There are two forms of collagen used in supplements:

(1)Hydrolyzed Collagen

(2)UN-denatured Type II Collagen [1].

In this review we will be concentrating on the latter of the two. Type II collagen is taken daily to help treat arthritis and it may also help reduce pain.

What is Type II Collagen?

UN-denatured type II collagen is a common ingredient in joint health supplements that is derived from chicken sternum cartilage [2]. UN-denatured means that the collagen has not been processed using chemicals or a high heat. It differs from hydrolyzed collagen by being more effective at slowing inflammation response.

Collagen has been shown to be slightly effective at treating rheumatoid arthritis. It is more effective at treating osteoarthritis, and is generally regarded as safe to consume.

What are the Benefits of Taking Type II Collagen?

Type II collagen has been found to be effective in treating pain.

A 2009 study in the International Journal of Food Sciences & Nutrition looked at the effectiveness of collagen (in this study they used hydrolyzed collagen) in treating primary osteoarthritis of the knee [3].

The study found that after six months of supplementation patients suffered from less pain than those on a placebo.

A 1998 study that looked at type II collagen found that supplementation led to reduced pain reported by patients compared to the placebo group [4].

Another study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2013) found that type II collagen led to a reduction in joint pain. Additionally, an increase in joint mobility during exercise [5].

Basically, taking type II collagen can help you to train longer and harder before joint pain affects your session. It can also help to reduce joint pain after exercise. It’s useful at treating joint pain caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Are There any Side Effects?

According to Arthritis Research UK, there are no major side effects to taking type II collagen or hydrolyzed collagen [6].

There are potentially some mild side effects such as gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, and you may experience a rash. But everyone reacts differently, and these side effects are rare.

Final Thoughts on Type II Collagen

Overall type II collagen appears to be a fairly decent ingredient to include in a joint health supplement. It is effective at reducing inflammation, reducing joint pain, and improving joint mobility during exercise.

This is great for anyone who has found their stiff joints preventing them from hitting the gym as hard as they want to.

Decently effective, evidence backed, and with pretty much no side effects, it’s safe to say that type II collagen is a great idea for anyone with arthritis or general joint pain.

It may also be effective as part of a post-gym recovery phase, particularly if you are already at risk of joint pain. Additionally, if you are placing a lot of strain on your joints through high intensity exercise. Powerlifters, Olympic Weightlifters, athletes, Crossfitters etc … we’re looking at you!

References
[1] https://examine.com/supplements/type-ii-collagen/
[2] https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/does-uc-ii-help-joints/UC_II_undenatured_collagen/
[3] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09637480802498820
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9485087
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24153020
[6] https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/complementary-and-alternative-medicines/cam-report/complementary-medicines-for-osteoarthritis/collagen.aspx

 

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