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J Med Food. 2010 Dec;13(6):1385-90. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0256. Epub 2010 Sep 27.

A food supplement of hydrolyzed collagen improves compositional and biodynamic characteristics of vertebrae in ovariectomized rats.

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  • 1University of Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.


Collagen hydrolysates (CHs) are mixtures of peptides obtained by partial hydrolysis of gelatins that are receiving scientific attention as potential oral supplements for the recovery of osteoarticular tissues. The effect of supplementing the diets with a CH was assessed in 48 ovariectomized rats by analyzing the compositional and biomechanical characteristics of the bone. Six groups of rats (three ovariectomized, one sham-operated, and two intact) were fed a standard diet, supplemented with either CH or gelatin (Control), at two levels: a dose equivalent to five times the amount suggested for humans (10 g/day) or another 10 times greater. After 8 weeks, the femora and vertebrae were excised, the blood was collected, and serum alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin were determined. Bone weight, total protein, and biomechanical strength were also determined. The vertebrae of the ovariectomized group that received the higher dosage of CH withstood a load four times greater and exhibited higher levels of protein and osteocalcin content than those receiving either gelatin or no supplement. CH supplementation at the higher level in the ovariectomized rat had an unequivocal contribution in the conservation or preservation of vertebral mass, protein content, and mechanical strength not seen when gelatin was used as a supplement. Similar treatment of the intact rat with the CH, however, appeared to have the opposite effect.

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