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Collagen absorption

Collagen absorption is necessary to get oral collagen to the skin. When absorbed, the collagen travels through the bloodstream, helping to replenish collagen levels in the skin. Common forms of collagen generally are too large to be absorbed. A study at Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan, however, found that hydrolyzed collagen can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Researchers at Katsuragi Hospital in Japan noted an improvement in the skin and collagen urine markers in subjects who took Toki® hydrolyzed oral collagen. Another clinical study on Toki in the United States provided results consistent with the Katsuragi Hospital findings.

Absorbable Amino Acids from Hydrolyzed Collagen
A 2005 study conducted at Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan showed that amino acids from oral hydrolyzed collagen are absorbed into the blood stream. Unmodified collagen is too large to for the body to absorb. Hydrolysis cuts molecules into smaller pieces. Hydrolyzed collagen is cut into pieces that are small enough to absorb. TOKI contains hydrolyzed collagen for this reason.

The test subjects fasted for 12 hours before ingesting the collagen so that the starting levels of amino acids in their blood streams would be very low. The researchers tested blood from each subject before administering the oral collagen supplement, and the results verified that hydroxyproline levels were very low. Hydroxyproline is an amino acid that is chemically similar to proline. Hydroxyproline is common in collagen but rare in other proteins, making it a good indicator of the absorption of amino acids from collagen.

The biologists ended the fast by giving the subjects gelatin hydrolysates. A hydrolysate is the remains of a molecule after it has been cut up. Gelatin is the processed matrix of tissues that have high collagen levels. The scientists then tested new blood samples from the subjects. They found that the blood levels of hydroxyproline surged after consuming the gelatin hydrolysates. Between 1 and 2 hours after ingesting the gelatin hydrolysates, the hydroxyproline levels peaked at 20 to 60 nmol/mL of plasma. By 4 hours after digestion, the plasma levels of hydrolysate were half of the maximum levels.

Toki Oral Collagen Improves Skin
Researchers at Katsuragi Hosptial in Japan discovered skin improvements in people who ingested Toki collagen. This was a controlled study, which means that there was an experimental group that received the Toki collagen and a control group that did not receive the supplement. Scientists rely on a control group so that they have a baseline to compare the results in the experimental group to. There are different types of controlled studies. This study was a case controlled study, meaning that each subject in the experimental group was paired with a similar subject in the control group. In this study, the subjects in each pair were the same age. There were 40 subjects in each group.

The results of the study suggest that Toki oral collagen supplement improve skin. The researchers found that basal skin impedance, which increases with age, was significantly reduced among the subjects taking Toki. The data suggests that an oral collagen supplement can make skin resemble the skin of a younger person. The skin of subjects on the oral collagen supplement also looked smoother and moister as a result of the supplement.

Finally, a study involving 58 American women taking Toki oral collagen found improvement in various skin measures, suggesting absorption of the collagen. Those study patients had a large increase in a collagen blood marker after taking Toki.

Research in Japan and the US suggests that certain hydroylyzed oral collagen forms indeed can be absorbed and improve skin. Blood test on subjects who took hydrolyzed gelatin derivatives showed how they are incorporated into the bloodstream. Measurements of skin markers and/or blood markers of patients in two other studies, demonstrated that Toki oral collagen supplement improves skin resistance, fine lines and age spots, again indicating collagen absorption.

1. Identification of Food Derived Collagen Peptides in Human Blood after Oral Ingestion of Gelatin Hydrolysates. PubMed

2. The Effects of Active Absorbable Algal Calcium (AAA Ca) with Collagen and other Matrix Components on Back and Joint Pain and Skin Impedance. PubMed

3. A Clinical Evaluation of the Safety and Efficacy of Dietary Formulation in Improvement of age-related skin changs in women with moderate to severe wrinkling of the periorbital area.
Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association (JANA) (2002) Vol 5,2 : 10-1