UC-II® is a natural collagen concentrate containing 25% undenatured type II collagen for joint health support. UC-II® has undergone rigorous third-party research and testing for efficacy, safety and quality control. Numerous research studies in humans and different animal species have been conducted and published. The research path of UC-II® began when researchers, including Harvard University Medical Center, found the benefits of undenatured type II collagen for joint health and published research in peer-reviewed journals.
The Story behind the Discovery of UC-II®
Interest in the use of chicken collagen for joint health began almost two decades ago, following the initial investigation and discovery by a researcher who was searching for relief for his daughter. Dr. Moore's young daughter, Anne Marie's joints were so bad that by the time she was in her late 20s she had to use an electric wheelchair to perform daily tasks.
One day Dr. Moore read about some initial studies on chicken collagen that showed interesting results for joint health. As Dr. Moore was a chemical engineer, he began to investigate what forms of chicken collagen might produce these effects, and if indeed they did work.
The initial research that inspired Dr. Moore's investigations showed that when small amounts of chicken collagen were administered orally, it produced a sometimes remarkable effect. It seemed that the best use for improving joint health was orally.
With this information he began developing his own collagen preparations from chickens. He took the preparations himself, and then made some specifically for his daughter. What he found was that if he cooked the collagen, it became ineffective. So he developed a recipe for a native or undenatured form of the chicken sternum cartilage that was the most effective for improving his daughter's well being.
The Science behind UC-II®
Several human studies were conducted with good results through Harvard University. In these studies, undenatured type II collagen showed efficacy in improving the symptoms of people with joint issues. Building on this science, but utilizing a different manufacturing process, UC-II® brand undenatured type II collagen was developed and patented. UC-II's natural, low-heat, non-enzymatic manufacturing process ensures the maintenance of natural levels of undenatured type II collagen. Clinical and preclinical studies conducted on UC-II® have found that UC-II® is effective for promoting joint health.
In a randomized, double-blind, 52-subject, 90-day study, a small daily dosage of 40 mg of UC-II® was shown to increase joint comfort, and certain aspects of mobility and flexibility in people with osteoarthritis. The research showed that UC-II® reduced WOMAC, VAS and Lequesne scores by 33%, 40% and 20%, respectively as compared to baseline. The same research study showed that 1,500 mg glucosamine and 1,200 mg chondroitin reduced WOMAC, VAS and Lequesne by only 14%, 15% and 6%, respectively when compared to baseline. In select questionnaires, subsets of the study showed that UC-II® significantly improved the quality of life, such as reducing discomfort while ascending stairs, discomfort at night while in bed, discomfort climbing up and down stairs and difficulty walking on a flat surface, compared to glucosamine plus chondroitin.4
In a recent, double-blind, 55 subject, 120 day study, on a population of healthy subjects who only experienced joint discomfort upon physical activity, the main ingredient, UC-II® appears to be effective in alleviating joint discomfort. UC-II® was able to significantly improve the Average Knee Extension versus baseline after undergoing strenuous physical exercise.. Thus, seventeen week supplementation with UC-II®, an ingredient consisting of undenatured type-II collagen, was well-tolerated and more effective in supporting joint comfort and functional ability.
Recent studies of UC-II® on arthritic dogs and horses showed equally promising results.
Unique Mechanism of Action
Wear and tear on the joints can be an uncomfortable process. Once this cascade has begun, the joint gets caught in an endless self-repeating cycle that eventually leads to erosion of the joint collagen. UC-II® works in the small intestine to help prevent degradation of type II collagen in the joints and support joint cartilage health.
When joint cartilage breaks down, debris consisting of type II collagen is released into the blood where it is recognized by the immune system as "unnatural." In response, the immune system releases collagen-specific T cells to the site of "injury" where they initiate a series of physiological events that results in the removal of the debris. Generally, the immune system responds to joint damage only for a short period of time. When the response continues unabated for weeks and months joint issues can occur. This uncontrolled inflammatory response leads to painful joints.
- Active epitopes in UC-II® interact with Peyer's patches (lymphoid tissue) in the small intestine resulting in the release of a second class of collagen-specific, regulatory T cells that migrate to joint areas and modulate the ongoing local inflammatory response occurring there.
- Through the action of these collagen-specific T cells, the secretion of collagenase enzymes by macrophages that break down the collagen in the joint is vastly slowed.
- These collagen-specific regulatory T cells also slow the production of inflammatory cytokines further modulating joint cartilage erosion.9
- As inflammation subsides, the imbalance of cartilage turnover appears to shift in favor of normal cartilage rebuilding. Studies in rodents have shown that undenatured type II collagen supplementation can reduce the incidence and the severity of arthritis after six days.10
- With UC-II®, only immune responses against type II collagen are modulated. UC-II® does not affect normal immune system function.