Fish collagen peptides quell gut inflammation in mouse, blood tissue study

By Hank Schultz

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 ©Getty Imges - Commotion_Design
©Getty Imges - Commotion_Design

Related tags Collagen peptides collagen supplements Gut bacteria Inflammation

Peptides derived from a marine collagen source quelled intestinal inflammation in a new study using a mouse model of inflammation as well as human blood tissue.

The study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition​.  It was the work of researchers associated with the University of Toulouse in France as well as employees of French ingredients supplier Weishardt International, which funded the study.

The test material was Weishardt’s Naticol Gut, which is one of company’s line of marine collagen peptides.  Weishardt derives the collagen raw material from the skins of selected warm water fish species.

Ingredient family under development for more than a decade

The ingredient has been under development for years and has been on the US market since at least 2012​.  Lately, Weishardt has been building out the science suite backing the ingredient.  In 2018 the company published a study on the ingredient’s effects in the realm of metabolic disorders​, whereas the most recent study focuses on gut inflammation.

To test the effects of marine collagen peptides in this area the researchers designed a short term mouse study.  It employed a special experimental mouse strain described as ‘mannose receptor-deficient in the myeloid lineage C57BL/6,’ which is a mouse model of intestinal inflammation.  Several tests of how the fish collagen peptides were performed.

To mimic the effects of colitis, the mice were dosed with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) mixed into their drinking water for eight days, with one group also receiving the fish collagen peptides.

A control group of mice had only drinking water.  To test other parameters of inflammation the mice received DSS laced water along with liposomal clodronate injections or, in another group, were injected with 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS). Animals were monitored daily for weight loss and signs of colitis (diarrhea, bloody stools).

At the conclusion of the experiment the mice were euthanized and their colons were excised and scored for inflammation.  In addition, the distribution of gut bacteria was assessed both at baseline and post experiment.

In addition to the mouse arm of the study, the fish collagen peptides were also used in an in vitro arm of the study that used blood collected from IBS patients. Monocytes were isolated from teh blood samples and plated for reactive oxygen species (ROS) release assessment, and gene and protein expression after treatment with the Naticol Gut product.

Benefits in inflammation, gut microbiome makeup

The researchers concluded that, “The administration of NaticolGut to DSS-treated mice significantly decreased the body weight loss compared to DSS-treated mice without NaticolGut administration. Moreover, serum calprotectin level, which positively correlates with the inflammatory status and thereby with the severity of the disease, is strongly decreased,”​ the researchers reported. 

The researchers also reported that the fish collagen peptides ameliorated the negative shifts in gut microbiome makeup that came with the DSS insult, with less E coli found in the guts of the mice that had been dosed with Naticol Gut.

In conclusion, the authors said that Naticol Gut is “a protective agent against colitis directly acting on macrophages, by orienting their polarization toward an anti-inflammatory, immunotolerant, and anti-oxidant phenotype in an MR-dependent manner. Moreover, we demonstrated that, through its effect on immune system, NaticolGut maintains intestinal eubiosis. Finally, our results on human monocytes from subjects with intestinal inflammation support the use of collagen peptides as new functional food and an innovative and complementary approach in gut health.”

Source: European Journal of Nutrition
doi: 10.1007/s00394-021-02787-7.
Bioactive fish collagen peptides weaken intestinal inflammation by orienting colonic macrophages phenotype through mannose receptor activation
Authors: Rahabi M, et al.

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