Mature woman skin ECM matrix

Cell-based evidence supports the bioactivity of collagen peptides for skin firmness and elasticity

July 8, 2024 - An in vitro study recently published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Medicine provides cell-based evidence for the beneficial effects of exposure to collagen peptides on the skin’s collagen content and on the molecules that provide skin firmness and elasticity. This may support the hypothesis that collagen peptides are biological messengers for maintaining extracellular matrix (ECM) structure and skin regeneration.

Unraveling anti-aging dermal cell mechanisms

Collagen is one of the major proteins of the skin and it is particularly important for the skin’s strength and resilience. Skin aging is a natural process that is characterized by the decrease and fragmentation of collagen in the dermis. A previously conducted double-blind clinical study carried out at the Cosderma Institute in France over a period of 56 days has already proven the positive effects of the oral intake of 5-10 g/day of SOLUGEL® collagen peptides on skin anti-aging. However, the mechanisms underlying senescence-associated molecules synthesized by collagen-exposed cells remain unclear.

The effect of collagen peptides on cell behavior

In a recent in vitro study conducted by Bionos Biotech*, the mechanisms associated with collagen, elastin, and versican in human dermal fibroblasts were investigated after exposure to collagen peptides. The effects of different concentrations of collagen peptides on cell viability and metabolism were analyzed and this resulted in the following findings:

  • SOLUGEL® collagen peptides increased the expression of the collagen (COL1A1), elastin (ELN), and versican (VCAN) genes in human dermal fibroblasts (p<0.005).
  • Higher collagen expression was detected by confocal microscopy in the dermal fibroblast culture after treatment with the collagen peptides (p<0.005).
  • The exposure to collagen peptides in dermal cells affects the skin’s collagen content and the molecules that provide firmness and elasticity.

Implications and conclusion

These data provide scientific, cell-based evidence for the potential beneficial effects of the exposure of collagen peptides on skin-firming and anti-aging properties, which suggests that they may trigger the cell signaling and gene expressions to maintain the structure of the dermis and ECM.

*This study was conducted by Bionos Biotech and funded by PB Leiner, part of Tessenderlo Group, which also provided the tested product: SOLUGEL® collagen peptides.

Mature woman skin ECM matrix

Expert insight

Dr. Reyhan Nergiz Unal, Health & Nutrition Science Lead at PB Leiner and co-author of the study: “This novel data shows that SOLUGEL® triggers the fibroblasts to produce skin anti-aging molecules. The study proves that collagen is a biological messenger, which means that exposure to collagen changes the dermal cell behavior to provide firmness and elasticity, and also increases collagen production. Moreover, collagen positively changes gene expressions, which results in skin cells producing more anti-aging molecules.”

Discover the study

About SOLUGEL® collagen peptides

SOLUGEL®, one of PB Leiner’s product brands, can provide support for healthy joints and bones, skin health and beauty from within, weight management, and physical performance in a wide range of foods, beverages, and supplements. Obtained from natural animal sources, it is a highly digestible pure protein that is perfectly soluble and neutral in taste and flavor.

About PB Leiner

PB Leiner is an established global gelatin and collagen solutions manufacturer. With production sites in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, PB Leiner supplies its customers with high-quality solutions for the food, health & nutrition, and pharmaceutical markets. PB Leiner employs approximately 1,200 people and is part of Tessenderlo Group.  

Tessenderlo Group (Euronext: TESB) is a global industrial group that focuses on agriculture, valorizing bio-residuals, machinery, mechanical engineering, electronics, energy, and industrial solutions for water management. Its belief that “Every Molecule Counts” is at the heart of the strategy of the group: Tessenderlo Group continually strives to valorize its products and processes to the maximum and to add value to everything it does. For more information about Tessenderlo Group, please visit

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Esther De Groot                                                          

PB Leiner