Collagen II

What is Collagen and It’s Importance in Joint Health?
Collagen is a protein that makes up about 25% of the protein found in the human body.1, 2, 3, 4 There are 14 different types of collagen and collagen II is the most predominant.2, 3, 4 It’s important to the structural integrity of connective tissue located throughout the body especially bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. If collagen production declines or if it should become defective, this would result in weakened connective tissue contributing to weakened bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments, all important structural components critical to healthy joint function. An example of how important collagen II is to the health of the joint, we find that collagen makes up about 50% to 60% of the dry weight of articular cartilage with collagen II consisting of about 90% to 98% of the total tissue collagen.5, 6 Maintaining the health and production of collagen II will result in stronger and more resilient connective tissue. In turn, the bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments will be healthy and resilient as well.

Free Radicals Contribute to Joint Damage
One factor that contributes to the destruction of the joint is free radical damage. Whenever oxygen rich synovial fluid goes back into the cartilage cells the oxygen component generates free radicals.7 Unless these free radicals are neutralized, they will attack and degrade the cartilage and the lining of the joint – the synovial membrane which produces the lubricating fluid. Also, hyaluronan, found in the synovial fluid, important to its lubricating effectiveness, is degraded.7 This attack on hyaluronan and the synovial membrane will reduce the ability of the synovial fluid to lubricate the joint causing painful inflammation, swelling, and further deterioration.

When the cartilage matrix becomes defective, more chondrocytes are produced in an effort to restore normal structural integrity.8 The result is an overproduction of collagen II and mucopolysaccaharides causing the influx of too much water resulting in the washing away of these important structural components.8, 9 With less collagen II and mucopolysaccaharides the once dense cartilage matrix loses its ability to hold water. The cartilage begins to dry, making it easy to damage, and if not corrected will wear away very quickly. Also, the chondrocytes may begin to produce higher than normal levels of collagen dissolving enzymes.9 The destruction of collagen II will result in the destruction of the cartilage since collagen II is the primary collagen and backbone of cartilage which acts as a glue to hold the mucopolysaccaharides throughout the cartilage matrix. These same collagen destroying enzymes destroy the mucopolysaccaharides as well.9 Eventually when the cartilage is completely destroyed and all cushioning is gone, the bones themselves will begin to wear and show signs of damage causing further pain and disability.9

Chondrocytes also become destructive when pieces of cartilage are eaten by synoviocytes (synovial fluid cells within the joint fluid) which causes these cells to release cytokines that produce inflammation due to immune cell accumulation at the site of the joint. The chondrocytes are then reprogrammed by the cytokines causing them to destroy cartilage cells and left unchecked would eventually destroy the joint.10

Collagen II Re-programs Defective Chondrocytes, Protects Against Free Radicals,
and Provides the Richest Source of Proteoglycans

Collagen II contains a natural occurring proteoglycan called cartilage matrix glycoprotein (CMGP) which is able to reprogram the chondrocytes restoring their normal functions.11 CMGP also acts as a powerful antioxidant protecting the cartilage from free radicals when new oxygen rich synovial fluid comes back into the cartilage. CMPG does this by carrying copper into the chondrocytes where it is needed to maintain healthy levels of SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase), a powerful free radical scavenger. SOD protects the joints from the deadly effects of not only oxygen, but also free radicals which in turn reduces the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.11 Also, collagen type ll contains components that are powerful cartilage digesting enzyme inhibitors that will protect the cartilage.12 Chicken Collagen II, the richest source of naturally occurring proteoglycans such as glucosamine sulfate, is able to provide the necessary components essential to restoring the normal collagen and mucopolysaccharide functions of holding water and producing a normal, dense and resilient cartilage matrix.13

Collagen II Prevents New Blood Vessel Formation
In a normal healthy joint there is no blood. Nourishment is accomplished by diffusion through distant capillary beds and waste removal through cartilage cells and synovial fluid. If blood vessels form within the joint capsule or blood leaks in due to an injury, too much oxygen and other free radicals in the blood would overwhelm the environment causing massive free radical damage and washing away of collagen and mucopolysaccaharides. Chicken collagen II contains what are called angiangiogenic substances. In other words these substances prevent the growth of new blood vessels preventing the exposure of the delicate joint environment to the hostile effects of excessive exposure of oxygen and free radicals in the blood.14

Double-Blind Studies Prove Chicken Collagen II Effective for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Scientific studies have shown when collagen type ll from chicken cartilage was given to rheumatoid arthritis patients there was a significant improvement from joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. In one double-blind study, four patients had a complete resolution of the disease. Scientists believe these results are produced because of the GALT mechanism, an abbreviation for “gut activated lymphoid tissue”. This GALT system allows us to eat protein such as beef and chicken, or any foreign protein, by suppressing the immune response. When the foreign protein enters the body by the digestive tract, the immune system is programmed not to attack it. This allows us to eat without becoming violently allergic to the beef or chicken the second time we eat it. Since the rheumatoid arthritic patient’s own immune system is attacking its own collagen type ll, scientists have discovered that by orally administering type ll collagen, the immune system recognizes its own type ll collagen and ceases to attack it.15

Double-Blind Studies Prove Chicken Collagen II Effective for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

1. Title: A pilot trial of oral type II collagen in the treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Barnett ML; Combitchi D; Trentham DE

Title: A pilot trial of oral type II collagen in the treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of oral chicken type II collagen (CCII) in the treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). METHODS: Ten patients with active JRA were treated with CCII for 12 weeks. Efficacy parameters, which included swollen and tender joint count and score, grip strength, 50-foot walking time, duration of morning stiffness, and patient and physician global scores of disease severity, were assessed monthly.

RESULTS: All patients completed the full course of therapy. Eight patients had reductions in both swollen and tender joint counts after 3 months of CCII. The mean changes from baseline in swollen and tender joint counts for the 8 responders at the end of the study were -61% and -54%, respectively. Mean values for other efficacy parameters also showed improvement from baseline. There were no adverse events that were considered to be treatment related. CONCLUSION: Oral CCII may be a safe and effective therapy for JRA, and its use in this disease warrants further investigation.16

Excerpts from the Harvard Medical School article
published in the prestigious journal ScienceSeptember 24, 1993
“Effects of Oral Administration of Type II Collagen on Rheumatoid Arthritis”

Author Trentham DE; Dynesius-Trentham RA; Orav EJ; Combitchi D; Lorenzo C; Sewell KL; Hafler DA; Weiner HL
Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA.
(actual text, emphasis added)”Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory synovial disease thought to involve T cells reacting to an antigen within the joint. Type II collagen is a major protein in articular cartilage and is a potential autoantigen in this disease. Oral tolerization to autoantigens suppresses animal models of T cell-mediated autoimmune disease, including two models of rheumatoid arthritis. In this randomized, double-blind trial involving 60 patients with severe active rheumatoid arthritis, a decrease in the number of swollen joints and tender joints occurred in subjects fed chicken type II collagen for 3 months, but not in those that received a placebo. Four patients in the collagen group had complete remission of the disease. No side effects were evident. These data demonstrate clinical efficacy of an oral tolerization approach for rheumatoid arthritis.


Although the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the disease are unknown, rheumatoid arthritis is associated with human lymphocyte antigen (HLA)-DR4 and considered to be an autoimmune [self-attacking-self] disorder in which activated T cells participate.
Current treatments are inadequate in that they only partially control established rheumatoid arthritis. They also have side effects that limit use early in the disease process and interfere with prolonged administration.
Experimental findings [from two animal studies] provided the rationale for a pilot [Phase One trial], open-label dose-escalation and safety study in 10 [human] patients with recalcitrant rheumatoid arthritis. Subjects were taken off their immunosuppressive and disease-modifying drugs consisting of methotrexate, 6-mercaptopurine, azathioprine, or auranofin and fed 0.1 mg of solubilized type II collagen daily for 1 month and then switched to 0.5 mg for the next 2 months.
Six of the 10 patients experienced a substantial clinical response, defined by a greater than 50% improvement in both swollen and tender joint counts with two additional disease measures improving by greater than 50% in morning stiffness, 15-m walk time, grip strength. These improvements lasted for at least 2 months after the treatment period. Complete disease remission lasting for 26 months occurred in one of the ten subjects; included discontinuation of nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drugs (NSAID).
Based on the results of this Phase One study, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase Two trial with 60 patients was undertaken to determine whether clinical efficacy could be demonstrated.
Among the collagen patients the decline in the number of swollen joints, tender joints, and joint-swelling and tenderness indices were all significant in comparison to the placebo patients.
Four of the collagen patients (14%), as compared with none in the placebo group, had complete resolution of disease. At the beginning of the study these patients had severe, active rheumatoid arthritis.
While collagen patients were off immunosuppressive drugs, stability or improvement occurred, whereas patients in the placebo group tended to deteriorate.
This controlled trial provides evidence that oral administration of type II collagen is both safe and can improve the daily physical challenges of rheumatoid arthritis.
Oral type II collagen is a preferable treatment because it appears to improve the health of the arthritic joint as evidenced by the joint functionality for several months after intake was canceled.
Oral type II collagen is not toxic like drugs.

September 24,1993
Harvard Medical School took 29 volunteers who were scheduled for joint replacement surgery in VA Hospital and gave them a tablespoon of chicken cartilage in their orange juice for 90 days. They did this in order to dispel a “rumor” that Collagen and Glucosamine Sulphate (animal cartilage) were being used by some doctors to treat and cure arthritis on humans. The results were not what they expected. Within 10 days, there was a marked decrease in the swelling of the patient’s joints. Within 60 days, most of the patients could open up a new pickle jar. Within 90 days, 28 out of the 29 were “clinically cured”.

In summary;
Chicken Collagen Type II is a chondro-protective agent which can:

prevent enzymes from destroying healthy cartilage cells;
reduce inflammation by reprogramming destructive chondrocytes and cytokines;
promote healthy cartilage cell and proteoglycan (glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate) production;
enhance the production of hyaluronic acid, responsible for creating a thick effective, lubricating, synovial fluid for the joint itself;
protect the cartilage from oxidative damage;
help control pain and inflammation,
prevent the formation of blood vessels (antiangiogiogenesis) within cartilage

Chicken collagen type ll is a powerful inhibitor of any type of degeneration of the joint at the cellular level of the cartilage itself.

Combining the Chicken Collagen II with Flex Naturally™, MultiFuel™ Iron Free Multiple, and OmegaLogic™ Ultra Pure Fish Oil will provide nutritional support to help control inflammation and pain, while improving the structure and function of the joints so you can Enjoy the simple Pleasure of Moving Again!™.

Don’t Let Sore, Inflamed Joints or an Aching Back Ruin One More Day!

1 Gerard J. Tortora, Sandra Reynolds Garbowski, Principles of Anatomy and Physiology (1996):105
2 Miller E. J: The structure of fibril-forming collagens. Ann NY Academy of Science 460:1-13, 1985
3 Structure and Function of Collagen Types. Edited by Mayne R. Burgeson RE. New York, Academic Press, 1987
4 van der Rest M, Garrone R: Collagen family of proteins. FASEB J 5:2814-2823, 1991
5 Buckwalter J, Hunziker E. Rosenberg L. et al: Articular Cartilage: composition and structure, Injury and Repair of the Musculoskeletal Soft Tissues. Edited by Woo SLY, Buckwater JA, (1987, Savannah, GA), Chicago, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1991, pp 405-425
6 Mankin HS, Brandt KD: Biochemistry and metabolism of cartilage in osteoarthritis, Osteoarthritis Diagnosis and Management. Edited by Moskowitz RW, Howell DS, Goldberg VM, et al. Philadelphia, WB Saunders, 1992, pp 109-15
7 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):38
8 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):23
9 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):23, 24
10 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):38
11 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):38, 39
12 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):37
13 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):26, 33
14 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):3, 37
15 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):45-48
16 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., T he Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):55, 56
17 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):5-7
18 Alex Duarte, O.D., Ph.D., The Chicken Sternal Collagen Type II Cure (1997):
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