What Is Hydrolyzed Collagen?

Hydrolyzed collagen is composed of small amino acids, which help form new collagen in the body. While there is currently no evidence supporting its many claims, some suggest hydrolyzed collagen is capable of increasing lean muscle mass stores, treating arthritis, and even rebuilding certain organs. There are currently no known side effects, but doctor referral is recommended.

What is Hydrolyzed Collagen

Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen that is derived from bovine bone and cartilage. Usually, the bone is crushed, ground, defatted, soaked in acid to remove the calcium, soaked again to break the collagen bonds and then dehydrated. This process results in small, intact amino acids which have not been damaged. These amino acids are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and are used as the building blocks of new collagen.

History of Hydrolyzed Collagen

Hydrolyzed collagen has been used during cooking for over 100 years, and has been known to improve hair quality and to strengthen hair. Knox gelatin was one of the first companies to commercially promote hydrolyzed collagen, or gelatin, as a food product.

Claims of Hydrolyzed Collagen

While there are currently no scientific studies substantiating the benefits of using hydrolyzed collagen, its claims are numerous. Hydrolyzed collagen is claimed by some to protect and even help in achieving gains in lean muscle mass, to help improve the symptoms of arthritis, and to promote weight loss through the burning of fat rather than carbohydrates and proteins. Other potential benefits of hydrolyzed collagen include improvements in skin toning and thickening, joint rebuilding, arterial strengthening, increased energy and organ rebuilding. Some suggest that hydrolyzed collagen may resolve chronic problems such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, arthritis in joints, bladder weakness, chronic fatigue, shallow breathing, autoimmune and skin problems and splitting nails.

Additional Uses of Hydrolyzed Collagen

Hydrolyzed collagen, in the dried powder form, can be reconstituted, and is still used as a gelatin food product. It is an edible food product and can be consumed in amounts recommended for daily protein intake. It is also often used in the capsule coating of many medications for easier consumption.

Side Effects and Drugs Interactions of Hydrolyzed Collagen

While there are currently no known side effects associated with the use of hydrolyzed collagen as an edible product, when used topically, such as in shampoos and other hair care products, it has been found to occasionally cause dermatitis. Hydrolyzed collagen has not been found to have any significant food or drug interactions--however it is still recommended that individuals consult with their doctor or health care professional before beginning use. Doctor referral is especially important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.