Called bonebalance, it has just been launched on the UK market following European regulatory classification as a food for special medical use for the management of bone thinning and osteoporosis. This follows trials in which daily consumption of the 5g powdered sachet was found to increase bone mineral density in the spine by up to six percent over the course of 12 months.
The once-daily supplement is made up of tiny bovine collagen fibers that are hydrolyzed to fit and be absorbed into human bone.
It is believed that collagen allows bones to become stronger and more flexible, and therefore less likely to break.
Available without a prescription, the treatment is believed to work by stimulating bone-building cells and reducing bone-breaking cells.
Sunday Express writer and GP Dr Rosemary Leonard MBE, who sits on the board of the Royal Osteoporosis Society, said: “This is a fantastic product and the science behind it is good and promising.
“I take it myself because I have osteopenia [thinning bones].
“It might be a good thing to consider for those at risk, such as very short people, those with or with a history of osteoporosis, as well as postmenopausal women.”
Current treatments, including a family of drugs called bisphosphonates, bind to the surface of bones.
But research, ironically, has suggested that it might actually make them less flexible and more likely to break.
Study co-author Dr Ulrich Hansen, Imperial Oil’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, said: “If the bones are too hard, they are less able to absorb shock and more likely to break. . Our study suggests that flexibility may be just as important as density in preventing fractures. “
Osteoporosis is a slowly growing disease that weakens the bones.
Over 500,000 people in the UK receive hospital treatment for fractures each year because of it.