Area: Sport

Tendon Supplements

An analysis of the international literature has shown that the contribution of certain microelements is essential to prevent, mitigate, treat tendon damage caused by muscle activity:

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate: increase collagen synthesis, ameliorate mechanical properties, organization of collagen bundles, and resistance to fatigue.
  • Ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate is a salt formed of 2 molecules of ornithine and 1 alpha-ketoglutarate that generates key metabolites such as glutamine, proline, and arginine.
  • Methilsulfonilmethane (MSM): analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • L-lysine: collagen contains consistent amounts of hydroxylysine and hydropxyproline, which are derived, respectively, from lysine and proline, through the action of lysyl- and prolyl-hydroxylase enzymes. The hydroxylation of these residues has as its goal to increase the stability of the triple helix of collagen.
  • Vitamin C: stimulates hydroxyproline synthesis of procollagen, as well as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect.
  • The scientific literature has shown that these elements, due to their marked synergistic activity, are particularly effective in maintaining the functionality of tendons and ligaments, in particular in subjects with nutritional deficiencies or under physical effort.

    Tendons and ligaments

    Tendons and ligaments are composed of extracellular matrix collagens, proteoglycans and elastic fibres and differ in their anatomical location. Ligaments attach bone to bone, while tendons transfer the tensile loads from muscle to bone so as to enable joint motion and stabilization. They are structures that are easily vulnerable to traumatic or microtraumatic insults, in particular when the organism is lacking in the nutritional microelements essential for the correct functioning and conservation of the tendon itself, as in the case of functional overload in sports which it leads, together with a strong stress on the joints and tendons, to rapid exhaustion of the micronutrients necessary for the well-being of the tendon itself, with a consequent increase in the probability of tendinopathy. Tendinopathies represent a clinical problem, characterized by pain, swelling and limited function, which affects both professional and recreational athletes and people involved in repetitive work, as well as elderly subjects.

Bioactive collagen peptides Fortigel ®

Bioactive collagen peptides are a combination of amino acids, with molecular weights from 3 to 10 kDa, that stimulate the synthesis of collagen in the extracellular matrix of cartilage and other tissues. In fact, bioactive collagen peptides Fortigel® are absorbed from the intestine in their high molecular form and distribute to hyaline cartilage, where they accumulate, and stimulate chondrocyte metabolism, increasing the biosynthesis of type II collagen and proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix. Fortigel® supplementation in young adults with functional knee problems led to a statistically significant improvement of activity-related joint pain. The improvement on joint discomfort was also accompanied by a statistically significantly reduced need for additional therapies such as physiotherapy or ice packs. Bioactive collagen peptides are classified as a safe food by the European Food Safety Authority and by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Joint discomfort due to excessive physical activity

Articular cartilage, also known as hyaline cartilage, is a specialized, tough, flexible tissue with a low-friction coefficient and a smooth articulating surface that makes it ideally suitable for load distribution and absorbing the shock of movement. It is comprised of chondrocytes (about 2–10% of the volume of articular cartilage) and an extracellular matrix, which is maintained by the chondrocytes. The matrix of the articular cartilage consists of two components: the tissue fluid and the framework of structural macromolecules (such as type II collagen and proteoglycans) that give the tissue its form and stability. 60-80% of the matrix is water. Athletes aged 15-30 especially suffer from stress-induced joint complaints. It has to be assumed that functional joint discomforts are characterized by a subclinical short-term degradation of cartilage due to the increased stress on joints. In recent years, the impact of a bioactive collagen peptide therapy has been investigated in individuals suffering from activity-related joint discomfort due to excessive physical activity.