Collagen is the most abundant protein found in joints. For this reason, some people are wondering if collagen supplementation could be beneficial in supporting joints. The emerging research studies suggest that in some cases collagen may be helpful in reducing joint discomfort and stiffness.
However, if you decide to try collagen for joints, it may be a challenge to find the right supplement. There is an abundance of different collagen supplements with different collagen types, sources, and formulations. To help you choose the most suitable product, we crafted a list of what we believe are the best collagen for joints.
Best collagen for joints: shortlist
- Utzy — overall best collagen supplement for joints
- A Quality Life — best collagen supplement for joints in a gummy formula
- ProFlexen — best intact collagen supplement for joints
- Nature's Craft — best affordable collagen for joint health
- Effective Natural Products — best liquid collagen for joints
How we compiled our list of the best collagen supplements for joints
Choosing the best collagen supplement for joints is a challenging task. The difficulty arises from the fact that some collagen supplements are designed to address different concerns (such as skin health) rather than joint issues.
To help you find the right supplement, we picked a few products that may be appropriate for joint health. Below we outlined some of the criteria we used to create this list.
|Collagen type||Intact type II or hydrolyzed collagen|
|Administration form||Easy to consume|
|Price per serving||Reasonable price per serving|
|Customer experience||Refund policy, shipping|
- Collagen type. We ranked products that contain intact type II collagen or hydrolyzed collagen higher because these collagens were studied the most for joint health.
- Administration form. Although collagen in its purest form is odorless and tasteless, some forms may be preferred. Some people would find it easier to take a few capsules, while others prefer taking gummy supplements. For this reason, we included products in various forms for you for you to choose from.
- Price per serving. We compared prices by calculating the price per serving. We favored products that do not compromise quality to lower the price.
- Customer experience. We checked the information regarding refund policies and shipping to evaluate customer experience.
Best collagen for joints: product reviews
There are plenty of collagen supplements on the market. To help you choose, we curated a list of the best collagen supplements for joints that are, in our opinion, worth considering.
1. Utzy — best collagen supplement for joints overall
Coll-U-Gen by Utzy is one of the best collagen supplements for joints as it contains two types of collagen linked to joint health: intact type II and hydrolyzed type III. Both of these collagen types have been studied clinically and have shown positive results making them a great choice amongst joint supplements.
Moreover, this product contains 40 mg of intact type II collagen, which aligns with the dosage used in several studies on this type of collagen that yielded favorable outcomes for joint health.
When it comes to hydrolyzed collagen, this product features 5,000 mg of it, also falling within the range of doses used in studies, which typically span from 1,000 mg to 10,000 mg.
Coll-U-Gen comes in flavorless powder form that can easily dissolve in water or other beverages.
One jar of Utzy is priced at $47.50. As one jar contains 24 servings, the supplement would cost you $1.98 per day. Moreover, as claimed by the manufacturer, if the products do not work for you, you can contact them for a full refund within 90 days.
2. A Quality Life — best collagen gummies for joints
Thanks to their greater convenience compared to capsules or powders, the popularity of gummy supplements is on the rise. If you lean towards gummy supplements, A Quality Life offers excellent collagen gummies for joint health.
The collagen in this product is in a hydrolyzed form, which means it has been broken down for improved absorption into the bloodstream. However, the manufacturer does not identify the type of collagen used to make these gummies.
This supplement also contains a modest amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for collagen production, and thus is often included in supplements to boost its biosynthesis.
One bottle containing 60 gummies is sold at $37.45 without the subscription. As the recommended daily serving is 2 gummies, A Quality Life supplement costs $1.25 per day. The product is covered by a 30-day exchange policy.
3. ProFlexen — best native collagen supplement for joint tenderness
ProFlexen is a joint supplement that incorporates 13 active components, with native type II collagen as the prominent ingredient. Native type II collagen was investigated by numerous clinical studies and indicated that it has the potential to alleviate joint discomfort.
Other active ingredients in this supplement include glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, Boswellia serrata, turmeric, ginger, bromelain, papain, vitamin C, zinc, manganese, and selenium. Turmeric, for instance, may reduce inflammation and vitamin C is linked to collagen biosynthesis. Some of these ingredients have been also clinically tested for joints but showed mixed results (e.g. glucosamine with chondroitin).
One bottle of ProFlexen contains 60 capsules and is retailed at $49.99. As one serving is 2 capsules, one daily dose would cost you $1.67.
4. Nature's Craft — best affordable collagen for joints
If you are looking for a more affordable product, Multi Collagen Peptides by Nature’s Craft is a great option.
One serving of this product delivers 10,000 mg (or 10 grams) of hydrolyzed collagen (type I and III). Clinical trials showing positive results for joint health and hydrolyzed collagen supplementation used doses ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 mg of collagen per day.
Moreover, if you prefer minimalist products, this Nature’s Craft supplement is an excellent choice as it does not include any other active ingredients. It comes in unflavored powder form.
One bottle of this Nature’s Craft supplement is $24.99 if you purchase it without a subscription. As one bottle contains about 45 servings, if you choose to purchase this supplement, a daily dose would come at $0.56 per day. Unopened products may be returned for a refund within the 30-day period.
5. Effective Natural Products — best liquid collagen for joints
Effective Natural Products (ENP) is a liquid collagen product containing 15,000 mg (15 grams) of bovine collagen per serving. Most studies on collagen supplements for joints used doses around 2,000 and 10,000 mg. Higher doses were usually linked to benefits for muscles.
As indicated on the label, the collagen found in ENP is sourced from bovines. Bovine collagen is said to exhibit the closest resemblance to human collagen. However, some bovine collagen may not be rich in type II collagen, the preferred collagen for joint support. For this product, the manufacturer does not state the collagen type.
The smallest size of the ENP bottle is retailed at $35.95. It contains 16 servings, meaning one daily dose would cost $2.25. For the greatest savings, you have the option to buy a larger container that provides a total of 32 servings.
Comparison of the best collagen products for joints
|Brand||Collagen composition or type||Collagen source||Administration form||Customer experience||Price per the smallest container||Price per serving*|
|Utzy||Intact (type II) and hydrolyzed (type III)||Chicken and bovine||Powder||90-day refund policy, free shipping for orders over $75||$47.50||$1.98|
|A Quality Life||Hydrolized||Bovine||Gummies||30-day exchange policy||$37.45||$1.25|
|ProFlexen||Intact (type II)||Chicken||Capsules||No information on their refund policy||$49.99||$1.67|
|Nature's Craft||Hydrolized (type I and III)||Bovine||Powder||30-day refund policy, free shipping for orders over $30||$24.99||$0.56|
|Effective Natural Products||Does not specify||Bovine||Liquid||30-day refund policy. free shipping for orders over $75||$35.95||$2.25|
* — The price could be lower if you purchase in bulk, choose a bigger container, or opt for the subscription model.
While some individual active ingredients in dietary supplements may have been studied for their potential benefits discussed in this article, their interactive effects, as well as the safety and effectiveness of the overall formulation has not been fully established.
Searching for the best collagen supplements for joints: things to know
If you have decided to introduce collagen supplements in your routine for joint health, avoid making hasty decisions. A lot of collagen supplements are targeted for skin health — for this reason, they may not contain the most suitable collagen for your case. You can, however, analyze supplements according to the criteria below.
Type II collagen is commonly found in cartilage, thus it is the optimal choice for joints. Usually, type II collagen is sourced from chicken. As other sources of collagen may also contain type II, check the label to understand the product better.
Hydrolyzed vs intact collagen
Collagen in supplements is often either hydrolyzed or intact (undenatured). Both compositions have been studied for joints and shown positive results. However, studies examining hydrolyzed collagen used higher doses than the studies evaluating intact collagen, therefore it is difficult to compare results between the two.
Research studies on native collagen type II for joints usually used around 40 mg of collagen, although some benefits were observed at low doses, such as 10 mg per day. Studies on hydrolyzed collagen used higher doses — around 2,000 and 10,000 mg of collagen.
Some other ingredients in collagen supplements may also promote joint health. For example, glucosamine and chondroitin are popular compounds in joint supplements as they naturally occur in joints. However, as of now, scientific evidence on their effectiveness is mixed.
Collagen types and their benefits
Collagen is a type of protein. Our bodies produce collagen naturally, but its production gradually diminishes as we age. Usually, the most pronounced effect of lower collagen levels is changes in one’s skin. For instance, the formation of fine lines and wrinkles is linked to decreased collagen production. However, this protein is not only found in the skin. It is common in other tissues as well, including cartilage, which serves as joint protection.
The type of collagen present varies depending on the tissue being examined. As of now, 29 types of collagen have been identified in total. The most common types of collagen in human bodies are types 1 to 3. Below we outlined more information about these types and their function.
Type I is the most common collagen type in human bodies. Approximately 90% of human collagen belongs to this type. Type I is most prevalent in skin, bones, and tendons, while its main role is to provide structural support. Type I collagen is often found in skin supplements.
Bovine and marine collagen are usually rich in type I.
Type II collagen is more elastic than type I. It is also more common in cartilage, making type II collagen a preferred type of collagen for joints.
Collagen sourced from chicken is rich in type II collagen. Marine collagen can also be the source of type II collagen.
Type III is commonly found in internal organs, blood vessels, muscles, and skin. Usually, type III is paired together with type I collagen.
Type III is often found in bovine collagen products.
What are the best types of collagen supplements for joints?
As cartilage usually contains type II collagen, this type is most popular in joint supplements. Moreover, it is also the most studied type of collagen for joints.
Besides that, separate scientific studies have been conducted using two forms of collagen: hydrolyzed and intact (also known as undenatured or native). Both of these forms have shown some benefits in supporting joint health although their mechanism of action differs.
How can collagen supplements help manage joint pain?
Depending on the collagen supplement composition, there are different ways how collagen supplements may help manage joint pain.
As of now, type II collagen is the most studied type of collagen for joints. When it comes to composition, hydrolyzed and native collagen have been assessed for joints. Below we will explain how these compositions may differ in their mechanism of action.
Hydrolysis is a chemical process of breaking down compounds into smaller units (peptides). It is proposed that hydrolyzed collagen is more bioavailable, meaning it can reach the bloodstream more easily and accumulate in the cartilage. In turn, these collagen peptides may aid in supporting joint health and lessen the pain.
Undenatured collagen has also been studied for joint health and showed favorable outcomes. Having said that, the mechanism of action of intact collagen is different from hydrolyzed collagen.
Intact collagen is resistant to enzymes that break down proteins, thus it is not digested like hydrolyzed collagen. This enables intact collagen to interact with the immune system. Scientific research suggests that this interaction may help to reduce inflammation and, consequently, decrease joint pain.
What to know before taking collagen for joint health
There are a few things to consider before taking collagen supplements.
Firstly, it could take some time before you start seeing noticeable results from collagen consumption. In most clinical trials involving collagen, participants used the supplement for around 3–6 months.
Also, keep in mind that since collagen is derived from animal sources (fish, cows, chicken, etc), it is not suitable for vegans. Vegans can opt for supplements that may boost collagen production. These usually include vitamin C, proline, hyaluronic acid, and other active ingredients.
Lastly, although collagen is generally seen as safe, it is important to consult your doctor before starting to take any supplements, especially if you have any underlying conditions.
Best collagen for joints — conclusion
Collagen supplementation may be beneficial for joints. Nevertheless, given that collagen supplements are frequently formulated with skin in mind, it is important to be cautious and read the label carefully.
Most research studies that observed an alleviation in joint discomfort with collagen supplementation used native type II or hydrolyzed collagen. Supplements containing native type II collagen may provide benefits at doses around 40 mg, whereas hydrolyzed collagen was examined at higher daily dosages ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 mg.
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What is the best collagen for joints?
The best collagen for joints is type II collagen. Type II collagen is found in various connective tissues, including joints. Scientific studies have examined both native and hydrolyzed collagen for joints and found that both of these forms may help support joint health.
Which collagen is best for joints: marine or bovine?
Marine collagen contains more type II collagen and, thus may be more beneficial for joint health. Bovine collagen is rich in type I and III collagen and is more often used in skin supplements.
Which is better for joint pain: collagen or glucosamine?
With current research, it is not clear yet. The research studies on glucosamine supplementations for joint health have yielded inconclusive findings. Similarly, studies on collagen for joints, suggest that collagen supplementation may be beneficial but are not conclusive yet.
How long does it take for collagen to work for joint pain?
In research studies, the positive effects of collagen were noticed after around 3-6 months of collagen usage. Since there’s limited evidence that collagen can work for joint pain, talk to your doctor if you experience joint pain.
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