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Research Review: Biological effect of hydrolysed collagen on bone metabolism – by Daneault et al (2017)

January 7, 2019

Confusing title? I agree, very science-y! So what does it mean?

This article explores literature relating to the possibility of using hydrolysed collagen as an adjunct dietary intervention to calcium and vitamin D in the primary prevention of osteoporosis.

What is collagen?
(forgive the science-y bit here, but it’s necessary!) – ‘Collagen consists of 3 polypeptide strands. It is mainly glycine, proline and hydroxyproline, in a unique triple-helical structure. The glycine-proline-hydroxyproline triplet is the most common.’

Where is collagen?
‘Collagens represent 30% of the total protein mass in the body and are therefore the most abundant proteins in mammals. They are the major structural element in the extracellular matrix of all connective tissues, including bone where they represent about 80% of the total protein.’

‘There are different collagen types: Type I, II, III, V, VI, X and XXVII. In bone, approximately 95% is Type I collagen.’

Why is collagen in bone important?
‘In bone, collagen plays an important role in the force transmission and tissue structure maintenance. Importantly, it determines the amount of mineral deposition. Thus, the capacity of bone to resist mechanical forces and fractures depends not only on the quantity of bone tissue (mineralisation) but also on its quality (organisation of the collagen framework).’

What about hydrolysed collagen?
‘Collagen is converted to gelatin either by acid or alkaline treatment. Gelatin is converted to hydrolysed collagen by enzymatic hydrolysis.’

Is hydrolysed collagen safe to consume?
‘Gelatin and hydrolysed collagen are approved as Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration Centre for Food Safety and Nutrition.’

The body of this article refers to a growing amount of evidence for the beneficial properties of hydrolysed collagen for bone tissue. Uncertainties remain around the optimal form of hydrolysed collagen, the optimal dose, as well as signalling pathways involved.


Overall, hydrolysed collagen as a nutritional aspect of osteoporosis prevention is something to watch with interest!

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