RCT supports low dose UC-II collagen’s joint benefits for young healthy people

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Woman running up a hill in the wilderness. Image © Plume Creative / Getty Images
Woman running up a hill in the wilderness. Image © Plume Creative / Getty Images

Related tags Collagen Joint health

Low doses of Lonza’s UC-II undenatured type II collagen may boost knee joint flexibility in young people who experience activity-related joint discomfort, says a new study.

Supplementation with 40 mg per day of UC-II for 24 weeks led to significant improvements in the range of motion in the knees of young healthy people performing step exercises, according to data published in the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine.

Benefits were observed in only eight weeks, added the researchers from BioTeSys GmbH (a German CRO), the University of Stuttgart, and Lonza.

“Joint flexibility is of utmost importance in the daily lives of athletes as well as in active people,” ​they wrote.

“In the current study, a significant improvement in knee flexion was observed with undenatured collagen supplementation… The improvement by 3° in the current study suggests that undenatured collagen supplementation may benefit to improve knee flexion in healthy subjects who are at risk of developing joint ailments down the road.”

Benefits for young and old

The study expands the scientific support for the UC-II ingredient, which is already supported by several clinical trials.

The patented ingredient works with the immune system to allow new joint tissue to be formed, thereby helping to improve the function and comfort of the joints.  And Lonza says the particular undenatured form of the ingredient means it can be taken in a convenient smaller pill, once-a-day dose.

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at Expo West 2022, a spokesperson for Lonza said that mobility is a bright star in the joint health category, and the new study extends the science to younger adults.

“All generations are interested in joint support,” ​they said, “and younger consumers are especially interested in ways to reduce joint discomfort associated with an active lifestyle.”

Study details

The new study included 96 healthy people aged between 20 and 55 with activity-related joint discomfort (ArJD) but no history of osteoarthritis or joint diseases. The participants were randomly assigned to received 40 mg per day of UC-II or placebo for 24 weeks.

Results showed that the UC-II group experienced statistically significant 3.2° increase in knee range of motion (ROM) flexion, compared to a 0.2° increase in the placebo group.

Moreover, a significant 2.2° increase in knee ROM extension was recorded in the UC-II group, compared to a nonsignificant 1.3° increase in the placebo group.

Additional analysis revealed that people over 35 experienced even greater increases in knee ROM flexion after taking the UC-II supplement, compared to the same age subgroup receiving the placebo (6.8° vs. 0.3°, respectively).

“The data support that undenatured collagen UC-II is a food ingredient with the potential to positively affect function of knee joint resulting in an improvement of knee flexion assessed by goniometry, demonstrating the benefit in a population at risk,”​ wrote the researchers.

“As the biomarker assessment was not performed in the current study, this should be emphasized in future research to investigate the mode of action of undenatured type II collagen on joint health.”

Source: Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1089/jicm.2021.0365
“UC-II Undenatured Type II Collagen for Knee Joint Flexibility: A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study”
Authors: C. Schön, et al.

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