Collagen for joints: the most important questions and answers

Kollagen fĂĽr Gelenke: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

Anyone who has joint problems often thinks that sooner or later he or she will not be able to avoid an operation at the doctor's. Painful joints are usually the result of a lack of exercise, one-sided strain or excessive strain. Poor diet can also be the cause of joint problems. Many of these joint problems can therefore be treated and managed differently. This includes the structural protein collagen.

In this article, we want to show you what role collagen plays in the joints, whether it is an effective way to combat joint problems and how best to use it. We will go into its function in the body, explain how a joint works and give you other valuable tips that will help you to strengthen your joints.

the essentials in brief

    • Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. With over 30% of all proteins in the body, it is an important component of tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones and skin.
    • The supplementation of collagen can have positive effects on the regeneration of cartilage tissue and can thus strengthen the joints.
    • Collagen has an extremely high pressure resistance and tear strength, which is why it is often found in the structures of the passive musculoskeletal system. Joints in particular benefit from this, as they have to withstand particularly high pressure loads.
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    • For muscle and bone health 🤗
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    A N O R D I C O I L C O M P A N Y

Definition: what is collagen?

Collagen is a structural protein that is mainly found in connective tissue. It is a component of tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage. There are also layers of collagen in the subcutaneous tissue. With over 30% of all proteins, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body (1).

The body

Collagen is a fiber-forming protein that is an integral part of bones, tendons, ligaments and skin. (Image source: PublicDomainPictures/ Pixabay)

In bones and joints, collagen plays a role in flexibility. In the case of ligaments and tendons, collagen ensures high tensile strength and in articular cartilage, collagen supports pressure resistance.

Collagen for the joints: what you should know

How does a joint work?

The human body consists of around 200 bones, which are flexibly connected to one another by around 100 real joints. These joints provide great flexibility, but are also prone to injury.

Movement is essential to keep your joints healthy, as this is the only way to supply them with sufficient nutrients.

The structure of a joint is basically always the same: tendons connect the bones with the muscles and thus transfer the forces of the muscles to the skeleton. Ligaments provide stabilization as they connect bone to bone. The ends of the bones are covered by an elastic layer of cartilage made up of hyaline cartilage. This, in turn, consists of type II collagen. Pressure and shock are thus cushioned.

The cartilage layers are not supplied with blood and are therefore surrounded by synovial fluid, which supplies the cartilage with the necessary nutrients. Movement then transports these nutrients into the cartilage.

What role does collagen play in the joint?

So far, 28 types of collagen have been discovered (2), of which collagen types I, II and III make up almost 90% in the human body (3). Collagen owes its stability to the three amino acids of which it consists, glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. These amino acid chains are tightly twisted into a triple helix, and cross-links in this helix give the collagen additional stability.

Type II collagen is most prevalent in joints because it gives cartilage tissue the greatest resistance to pressure. The cartilage tissue in the joints has to withstand enormous forces and thus pressure loads. The knee joint is particularly affected here, which sometimes has to lift two to three times its own body weight even when walking normally (4).

How do I strengthen my joints?

There are two things you need to keep in mind to strengthen your joints and keep them healthy: food and exercise.

A healthy and balanced diet is the basis for healthy joints. This is because the body has enough nutrients available to supply its joints with it. With a long-term unbalanced diet, the body lacks important micronutrients that it cannot produce itself. However, the joints depend on these nutrients to function properly.

fruit and vegetables

In addition to sufficient proteins and healthy fats, a balanced diet also contains plenty of fruit and vegetables, which provide the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs. (Image source: Anna Pelzer/ Unsplash)

In the course of diet, it is also important to fight obesity. Because this represents an unnecessary additional burden for our joints and thus increases the risk of developing arthrosis (5).

If there is a lack of exercise, the breakdown products remain in the cartilage and important nutrients are not transported in sufficiently.

The second important aspect of strengthening your joints is getting plenty of exercise. Because only if you move enough, the vessel-free cartilage can optimally absorb the nutrients. Due to the pressure load during movement, the nutrients from the synovial fluid get into the cartilage and when the pressure is relieved, the fluid flows back into the joint space and thus transports degradation products out of the cartilage. A permanent pressure load or restriction of movement of the joint causes nutritional disorders of the cartilage.

So if you want to do something good for your joints, you should eat healthily, avoid being overweight and exercise regularly.

What diseases of the joints are there?

In the following table we want to give you a brief overview of the most common joint diseases:

illness definition Treatment
arthrosis Arthrosis is the term used to describe changes in the joints caused by wear and tear that go beyond the wear and tear of the joints caused by aging. exercise, medication
arthritis Arthritis is an inflammation of joints. Surgery, not putting too much strain on joints, joint-gentle sports, supplements
disc prolapse In the case of a herniated disc, the fibrous or cartilage ring is partially or completely torn and the gelatinous core of the disc shifts in such a way that it presses on the nerve tracts running on the vertebral body. Pain-relieving therapy with drugs, physiotherapy, less than 10% of cases surgery
gout Gout is an inherited metabolic disorder in which uric acid crystals are deposited in various parts of the body. Joints are primarily affected. 95% of all cases occur in men. low-purine diet, uric acid-lowering drugs
chondropathy Chondropathy is the medical term for pathological changes in the articular cartilage. Physiotherapy, pain and anti-inflammatory drugs

Many of these diseases can be prevented with sufficient exercise, avoidance of incorrect stress and a balanced diet.

What role does collagen play in strengthening joints?

When it comes to joint problems, the topic of collagen is often discussed. In the following sections we have compiled and answered the most important questions about collagen for strengthening the joints.

When and for whom is it useful to take collagen to strengthen the joints?

Taking collagen makes sense for anyone suffering from joint problems. But even competitive athletes who often put a lot of strain on their joints can benefit from an additional supply of collagen. The form in which collagen can best be absorbed is explained in more detail in the next section.

It is of course important that the strengthening of the joints with collagen does not end after a few days and that the additional supply of collagen should be maintained over a longer period of time in order to really benefit from it.

What Kind of Collagen Strengthens Your Joints?

Basically, there are two ways to absorb more collagen:

  • Bone Broth - A very natural and delicious way to absorb collagen is to consume bone broth. Due to the long cooking at a low temperature, the amino acids are released from the bones and connective tissue and are thus easily digestible. Bone broth also contains glycosaminoglycans such as hyaluronic acid, chondroitin and N-acetyl-glucosamine, which are also associated with positive effects on the joints.
  • Collagen Hydrolyzate - Another way to get collagen is through dietary supplements. Here the collagen is presented in the form of collagen hydrolyzate. However, the study situation here is not entirely clear. Many conservative doctors and consumer advocates also take a negative stance towards such dietary supplements. Nevertheless, there are now more and more studies that show a positive effect of taking collagen on joints. With collagen supplements, it is important to ensure that the collagen is type II, as this is mainly found in the joints.

In the end, trying out both variants doesn't hurt and you can find out for yourself whether the additional collagen is good for your own joints. It is also important to give the whole thing several weeks, as the cartilage in the joint only adapts slowly.

Type I collagen helps tighten the skin from within and strengthen nails.

What should you consider when strengthening your joints with collagen?

As mentioned above, when there are changes in the human organism, it is very important to give the whole process time. Because often one is too impatient, wants to see results quickly and is then frustrated when they do not follow. This often leads to premature termination of a treatment or application, when the body simply needs more time to adapt.

That's why you should also be patient with joint problems, since the cartilage tissue in the joints in particular only adapts very slowly.

Another thing to keep in mind is that collagen is not a miracle cure and other factors also play a big part in strengthening your joints. This means that a bad diet, little exercise or one-sided stress cannot really be compensated for by collagen supplementation. Collagen is a tool that supports the healthy functioning of joints in the body when all other factors such as diet and exercise are also met.

How effective is collagen for strengthening joints?

Whether taking collagen or collagen hydrolyzate is really effective in strengthening your joints has long been a hotly contested topic. In a larger meta-study from 2006 (6), scientists concluded that while there were indications of a positive effect, this still needs to be supported by further studies.

Get rid of joint pain...

with the collagen complex with Q10!

  • With hyaluronic acid, zinc, vitamin C and biotin 🌿
  • For muscle and bone health 🤗
  • Get a 21% discount automatically if you buy now đź’°

In fact, there are numerous studies confirming the effectiveness of collagen for strengthening joints (7)(8). Even in chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, studies indicate that collagen has a positive effect on reducing pain (9).

Is It Harmful to Take Collagen, which Strengthens Joints?

Collagen as a dietary supplement is considered very safe. This has been shown in studies on rats given collagen at a dosage of 5000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. No toxic effects were found (10).

However, in very rare cases, the following side effects may occur:

  • Headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • sleepiness

Those who do not tolerate the collagen well may try a different manufacturer or choose a different dosage form. Collagen hydrolyzate is available as a powder for mixing in water, in tablet form or as a capsule.

What alternatives are there to collagen to strengthen your joints?

In addition to collagen supplementation, there are other ways to promote the body's own collagen production and thus strengthen your joints. In the following we will highlight a few alternatives for you.

Vitamin E and vitamin C play an important role in collagen production. Vitamin E counteracts the breakdown of collagen by inhibiting the activity of collagenases. As a radical scavenger, vitamin C is an important co-factor in collagen production. Vitamin C also prevents the breakdown of collagen. Foods rich in vitamins C and E include:

  • broccoli
  • paprika
  • sea ​​buckthorn
  • rose hip
  • walnuts
  • Cauliflower

The next alternative is actually not an alternative at all, because without it the joints cannot be strengthened at all. Of course we are talking about movement. Specially targeted strength training with the right technique and execution has very positive effects on the joints and ensures that the cartilage can be supplied with the necessary nutrients in the first place.


In conclusion, it can be said that collagen has a right to exist as a dietary supplement and, in combination with the right diet and enough exercise, can make a significant contribution to strengthening the joints. Especially for people who suffer from joint injuries or chronic diseases in the joints, collagen can alleviate and improve symptoms.

Taking collagen is relatively uncomplicated in the form of powder, tablets or capsules. In addition, the intake should also be maintained over a longer period of time, since the joint structures can only adapt very slowly. So if you want to support your recovery after a sports injury with cartilage damage or the like, you should definitely consider supplementing with collagen hydrolyzate.


      COLLAGEN STRUCTURE AND STABILITY Authors: Matthew D. Shoulders and Ronald T. Raines
      Collagen XXVIII, a novel von Willebrand factor A domain-containing protein with many imperfections in the collagenous domain Authors: Guido Veit , Birgit Kobbe, Douglas R Keene, Mats Paulsson, Manuel Koch, Raimund Wagener
      Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix Authors: Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al.
      Knee joint forces: prediction, measurement, and significance Authors: Darryl D. D'Lima, Benjamin J. Fregly, Shantanu Patil, Nikolai Steklov, and Clifford W. Colwell, Jr.
      Keep moving Author: Beate Ebbers
      Collagen hydrolysates for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature Authors: Alfonso E Bello, Steffen Oesser
      24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain Authors: Kristine L Clark, Wayne Sebastianelli, Klaus R Flechsenhar, Douglas F Aukermann, Felix Meza, Roberta L Millard, John R Deitch, Paul S Sherbondy, Ann Albert
      A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, clinical study on the effectiveness of collagen peptide on osteoarthritis Authors: Suresh Kumar, Fumihito Sugihara, Keiji Suzuki, Naoki Inoue, Sriraam Venkateswarathirukumara
      Efficacy of Oral Collagen in Joint Pain - Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Authors: Jiang, J.-X & Yu, Shen & Huang, Q.-R & Zhang, X.-L & Zhang, C.-Q & Zhou, J. -L & Prawitt, Janne
      Safety and toxicological evaluation of undenatured type II collagen Authors: Palma Ann Marone, Francis C Lau, Ramesh C Gupta, Manashi Bagchi, Debasis Bagchi
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