Context: Dietary supplement manufacturers claim cutaneous anti-aging properties for their products; however, research supporting these claims remains sparse.
Objectives: The study intended to determine if a correlation existed between the effects of a collagen dietary supplement and changes associated with skin aging.
Design: The study was a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Setting: The study took place at a clinical facility specializing in dermatological testing that could perform biophysical, instrumental analysis on the effects of proprietary supplement on human skin.
Participants: Participants were 128 females, aged 39-59 (50.57 ± 5.55).
Intervention: Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention or a placebo. The intervention consisted of twice daily oral administration of a supplement containing 500 mg BioCell Collagen, a chicken sternal cartilage derived dietary ingredient composed of a naturally-occurring matrix of hydrolyzed collagen type-II (≥300 mg), chondroitin sulfate (≥100 mg), hyaluronic acid (≥50 mg).
Outcome measures: The primary parameters included transepidermal water loss, viscoelasticity, hydration, (indirect) collagen content, chromophore (melanin) content and hemoglobin level, and photographic analysis. An expert visually graded participants' skin to determine the intervention's efficacy, measuring facial lines and wrinkles, crow's feet lines and wrinkles, skin texture and smoothness, and skin tone. The presence of erythema and/or dryness determined tolerance. Secondary outcome measures were tolerance and incidence of adverse events, and the participant's perception of the supplement's value.
Results: For the 113 participants completing the study, the dietary supplementation compared to a placebo: (1) significantly reduced facial lines and wrinkles (P = .019) and crow's feet lines and wrinkles (P = .05), (2) increased skin elasticity (P = .008) and cutaneous collagen content (P < .001) by 12%, (3) improved indicators associated with a more youthful skin appearance based on visual grading and wrinkle width (P = .046), and (4) decreased skin dryness and erythema. No difference existed between the supplement and the placebo for skin-surface water content or retention. The supplement was well tolerated, with no reported adverse reactions.
Conclusions: Dietary supplementation with chicken, sternal cartilage extract supports the accumulation of types-I/III collagen in skin to promote increased elasticity and reduced skin wrinkling.