Novel mobile app gives real-world support for hydrolyzed cartilage matrix’s joint health benefits

© lovelyday12 / Getty Images
© lovelyday12 / Getty Images

Related tags Joint health hydrolyzed cartilage matrix Clinical trial

Daily oral Colartix hydrolyzed cartilage matrix (HCM) supplementation may improve joint discomfort in a wide variety of people, according to real-world data collected using a novel mobile app.

Writing in the Journal of Medical Internet Research​, scientists from Britain and Belgium reported that 1 gram per day of HCM for three weeks supported joint health for a people of different ages, genders and physical activity intensity levels. 

The study was led by scientists from Rousselot, a Darling Ingredients’ Health Brand, and shows how a mobile app can overcome the known barriers of face-to-face studies, including limited access to research centers and practical and logistical issues such as transportation and childcare costs associated with clinical trial participation.

Study methods and materials

Rousselot co-developed the Ingredients for Life​ mobile app specifically to monitor variation in joint pain after exercise by the study participants using the visual analog scale (VAS), a validated pain rating scale. 

Physiotherapists, personal fitness trainers, sports coaches, and nutritionists promoted the app to their clients who experienced joint pain after exercise.  It was available via the app store for both Android and iOS operating systems free of charge.

The Ingredients for Life mobile app allowed for recruitment of a wider cohort in real-world settings.  “We were able to gather data from groups who might have been underrepresented in the study, such as single parents, people with mobility issues or the elderly,” said Janne Prawitt, PhD, Scientific Director at Rousselot and one of the co-authors of the study.  “This expanded recruitment, providing study results that are more relevant and inclusive for everyone.”

Study design

This 16 week, 2-arm parallel designed study enrolled 213 healthy individuals, aged 18-72 years, practicing different sports with various intensity levels.  Participants were randomly assigned to the HCM group (n=177) or the placebo group (n=36).

The Colartix HCM used in the study is described as a naturally occurring matrix of collagen peptides and chondroitin sulphate, derived from hydrolyzed porcine cartilage.

For 12 weeks, participants took 2 capsules with a total of 1 g of HCM or 1g of maltodextrin per day.  A 4 week washout period without supplementation followed.  Weekly, the participants logged their joint pain scores in the app using the VAS.

Study results

The researchers reported that participants in the HCM group experienced a significant reduction in mean joint pain after week 3 compared with placebo. 

In addition, the estimated difference in VAS scores between the HCM group and placebo group increased over the 12 weeks.  The mean VAS score in the placebo group remained steady over the 12 weeks, although, it decreased from 5 (distracting to moderately strong pain) to 2 (minor) in the HCM group. 

During the 4-week washout period, mean VAS scores gradually increased in the HCM group, but scores were still significantly lower than that in the placebo group at week 16 and remained significantly below the levels reported at baseline.


This novel, digitally supported, real-world study, demonstrated the benefits of HCM in joint health in the general population, across all age groups and genders with physically active lifestyles.  Ingredients for Life mobile app generated qualitative, quantifiable, real-world data concluding that oral intake of low dose (1 g/day) HCM led to a significant reduction of joint pain 3 weeks after starting supplementation.

As joint discomfort continues to be a growing problem in active adults, the demand for supplements preventing and supporting joint health as well as reducing joint discomfort is on the rise.  Clinical trials producing conclusions that are more relevant and inclusive to the general population are of great importance. 

“We see digital studies like this becoming a powerful complement to more conventional trials, helping researchers find solutions to joint discomfort that are effective for everyone,” emphasizes Prawitt.

Source: Journal of Medical Internet Research                                                                                             
Published online 4 March 2023 doi: 10.2196/42967
“Development of a Mobile App to Monitor the Effectiveness of a Hydrolyzed Cartilage Matrix Supplement on Joint Discomfort: Real-World Study.”
Authors: Newman et al.




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