With populations ageing in virtually every nation across the globe, consumer demand for solutions that can tackle age-related conditions such as sarcopenia (muscle loss) is growing at an impressive rate.
Globally, the number of people aged 60 and older is growing faster than any other age group. It is estimated that by 2050, more than one in five people will be at least 60 years old.
According to the WHO study on global ageing and adult health (SAGE), the southern African sub-region has the continent’s highest percentage of elderly people. Within southern Africa, South Africa has the highest proportion of senior inhabitants. By 2025, it is projected that South Africans aged 50 years or older and 60 years or older will comprise 18.4 per cent and 10.5 per cent of the total population.
The ever-expanding number of elderly people makes the health concerns of an ageing population a growing socio-economic issue. The WHO’s World Report on Ageing and Health estimates that 38.4 per cent of South Africans between the ages of 65 and 74 struggle with everyday tasks. An estimated 49.2 per cent of those aged over 75 experience the same problems. Healthy ageing is paramount if older people are to remain independent and play a part in family and community life. There is a general difference of several years between overall life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. Closing this gap is a task that provides various opportunities for manufacturers of food, beverages and nutritional supplements. It can help consumers achieve goals with scientifically proven ingredients such as collagen peptides.
High quality proteins are important tools when it comes to improving wellbeing and bodily functions at every age. The specific collagen peptides from Gelita are proven to be useful in many serious health issues related to ageing, such as protein malnutrition, joint, muscle or bone problems and loss of skin vitality. With their special nutritional and technological properties, these natural proteins are enjoying popularity in the food and dietary supplements market.
Ingredients are hydrolysed and readily absorbed by the body as well as easily digestible, bioavailable and free from fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, gluten and purines. Collagen peptides are non-allergenic and have no E-numbers, so they are perfectly suited for the development of clean label products.
Ways to counteract sarcopenia
Several investigations have shown that the onset of sarcopenia can be postponed and its progress impeded by regular physical activity and resistance training. It has been demonstrated that additional dietary proteins enhance the rate of post-exercise muscle protein synthesis and decrease muscle protein breakdown.
During a three-month programme of resistance training, researchers from the Institute of Sports and Sports Science at the University of Freiburg, Germany, investigated the effect of post-exercise supplementation with collagen peptides. The double blind, placebo-controlled study included 60 sarcopenic men aged 65 and older (mean age = 72). The study participants were randomly divided into two groups. Both groups underwent the same training programme of three sessions per week, which involved the use of fitness devices that targeted all of the larger muscle groups and lasted for one hour per session.
The participants assigned to the treatment group were given 15g of Bodybalance collagen peptides per day. Subjects in the placebo group received silicon dioxide (silica), which was chosen as a safe non-caloric food additive that is absorbed in negligible amounts by the small intestine. It has no metabolic effects compared to, for example, carbohydrates. Both the collagen peptides group and the placebo group were given their daily dose of 15g of powder dissolved in 250mL of water. On training days, the participants were instructed to drink the solution as soon as possible after the workout session, and no longer than one hour after training.
Collagen peptides show definite benefits
The main finding of the study was that Bodybalance increased the benefits of resistance training in elderly people with sarcopenia. Compared with the placebo, participants in the collagen-supplemented group showed a significant increase in fat-free mass (+4.2kg compared with +2.9kg) and muscle strength (+16.5Nm compared with +7.3Nm), as well as a statistically significant reduction in fat mass
(-5.4kg compared with -3.5kg).
Gelita Bodybalance collagen peptides are available in fine powder and agglomerate form. They are soluble in cold water and have perfect flow properties for dust-free pouring and dosing. In powder form, the peptides can easily be mixed with other ingredients; they have excellent wetting and dissolution properties when stirred into liquids, even in high concentrations. In their natural form, they are odourless and taste-neutral, and do not react with other ingredients. This makes them suitable for a wide range of different applications — from dietary products and functional foods to food supplements and beverages.