Introduction: Current options to promote joint comfort are limited to medicines that can reduce pain but can also have adverse effects. Collagen, a major component of joint cartilage, is found in the diet, particularly in meat. Its hydrolysed form, collagen hydrolysate (CH), is well absorbed. CH may stimulate the joint matrix cells to synthesize collagen, so helping to maintain the structure of the joint and potentially to aid joint comfort.
Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, controlled multicentre trial, 250 subjects with primary osteoarthritis of the knee were given 10 g CH daily for 6 months.
Results: There was a significant improvement in knee joint comfort as assessed by visual analogue scales to assess pain and the Womac pain subscale. Subjects with the greatest joint deterioration, and with least intake of meat protein in their habitual diets, benefited most.
Conclusion: CH is safe and effective and warrants further consideration as a food ingredient.