Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: No longer progressive diseases
- By the time people reach age 65, a startling 80% show X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis - the most frequent cause of musculo-skeletal disability worldwide.
- Most doctors consider osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to be progressive and incurable. Side effect prone drugs transiently soften pain and have no long-term impact on the disease itself.
- Conventional medical wisdom mistakenly believed that in contrast to rheumatoid arthritis – which results from an autoimmune attack on joints – osteoarthritis was simply the result of age-related “wear-and-tear. However, scientists now understand that, in both of these conditions, an inflammatory immune system attack on joint compounds can be triggered by exposed collagen.
- Undenatured Type II collagen (Active Collagen Type-II™ (AC-II™)) has a unique molecular structure that interferes with damaging inflammation responses and helps to retrain the immune system.
A deeper look into the new understanding of arthritis
Cartilage, the shock-absorbing substance that lines our joints and allows them to slide smoothly, is comprised largely of collagen. Minor damage to cartilage exposes small fibres of collagen that trigger rheumatoid arthritis – and osteoarthritis as well. Until recently, conventional medical thinking held that these two forms of arthritis involve different pathologies. Only rheumatoid arthritis was recognised as an inflammatory immune process – where the body’s oversensitive immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, in this case the joint linings and cartilage. While osteoarthritis was believed to be an unavoidable result of the simple wear-and-tear of age and repeated use on joint cartilage and bone. It was assumed that joint-cushioning cartilage simply wore away, leaving the friction of increasingly painful scraping and inflammation.
In recent years, research has increasingly shown that immune-mediated joint inflammation plays a large role in the development and perpetuation of osteoarthritis. This new understanding of the underlying cause of osteoarthritis offers new avenues for medical intervention and has even brought forth the possibility of a cure!
New research shows that the underlying pathology behind osteoarthritis is the triggering of an inflammatory immune response – similar to rheumatoid arthritis. The end result – for both forms of arthritis, scientists now realise – is the activation of “killer” T-cells by exposed collagen, destruction of joint surfaces, and the accompanying pain and impaired function.
For the first time, this establishes osteoarthritis as a disease progression that is not inevitable – and opens the door to the possibility of a single intervention to modulate the abnormal immune response behind both of these types of arthritis.
Bagchi, D., et al. (2002). Effects of orally administered undenatured type II collagen against arthritic inflammatory diseases: a mechanistic exploration. International Journal of Pharmacology Research, vol. 22, 101–110.
Trentham, D., E., et al. (1993). Effects of oral administration of type II collagen on rheumatoid arthritis. Science, vol. 24, 1727–1730.