Collagen Peptides: Benefits and Uses

Collagen Peptides

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is a key constituent of all connective tissues. Collagen provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system, essential for mobility. The intake of collagen ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones and joints. Collagen is a protein made up of amino-acids: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. The composition of collagen is considered unique given its high hydroxyproline content. If you lack the amino acids that combine to form collagen, your body’s cells can’t produce enough of it. Threonine is an essential amino acid for collagen production. There are many benefits of collagen such as healthy skin promotion and balanced nutrition for athletic performance.

collagen peptides

Benefits of Collagen: Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails

A growing body of research is showing nutraceuticals can contribute to healthy skin [1]. While topical creams and cosmetic products can affect skin condition from outside, nutritional supplements taken orally can have an impact from within the skin. Vital Proteins Collagen, a natural essential protein, has clinically been shown to:

  • Promote younger looking skin;
  • Improve skin moisture level;
  • Prevent the formation of deep wrinkles
  • Improve skin suppleness.
  • Replenish moisture levels in hair
  • Support nail growth

Collagen Peptides are a natural bioactive ingredient that improves epidermis moisture content and prevents skin aging. Several studies have demonstrated that collagen peptides are highly digestible. If native collagen is very resistant and regarded as indigestible, collagen peptides can be easily attacked by proteolytic enzymes. More than 90% of collagen peptides are digested and quickly absorbed after oral ingestion. [2], [3] As a food ingredient, oral ingestion of collagen peptides has been reported as safe [4]. In order to be active, collagen peptides must have an excellent bioavailability. This has been confirmed in animals and human after oral administration wherein 95% was absorbed within the first 12 hours. These studies show that collagen peptides reached their peak value in cartilage after ingestion of collagen peptides and remained relatively high after 96 hours [5].

Benefits of Collagen: Supports Bone and Joint Health

Collagen peptides supply amino acids that are needed to build new collagen.  Collagen peptides are high in specific amino acids such as Glycine and Proline that are especially needed for the production of new collagen.  The collagen peptides stimulate certain cells (fibroblasts, osteoblasts) to build new collagen.  Supplementation with collagen peptides can protect the degradation of the connecting tissues in athletes and could completely prevent the exercise induced increase of urinary collagen crosslinks. Supplementation with 30 – 70 grams of collagen peptides per day showed a reduction of risk for injuries on muscle, tendons, and ligaments in athletes. [6]

Collagen supplements are the perfect protein to consume before and after exercise, helping to maintain and restore the protein content of muscle.  Collagen peptides, which consists of 20% glycine and 8% arginine, may help the synthesis of creatine in the body.  Creatine has been shown to help improve performance during short periods of exercise, thus helping athletes to increase their body mass and reduce body fat percentage. [7]  Creatine is made of three amino-acids, glycine, arginine, and methionine.  Each serving of Vital Protein’s Collagen Peptides contains 4.12g of Glycine, 1.68g of Arginine, and 120mg of methionine.

collagen peptides

Benefits of Collagen: Contributes to Weight Management

Glycine, an important amino acid in collagen, has been shown to help maintain a healthy body as a result of the roles it plays in the digestive and central nervous systems.  Research shows that glycine can help slow effects of aging since it replenishes healthy DNA and RNA cells, as well as improve how the body uses antioxidants [8]. 

Benefits of Collagen: Supports Healthy Gut

Collagen Peptides hydrolysate are a great, natural alternative to quick-fix medications.  Rather than simply masking symptoms, the 18 amino acids found in collagen have the power to prevent and even heal many digestive disorders.

  • Increase stomach acid:  aminos acids increase gastric acid secretion, helping to better digest your food and prevent heartburn and GERD [9]
  • Heal stomach ulcers:  the amino acids glycine and proline protect the stomach lining from injury and even prevent ulcers due to stress via a positive impact on the central nervous system [10]
  • Aids in digestion: when eaten with other proteins or carbohydrates, gelatin will help to break down foods for easier digestion [11]; and the gelling power of gelatin also holds water in the intestines where it is needed to help food move smoothly
  • Heal and seal the gut lining:  the amino acid glutamine is proven to improve the lining of the intestinal track and encourage a healthy inflammatory response and digestive comfort [12]; a strengthening of the intestinal lining helps to prevent food allergies by keeping food from leaching into the bloodstream [13]


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[1] Cosgrove, M.C., Franco, O.H., Granger, S.P., Murray, P.G. and Mayes, A.E. 2007. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86: 1225-1231.

[2] Asghar, A and Henrickson, R.L. 1982. Chemical, biochemical, functional characteristics of collagen in food system. Advances in food research, 28 :231-372.

[3] Iwai, K., Hasegawa, T., Taguchi, Y., Morimatsu, F., Sato, K., Nakamura, Y., Higashi, A., Kido, Y., Nakabo, Y. and Ohtsuki, K. 2005. Identification of food-derived collagen peptides in human blood after oral ingestion of gelatin hydrolysates. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 53: 6531-6536.

[4] Wu, J., Fujioka, M., Sugimoto, K., Mu, G. and Ishimi, Y. 2004. Assessment of effectiveness of oral administration of collagen peptide on bone metabolism in growing and mature rats. Journal of bone and mineral metabolism, 22:47-553.

[5] Oesser, S., Adam, M., Babel, W. and Seifert, J. 1999. Oral administration of 14C labeled gelatin hydrolysate leads to an accumulation of radioactivity in cartilage of mice (C57/BL). Journal of nutrition, 129:1891-1895. Referenced from

[6] Wienecke, Elmar. Performance Explosion in Sports: An Anti-doping Concept: Revolutionary New Findings in the Area of Micronutrient Therapy: Training Continuity, Training Optimization, Injury Prevention Through Personalized Micronutrients. Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2011. ISBN 978-3-89899-652-5;

[7] Hoffman, J. R., et al. “Effect of creatine and ß-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes.” Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab 16 (2006): 430-446.

[8] Lobo, V., Patil, A., Phatak, A., & Chandra, N. (2010). Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacognosy Reviews,4(8), 118. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.70902

[9] Richardson, C. T., Walsh, J. H., Hicks, M. I., & Fordtran, J. S. (1976). Studies on the mechanisms of food-stimulated gastric acid secretion in normal human subjects. Journal of Clinical Investigation,58(3), 623-631. doi:10.1172/jci108509

[10]Backing, C. (2006, August 22). “Gelatin Treats Ulcers.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from

[11] Broth is Beautiful; Weston A. Price, 2003:

[12] Lin, M., Zhang, B., Yu, C., Li, J., Zhang, L., Sun, H., . . . Zhou, G. (2014). L-Glutamate Supplementation Improves Small Intestinal Architecture and Enhances the Expressions of Jejunal Mucosa Amino Acid Receptors and Transporters in Weaning Piglets. PLoS ONE,9(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111950

[13] Rapin, J. R., & Wiernsperger, N. (2010). Possible links between intestinal permeablity and food processing: a potential therapeutic niche for glutamine. Clinics,65(6), 635-643. doi:10.1590/s1807-59322010000600012