Collagen is naturally produced in the human body. However, once people get into their mid 20s they start to produce 1-2% less collagen each year, according to some estimates. Also, factors such as smoking, sun exposure, pollution, and a poor diet can reduce the amount of collagen people produce.
According to Innova Market Insights, sports nutrition has been a principal focus for collagen products during the past five years. The ingredient has seen a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33% between 2007 and 2016 overall. Market research has also shown that Latin America and Asia are particularly interested in collagen.
With an increased interest in healthy aging, people are more inclined to use collagen for skin, joint, and bone health. Based on a report by Global Market Insights, the collagen market had a value of more than $3 billion in 2015 and is expected to exceed $5 billion by 2023.It’s expected to grow at CAGR of more than 7% from 2016 to 2023.
It’s predicted that collagen will continue to grow in popularity due to consumers’ desire to stay healthy as they get older and the possible ways that collagen can help with bone and joint health. Demand for protein will also lead to market expansion.
Origins & Process
Collagen is made up of amino acids which bind together to create triple-helices for elongated fibrils. In hydrolyzed form, it is broken down into smaller particles and used as ingredients in supplements. Collagen supplements are digested as amino acids and peptides in the gut. To be used by the body, amino acids and peptides have to be absorbed by the small intestine and circulated into the bloodstream.
There are at least 28 different types of collagen. But, 80-90% of what’s produced in the body consists of type I, type II, and type III.
Type I is the most abundant and popular form of collagen. It reportedly decreases lines and wrinkles, helps with skin elasticity and hydration, strengthens hair and nails, supports muscle recovery, and can be found in supplements containing bovine (beef) and marine (fish) collagen. It’s made up of collagen fibers and found in skin, tendon, vasculature, organs, and bones.
Type II is mainly composed of cartilage and is a key function for joint health. It can be found in the ear, nose, bronchial tubes, and much more. It’s often found in supplements containing chicken collagen.
Type III is made up of reticular fibers and commonly found in the skin and organs. It’s often used with type I collagen to support heart health and improve skin elasticity and hydration. Supplements with type III collagen often contain bovine collagen.
Bovine Collagen contains type I and type III collagen as well as rich supply of amino acids. It’s found in connective tissue, bones, cartilage, and cow hides. Marine collagen, derived from fish skin and scales, consists primarily of type I collagen along with amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Pork collagen, found primarily in skin, is high in glycine and best known for its skin benefits.
Collagen is believed to help reduce wrinkles, add moisture to skin, improve elasticity and hydration, promote bone and joint health, and strengthen hair and nails, among other benefits. In recent years, many studies have been conducted to validate its efficacy.
A study published in 2015 in the Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals was aimed at determining whether an oral nutritional supplement drink containing hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and essential vitamins and minerals would positively affect skin wrinkling, elasticity, and hydration. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included healthy subjects to see if this oral supplement could improve specific skin properties of post-menopausal women. The results showed how the combination of specific ingredients present in this nutritional drink can reduce depth of facial wrinkles and increase skin elasticity and hydration.
Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was published in Journal of Medicinal Foods in 2015. It involved 105 women, ages 24-50 years old, who had moderate cellulite and were selected to orally receive 2.5 grams of bioactive collagen peptides (BCP) or placebo over six months. This study was intended to prove the effects of BCP on the cellulite treatment of normal and overweight women. The degree of cellulite was evaluated before starting the treatment and after three and six months of intake. Also, skin waviness, dermal density, and length of subcutaneous borderline were assessed.
Results showed BCP treatment may have led to a decrease in the degree of cellulite and reduced skin waviness on thighs in normal weight women. Also, dermal density was significantly improved compared to placebo. Efficacy of BCP treatment was confirmed in overweight women but impact was less pronounced compared to women with normal weight. The results showed regular BCP over six months caused an improvement in skin for women suffering from modern cellulite.