Collagen and Immunity Connection – Deep Dive #2
In this second part of our new blog series on collagen-rich tissues and immunity, we continue to delve deep into the mechanisms behind our new IMMUPEPT™ range. This time, we take a closer look at its effects on our body’s extracellular matrix (ECM), the connection between the ECM and the immune system, and the role of specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides (BCP®s).
The Extracellular Matrix
The ECM is the part of the connective tissue that lies between the cells in the so-called intercellular space, and holds them together. Only a few years ago, the main components of the ECM were thought to function solely as "glue" (collagen). But it is now known that there is actually a reciprocal influence between the cells and the ECM. The matrix has many functions in the body, as it is responsible for shaping tissues and organs (Deutzmann et al., 2014), as well as maintaining the stability of bones, tendons and ligaments (Kühn K., 2003). The ECM is a three-dimensional environment created by connective tissue cells, in which most immune cells operate. The ECM is abundant not only in collagen fibres, but also several other functional proteins, and is recognised as being an active partner in coordinating the different parts of the immune response (Frevert et al., 2018).
Collagen as the main component of the extracellular matrix
So how can collagen peptides support the ECM and help keep the immune system intact? With IMMUPEPT™, we have developed a solution that contains specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides. The selected peptides support the metabolism of the cells in the connective tissue that produce structural and functional extracellular matrix components, in particular the fibroblasts. Our fibroblast-specific BCPâs optimally regulate fibroblast cell metabolism, stimulating the biosynthesis of several ECM proteins involved in the immune response, including collagen. Collagen Type I, the main structural protein in the body, also has an immune regulatory role, acting to downregulate inflammation. In a study by Proksch et al. 2014, it was shown that after 8 weeks of daily supplementation with 2.5 g of fibroblast-specific BCPâs, procollagen type I (65%), a marker for collagen formation, increased significantly in a group of 114 women aged between 45-65.
With our IMMUPEPT™ products, we are providing manufacturers with new solutions to meet the increasing demand for immune-enhancing products. A wide variety of functional foods can be enriched with IMMUPEPT™ without compromising on taste, smell and mouthfeel. Bioactive Collagen Peptides are also free of allergens and 100 per cent natural.
Curious to learn more? Look out for the third episode of our blog series on collagen and immunity, which will be out in August. In it, we’ll take a closer look at bone marrow, the link to collagen and its role in immune health. For expert advice and personal support, contact us today.
1. Deutzmann R., Bruckner P. (2014) Extrazelluläre Matrix – Struktur und Funktion. In: Heinrich P., Müller M., Graeve L. (eds) Löffler/Petrides Biochemie und Pathobiochemie. Springer-Lehrbuch. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-17972-3_71
2. Kühn K. (2003) Die Komponenten der extrazellulären Matrix, ihre Struktur und Funktion. In: Ganten D., Ruckpaul K., Gay S., Kalden J.R. (eds) Molekularmedizinische Grundlagen von rheumatischen Erkrankungen. Molekulare Medizin. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-55803-0_3
3. Proksch, E. (2014). Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24401291/
4. SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class research journals. (2018). SAGE Journals. https://journals.sagepub.com/action/cookieAbsent