Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Collagen hydrolysate is considered a miracle cure. It is said to provide radiantly beautiful and youthful skin without wrinkles, full and shiny hair and strong nails. It is also said to protect muscles, bones and joints from age-related collagen decline and discomfort, and to help maintain a firm body. In short, it is said to preserve our youthfulness.

Whether it can fulfil all these promises is the question we want to investigate with the collagen hydrolysate test 2021. In addition, we provide you with detailed background knowledge about the body's own collagen production and the effects of collagen hydrolysate as a food supplement. And of course we go into the purchase criteria so that you can make an informed choice.




The most important facts

  • Collagen is an essential component of the human body. It provides strength and elasticity to the body's tissues. With increasing age, the body's own collagen production decreases.
  • The food supplement collagen hydrosylate supports collagen production and can thus slow down various ageing effects and improve health aspects.
  • Collagen hydrosylate can only be obtained from animal bones, cartilage and skin. Vegetarian protein substitutes are available for vegetarians and vegans, but they have a lesser effect on collagen production.

The Best Collagen Hydrolysate: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for collagen hydrolysate preparations

Collagen hydrosylate is available in various forms, compositions and qualities. We have compiled the most important buying and evaluation criteria for you:

In order for you to get a more accurate picture and make an informed decision, we will go into more depth on the individual criteria.

Collagen source

Collagen, and therefore collagen hydrolysate, is mainly derived from the skin, bones and cartilage of cattle and pigs. In Asia, it is often made from Pacific fish species and chicken proteins.

There is no such thing as plant collagen.

Therefore, vegetarians and vegans cannot meet their collagen needs directly. However, they can resort to food supplements that support collagen production.

Another source of collagen is jellyfish. It is called "oceanic collagen" or "marine collagen". Since jellyfish does not have a brain or nerve pathways, some manufacturers describe it as suitable for a vegan diet.

Quality

Good qualities of collagen hydrolysate are derived from the bones, skin and cartilage of cattle and have a high degree of purity. Make sure it comes from grass-fed pasture-raised cattle and is of organic quality. The type or types of collagen should also be declared and the main effects indicated.

Another quality feature is the enzymatic production. The addition of "agglomerated" guarantees particularly good solubility. Furthermore, no superfluous preservatives or sugar should be added.

Dosage form

The manufacturers of collagen hydrolysate offer it in three dosage forms, namely as a powder, as a capsule and as a drinking ampoule. All three forms have their advantages and disadvantages.

Collagen hydrolysate powders have a high protein content and are neutral in taste.

The powder can be dissolved in water. If you want a little more flavour, add it to a fruit juice, your favourite smoothie or a hot drink. It can also be mixed into muesli or baked goods, the possibilities are endless.

For those who travel a lot, collagen hydrolysate capsules are ideal. They are easy to transport, save space and do not leak. However, they do have one disadvantage: they have a low collagen content, as there is only room for a maximum of 700 mg in one capsule. Therefore, several capsules usually have to be taken in order to take the recommended amount.

Those who have trouble swallowing capsules can resort to collagen hydrolysate drinking ampoules. Another advantage is that no additional liquid is needed to take the collagen hydrolysate. Flavourings are added to many drinking ampoules to make them taste like something.

Flavour

Well-processed collagen hydrolysate is generally tasteless and odourless. Cheaper products may have a slight aftertaste. That is why it is important to look for good quality.

However, many customers want flavoured collagen hydrolysate, especially in drinking ampoules. That is why manufacturers add flavourings to their products to provide variety.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about collagen hydrolysate answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effects of collagen hydrolysate and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is collagen hydrolysate or collagen and how does it work?

Collagen is a protein that only multicellular animals and humans have. It is produced in the body itself. The function of collagen is to provide firmness and elasticity to body tissues. It is found in the skin, bones and cartilage, connective tissue, tendons, hair and nails.(1)

Collagen as a food supplement and for other medical applications is extracted from bones, joints and skin of animals. Extracted collagen is nothing more than gelatine, which gels in contact with a liquid.

To make it more pleasant to take orally, collagen is made water-soluble by enzymatic processes. The end product is collagen hydrolysate, which has the same health aspects as collagen.

In the course of the ageing process, collagen production decreases.

As studies show, an additional intake of collagen or collagen hydrolysate can counteract this process. The most important effects are listed below.

Skin and wound healing

Collagen forms the layer between the epidermis and the subcutis. It ensures the elasticity and firmness of the skin and supports wound healing. With age, collagen production slows down. Wrinkles, dry and sagging skin are the consequences. Studies have shown that the additional intake of collagen hydrolysate can slow down the ageing process of the skin and lead to an improvement in wound healing.(2, 3)

Hair

As with the skin, collagen provides strength to the hair. It also supports cell division and is therefore responsible for hair growth. Another important function of collagen is to anchor the hair root in the epidermis.

Kollagenhydrolysat-1

Strong, shiny and elastic hair: studies show that taking collagen hydrolysate can help fulfil this wish.
(Image source: Yoann Boyer/unsplash)

External influences as well as decreasing collagen production can lead to brittle and thin hair as well as hair loss. Increasing collagen intake can improve hair structure, make hair shinier and stimulate the regeneration of hair roots.(4)

Bones

Bone tissue consists of more than 60% collagen and strengthens bones from the inside out. This makes them strong and flexible at the same time. As we age, collagen is broken down, reducing bone density and making bones more unstable and brittle.

Studies have shown that food supplementation with collagen hydrosylate can have a positive effect on building and strengthening bones.(6)

Nails

Nails are made up of horny skin cells and keratin. The latter is a fibrous protein made of various amino acids, which are mainly formed by collagen. Here, too, collagen provides the necessary strength and flexibility and supports growth.

Kollagenhydrolysat-2

Up to the age of 25, the body's own collagen production runs at full speed. After that, it decreases. Taking collagen hydrolysate can support the growth of strong nails even after that.
(Image source: RitaE/Pixabay)

A collagen deficiency often results in brittle and fragile nails. Regular intake of collagen hydrolysate can lead to faster growth of the nails, a decrease in brittleness as well as stronger nails.(5)

Articular cartilage

Collagen plays an important role in joint cartilage. It stores fluid and ensures that the cartilage remains elastic. This effectively protects the joints.

In addition to the natural breakdown of the body's own collagen production, wear and tear caused by sport leads to damage to the joint cartilage. Taking collagen hydrolysate increases the chances that the build-up of cartilage substance will be stimulated and joint wear slowed down.(7)

Muscle system

In contrast to other parts of the body, muscles contain a small amount of collagen. However, this supports their elasticity and strength. With increasing age, the muscles also weaken.

Kollagenhydrolysat-3

Collagen alone is not enough to build additional muscle. Training is part of it.
(Image source: Pexels/Pixabay)

Taking collagen hydrolysate alone does not seem to have much effect on muscle building. In combination with muscle-building training, it has a supportive effect. It is also said to shorten the recovery time after exercise.(8)

What types of collagen are there?

So far, 28 types of collagen(9) are known. They differ from each other in function, composition and structure. The table below lists the most important types:

Type Occurrence in the body
Collagen type I Skin, tendons, bones, dentin, fascia, vessels, internal organs
Collagen type II Cartilage, vitreous body of the eye
Collagen type III Skin, uterus, blood vessels
Collagen type IV kidney glomeruli, eye lens, basal lamina of epithelial and endothelial cells
Collagen type V basal lamina of smooth and striated muscle cells

Type I has the highest proportion in the human body with 90%. Type I, type II and type III play a role in the production of collagen hydrolysate as a food supplement.

What do collagen hydrolysate products cost?

The prices of collagen hydrolysate vary greatly both between types and within a type. The table below illustrates this:

type price
powder €24.95/kg to €54.52/kg
capsules €19.80/kg to €492.31/kg
drinking ampoules €0.96/ampoule to €3.93/ampoule

The collagen source and processing as well as the proportion of pure collagen in the product are price-determining factors. Likewise, the products are often enriched with additional health-promoting substances, which also influences the price.

For these reasons, it is worthwhile not only to look at the price of the individual products, but also to take the ingredients into account when deciding what to buy.

What types of collagen hydrolysate are there?

As we have shown above, collagen hydrolysate is available in the form of powder, capsules and drinking ampoules. You can easily compare the types using the table below:

type description
powder usually tasteless
best price-performance ratio
little packaging waste
capsules easy to transport and take
normally only small amounts of collagen
Drinking ampoules ready to drink
relatively expensive

It may be worthwhile for you to buy a combination of several types of collagen hydrolysate from one manufacturer. This way you are optimally supplied both at home and on the road.

What are the side effects of collagen hydrolysate?

There are practically no known side effects of collagen hydrolysate. The following applies: The closer the collagen obtained from animals is to that of humans, the lower the risk of allergies such as skin reactions, shortness of breath or vomiting.

Rarely, there are digestive complaints such as flatulence, constipation and nausea.(2, 6)

What are the alternatives to collagen hydrolysate?

There are no alternative dietary supplements to collagen hydrolysate. Excellent natural sources of collagen include offal, calf's head, rind and clear broths with joints and bones.

Foods with vitamin C and the amino acid lysine, both substances the organism cannot produce itself, stimulate collagen production. (10) The following foods also support collagen production:

  • animal protein: meat, fish, eggs
  • vegetable protein: kidney and white beans, chickpeas, nuts, seeds and kernels
  • Dairy products: Milk, yoghurt, cheese, quark
  • Fruits high in vitamin C: lemons, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, elderberries, kiwis
  • Vegetables high in vitamin C and vitamin K: tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, aubergines
  • foods rich in lysine: buckwheat, pulses, unhusked rice, peanuts, rind, cartilage,

For vegans and vegetarians, there are special food supplements with ingredients that stimulate the body's own collagen production. However, these are less effective than collagen hydrolysate.

Image source: yuliapanova / 123rf

References (10)

1. Gelse, Kolja & Pöschl, Ernst & Aigner, Thomas. (2003). Collagens—Structure, function, and biosynthesis. Advanced drug delivery reviews. 55. 1531-46. 10.1016/j.addr.2003.08.002.
Source

2. Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Jan 1;18(1):9-16. PMID: 30681787.
Source

3. Audrey Daneault, Janne Prawitt, Véronique Fabien Soulé, Véronique Coxam & Yohann Wittrant (2017) Biological effect of hydrolyzed collagen on bone metabolism, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57:9, 1922-1937, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1038377
Source

4. Zdzieblik D, Oesser S, Baumstark MW, Gollhofer A, König D. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1237-45. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515002810. Epub 2015 Sep 10. PMID: 26353786; PMCID: PMC4594048.
Source

5. Hexsel D, Zague V, Schunck M, Siega C, Camozzato FO, Oesser S. Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Dec;16(4):520-526. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12393. Epub 2017 Aug 8. PMID: 28786550.
Source

6. Karl E. Kadler, Clair Baldock, Jordi Bella, Raymond P. Boot-Handford Collagens at a glance Journal of Cell Science 2007 120: 1955-1958; doi: 10.1242/jcs.03453
Source

7. Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, Aukermann DF, Meza F, Millard RL, Deitch JR, Sherbondy PS, Albert A. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1485-96. doi: 10.1185/030079908x291967. Epub 2008 Apr 15. PMID: 18416885.
Source

8. Nabzdyk CS, Bittner EA. Vitamin C in the critically ill - indications and controversies. World J Crit Care Med. 2018 Oct 16;7(5):52-61. doi: 10.5492/wjccm.v7.i5.52. PMID: 30370227; PMCID: PMC6201324.
Source

9. Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-9. doi: 10.1159/000355523. Epub 2013 Dec 24. PMID: 24401291.
Source

10. Chen P, Cescon M, Bonaldo P. Lack of Collagen VI Promotes Wound-Induced Hair Growth. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Oct;135(10):2358-2367. doi: 10.1038/jid.2015.187. Epub 2015 May 19. PMID: 25989472.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Gelse, Kolja & Pöschl, Ernst & Aigner, Thomas. (2003). Collagens—Structure, function, and biosynthesis. Advanced drug delivery reviews. 55. 1531-46. 10.1016/j.addr.2003.08.002.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Jan 1;18(1):9-16. PMID: 30681787.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Audrey Daneault, Janne Prawitt, Véronique Fabien Soulé, Véronique Coxam & Yohann Wittrant (2017) Biological effect of hydrolyzed collagen on bone metabolism, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57:9, 1922-1937, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1038377
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Zdzieblik D, Oesser S, Baumstark MW, Gollhofer A, König D. Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1237-45. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515002810. Epub 2015 Sep 10. PMID: 26353786; PMCID: PMC4594048.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Hexsel D, Zague V, Schunck M, Siega C, Camozzato FO, Oesser S. Oral supplementation with specific bioactive collagen peptides improves nail growth and reduces symptoms of brittle nails. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Dec;16(4):520-526. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12393. Epub 2017 Aug 8. PMID: 28786550.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Karl E. Kadler, Clair Baldock, Jordi Bella, Raymond P. Boot-Handford Collagens at a glance Journal of Cell Science 2007 120: 1955-1958; doi: 10.1242/jcs.03453
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, Aukermann DF, Meza F, Millard RL, Deitch JR, Sherbondy PS, Albert A. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1485-96. doi: 10.1185/030079908x291967. Epub 2008 Apr 15. PMID: 18416885.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Nabzdyk CS, Bittner EA. Vitamin C in the critically ill - indications and controversies. World J Crit Care Med. 2018 Oct 16;7(5):52-61. doi: 10.5492/wjccm.v7.i5.52. PMID: 30370227; PMCID: PMC6201324.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-9. doi: 10.1159/000355523. Epub 2013 Dec 24. PMID: 24401291.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Chen P, Cescon M, Bonaldo P. Lack of Collagen VI Promotes Wound-Induced Hair Growth. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Oct;135(10):2358-2367. doi: 10.1038/jid.2015.187. Epub 2015 May 19. PMID: 25989472.
Go to source
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