak every day is not enough to turn a person into a bodybuilder. In the same way, taking large quantities of collagen every day is not enough to increase its concentration in the skin.
For this reason, in the most sought after and expensive supplements, alongside hydrolyzed collagen we find substances capable of promoting its synthesis within the body: this is the case of vitamin C and Centella asiatica (titrated in Asiaticoside), or other antioxidant active ingredients capable of hindering the degradation of collagen; in this regard see the interesting triple action formulation proposal of the integrator shown in the figure.
The synthesis of collagen can also be enhanced by the integration of single amino acids, such as arginine, hydroxyproline and ornithine. As regards joint health supplements, hydrolyzed collagen can also be combined with glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, peptides useful for nutrition cartilage.
The lukewarm scientific evidence relating to the usefulness of collagen in the treatment of bone and joint problems suggests the use of rather high doses, in the order of 7-10 g / day for 1/3 months.
Disadvantages and Risks of Hydrolyzed Collagen Integration
Considering the very low cost - given its abundance in animal waste (bones, tendons, rind, joint elements) from which it is obtained - collagen is sometimes used as a protein supplement. However, given the aforementioned lack of some essential amino acids, collagen is certainly not the most suitable supplement for this purpose. In view of the low biological value, considering the high content of arginine (see table), collagen is used for promotional purposes. it is portrayed as a supplement capable of stimulating the increase in muscle mass (thanks to the greater intake of amino acids and the potential stimulus on the secretion of GH) and with it weight loss (effect attributable to the increase in metabolically active muscle tissues). However, we have already analyzed how this is mere speculation, given that the body does not think in such simplistic terms.
The animal origin of collagen raises many doubts about its healthiness, in particular as regards the transmission of TSE-BSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, among which mad cow disease stands out for notoriety). In theory, the heating processes , filtration and alkalinization of animal remains should be effective in eliminating, or at least reducing, the levels of infectious agents (prions) that transmit TSEs. For this reason, in general, it is preferred to give space to collagen of fish origin (marine collagen) or vegetable (Natto Gum).
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