Arthritis – reviewing the remedies

ARTHRITIS SUFFERERS have been trying for centuries to rid themselves of their agonising pain. They have consumed gin soaked raisins, guzzled raw potato juice, tolerated venom of snakes, endured bee stings, eaten raw garlic and applied mustard compresses to painful areas!

The truth is, the chronic pain of arthritis can become so unbearable that people are willing to do almost anything to relieve the anguish.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and the most common is the degenerative joint disease osteoarthritis, which affects around 39 million Europeans and 20 million Americans in the world today.

Characterised by the breakdown of the cartilage, which protects and cushions the joint, it causes bones to rub against each other and produce pain and loss of movement, particularly to hands, knees, hips, feet and the back.

Conventional treatments vary for each type of arthritis. They work differently from one person to the next and their effects change as the disease progresses. Doctors often have to search for the combination of therapies that works best for a particular patient – a time consuming and exasperating process.

In frustration and desperation, it is all too easy to look for simple answers and so folk remedies for the symptoms of arthritis are many and varied.

On this page, we tell the stories of George Davies who had tried rubbing whisky into his throbbing joints and Bridget Flemming who struggled with an offal based diet.

They are not alone. According to 50Connect – the largest website for the over 45s in the UK – worldwide researchers in arthritis have confirmed that when arthritis patients themselves are surveyed, between one third and one half of them say they have used some form of alternative therapy. But not all of these are in the quirky and questionable “old wives’ tale” category.

Many people look for an alternative arthritis treatment that is backed up with scientific proof and reliable evidence. Under this heading comes collagen hydrolysate, a natural supplement that has been the subject of several international studies and clinical trials over the last 25 years.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is found predominantly in bone, cartilage (joints), muscles and other connective tissue.As we age, collagen production can decrease substantially, failing to meet our body’s needs – particularly after prolonged, intensive sporting activity or injury. Collagen is known to be deficient in arthritic joints and research has shown that supplemented collagen, in the form of collagen hydrolysate, can be taken orally to help rebuild this shortfall.

The most important international study into the effect of collagen hydrolysate on osteoarthritis was undertaken two years ago by leading US rheumatologist, Professor Roland Moskowitz, who looked at 400 patients with arthritic knees in 20 hospitals across the UK, United States and Germany.

In a collagen versus placebo situation, after two months, the collagen group had considerably less pain and showed improved mobility. In the German hospitals, 93 per cent of patients achieved positive results.

A British company, MP Bio Science International of Buxton, Derbyshire, was the first to develop a powdered health drink containing a blend of collagen hydrolysate and glucosamine sulphate, with the specific aim of helping people with arthritis and joint mobility problems. Glucosamine is a non-toxic substance found abundantly in the body, largely in the cartilage, playing an important part in its health and resilience.

Vitacoll Gold is a natural treatment formulated by MP Bio Science International, which has enjoyed considerable success in the UK. It is used by people trying to relieve painful and inflamed arthritic joints, as well as by sports men and women – young and old – seeking to prevent and recover from injury.

Vitacoll Gold is now available from a local agent in Portugal for the first time. Call 913 350 000 for more information about Vitacoll Gold or visit the company website at