Author Topic: Benefits to supplementing collagen?  (Read 569 times)

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Offline God Bomb

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Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« on: June 20, 2019, 02:44:30 AM »
I always thought collagen was just cheap junk protein made from ground up hooves and horns that they used as filler in protein powders or put in skin creams marketed at women.  Since it doesn't contain any essential aminos, I figured it wasn't worth supplementing and the body can simply synthesize as much as it needs as long as you're in a nitrogen surplus.

But when I was looking for something authoritative to back me up, I found a lot of sites that said the science is in its infancy and it may offer benefits. The negatives are that there are risks associated with heavy metals and prion diseases from ground up spinal chords etc.  i didn't find any sources saying it was a complete waste of time and money.

Anyone done a deeper dive on this?
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2019, 05:20:48 AM »
I like to make bone broth from cattle marrow bones.  Quite a tasty way to supplement collagen.  My favourite bones are the large "toe" bones that connect the hoof to the tib/fib and radius/ulnar.  The collagen resides in articulated bits, I read.  I just slice them to size (exposes the marrow), plop them into the slow cooker, cover with water, add a tablespoon of cider vinegar and a tablespoon of nice salt and simmer for 48hours.  I do this in the machine shed as there is a strong, but lovely, odour.  There is a bit of separating, cooling and fat removal.  You know you have done well extracting collagen if it sets to gel when cooled.  Never fails. Totally yummy, IMHO and full of micronutrients.  It's a recovery recipe for the Lakers.

Mind you, I have drunk the Kool Aid when it comes to home made supplements and ferments.

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Online 2397

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2019, 09:41:52 AM »
The general advice on supplements is to get your levels checked to see if you need them. You can't do that with collagen, but it's probably still more effective for most people to figure out how to have a good diet than to backfill with supplements.

Regular exercise also helps, if not to produce more collagen, then to counteract the lack of it. Maybe go to a physical therapist.

Online Harry Black

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2019, 12:35:18 PM »
Why would one want more collagen?

Is it bioavailable via ingestion or is it created internally?

Online CarbShark

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 02:50:56 PM »
Why would one want more collagen?

Is it bioavailable via ingestion or is it created internally?


Both.



Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides. - PubMed - NCBI




A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, clinical study on the effectiveness of collagen peptide on osteoarthritis. - PubMed - NCBI



Basically if you have joint pain, especially arthritis or knee issues, it can be effective. The evidence for other uses is not clear.

Also, there's an improvement in nails and hair.

The thinking is that those are simply the most visible of the body parts that use collagen, and if it helps them it might help be helping the rest.

and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Online bachfiend

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 06:58:14 PM »
Why would one want more collagen?

Is it bioavailable via ingestion or is it created internally?


Both.



Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides. - PubMed - NCBI




A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, clinical study on the effectiveness of collagen peptide on osteoarthritis. - PubMed - NCBI



Basically if you have joint pain, especially arthritis or knee issues, it can be effective. The evidence for other uses is not clear.

Also, there's an improvement in nails and hair.

The thinking is that those are simply the most visible of the body parts that use collagen, and if it helps them it might help be helping the rest.

Well, they’re short term studies.  The first one uses subjective reporting of reduced pain (which is subject to the placebo effect) and increased range of movement (which also could be subject to the placebo effect too) in athletes, with barely significant p-values (and p-values are virtually obsolete in assessing trials nowadays, Bayesian analysis nowadays is the gold standard).

Not only am I sceptical that ingested collagen or collagen fragments reach there intended targets, I wonder if it could be dangerous.  Obviously they’re giving foreign collagen, from non-human species, which will differ from human collagen, but they’re also antigenic altering it.  Could the subjects develop an immune reaction to the foreign collagen, which then cross reacts with the native collagen causing an autoimmune collagen disorder in future years or decades?

So not only do I think that it’s useless and a waste of money, I also think that there is a theoretical long term risk.
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Offline jt512

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2019, 06:24:07 PM »
Why would one want more collagen?

Is it bioavailable via ingestion or is it created internally?


Both.



Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides. - PubMed - NCBI




A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, clinical study on the effectiveness of collagen peptide on osteoarthritis. - PubMed - NCBI



Basically if you have joint pain, especially arthritis or knee issues, it can be effective.


From just reading the abstracts (which I admit is not suffiicent to draw reliable conclusions), I doubt that either of those studies show good evidence of effectiveness.  The first study used an inappropriate statistical test.  The second appears to have used a correct test, but the results are barely significant, and the p-values are in a range where we often see p-hacked results. 
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2019, 08:07:08 PM »
Why would one want more collagen?

Is it bioavailable via ingestion or is it created internally?


Both.



Improvement of activity-related knee joint discomfort following supplementation of specific collagen peptides. - PubMed - NCBI




A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, clinical study on the effectiveness of collagen peptide on osteoarthritis. - PubMed - NCBI



Basically if you have joint pain, especially arthritis or knee issues, it can be effective.


From just reading the abstracts (which I admit is not suffiicent to draw reliable conclusions), I doubt that either of those studies show good evidence of effectiveness.  The first study used an inappropriate statistical test.  The second appears to have used a correct test, but the results are barely significant, and the p-values are in a range where we often see p-hacked results.

Agreed.  I haven’t done (nor do I have the expertise) a Bayesian analysis, but I would guess that the prior probability that collagen is effective is one in a million.  These two studies with their barely significant p-values might increase the probability slightly, but not significantly. 

CarbShark and his short term studies.  There’s no information in any of them regarding long term results.  He finds studies which seem to him to show short term benefits, and extrapolates to long term results.
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2019, 12:02:45 AM »
Enough people with mild osteoarthritis get relief (with pain and mobility) that it gets a thumbs up from me. Collagen from beef, lamb or pigs has been tested for safety for millennia and is GRAS.  Modern pharmaceuticals are not without side effects (some serious) and are generally not all that effective for this.

Good enough for Kobe Bryan.
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Online bachfiend

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2019, 12:59:11 AM »
Enough people with mild osteoarthritis get relief (with pain and mobility) that it gets a thumbs up from me. Collagen from beef, lamb or pigs has been tested for safety for millennia and is GRAS.  Modern pharmaceuticals are not without side effects (some serious) and are generally not all that effective for this.

Good enough for Kobe Bryan.

It’s a load of crap.  Human collagen is synthesised one amino acid at a time.  Even if bone broth contains fragments of beef, lamb or pig collagen, it’s not going be a starter for human collagen in tendons or joints.  It’s not going to attach to the mRNA as a primer for further amino acids to be added to form a complete collagen molecule.  And the complete collagen molecule is far too large to be absorbed.

It’s nothing more than the placebo effect and hopeful thinking.

It’s only good enough for the weak minded and naive.

And you could get the same effect, or rather lack of effect, more cheaply and conveniently, by consuming gelatine:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatine
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 01:22:29 AM by bachfiend »
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2019, 02:52:43 AM »
"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2019, 11:47:03 AM »
Supplements generally are unnecessary and a waste of money. Making soup from animals parts that would otherwise go to waste is very different from buying processed supplements at a store that specializes in scamming people with unverified health claims. Especially if you like the taste of the soup.
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2019, 08:15:09 AM »
It seems that a carefully-worded Google search of PubMed can turn up studies to support just about any conclusion.

That may be enough to convince non-experts and biased readers already inclined to believe the claim, but to reliably verify the accuracy of these studies you really need to consult an educated professional.

Online Harry Black

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2019, 02:56:20 PM »
It seems that a carefully-worded Google search of PubMed can turn up studies to support just about any conclusion.

That may be enough to convince non-experts and biased readers already inclined to believe the claim, but to reliably verify the accuracy of these studies you really need to consult an educated professional.
If only we had one in this very thread....

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Benefits to supplementing collagen?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2019, 05:06:04 AM »
It seems that a carefully-worded Google search of PubMed can turn up studies to support just about any conclusion.

That may be enough to convince non-experts and biased readers already inclined to believe the claim, but to reliably verify the accuracy of these studies you really need to consult an educated professional.
If only we had one in this very thread....

Dr Cate Shanahan "Deep Nutrition" maybe.  But that's probably just clinical anecdote.
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