Is Collagen Good For Arthritis?
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According to Arthritis.org, more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. With this being a very common condition, we'll explore the question, 'Is collagen good for arthritis?'
Collagen for knee pain and other types of joint pain may be a safe, affordable and painless approach you'll want to use.
Not only that, but collagen is good for your overall health, joint health and is an effective anti-inflammatory.
Keep in mind that If you start any new supplement, you'll want to check with your healthcare provider.
So let's get going on our article answering 'is collagen powder good for arthritis?' and the benefits of collagen!
What is arthritis?
Before we answer the question 'is collagen good for arthritis?', let's better understand what arthritis is.
First, arthritis is a catch-all phrase for any joint pain or joint disease.
Although there are more than 100 types of arthritis, we're going to focus on the most common type which is osteoarthritis of the knee, hips and other joints.
Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage between bones starts to wear away and bone rubs against bone. The bone-against-bone action leads to joint inflammation, pain, weakness, swelling and stiffness.
Most often, osteoarthritis is caused by factors such as aging, excess weight, family history, age and previous injury. Wear and tear are not the same as arthritis but are common factors that lead to arthritis pain.
Does Collagen Help Joints?
As you already know, the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis can slow down and eliminate activities or cause someone to retreat from life and become more isolated.
The thing is, we can't talk about cartilage without including collagen in the discussion.
What exactly is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. (It's also one of the best connective tissue supplements.)
Additionally, it's a strong and flexible protein created from amino acids, vitamin C, zinc and copper.
Even though there are over 28 types of collagen in your body, Type II collagen is concentrated in cartilage.
Unfortunately, starting in your late 20's, your body doesn't make as much new collagen as it did when you were younger creating a deficit.
Not only that, but humans tend to participate in collagen-killing activities like not eating well, smoking, too much sun and stress.
Therefore, less collagen in cartilage leads to pain and discomfort and less muscle mass to support your joints.
Let's start with the bad news…
Generally, there's not a way for the body to rebuild brand new cartilage between joints.
However, there are companies (Vibrant Health's Joint Vibrance) that claim to be the best supplement for cartilage regrowth, as long as there is still some cartilage present.
Now for the good news…
To help stop the deterioration of your cartilage:
- Add collagen supplements to your daily routine
- Keep your weight in check
- Eat a healthy diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Lower your stress levels
Do Studies Show Collagen is Good for Arthritis?
Studies have shown collagen may be beneficial in controlling arthritis.
Back in 2006, there was a study published 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 a chicken.)
Finally, Roland W. Moskowitz, MD also praised the potential of collagen given its safety and effectiveness. These two factors make using collagen 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 and answers the question 'is collagen good for arthritis?'.
Types of collagen supplements
When wondering if collagen is good for arthritis, you'll need to know there are several ways you can get collagen supplements:
Gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen
In order for the body to absorb collagen, it has to be broken down into smaller molecules. These molecules happen to be the amino acids that make up each strand of collagen protein.
Collagen-rich animal joints and bones can either be boiled down in water (you may have heard of bone broth) or broken down through a process called hydrolyzation.
TIP: When you see the term collagen hydrolysate, it means the same thing as collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen.
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) and increased motion and function.
Also, glucosamine and chondroitin are two other supplements that can help arthritis too. Actually, you can get collagen along with these other ingredients included.
As we learned, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body.
Because it is long, strong and flexible, collagen is often called the scaffolding that keeps the body together.
In fact, the cartilage between joints is primarily made from type 2 collagen.
As you grow older and participate in collagen-killing activities, your body makes less and less new collagen. That can lead to a condition called arthritis as your cartilage starts to disappear.
In closing, studies show you may want to consider adding a collagen supplement to support your body in creating new collagen and maintaining what you have.