Study under review: Efficacy and tolerability of an undenatured type II collagen supplement in modulating knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebocontrolled study
Arthritis afflicts 46 million Americans, or approximately 21% of the U.S. population. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), which affects nearly 27 million Americans. OA is characterized by a progressive loss of the cartilage in joints, which normally cushions the ends of bones. As the cartilage wears away and bone begins to rub against bone, pain, swelling, and stiffness may develop.
Current recommendations for the treatment and management of OA include a combination of non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies such as exercise, heat/cold therapy, joint protection, weight loss, physical therapy, supplementation with chondroitin and glucosamine, and medications. The most common medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. However, concerns over the side effects associated with the use of these drugs has led many toward more natural nutraceuticals to ease their pain and discomfort.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally occurring constituents of cartilage (depicted in Figure 1) that may alleviate pain associated with OA. Both are popular among people suffering from knee OA, with 59% of people who use alternative medicine supplementing glucosamine and 54% supplementing chondroitin.
An emerging nutraceutical is undenatured type II collagen (UC-II). Preliminary evidence has suggested that it may perform equally as well if not better than a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin in the context of alleviating symptoms associated with knee OA. However, this study was relatively small, short in duration, and did not have a placebo control group. The current study was designed to overcome these limitations by evaluating the efficacy of undenatured type II collagen in people with knee OA compared to placebo and to a combination therapy of glucosamine plus chondroitin.
Osteoarthritis is managed primarily through lifestyle changes and over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and NSAIDs. However, glucosamine and chondroitin are recommended as natural alternatives for symptom relief. The study under review evaluated a third type of supplement, undenatured type II collagen, for alleviating OA symptoms when compared to placebo as well as to glucosamine plus chondroitin.
Other Articles in Issue #17 (March 2016)
Chromium has long been viewed as a potential anti-diabetic supplement. But the form of chromium in supplements may not always be the final form your cells get. This study looked at a potential connection to cancer, through testing extremely high dose chromium exposure.
Fish oil and football: an unlikely pair
Head trauma from football, and its delayed (and catastrophic) health effects, are a major issue in sports today. What if something as simple as fish oil supplementation could help with this
- Interview: Marie Spano, MS, RD
Protein: sleep fuel?
Protein is typically thought of as a muscle-building supplement, but its uses go beyond that. This study looked at the potential for protein supplementation to improve sleep during a weight-loss diet.
Creatine, depression, and brain energetics
The human brain is a powerhouse, consuming tons of fuel to keep all those intricate neural connections going. Brain energetics may play a role in major depression, which makes creatine a potential adjunct to antidepressants and therapy.
The taurine-blood pressure connection
With well over half of Americans having either hypertension or prehypertension, effective supplements are a highly researched area. The amino-acid like compound taurine may be a safe and easy-to-obtain treatment option.
Is organic meat healthier?
Part of the allure of organic food is the potential for improved nutrition. But studies in the past have tended to focus on organic plant foods. This broadranging meta-analysis of 67 studies puts organic meat to the test
- Interview: Matt Smith MD
Vitamin D for MDD
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a condition without many effective treatments, or at least treatments lacking side effects. Vitamin D has been linked to improved mood, and this trial tested it specifically for MDD