Collagen Can Help Repair Joints

Optimum joint mobility is the result of supple, healthy joint tissue and joint elasticity. Collagen is a vital component of tissue, bones and cartilage required for healthy joints. Research suggests that boosting collagen intake can contribute to joint health, but can it actually repair? There is no shortage of articles on the Internet that make claims one way or the other, but rarely do they mention what types of collagen there are and what their specific functions are. Yes, collagen can assist in joint repair; but knowing what specific collagen, how it is produced, and other therapies you must do is the key in achieving results.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the fundamental structural protein that forms connective tissue; it is a vital component of the joints, bones, muscles, tendons and skin. Essential to the formation of connective tissue, it is the highest source of protein found in the body. Collagen contains specific vital amino acids including arginine, proline, glycine and hydroxproline.

The human anatomy contains and utilises over 20 variants of collagen amino acids, however there are three main types of collagen that comprise 80 to 90% of the body.

Different Types of Collagen Explained

First, all three types of collagen decrease with age. The knees generally take the brunt of this loss earlier in life in those who are regularly engaged in vigorous physical active and are not keeping up with the levels of collagen regeneration required for recovery.

There are actually 28 different types of collagen with three being the main types. These three types of collagen are simply named I, II, and III. Collagen type II is the most significant for joint health. Of the three, collagen type II is believed to be most effective in targeting and enhancing joint cell health.

Collagen Type I

This collagen is in our skin, artery walls, bones, tendons and in scar tissue. Type I is the most abundantly found in the body. It is a fibrillar type collagen, and inevitably has been the best investigated collagen.

Collagen Type II

This collagen is found in our cartilage and respiratory tubes. Type II is a fibrillar collagen, and the main component of cartilage. This collagen constitutes 95% of the collagens and approximately 60% of dry weight. Mutations in type II collagen result in several types of chondrodysplasia, leading to premature osteoarthritis.

Collagen Type III

This collagen is predominantly found in blood vessels. Type III collagen is a fibrillar collagen which is secreted by fibroblasts and other mesenchymal cell types. This makes it a huge factor in various inflammation-associated pathologies such as viral and non-viral liver diseases, kidney fibrosis, lung injury, and vascular disorders.

In order for collagen to help repair joints Type II is the collagen people need to have the most of in order to attain any level of relief. Having supplements will help but the body also needs to be able to produce collagen as well. Eating foods high in lysine and arginine will help collagen production. Getting both of these amino acids from food is important.

Collagen and Vegetarian Diets

A vegetarian diet is known to prevent some diseases but it may influence the balance of carbohydrate and fat metabolism as well as collagen synthesis. Research published at Karger Journals in Switzerland, (Vegetarian diet affects genes of oxidative metabolism and collagen synthesis), indicates that there is reduced collagen synthesis in vegetarians, and this could also play a role in the aging process.

However, all is not lost for those adhering to a vegetarian diet. There are some foods that can help but seeking the advice from a qualified health practitioner is strongly advised.

Without Vitamin C There Is No Collagen

Vitamin C intake is critical to collagen production. There is a plethora of research that indicates many people are not getting enough vitamin C to maintain proper health; further to that, it has been argued that the recommended daily values fall short of what we really need.

Vitamin C deficiency, although uncommon in North America, results in our bones being unable to properly manufacture collagen and its connective tissues. The body literally deteriorates as collagen is broken down and not replaced. This results in joints wearing down as tendons weaken.

Denatured vs Undenatured Collagen

Denatured collagen is hydrolyzed. Most of the type II collagen that is derived from the sternum of chickens is denatured or hydrolyzed. This means that high heat and possibly even chemicals have been used to process it. These processes fundamentally alter the molecular structure of the protein, rendering the collagen ineffective as an immunomodulator. There seems to be no peer-reviewed scientific studies showing that denatured type II collagen provides joint health benefits.

Undenatured type II collagen is produced using little or no heat and processing is bare minimum. The processing required is just enough to concentrate the collagen and make it soluble. This type of collagen supplement is the only form that the body can use effectively.

Collagen Helps to Repair Joints

Collagen can help repair joints but under the proper conditions. Not only are foods rich in vitamin C needed (possibly supplementation as well), but also foods high in lysine and arginine ( i.e., fish, chicken, beef, lamb, milk, cheese, beans, and mung bean sprouts). Avoiding foods that cause inflammation is really important and this means reducing or eliminating gluten and anything that contains processed sugar. In addition to diet, exercise is important, but knowing what exercises can be done safely should be approved by a qualified health professional.

Established in 2007 by Dr. Behfar Sanjari, Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has a proven record of commitment providing quality health care services in the Greater Toronto Area. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has qualified professionals who can help you develop a personalized plan to ensure your joint health is as good as it possible can be. We have clinics located in Richmond Hill and Newmarket, visit Chiro-Med online or call 905-918-0419 or 905-235-2620 for more information.


March 8, 2018
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