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.

As aging masters athletes we are all too aware of the stress placed on our bodies and especially the tendons, this study cold highlight the benefit of supplementing with extra collagen as we age and still compete.

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.

Collagen supplementation accelerates tendon injury healing in athletes


“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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