The Science

Science by the Medical Professionals

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Since the 1960s, researchers have been studying the effects of collagen on cartilage metabolism. Recent in-vitro, clinical reports and randomized control trials have confirmed that collagen accumulates in joints and supports cartilage regeneration. Therefore, it is possible to augment the joint metabolism and biology to promote joint health.

Collagen is the most commonly occurring protein in mammals. Its biosynthesis occurs through a number of intracellular intermediates. The alpha collagen fibrils forms in the extracellular space, which is cross-linked by covalent bonds to provide its characteristic tensile strength. Collagen is then produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of collagenous tissue from raw amino acid.

 Cartilage Metabolism

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The bio-physiology of the articular cartilage is complex; its structure mainly consists of chondrocytes and an extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM of joint cartilage comprises of two classes of macromolecules: collagen (type I and II collagen fibrils) and proteoglycans (such as aggrecans). The ratio and the proportion of collagen plays an important role in the tensile and compressive strength as well as the elasticity of the tissue.

Cartilage is subject to continuous regeneration during which anabolic and catabolic processes are in equilibrium. Any imbalance in this equilibrium between matrix degeneration and regeneration results in a decrease in the components of the ECM and leads to loss of chondral damage. Apart from the lysosomal proteases, which have a direct effect to the chondrocytes, there are numerous matrix metalloproteases (such as collagenase, ADAM-TS4, and aggrecanase), which can degrade all the cartilage building blocks once the inflammatory process is started. Therefore it is important to tackle the denegation process before the inflammatory metalloproteases set in by replenishing the collagen in the ECM.

Collagen supplementation has been shown in research studies (in vitro and in vivo) to increase the thickness or volume of the cartilage tissue. Collagen can stimulate chondrocytes, which are responsible for the metabolic maintenance of the ECM. Clinical studies have shown that collagen supplements increase the concentration of collagen and proteoglycans through this stimulatory effect on chondrocytes.

 

Mechanism of action

α collagen is absorbed after it is broken down to peptides by digestive enzymes. It is 7 times more efficient to be broken down by the body and to be absorbed compared to other animal collagen products. α collagen is specially designed to deliver specific ratios of α- chain peptides as building blocks for the extracellular matrix of a specific joint. The targeted cells can process the α- chain peptides to form triple helix collagen in this ratio for a specific joint and replenish the collagen in the targeted cartilage. Find out more about α collagen.

 

 

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