Collagen Peptides for Optimized Body Composition

New study results raise hope for millions of elderly people.

Why have hamburger when you can have steak? It’s not exactly what Paul Newman said, but the phrase has become part and parcel of how we express our desire for more, for better, for higher quality. And what if we took that food analogy and applied it to the human body? Why have a pound of fat when you can have a pound of muscle?

All over the world, society is changing. As life expectancies increase and fertility rates decline, the number of people aged 60 and older is growing faster than any other age group in almost every country on Earth. And, without a doubt, the ever-expanding number of elderly people makes the health concerns of an aging population a growing socio-economic issue. Healthy aging is paramount if older people are to remain independent and play a part in family and community life.

Sarcopenia, for example, the age-related loss of lean muscle mass and strength is rarely discussed but represents a huge global problem. Often accompanied by a downward spiral with severe outcomes, it is associated with falls and fractures, reduced mobility, the impaired ability to perform daily activities and, finally, loss of independence.

Several studies have shown that the onset of sarcopenia can be postponed and its progress impeded by regular physical activity and resistance training. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that additional dietary proteins enhance the rate of post-exercise muscle protein synthesis and decrease muscle protein breakdown following resistance training.

Now, for the first time, a study has investigated the effects of collagen peptide supplementation on the body composition of older men suffering from sarcopenia. Using BODYBALANCEbioactive collagen peptides from GELITA (a leading collagen protein expert and a solution provider for health and nutrition issues), a double-blind, placebo-controlled study was done at the Institute of Sports and Sports Science, University of Freiburg, Germany. Researchers examined the effects of collagen peptides on body composition and muscle strength in 60 sarcopenic men aged 65 and older (mean age = 72).

In two groups, the participants took part in a guided program of resistance training on fitness devices; one group received a daily dose of BODYBALANCE™ collagen peptides (15 g), whereas the control group was given a placebo. The results were impressive. Compared with the control group, the collagen-supplemented subjects showed a significant increase in fat-free mass and muscle strength, as well as a statistically significant reduction in fat mass.

Health at Any Age
Beyond healthy aging, pure, natural and non-allergenic BODYBALANCE™ also has applications in body toning and body composition. You’re never too young to turn that pound of hamburger meat (fat) into a pound of lean sirloin steak (muscle)! Providing access to a market with high growth potential, the food industry can use these Bioactive Collagen Peptides® to develop innovative clean-label products such as beverages and shakes, bars, gels and all kinds of instant foods that contribute to healthy nutrition.

Currently, the difference between overall life expectancy and healthy life expectancy is significant. Closing this gap is a task that provides various opportunities for manufacturers of foods, beverages and nutritional supplements to help consumers achieve their goals with scientifically proven ingredients that can be incorporated into a wide variety of everyday products—such as collagen peptides.


Lara Niemann is the Marketing Director-Americas at GELITA.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine Online, 11/16/15


NOTE: The statements presented in this column should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Dietary supplements do not treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before altering your daily dietary regimen. The opinions presented here are those of the writer. WholeFoods Magazine does not endorse any specific company, brand or product.