Study supports collagen’s skin health benefits: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / warrengoldswain
© Getty Images / warrengoldswain
Supplementation with a low molecular-weight collagen peptide may boost skin health from within by improving hydration and elasticity, says a new study from South Korea.

Data published in Nutrients​ indicated that 1,000 mg per day of the low-molecular-weight collagen peptide (LMWCP) for 12 weeks led to significant improvements in skin wrinkling, hydration, and elasticity in middle-aged women.

“Our results demonstrated that oral intake of LMWCP (1000 mg once daily for 12 weeks) efficiently improved the health of photo-aged skin in a cohort of women aged 40–60 years, by significantly improving skin hydration as early as after 6 weeks of intake, and skin wrinkling and elasticity after 12 weeks of intake,” ​wrote the researchers, led by Do-Un Kim from South Korean beauty ingredients company Newtree Co., Ltd​.

“The LMWCP preparation was well tolerated by participants in the study,” ​they added.

“Although this study was done only for female individuals at the age between 40 to 60 years old, the results may still be valid for the male and other age groups.”

Blockbusting collagen

The study may add to the growing excitement around collagen, which is booming. As was evident at Expo West 2018 in Anaheim, collagen is increasingly visible across food, beverage, dietary supplement, and cosmetics applications. The global collagen market was valued at almost $4 billion in 2016 and is predicted to surpass $6.5 billion by 2025.

Study details

The researcher recruited 64 women aged between 40 and 60 to participate in their double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The study used a type I collagen hydrolysate derived from fish. The ingredient has a tripeptide content of at least 15%. The tripeptides were composed of Gly and two other amino acid residues that were often proline (Pro), hydroxyproline (Hyp), or alanine (Ala).

The results showed that skin hydration values improved significantly after six weeks in the collagen group, compared to placebo, while improvements in skin wrinkling were observed after 12 weeks.

“Skin hydration is affected by water bounded to HA [hyaluronic acid] in the dermis and the epidermis,” ​explained the researchers. “The collagen-derived Hyp-containing peptide Pro-Hyp has been shown to stimulate HA synthesis by activation of HAS2 transcription in human dermal fibroblasts in vitro. It may be hypothesized that the improvements in skin hydration that occurred in the present study might therefore have resulted from increased production of HA via Pro-Hyp derived from LMWCP.”

For skin elasticity, significant improvements were observed at the end of the three month study period, compared to placebo.

The mechanism of action here may be linked to a down-regulation in metalloproteinases, enzymes that breakdown the extracellular matrix during skin aging, said the researchers.

Importantly, no adverse effects were associated with the LMWCP supplements.

“These results suggest that LMWCP can be used as a health functional food ingredient to improve human skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkling,”​ wrote the researchers.

Source: Nutrients
2018, 10​(7), 826; doi:10.3390/nu10070826
“Oral Intake of Low-Molecular-Weight Collagen Peptide Improves Hydration, Elasticity, and Wrinkling in Human Skin: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study”
Authors: Do-Un Kim et al.

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