Combination of chicken essence and hydrolysed collagen could improve muscle and joint health in seniors – Suntory-funded RCT

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

An increasing number of people are turning to natural nutraceuticals for pain and discomfort relief from knee osteoarthritis. ©Getty Images
An increasing number of people are turning to natural nutraceuticals for pain and discomfort relief from knee osteoarthritis. ©Getty Images

Related tags Suntory brands suntory chicken essence Joint health Knee osteoarthritis Collagen Healthy ageing

A new study has found that hydrolysed collagen supplementation reduces knee osteoarthritis-related pain in 14 days, and when taken with chicken essence, could have a protective effect on muscle and joint health.

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of disability among older adults. Due to costly treatment and side effects, an increasing number of people are turning to natural nutraceuticals for pain and discomfort relief.

An example is collagen hydrolysate, which has gained attention for its benefits on OA-associated symptoms.

To investigate the effects of hydrolysed collagen type II (HC-II) and chicken essence on bone, joint and muscle functions in people with OA, a randomised, double-blinded and placebo-controlled study was carried out.

This study was funded by Suntory Beverage and Food Asia.

Participants aged between 45 and 75 years were recruited from November 2018 to March 2019. A total of 151 people completed the trial.

They had a healthy BMI, experienced knee pain for more than three months, lost muscular strength or physical performance for more than a year, measured a Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) total pain score of 6 or higher, and presented with mild to moderate knee OA based on the Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) classification system.

The participants were randomly allocated to four groups, namely hydrolysed collagen type II (HC-II), BRAND’S Essence of Chicken with HC-II (EC-HC-II), glucosamine hydrochloride (HCL), and placebo.

HC-II is a soluble matrix of hydrolysed collagen type II, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid (HA).

The participants were asked to consume one bottle of their assigned product after breakfast every day for 24 weeks, in combination with resistance training for 30 minutes twice weekly. 

All products were provided by Suntory in 68ml bottles.

Product consumption and resistance training were recorded. Each participant undertook follow-up assessments at week 8, 16 and 24. A questionnaire on calcium, vitamin D and protein intake was administered every week before the assessments.

After 24 weeks, all groups exhibited similar decreases in WOMAC scores.

Notably, the HC-II group indicated significantly reduced visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores (0.9 ± 1.89) after 14 days. In comparison, VAS pain score in the placebo group increased by 1.0 ± 2.24 from baseline to day 7.
In addition, the EC-HC-II group had significantly higher fat-free mass (FFM) than the glucosamine HCL and placebo groups, and significantly higher grip strength than the glucosamine HCL group at 24 weeks.

Participants in all groups reported improved physical component scores in a 36-Item Short-Form Survey (SF-36) that assessed patient outcomes in areas including vitality, physical function, bodily pain, social activity function, and mental health.

“This study was the first clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of HC-II — a newly developed chicken-derived collagen hydrolysate — alone and in combination with chicken essence, a food supplement that has been consumed in Asia for a long time.  

“The findings showed that HC-II reduces pain, and EC-HC-II may improve FFM and muscle strength. Both EC-HC-II and HC-II were considered safe and tolerable, with no clinically significant abnormalities identified throughout the study. Thus, EC-HC-II could be a novel holistic solution to improve joint, muscle and bone health among older adults,” ​the authors wrote.

Effective even without exercise

OA is a disease that affects the entire joint. Conventional treatment such as over-the-counter analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and intra-articular injections of corticosteroids or HA, alleviate short-term symptoms.

Total joint replacement is the only long-term solution for OA.

Glucosamine HCL and chondroitin are the most common nutraceuticals used to relieve pain associated with arthritis.

Previous studies have showed that collagen peptides could aid muscle recovery and lean body mass preservation, which supports the hypothesis that the combination of chicken essence and HC-II can contribute to muscle growth and strength, particularly in seniors.

A subgroup analysis of this study’s participants with low exercise compliance was performed, with results suggesting that the benefits of EC-HC-II in pain relief, bone health and muscular strength were sustained even with minimal resistance training.

Nevertheless, the study has some limitations, including a small sample size, female predominance (84.8%), and a study period of six months that may have been too short to detect a clinically significant change in joint and bone conditions.

“Based on the findings, we inferred that EC-HC-II and HC-II supplementation has potential in modulating joint, muscle and bone function. Further long-term and large-scale studies should be conducted to validate these results,” ​the authors concluded.


Source: PubMed Central

“Randomized, double-blind, four-arm pilot study on the effects of chicken essence and type II collagen hydrolysate on joint, bone, and muscle functions”

Authors: Chun-Chieh Chen, et al

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