Researchers found that UC-II supplementation restored 3.23 degrees of knee flexion.
Soon-to-be-published research has determined that UC-II, the undenatured type II collagen ingredient from Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredients (Greenwood, SC), can make joints feel up to 10 years younger. At March’s Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA, company representatives discussed the exciting new findings.
In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, 96 active healthy male and female subjects ages 20-55 took either a placebo or a 40-mg dose of UC-II daily. These subjects were experiencing pain with physical activity. Over the course of the six-month studies, subjects were evaluated for joint flexibility, joint discomfort, and daily step count.
Researchers found that UC-II supplementation restored 3.23 degrees of knee flexion. Knee flexion is an objective assessment of joint function. At Expo West, Zain M. Saiyed, PhD, FACN, head of research and innovation, ingredients, Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredients, explained how the results translate into a claim of making joints feel 10 years younger.
“Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that for every 10 years of life, an average person loses one degree of knee flexion,” Saiyed explained. By showing that in six months UC-II subjects were able to regain 3 degrees of knee flexion, that equates to making joints feel at least 10 years younger, he said.
The results also showed that UC-II supplementation helped reduce joint discomfort after physical activity, and allowed an increase in the number of daily steps subjects took—up to 700 more steps than the placebo group, Saiyed said.
The results were so “robust” that they will be published in two separate papers, one focusing on knee flexibility1 and the other on joint discomfort2. The company says both studies were accepted for publication and should be published very soon.
Notably, this study was done in younger, healthier subjects, building on the joint-health results the company has already seen in studies done in older populations. “Until now, we’ve had studies whose subjects were as young as 35 or 40, but this is the first study where we went down all the way to age 20,” Saiyed said. This should help the ingredient appeal to Gen Z and millennial consumers, whom he noted “are also interested in supplements and solutions that help with joint support.”
The company is calling this new study its UC-II Mobility Study. At Expo West, Lindsay Toth, MS, RD, director, global marketing, head of product management, nutrition & services, Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredients, said the company’s research on UC-II remains active.
“We’re trying to continue to build a really robust pipeline of research that’s going to meet whatever’s happening in the market. We knew younger generations wanted joint health solutions, so that’s where our mobility study came in. We know that people might want varying degrees of support, so we’re also looking at how different doses play into different levels of joint health support,” she said.
She continued: “We know there’s a really exciting mechanism of action for how UC-II works where it triggers your immune system to start this natural rebuild-and-repair process through the body. So, what other ways is that mechanism of action [working], or how else could UC-II be impacting our health that we haven’t actually measured? And how does that really affect the categories that are in high demand—like bone health or beauty? Are there categories that we haven’t touched yet that UC-II could be playing a role in that we just haven’t even uncovered yet?”
Story updated on May 4, 2022, with links to the studies, which have now been published.