Knee pain is a common exercise complaint. Many physical activities can put strain on the knees, causing activity-related joint discomfort, which impairs performance and reduces training gains.

In the recent study from the University of Freiburg, Zdzieblik et al. (2021) investigated the benefits of FORTIGEL®, the specific BCP® (Bioactive Collagen Peptides®) from GELITA, optimized to regenerate cartilage, maintain joint mobility, and minimize joint discomfort.

The study involved 180 physically active young men and women, reporting knee joint discomfort with physical activity, who supplemented with only 5g of FORTIGEL® or a maltodextrin placebo, for 12 weeks. 

The primary outcome from the study showed that supplementation with FORTIGEL® resulted in statistically significant reduction in “pain during activity” compared with the placebo, as assessed by both the study participants and the physician. According to the authors of the study, this “may help to prevent the clinical manifestation of chronic degenerative joint diseases.” 

These results confirm the previous findings from Zdzieblik et al. (2017), the first to observe a significant reduction in activity-related joint discomfort from the use of FORTIGEL® compared with placebo, in a RCT involving 139 active men and women.

Dr. Stephan Hausmanns, GELITA’s Vice President for Health & Nutrition, welcomes the new addition to the portfolio of studies:

“FORTIGEL® is the most clinically-studied Bioactive Collagen Peptides®, for 30 years,” he says. “Over 20 studies, involving more than 2,500 participants, contributed to develop FORTIGEL® and prove the product’s positive effects to joint health. So far, no other collagen peptide solution on the market has been able to offer an alternative to FORTIGEL®, backed by science.”

Recognizing the uniqueness of the product, Zdzieblik et al. (2021) stated in the study that the effects measured are valid only for FORTIGEL®, the specific BCP® used in the study, and cannot be readily applicable to other collagen products.

Learn more about the full study.


GELITA is the leading company for manufacturing and marketing collagen proteins. Coordinated from the headquarters in Eberbach, Germany, GELITA provides customers around the world with products of the highest standard, comprehensive technical expertise and sophisticated solutions. More than 20 sites and a global expert network ensure that state-of-the-art know-how is always available for customers. More than 140 years of experience in the field of collagen proteins are the basis of GELITA’s performance. A strong requirement for innovation is the driving force of the family-owned company that is always looking for new solutions for food, pharmaceutical, health & nutrition as well as for technical applications.

Within the range of collagen proteins, GELITA supplies collagen peptides with proven body-stimulating capabilities, tailor-made gelatines and non- or partly- water soluble collagens. This holistic range of products in combination with its vast experience in developing solutions for different applications makes GELITA first choice for its customers. In today’s landscape of highest consumer demands, manufacturers of food products have to rely on natural, healthy, non-allergenic ingredients for their developments. Collagen proteins from GELITA are the perfect match for this as they fulfill all of these requirements, a particular plus being the fact that they are foodstuffs in their own right (e.g. no E-number). They also possess a set of unique technical and physiological properties.