by Marion Nestle
Feb 24 2020

Industry-funded study of the week: collagen supplements

The study: A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind StudyNutrients 201911(10), 2494.

Purpose: “The purpose of this randomized, placebo-controlled, blind study was to investigate the effects of the drinkable nutraceutical ELASTEN® (QUIRIS Healthcare, Gütersloh, Germany) on skin aging and skin health.”

Conclusions: The test product significantly improved skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density…These positive effects were substantially retained during the follow-up.

Funding: This research was funded by Quiris Healthcare, Germany.

Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest. The sponsor had no influence on execution, analysis and interpretation of the data.

Comment: The funder, Quiris Healthcare, “develops and sells innovative, natural health products. The focus is on effectiveness and special quality.”  What struck me about this particular example is how the authors report no conflict of interest and state that the sponsor had no influence on how the study was conducted, analyzed, and interpreted.  Most research on the influence of industry funding indicates that it most often shows up in the study design.  Research also shows that investigators are unaware of the influence; it occurs at an unconscious level.  I review data backing up these statements in my book Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat.