Discovering a new way to help arthritis

BONE AND joint diseases affect hundreds of millions of people throughout the world and are the leading cause of pain and disability. Doctors believe osteoarthritis affects around 39 million Europeans – a figure that is expected to nearly double by 2020.

Countless working days are lost and many retirement dreams of enjoying sporting and leisure activities are shattered through chronic joint pain.

Recognising a worsening crisis, the World Health Organization declared the years 2000-2010 as “Bone and Joint Decade”, which aims to raise awareness and promote positive actions to combat the suffering and costs to society associated with bone and joint disorders.

Arthritis is characterised by gradual but progressive damage to joints but in spite of decades of extensive research, there is still no cure.Present day treatment is based mainly on medicines, physiotherapy, exercise, surgery and the inevitable painkillers.

But now there is new hope for many arthritis sufferers – remarkably, from a natural treatment first discovered 800 years ago using the body’s most abundant natural protein, collagen.

In the 12th century St Hildegard advised “eating plenty of well cooked beef trotters” to cure joint pain. She wasn’t far wrong.

Collagen 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 activity or injury.Collagen is known to be deficient in arthritic joints.

Key laboratory and clinical studies, carried out by international experts of different medical disciplines over the last 25 years, have shown that supplemented collagen, in the form of collagen hydrolysate, can be taken orally to help rebuild the 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. Over the course of the study, he looked at 400 patients with arthritic knees in 20 hospitals across the UK, US and in Germany.

The results were indisputable. Some patients were given placebo, while others were treated with a collagen hydrolysate preparation. After only 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.

The benefits of collagen on chronic joint pain were slow to reach the UK. However in the 1990s, a Derbyshire farmer named Paul Hockenhull discovered the beneficial properties of collagen quite by chance.

He came across hydrolysed collagen, a by-product of gelatin manufacture, which was easy to eat. A group of continental factory workers told him the stuff helped relieve their painful joints and he decided to explore the idea further!

Paul Hockenhull went on to develop the first powdered health drink containing a blend of collagen and glucosamine, plus other important vitamins and minerals, with the specific aim of helping people with arthritis and joint mobility problems.

Paul Hockenhull and business partner, Ross McManus, established a new company called MP Bio Science International. The company employed a leading sports nutritionist, Dr Annette Hudson, to investigate the idea of blending collagen hydrolysate with glucosamine sulphate – which can help reduce inflammation – in a bid to create a powerful weapon to combat arthritis.

Dr Hudson found substantial evidence to support the idea, and established that daily use of a collagen/glucosamine supplement was far more effective than either product separately for the treatment of ligament or joint injury and cartilage problems. It also emerged that the supplement can improve skin tone and strengthen hair and nails!

As a result of the important findings, the powdered drink called Vitacoll Gold was formulated by MP Bio Science nutritionists, Dr Annette Hudson and Brian Welsby, to provide the body with the raw materials it needs to build healthy joints and repair damaged ones.

Vitacoll Gold, the blend of purified collagen and high-strength glucosamine, has enjoyed considerable success in the UK and 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