Collagen, joint care, and exercise

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Collagen has become an increasingly popular supplement for various reasons and comes in many forms. Collagen is considered suitable for skin, hair, tendons, and other fibrous tissues in the body. Collagen is found in our bodies and is one of the main structural proteins in our fibrous connective tissues.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for about 25-35% of the total protein in the body. It is found in bones, cartilage, tendons, teeth, eyes, hair, and other human body parts. Many types of collagen can be replaced, but the most common are types I and II. Type I collagen is the body’s most common collagen in our skin, tendons, and bones. Type II is found in cartilage and is often included in joint health supplements.

Because collagen is so abundant in our bodies, taking collagen supplements is believed to provide multiple health benefits. Although more research on such supplements is needed before definitive claims can be made, some studies have shown results.

The benefits of collagen for joint health
One of the main reasons to take collagen supplements for exercise is the benefits to joint health. As we age, there is wear and tear on our joints, in addition to the stress we put on our joints by exercising and constantly putting our bodies in stressful situations. Sometimes this wear and tear are unavoidable and debilitating, but there are steps you can take to reduce the stress on your body. Taking collagen is one of them.

A 2009 study compared to type II collagen supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin, another popular joint supplement. The study authors were interested in how the two accessories might work in knee osteoarthritis and whether one was more effective. They recruited 52 volunteers who were divided into two supplement groups.

The volunteers took their group’s supplement for 90 days after their initial examination and came to the lab every 30 days for evaluation. The researchers used the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), a scoring scale that measures patients’ pain and mobility during various activities. In addition, they used the Lequesne Index test (hip osteoarthritis questionnaire) and the visual analog scale (VAS, a measure of pain intensity).

After 90 days, both supplement groups showed improvement on all assessments, but the non-denatured type II collagen group had better scores on all counts. Here’s a comparison of how much the subjects improved on all the tests after 90 days.

Type II collagen 33% versus 14% for glucosamine and chondroitin
VAS: Type II collagen was 40% versus glucosamine and chondroitin 15.4%
Lequesne Index: Type II collagen 20% versus glucosamine and chondroitin 6%
Both supplements proved beneficial to the subjects, but type II collagen scored slightly higher for maintaining joint health and reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis.

With age and increased stress on the body, it becomes increasingly important to protect and help the joints. For people who want to prevent joint degeneration, collagen supplements can be a helpful tool.


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