January 22, 2008
A news release from Gelita AG, Eberbach, Germany, reports a clinical study presented at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) congress shows the administration of collagen hydrolysate reduces joint symptoms brought about by mechanical stress. The report stated significant improvement was demonstrated in the case of the knee, the joint most frequently affected by pain.
In the study, carried out at the Faculty for Nutrition and Sports Nutrition in conjunction with the Faculty for Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Penn State University, 147 students were treated. All the participants of the study suffered from joint symptoms caused by sporting activity such as stress conditions, injury, post-surgical trauma, limited mobility and inflammation.
The study was prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled and double-blind. The effects brought about by the administration of a daily dose of 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate over a period of 24 weeks on a number of joints were observed. The hip, knee, shoulder, ankle, wrist and elbow joints as well as neck and back of the participants, otherwise healthy and active in sports, were investigated. At the beginning of the study and subsequently every 6 weeks, changes in various pain parameters were objectively observed by a physician and subjectively by the participants with the help of a visual analog pain scale. These were then defined as primary parameters.
Knee benefits particularly
One result of the study was that participants with knee pain in particular benefited from the administration of collagen hydrolysate. 65% of the students in the study suffered from symptoms of the knee resulting from sports activity; these were included in a sub-population of 96 students and subjected to a subgroup-analysis. In this group, the pain experienced in walking, standing, at rest, running straight and running with change in direction was compared to the placebo group. The collagen hydrolysate group produced significantly better results. In addition, it was observed that, subsequent to completion of the study, the specific sub-group showed greater differences on average on the analog pain scale. This indicated a pronounced reduction in pain brought about by collagen hydrolysate compared with the other joints investigated.
In general, with respect to the primary parameters, all joints in the collagen hydrolysate group showed positive results: the subjective factor of pain on walking, standing, carrying objects and standing up was reduced significantly. The objective parameters of pain at rest and joint mobility as documented by the physician were also shown to improve significantly and represented a statistically positive trend.
Concomitant treatment for pain reduced
The secondary parameters of the study were concomitant medication for pain or alternative treatment and the subjective views of the students to swelling and mobility of their affected joints. These were assessed every six weeks. After 24 weeks, it was established that collagen hydrolysate was significantly superior to placebo with regard to alternative pain therapy: accompanying methods such as physiotherapy and acupuncture became significantly less effective as from week 18 both in the entire- and in the sub-group. This can be so interpreted that collagen hydrolysate becomes effective with some delay but remains so for the longer term. "The clinical data collected show that collagen hydrolysate significantly alleviates the joint symptoms in persons that pursue active sports. This could well result in an increase in overall performance", summarized Dr. Klaus Flechsenhar, Head of Medical Research at GELITA AG, Germany. The study confirms already existing clinical data that clearly show the positive influence of collagen hydrolysate on joint symptoms as well as improved joint mobility.
In the study, participants who had been assigned to the nutritional supplement group were treated with the product "CH-Alpha" of GELITA Health Products, Germany.