Oral Intake of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Increases Dermal Matrix Synthesis

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DOI: 10.1159/000355523 · Source: PubMed
Cite this publication
Abstract
Dietary consumption of food supplements has been found to modulate skin functions and can therefore be useful in the treatment of skin aging. However, there is only a limited number of clinical studies supporting these claims. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the effectiveness of the specific bioactive collagen peptide (BCP) VERISOL® on eye wrinkle formation and stimulation of procollagen I, elastin and fibrillin biosynthesis in the skin was assessed. A hundred and fourteen women aged 45-65 years were randomized to receive 2.5 g of BCP or placebo, once daily for 8 weeks, with 57 subjects being allocated to each treatment group. Skin wrinkles were objectively measured in all subjects, before starting the treatment, after 4 and 8 weeks as well as 4 weeks after the last intake (4-week regression phase). A subgroup was established for suction blister biopsies analyzing procollagen I, elastin and fibrillin at the beginning of the treatment and after 8 weeks of intake. The ingestion of the specific BCP used in this study promoted a statistically significant reduction of eye wrinkle volume (p < 0.05) in comparison to the placebo group after 4 and 8 weeks (20%) of intake. Moreover a positive long-lasting effect was observed 4 weeks after the last BCP administration (p < 0.05). Additionally, after 8 weeks of intake a statistically significantly higher content of procollagen type I (65%) and elastin (18%) in the BCP-treated volunteers compared to the placebo-treated patients was detected. For fibrillin, a 6% increase could be determined after BCP treatment compared to the placebo, but this effect failed to reach the level of statistical significance. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides (Verisol®) reduced skin wrinkles and had positive effects on dermal matrix synthesis. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
E-Mail karger@karger.com
Original Paper
Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014;27:113–119
DOI: 10.1159/000355523
Oral Intake of Specific Bioactive Collagen
Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and
Increases Dermal Matrix Synthesis
E.Proksch a M.Schunck b V.Zague d D.Segger c J.Degwert c S.Oesser b
a Department of Dermatology, University of Kiel, and
b Collagen Research Institute, Kiel , and
c Skin Investigation and
Technology, Hamburg , Germany;
d Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences,
University of São Paulo, São Paulo , Brazil
parison to the placebo group after 4 and 8 weeks (20%) of
intake. Moreover a positive long-lasting effect was observed
4 weeks after the last BCP administration (p< 0.05). Addition-
ally, after 8 weeks of intake a statistically significantly higher
content of procollagen type I (65%) and elastin (18%) in the
BCP-treated volunteers compared to the placebo-treated
patients was detected. For fibrillin, a 6% increase could be
determined after BCP treatment compared to the placebo,
but this effect failed to reach the level of statistical signifi-
cance. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the oral
intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides (Verisol®) re-
duced skin wrinkles and had positive effects on dermal ma-
trix synthesis. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel
Introduction
Skin appearance and integrity get worse with age due
to the synergistic effects of chronological and photoaging,
hormonal deficiency and influences of environmental
factors
[1] . As a consequence of a decline in several meta-
bolic activities, like quantitative and qualitative changes
in dermal collagen and elastin, the skin constitution
changes and typical symptoms of aging are visible. The
loss of connective tissue in cutaneous aging results in de-
Key Words
Bioactive collagen peptide · Collagen peptides · Skin ·
Wrinkles · Type I collagen · Elastin · Fibrillin
Abstract
Dietary consumption of food supplements has been found
to modulate skin functions and can therefore be useful in the
treatment of skin aging. However, there is only a limited
number of clinical studies supporting these claims. In this
double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the effectiveness of
the specific bioactive collagen peptide (BCP) VERISOL® o n
eye wrinkle formation and stimulation of procollagen I, elas-
tin and fibrillin biosynthesis in the skin was assessed. A hun-
dred and fourteen women aged 45–65 years were random-
ized to receive 2.5 g of BCP or placebo, once daily for 8 weeks,
with 57 subjects being allocated to each treatment group.
Skin wrinkles were objectively measured in all subjects, be-
fore starting the treatment, after 4 and 8 weeks as well as
4 weeks after the last intake (4-week regression phase). A
subgroup was established for suction blister biopsies analyz-
ing procollagen I, elastin and fibrillin at the beginning of the
treatment and after 8 weeks of intake. The ingestion of the
specific BCP used in this study promoted a statistically sig-
nificant reduction of eye wrinkle volume (p< 0.05) in com-
Received: June 24, 2013
Accepted after revision: September 9, 2013
Published online: December 24, 2013
Professor E. Proksch
Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, Department of Dermatology
Schittenhelmstrasse 7
DE–24105 Kiel (Germany)
E-Mail EProksch @ dermatology.uni-kiel.de
© 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel
1660–5527/13/0273–0113$38.00/0
www.karger.com/spp
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Proksch/Schunck/Zague/Segger/Degwert/
Oesser
Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014;27:113–119
DOI: 10.1159/000355523
114
creased elasticity, loss of skin tone and a progressive deep-
ening of facial creases and wrinkling
[2] .
Wrinkles on the face are the most prominent recog-
nized signs of skin aging. Takema et al.
[3, 4] reported an
age-related decrease in skin elasticity and a coriaceous ap-
pearance of affected skin areas. Especially facial skin sites
like the corners of the eyes are mostly susceptible to wrin-
kle formation, also popularly known as crow’s feet.
Skin functions and healthy appearance depend on a
sufficient supply of essential nutrients. The relationship
between nutrition and skin has become a hot topic all
over the world. Intervention studies indicate that it is pos-
sible to modulate or delay skin aging and to improve skin
integrity by dietary ingredient supplementation
[5] .
In preclinical studies it was shown that collagen pep-
tides had stimulatory effects on type I collagen and other
extracellular matrix molecules in human fibroblasts
[6,
7] . Moreover, in animal studies it was demonstrated that
the density and diameter of fibroblasts as well as of col-
lagen fibrils increased by collagen peptide administration
whereas a UVB-induced reduction of type I collagen was
diminished after bioactive collagen peptide (BCP) treat-
ment
[8, 9] .
However, there is no clinical evidence that BCP sup-
plementation may reduce wrinkle formation and benefit
skin metabolism after oral intake in humans. In this study,
we objectively evaluated the efficacy of a specific BCP
with regard to the volume of eye wrinkles after 8 weeks of
daily intake. Moreover, the influence of the BCP treat-
ment on the content of procollagen type I, elastin and fi-
brillin in blister suctions was assessed. To the best of our
knowledge, this is the first double-blind, placebo-con-
trolled study showing that a dietary supplement com-
posed of a specific collagen peptide is effective in reducing
wrinkles and aging-related skin biomarkers.
Material and Methods
Test Product
The test product used in this study was a BCP composed of dif-
ferent specific collagen peptides with a high safety profile derived
from a complex multistep procedure by degradation of porcine
type I collagen. The product was provided by Gelita AG (Eberbach,
Germany), commercially available as Verisol . The product is clear-
ly defined by a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass
spectrometry mass peaks fingerprint with specific collagen pep-
tides of an average molecular weight of 2.0 kD.
Study Design
The study was carried out as a monocentric, double-blind,
randomized, placebo-controlled supplementation study on the
effects of a specific BCP on eye wrinkle volume (primary out-
come) and content of type I procollagen, elastin and fibrillin in
skin fluid (secondary outcomes) after 8 weeks of daily intake.
The study was approved by the Freiburger Ethik-Kommis-
sion International, Freiburg, Germany, and adhered to current
good clinical practice regulations. All test subjects received de-
tailed information listing every single parameter relevant to the
study. All subjects gave signed, informed consent after receipt of
the written information and having had a possibility for further
questioning.
S u b j e c t s
A total of 114 healthy female subjects, 57 subjects allocated to
each treatment group, were enrolled in the study and randomized
to treatment with a daily dose of 2.5 g of BCP or placebo (malto-
dextrin). Forty-eight of these (24 per treatment group) were in-
cluded in the suction blister biopsies for the subsequent analysis of
different skin aging-related biomarkers.
The products were taken orally by the subjects at home accord-
ing to the instructions given by the investigator. The powder was
to be dissolved in water or any other liquid.
Prior to the beginning of oral treatment and data acquisition
there was a preconditioning period of at least 7 days. Within
thisperiod and throughout the entire period of the study, the
subjects had to refrain from using any leave-on products and
oily or moisturizing skin-cleansing products on the arms and
the area around the eyes. Moreover, use of make-up, skin-
cleansing tissues, wipes for make-up removal and cleansing lo-
tion on thetest sites was prohibited. It was also prohibited to
intensively expose the test sites to UV light (sun or solarium).
The subjects were not allowed to visit saunas or swimming
pools, and to do intensive sport during the day prior to the study
visits. Moreover, they were prohibited from changing their
living or dietary habits, and from consuming any additional nu-
tritional supplement or vitamin preparations 4 weeks prior to
the start of the study and during the study. The treatment of the
test areas withthe following medication was not allowed prior
to the startand during the study: dermatological therapeutics
(6weeks previously), corticosteroids and antihistamines (4weeks
previously), anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics (2 weeks
previously).
Inclusion Criteria
The inclusion criteria were as follows: healthy females ranging
in age from 45 to 65 years (homogeneous distribution between
treatment groups), phototypes I–III (Fitzpatrick scale), in general
good health and mental condition, personal informed consents to
participate in the study, personal presence on the predefined days
at the institute, willing and able to follow the study rules and a fixed
schedule.
Exclusion Criteria
The exclusion criteria were as follows: any deviation from
the above-mentioned inclusion criteria, acute skin diseases (e.g.
atopic eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis) on the test sites, or
other dermatological disorders (scars, sunburn, moles), food al-
lergies against ingredients of the test products, gastrointestinal
diseases or indigestion, tattoos on the test sites, topical medica-
tion used in the test area within 6 weeks prior to the start of the
study, systemic medication with anti-inflammatory agents or
antibiotics within 2 weeks prior to the start, systemic medica-
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tion with corticoids and/or antihistamines within 4 weeks prior
to thestart, medication with an anticoagulant, proneness to hy-
perpigmentation or hypertrophic scar formation, other system-
ic medication within 4 weeks prior to the start, systemic illness
of the subject at the beginning of the study, pregnancy or a pe-
riod of breast feeding, immunological disorders, severe disor-
ders within 6 months prior to the start, e.g. cancer, acute car-
diac and circulatory disorders, severe diabetes, alcohol and drug
abuse, participation in other studies with cosmetic products in
the test areas within 2 weeks prior to the start or during the
study, participation in a study with a pharmaceutical prepara-
tion within 4weeks prior to the start, intake of nutritional sup-
plements within 4 weeks prior to the start and, except for the
test products administered during the study, change in lifestyle
or eating habits during the study, treatment with leave-on prod-
ucts, oily or moisturizing skin-cleansing products on the arms,
or a change in the usual skin care routine, exposure to intensive
sunlight or artificial UV (solarium) light on the test sites within
1 week prior to the start or during the study, swimming, sauna
or intensive sport within 1 day prior to measurements, lack of
compliance, intellectual or mental inability to follow study in-
structions.
A s s e s s m e n t s
Test Sites
The test sites were the wrinkle area around the left eye (lateral
canthus) for eye wrinkle measurements and the inner aspect of the
right forearm for the suction blister biopsies used for the subse-
quent analysis of procollagen type I, elastin and fibrillin.
On every measurement day, the subjects had to expose their
uncovered test sites to the indoor climatic conditions (21.5
° C; 50%
relative humidity) for at least 30 min.
Measurement Times
There were 4 measurement times for eye wrinkle assessments:
immediately before starting the product treatment (t
0 ), after 4 (t
1 )
and 8 weeks (t
2 ) of daily product intake, and 4 weeks after the last
intake (t
3 , 4-week regression phase).
Suction blisters were generated before starting the treatment
(t
0 ) and after 8 weeks (t
2 ) of intake.
In each case the subject’s compliance (dosage and way of in-
take) and tolerance towards the products were checked after 1, 4
and again after 6 weeks of intake.
In vivo Measurement of the Eye Wrinkle Volume
The influence of BCP on the eye wrinkle volume was measured
at the outer corner of the eye (lateral canthus) using the optical
3-dimensional in vivo measuring instrument Primos
® Compact
(GF-Messtechnik GmbH). Three measurements were conducted
per test site. The size of the measurement area was 30 × 40 mm
2 .
The postbaseline measurements were performed using the overlay
function. For each subject, the original pictures of the reference
files at the baseline and the corresponding measurement files of the
postbaseline measurements were brought into congruence using
the 3-dimensional matching function. Height images were com-
puted according to the standard procedure using mathematical
filters. These height images were used to calculate the eye wrinkle
volumes (in cubic millimeters of one selected wrinkle). After man-
ual marking of the selected eye wrinkles, the volume was comput-
ed by the Primos software. This was performed for all 3 images that
were taken per test site and measurement point in time. Then, the
mean of the 3 single measurements was calculated for each test site
and point in time.
Suction Blister Biopsies
To quantify the amount of procollagen I, elastin and fibrillin in
the skin of the volunteers before and after treatment with BCP, the
so-called suction blister model was applied, according to Kiistala
[10] . Per point in time, 2 suction blisters of 7 mm in diameter were
generated in the test area. To induce the blisters, Plexiglas suction
chambers with 2 circular openings each with a diameter of 7 mm
were placed on the test site. A vacuum pressure of about 450–850
mbar was applied. The blisters were induced within 1.5–2.5 h. The
liquids of all suction blisters were collected using sterile hypoder-
mic syringes. The liquids were pooled, collected in cryovials at
–20
° C and stored frozen at –80 ° C immediately after preparation.
The small wounds were covered with a wound occlusive and
healed completely and scar free within 6–10 days. On completion
of the study, the blister fluids were used for the quantitative analy-
sis of procollagen type I, elastin and fibrillin.
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays for the Analysis of
Procollagen Type I, Elastin and Fibrillin
In vitro enzyme immunoassay kits were used for the quantita-
tive analysis of human procollagen type I (Takara Bio Inc., Japan),
human elastin (Cusabio Biotech, China) and human fibrillin-1
(Cusabio Biotech) in the suction blister fluids.
The tests were performed according to the respective instruc-
tion manual. Briefly, samples were diluted 1:
25 vol/vol with kit
sample buffers to reach concentrations within the range of the
standards. Every suction blister sample was measured in duplicate.
Moreover, the recovery of the enzyme immunoassay kits was ana-
lyzed, revealing recovery rates of more than 80% on average.
Statistical Analysis
All data were tested for normal distribution by the 1-sample
Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. Statistically significant differences be-
tween both treatment groups were analyzed by the 2-sided inde-
pendent samples t test. The hypothesis of a normal distribution
was accepted when there was a p value >0.05. As for the differ-
ences between the treatment situations, for a p value <0.05 the dif-
ference was accepted as statistically significant.
The following treatment situations for wrinkle volume changes
were compared: treatment situations at points in time t
0 (baseline
situation), t
1 and t
2 (after 4 weeks and 8 weeks of treatment) and t
3
(4-week washout phase).
The results obtained from the blister suction fluids were ex-
pressed in relation to the initial situation and pairwise differences
were tested for statistical significance between both treatments.
R e s u l t s
Subjects and Dropouts
The results of 114 subjects were involved in data anal-
ysis. The subjects were between 45.0 and 65.4 years old
(55.6 ± 6.0), without statistically significant differences
between the treatment group and the placebo group
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( table1 ; p= 0.998). A hundred and eight of the 114 sub-
jects finished the study correctly and completely for the
eye wrinkle measurements. There were 6 dropouts, none
related to the product intake or the study procedure in
general.
As for analysis of the suction blister fluids, 40 of the
48 subjects (20 per group) finished the study correctly
and completely. The 40 subjects were between 45.8 and
65.0 years of age (55.9 ± 6). There were 8 dropouts, none
related to the product intake or the study procedure in
general.
No treatment side effects were observed in any of the
volunteers.
Eye Wrinkle Volume
At the beginning of the study the volume of eye wrin-
kles between both treatment groups were not statistically
significantly different (0.381 ± 0.36 vs. 0.375 ± 0.26 mm
3 ,
p= 0.93).
After 4 weeks of treatment the BCP group showed a
statistically significantly reduced eye wrinkle volume of
more than 7.2% in comparison to the placebo group (p<
0.05). This positive effect was more pronounced after
8weeks of intake. At this point in time wrinkle volume in
the BCP group was significantly (p< 0.01) reduced by
20.1% on average (0.326 ± 0.38 vs. 0.408 ± 0.25 mm
3 )
compared to the placebo group ( fig.1 a, b). In particular
a maximum reduction in eye wrinkle volume of 49.9%
was achieved.
Four weeks after the last product intake (4-week re-
gression phase), the BCP treatment group still showed a
statistically significant decrease in eye wrinkle volume of
11.5% (p< 0.01), as shown in figure 2 . It is notable that in
the active agent group at the end of the regression phase
the same decreased mean eye wrinkle volume (0.326
mm
3 ) was determined as at the end of the treatment pe-
riod after 8 weeks.
Blister Suction Fluids
Due to inhomogeneous data at the beginning of the
investigation (prior to treatment) between the drug and
the placebo groups the results of procollagen, elastin and
fibrillin measurements were expressed in relation to base-
line data (t
0 ).
Procollagen Content
Procollagen type I content was increased by 65% after
8 weeks of BCP treatment compared to the placebo group.
This pronounced impact on collagen synthesis was statis-
tically significant (p< 0.01; fig.3 ).
Table 1. Demographic data on the study subjects
Group Baseline (t0) 4 weeks (t1) 8 weeks (t2) 4-week regression (t3)
Subject number
A57555552
B57555555
Mean age ± SD, years
A 55.6±5.7 55.4±5.7 55.4±5.7 55.4±5.5
B 55.6±6.2 55.6±6.3 55.6±6.3 55.6±6.3
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
0.40
0.45
0.50
Baseline 4 weeks
*
**
8 weeks
Eye wrinkle volume/
original data (mm3)
BCP Placebo
Eye wrinkle volume/
original data (mm3)
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
0.40
0.45
0.50
4 weeks regression
**
Placebo
BCP
Fig. 1. a Orally administered BCP led to a statistically significant
reduction of eye wrinkle volume after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment.
Over the same period of time, eye wrinkle volume in the placebo-
treated group increased continuously (mean ± SEM; n= 57; * p<
0.05, * * p< 0.01).
b Visible reduction of eye wrinkle volume after
8 weeks of BCP intake. Exemplary pictures of 2 participants of the
active agent group before (left) and after (right) treatment.
Fig. 2. Reduction of eye wrinkle volume persisted in BCP-treated
volunteers 4 weeks after last intake (mean ± SEM; n= 57; * * p<
0.01).
Color version available online
a
b
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Bioactive Collagen Peptides, Skin
Wrinkles and Dermal Matrix Synthesis
Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014;27:113–119
DOI: 10.1159/000355523
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Elastin Content
In addition to procollagen, BCP intake also promoted
a statistically significant (p< 0.01) increase in elastin con-
tent of 18% in comparison to the placebo treatment after
8 weeks ( fig.3 ).
Fibrillin Content
Ingestion of BCP led to a clear increase in fibrillin con-
tent of 6% in comparison to placebo after 8 weeks of treat-
ment but this result failed to reach the level of statistical
significance ( fig.3 ).
D i s c u s s i o n
Throughout our life skin integrity changes and shows
a decrease in elasticity and moisture, as well as a notice-
able increase in wrinkles. Skin wrinkle formation is the
most prominent sign of growing old
[1, 2] and seems to
be more common in the skin of Caucasian people [11] . In
a prospective study it was found that wrinkle onset was
delayed by about 10 years in Chinese women compared
with French women
[12] .
Independently of wrinkle incidence and skin ethnic
aspects, concerns about changes in physical appearance
brought on by aging are very common. As the demand for
interventions to ameliorate visible signs of aging is con-
tinuously growing
[13] , interest in the development of
dietary supplements and functional food products for
skin health has increased as well.
In preclinical and clinical studies food supplements
have been considered as effective cosmeceutical sub-
stances with a potential for reducing wrinkles and im-
proving skin appearance. Especially the efficacy of orally
administered collagen peptides on skin health has been
demonstrated in several investigations
[14–17] .
The current study is the first investigating the efficacy
of a specific, orally administered BCP (Verisol®) on eye
wrinkles, demonstrating a statistically significant reduc-
tion of eye wrinkle deepness (crow’s feet) in comparison
to a placebo treatment. At the end of the treatment after
8 weeks the eye wrinkle volume in the verum group had
decreased by 17.7% compared to the baseline, whereas in
the placebo group in the same time period the wrinkle
volume had increased by 14.5% (Δ 32.2%).
The observed changes in the placebo group might have
been caused by altered weather and climatic conditions
during the study period. It is most unlikely that the deter-
mined effect is caused by diet-related alterations, as the
subjects were instructed not to modify their lifestyle dur-
ing the study period. In addition, a direct impact of the
placebo can be excluded as no influence of maltodextrin
on skin physiology has been described in the literature.
Therefore it can be assumed that the variations in the pla-
cebo group do not refer to systematic effects.
Apart from the observed efficacy of an oral Verisol®
treatment, it is striking that the positive effect on skin
health was persistent for at least 4 weeks after having
stopped the BCP intake. A possible explanation for this
long-lasting improvement might be the pronounced in-
crease in the biosynthesis of essential dermal macromol-
ecules such as collagen, elastin and fibrillin. It is known
that collagen and elastin are the major components in the
dermis supporting preservation of skin structure, skin
firmness and elasticity, and that they directly affect wrin-
kle formation. In contrast to the healthy skin situation, an
alteration of elastic fibers and degradation of collagen
bundles does occur in the dermis of wrinkled skin. It is
known that collagen fiber deficiencies in aged and photo-
aged human skin are a major cause of skin wrinkling.
Apart from the visible changes in skin wrinkles, in the
current study the synthesis of these dermal extracellular
matrix proteins which are crucial for skin health and well-
being was investigated in suction blister fluids. It was
demonstrated that at the end of the treatment period the
collagen content was increased 1.65-fold and that the
amount of elastin was increased 1.2-fold after Verisol
treatment, compared to the placebo group.
In addition to these positive impacts the ingestion of
BCPs led to an increase of 6% in the content of fibrillin in
comparison to placebo, by the end of the study period.
Fibrillins are the most important components of micro-
fibrils and are necessary for the integrity of elastic fiber
bundles described by Lee et al.
[15] , who observed a re-
Increase
(n-fold of baseline)
0
0.4
0.8
1.2
1.6
2.0
Procollagen
Type I
Elastin
*
*
Fibrillin
BCP Placebo
Fig. 3. The amount of procollagen type I and elastin was statisti-
cally significantly increased 8 weeks after BCP administration, in
contrast to placebo treatment. The content of fibrillin in suction
blister fluid was increased after 8 weeks of BCP ingestion by trend
(mean ± SEM; n= 20; * p< 0.05).
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duced fibrillin-1 expression in wrinkled skin, which dem-
onstrated the important role of fibrillin for skin function-
ality. Fibrillin connects elastic fibers with small leucine-
rich proteoglycans (like decorin and biglycan) which are
essential for the water-binding capacity in connective tis-
sues
[18] .
Overall, BCP treatment seems to have a positive im-
pact on important dermal macromolecules
[19] which
have a direct influence on skin wrinkle formation. Our
current findings confirm previous reports from experi-
mental and animal trials demonstrating the stimulatory
effects of collagen peptides on anabolic processes sup-
porting the maintenance of the dermis extracellular ma-
trix
[6–9, 20] . Our in vitro studies on primary human
dermal fibroblasts demonstrated a stimulatory effect of
Verisol® on the expression of skin extracellular matrix
macromolecules. After supplementation of the specific
collagen peptides we were able to demonstrate a pro-
nounced, statistically significant increase in type I colla-
gen expression as well as proteoglycan expression, such
as biglycan, decorin and versican (data not published).
Apart from these positive influences of Verisol® for
dermal matrix synthesis it has been described that the dai-
ly intake of collagen peptides decreases expression levels
of matrix metalloproteinase-2, a catabolic enzyme which
is, for instance, responsible for collagen type IV break-
down
[7] .
Type IV collagen forms a highly cross-linked network
essential for mechanical stability of the basement mem-
brane and is therefore an important factor for skin wrin-
kles and furrow formation
[21] . The observed stimula-
tory impact on the dermal matrix of specific BCPs, as well
as the reported anticatabolic effect, suggest a possible
mechanism for explaining the significant wrinkle reduc-
tion demonstrated by the Verisol® treatment.
Another factor that promotes wrinkle formation is de-
creased skin elasticity, as shown by Fujimura et al.
[22] .
Skin elasticity is influenced by several parameters, like
elastic fiber formation and skin moisture. In a previous
study we investigated the effects of daily Verisol® inges-
tion in 35- to 55-year-old female volunteers on skin elas-
ticity and other skin wrinkle-related parameters. In a
double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical
study, skin elasticity was significantly improved in wom-
en who received 2.5 g/day of a specific BCP for 8 weeks.
In addition, the results revealed that the observed positive
effects of BCP administration were more pronounced in
women who were over 50 years old, as indicated by in-
creased skin hydration and improved skin elasticity
[23] .
C o n c l u s i o n s
Based on the results of the study, it can be concluded
that the oral ingestion of specific collagen peptides led to
a pronounced, statistically significant reduction of eye
wrinkle volume. In contrast to most topically applied sub-
stances this positive effect on the skin seems to be caused
by a direct impact on dermal extracellular matrix turn-
over, as demonstrated by a significant increase in collagen
and elastin synthesis. The direct effect on the dermal ma-
trix might explain the long-lasting improvement of skin
wrinkles for at least 4 weeks after the end of the supple-
mentation of the collagen peptides. It has to be pointed
out that the results presented are only valid for the spe-
cific collagen peptide composition (Verisol®) used in this
study. Other collagen hydrolysates or collagen peptides
might exhibit dissenting effects. Here further research es-
pecially into the mode of action of BCPs on dermal struc-
tures would be desirable.
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