Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, June 2018

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NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ■ 19 JUNE 2018 "Collagen is on the verge of going mainstream as a bona f de food and beverage ingredient," says Annie Vo of Vinh Wellness. in multiple channels are segmenting into these specif c targeted end points." Clardy sees the evolution as a conse- quence of the category's maturation, and a sign that the protein is "moving more to- ward the footprint that you see in the Asian market," where collagen-containing supple- ments, topicals, and foods and beverages aimed at skin, hair, and nail support have long been commonplace. As we learn more about collagen's role in mobility maintenance and athletic perfor- mance, more consumers—and from a broad- er range of age groups and need states—are also turning to the protein. "In the coming year," says Juliana Erickson, senior market- ing manager, Lonza (Basel, Switzerland), "we anticipate that manufacturers will continue to account for a diverse demographic when developing joint-health products. And while it's been traditionally seen as a market for the aging population, there's a growing need for collagen ingredients and dosage forms to ad- dress the needs of younger active consumers." Breaking Down the Building Blocks Another collagen driver: protein supplemen- tation. For years, consumers and formulators dismissed collagen as a protein source be- cause, lacking the amino acid tryptophan, it ranked as nutritionally "incomplete." But giv- en its presence—and prevalence—in every- thing from connective tissue and blood ves- sels to skin, intestinal walls, and the cornea, collagen, which accounts for roughly 30% of the body's protein content, must not be all that shabby vis-à-vis our physiological needs. And yet collagen achieves its physiologi- cal ef ects in a manner somewhat dif erent from how other nutrients work. Whereas a compound like the long-chain omega-3 fat- ty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) might go from a f sh oil supplement through the digestive tract, into the bloodstream, and, ultimately, to its target tissues in, say, neu- ral cell membranes, collagen—in its typical supplementary form—enters the system as a short peptide fragment rather than the full-length protein. When cellular receptors primed to detect the complete protein in- tercept these shorter fragments, they get

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