Collagen for Joint Health - Step To Health

Collagen for Joint Health

Collagen is a substance found in many organs. It’s also part of the joints, and aging contributes to its deterioration. In this article, learn about collagen for joint health.
Collagen for Joint Health

Last update: 06 May, 2021

Collagen is a protein the body naturally synthesizes from the amino acids it gets through the diet. However, as you get older, it’s normal for the synthesis of this protein to decrease, which, in turn, affects the joints. Find out more about collagen for joint health.

In fact, at the age of 35, the body starts producing less collagen. This is why we recommend taking collagen supplements from that moment on. This way, you care for your joint health and improve your movements.

In addition, it’s essential to maintain an active and healthy life, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet. Collagen supplements aren’t able to counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle or inadequate nutrition on their own.

Collagen for joint health: deficiencies and deterioration

One of the causes of collagen deficiency is a diet that’s poor in vitamin C. This deficit can lead to scurvy, a disease that occurs due to a failure in collagen synthesis due to a lack of ascorbic acid. For this reason, many supplements for the regeneration and maintenance of joint health contain vitamin C.

On the other hand, although exercising regularly is essential to leading a healthy life; extreme exercise can be a major cause of joint deterioration or collagen fiber breakdown.

A woman who takes collagen for joint health vs. a woman who has wrinkles.
The breakdown of collagen fibers in the skin manifests as wrinkles.

The main types of collagen

Depending on the type of tissue it’s made of, and according to its location, collagen can be classified into four types:

  • Type 1. This type of collagen predominates in the dermis, bones, tendons, and cornea. It resists the stretching of structures.
  • Type 2. Mainly found in cartilage, forming fine fibrils. Its main function is to provide resistance to intermittent pressure. In addition, this is the type of collagen most used in commercial supplements, and the one that’s been studied the most when it comes to joint health.
  • Type 3. Abundant in loose connective tissues, blood vessel walls, the dermis, and the stroma of the glands. It has a supportive function.
  • Type 4. It forms the basement membrane that underlies the epithelia and has the function of providing support and filtration.

You should also read: Food Supplements for Joint Problems

Where is the collagen used in commercial supplements extracted from?

Collagen joint supplements contain mostly type 2 hydrolyzed collagen. This is because it emulates the type of collagen in joint cartilage.

Manufacturers extract collagen in two ways:

  • Direct extraction from collagen-rich tissues. Some of these tissues are the skin, bones, and cartilage of animals. Manufacturers extract the substance from the bodies of animals through a series of chemical reactions. The problem with this procedure is that it’s very expensive, and so its applications are limited.
  • Extraction methods in the absence of enzymes. This method doesn’t require the enzymes of the previous method to extract collagen. Therefore, collagen is extracted through hydrolysis in acidic or basic elements from the skin, bones, and cartilage. Although this process isn’t as expensive, unfortunately, its scope is quite limited. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical and food industries request the purest hydrolyzed collagen possible, which ultimately makes the process more expensive.
A person with joint pain.
Joints are mostly made of collagen, which deteriorates with age.

Foods that help strengthen your joints

Good joint health also depends on a correct diet. This is because some foods have certain properties that complement collagen. Here are some beneficial foods:

  • Water. This is essential because the joints are bathed in synovial fluid, which reduces friction between cartilage and other tissues. Experts recommend drinking at least two liters of water a day.
  • Oily fish. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. It also protects cell membranes from oxidative processes.
  • Foods rich in vitamin C. As we mentioned above, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis. Therefore, you should eat fruit and vegetables every day.

Conclusion on collagen for joint health

Collagen for joint health is essential after a certain age. You can find many different collagen supplements on the market.

However, a commercial product alone won’t stop the aging process of the joints. Thus, it’s very important for you to exercise and eat a balanced diet. You can consult a pharmacist or doctor to discover the best supplement for you.

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  • Prockop, D. J., & Guzmán, N. a. (1981). El colágeno. TIEMPOS MEDICOS.
  • Porfírio, E., & Fanaro, G. B. (2016). Collagen supplementation as a complementary therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia.
  • Silva, T. F. da, & Penna, A. L. B. (2012). Colágeno: Características químicas e propriedades funcionais. Revista Do Instituto Adolfo Lutz.