The effect of active absorbable algal calcium (AAA Ca) with collagen and other matrix components on back and joint pain and skin impedance

J Bone Miner Metab. 2002;20(5):298-302. doi: 10.1007/s007740200043.


The effect of active absorbable algal calcium (AAA Ca) with collagen and other matrix components on aging-associated skin changes and backache and joint pain was tested in a case-controlled study of 40 test subjects and 40 age-matched control subjects (mean age, 65 years) complaining of backache and knee joint pain due to osteoarthritis, spondylosis deformans, and/or osteoporosis. Supplementation with 900 mg calcium (given as AAA Ca) and 3.5 g collagen and other matrix components, including glucosamine, daily for 4 months resulted in a marked alleviation of subjective pain, assessed by the face scale. A fall of skin impedance in response to exercise loads, such as standing up, walking, squatting, and climbing up and down stairs, reported as an objective manifestion of pain, was also alleviated. The basal skin impedance, which increases with age, was significantly reduced in response to the Ca-collagen-matrix supplementation, suggesting a change of skin properties similar to rejuvenation, along with subjective smoothening and moistening of the skin. Urinary excretion of N-terminal crosslinking telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx) was decreased in the Ca-collagen-matrix supplementation group, but not in the control group. In addition to calcium suppression of parathyroid hormone, preventing bone resorption, collagen, acting on the intestinal lymphatic system, may protect collagen from degradation through the inhibition of cytokine-induced release of metalloproteinases, including collagenase.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Aged
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Density
  • Calcium / pharmacokinetics
  • Calcium / therapeutic use*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Collagen / therapeutic use*
  • Collagen / urine
  • Collagen Type I
  • Electric Impedance
  • Extracellular Matrix / chemistry
  • Female
  • Glucosamine / therapeutic use*
  • Glycosaminoglycans / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / complications
  • Joint Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Knee Joint / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / complications
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy*
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Peptides / urine
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena / drug effects


  • Collagen Type I
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Peptides
  • collagen type I trimeric cross-linked peptide
  • Collagen
  • Glucosamine
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Calcium