Oral Collagen Therapy

Oral tolerance



Much has been written about type 2 chicken collagen in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis .

The idea was that by eating chicken collagen, refined and given in a capsular form, that the immune system of the patient would be activated at the bowel level and mobilize against type 2 collagen, which was thought to be a possible antigen in the joint. This was conceived as a therapy by a research unit in the UK and it was a new avenue of therapy -in the form of ORAL TOLERANCE induction. i.e. the immune system was made tolerant theoretically to the collagen antigen molecules.

The paper made a lot of news in the lay press. It claimed approx 80% improvement not cure. The work has not been reproducible to the same degree by other trials. A trial of bovine collagen type 2 was presented when I attended last years ACR congress in San Francisco, by Sieper et al.. they looked at 90 patients with RA treated in 3 groups 1mg/10mg/placebo...they found no OVERALL difference in response between the 3 groups.. but within the collagen treated groups there was a higher RESPONDER rate, with 7/30 responding (and a greater than 40% improvement in 3 patients) in the collagen 10mg group . In the 1mg group 6/30 responded (and 1 patient with more than 40% improvement in the 1mg group, versus 4/30 responding (but none more than 40% ) in the placebo group.

This suggests that oral collagen may produce some benefit in a MINORITY of patients. It does NOT cure...How to identify responders is one of the next questions.

I suggest it may help you and is worth a trial over say 3- 6 months. It should be used with and not in place of other established treatments.

I unfortunately feel that the hype regarding the therapy is greater than the true results though.

But I cant see it causing any harm and there may be some rationale to it's use.


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