Gelita Announces Latest Osteoarthritis Research Findings

The natural substance Fortigel® stimulates the regeneration of cartilage. This has been confirmed by the results of two independent investigations which were presented last weekend at the congress of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) in Montreal. A clinical trial performed by Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical Center demonstrated the efficacy of Fortigel® on the basis of magnetic resonance images (MRI). Working in collaboration with Kiel University, scientists at the Kiel-based Collagen Research Institute (CRI) then gathered experimental evidence of the effects of Fortigel® on cartilage cells. Fortigel® has been developed by GELITA AG, the world’s leading manufacturer of collagen peptides. These research findings open up entirely new market perspectives for products designed to prevent and treat joint disorders and osteoarthritis.

The administration of Fortigel® can prevent joint degeneration and counteract load-induced wear of the articular cartilage. “Unlike other substances which focus on short-term pain relief, Fortigel® tackles the root causes of osteoarthritis and cartilage degeneration,” explains Dr. Klaus Flechsenhar, Director of Medical Research at GELITA AG. Previous clinical trials had already shown that the substance promotes mobility and reduces pain.

Current research
The MRI-based demonstration of the efficacy of Fortigel® breaks entirely new ground. The magnetic resonance images were created within the framework of an extensive clinical trial conducted jointly by Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical Center, Boston. Presented at the OARSI congress, the images clearly indicate that Fortigel® stimulates the regeneration of damaged cartilage in patients.
The results of the Harvard/Tufts clinical trial are underpinned by the CRI study findings (which were likewise presented in Montreal). The CRI’s cell experiments indicated that Fortigel® induces the increased synthesis of aggrecan (an important component in cartilage) and Type II collagen (which plays a key role in cartilage elasticity).

The role of Fortigel® in the treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis
“Against the background of growing demand we see considerable market opportunities for products containing Fortigel® as a functional ingredient. The benefits for users have been objectively measured with the aid of MRI technology,” Flechsenhar explains. Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease worldwide. In view of the demographic trend experts predict a rapid rise in osteoarthritis sufferers, especially in the industrialized nations.

“Thanks to its excellent product properties Fortigel® offers industrial producers a wide range of application options,” Flechsenhar emphasizes and mentions, for example, food supplements and functional food. Classified as a safe nutritional product by the FDA, Fortigel® is easy to synthesize. Thanks to its neutral taste and odour, the integration of Fortigel® into food products does not pose any problems. Positive health effects can be achieved even with low doses. According to Flechsenhar, there are limitless innovative applications for Fortigel® – ranging from beverages to confectionery bars and yoghurt. “Just imagine a milk drink that safeguards not only the bone structure but also the joints.” The consumer target groups include athletes (competitive and amateur), elderly persons and all health-conscious individuals who want to prevent cartilage degeneration at an early stage.

The company
Fortigel® has been developed by GELITA AG, the world’s leading manufacturer of collagen peptides. Headquartered in Eberbach/Neckar (Germany), GELITA AG is active worldwide. For the past 25 years the company has been conducting intensive research into the effects of collagen peptides on the joints. Fortigel® is already used in several food supplements and offers enormous potential in the area of functional foods.

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