Collagen is one of the various types of protein found in skin, bone, muscles and internal organs, and it is necessary for the proper functioning of these tissues. Hydrolyzed collagen is the product resulting from bone and cartilage that has been broken down into small components that collectively are referred to as gelatin. Bone and cartilage are first crushed or ground, defatted, then rid of their calcium content via soaking in hydrochloric acid before being soaked in sodium hydroxide to destroy the natural bonds in the collagen.
Once the process is complete, a powder remains that can be reconstituted into gelatin — the same gelatin used in cooking and the making of empty capsules for taking medications. Among the health claims frequently made about the internal use of hydrolyzed collagen include muscle tone, strengthening of arteries, rebuilding of the joints and internal organs.