Joint discomfort eased by hydrolysed type II chicken collagen supplements, study finds

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

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©iStock

Related tags: collagen supplements, Joint health, Cartilage

Hydrolysed type II chicken collagen in supplement form is effective in reducing joint pain and stiffness and in improving joint function among healthy adults, US researchers suggest.

Findings from a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial identifies these health benefits in middle-aged adults aged 40–65, who took a hydrolysed chicken collagen type II supplement (AVC-H2) compared to an identical placebo.

“Findings of this study show that AVC-H2 is effective in reducing joint pain and stiffness, and in improving mobility,” ​the team from The George Washington University states.

“We also observed that it is a safe nutra-pharmaceutical for use by adults suffering from arthritis and other joint discomfort.”

The research team began enrolling adults aged 40–65 (65.5% women) who had joint discomfort. They were then randomised to receive either the HCII supplement (n = 47) or a placebo (n = 43) for eight weeks.

At the trial’s start, week 4 and week 8, the team administered a survey (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC)) assessing wrist-related issues and joint-related symptoms.

Research findings

The survey revealed the HCII group had a significant reduction in joint-related discomforts compared with the placebo group.

For example, at week 4, the HCII group had a 36.9% reduction in the overall survey score, compared with a 14.3% reduction in the placebo group.

In week 8, the experimental group saw a survey score reduction of 48.6%, while the placebo group experienced a decrease of 31%.

“To our knowledge, this study is the first to assess the effect of HCII on joint discomfort among adults not utilising any pain medication.

“This distinction is important because NSAIDs, analgesics, or other supplements could confound the effect of HCII on joint function and pain,” ​the paper states.

“Hydrolysed collagen is absorbed intestinally, accumulates in the cartilage, and stimulates the regeneration of chondrocytes.

“That is, AVC-H2 is suspected to target the underlying pathology of joint stiffness. Joint pain, a potential symptom of cartilage degradation, is thus addressed by the hydrolysed collagen type II supplement,” ​the team suggests.

Around 50% of all protein in the body’s joint cartilage is type II collagen. Orally administered hydrolysed collagen likely to be absorbed intestinally, stimulating chondrocytes to produce type II collagen.

Some scientists therefore suggest that hydrolysed collagen type II (HCII) may have the potential to repair or regenerate deteriorating collagen.

In a review of the studies examining collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of OA and other joint disorders, one study​ described a German trial of 100 participants who suffered from hip, knee, and shoulder pain resulting from intense physical activity.

When given 10 grams (g) of hydrolysed collagen daily for 12 weeks, 78% of the participants reported reduced pain; however, the study failed to provide sufficient details regarding the statistical analysis.

Study limitations

In discussing the study findings, the team highlighted methodology limitations, which included the relatively small sample size and the study duration of eight weeks.

The team also says assessing additional clinical measures was needed, rather than relying on self-reported data, in order to provide a better understanding of AVC-H2 effects on overall joint discomfort.

These measures include but are not limited to additional wrist measures and the assessment of other joint functions, such as the shoulder or ankle.

“We may not have been able to capture sub-clinical changes in terms of inflammatory and pathophysiological progression of joint functions,”​ the paper adds.

“Future studies should include relevant biomarkers (such as interleukin−6, C-reactive protein, and other sensitive inflammation markers) to investigate any potential biochemical disturbances.”

Source: MDPI

Published online: doi.org/10.3390/nu13072454

“A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of a Hydrolyzed Chicken Collagen Type II Supplement in Alleviating Joint Discomfort.”

Authors: Anaam Mohammed and Siran He

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