Effect of a Daily Collagen Peptide Supplement on Digestive Symptoms in Healthy Women: 2-Phase Mixed Methods Study.
Background: The effect of dietary collagen on managing digestive symptoms is currently lacking in the literature.
Objective: To gain a better understanding of this issue, we conducted a 2-phase mixed methods study.
Methods: Phase 1 was a mixed methods design to explore current attitude and practice among consumers and health care practitioners. The findings were used to design an 8-week phase 2 digital study called Gutme! conducted in the United States in healthy female volunteers (BMI>25 kg/m2). Our aim was, first, to determine the feasibility of conducting a fully digital mixed methods study; second, the study explored the effect of an 8-week daily supplementation of 20 g dietary collagen peptide (Peptan) on digestive symptoms. Phase 2 was a prospective, open-label, longitudinal, single-arm study. Participation involved 2 weeks of baseline tracking (digestive symptoms, mood, stool, and lifestyle) using an app, followed by 8 weeks of tracking and taking 20 g collagen peptide supplement split into 2 dosages per day. Participants were required to complete a web-based symptom questionnaire at baseline, week 2, and week 8, as well as participate in 2 scheduled video interviews.
Results: Phase 1 revealed that consumer awareness of collagen for digestive health is low (64/204, 31.4%). Among the dietitians prescribing collagen for their patients, the most common dosage was 20 g a day with notable effects after 6 weeks of intake. Within the phase 2 study, of the 40 recruited participants, 14 (35%) completed the full course of supplementation. The findings indicate that 93% (13/14) of those who completed the study experienced a reduction in digestive symptoms, which included bloating.
Conclusions: A mixed methods digital study design is feasible and acceptable for collecting relevant data in a real-life setting. The use of a 20 g daily collagen peptide supplement may reduce bloating and improve mild digestive symptoms in otherwise healthy female adults in the absence of any other dietary or lifestyle interventions.