Many supplements are believed to help joint pain, from glucosamine to omega-3 fatty acids. Glucosamine may help keep the carriage in joints healthy and have an anti-inflammatory effect, chondroitin has been shown to reduce pain and increase joint mobility, and omega-3 fatty acids may help ease stiffness. In recent years, collagen has gained popularity. found naturally in bones, muscles, skin and tendons, it could be a key player in banishing joint problems.
Dr Xandra, Doctor of Chiropractic and Adio founder, explained: “Collagen is a protein that forms a vital component of connective tissue and helps to make up the cartilage that lines our joints. With time and age, collagen breaks down in the body which could impact joint and skin health.
“I find in practice that having an adequate amount of collagen in the diet helps to improve patients’ healing ability from joint issues. It’s good generally for knee and hip issues as they are bigger and load-bearing as we walk but it’s vital for the health of the spine.
“In between the vertebrae of your spine are discs made largely of cartilage and water. As I treat many conditions related to disc injuries or wear and tear, I always recommend a good dietary intake of collagen. Alongside treating the joints of the spine, it’s important to give them the correct nutrients to heal and collagen is a big part of that.”
Registered dietician and Chair for the British Dietetic Association for London, Sophie Medlin said there’s currently little evidence on the benefits of collagen for joint conditions like arthritis, but there is a growing body of evidence that collagen supplementation can improve joint strength and stability.
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She said: “This is because collagen supplements seem to be able to offer support to ligaments, cartilage and tendons, potentially helping to repair injuries and reduce the likelihood of injury recurrence.
“We also have some data showing that collagen supplements may improve bone density and other markers of bone health. For these reasons if bones, ligaments and tendons are stronger, we can hope to enjoy better overall bone health.
“The studies usually use 5g of marine or bovine collagen. Sadly, at present we don’t have any evidence that the vegan collagen preparations will be of any benefit.”
Some studies have shown taking collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall.
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 with a group that didn’t take it.
Another study involved adults taking 2g of collagen daily for 70 days.
Those who took collagen had a significant decrease in joint pain and were able to engage in physical activity than those who didn’t take it.
For collagen supplements, Dr Xandra advised: “I like a good quality grass-fed bovine or a high quality responsibly sourced marine collagen. Add to smoothies or porridge daily or even just add hot water and drink as it’s tasteless and odourless.
“Personally, I add it to a protein bar mix I make for after exercise when I’m most likely to need healing nutrients. This is supplementary though as it should preferably be taken in its most natural animal form as bone broth.
“By slow cooking bones from a variety of meats, it can be really easily added to food. I regularly make chicken stock by slow cooking organic chicken bones with a little apple cider vinegar for 24 hours in water.
“Once drained, I use the liquid to make soups and to add to anything I cook using mince. It enhances the flavour but is in no way overpowering. If I make a big batch, I just freeze the rest.
“Bone broth has been shown to reduce inflammation and support gut health helping to reduce overall pain levels and supply the body with the best form of collagen. If you decide to take it in this form, quality is everything so I recommend grass-fed animals and definitely organic.”
Dr Xandra continued: “I have found over the last few years that getting patients with slipped discs to make and take bone broth regularly at least 5 times a week, they get better much faster. They are also able to go back to sports quicker and recover better after exercise.
“The Idea that chicken soup is what you need when you’re sick really could be based on the ideas behind bone broth and the healing power of collagen.”
For people who want to take collagen supplements, studies have suggested starting with a daily dosage of 8-12g.
One example of collagen supplements is LQ Collagen Joint Care Max £27.99.
LQ Collagen Joint Care £20.00 and LQ Collagen Joint Care Powder £34.99 (Buy from www.LQcollagen.com, Boots or Holland and Barrett) provide a daily dose of hydrolysed joint care marine collagen.
The cherry flavoured health supplement is available in liquid and powder form, with ingredients including Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Hyaluronic Acid, Ginger and Copper.
Published at Thu, 09 Dec 2021 12:17:00 +0000
Supplements for joints: The supplement that could ‘improve joint strength and stability’