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Collagen for Joints

Posted by on May 20, 2019 in Stuff with 0 Comments

What is collagen?

Collagen is an essential protein that our bodies use for a whole range of different functions. Taking collagen supplements for joints is beneficial. This is because everything from your skin’s youthful elasticity and glow to your muscle growth to the smoothness and functionality of your joints relies on collagen.

It’s particularly important for your joints, however. Collagen is one of your joint’s main proteins; it’s absolutely necessary for the cartilage which protects your joints and keeps them from getting inflamed due to arthritis. While results are mixed, many studies suggest that a diet or supplementary regimen in collagen may help reduce inflammation and stimulate cartilage production.

While there’s an abundance of different types of collagen (sixteen distinct varieties, to be exact), the collagen found in your body is almost entirely made up of collagen type I, Type II, or type III.

How might it help our joints/soft tissue?

As previously stated, collagen is essential to cartilage production. Type II collagen is one of the main proteins that exists in cartilage. Taking it orally may help your body produce collagen on its own and even reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis.

Basically, collagen-based tissue, such as ligaments, cartilage, tendons and fascia, tends to get weaker and wear down as the years pass. That’s why arthritis becomes more and more common as you age; your joints simply wear out naturally. While our bodies can fix muscles up no sweat, replenishing the joints is a slightly more complex process, and that’s why collagen is needed.

What types of collagen are there? Which is the best?

As stated above, the type of collagen that can be found in human bodies is almost always Type I, Type II or Type II, with Type II collagen being the variety that is used in cartilage formation. As such, Type II is the kind that you want to go for if you’re looking to combat rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.

Another thing to look out for is specifically what kind of collagen you’re getting. The two main types of supplements or dietary collagen that you might find are gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen. Gelatin collagen is the result of breaking larger proteins down until you get collagen in gelatin form. It can be found in bone broth, for example, where bones are boiled until gelatin forms. Hydrolyzed collagen is a version that’s been broken down even further, into the amino acids and building blocks that fundamentally make up collagen.

The thing is, our bodies don’t absorb undenatured, regular collagen very well. It needs to be broken down a bit for our bodies to accept it and start using it to produce cartilage. So when looking for a collagen supplement, make sure it’s in gelatin or hydrolyzed form. You may also find broken-down collagen being marketed as a “collagen peptide.”

Where can you get collagen?

Collagen is widely available in common dietary ingredients. Bone broth, for example, is one popular source of collagen. Other vitamin and antioxidant-rich foods, such as kiwis, almonds and carrots, are also good for collagen synthesis in the body.

Collagen is also very widely available in supplement form. Nutrixen MultiCollagen, for example, may help your body’s joints function by upping your body’s collagen levels and increasing production in joints that are currently suffering from arthritis due to a lack of cartilage. Dosages will vary, however, depending on if you’re taking denatured or undenatured collagen.

What is a good dosage if you’re using collagen for joints?

Dosage varies depending on what kind of collagen supplement you’re taking. In general, one can take more of a hydrolyzed or gelatin supplement than of straight up collagen type II. While collagen II should be taken only in small doses of 20-40mg per day, taking hydrolyzed or gelatin collagen in larger doses is possible; think more like 10-20 grams.

However, as with any supplement, starting out with extremely small doses and slowly working your way up to larger ones, all the while monitoring for any changes in your health or bodily functions, is wholeheartedly recommended.

Is collagen safe?

Yes, collagen is overwhelmingly safe as a supplement. It’s been a part of the human diet for centuries, and can be found in some of our most common food ingredients and healthiest dishes, such as bone broth. Even when taken in relatively high doses as a supplement, there are little to not unpleasant side effects associated with collagen.

In any case, it’s certainly not on the same level as the side effects that result from taking prescription medications. Upset stomach or diarrhea are sometimes reported as mild side effects. That said, as long as you’re taking your collagen supplements as directed, it should be totally safe.

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