A Message from Dr. McCormick: Supplemental Collagen for Better Bone Health
Today a patient called my office and said that her her doctor told her she was "wasting her money buying collagen" and that she just needed to take a bisphosphonate medication for her osteoporosis. With that, my patient didn't know how to respond. My hope for today's OsteoNaturals' Newsletter is that I will be able to explain why supplemental collagen is so important for your health and if anyone ever asks why...you can tell them.
The short answer is: "...the recent discovery of numerous receptors for which collagen acts as a ligand indicates a much wider potential role for collagen than just a structural molecule." (1)
Approximately 25 to 30% of the protein in your body is collagen. There is more collagen than any other type of protein. Your skin, hair, fingernails, all your joints, and even tendons and ligaments are made from collagen. The "glue" that holds your organs together--the stuff that gives your heart, kidneys, liver, and ALL your organs their shape and ability to function--is collagen. And of course, bone is simply collagen that has become hardened with minerals.
So is collagen important? Most definitely!
There are almost 30 different types of collagen but the most abundant, and the ones we are most concerned with, are types, I, II, and III. Type I collagen is primarily from animal bone and contains high amounts of the amino acids hydroxyproline, proline and glycine. It is the collagen we talk about most when we want to improve bone health.
Why is it important to take supplemental collagen? As we age, the collagen in our bones (as well as the collagen in our other organs) degrades and weakens. Since collagen is the foundation of bone, its degradation leads to a fragile skeleton more prone to breaking. Inflammation, toxins from the environment, and diets low in protein and minerals are the major reasons that we loose collagen integrity as we get older.
If you are over age 50, you may have noticed that your skin doesn't look as "perky" as it once did. The reason for this "sagging" is that we all loose collagen as we age. By the time we are 75 years old over half of the collagen in our body is degraded or gone.
Supplemental collagen is readily absorbed from the small intestine both in the form of amino acids after its complete digestion and, to some extent (about 10% with some collagen products), as intact peptides or strings of amino acids.(2,3) This is extremely important, especially if you are trying to explain to a doctor who doesn't understand the value of nutrition, why supplemental collagen is so beneficial. Most doctors do not understand that collagen peptides can be absorbed and that they can have biological actions that go far beyond just providing amino acid building blocks for protein synthesis. They can actually stimulate osteoblasts to form bone!
Collagen is not considered a high quality protein. It doesn't contain high amounts of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) for muscle growth or even essential amino acids. So why do we need it? Why is it so important for bone health, especially if you have osteoporosis?
Collagen provides you with the amino acid building blocks necessary to repair old collagen and build new collagen tissue such as bone matrix. Numerous studies have demonstrated the health benefits of supplemental collagen as well as its safety. (4) Everything from smoother, more elastic and better hydrated skin, (5,6) to stronger finger nails (7), faster wound healing, (8) lower inflammation and pain in arthritic joints (9,10), faster healing tendons, (11) and stronger bones, (12) collagen benefits many body structures and biological functions.
And if you have osteoporosis, when it comes to reducing fracture risk, it is important to look not only at bone strength but also at muscle strength. The number one cause of bone fractures is falling. As we age, our muscles weaken and this puts us at a much greater risk for falling. Studies show us that collagen supplementation substantially improves muscle strength especially when used in conjunction with exercise.(13)
These are the benefits we receive from the amino acids derived from the full digestion of collagen. But the importance of taking supplemental collagen goes beyond adding amino acids to our dietary intake. Some collagen products (like OsteoCollagen-Pep) are processed in such a way as to preserve peptide chains that can be absorbed without being broken down completely into amino acids. These peptides are what give us the most benefit from collagen and a benefit that most people, doctors included, do not realize.
Collagen peptides benefit skin, joints and bone by their direct effect on cells via integrin (cell adhesion structures) receptors (14)). By stimulating these receptors collagen peptides can enhance cell signaling, movement, and survival. For example, a study by Barati, et al. (2020) showed that collagen peptides improved skin health by directly stimulating fibroblasts, and also by promoting M2-like macrophages in tissue repair, and through improved oral tolerance and gut health. (15)
Collagen is loaded with argninine and glycine which are necessary for the manufacturing of creatine for muscle growth. As we age, we experience a substantial decline in muscle mass which is associated with increased risk for falling and sustaining a bone fracture. Supplementing with collagen in combination with restistance training exercise was shown to significantly improve muscle strength. (16)
In another study of 77 premenopausal women, supplementing with specific collagen peptides for 12 weeks in conjunction with resistance training showed significantly higher hand grip strength, more muscle mass and less fat mass than in women who did not take the collagen. (17)
Collagen peptide supplementation also improves bone mineral density. In a study of 131 postmenopausal women, (18) bone formation markers improved as did bone density. Increased number and thickness of trabeculae, and a decrease in osteoclast activation was demonstrated in another study using rats supplemented with collagen.(19) And in a third study, supplemental collagen with calcium was shown to improve bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. (20)
At OsteoNaturals we offer a unique form of type 1 collagen. Our OsteoCollagen-Pep™ is specifically processed to preserve repeat glycine, proline, hydroxyproline polypeptide chains (Bioactive Collagen Peptides) for added skeletal benefit. OsteoCollagen-Pep™
is different than other collagen products as it doesn't just provide amino acids necessary for collagen synthesis, but the specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides® have been clinically shown to promote bone building activity. (21)** Approximately 10% of the Bioactive Collagen Peptides® in OsteoCollagen-Pep™ is absorbed intact and able to bind directly to receptor sites on bone cells. The other 90% is broken down into amino acids providing substrate for building bone.
We have two convenient tub sizes: a small 150 gram, 30 day supply, and a large 450 gram, 90 day tub. You can purchase your OsteoCollagen-Pep™ at our website at www.mccormickdc.com or by calling our office at 413-253-9777
** In a 2017 study of 131 postmenopausal women, just 5 grams a day for one year increased P1NP (a bone formation marker), and improved bone mineral density in the spine by 4% and in the femoral neck by 7%. By providing the basic amino acid building blocks for quality bone formation AND Bioactive Collagen Peptides® that stimulate cells to build bone, OsteoCollagen-Pep™ provides a dynamic one-two-punch that epitomizes OsteoNaturals' slogan: "Where Bone Strength Begins®".*
Regarding the safety of OsteoCollagen-Pep™: Fortibone is FDA approved. The raw material undergoes strict testing that is compliant with all relevant legislation as to the welfare of the animals, farming practices, and processing. All raw materials have been inspected by a licensed veterinarian before and after slaughter.
Fortibone is compliant with FDA 21 CFR parts 211, 226,300, 500, 530, 600, 895, and 1271 and the "Use of materials derived from cattle in medical products intended for use in humans and drugs intended for use in ruminants." Also, FDA 21 CFR parts 189, 700 "Use of materials derived from cattle in human food and cosmetics; and record-keeping requirements for human food and cosmetics manufactured from , processed with, or otherwise containing material from cattle" It also complies with the Japanese Ministry of health, labor and Welfare and its Specifications and Standards for Food and Food Additives under the Food Sanitation Act".
Fortibone has been granted the USA GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe" status by the FDA (SCOGS-Report Number 58). In statements by both the European Commission Scientific Steering Committee and US FDAs Guidance for Industry division they consider this product not at risk with regard to TSEs (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies). GMO and Gluten-Free.
1) Boraschi-Diaz, I., et al., 2017
2) Ohar, et al., 2007
3) Benito-Ruiz, et al., 2009
4) Choi, et al., 2019
5) Schunck et al., 2015
6) Kim, D.U. et al., 2018
7) Hexsel et al., 2017
8) Sugihara, et al, 2018
9) Kumar, S., et al, 2014
10) Garcia-Coronado, et al, 2019
11) Praet, et al., 2019
12) Elam. M.L., et al., 2015
13) Zdzieblik,D., et al., 2015
14) Jikko, A., et al., 1999
15) Barati, et al., 2020
16) Zdzieblik, et al., 2015
17) Jendricke, et al., 2019
18) Konig, et al., 2018
19) N'deh et al., 2020)
20) Elam, M.L. et al., 2015
21) Konig, et al., 2018
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.