Study on Gelita’s branded collagen links it to benefits in athletes’ joint health

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / g-stockstudio
Getty Images / g-stockstudio
Researchers in Germany reported that intake of a specific collagen peptide commercialized by German gelatin maker Gelita was associated with improvements in sports-related activities among individuals with chronic ankle instability.

Chronic ankle instability is one of the most common complaints in sports with fast changes of direction, such as American football, basketball, or soccer, lead researcher and co-author Dr Denise Zdzieblik told us.

It is marked by mechanical instability, perceived instability, and recurring sprain, she added.

Dr Zdzieblik is affiliated with the University of Freiburg, as well as the Collagen Research Institute in Kiel, Germany, which focuses on the pathophysiology of connective tissue diseases and the development of new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of degenerative processes in the extracellular matrix of connective tissue cells.

Her team investigated the efficacy of Tendoforte​, Gelita’s patented form of collagen peptide manufactured using a very specific and proprietary process for use in joint health.

The study, presented as a poster at the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) conference last month, was based on Dr Zdzieblik’s team’s analysis of data from a clinical trial published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ​in 2018​, led by Patrick Dressler of the University of Freiburg.

“Their results showed an increase in improved ankle functionality represented by statistically significantly higher CAIT (Chronic Ankle Instability Tool) and FAAM (Foot and Ankle Ability Measure) scores after the daily intake of 5 g [Tendoforte] over 6 months,”​ she said.

“The objective of our study was to perform a more detailed exploratory examination of the data from the study by [Dressler] to gain a greater understanding of the impact of Tendoforte on chronic ankle instability patients.”

Details and results

The studies led by Dressler and Dr Zdzieblik were both funded by Gelita through product donation and purchase of study equipment.

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Dressler’s study involved 60 male and female competitive athletes with the average age of 26 who have received a clinical diagnosis of chronic ankle instability from a physician, as well as self-reported chronic ankle instability based on a tool and questionnaire.

The participants went through a randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study. They were required to dissolve a 5 g packet of powder, either Tendoforte or a placebo, into 250 ml at room temperature to drink once daily.

They drank the solution one hour after standardized ankle-loading tasks such as rope skipping and squats. On non-training days, the participants were asked to ingest the product at the same time as on training days. The intervention period lasted for six months.

“We assessed changes in the questionnaires at baseline and after a six-months intervention period. The results from the questionnaires were compared between baseline and after six months within groups,”​ said Dr Zdzieblik, who was also a co-author of Dressler’s original paper

For the poster presentation which Dr Zdzieblik led and presented at ISSN, they compared the single task items of the tasks as described in Dressler’s paper.

“In more detail, these findings demonstrate that the daily intake of 5 g Tendoforte was associated with statistically significant improvements in sports-related activities shown by the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure tasks,”​ such as improved overall capability to perform sports techniques as jumping, running, landing, start-stop quickness drills and restoration of the ability to perform sports without a limitation in time, she added.

Rise of collagen for sports nutrition

Collagen has been a staple in the beauty-from-within industry for its years of research on skin health benefits.

The past few years, however, have seen an uptick of collagen inclusion insports and performance nutrition products​.

“The market for sports nutrition products – particularly those related to musculoskeletal health systems like tendons and ligaments are on the rise,” ​Lara Niemann, marketing director at Gelita, told us.

Tendoforte has only been added to the portfolio recently, she added. Gelita has a portfolio of different bioactive collagen peptides, each of which has its own manufacturing process to obtain a specific molecular size and structure important in triggering the collagen metabolizing cells in the desired organs, Niemann explained.

“What is specific about Tendoforte is that, in our preclinical trials, we are able to demonstrate that the unique peptide profile of Tendoforte is by far the most effective in stimulating the metabolism of tendons and ligament cells, compared to a number of other collagen peptides of different, or even slightly different, specifications,”​ she said.

“With the rise in all things related to sports and/or active nutrition, demand for Tendoforte is expected to surge. Strong tendons and ligaments are crucial for lifelong wellness and physical activity.”

Ligaments bind bones together and tendons bind muscle to the bone. Made of collagen, tendons and ligaments are the connecting elements of the body, crucial for movement control, stability and mobility.

Source: ISSN 2019
Poster Presentation, June 2019
“The effects of specific collagen peptides on sports-related activities in patients with chronic ankle instability”
Authors: D. Zdzieblik, et al.

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