The notion of nutricosmetic dietary supplements, or “beauty from within,” is nothing new in many Asian and European countries. Stateside, it’s a trend that’s been steadily gaining traction for several years now, but has yet to reach the level of widespread consumer awareness that it enjoys elsewhere. According to Lara Niemann, marketing director, Gelita (Sergeant Bluff, IA), that’s all changing. At this year’s SupplySide West show, Gelita showcased new innovative delivery forms for its collagen peptide ingredients and discussed the research that is helping it make inroads in two key market segments: nutricosmetics and muscle health.
Niemann said that one of Gelita’s primary messages at the show is that collagen can help consumers age in a healthy way. She said that there’s been a shift in how age-related beauty products are marketed; the messaging is no longer about age prevention; rather, it’s about healthy aging. The beauty-from-within trend, she said, is an example of how consumer attitudes have shifted in this regard. “Three or four years ago, we had conversations with people [about beauty from within], and we’d get blank stares. Now in many places…you hear about collagen.” She added that Gelita has devoted significant resources to clinical research supporting its collagen ingredients.
Gelita’s collagen peptide ingredient, Verisol, she said, has been featured in several published studies related to skin health, nail health, and even cellulite reduction. The studies showed that supplementation with Verisol led to increases in skin moisture and elasticity, a reduction of wrinkle depth, and a reduction in cellulite. And while collagen is most commonly associated with skin health—and for good reason—its nail-health benefits are often overlooked, Niemann added. “The research is showing that it’s decreasing brittleness in nails…and I think that this is important, especially as a women’s health or beauty topic.”
Niemann said that Gelita has seen “strong demand” for Verisol from the nutricosmetic segment thus far. “We’re expecting growth moving into 2018, and we’re very encouraged by the developing beauty-from-within market,” she told Nutritional Outlook at the show.
She added that collagen peptides are also gaining traction in the muscle and body-composition space. A recently published study1 in the British Journal of Nutrition, Niemann said, examined the effects of Gelita’s body-composition and whole-muscle-health collagen peptide ingredient, BodyBalance, plus resistance training, in men aged 70 and above, compared to a placebo group. The collagen group, she said, showed a significant increase in lean muscle mass and a decrease in body fat. “We were really encouraged by those results, and now in our research pipeline we’re looking at BodyBalance supplementation in younger people, [and] looking at it in women.” Results from those studies are forthcoming, she said.
At the show, Gelita showcased several unique collagen delivery formats that it developed through partnerships with other companies. One such product is a collagen beauty gum called, fittingly, Beautigum. Other products on display included near-water beverages, collagen-infused chocolate bars and sauces, and a concentrated collagen shot. Collagen is perfect for just about any formulation, Niemann said, because it has a “neutral taste, neutral color, [is] allergen-free, highly soluble, and highly dispersible.” Gummies, while not new to the supplements industry, are on the rise in the beauty market as well.
Niemann emphasized that collagen supplementation is important at every stage of life. “If you’re a twenty-something, collagen supplementation can help you be optimized…as we age into the 70, 80 age range, it really becomes about maintaining independence,” she said. “Thirty percent of the body’s protein is made of collagen. Supplementing with collagen should be intuitive.”
- Zdzieblik D et al., "Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial," The British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 114, no. 8 (October 28, 2015): 1237-1245