Joint pain has many possible causes, from injuries to more serious conditions like arthritis. Treatments usually recommended are gentle exercise and painkillers, but an increasing amount of evidence is showing supplements can also help relieve pain.
One supplement which has been shown to support joints and reduce pain is collagen.
Collagen is needed by the body to help maintain the integrity of cartilage – the rubber-like tissue that protects joints.
As people get older, the amount of collagen in the body decreases, increasing the risk of developing degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis.
But some studies have shown taking collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall.
READ MORE: Vitamin D warning: Pain in this area of the body may mean you’ve had too many supplements
Best supplements for joints: A certain supplement has been proven to support joints and reduce pain
In one study, 73 athletes who consumed 10g of collagen daily for 24 weeks experienced a significant decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest, compared to a group that didn’t take it.
In another study, participants took 2g of collagen daily for 70 days.
Those who took collagen had a significant reduction in joint pain and were better able to engage in physical activity than those who didn’t take it.
Researchers have theorised supplemental collagen may accumulate in cartilage and stimulate tissues in the body to make collagen.
It’s been suggested this may lead to lower inflammation, better support of the joints, and reduced pain.
Studies have shown taking 8-12g daily of collagen supplements to be effective.
Collagen could also help prevent bone loss.
As collagen deteriorates as you age, bone mass does too.
Best supplements for joints: Collagen in the body decreases as we get older
This can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis, which is linked to higher risk of bone fractures.
But studies have shown taking collagen supplements may have certain effects in the body that help inhibit the bone breakdown that leads to osteoporosis.
One study saw women take either a calcium supplements combined with 5g of collagen or a calcium supplement and no collagen daily for 12 months.
Those who took the calcium and collagen supplement has significantly lower blood levels of properties that promote bone breakdown than those taking just the calcium.
Another study presented similar results in 66 women who took 5g of collagen daily for 12 months.
The women who took the collagen showed an increase of up to 7 percent in their bone mineral density, compared to women who didn’t consume collagen.
Collagen supplements may also hold other health benefits, although these haven’t been studied extensively.
Taking collagen supplements may increase the strength of nails and stimulate hair growth, may improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety, and may promote weight loss.