People have agonized over choosing the best form of collagen hydrolysate products to promote smoother skin with thicker dermal collagen, as different sources—e.g., fish vs. bovine—may yield different relative quantities of various peptide fragments when collagen is hydrolyzed, i.e., when the structural tissue of skin, joints, and tendons have been broken down by processing. Because there are nearly 30 different forms of collagen in the human body, manufacturers and retailers of various collagen products often make claims that intake of specific forms of collagen have varying health benefits.
But THE MOST powerful way to increase dermal collagen that has potential to reduce skin wrinkles, as well as accelerate healing, is not a collagen product at all, but the oxytocin-boosting effect of our L. reuteri yogurt. We know from experimental models, followed by confirmation in human studies, that L. reuteri supplementation provokes a several-fold rise in oxytocin levels that accelerates skin healing. In experimental models, collagen deposition in the dermis is increased 10- 20-fold—an explosive increase in dermal collagen, the effect that yields smoother skin and reduction of wrinkles. Collagen hydrolysates, in all its forms, have been shown to increase collagen deposition about 10%—yes, a rise, but modest in comparison to the potential for collagen deposition stimulated by oxytocin via restoration of L. reuteri.
Collagen products, i.e., collagen hydrolysates, as well as gelatin, have indeed been shown to improve skin wrinkles, deposition of dermal collagen, and increase collagen deposition. Despite the many over-the-top claims made by nutritional supplement manufacturers about the relative effectiveness of one type of collagen over another, there is no science to back up these claims. Some manufacturers claim, for instance, that including a variety of collagen forms, such as type III, IV, or X, enhances the effectiveness of a product—this is unproven. Just because there are nearly 30 different structural forms of collagen in the human body absolutely does not mean that you need to take in 30 different forms of collagen in your diet or as a supplement. In fact, I predict that NO differences will be found among any collagen or even gelatin product, as they all share the effective di-peptides yielded upon partial digestion, such as proline-hydroxyproline and hydroxyproline-glycine, as well as the tri-peptide, proline-hydroxyproline-glycine. In other words, it is likely not the form of collagen that you take in that matters, but the content of these di- and try-peptide fragments that are found in all collagen hydrolysate products and are likely yielded when gelatin is broken down by human digestion.
L. reuteri and oxytocin: huge effects on collagen deposition. Collagen hydrolysates from any source or gelatin: modest effect on collagen deposition.
What happens when you combine the two? This has not been formally examined, but I believe it would be reasonable to predict that a synergistic effect may result. And, of course, both strategies are benign with no downsides yet identified. L. reuteri, in particular, also brings other benefits such as preservation of bone density, restoration of muscle mass and strength, suppression of appetite, and restoration of feelings of empathy.
If you desire the skin health benefits of collagen, learn how to make L. reuteri yogurt using my unique method of amplifying bacterial counts via extended fermentation with the addition of prebiotic fibers. Then, optionally, add collagen hydrolysates or gelatin and don’t waste time agonizing over the form.