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Hydrolyzed Collagen for Weight Loss

by
author image Jennifer Byrne
Jennifer Byrne is a freelance writer and editor specializing in topics related to health care, fitness, science and more. She attended Rutgers University. Her writing has been published by KidsHealth.org, DietBlogTalk.com, Primary Care Optometry News, and EyeWorld Magazine. She was awarded the Gold Award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE), 2007, and the Apex Award for Publication Excellence.
Hydrolyzed Collagen for Weight Loss
Unlike more common delivery methods, collagen weight loss products are usually consumed in liquid form. Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Collagen hydrosylate, or hydrolyzed collagen, is a form of collagen that you may have encountered as an ingredient in gelatin, medicine capsules and other foods. Collagen is a protein derived from the bones and cartilage of certain animals. According to Brigham and Women's Hospital, hydrolyzed collagen is created by defatting a bone, pulverizing or grinding it, soaking it in hydrochloric acid and then in sodium hydroxide, and dehydrating it. The powder that remains from this process can be used to make gelatin. Hydrolyzed collagen has become a prominent ingredient in some weight loss products. Consult your doctor before taking this or any diet product.

History

Collagen has been used in making gelatin and for several other culinary uses for more than 100 years, Brigham and Women's Hospital reports. The first commercial gelatin product in the United States was Knox gelatin, which was introduced in the 1800s. Products like Jell-O, which came to the market a few years later, also use hydrolyzed collagen and it continues to be used in a variety of food products today.

Weight Loss and Muscle

Hydrolyzed collagen is used in some types of weight loss products, particularly those that come in beverage form and are said to work "while you sleep." According to Brigham and Women's Hospital, hydrolzed collagen is also thought to relieve joint pain associated with arthritis. In addition, some marketers of collagen weight loss products claim that it can increase lean muscle mass and promote fat burning. Brigham and Women's hospital notes that this claim has not been scientifically proven.

Study

According to one study cited on the "Nutrition Advisor" website, a hydrolyzed collagen product showed efficacy in reducing the weight of 50 overweight people. According to the study, which was led by Joel B. Lao of the Essentially Yours Industries Corp. Office of Product Research, found that one daily tablespoon of a collagen hydrosolate product produced an average weight loss of 10 pounds within three months. The dieters were not required to exercise. It is noteworthy that Essentially Yours Industries Corp., which sponsored the study, is also the manufacturer of the collagen product used. Further studies are necessary to confirm these results.

Exercise

Although hydrolyzed collagen weight loss products often claim to increase lean muscle, the aforementioned study did not encourage exercise. Exercise is essential to building muscle. While collagen may have the ability to strengthen connective tissue in the body, there is no evidence that ingesting collagen can promote muscle building. Talk to your doctor about the best way to increase your lean muscle.

Considerations

Because hydrolyzed collagen is made from either bovine or marine bone or cartilage, a collagen weight loss product is not appropriate for those on a vegetarian diet or who are allergic to shellfish. Moreover, there have been concerns about the safety of some bovine collagen-derived products in light of livestock illnesses, such as Mad Cow Disease.

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