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Fortigel: the joint health revolution.

Joint discomfort can affect anyone at almost any age. Often, osteoarthritis, the most commonly occurring joint disease, is the reason for prolonged joint pain. Globally, several million people suffer from this affliction, which dramatically affects their quality of life. Despite the considerable progress that has been made in medical research in recent years, the disease cannot be cured; not only that, the therapeutic possibilities available for the treatment of degenerative joint disease are extremely limited. With FORTIGEL, a new and promising therapeutic agent has been introduced that counteracts the wear and tear of joint cartilage and, as such, targets the main cause of joint pain and restricted mobility. FORTIGEL specifically affects cartilage metabolism and stimulates joint cartilage growth.

Highly Prevalent Condition

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most commonly occurring disease among the elderly and affects more than 135 million people worldwide. It not only accounts for 25% of visits to primary care physicians but, in addition, the incidence and prevalence of OA has increased 210 fold in the 3065 year old age group in recent years. Currently, more than 20 million people in the US suffer from OA, and the numbers are increasing dramatically because of the general increase in life expectancy. Although increased life expectancy is the most important reason for the rising incidence of OA in industrialized countries, there are several other contributing factors. Numerous epidemiological studies have shown a correlation between OA and being overweight, especially in people who put their joints under certain stress; degenerative joint disease associated with high-intensity sports or manual labour occurs significantly more frequently in the overweight compared with less active people of normal weight. A combination of these risk factors could give rise to young people with old joints.

Fight the Cause, Not the Symptoms

Current treatment options for OA include pain relief with analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs. However, some of these are not suitable for long-term consumption because of their severe side-effects. The ultimate goal of OA treatment should not only be symptom relief, but also to target the cause of the disease, which is characterized by the progressive destruction and loss of joint cartilage. FORTIGEL is a new and promising nutritional supplement that counteracts the progressive loss of cartilage tissue.

Articular cartilage is a highly specialized, tough and flexible tissue that covers the ends of our bones to provide an environment of low-friction movement. It comprises cartilage cells, the so-called chondrocytes and the extracellular matrix (ECM), which can be considered to be a macromolecular framework consisting of two major components: collagens (70% of the dry weight of cartilage); and proteoglycans (25% of the dry weight). Collagen fibrils form a three-dimensional network that is essential for the tensile strength of the cartilage tissue. Proteoglycans are embedded within this fibrous network, providing the compressibility and elasticity of the tissue. Chondrocytes are responsible for the synthesis, organization and maintenance of the ECM and, under certain conditions, the normal balance between ongoing anabolic and catabolic processes may be disturbed. As a result, a progressive imbalance between matrix degradation and matrix regeneration leads to a marked decrease in ECM macromolecules ... and eventually results in cartilage damage and joint problems.

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Cartilage Regeneration

Numerous international preclinical and clinical studies have been able to confirm the positive effect of FORTIGEL on the treatment of degenerative joint disease. In clinical studies involving more than 2000 patients with diagnosed OA or chronic joint discomfort, a statistically significant reduction in pain, a decrease in the consumption of analgesics and improved mobility was observed in patients who had received a daily dose of 10 g of FORTIGEL during a period of at least 3 months. Comparable results were obtained in a clinical trial performed with young athletes suffering from painful joints resulting from increased mechanical stress. In these cases too, the administration of FORTIGEL resulted in substantial pain reduction and improved mobility. Another observed "side-effect" was a performance increase of 1%. Overall, the treatment of the patients involved with FORTIGEL during a 3-month period was regarded as being exceptionally successful (75%).

In addition to obtaining proof of clinical efficacy, a comprehensive programme was initiated by a number of international institutes in Germany and the USA to optimize the product. FORTIGEL is characterized by a unique composition of Bioactive Collagen Peptides that are easily absorbed by the intestines and preferentially accumulate in cartilage tissue. Experimental studies have indicated that FORTIGEL treatment leads to a statistically significant, dose-dependent increase in collagen and proteoglycan synthesis. The results clearly demonstrate the efficacy of FORTIGEL to increase the synthesis of ECM and subsequently stimulate the production of cartilage tissue. These experimental findings have recently been confirmed in a study investigating the direct effect of FORTIGEL on cartilage tissue wear and tear. The results indicate that orally administered FORTIGEL was able to slow down or even halt cartilage degeneration.

Third Generation of Joint Care

In comparison with simple painkillers and other nutritional supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, FORTIGEL could well be described as the "third generation of joint care." Despite the widespread use of glucosamine and chondroitin, incontrovertible evidence concerning their efficacy for the treatment of OA remains elusive, and some products have been linked to various safety issues, including their use in diabetic patients, allergic reactions and lack of standardization. FORTIGEL does not contain gluten, purine, tryptophan, GMO and/or cholesterol and, as such, is not associated with any allergy risks or side-effects. Compared with other nutritional supplements, FORTIGEL has an excellent safety profile. FORTIGEL is a food product and the US FDA lists it as GRAS (generally recognized as safe), the highest possible safety category. Experimental studies have shown FORTIGEL to be well tolerated. All the existing patient data clearly indicate that the product is very safe for short- and long-term use.

Manufacturers of dietary supplements or functional foods now have a new active ingredient with a broad application spectrum. FORTIGEL can be formulated in liquid or solid dietary supplements, enriched foods, fortified beverages, sports products or functional foods. Its neutral taste and odour properties, coupled with its excellent solubility in cold water, make it extremely versatile.

Added Value and Support

GELITA doesn't just supply the product, it offers a whole package of additional services, covering product development, application concepts, comprehensive marketing communication and technical process advice. This will enable product developers to create the ideal product for their portfolio and a perfect product position in the market. GELITA's marketing focuses on concept selling, which supports the end-product marketers with substantial science for the commercial platform. The company has been engaged in Influencer Marketing campaigns; such activity has allowed GELITA to reach its customers in the most cost-effective manner (compared with other means such as cobranding). Examples of such activities include periodic product education camps for medical practitioners and pharmacists, the main channels to end-consumers. To implement these ideas, GELITA has a creative and capable R&D and Product Development team that is always craving a new challenge.

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For more information

Michael Teppner

GELITA AG

Corporate Communication/PR

Uferstrasse 7, D-69412 Eberbach, Germany.

Tel. +49 6271 842 190

michael.teppner@gelita.com

www.GELITA.com

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Title Annotation:bone and joint health
Author:Teppner, Michael
Publication:Nutraceutical Business & Technology
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Words:1192
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