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Collagen Absorption: Which Ones Work

Collagen absorption is necessary to get oral collagen to the skin. Collagen absorption takes place in the digestive system after the collagen is digested. A study at Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan suggests that oral collagen is absorbed into the bloodstream. After collagen absorption, the collagen travels through the bloodstream to the skin where it improves the skin. Researchers at Katsuragi Hospital in Japan documented the improvements in the skin of subjects who took an oral collagen supplement.

Amino Acids from Oral Collagen Gets Absorbed into the Blood Stream

 A 2005 study conducted at Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan showed that amino acids from oral hydrolyzed collagen can be absorbed into the blood stream. Unmodified collagen may be too large to for the body to absorb.. Hydrolyzed collagen is cut into pieces that are small enough to absorb. TOKI contains hydrolyzed collagen for this reason.

 In the Kyoto Perfectural University study, test subjects fasted for 12 hours before ingesting collagen. As such, the starting levels of amino acids in their blood streams vere 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 useful 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.


Oral Collagen Improves Skin

Researchers at Katsuragi Hosptial in Japan discovered skin improvements in people who took collagen supplements with active absorbable algal calcium (ie. Toki®).  This was a controlled study, which means that there was an experimental group that received the oral collagen supplement 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 had the same age. There were 40 subjects in each group.


The results of the study suggest that Toki oral collagen from LaneLabs improves skin. The researchers found that basal skin impedance, which increases with age, was significantly reduced among the subjects taking the supplement. 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.*


Research in Japan suggests that oral collagen is absorbed and does improve skin. Blood test on subjects who took gelatin derivatives showed how they are incorporated into the bloodstream. Measurements of the skin of subjects in another study demonstrated how an oral collagen absorption helps to mprove skin.

Evidence for Collagen Absorption and Effects on Skin

Kyoto Prefectural University Study

Not Controlled

Tested the Bloodstream

Results suggest oral collagen benefit

Katsuragi Hospital Sutdy


Evaluated Skin

Results auggest Toki oral collagen benefit



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