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Planning Retirement Online

Running through the pain barrier 


How a collagen supplement helped athlete Dennis Quinlan

Gritty Yorkshire Athlete Dennis Quinlan has embarked on his `second` running career after his first one evaporated in agony!

As an ex-UK Athletics fell-and-mountain running coach, and a distinguished athlete in his own right for many years, Dennis - 60 next year - knows all about running through the pain barrier.

He has a life-long involvement in endurance running, but his progress was halted in his mid-fifties when he was struck down with severe osteoarthritis in both knees to leave him a cripple.


Dennis explained: "A top knee surgeon examined my knees and said the wear and tear of the articular surface cartilage, that attached to the bone, was so bad there was nothing he could do for me." However, Dennis was determined to research all avenues in the quest not only to end his suffering but to pursue his sport.


"My GP advised using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. I used them for about one year in order to keep running. Foolishly, I used them immediately prior to races to help disguise the pain.


Like the old footballers' pain-killing spray, it hid the problem briefly, resulting in further damage. "I soon thought my running days were over and began trying a host of alternative remedies and a change in diet. Meanwhile, I simply couldn't face giving up and I was trying the multitude of supplements on the marketplace. "The only one which seemed to have quite a rapid and continuous positive effect was Collagen Plus, and for some time it is the only supplement I have been taking. I am convinced from my personal experience that the effect of this supplement is not just anti-inflammatory but gradual repair. “Recently, Dennis participated in the gruelling 10-mile race up Ben Nevis. And he has just been voted 'Bingley Harriers Fell Champion 2001’.

 "I feel as fit as I have done in years and am back in serious training at
nearly 60. Add to that the satisfaction of running up and down Ben Nevis and you could say I am back on track - and loving every minute!"


Collagen Plus is based around collagen replacement which was first developed by Czechoslovakian Dr Milan Adam, professor of rheumatology at Prague University Hospital. It offers all those who suffer with joint mobility problems a measured daily quantity of collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin and vitamin C.

What is collagen and how does it work?


        Collagen is a substance naturally made in the body and is essential for building and repairing joints and ligaments.

        As we age, collagen production can decrease substantially, failing to produce enough for our body’s needs. Lowered levels of collagen contribute to the development of arthritis.

        Prolonged intensive activity or injury, such as in Dennis’s case, can also mean the body’s need for collagen can outstrip supply.

        Trials have taken place showing that by supplementing collagen intake, usually in a drink form, the body can effectively metabolise it and use it to boost its own depleted reserves.

        A study of 400 patients aged 45-80 in the UK, America and Germany showed it could give significant pain relief to sufferers. Interestingly, the more severe the pain the greater the benefits.

        Collagen should be taken for a minimum of 3 months to see benefit. While doctors admit that they don’t know the exact mode by which it works, it is believed that in the form of a dietary supplement, it helps synthesise collagen development to strengthen cartilage. It may also stop the body from reducing its own collagen by dampening the natural auto-immune response.

        Glucosamine, already established as an aid to arthritis, is considered totally compatible with collagen, and the two make an ideal combination.

        Collagen does not cure arthritis, it reduces inflammation and stiffness. If it works for you, you may find you need to take it on a long-term basis. Over 10-year use in Czechoslovakia has revealed no side effects.

        Other non-drug ways to aid arthritis:  foods rich in selenium can help, such as  broccoli, cabbage, garlic. Cod liver oil in the form of a daily capsule is now recognised as a way of reducing joint pain - fatty acids in the oil can slow or reverse the destruction of joint cartilage.


If you are interested in trying out a collagen supplement, you need to check with your own GP to ensure no contra indications with other medication.


To order, and for more information on collagen hydrolysate and Collagen Plus, contact the Arthro Vite helpline on (freephone) 0800 0181 282.  See also their website:


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