Hydrolyzed collagen intake increases bone mass of growing rats trained with running exercise

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Aug 6;10(1):35. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-35.


Background: Some studies have shown that dietary hydrolyzed collagen peptides (HC) effectively prevent age-related bone loss. However, it is not known whether the intake of HC also has positive effect on bone mass or strength when combined with exercise during growth phase.

Methods: We examined the effects of 11 weeks of HC intake and running exercise on bone mass and strength in growing rats. Rats were randomized into four groups, the 20% casein group (Casein20), the 40% casein group (Casein40), the 20% HC group (HC20), and the 40% HC group (HC40). Each group was further divided into exercise groups (Casein20 + Ex, Casein40 + Ex, HC20 + Ex, HC40 + Ex) and non-exercise group (Casein20, Casein40, HC20, HC40). In the HC intake groups, 30% of casein protein was replaced with HC. Exercise group rats were trained 6 days per week on a treadmill (25-30 m/min, 60 min) for 60 days. After being sacrificed, their bone mineral content (BMC) and bone strength were evaluated.

Results: Exercise and dietary HC effects were observed in the adjusted BMC of lumbar spine and tibia among the 20% protein groups (p < 0.001 for exercise; p < 0.05 for dietary HC, respectively). These effects were also noted in the adjusted wet weight and dry weight of femur among the 20% protein groups (p < 0.001, p < 0.01 for exercise; p < 0.01, p < 0.001 for dietary HC, respectively). On the other hand, in adjusted bone breaking force and energy, dietary HC effect was not significant. Among the 40% protein groups, similar results were obtained in the adjusted BMC, femoral weight, bone breaking force, and energy. There were no differences between the 20% protein groups and the 40% protein groups.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that moderate HC intake (where the diet contains 20% protein, of which 30% is HC) increased bone mass during growth period and further promoted the effect of running exercise. On the other hand, a higher HC intake (where the diet contains 40% protein, of which 30% is HC) had no more beneficial effect on bone mass than the moderate HC intake.