12, 2019
5 min

Findings from cell experiments and in vivo studies in rodents have enhanced our knowledge about how collagen peptides may contribute to a normal bone formation and an increase in bone mineral density if there is a lack in bone mass. First, it has been shown that collagen peptides are rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, collagen peptides are largely absorbed in peptide form and may act as signaling molecules, thereby positively influencing anabolic processes. For connective tissue, in particular, this stimulating effect has previously been demonstrated. Therefore it may be assumed that the stimulation of collagen formation in bone could also be mediated via signaling proteins derived from collagen peptides.

Furthermore, a growing amount of scientific data suggests that collagen peptides can play a key role as part of a whole diet approach to promoting health, increasing longevity and reducing the risks of a wide range of age-related conditions, including osteoporosis. Now, a new study[1] shows that supplementation with the specific collagen peptides in GELITA’s FORTIBONE® can support bone health by increasing bone mineral density.

Researchers recently investigated the long-term effects of specific collagen peptide supplementation on bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women. A total of 102 participants with age-related decline in bone mineral density (a DXA T-score of -1 or lower) and a mean age of 63 years received a daily dose of 5 g of specific collagen peptides (FORTIBONE®) or maltodextrin as a placebo for 12 months.

The primary endpoint of the study was defined by comparing BMD differences in the spine (L1–L4) between both study groups. The second primary outcome was defined by changes in the BMD of the femoral neck. Both BMDs were measured before and after the 12-month study period using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Also, changes in bone metabolism were evaluated using bone biomarkers: the amino-terminal propeptide (P1NP) and C-telopeptide (CTX1) of type I collagen. P1NP was assessed as an indicator of bone formation, whereas CTX1 was measured as marker for bone resorption. Bone turnover was calculated by comparing the number of biomarkers in the plasma samples at the end of the study.

The results of this study indicated an anabolic effect, showing a pronounced increase in bone mineral density after FORTIBONE® supplementation. In the femoral neck, the BMD increased by 6.7%, whereas, in the spine, results showed an increase of 3% at the end of the treatment phase. In the same period, bone density in the placebo group decreased by 1.3% in the spine and 1% in the femoral neck. Hence, at the end of the study, subjects in the collagen peptides group showed significantly increased BMD compared with the placebo — with a 4.2% higher BMD in the spine and a 7.7% higher BMD in the femoral neck.

Blood samples were analyzed to evaluate the biomarkers for bone formation and degradation. At baseline, P1NP and CTX 1 levels were similar between both treatment groups. During the course of the study, P1NP significantly increased in the FORTIBONE® group, indicating an escalation of bone formation. In contrast, in the placebo group, no changes in P1NP concentration were determined, whereas the bone degradation marker CTX 1 increased significantly. In the participants that were treated with collagen peptides, no changes in bone degradation markers could be determined. Hence, this new data shows  the potential of FORTIBONE® as an interesting option to counteract bone degeneration and support bone health.

In addition to their scientifically proven efficiency, the collagen peptides in FORTIBONE® also have excellent safety profiles. They are well tolerated and no adverse reactions have been reported. Additionally, there are no known interactions with drugs or other ingredients. As FORTIBONE® comprises various short-chain linear peptides, its allergenic potential is extremely low. With its demonstrated clinical effects and the strong safety profile compared to existing treatment options like bisphosphonates, FORTIBONE® should be on the recommendation list of medical doctors and physicians involved in the treatment of osteoporosis.

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[1] König et al. (2018): Specific Collagen Peptides Improve Bone Mineral Density and Bone Markers in postmenopausal Women—A Randomized Controlled Study. In: Nutrients 2018, 10, 97; doi:10.3390/nu10010097