The effects on human immunity of oral supplementation with fish-derived collagen peptides were investigated with a placebo-controlled double-blind trial.
The immune system defends the body against infections by pathogenic organisms, the invasion of foreign toxic antigens, and the growth of malignant cells. The immune functions in our bodies can be ascribed to two systems: innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity provides a quick response but lacks specificity and memory function. In contrast, adaptive immunity is slow but specific, and retains a memory of its target. Innate immunity is assumed to involve natural killer (NK) cells and phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils and macrophages. In contrast, adaptive immunity involves immune cells such as T cells, B cells, and antigen-presenting cells. Immune competence decreases with age and stress, and malnutrition also causes the immune functions to deteriorate. Many food components, including epigallocatechin-3-gallate in green tea,1）probiotics,2）indigestible oligosaccharides,3）and vitamins,4）modulate the immune functions.
To measure the comprehensive immunological strength of an individual as a simple numeral, the scoring of immunological vigor (SIV) score was developed,5）which combines several immunological parameters. The SIV score has been used to evaluate the immune status of cancer patients6）and to investigate the effects of foods in improving immune strength.7）
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and is extracted from animal bone or hide or from fish scales as gelatin by heating them in water. Collagen peptide is prepared by partially digesting gelatin with enzymes, and is widely used as a safe ingredient. The ingestion of collagen peptide has beneficial effects on the human skin,8）joints,9）and circulatory system.10）However, its effects on human immunity have not yet been elucidated. In this study, a placebo-controlled double-blind trial was conducted to investigate the effects of ingested fish-derived collagen peptide (FCP) on the human immunological status by measuring the SIV score and other immunological, physical, biochemical, and subjective symptom parameters.
In clinical studies of the effects of nutrients, the basal nutrient status must be considered to determine the amount of test material that should be ingested.14）In this study, the ingestion of 10g of collagen peptide was used because the ingestion of 5 g or 10 g of collagen peptide showed significant changes in the parameters assessed in clinical trials of Japanese men and women15︱17）who ingested about 1.9 g of collagen from their diets in everyday life.18,19）
In this study, a placebo-controlled double-blind trial revealed that the ingestion of 10g of FCP for 8 weeks significantly improved the comprehensive immunological status of humans, particularly their T-cell-related parameters, such as the numbers of T cells, memory T cells, and CD8＋CD28＋ T cells. This suggests the possibility that adaptive immunity was improved by supplemental ingestion of FCP. It has been reported that the number of CD8＋CD28＋ T cells correlates strongly with age because the number of these cells decreases with age.20） The number of CD8＋CD28＋ T cells increased significantly in the FCP group but not in the placebo group, so the T-lymphocyte age, which represents the immunological age, decreased by 1.8 years in the FCP group after the ingestion of FCP.
The within-group analysis of subjective symptoms revealed significant improvements in diarrhea and appetite only in the FCP group. These results suggest that the improvements caused by FCP ingestion are subjectively recognized by humans with daily tiredness and fatigue. Because the T-cell-related parameters were improved by ingesting FCP, the improvements in diarrhea and appetite may be associated with changes in the T-cell activities induced by the ingestion of FCP.
It has been reported that ingested collagen is partly digested and absorbed as oligopeptides, of which the dipeptide prolylhydroxyproline (Pro-Hyp) is a major constituent.21,22） Prolylhydroxyproline has displayed several biological activities, including the stimulation of mouse skin fibroblast growth on collagen,22） the modulation of lipid metabolism in adipocytes,23） and the suppression of mineralization in chondrocytes.24） Another collagen-derived dipeptide, hydroxyprolylglycine (Hyp-Gly), is also reported to stimulate skin fibroblast growth on collagen.25） This suggests that the beneficial effects of collagen peptide ingestion depend, at least in part, on the biological activities of collagen-derived dipeptides. It is possible that collagen-derived dipeptides modulate T-cell functions in vivo because our study has shown that the ingestion of FCP improved a number of T-cell- related parameters. Because immune competence decreases with age and stress, the supplemental ingestion of FCP should benefit elderly people or those suffering from stress by improving their immune status.
Innate immunity involves natural killer (NK) cells and phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils and macrophages. In contrast, adaptive immunity involves immune cells such as T cells, B cells, and antigen-presenting cells. Immune competence decreases with age and stress, and malnutrition also causes the immune functions to deteriorate. This placebo-controlled double-blind trial suggests that the ingestion of 10g of collagen peptide per day for 8 weeks improves the immunological status of humans, especially the numbers of T lymphocytes and their subsets, and improves subjective symptoms.
Nippi Freshwater™ Collagen an all-natural collagen peptide extracted from pure marine sources. Produced from 100% fish skin and scales that would otherwise be discarded, Nippi collagen is sourced from a sustainable and traceable supply chain. The full Study can be found here:
Nippi is a pioneer in the field of collagen research and production and was the first to succeed in solubilizing collagen, receiving a patent for the process in 1960. The company focuses on providing the highest quality products with proven science that are fastened to solutions meeting the needs of the market. Research and Development are supported by the Research Institute of BioMatrix, (Tokyo, Japan) which continues to lead the world in the study of collagen peptides.
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