Collagen + MSM may boost skin texture & reduce wrinkles: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© VadimZakirov / Getty Images
© VadimZakirov / Getty Images

Related tags Collagen Nutricosmetics Beauty from within skin health

Twelve weeks of supplementation with a combination hydrolyzed fish collagen and MSM may improve skin thickness and roughness, and reduce wrinkles, says a new study from Slovenia.

Data published in the Journal of Functional Foods​ indicated that 5 or 10 grams of hydrolyzed fish collagen plus 1.5 grams of MSM (methylsulphonylmethane) improved a range of skin measures. Improvements were also recorded when 10 grams of the hydrolyzed fish collagen were taken without MSM.

The study used products provided by Tosla Nutricosmetics, a Slovenian company founded in 2014 to develop and produce liquid nutricosmetics for the beauty sector. The company also co-funded the research.

Led by Prof. Katja Žmitek from VIST—Faculty of Applied Sciences, Institute of Cosmetics in Ljubljana, the scientists found that all products improved dermis density and skin texture, and reduced wrinkle severity.

“However, the products with added MSM were superior in the improvement of skin thickness and twice as efficient as the collagen-only product in the reduction of skin roughness,” they wrote. “Also, a higher dose of collagen with MSM was crucial for the improvement in skin hydration.”

Study details

The double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial included 109 investigated 109 healthy women aged between 40 and 65. The women were randomly assigned to one of four groups: Placebo, 10 g of hydrolyzed fish collagen, 5 grams of the fish collagen plus 1.5 grams of MSM, or 10 grams of fish collagen plus 1.5 grams of MSM.

Results of the 12-week interventions showed that participants using the supplements experienced improved skin density (by about 16%), better skin texture, and fewer wrinkles, with greater improvements observed in the MSM groups in terms of improving skin thickness (3.6% versus placebo for the high dose group) and reducing skin roughness (by about 14%, compared to about 7% in the fish collagen-only group).

On the other hand, no significant effects of the supplements were observed for viscoelasticity or transepidermal water loss.

“The observed beneficial effects suggest that [hydrolyzed fish collagen] in the tested supplements was efficiently broken down to biologically active collagen peptides, exerting effects on dermis regeneration which were also clearly visible and cosmetically relevant,” wrote Prof Žmitek and her co-workers.

“Due to the superior effects of the [hydrolyzed fish collagen]/MSM combination over [hydrolyzed fish collagen]with regard to skin thickness and texture, it also appears that [hydrolyzed fish collagen]and MSM can act synergistically and further boost the effectiveness of each other.”


The study’s findings were welcomed by Uroš Gotar, Chief Innovation Officer at Tosla. “The article in the Journal of Functional Foods​ is a huge milestone for us. Hats off and huge thanks to the authors.

“I believe this is the first of many, since we made a commitment at our strategy level to support at least one clinical study a year.”

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Volume 110, November 2023, 105838, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2023.105838
“The effect of a 12-week dietary intake of food supplements containing collagen and MSM on dermis density and other skin parameters: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised four-way study comparing the efficacy of three test products”
Authors: T. Pogačnik et al.

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