Osteoporosis is a chronic and asymptomatic disease characterized by low bone mass and skeletal microarchitectural deterioration, increased risk of fracture, and associated comorbidities most prevalent in the elderly. Due to an increasingly aging population, osteoporosis has become a major health issue requiring innovative disease management. Proteins are important for bone by providing building blocks and by exerting specific regulatory function. This is why adequate protein intake plays a considerable role in both bone development and bone maintenance. More specifically, since an increase in the overall metabolism of collagen can lead to severe dysfunctions and a more fragile bone matrix and because orally administered collagen can be digested in the gut, cross the intestinal barrier, enter the circulation, and become available for metabolic processes in the target tissues, one may speculate that a collagen-enriched diet provides benefits for the skeleton. Collagen-derived products such as gelatin or hydrolyzed collagen (HC) are well acknowledged for their safety from a nutritional point of view; however, what is their impact on bone biology? In this manuscript, we critically review the evidence from literature for an effect of HC on bone tissues in order to determine whether HC may represent a relevant alternative in the design of future nutritional approaches to manage osteoporosis prevention.
Keywords: Collagen; bone; hydrolyzed collagen; osteoporosis.