Nutritional Outlook recently caught up with Gelita (Sergeant Bluff, IA), which talked about how the company’s latest collagen peptide ingredient, BodyBalance, continues to focus on body composition and whole-muscle health. Lara Niemann, Gelita’s marketing director, Americas, says that just as the rest of Gelita’s collagen peptide portfolio emphasizes “taking care of your skin, taking care of your joints,” BodyBalance is about “taking care of your muscles.”
Studies, including one published in 2015 in The British Journal of Nutrition1 and conducted in men suffering from age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia), support the positive benefits of collagen peptides on body and muscle composition following exercise, with subjects showing significant, positive gains in fat-free mass and muscle strength, as well as a statistically significant reduction in fat mass.
The company also announced that it has completed another BodyBalance study, unpublished, this time in younger, healthy participants. According to the company, as in The British Journal of Nutrition study, subjects in the new study saw increases in fat-free mass and reductions in fat mass, as well as improvements in muscle strength and waist circumference.
Still, Niemann emphasizes, BodyBalance is not intended to be a weight-management tool. “Although there are [weight-management] benefits, we’re not marketing it as that,” she tells Nutritional Outlook. “It’s a collagen protein, but what we’re seeing is stimulation of the collagen matrix of your muscles, which contributes to this lean muscle mass. I don’t know that we would call it a fat burner or a muscle metabolizer.”
Also, she emphasizes, supplementation should be combined with exercise in order to see the benefits like those seen in The British Journal of Nutrition study. “It’s not a silver bullet,” she says. “You don’t just take your collagen, and life is good. You actually have to do some work.”
And, while BodyBalance is not a weight-management ingredient per se, as Niemann points out, subjects may experience a fitter physique as a result of improved body composition. “We talk about how a pound of fat weighs as much as a pound of lean muscle, but the look of it is very different,” she points out. “A pound of fat takes up more volume, and that’s where we can really drill down on this message of body toning, body composition” with BodyBalance. “So we’re not saying, supplement with BodyBalance to lose weight. It’s ‘supplement with BodyBalance in combination with exercise to really reshape your body or really give your body the best composition you can give it.'”
“I hope that one day the weight-management focus isn’t about the number on the scale,” she adds. She says that both of the company’s BodyBalance studies “demonstrate that the combination of resistance exercise and specific collagen peptides supplementation is well suited to strengthen muscular power, build lean muscle mass, and decrease fat mass…outcomes that are highly desired by those in a weight-management program or regimen.”
And there are other health benefits attributed to collagen peptides. Given Gelita’s research in the fields of joint and skin health, “At the same time you’re taking BodyBalance, you’re benefitting your joints and your skin health, so [the ingredient] really is about healthy aging,” Niemann says. She says that all of these benefits combined make BodyBalance a good tool for the aging population, which experiences everything from achy joints, aging skin, and sarcopenia.
“Across the whole spectrum of the age group, regardless of what your health conditions are, consumers and industry are really understanding this importance that muscle health plays in your whole being,” Niemann says.
1. 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