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HCP has been used in Europe for decades as a dietary supplement and an alternative treatment for arthritis and osteoporosis. In several German and Czech studies, 7-10 grams of HCP per day for 30-90 days has been shown to decrease the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. In some studies, HCP was as effective as oral painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and in others, subjects were able to decrease or discontinue their use of analgesic medications while consuming HCP. Although proponents of HCP consumption claim that they "rebuild" cartilage, this is merely speculation (though probably correct) based on the body of scientific data showing pain reduction.


History and background

The molecular and packing structures of collagen have eluded scientists for decades; the first evidence that it possess a regular structure at the molecular level was presented in the mid-1930s. Since that time many prominent scholars, including (but not limited to) Nobel laureate Crick, and Pauling, Rich, Yonath, Brodsky, Berman and Ramachandran concentrated on the conformation of the collagen monomer. Several competing models although correctly dealing with the conformation of each individual peptide chain, gave way to the triple-helical "Madras" model which provided an essentially correct model of the molecule's quaternary structure  although this model still required some refinement. The packing structure of collagen has not been defined to the same degree outside of the fibrillar collagen types, although it has been long known to be hexagonal or quasi-hexagonal. As with its monomeric structure, several conflicting models alleged that either the packing arrangement of collagen molecules is ‘sheet-like’ or microfibrillar. Recently it was confirmed that the microfibrillar structure as described by Fraser, Miller, Wess (amongst others) was closest to the observed structure, although it over-simplified the topological progression of neighboring collagen molecules and hence did not predict the correct conformation of the discontinuous D-periodic pentameric arrangement termed simply: the microfibril

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