The ingredient, trademarked as UC-II, is an undenatured type II collagen that is able to rebuild healthy joints.
It is made from chicken cartilage via a patented, low temperature, and non-enzymatic process to protect its undenatured structure.
In an interview with NutraIngredients-Asia at the FI-Asia exhibition held in Bangkok, the firm pointed out that joint health was no longer only an issue faced by the elderly, but also a becoming a sports-injury concern.
“With more people exercising, you can see that there is a growing sports nutrition market in Asia.
“People go to gym, then the next day they want to play sports, and UC-II clinical studies have shown that it can support joint comfort and recovery,” Anakkapan Danjarern, business development and marketing manager, said.
He added that UC-II also served as an alternative to other options such as glucosamine – which was under regulatory restriction in Thailand.
“Especially in Thailand, one of the ingredients related to joint health is glucosamine. Glucosamine is categorised as a drug, so automatically, it cannot be sold in the retail channels. That is why people are looking for UC-II.”
In fact, the first pivotal study done on UC-II involved healthy subjects who had induced arthritis via exercise, chief scientist James Lugo said.
“These people did not have arthritis, they were the younger population and basically, we were the first to design a study where you induce arthritis through exercise, and by consuming UC-II, it was shown that one could recover faster and you feel less pain.
“In many people's mind, you think of joint health product as being associated with older people, who have osteoarthritis, but the healthy subjects study really changed that, now you can think of joint health product in relation to sports recovery.”
Another advantage of the product, he said, was because of the smaller dosing size of UC-II (40mg) as compared to glucosamine-chondroitin (2,700mg).
“As such, the compliance for UC-II is much higher, and so because of that, the efficacy will be much higher, as opposed to glucosamine-chondroitin, because people might experience pill fatigue and difficulty swallowing.”
Danjarern added the growing interest in plant-based foods and supplements was also benefiting the company.
Known as Vcaps, he said that the firm’s plant-based capsugel was suitable for moisture sensitive ingredients, such as amino acids, L-carnitine, and herbal extracts.