Worn out knee functions better with 40 mg undenatured type II collagen daily
A miniscule amount of undenatured type II collagen improves the functioning of worn out knee joints. According to a study published in Nutrition Journal, the stuff – which comes from chicken carcasses – works better than the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin.
We're going to be honest here: this study is a commercial as they get. It was funded by InterHealth Nutraceuticals [interhealthusa.com], the manufacturer of the undenatured type II collagen that was tested. On top of that, the first authors of the publication in Nutrition Journal are employees of InterHealth.
That we nevertheless are devoting attention to this study is because of the claim made. The researchers suggest that the small amount of about 40 mg of this protein can make joints healthier. If this is indeed the case, and the researchers have not been cooking the data, it's pretty sensational and of major interest to athletes with joint problems. And there are quite a few of them, certainly in the strength sports world. So there.
For their experiment the researchers used three groups of about fifty people who had osteoarthritis in the knee joint. Over a period of six months one group took a placebo every day, a second group took a supplement containing 1500 mg glucosamine and 1200 mg chondroitin, and a third group took 40 mg undenatured type II collagen.
The subjects took half of their capsules in the mornings and the other half in the evenings.
Before and during the supplementation period the subjects filled in monthly questionnaires. One of these was the Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC]. The answers given create scores for joint complaints: the higher the WOMAC score, the more serious the problems.
The figure below shows that during the experiment the scores went down in all groups. That happened a little faster in the glucosamine/chondroitin group [GC] than in the placebo group, but the difference was not statistically significant.
The scores decreased even faster in the subjects that had taken the undenatured type II collagen [UC II]. And that effect was statistically significant.
The researchers also asked the subjects to bend their knee joint, and to give the pain a score [VAS]. The VAS scores also decreased in all groups, but the decrease was significantly bigger in the subjects who took undenatured type II collagen.
"We believe that additional research is warranted both to confirm and to define these findings more extensively", the researchers wrote.
Nutr J. 2016 Jan 29;15(1):14.
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