Collagen peptides: nature’s building blocks for better mobility

Consumers looking to maintain optimal bone and joint health through better nutrition are increasingly turning to supplements and fortified products to boost their nutrient intake

As a result, 32% of global consumers rate foods that are high in protein as very important and seek foods that are fortified with vitamins (30%) or minerals (29%) to fulfil their nutritional needs.1 According to a recent survey, respondents are prepared to pay a premium for products that claim to boost health and well-being, with the rising interest in bone and joint health, the global market for products targeting these claims is predicted to reach $9 billion by 2017.1,2

Protein is a key ingredient driving the bone and joint health market, with the number of food and drink products launched in the UK with a high-protein claim rising by 97% between 2014 and 2015 and 498% between 2010 and 2015.3 Public perception of calcium supplements has shifted, creating opportunities for proteins such as collagen peptides, with a number of joint and bone health supplement blends with vitamin C or vitamin D coming onto the market. As protein is a major component of the bones, cartilage and muscles, it can be beneficial to include collagen peptides in everyday diets to support maximum mobility.

Collagen peptides for an active lifestyle

Collagen is the main structural component of the human body and represents almost 30% of its total protein. Responsible for holding together all the living tissue, it is mostly found in connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, as well as in joints, bones and skin. However, with time, the body’s ability to replenish collagen slowly decreases, resulting in the physical decline of the body’s tissues and organs.

As a hydrolysed form of collagen, collagen peptides are proven to have multiple benefits for bone and joint health. They are transported to the target tissues — through the bloodstream — where they accumulate and stimulate cells to produce collagen.4,5 These bioactive proteins have a number of positive effects on mobility, including providing connective tissue support, reducing joint discomfort and helping to improve bone mass density.

Achieving optimal bone health

Healthy bones are essential to an active lifestyle. They are responsible for the structure and strength of the body as well as aid its movement. To maintain healthy bones, the body undergoes a remodelling process, during which old bone tissue is removed and new tissue is formed. With time, an imbalance between bone resorption and bone formation results in a reduction of Bone Mineral Density (BMD), leading to an increased risk of fractures.

Representing around 90% of its total organic bone mass, collagen is one of the key components of the body’s framework and is responsible for bone strength and flexibility. Collagen peptides have been proven in a range of in vitro and in vivo studies to support the forming and functioning of healthy bones.6,7

Increasing bone density and strength: For bones to stay strong and healthy, an optimal level of BMD has to be maintained. By inducing bone formation and inhibiting the rate of bone resorption, collagen peptides have been shown to have a positive effect on bone metabolism.

Collagen acts as a structural component to which calcium and other minerals attach. In a recent in vivo study, collagen peptides have been shown to improve calcium absorption, retain high levels of calcium in bones, increase bone mineral density and preserve bone strength.8

Increasing joint function

Making up 70–95% of cartilage, collagen is the key structural component of cartilage tissue and preserving optimal levels is essential to maintaining healthy and flexible joints. Traditionally, glucosamine and chondroitin have been the only solution for targeting joint health; however, owing to its proven benefits, collagen peptides are set to become the most popular second generation ingredient in the joint health market.

Improved joint mobility and flexibility: Maintaining flexible joints is important to consumers of all ages, as it enables them to stay active and reduce the risk of injury. To achieve optimal joint function, it is important that joints receive the correct nutrients.

Collagen peptides have been proven to be effective in improving joint functionality, including increased mobility and flexibility. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, using the WOMAC score system to measure the condition of participants with knee osteoarthritis, found that a daily intake of collagen peptides significantly reduced scores, with subjects recording an improvement of 32% in joint pain, 44% in stiffness and 22% in function.9

Stimulating new cartilage cells: With time, repetitive movement can wear down the joint tissue, reducing cartilage between the joints and causing discomfort. As the ageing process of chondrocytes (cartilage cells) overtakes the body’s natural ability to regenerate cells, cartilage begins to break down. Collagen peptides have been proven to stimulate the production of the key cartilage components — aggrecan and type 2 collagen — in chondrocytes, supporting the synthesis of new cartilage tissue (unpublished data).

Reducing inflammation and preserving cartilage: As the structure connecting two bones, joints are surrounded by soft tissue to help absorb impact. Because of injuries or health conditions, swelling can occur in the joints, leading to joint stiffness.

Collagen peptides have also been shown to be effective in reducing joint inflammation, by normalising synovial thickness and reducing the production of the inflammatory marker Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF). Collagen peptides have also been proven to promote joint health by preserving the cartilage area during osteoarthritis development in an animal model.10

Supporting mobility with Peptan collagen peptides

Peptan type 1 collagen peptides are obtained by a proprietary enzymatic hydrolysis of native collagen and contain a unique combination of 18 key amino acids and offers exceptional nutritional properties not found in other protein sources. Highly digestible and bioavailable, 90% of the collagen peptides are absorbed into the blood just a few hours after ingestion.4,11


Maintaining optimal bone and joint health is essential to people of all ages. With more consumers recognizing the importance of an active lifestyle, sales in products aimed at joint and bone health claims have seen a significant rise in demand. Providing unique nutritional benefits for the musculoskeletal system as a whole, collagen peptides present an attractive solution for targeting multiple mobility claims in the active nutrient market.





4. S. Oesser, et al., “Oral Administration of 14C Labelled Gelatine Hydroslysate Leads to an Accumulation of Radioactivity in Cartilage of Mice (C57/BL),” Journal of Nutrition 129, 1891–1895 (1999).

5. S. Oesser and J. Seifert, “Stimulation of Type II Collagen Biosynthesis and Secretion in Bovine Chondrocytes Cultured with Degraded Collagen,” Cell Tissue Research 311, 393–399 (2003).

6. F. Guillerminet, et al., “Hydrolyzed Collagen Improves Bone Status and Prevents Bone Loss in Ovariectomized C3H/HeN Mice,” Osteoporosis International 23(7), 1909–1919 (2012).

7. F. Guillerminet, et al., “Collagen Peptides Improve Bone Metabolism and Biomechanical Parameters in Ovariectomized Mice: An In Vitro and In Vivo Study,” Bone 46(3), 827–834 (2010).

8. A. Daneault, et al., “Hydrolyzed Collagen Contributes to Osteoblast Differentiation In Vitro and Subsequent Bone Health In Vivo,” Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 22, S131 (2014).

9. J.X. Jiang, et al., “Collagen Peptides Improve Knee Osteoarthritis in Elderly Women,” Agro food Industry Hi Tech 25(2), 19–23 (2014).

10. Q.A. Dar, et al., “Oral Hydrolyzed Type 1 Collagen Induces Chondroregeneration and Inhibits Synovial Inflammation in Murine Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis,” Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 24(1), S532–S533 (2016).

11. S. Ichikawa, et al., “Hydroxyproline-Containing Dipeptides and Tripeptides Quantified at High Concentration in Human Blood After Oral Administration of Gelatine Hydrolysate,” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 61(1), 109 (2010).