Collagen supplementation accelerates tendon injury healing in athletes
Athletes with a tendon injury may recover faster if they combine their rehabilitation program with supplementation with hydrolyzed collagens. That is evident form a small human study, that Australian sports scientists have published in Nutrients. The researchers studied the effect of Tendoforte, a Gelita product.
The Australians divided 18 runners with an injured Achilles tendon into 2 groups. Both groups did exercises to accelerate the healing of their injured Achilles tendons. This meant that the runners did eccentric exercises twice a day with their injured lower leg: they lowered the lower leg 90 times in a row, one time with a stretched knee, the other time with a bent knee.
As soon as the tendon had been adequately recovered, the test subjects started running again.
In the first 3 months [T1-T2], one group received a dose of 2.5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen peptide 2 times a day, and the other group a placebo. During the second half of the study, [T2-T3] the initial collagen group received a placebo, and the initial placebo group received the hydrolyzed collagen peptides. In total, the study lasted 6 months.
Gelita sponsored, but did not initiate, the study.
During the first three months [T1-T2] more subjects from the collagen group started running again than subjects from the placebo group. After the switch, there was a remarkable increase of the number of recovered athletes in the new collagen group [T2-T3]. However, these trends were not statistically significant. The groups were too small for that.
"Although this pilot study has limited statistical power and requires duplication in a larger clinical trial, oral supplementation or specific collagen peptides may accelerate the clinical benefits of a well-structured calf-strengthening and return-to-running program in patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy symptoms", the researchers summarize.
Nutrients. 2019 Jan 2;11(1).
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