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Collagen Peptides May Help Maintain and Improve Muscle Mass Later in Life

Researchers estimate that we lose 1-2% of our muscle mass every year after the age of 50, and that strength declines at a rate of 3% annually after the age of 60. There are ways to fight back against muscle loss, however. A recent study suggests that combining collagen peptides with exercise may improve muscle mass and strength while simultaneously reducing fat mass in mature adults.


Participants in the study included 53 men with sarcopenia and a mean age of 72. All of the men took part in a guided resistance-training program that included three sessions per week for twelve weeks. During that time, half of the group took 15 grams of collagen peptides dissolved in water while the other half took a placebo.


At the conclusion of the study, the collagen supplement group had a significant increase in fat-free mass — 9.2 lb. in comparison with 6.4 lb. in the exercise-only group. They also improved their muscle strength by 16.5 Nm, while the placebo group improved by 7.3 Nm. Finally, the supplement group had an 11.9 lb. reduction in fat mass, compared to a 7.7 lb. reduction in the exercise-only group.


Researchers from the University of Freiburg conducted the study. It was published in the October 2015 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.


Previous studies suggest that collagen peptides may help with joint and bone health, particularly as we get older. They’ve also been found to help with skin health.


Because collagen peptides dissolve in water, it’s best to take them in the form of a drink supplement.

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