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Difference Between Collagen and Collagen Peptides

Collagen and collagen peptides are proteins. Collagen peptides are produced by breaking down the much larger collagen molecules. That’s why both collagen and collagen peptides are made by the same amino acids but have different properties.

 

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the main extracellular protein in the body. It is the most common protein in mammals, making about 1/4 of all proteins in the body. It is mostly found in fibrous tissues – such as skin, ligaments, tendons, etc.

Its concentration varies in the different tissues of the body. About 23% collagen is contained in the cranial bones, 50% – in the cartilage, 64% – in the cornea of the eye, and 74% – in the skin.

Collagen is a simple peptide, consisting of amino acids bound together in elongated fibrils forming triple-helices. It is built up of long spiral peptide chains that contain 19 to 105 amino acids, including proline, glycine, hydroxyproline, hydroxylysine, etc.

The molecular mass of collagen is about 300 – 400kDa. It is insoluble and cannot be absorbed or digested.

Collagen is a strong, not stretchable protein, with great tensile resistance. Together with the soft keratin, it provides the skin’s elasticity and strength. Collagen tissues may be compliant or rigid, depending on the mineralization degree. Collagen is abundant in the bones, corneas, the gut, skin, blood vessels, teeth, intervertebral discs, etc.

The most common cells, producing collagen are the fibroblasts. 

The collagen is two main types, according to its structure:

  • Fibrillar collagen;
  • Non-fibrillar collagen.

More than 90% of the collagen in the human body is a type of fibrillar collagen – Type I.

The uses of collagen include:

  • Bone grafts;
  • Tissue regeneration;
  • Cosmetic surgery;
  • Wound care;
  • Reconstructive surgical uses.

 

What is Collagen Peptides?

Collagen peptides are short chain bioactive peptides, produced as a result of enzymatic hydrolysis of collagen. Collagen peptides are small peptides and their molecular weight is up to 5000Da. They are also known as hydrolyzed collagen.

Collagen peptides are obtained via controlled enzymatic break down of the bonds between the individual collagen strands. Depending on the applied enzymatic process, a specific pattern of collagen fragments occurs. Collagen peptides are classified based at their peptide profile and at the average molecular weight distribution. 

The partial hydrolysis of collagen results in the production of gelatin, which has a molecular weight of 50kDa. As a result of the further hydrolyze of the gelatin are produced small peptides of amino acids – collagen peptides. Independent from their molecular weight all collagen peptides can be rapidly absorbed. They are soluble in water and highly digestible.

Collagen peptides are soluble in cold water. They are highly bioactive and bioavailable, which makes them appropriate ingredients for dietary supplements, functional beverages, and foods.

Collagen peptides have numerous health benefits. They are the building blocks, renewing the bones, skin, joints, and other body tissues and organs. The health benefits of the collagen peptides include:

  • Skin beauty;
  • Healthy aging;
  • Bone and joint health;
  • Gut health;
  • Sports nutrition.

 

Difference Between Collagen and Collagen Peptides

Definition

Collagen: Collagen is the main extracellular protein in the body mostly found in fibrous tissues,  such as skin, ligaments, tendons, etc.

Collagen Peptides: Collagen peptides are short chain bioactive peptides, produced as a result of enzymatic hydrolysis of collagen.

Molecular weight

Collagen: The molecular mass of collagen is about 300 – 400kDa.

Collagen Peptides: Collagen peptides are small peptides and their molecular weight is up to 5000Da.

Use

Collagen: The uses of collagen include bone grafts, tissue regeneration, cosmetic surgery, wound care, reconstructive surgical uses.

Collagen Peptides: The collagen peptides have many health benefits, including skin beauty, healthy aging, bone and joint health, gut health, sports nutrition.

Production

Collagen: Collagen can be produced in different types of cells in the body. The most common cells, producing collagen are the fibroblasts.

Collagen Peptides: Collagen peptides are obtained via controlled enzymatic break down of the bonds between individual collagen strands.

Solubility

Collagen: Collagen is not soluble in water.

Collagen Peptides: Collagen peptides are soluble in cold water.

Digestibility

Collagen: Collagen is not digestible.

Collagen Peptides: Collagen peptides are highly digestible.

Collagen vs. Collagen Peptides: Comparison chart

 

Summary of Collagen vs. Collagen Peptides:

  • Collagen is the main extracellular protein in the body, mostly found in fibrous tissues, such as skin, ligaments, tendons, etc.
  • Collagen peptides are short chain bioactive peptides produced as a result of enzymatic hydrolysis of collagen.
  • The molecular mass of collagen is about 300 – 400kDa, while the collagen peptides are small peptides with molecular weight up to 5000Da.
  • The uses of collagen include bone grafts, tissue regeneration, cosmetic surgery, wound care, reconstructive surgical uses. The benefits of collagen peptides include skin beauty, healthy aging, bone and joint health, gut health, sports nutrition.
  • The most common cells, producing collagen are the fibroblasts. Collagen peptides are obtained via controlled enzymatic break down of the bonds between individual collagen strands.
  • Collagen is not soluble in water, while the collagen peptides are soluble in cold water.
  • Collagen is not digestible, while the collagen peptides are highly digestible.

 

Dr. Mariam Bozhilova Forest Research Institute, BAS

Environmental Expert with PhD in Botany at Forest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Mariam has a Master’s degree in Ecology and a PhD in Botany.
Currently, she works in the Forest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Mariam has more than 10 years of professional experience in scientific research and environmental consultancy. She has worked within non-profit, profit, and academic environment, and consulted business clients and competent authorities.
Her main professional interests are in the area of:
Scientific research;
Web content writing;
Environmental consultancy.
Dr. Mariam Bozhilova Forest Research Institute, BAS

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References :


[0]Hoffman, R. Organic Chemistry (2nd Edition). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004. Print.

[1]Petrov, G. Organic Chemistry. Sofia: Kliment Ohridski. 2006. Print.

[2]Siebrecht, S., S. Hausmanns, H. Kneféli. Amazing Collagen Peptides: How Bioactive Collagen Peptides can improve your Quality of Life. 2018. Print.

[3]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1bkv_collagen_02.png

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PDB_1bkv_EBI.jpg

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