Scientific Studies - Skin



Marine Collagen Supports Healthy Skin (Sun Damage), Hair and Nails

Studies have shown that oral consumption of marine collagen may help reverse some of the effects of factors known to damage the condition of the skin and have shown positive results in improving epidermal thickness.

In one such study (1991), Lassus et al treated 10 female subjects in an open trial of 500 mg/day of marine collagen protein for 90 days. At the completion of this trial, not only had signs of sun damage improved in the study participants, but the brittleness of hair and nails was also normalized. In a second double blind study 30 females in the same age range and with similar signs of sun damage were treated with 500 mg/day or placebo for 90 days. No changes were reported in the placebo group, nor any adverse effects reported within the treated group.

Lassus A, Jeskanen L, Happonen HP, Santalahti J (1991) Treatment of degenerated skin in females. Dept of Dermatology, University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Findland. Journal International Medical; Research (2): 147 – 52


Marine Collagen Supports Healthy Skin

In another study by Eskelinin et al (1992) demonstrated in a double blind placebo controlled trial with female subjects aged from 40 – 60 years that epidermal thickening from 0.11mm to 0.29mm and dermal thickening from 0.74 mm to 1.39 mm could be achieved after a treatment of 500mg /day of marine protein over 90 days. Skin elasticity also increased from 43% to 73%.

This research has been able to quantify, using VAS (Visual Analogue Scales) and 3-D micro topography that the oral use of marine collagen based formulations can reduce the effects of photo aging that leads to blemishes, loss of elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles.

Eskelinin, A. and Santalahti, J. (1992) Natural marine polysaccharides for the treatment of sun-damaged skin in females. Department of Dermatological Research, ARS – Medicina, Helsinki, Findland. Journal International Medical Research: 20 (3) 227 - 33


Skin Elasticity and Aging

Oral supplementation of collagen has beneficial effects… the objective of this research was to study the effectiveness of collagen hydrolysate (CH) composed of specific collagen peptides on skin biophysical parameters related to cutaneous aging. At the end of the study, skin elasticity in both CH dosage groups showed a statistically significant improvement in skin. After 4 weeks’ higher skin elasticity level was determined in women.

Proksch, E. Segger, D. Degwert, J. Schunck, M. Zague, V. and Oesser (2014) Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: A Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014; 27:47:47 – 55 (DOI 10.1159/000351376)


Improvements in Skin Thickness, Wrinkles and Skin Tone.

This study showed that orally administered fish supplementation can be helpful in improving the treatment of ageing skin. A total of 30 healthy women with signs of ageing were studied. Of which 15 women were in the treatment group with a food supplement based on marine polysacchardies derived from fish and a natural mix of antioxidants for 2 months and the other 15 with a placebo. Clinical evaluation and biophysical parameters related to skin function and wrinkle severity, such as silicon replica, skin thickness, mechanical properties, colour and capacitance were measured. The results showed statistically significant changes in the active treated group comparison to placebo. In particular, dermal thickness, skin wrinkling, skin colour (treatment: brighter and less pigmented) and viscoelasticity showed significant improvement. Most of these parameters are related to the changes occurring within the dermal matrix, which improved after treatment, whereas most of the topically applied cosmetic products have a short term effect on superficial structures.

Distante F, Scalise F, Rona C, Bonfigli A, Fluhr J.W, Berardesca E (2002) Oral fish polysaccharides in the treatment of photo aging: Biophysical findings. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Vol 24 Page 81.


Improvements in Sun Damaged Skin

In this pilot study volunteers (5 females and 1 male) with mean age 44.5 years were exposed to periods of excessive sunlight over a maximum of 20 years. Each patient received 500mg/day of marine collagen protein supplement, which was taken orally for 90 days. At base line and 90 days the subjects were clinically examined and each face was documented by photography. These were examined by an experienced cosmetologist and skin thickness measured by Dermascan. Photographs revealed a decrease in superficial wrinkles around the eyes and a reduction in brown mottling and skin coloration. Measurements of skin thickness and elasticity showed dermal thickness increases with overall increase in mean value of 83.3%. Epidermal thickness and elasticity were variable. Patient diary records showed observations of smoother and softer skin and wrinkle decreases. Hair growth was noticed by one female patient and the male subject reported scalp hair regrowth. Hair was reported as being stronger and less fine.

Heule F (1992) An oral approach to the treatment of photo damaged skin: A Pilot Study. The Journal of International Medical Research Volume 22: 273 – 278. Department of Dermatology and Venereology. Academic Hospital Rotterdam – Dijkzigt, Rotterdam, Netherlands.


Anti – Ageing Benefits

The effect of daily ingestion of collagen hydrolysate (CH) on skin extracellular matrix proteins was investigated. These results suggest that CH may reduce aging-related changes of the extracellular matrix by stimulating anabolic processes in skin tissue.

Zague V, de Freitas V, da Costa Rosa M, de Castro GÁ, Jaeger RG, Machado-Santelli GM. (2011) Collagen hydrolysate intake increases skin collagen expression and suppresses matrix metalloproteinase 2 activity. Jun;14(6):618-24. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.0085. Epub 2011 Apr 11.


Benefits Sun Damaged Skin

The effects of daily ingestion of collagen peptide on the skin damage induced by repeated UV –B irradiation was examined. Ingestion of collagen suppressed UV – B induced decreases in skin hydration, hyperplasia of the epidermis, and decreases in soluble type I collagen. These results suggest that collagen peptide is beneficial as a dietary supplement to suppress UV –B induced skin damage and photo aging.

Tanaka, M. Koyama, Y. and Nomura Y. (2009) Effects of collagen peptide ingestion on UV-B-induced skin damage. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. Apr 23;73(4):930-2. Epub 2009 Apr 7.


Improvement in Skin Hydration

After a 6-week trial of ingestion of fish collagen, subjects positively responded in expectantly high rates. Significantly higher water content on the skin surface was observed on the group that consumed 5 and 10 g of collagen per day. In this study, women aged 40 and 54 years old were recruited.

Matsumoto, H. Ohara, H. Itoh, K. Nakamura, Y. and Takahashi, S. (2006) Clinical effect of fish type I collagen hydrolysate on skin properties. ITE Lett. 7. 386 - 390


Improves Skin Condition and Hydration

Episodes suggesting that ingestion of the collagen peptide would improve subjective skin conditions are widely prevalent in Japan. Trials using placebo control have revealed that daily ingestion of collagen peptides increases skin surface water content by up to 91% and improves skin condition.

Ohara, H. Ito, K. Iida, H. and Matsumoto, H. (2009). Improvement in the moisture content of the stratum corneum following 4 weeks of collagen hydrolysate ingestion. Nippon Shokuhin Kogaku 56. 137 -145


Skin Healing

Results from the trial suggest that ingestion of collagen peptide might enhance the healing process of the damaged extracellular matrix by enhancing synthesis of extracellular matrix components or growth of the cells, which are responsible for the synthesis of extracellular matrix components.

Koyama, Y. Hirota, A. Mori, H. Takahara, H. Kuwaba, K. Kusubata, M. Matsubara, Y. Kasugai, S. Itoh, M. and Irie, S. (2001) Ingestion of gelatin has differential effect on bone mineral density and body weight in protein undernutrition. J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. (Tokyo) 47, 84 - 86


Skin Healing and Improvement in Inflammation

Ingested collagen plays a significant role wound healing and inflammation. Collagen peptides enhance wound healing by stimulating the migration of fibroblasts and other cells to the injured tissues.

Martin, P. and Leibovich, S, J. (2005) Inflammatory cells during wound repair: The good, the bad and the ugly. Trends Cell Biol. 15, 599 - 607


Healing of Sun Damaged Skin

Studies clearly indicate that fibroblasts on skin start to grow responding to collagen intake. On the basis of these results – it is proposed a hypothesis-ingested collagen can consequently enhance wound healing in damaged tissues. This hypothesis explains the improvement of sun damaged skin.

Ohara, H. Ichikawa, S. Matsumoto, H. Akiyama, M. Fujimoto, N. Kobayashi, T. and Tajima, S. (2010) Collagen –derived dipeptide, proline-hydroxyproline, stimulates cell proliferation and hyaluronic acid synthesis in cultured human dermal fibroblasts. J. Dermatol. 37, 330 – 338.


Skin Protection

Marine Collagen, especially fish collagen, is the major component of the extracellular matrix and is useful for mechanical protection of tissues, organism and physiological regulation of a cellular environment.

Kielty, C. M. Hoplinson, I. and Grant, M. E (1993) Part I:connective tissue and its heritable disorder, eds. P. M Royce and B. Steinmann, 103 – 147. New York: Wiley – Liss.


Improvement of Wrinkles

Low molecular weight collagen can be generally used to mask wrinkles. These products do not penetrate deep through the skin barrier, but they present a surface effect after a short period of time. They retain water and decrease the loss of moisture from the skin surface following deposition of a film hindering water evaporation and minimizing the aspect of fine wrinkling.

Rawlings, A. V. Cansestrari, D. a and Dobkowski, B. (2004). Moisturizer technology versus clinical performance. Dermatol. Ther. 17: 49 – 56