14 June 2004 00:01 [Source: ICB Americas]
Gelita Group, the global leader in the manufacture and supply of gelatin, plans to build up an international nutraceuticals business by launching a new collagen-based product to improve knee function in patients with osteoarthritis.
Gelita Group, a division of DGF Stoess AG, Eberbach, Germany, recently launched a collagen hydrolysate product in Germany under the brand name CH Alpha. The company is marketing and distributing the product in that country’s pharmacies. It is sold as a ready-to-drink nutritional supplement.
Gelita now plans to roll the product out in North America and other European countries in conjunction with evidence from a range of scientific and clinical studies.
Collagen hydrolysate is a form of gelatin with low molecular weight, making it soluble in water. It has the same amino acid structure as collagen and contains high concentrations of the collagen-specific amino acids glycine and proline.
“Originally our objective was to provide this product to food supplement and nutraceutical companies as an active ingredient,” says a Gelita spokesperson. “But we are so confident about its potential that we decided to formulate it into a finished product ourselves and to do all the marketing ourselves. It is the first time we have moved into the consumer products sector. We believe that we are the only gelatin producer to have diversified in this way because of the large amounts of development work and scientific studies that are required.”
Gelita says it has enough scientific evidence from its studies to support claims that collagen hydrolysate can provide an effective medical treatment for osteoarthritis in the knee joints through its ability to rebuild damaged cartilage tissue.
“Because of labeling regulations for food supplements, we cannot claim on the product that it is an osteoarthritis treatment,” says the Gelita official. “Also, we are not a pharmaceutical company but a supplier to the food sector.”
Last week, a new US clinical study presented to the annual congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Berlin, showed that collagen hydrolysate improves joint mobility.
The results of an in-vitro experiment at Collagen Research Institute, Kiel, Germany, which were revealed to the meeting, demonstrated how, after intestinal absorption of collagen hydrolysate, collagen fragments accumulated in the joint cartilage.
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