Best Collagen Supplements For Arthritis: Product Recommendations and Buyer’s Guide [2020]

woman at market enjoying a joint pain free afternoon

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Osteoarthritis, where the cartilage between joints breaks down due to overuse or injury, is the most common joint disorder in the United States. It's estimated 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. If you experience arthritis, osteoarthritis or general joint pain, you'll want to check out our in-depth, detailed review on the best collagen supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

Along with valuable collagen supplement reviews, we also include a buyer's guide that will help you to decide which joint pain relief supplement is best for you.

Admittedly, once cartilage is gone, supplements aren't able to grow new cartilage from scratch.

However, a collagen supplement can help you preserve what you do have so you don't get to the point of bone-on-bone.

Finally, when you add any new supplement, we highly a consultation with your healthcare provider.

Also, it's important to start slow and work your way up to the recommended dosage. Everyone is different after all!

With all this in mind, we'll get started on our review and detailed buyer's guide.

Do you live a vegan lifestyle? Be sure to check out our list of the 5 Best Vegan Collagen Supplements for more great items like this.

Best Collagen Supplements for Joint Pain Recommendations

Best Price for Collagen Supplement for Joint Pain

Neocell Joint Complex is the lowest-cost supplement for arthritis pain in our review, each serving contains 4.2g of type II chicken-sourced collagen for reducing pain and discomfort.

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Best Overall Collagen Supplement for Arthritis

If you're serious, Environmedica Cartilage Collagen is our best overall joint-pain reducing support supplement. Each serving has 17g of type II collagen and undenatured collagen protein, all-natural ingredients and no additives.

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Best for Vegetarians Who Want to Reduce Joint Pain

Salcoll Salmon Collagen is an excellent joint pain-reducing option containing 8.8g of highly bio-available marine collagen, perfect for those who avoid meat but still want a powerful way to control arthritis discomfort.

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Best Collagen Supplements for Arthritis Reviews

1. Environmedica Capsules Undenatured Type II Collagen Protein

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Review: Environmedica Capsules Undenatured Type II Collagen Protein 

As we mention in our complete buyer’s guide, there's been a study that shows undenatured type II collagen protein could be a good way to lessen arthritis and joint pain.

The first product in our review for best collagen supplements for arthritis and joint pain is Environmedica.

Environmedica capsules are made from undenatured Type II collagen protein that is derived from bovine (cow) sources.

First, type II bovine collagen is derived from the trachea of pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle/cows in New Zealand. 

Second, each serving of 4 capsules contains 30g of bovine tracheal cartilage, 12g of type II collagen and 5g of undenatured type II collagen. 

In addition, their collagen formula includes 5.25g of chondroitin sulfate. Chondroitin is important because it helps to keep cartilage from breaking down.

Not only is their product effective in the support of joints, ligaments, tendons and bones, but Environmedica capsules also positively affect the immune system and acts as an immunoregulator.

Environmedica is made in an FDA-registered facility and cGMP compliant facility in Austin, TX.

As a matter of fact, this collagen supplement is completely clean—there is no dairy, wheat, yeast, gluten, corn, sugar, soy, shellfish, tree nuts or preservatives.

In addition, it’s made without stearates, fillers, binders, flow agents or additives.

Finally, be aware this product is neither vegetarian or vegan.

PROS

  • Concentrated Type II collagen for joint support
  • Bovine-sourced collagen from New Zealand cattle/cows
  • Convenient capsules
  • Completely clean, no artificial ingredients or additives
  • Made in the United States

CONS

  • Not vegan/vegetarian-friendly

2. NeoCell - Collagen Type 2 Joint Complex

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Review: NeoCell - Collagen Type Joint Complex

The lower-priced collagen supplement for arthritis pain in our review, NeoCell capsules have a concentrated dose of type II hydrolyzed chicken collagen.

Each serving is 4 capsules and contains 2.4g type II collagen protein and naturally contains .84g each of glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid (all of which support joint lubrication and help reduce joint inflammation).

However, there is 40g of sodium per serving, which may be of concern for you.

Also, the ingredient list of NeoCell includes stearic acid and vegetable magnesium stearate. Although both are generally safe for humans, you'll want to be aware of these additives.

The company uses recycled materials for their bottles and proudly supports the international charity organization, Vitamin Angels.

NeoCell is not vegan or vegetarian since the collagen is sourced from chicken.

PROS

  • Concentrated type II joint-supporting collagen
  • Lowest-priced collagen supplement in our review
  • Supports Vitamin Angels, a worldwide charitable organization

CONS

  • Not vegan/vegetarian-friendly
  • Contains sodium

3. SALCOLL Hip & Joint Mobility Salmon Collagen Capsules

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Review: SALCOLL Wild Caught Salmon Collagen Capsules

The higher-priced option in our collagen supplements for arthritis and joint pain review, Salcoll Collagen seems to be well worth it as reviews report strong, positive results for users.

The collagen contained in Salcoll is sourced from wild-caught salmon fish (marine) skin. Further, it is produced in Poland for an American company.

In fact, fish is known to have smaller collagen protein molecules as compared to bovine sources.

That means marine collagen starts off being more bio-available than bovine collagen.

There are all-natural ingredients in Salcoll’s salmon collagen supplement—only salmon-derived collagen and lemon extract are included.

Also, there is lactic acid in the ingredients, however, lactic acid is an organic acid.

Each serving is 4 capsules and contains 8.8g of salmon collagen and .05g of vitamin C (vitamin C is crucial to make new collagen protein, along with other potential health benefits).

Since this collagen supplement is sourced from fish, Salcoll may appeal to vegetarians.

PROS

  • Reviews say it's a highly-effective, joint pain-reducing product
  • Highly-rated on Amazon
  • Powerful and highly bioavailable collagen from wild-caught salmon
  • Produced in Poland, distributed by an American company

CONS

  • Not suitable for vegans
  • Higher priced

4. Vibrant Health--Joint Vibrance (Version 5.0)

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Review: Vibrant Health--Joint Vibrance (Version 5.0)

In our detailed review of collagen peptides and arthritis pain collagen supplements, we felt it was important to include a powder form.

If you don’t like to take pills, a powder may be a better option as it can be mixed in the liquid of your choice (warm or cold). Also you can easily adjust the dosage using powder. 

Although, a powder may not be as convenient for some as it might be easier to take capsules.

For your information, Joint Vibrance is made from bovine-sourced hydrolyzed collagen. Each serving (1 scoop per day) contains 8.6g of type I collagen from bovine sources and 2g of type II collagen from avian sources (chicken or turkey).

Since there are two types of collagen, you’ll not only receive the potential arthritis pain-reducing benefits of type II collagen but also receive the skin, hair and nails benefits of type I collagen.

It should be noted there are more calories and carbs in Joint Vibrance unlike other capsule versions of collagen supplements.

Additionally, the company adds useful ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, MSM, turmeric and grapeseed extract.

Joint Vibrance includes natural and organic Stevia for sweetening, along with other natural additives.

Users of this product noted they found the newest version of this collagen supplement product to be difficult to dissolve in liquid. 

Along with that, they also didn't like the citrus flavor which is different from prior versions.

Finally, the collagen in Joint Vibrance is sourced from cattle/cows and is not considered vegan or vegetarian.

PROS

  • Type I and type II collagen
  • Additional helpful vitamins and minerals are added
  • Claims to help regenerate cartilage if the cartilage is already present
  • Convenient powder that can be mixed in liquid
  • Easy to adjust the serving size

CONS

  • Not vegan/vegetarian-friendly
  • Higher calories and carbs than other options

5. Genacol Original Joint Supplements

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Review: Genacol Original Joint Supplements

The fifth collagen joint-reducing pain supplement in our review is from Genacol.

Founded in the mid-1990s, Genacol prides itself on being a family-owned company.

Genacol is one of the market leaders in their field and their products are now available in over 40 countries worldwide.

Genacol offers a proprietary and patent-pending AminoLock formula.

This formula makes the bovine-sourced collagen protein into even smaller molecules than other products, which makes their collagen product more absorbable by your body.

Along with this, AminoLock has a mix of enzymes to create a specific amino acid profile at matches the amino acids that make up collagen protein.

A lesser dosage per serving is needed due to Genocol's unique collagen peptide formula. Only 3 capsules are included in a serving which means a bottle will last longer.

In fact, the capsules are on the smaller side and easier to swallow.

There is scientific proof of Genacol's effectiveness from three different clinical studies.

In other words, not scientifically supported, but rather, scientifically proven to help reduce inflammation and joint pain due to arthritis.

Manufactured in Canada in a good manufacturing practice facility, Genacol is gluten-free, non-GMO and sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle/cows from America.

Luckily you can try this collagen supplement for your joint pain without any risk. Genacol offers a generous 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, Genacol wouldn’t be a good supplement for you.

PROS

  • Patent-pending AminoLock collagen-processing formula
  • Scientifically proven to help reduce arthritis pain
  • Less capsules per serving recommended
  • 100% money-back guarantee

CONS

  • Not vegan/vegetarian-friendly
  • Newest version has a new citrus taste and can be more difficult to dissolve
  • More calories and carbs than other products in review

Best Collagen Supplements For Arthritis – Buyer’s Guide

Why do we get arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a joint condition where the cartilage (cushioning between bones)  joints breaks down due to overuse and/or injury. 

Also, it is the most common joint disorder in the United States. It's estimated 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis.

Most people over age 60 have osteoarthritis to some extent. However, even younger people can get osteoarthritis, usually from a joint injury or overuse of a joint.

In addition, for those over 50, women tend to have osteoarthritis at a higher rate than men, especially after menopause.

This is because a woman's drop in estrogen affects the creation and support of collagen, which weakens the cartilage between joints.

Furthermore, the condition of osteoarthritis has affected more and more people due to an aging population, obesity and lack of physical activity that is common in today’s society.

Here’s the bad news

There’s generally not a way for the body to rebuild brand new cartilage between joints.

However, there are companies with products (Vibrant Health-Joint Vibrance) that claim to be able to regenerate new cartilage as long as there is still cartilage present.

Now for the good news…

You can help stop the deterioration and the repair of cartilage through collagen supplements.

What's more exciting is there are new advancements underway to help people with osteoarthritis to live active and pain-free lives.

Why is collagen important?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human (and animal) bodies.

It's is a long, triple-helix protein that's made up of amino acids and synthesized by vitamin C, zinc and copper. The triple-helix structure makes it a tough yet flexible protein.

This important protein is often called the ‘glue’ or ‘scaffolding’ that holds your body together. It's also known as the elusive ‘fountain of youth’ for its beauty-enhancing, anti-aging properties.

Although there are over 16 types of collagen in your body, it’s important to note that type II collagen is concentrated in cartilage.

In addition to cartilage, collagen also shows up in these parts of your body:

  • Skin
  • Hair
  • Nails
  • Gut lining
  • Muscles
  • Bones
  • Eyes
  • Tendons and ligaments
  • Arteries

As you can see, we weren’t kidding when we said collagen is everywhere in your body.

The thing is, your body naturally stops making as much collagen starting in your 30’s.

Add on wear and tear, injury, aging, a poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise, osteoarthritis can make for a miserable life.

With all this in mind, it's never too late to improve your joint health.

Does collagen help joints?

Since collagen is a key part of cartilage, it gives cartilage strength and holds the other components of cartilage together.

When we don't have as much collagen in cartilage that condition starts to cause inflammation which leads to pain, stiffness and a diagnosis of arthritis.

In addition to collagen, the following components are contained within cartilage:

Proteoglycans

Proteolglycans are made from protein and sugar which are wound around and through collagen protein.

They help the cartilage to hold water which helps it change shape when compressed.

For example, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid are both considered proteoglycans.

Water

It should be noted, cartilage contains a high percentage of water. As a matter of fact, more than 70% of water.

Not only does water act as a shock absorber, but it also keeps cartilage moist and nourished.

Chondrocytes

Chondrocytes are powerhouse cells in cartilage. They help produce new collagen and proteogylcans. In addition, they assist in removing aging collagen and proteoglycans.  

Is collagen good for arthritis?

Back in 2006, there was a study that indicated oral collagen supplementation could help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis.

Also, another study indicated UC-II from chicken sternum showed promise to reduce pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. (UC-II is a proprietary and patented form of natural type II collagen from the trachea of chick.)

Finally, Roland W. Moskowitz, MD also praised the potential of collagen given its safety and effectiveness. These two factors make using collagen as an acceptable treatment in long-term and chronic joint pain.

Certainly, there are prescription medication and NSAIDS (ibuprofen and aspirin) that can also help alleviate the pain associated with osteoarthritis.

With this in mind, however, these approaches bring risks and side effects of their own.

In contrast, collagen supplements are generally safe with very few potential side effects.

Types of collagen supplements

Although there are many types of collagen, there are three main types of collagen supplements.

Gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen

in order the body to absorb collagen, it has to be broken down into smaller molecules. These molecules are the amino acids that make up each strand of collagen protein. 

Collagen can either be boiled down in water (you may have heard of bone broth) or broken down through a process called hydrolyzation.

Which is why you'll see collagen referred to as collagen hydrolysate, collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen.

The usual dosage per day for collagen supplementation is at least 10g per serving, per day.

Although there are many types of collagen, type II collagen is heavily concentrated in joints.

Collagen supplements are sourced mostly from cattle/cows (bovine), chicken/turkey (avian) and fish (marine).

Undenatured Type II Collagen (UC-II)

UC-II is derived from chicken sternum specifically and is a patented form of undenatured collagen.

The UC-II version of collagen isn’t broken down into smaller parts and is usually taken in small doses, such as 4g per serving.

Its job is to help to train your body to not damage or kill off the collagen you do have.

As a matter of fact, a promising study conducted with five women ages 58-78 over 42 days supplementing with undenatured UC-II collagen from chicken had significant pain reduction due to joint stiffness, motion and function.  

What is the best supplement for arthritis?

As we mentioned, collagen has been shown to be an effective way to possibly stop further breakdown of cartilage and reduce joint pain and inflammation.

In addition to collagen, the following supplements are helpful to help reduce osteoarthritis pain:

Glucosamine is a natural chemical in your body and is classified as an amino sugar. It’s one of the important components in cartilage and the fluid around the joints.

Glucosamine vs. collagen? Find the answer here.

Chondroitin is a natural component of connective tissue in your body.

Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce the discomfort associated with osteoarthritis.

Ginger is another root that offers anti-inflammatory properties. It can be eaten in fresh, grated form or taken as a supplement. (However, be aware you’ll want to avoid ginger if you take blood-thinning medications.)

Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) as found fish such as salmon and mackerel offer many benefits including anti-inflammatory properties.

Without a doubt, we recommend consulting with your healthcare provider before taking any of these supplements for your arthritis pain. 

What are the side effects of collagen supplements?

In general, collagen taken as instructed is a safe supplement and well-tolerated. 

As a matter of fact, it has fewer side effects or potential long-term affects associated with prescription medications or ibuprofen/aspirin.

The possible side effects of collagen include:

  • An uncomfortable feeling of fullness
  • Rarely, a rash may develop
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergic reaction to fish, beef or eggs

With any new supplement, it's wise to start adding it slowly, working up to the suggested dosage listed on the product or your healthcare provider.

Finally, it may help to take the collagen supplement for joint pain before bed rather than in the morning.

FINAL VERDICT

Osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that millions of older Americans.

It comes about through natural aging, losing more collagen in the cartilage that is between bones.

In addition, obesity, poor diet and/or injury can also cause osteoarthritis.

This joint condition can cause pain, discomfort and sometimes significantly restrict activity.

Keep cartilage in good shape by feeding it collagen and other supplements, don't smoke, eating a healthy diet, drinking water, reducing stress and keeping your weight in check.