Best Collagen for Joints: Benefits, How to Use and More - Dr. Axe

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Benefits of Collagen for Joints (Plus Best Types to Use)


Collagen for joints - Dr. Axe

For many, healthy joints are essential for an active life, but wear and tear — or conditions like osteoarthritis — can lead to pain and stiffness. This is where collagen for joints comes in considering this structural protein that plays a vital role in joint health.

Collagen, often touted as the “glue” that holds the body together, has a crucial job in maintaining joint health. As we age, our bodies’ natural collagen production decreases, leading to joint discomfort and stiffness.

In recent years, collagen supplementation has gained popularity as a potential remedy for joint issues. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the benefits, types, usage and potential risks of collagen for joints, helping you make an informed decision about the best types of collagen for your joint health needs.

Let’s delve in to the science behind collagen for joints and explore if it can be a helpful addition to your routine.

Benefits of Collagen for Joints

Collagen is the main structural protein found in various connective tissues, including joints, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. In fact, it is the main building block of cartilage, the spongy tissue that cushions your joints.

As we age, collagen production naturally declines, which can contribute to joint problems. However, studies suggest that collagen supplements may offer several benefits. Here are some of the top benefits of collagen for joints:

1. Joint Pain Relief

Collagen supplementation has been linked to reduced joint pain and stiffness, making it an attractive option for individuals suffering from conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

For instance, a 2019 meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials published in the journal International Orthopaedics used a random-effects model and generic inverse variance method to see if collagen supplementation actually helped improve osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms. The researchers used the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scale and/or the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for evaluating symptoms.

After the analysis, the study authors found that “collagen is effective in improving OA symptoms by the decrease of both total WOMAC index and VAS score.”

These results have been found in other studies as well. For example, a 2014 study noted that “collagen peptides are potential therapeutic agents as nutritional supplements for the management of osteoarthritis and maintenance of joint health.”

2. Improved Joint Function

Collagen supplementation might improve stiffness and increase joint mobility. Studies suggest it may improve joint function by promoting cartilage regeneration and reducing inflammation in the joints.

Research from 2021 found “strong evidence of 5–15 g/day dose of [collagen peptide supplementation] in improving joint pain and functionality.” The study authors also noted that “exercise and vitamin C seemed to aid collagen synthesis.”

3. Enhanced Mobility

By supporting joint structure and flexibility, collagen can help improve overall mobility, allowing individuals to engage in daily activities with greater ease.

A 2023 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that supplementing with collagen peptides over six to nine months may improve activities of daily living, pain, mental component scores and physical component scores in active adults. This is thought to be due to collagen’s ability to enhance mobility and make it easier for people who take it to go about their day-to-day lives.

4. Repaired Cartilage

There’s evidence that collagen may stimulate the body’s own production of collagen, potentially aiding cartilage repair. In fact, a systematic scoping review with evidence mapping published in 2020 found that collagen derivatives have beneficial effects on cartilage repair.

Best Collagen for Joints

Not all collagen supplements are created equal, and choosing the right type is essential for maximizing joint health benefits. Here are some of the best types of collagen for joints:

1. Type II Collagen

This type of collagen is specifically targeted toward joint health as it primarily comprises the collagen found in cartilage. Type II collagen supplements are known for their effectiveness in reducing joint pain and improving joint function.

This specific type is the major component of healthy joint cartilage. Look for supplements labeled as undenatured type II collagen (UC-II).

2. Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides

Hydrolyzed collagen peptides are broken down into smaller molecules, making them easier for the body to absorb. Hydrolyzed collagen supplements are versatile and can be easily incorporated into various beverages and recipes.

This readily absorbed form of collagen comes from various sources, like bovine or marine collagen.

3. Collagen Blends

Some supplements combine different types of collagen to offer comprehensive joint support. Look for blends that include collagen types I, II and III for optimal joint health benefits.

When choosing a collagen supplement, prioritize reputable brands that provide clear information about the source, type and dosage of collagen.

In addition, you can get the benefits of collagen for joints by taking bovine, egg, fish or chicken collagen.

How to Use

Collagen supplements typically come in powder form, which can be easily mixed into beverages or food. Dosing recommendations can vary, but a range of five to 10 grams per day is commonly suggested. It’s best to consult your doctor for personalized advice, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

When it comes to using collagen for joint health, consistency is key. Studies suggest it may take several weeks to experience the full benefits of collagen supplementation.

Here are some tips for incorporating collagen into your daily routine:

  1. Choose a High-Quality Supplement: Opt for collagen supplements from reputable brands that undergo rigorous testing for purity and potency.
  2. Follow Dosage Recommendations: The recommended dosage of collagen supplements may vary depending on the type and formulation. It’s best to follow the dosage instructions provided on the product label or consult with a health care professional for personalized advice.
  3. Mix It Up: Collagen supplements are available in various forms, including powders, capsules and liquids. Choose the option that best fits your lifestyle and preferences.
  4. Be Patient: It may take several weeks of consistent use to experience the full benefits of collagen supplementation for joint health. Stick with it and be patient with the process.

Other ways to boost your intake of collagen for joints is to consume more collagen-rich foods, such as bone broth and eggs, and avoid collagen-destroying foods, such as refined carbohydrates and processed meats.

Risks, Side Effects and Interactions

Collagen is generally considered safe for most healthy adults. However, some people might experience mild side effects like bloating, heartburn or diarrhea. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor before starting collagen supplementation.

Here is more on the potential risk and side effects of collagen for joints:

  • Allergic Reactions: Individuals with allergies to collagen sources like fish or shellfish should exercise caution when taking collagen supplements.
  • Digestive Issues: Some people may experience mild digestive discomfort, such as bloating or diarrhea, when first starting collagen supplementation. This is usually temporary and tends to resolve on its own.
  • Interactions with Medications: If you’re taking medications or have underlying health conditions, it’s advisable to consult with a health care professional before starting collagen supplementation to avoid potential interactions.


  • You probably already know about the benefits of collagen for skin, but it also is vital to joint health.
  • While research on collagen for joints is ongoing, the evidence is promising. Collagen supplements may help reduce pain, improve joint function and potentially promote cartilage health.
  • By choosing the right type of collagen and following proper usage guidelines, you can effectively support your joint health and overall well-being. However, it’s essential to approach collagen supplementation with caution, taking into account individual health considerations and potential risks.
  • Remember, it’s not a miracle cure, but it could be a valuable addition to your joint health regimen.
  • Speak to your doctor to see if collagen supplementation is right for you.

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