SOLUGEL Clinical Study White Paper

Clinical trial FSU: SOLUGEL® improves physical and mental well-being for active middle-aged adults

October 6, 2023 - A Florida State University (FSU) clinical trial finds that SOLUGEL® (a brand of PB Leiner, part of Tessenderlo Group) supplementation for active middle-aged adults not only helps to relieve joint pain and increases their daily living activities but now also has a proven effect on the mental well-being of this demographic group.

Joint discomfort and exercise: a catch-22

Across the globe, more and more people are doing physical exercise to improve their overall health. No less than 87% of middle-aged adults think that exercising or improving physical fitness is (very) important to create a feeling of well-being or wellness (1). At the same time, joint health is a major concern for active adults worldwide. Research shows that 93% of people aged between 45 and 59 years have concerns about joint and muscle pain (2). This leaves this category of people in something of a catch-22 situation: they want to exercise but they also apprehend exercising because of the joint pain. In fact, research has shown that over half of people aged 45 years+ reported they had stopped or reduced exercise due to joint discomfort (3).


Clinical Trial: the effect of collagen on active middle-aged adults

Recognizing the role that collagen plays in our aging process — collagen loss starts in our 30s, causing tissue regeneration decline in skin, muscle, and bones, which in turn leads to reduced physical function, injuries, and persistent pain – a research team at FSU set out to investigate the effect of regular intake of SOLUGEL® collagen peptides for middle-aged adults. The study participants were all aged between 40 - 65 years and spent at least 3 - 4 hours each week undertaking activities such as hiking or cycling. They had  no specific pathology but suffered from joint and/or musculoskeletal pain. After 6 months, the research evidences not only a significant decrease in joint discomfort but also indicates an increase in daily activities and mental well-being.


Trial outcomes: less pain, more activity, and increased well-being

The double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial showed significant improvements with SOLUGEL® on various levels. Those consuming 10 g per day of SOLUGEL® collagen peptides saw an improvement according to the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), indicating significant reductions in pain and improvements in knee functionality.

The study also found that collagen peptides may increase the number of activities of daily living (ADL), which includes everyday activities such as commuting, cleaning, shopping, etc. One-third of those participating in the study who consumed 10 g of SOLUGEL® each day saw meaningful improvements in their scores while undertaking such activities. Conversely, none of the participants in the placebo group saw any improvements.

Finally, the study also established that SOLUGEL® collagen peptides improved the mental health scores, while none of the participants in the placebo group saw any improvement. This is the first study to examine the effects of collagen peptide supplementation on The Veterans RAND 12 Item Health Survey (VR-12) and to also find significant mood improvements with the supplementation.

SOLUGEL Clinical Trial white paper graphs

Dr. Michael Ormsbee, Director at FSU Institute of Sports Sciences & Medicine and the lead clinical study researcher, said: “This is the first and only study to examine not only the physical impact but also the mental component of collagen peptide intake for this demographic group: healthy active adults without pathology.”

Dr. Reyhan Nergiz Unal, Health & Nutrition Science Lead at PB Leiner, said: “The potential of collagen peptides to contribute to holistic health for this demographic group is very encouraging: being pain-free and enjoying an increased activity range also has its effect on mental well-being.” Dr. Nergiz Unal is due to speak at the 6th Nutrition in Athlete Development Summit in Barcelona (Spain) on October 10, 2023, where, among other things, she will expand on the study findings.

About SOLUGEL® collagen peptides: SOLUGEL®, one of PB Leiner’s product brands, can provide support for healthy joints, skin beauty, 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.


(1) GlobalData Global Consumer Survey, Q3 2019

(2) Euromonitor Global Health & Wellness Survey, 2019-2021

(3) Arthritis Foundation - Survey: Arthritis Pain Slows Exercise (2018)

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. At the heart of the strategy of the group lies the conviction that “Every Molecule Counts”: in everything Tessenderlo Group does, it seeks to further valorize its products and its processes, and to add value. For more information about Tessenderlo Group, please visit


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Esther De Groot                                                            

PB Leiner