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Collagen trials for osteoarthritis

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Trial 1

In the first trial, 81 participants with osteoarthritis were randomly selected to receive placebo tablets or one of three gelatine (collagen hydrolyse) preparations. Participants in the active treatment groups were treated daily with 10 g of each gelatine product (0.5 g each tablet) for two months.

All three gelatine preparations were significantly better than the placebo in reducing pain at the end of the trial period, but they didn’t cause any radiological or laboratory changes.

The most common side-effect was heaviness in the stomach.

Trial 2

This trial included 389 people with osteoarthritis across 20 sites in the UK, USA and Germany. Participants were randomised to receive either 10 g of collagen hydrolysate or placebo tablets for 24 weeks.

  • Collagen hydrolysate had no significant effect on reducing pain and improving physical function in the total study group.
  • There was a beneficial effect in participants who had severe symptoms at the start of the study.
  • Collagen hydrolysate was relatively well tolerated.

Trial 3

In this trial, 250 people with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomised to receive either 10 g collagen hydrolysate or a placebo daily for six months.

  • Those who received collagen reported a greater reduction in pain.
  • The most frequently reported side-effects were:
    • migraines
    • headaches
    • gastrointestinal effects.

Trial 4

Trial 4 included 29 people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee. Participants were given either a collagen formulation (Fortigel®) or a placebo for 24 weeks.

At the end of the study, there were no reported differences in the following:

  • pain
  • stiffness
  • function
  • walking.

Trial 5

In the final RCT, 52 participants with osteoarthritis of the knee were given 10 mg bioactive undenatured type II collagen or glucosamine hydrochloride plus chondroitin once a day for three months.

  • There were no differences in pain or functional scores across the trial, but there were differences at some time points which favoured the collagen group when function was measured in a second way.
  • There was no difference in the proportion of reported side-effects between the groups.
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