Questions raised over health benefits of Lewis Road Creamery collagen-infused milk

Questions raised over health benefits of Lewis Road Creamery collagen-infused milk

Lewis Road Creamery is now making milk with added bovine collagen.

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Lewis Road Creamery is now making milk with added bovine collagen.

Premium dairy brand Lewis Road Creamery has come under fire from the consumer watchdog for claims it made about the potential health benefits of its latest product.

Last week, Lewis Road Creamery released a 150ml milk product, which costs $5 and contains 5g of added bovine collagen.

On its website, the company stated the collagen it used had been “scientifically shown to regenerate joint cartilage [and] stimulate the body’s own mechanisms for maintaining healthy joints and optimum mobility”. However, it removed the comment after receiving a complaint from Consumer New Zealand.

The jury is out on whether collagen supplements, like the one used in the milk, can improve joint health.

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Collagen is a protein produced by the human body that makes up the skin, bones, tendons and ligaments.

Multiple scientific studies have found the evidence about the effect of collagen supplements on joint health is inconclusive.

The Food Standards Code, which regulates what food manufacturers can say about the health benefits of their products, is yet to approve any claims about collagen and joints.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which oversees the code, requires food manufacturers to provide evidence to back up any new health claims before they use them to market their products.

“We’re super-charging fresh milk so you can get a dose of high-quality collagen without even having to think about it,” says Nicola O’Rourke from Lewis Road Creamery after the release of its latest product

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“We’re super-charging fresh milk so you can get a dose of high-quality collagen without even having to think about it,” says Nicola O’Rourke from Lewis Road Creamery after the release of its latest product

Lewis Road Creamery’s general manager Nicola O’Rourke said a staff member had published the statement in error.

”We had agreed from the outset, that we would not make specific health claims, and you will notice on the product we have not done so.

“As soon as we realised our mistake, we removed the material. The good news is, both the product and the label are fine,” she said.

O’Rourke apologised for the mistake.

“Whilst the evidence and reports that we cited are still relevant, we missed a piece of the permission process for talking about this, so we’re now getting that sorted,” she said.

New Zealand Dermatological Society president Dr Louise Reiche said for most people, drinking the collagen-infused milk was unlikely to improve their skin.

That was because the gut broke down collagen from food into amino acids – the building blocks which form proteins.

While Lewis Road Creamery had not claimed its collagen-infused milk would improve the skin of those who drank it, that conclusion could be implicitly drawn by consumers, Reiche told Stuff.

For the body to make collagen, it needed several vitamins and minerals.

If people wanted youthful looking skin they were better off drinking lots of water, regularly getting good sleep and wearing sunscreen over drinking collagen-infused milk, Reiche said.

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