This review article examines the available data with regard to the use of hydrolysed collagen as a nutraceutical in skin ageing. Below we bring together a thorough review of the basic physiology of collagen formation and its degradation during skin ageing and the beneficial effects of oral ingestion of hydrolysed collagen on skin properties such as hydration, elasticity and reduction of wrinkles.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body and represents the main barrier to the external environment. Collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid are the skin main components and have an important role in maintaining its structure and hydration. The collagen family consists of 28 different proteins, which account for 25% – 35% of the total protein mass in mammals. Type I collagen is the most abundant in human skin (80%) with type III collagen making up the remainder of skin collagen (15%). The collagen in the skin is mainly produced by fibroblasts. Hydrolysed collagen consists of small peptides with low molecular weight, enriched in specific amino acids: glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Due to its low molecular weight, hydrolysed collagen is highly digestible, absorbed and distributed in the different tissues of the human body. Several experiments have shown that collagen peptides can be efficiently absorbed and distributed to the dermis, the deepest layer of the skin, where they can stimulate the proliferation and motility of fibroblasts; induce an increase in the density and diameter of collagen fibres; increase hyaluronic acid production and activate protection against UVA radiation.
Review of the Beneficial Effects of Hydrolysed Collagen on Ageing Skin The Open Nutraceuticals Journal, 2015, Volume 8 41 To date several controlled clinical trials have been performed proving the efficacy and benefits of collagen peptides on skin properties, such as hydration, elasticity and reduction of wrinkles and recently a number of therapeutic formulations of hydrolysed collagen have been developed for the treatment of skin ageing. These fall into the category of nutraceuticals – products offering real benefits to all those with ageing skin.