What is osteoarthritis ?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. In the majority of cases and with time, the cartilage in joints erodes and symptoms gradually increase. Gonarthrosis, arthritis of the knee, is the most common type of osteoarthritis. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but it is possible to take control o the symptoms and pain.

Osteoarthritis usually affects the knees, hips, hands, fingers and spine, but sometimes it also affects the wrists, elbows, shoulders and ankles, especially if there has been past injury in these areas.

Joint cartilage acts as a shock absorber and allows the joint to fluidly move. When cartilage erodes, the end of the bones in a joint can rub together, causing pain and restricting movement. Furthermore, damaged joint tissues can secrete substances that remain trapped and increase pain and inflammation. The healing mechanisms of the body can also cause bones to get bigger and boney causing more pain and complications.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis

For many people, the first symptoms are felt as pain in the joints, following exercise or physical work. As the disease progresses, other symptoms can develop :

  • morning joint stiffness
  • pain that increases during the day
  • inflammation causing pain, heat, redness and swelling
  • a gradual weakening of surrounding muscles
  • erosion and complete degradation of the cartilage
  • boney joints
  • pain disturbing sleep
  • loss of flexibility
  • cracking noises.

Osteoarthritis and de decrease in collagen production

Cartilage is present in the joints. It is composed of more than 70% of collagen. It is the production of collagen by the body that ensures the integrity of cartilage and protects the joints. A lack of collagen in cartilage leads to the destruction of cells that compose it and promotes its degeneration. Osteoarthritis shows up as gradual erosion of cartilage in joints. As the disease progresses bones can rub against each other causing pain and restricting movement of the irritated joint.

Studies – Soothing of pain linked to osteoarthritis of the knee and hip

In a study by Benito-Ruiz & al (1) which took place as a double blind study in multiple centers, 250 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee took a daily dose of 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate over a period of 6 months. There was significant improvement of symptoms and of the condition of the knee joint, especially in those where the knee was more degraded and their diet included less protein.

According to a series of studies with collagen hydrolysate, the results form 3 studies (541 patients) showed that the daily intake of 10 g of collagen hydrolysate helped ease the pain in the knees and hips (2).

(1) P. Benito-Ruiz & al, A randomized controlled trial on the efficacy and safety of a food ingredient, collagen hydrolysate, for improving joint comfort. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2009, Vol. 60, No. s2, Pg 99-113.

(2) Moskowitz RW. Role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Oct. 30 (2): 87-89.