Though collagen is best known for its essential role in preserving skin elasticity, it has recently been pitted against the top joint health supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin for its effectiveness in maintaining the health of our joints. A lot of people overlook the many roles that collagen plays throughout our entire bodies, when the truth is, that it is vital for many aspects of our all-round, general health. Collagen is found in most connective tissues of the body and provides a supportive structure for muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilage, meaning that in fact, collagen may have a lot of influence over our joint health.
There are 28 types of collagen that have so far been discovered. Over 90% of the collagen in the body is type I, which includes the collagen that is associated with skin, ligaments and bones. However, when we are looking at joint health, a lot of focus is on type II as it is the main component of cartilage and makes up around 50% of all cartilage protein.
Cartilage is the key to healthy and flexible joints and is the main component to the way our joints work. It can be found at each end of the bone and acts as a shock absorber every time we move in order to avoid our bone surfaces grinding together. It ensures that our joints move comfortably and smoothly and if it wasn’t there then our joints would quickly become damaged and painful. When cartilage begins to break down, the space between our bones begins to narrow, meaning the bones will eventually rub together, causing inflammation, stiffness and damage that could result in osteoarthritis and painful movements.
Studies prove however, that collagen has the ability to stimulate the growth of new cartilage tissue to ensure joints are kept in optimum health. Not only is repairing damaged cartilage and maintaining healthy cartilage essential for joint health, but collagen actually plays a part in all components of our joints, ensuring they are kept healthy and functional in order to improve mobility and flexibility.
- Collagen promotes the binding of calcium, which will keep bones strong and prevent them from becoming brittle
- Additional collagen to cartilage tissues is an effective treatment for joint pain, stiffness and inflammation
- Collagen is needed to repair and rebuild connective tissues in order to encourage strong muscles to surround and support the joints
- Natural collagen within the joints helps to keep them healthy and supple