I’ve previously discussed how we can increase collagen in the skin to obtain smoother skin with reduced wrinkle depth and in cartilage/joints for better lubricated joints with partial regrowth of cartilage by supplementing with collagen hydrolysates. I’ve also been lately discussing how increasing blood levels of the hypothalamic/pituitary hormone, oxytocin, has been found in both animals and humans to dramatically increase skin (dermal) collagen and accelerate skin wound healing (an indirect index of skin health and youthfulness). The effect of collagen hydrolysates is incremental and modest over time, while the effect of oxytocin is exponential—much greater, especially if we amplify the counts of Lactobacillus reuteri by fermenting our own yogurt with prebiotic fibers, as I discussed here. (If you missed the discussion on how to make exceptionally rich, thick, high-fat yogurt by adding inulin, see the Undoctored Blog discussion here.)
But what happens if you combine collagen hydrolysate supplementation (or vigorous intake of foods rich in collagen) with the oxytocin-augmenting effects of yogurt fermented with L. reuteri?
There are no clinical studies looking at the combination. But common sense and logic would tell us that we should see a potent synergistic effect: more vigorous collagen deposition in the skin. The oxytocin stimulates dermal deposition of collagen, while collagen hydrolysates provide the substrate (building blocks) for collagen. Oxytocin alone is quite powerful for skin health. We shall have to see just how potent the combination of oxytocin and collagen hydrolysates prove to be.
As there are only preliminary studies suggesting that oxytocin may have beneficial effects on joints and cartilage, such as this study, I do not know whether a potential synergy applies here, as well, but I suspect it does. This may therefore prove to be a potent means of increasing joint and cartilage health.
Both are also very benign strategies. Aside from allergy to collagen (uncommon), no adverse effects have been observed. Likewise, even megadose oxytocin, as in the Chinese study for weight loss that used 24 units four times per day intranasal, no side-effects were observed, a dose that is likely several-fold higher than the levels we achieve with our L. reuteri yogurt.
Of course, either or both strategies are perfect for the Undoctored world, effective strategies that you can put to use without the doctor or healthcare system with results that are superior to that obtained through conventional medical means. After all, when is the last time your doctor advised you on how to generate smoother, less wrinkled, healthier skin?