How to Choose Between Collagen vs. Glucosamine For Joints

collagen vs. glucosamine

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 23% of American adults suffer from some sort of arthritis. Sadly, approximately 24 million adults have to limit their favorite activities as a result of their arthritis pain. Daily-dose nutrition supplements such as collagen peptides and glucosamine have been shown to be effective in joint pain relief and management. In this article, we're going to show you how to chose between hydrolyzed collagen vs. glucosamine to help relieve joint pain and stiffness.

Here's the deal:

Make sure you also check out our article: Best Collagen Supplements For Arthritis

Do Collagen and Glucosamine Help Arthritis?

You should know, there are options available other than prescription medications or surgery to address the physical function of your joints.

For example, two natural supplements that have been shown in studies to help alleviate joint discomfort are glucosamine and collagen.

Which sets up the question, how to choose between collagen vs. glucosamine?

Glucosamine has been used by many to address their arthritic pain. (In addition, this supplement is often used for a pet's joint discomfort.)

However, collagen has exploded onto the health and wellness scene especially for its ability to improve joint health.

Pro Tip:  Adding collagen peptides to your daily routine can offer other benefits such as thicker hair, fewer deep wrinkles on your face, wrinkles around lips, support sagging skin, better gut health, stronger arteries, bigger muscles and weight loss.

Since both supplements can be helpful supplements for joint health, how do you decide between collagen vs. glucosamine?  

Let's find out...

 Make sure you also check our guide to the best infrared heating pads for further help with joint pain reduction.

Osteoarthritis Explained

See the graphic from the Arthritis National Research Foundation  below to see what cartilage looks like when your joint is healthy

The lack of cartilage in joints results in a condition called arthritis. There are over 100 different types of arthritis or conditions of arthritis.

In this article, we're focusing on osteoarthritis.


Common Treatments for Joint Pain

If you suffer joint discomfort or pain, your health care provider will have suggestions to make life more bearable. 

For example, they may suggest over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen or similar pain relievers, cortisone shots or prescription medications.

Unfortunately, each of those suggestions come with their own risks.

Alternatively, you may want to consider adding natural and generally safe dietary supplements to your daily routine.

These supplements can help lessen inflammation, slow down the deterioration of cartilage and reduce ongoing pain.

Let's dig in to learn more....

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What is Glucosamine?

collagen vs glucosamine

Glucosamine is a natural chemical in your body.

Actually, it's one of the important components of cartilage and is in the fluid around the joints.

Glucosamine is extracted from shellfish and can be synthetically made in labs as well.

Although there are different forms of glucosamine, researchers tell us glucosamine sulfate is the suggested form that's best to reduce inflammation and the breakdown and eventual elimination of cartilage in joints.

Does Glucosamine Work?

Here's the deal:

For many years, the scientific community has studied the effectiveness of glucosamine on joint health.

These studies often include chondroitin along with glucosamine (chondroitin is a similar naturally-occurring compound that helps create and maintain cartilage).

In one study of 200 people, the results showed a decrease in markers for inflammation after using glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate together in one dietary supplement. 

Although the researchers couldn't confirm which of these two supplements actually is the most effective in reducing inflammation.

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As part of sports nutrition study, a group of athletes took either 1.5 or 3g glucosamine sulfate per day. The results indicated those taking 3g of glucosamine (vs. 1.5g) slowed down the damage of collagen in joints.

Also, a study in 2013 linked glucosamine sulfate with an increase in negative liver function tests and symptoms.

For example, some people developed a rash.

Even though the results of prior studies were positive, more research is needed.

collagen vs. glucosamine

Collagen: What you Need to Know 

Collagen is the most abundant protein in both women's and men's bodies. It's often referred to as the 'glue' or 'scaffolding' that literally holds your body together. 

When someone approaches their 30s, their body body stops making as much new collagen.

Also, collagen-killing activities like too much sun, poor diet, smoking and stress don't help.

Over time, a collagen deficiency begins to grow.

As a result of the deficiency, you'll notice some of these symptoms and more: 

  • Joint pain and discomfort
  • Skin loses structure and begins to sag
  • Deep wrinkles appear
  • Your gut starts to get cranky 
  • Muscle-size shrinks
  • Artery walls start to collapse
  • Pelvic floor connective tissue weakens
  • Hair and nail become weak
  • More...

Why Does Collagen Help Joints?

In general, the power of collagen lies in its ability to help preserve the cartilage you already have and reduce inflammation.

Because collagen is so popular, you can get affordable, effective supplements in many convenient forms: powder, capsules, liquid drinks, coffee, gummies, protein bars and even coffee creamer.

In addition, collagen supplements can also include other useful ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin C and key amino acids--just to name a few.

How do you choose between collagen vs. glucosamine? Let's learn more...

Type ii Collagen and Cartilage

There are three primary types of collagen found in your body:

  • Types I and III are found primarily in hair, skin and nails. These types are derived primarily from bovine collagen.
  • Type ii (especially undenatured type ii collagen derived from chicken collagen) is more specialized and is THE main component in cartilage.

Luckily, it's easy to get Type ii collagen on its own or combined with other helpful ingredients such as glucosamine.

Clinical Studies on Collagen

You might be wondering:

What do the clinical studies of a collagen supplement say? 

The results of research studies have shown that collagen hydrolysate supplementation can not only slow down age-related joint deterioration but also is able to accelerate healing from sports injuries.

In one clinical study, the clinicians focused in on athletes.

A 24-week study of participants included those who experienced joint discomfort from athletic activity and had no other known joint disease.

The results of the study indicated the athletes experienced a reduction of pain as a result of taking collagen hydrolysate.

Another clinical study showed those who took 10g collagen hydrolysate over a 6-month period realized a 'significant improvement in knee joint comfort'.

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

Experiencing side effects from collagen supplements? Try vegan collagen-boosting supplements instead.

Bottom line: Collagen vs. Glucosamine

Actually collagen vs. glucosamine isn't the argument because both help relieve joint discomfort.

To that end, in an effort to give consumers the best of all worlds, many collagen products contain both collagen Type II and glucosamine.

However, beware that glucosamine may give you more side effects than collagen.

Therefore, combining these two, a collagen supplement and glucosamine supplement into one product might make it difficult to determine which one is problematic for you.


How to choose between collagen vs. glucosamine to relieve joint pain?

The good news is you don't have to choose!

We hope the information in this article shows you that both glucosamine and collagen are shown to be effective in maintaining healthy joints and reducing joint pain.

The aspects to be ware of include:

  • There are less potential side effects with collagen
  • Collagen may improve your youthful glow in addition to helping your joint heallh

Either way, glucosamine, collagen or a combination of both, we suggest starting slowly to get up to the recommended dosage and consult with a physician before starting.

Finally, you may also want to check out a collagen supplement that is formulated specifically to address joint health.