Collagen improves joint function

As we use our bodies over a lifetime, the joint cartilage that keeps bones from rubbing together breaks down. This chronic condition, called osteoarthritis (OA), includes symptoms of joint pain and stiffness, and is one of the most common causes of disability.

Recent evidence suggests collagen as an effective treatment, but studies are limited. In this review, doctors analyzed findings from trials covering 519 people with OA, who took collagen or a placebo for 10 to 48 weeks. Each of the trials used a common OA index to measure changes in symptoms.

Overall, total symptom scores improved for those taking collagen compared to placebo, with participants most often reporting a significant decrease in joint stiffness. Also, the collagen group consistently reported feeling symptoms had meaningfully improved.

Collagen is the main protein in joint connective tissue, and is the most abundant protein in the body, making up 25 to 35 percent of all whole-body protein.

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