Enjoying active lifestyles and wishing to maintain mobility into their senior years, more and more consumers are becoming aware of joint and bone health starting from an early age. Sports people in particular often feel the strain on their joints and with aging populations growing worldwide, an opportunity exists for dietary supplement manufacturers to tap into this market and offer products that appeal to current consumer demand.

Collagen peptides: 2nd generation joint health ingredients

Glucosamine and chondroitin have been traditionally known on the market as active ingredients for joint health. However there is a growing demand for second generation ingredients, lead by collagen peptides. According to data collected by SPINS, sales of collagen products increased by 76.3% in 2016 to reach more than $8 million.

The efficacy of collagen peptides in supporting joint health is supported by an extensive body of scientific studies. Safe and natural, collagen peptides are the body’s own building blocks for cartilage, and an ideal ingredient to target not only on older consumers but also those who frequently engage in repetitive sports such as running or cycling. Peptan collagen peptides offer unique and well demonstrated benefits and are increasingly used as the key active ingredient in successful joint health product formulations. 

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Joint health

Collagen is the key structural component of cartilage tissue and maintaining sufficient levels is essential to maintain healthy and flexible joints. The efficacy of Peptan collagen peptides and the mechanism behind its ability to support and improve joint function and joint comfort is backed by scientific studies.

Maintaining healthy joints

In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial1, 94 women aged 40-70 with knee joint problems (osteoarthritis classification: 0-III) received 8g of Peptan or placebo daily for a period of 6 months. 

  • The WOMAC score is the international standard method for assessing joint health clinically in patients
  • Peptan treatment resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the WOMAC score by a -22% linked to a 32% decrease in joint pain and 44% improvement of stiffness (subscale scores).

Improving joint function

The same study also sought to discover whether Peptan could improve knee joint function in the same group of women.

  • The Lysholm score is linked to improved knee movement in everyday activities,
  • Peptan treatment resulted in a statistically significant increase of the Lysholm score by 7% which demonstrates the improvements over time.    


Stimulating chondrocytes (cartilage cells)

In an in vitro study2, primary cartilage cells (chondrocytes) were cultured in the presence of different concentrations of Peptan for 8 days to demonstrate Peptan’s ability to induce the production of the key cartilage components, aggrecan and type 2 collagen, which make up joint tissue.

  • Peptan treatment clearly stimulated the expression of aggrecan and type 2 collagen by the joint cells.

Cartilage-regenerative and anti-inflammatory effects of Peptan

A new in vivo study3 confirms Peptan's role in supporting joint health, providing scientific documentation of the mechanisms behind cartilage regeneration and joint inflammation reduction. Peptan is:

  • Cartilage-regenerative 
    it preserves cartilage area during osteoarthritis development
  • Chondro-regenerative 
    it stimulates chondrocyte proliferation (increased number) and stimulates proteoglycan synthesis.
  • Anti-inflammatory 
    it normalizes synovial thickness and reduces production of the inflammatory marker TNF.

Find out more details about this study

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Bone health

Bones are living tissues which undergo remodeling, a process which is important to maintain balance to ensure healthy bone mass density and avoid fractures throughout our lives. Collagen provides the organic framework in bones on which minerals are deposited and also contribute to bone flexibility and strength.

Calcium, vitamin D and protein are the key bone health nutrients. Collagen is essential for improving bone flexibility, which helps bones absorb impact. As a pure protein, Peptan collagen peptides work together with calcium and vitamin to support bone health.

In a survey conducted by the US Council for Responsible Nutrition in the US, it was found that 29% of respondents take supplements to improve their bone health, 36% of those were over the age of 55. Younger audiences are also looking to protect their bones preventatively, the survey reported that 17% of those who replied were aged between 18 and 34, and 31% were between 35 and 54.

Supplements with collagen peptides can strengthen bones as documented in multiple in vitro, in vivo and clinical trials4,5,6,7. Peptan Research has shown that collagen peptides can stimulate the endogenous production of collagen in bone tissue, triggering osteoblasts (bone formation cells) and increasing bone size and firmness.

Improving bone strength

The same study as above also investigated the microarchitecture and strength of the bones and demonstrated the following:

  • Peptan treatment increases ultimate bone strength compared to the control group. 

Stimulating osteoblasts (bone cells)

The mechanisms behind Peptan’s bone health benefits are well known. As an example, Peptan was compared to a control protein in the in vitro study4, referred to below, primary bone cells were cultured in the presence of Peptan for 2 weeks.

  • Peptan treatment promoted the formation of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) and stimulated their activity. In contrast, the presence of bone-resorbing cells (osteoclasts) was suppressed. The control protein (BSA) did not show the same effect.

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