Joint Health: Staying Ahead in an Evolving Healthy Aging Market

A holistic approach to healthy aging has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. To prevent the onset of certain conditions, food supplements are an increasingly popular and convenient way for people to achieve multiple health benefits and support aging well. For instance, joint health is one such category within the healthy aging market that has evolved significantly in recent years.

Proven ingredients

As we age, the cartilage between our joints becomes more susceptible to degradation over time, leading to stiffness, discomfort, loss of mobility and, in some cases, osteoarthritis (OA). Demand for products supporting joint health has continued to grow, with Italy and the UK seeing the highest sales of dietary supplements carrying joint health claims in Europe.1

Consumers face a wide variety of choices and expect optimal results from the products they consume. A survey commissioned by Lonza and conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) looked at the key drivers and concerns for 3,000 supplement users across France, Germany and Italy. The results highlighted the differences between the age groups and regions, but despite these nuances, safety and quality were the top two overriding concerns for consumers surveyed.2 With that in mind, now – more than ever before – people are well-informed about the products they purchase and their benefits. Therefore, there is a growing demand for manufacturers to demonstrate product efficacy and innovation, with ingredients that are backed by strong scientific evidence.

One such ingredient is UC-11® undenatured type II collagen, which was launched to the European market earlier this year. Collagen is one of the main components of our cartilage. Our body’s natural ability to produce collagen slows down as we get older, resulting in the degradation of cartilage that can ultimately lead to joint discomfort and immobility. Lonza’s UC-II® ingredient has been shown to initiate cell-signaling cascades which use the body’s natural repair mechanisms in the joints, and therefore plays a role in supporting the rebuilding of this cartilage.3,4

The ingredient is supported by evidence from a wide range of clinical studies. For example, research published earlier this year in Osteoarthritis & Cartilage demonstrated that UC-II® undenatured type II collagen diminished deterioration of articular cartilage in a rat model of OA. The dose of the UC-II® ingredient selected for the study represents the clinically tested human equivalent dose of 40 mg per day. As this small size and once-per-day frequency provides an efficacious dose, it may improve consumer compliance.5

Delivery matters

For the optimal, targeted delivery of healthy aging ingredients, selecting the right dosage form is critical and the right choice can also help to meet consumers’ evolving preferences. For instance, the Lonza NMI survey found that 76% of people in the UK state that they look for products which are easy to digest, while 75% prefer supplements that are easy to swallow.6 Capsules are a preferred dosage form amongst many supplement manufacturers, as they enable the safe and secure containment of a wide range of ingredients, including powders, liquids and semi-solids, and are easier for consumers to swallow.

Food Matters Live 2018

Lonza will attend this year’s Food Matters Live, where Dr. Jim Lugo, Head of Ingredients R&D, Consumer Health & Nutrition, will deliver a presentation on UC-II® undenatured type II collagen for joint support on Wednesday 21st November, Gallery Room 4. The presentation is particularly relevant as market trends have revealed that UK consumers are showing a special interest in healthy aging and joint health. According to the Lonza NMI survey, joint health is among the top three most popular condition- specific supplements in the UK.7 With the rise of exercise trends such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and CrossFit®, UK millennials have become increasingly focused on maintaining healthy joints. Mature consumers, for their part, are more concerned about healthy aging and make up a large proportion of the European supplements market.


  1. Euromonitor and Mintel, 2017
  2. NMI SORD Proprietary Report for Capsugel, 2015
  3. Von Boehmer et al. Exp Med 2007;204:1737-1739
  4. Ramage, et al. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2009;19:457-69
  5. Bagi CM et al., ‘Oral administration of undenatured native chicken type II collagen (UC-II) diminished deterioration of articular
    cartilage in a rat model of osteoarthritis (OA)’, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, December 2017, vol. 25, issue 12, p. 2080–2090
  6. NMI SORD proprietary report for Lonza CH&N, December 2017, UK, 1000 consumers
  7. NMI SORD proprietary report for Lonza CH&N, December 2017, UK, 1000 consumers

Visit Lonza at Food Matters Live 2018, Ingredients Zone, stand 92

Juliana Erickson,
Senior Category Marketing Manager,
Consumer Health & Nutrition,

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