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Hydrolyzed vs. Non-Hydrolyzed Collagen: What's the Difference?

Hydrolyzed vs. Non-Hydrolyzed Collagen: What's the Difference? - Nutribal™ - The New Healthy.

Understanding Collagen in Skincare and Supplements

Collagen is a protein found abundantly in our bodies, responsible for maintaining the structure and integrity of skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. As we age, collagen production decreases, which leads to signs of aging such as wrinkles and joint pain. This decline has fueled the popularity of collagen supplements and skincare products, with hydrolyzed and non-hydrolyzed collagen being the principal forms available. Understanding the differences between these two can help consumers make informed decisions about their health and beauty regimens.

Hydrolyzed Collagen Explained

Hydrolyzed collagen, also known as collagen peptides, is collagen that has undergone hydrolysis. This is a chemical process where molecular bonds are broken down using water. The long protein chains of the collagen are broken down into shorter chains or individual amino acids. The primary benefit of this process is that it makes the collagen more easily digestible and absorbable by the human body. Hydrolyzed collagen is soluble in cold water and is typically found in powdered supplements that can be mixed into liquids or foods.

Benefits of Hydrolyzed Collagen

The smaller peptide chains and amino acids in hydrolyzed collagen are readily absorbed into the bloodstream after ingestion. This enhanced bioavailability means that the body can use the collagen more effectively to repair tissues, improve skin elasticity, and support joint health. Hydrolyzed collagen is often favored by those looking to maximize the health benefits of collagen consumption.

Non-Hydrolyzed Collagen Examined

Non-hydrolyzed collagen, often referred to as gelatin, is the unprocessed form of collagen. It is extracted from animal connective tissues and, unlike hydrolyzed collagen, the protein chains remain intact. Non-hydrolyzed collagen tends to be less soluble in water and will often gel when cooled—hence it's used in cooking to create jellies and desserts. Gelatin has a different set of culinary uses compared to hydrolyzed collagen and is not specifically used for its quick absorption.

Benefits of Non-Hydrolyzed Collagen

While not as easily absorbed as its hydrolyzed counterpart, non-hydrolyzed collagen still provides the essential amino acids that the body needs to build and repair collagen in the body. It can be beneficial for gut health due to its ability to gel, which may be soothing to the digestive system. Additionally, non-hydrolyzed collagen is typically more cost-effective than the hydrolyzed version and provides similar overarching benefits.

Choosing Between Hydrolyzed and Non-Hydrolyzed Collagen

When deciding between hydrolyzed and non-hydrolyzed collagen, it is important to consider your goals and preferences. If you're looking for a supplement that is absorbed quickly, possibly to improve skin appearance or joint health more effectively, hydrolyzed collagen might be the preferred choice. On the other hand, if you are interested in the gut health benefits or culinary applications, non-hydrolyzed collagen (gelatin) might be more suitable.

It is also essential to consider dietary restrictions or allergies, as collagen is derived from animal sources, and vegetarians or individuals with allergies to certain animal products will need to seek out alternative sources of collagen or specific hypoallergenic supplements.


In the world of health and nutrition, the choice between hydrolyzed and non-hydrolyzed collagen comes down to personal needs and preferences. Both forms contribute to the maintenance of our body's collagen supplies, albeit in different ways. As always, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any new supplement to your diet, especially if you have underlying health concerns.

Most natural, Nutribal COLLAGENIX Grass-fed & Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides

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