CHICAGO, December 2 /PRNewswire/ -- After Vioxx, new research in the field of osteoarthritis is increasingly important. During this year's congress of the OsteoArthritis Research Society International (OARSI) in Chicago, a US multi-center clinical study is being presented that documents an improvement in pain and in knee function in patients with osteoarthritis after taking the dietary supplement collagen hydrolysate. An in-vitro study, also to be presented, shows a significant stimulation of cartilage metabolism by collagen hydrolysate. These latest results confirm findings that have been made through clinical and experimental observation in recent years and indicate that scientists may have found an option for the prevention of degenerative joint diseases and regeneration of joint cartilage.
Promising new research indicates that collagen hydrolysate (CH), a natural protein derived from collagen, may be able to strengthen joint cartilage and reduce joint pain. Collagen hydrolysate has the same amino acid composition as the collagen that is found in joint cartilage and contains high concentrations of glycine and proline. These amino acids are elementary building blocks for the synthesis of the cartilage matrix and are crucial for the optimal function of joint cartilage.
According to Steffen Oesser, PhD, at the Collagen Research Institute in Kiel, Germany, CH may be involved in the regulation of collagen turnover. Oesser and his team performed experiments to elucidate the mechanism that may explain why CH can influence the chondrocyte metabolism in joint cartilage. At this year's OARSI congress, Dr. Oesser presented in-depth findings showing that CH stimulates the synthesis of type II collagen in hyaline cartilage. As Dr. Oesser had demonstrated in his poster session, cells seem to synthesize enhanced amounts of extra cellular matrix after CH treatment, whereas protease activity was not affected by CH. These results indicate that CH may be able to regenerate joint cartilage.
Hans-Konrad Selbmann, MD, professor at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, and Roland W Moskowitz, MD, professor at the Case Western Reserve University, presented a re-evaluated study (conducted by Moskowitz et al. in 2000 - Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, 2000). 389 patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly assigned to two groups. Individuals of the treatment group were given a daily dose of 10 grams of CH for 24 weeks. Individuals of the control group received a placebo. After analyzing the data of the total patient population, no significant results could be seen. However, when the German subgroup, representing 112 patients, was analyzed separately, significant improvement could be observed for CH in all primary endpoints, like WOMAC pain, WOMAC function score, and the overall evaluation by the patient. These country specific differences were of great interest and brought the researchers to re-analyze this study. Five characteristics may have an empirically proven impact on the primary endpoints: drop out rate, acetoaminophen intake, placebo effect, baseline differences, specialist training. Other factors may be nutrition, physical motion, and cultural differences.
The conclusion from this and other CH research is that collagen hydrolysate can stimulate collagen synthesis. Furthermore, the administration of 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate a day for the duration of at least 3 months has a beneficial impact on pain symptoms and joint function in patients with osteoarthritis.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis, one of the most common joint ailments and the most prevalent form of arthritis, affects an estimated 20.7 million Americans, mostly after age 45. Presently, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. Current treatment focuses on reducing pain and inflammation, with the goal of maintaining mobility and avoiding periarticular complications. At the present time, there is no single drug that can reverse osteoarthritic changes, regenerate cartilage or even demonstrably delay progression. Patients are usually placed on a regimen of analgesics or NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to reduce joint pain, stiffness and swelling with the downside that they often have severe side effects.
The GELITA Health Initiative (GHI) was created by the GELITA Group, the leading worldwide manufacturer of gelatine and collagen hydrolysate. The objective of the GHI is to promote collagen hydrolysate research in the area of degenerative joint disease. GELITA has been supporting scientific research of collagen hydrolysate and its beneficial effects since the late 1970s.
The GELITA Group, the gelatine division of DGF STOESS AG, is the leading manufacturer and distributor of gelatine worldwide producing 75,000 tons of gelatine every year. In addition to edible gelatine, the company also markets specific types of gelatine for the pharmaceutical sector and the photographic industry. Currently, a collagen hydrolysate based dietary supplement is being developed by GELITA for US markets.
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GELITA Health Initiative
Moskowitz RW: Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism, 2000(30):87-99.
Adam M: Therapy of osteoarthritis. What effect have gelatine products. Therapiewoche, 1991 (41):2456-61.
Oesser S and Seifert J: Stimulation of type II collagen biosynthesis and secretion in bovine chondrocytes cultured with degraded collagen. Cell Tissue Res, 2003 (311):393-9.
Maetzel A: The economic burden associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypertension: a comparative study. Journal of Rheumatology, 2002(29):1811-3.
GELITA Health Initiative