Currently, more than 54 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with arthritis. By the year 2040, that number will likely increase to 78 million.
Many people who suffer from arthritis and the pain that comes with it find that they have to rely on potentially habit-forming painkillers in order to manage their symptoms effectively.
If this doesn’t appeal to you, there are other, more natural options available. For example, you could consider adding more collagen into your diet.
Read on to learn more about collagen and the benefits of collagen for arthritis.
What is Collagen?
If you’ve never heard of collagen before, you probably want to read a bit more info on it.
Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally in the body. In fact, it is the body’s most abundant protein.
Collagen is comprised of the following amino acids:
Collagen provides the bones, ligaments, and tendons of the body with structure. It’s responsible for the structure fo the hair, nails, and skin, too.
How Does Collagen Relieve Arthritis Pain?
As humans age, collagen production starts to decrease.
Collagen plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the cartilage in the body. Cartilage is a soft, rubbery tissue that cushions the joints and helps to minimize wear and tear.
Without adequate collagen, the cartilage starts to degrade. This, in turn, leads to more stress being placed on the bones, ligaments, and tendons. It can also result in degenerative joint issues like arthritis or make them worse.
Benefits of Collagen for Arthritis
For those who suffer from arthritis, collagen supplementation helps to prevent additional cartilage loss. Some promising research shows that it can also help to minimize pain and reduce inflammation.
The following are some of the most well-known benefits of using collagen for arthritis symptom management:
Decreases Joint Swelling
The results of many studies have shown that, when people who suffer from arthritis take collagen supplements on a regular basis, their joint swelling decreases in a significant way.
These studies show that collagen supplementation is helpful to those with osteoarthritis (which is caused by cartilage degeneration) as well as those with rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack to the joint tissue).
People who supplement with collagen also report having an easier time performing everyday activities like climbing stairs. They also get better sleep and experience general improvements to their quality of life.
Less Overall Joint Pain
In addition to relieving joint swelling, collagen supplements also help to reduce overall joint pain. It’s especially beneficial to those who enjoy living an active lifestyle but are limited because of their pain.
The results of one study showed that taking just two grams of collagen per day resulted in significant reductions in joint pain.
The participants in the study were also able to engage in physical activity better than the participants who did not take any collagen.
Stimulate Collagen Production
Finally, some researchers believe that supplementing with collagen can actually help your body to produce more of it. You know what this means, right?
If your collagen production increases, your body can start restoring the cartilage that you’ve lost. This, in turn, will reduce your symptoms and help you to feel more like your old self.
Collagen might not be sufficient enough to fully reverse your arthritis symptoms, but it does seem to make them more manageable and keep them from getting worse.
How to Use Collagen Supplements
Collagen is found in some foods, such as bone broth and grass-fed beef. However, most people are not able to get adequate collagen from their diets alone.
Because of this, it’s helpful to take a supplement.
Most collagen supplements come in powder form. They’re known as hydrolyzed collagen.
Powdered collagen supplements are easy to use, and they’re also easy for the body to absorb.
Many people like to mix collagen powder in with their morning coffee or tea. Some companies even make naturally flavored collagen supplements that can be used in place of regular coffee creamer.
You can also mix collagen powder in with plain water (it has a very mild taste and isn’t hard to get down) or add it to soups, smoothies, or even a bowl of oatmeal. The options are pretty much endless!
Choosing the Best Collagen Supplements
In order to experience all the natural pain-relieving benefits that collagen has to offer, you need to make sure you’re using the right kind of collagen supplements.
Here are some tips that will help you choose high-quality collagen supplements that will yield the results you’re after:
- Look for hydrolyzed collagen peptides — they’re the easiest for your body to digest
- Look for supplements with a “low molecular weight” — this allows for even easier absorption
- Look for collagen made from animal products — fish, pigs, cows, or chicken
- Look for collagen made from humanely raised animal products — take it up a notch and look a supplement made from grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken or pork, or wild-caught fish
- Look for a supplement that contains vitamin C, which helps with collagen synthesis
- Avoid artificial flavors or additives
Be sure to read the reviews on a particular brand of collagen before you decide to buy it.
Find out whether or not people are satisfied with it and see what they say about the taste, in particular. If a supplement doesn’t taste good or alters the flavor the foods or drinks you’re trying to mix it with, you’re not going to be likely to consume it consistently.
Learn More Natural Arthritis Treatments
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why you might want to start using collagen for arthritis pain management.
Are you interested in giving this powerful supplement a try? Or, do you want to learn about other natural arthritis remedies?
We’ve got lots of great articles on our site that will teach you more about natural pain management techniques.
Check out this article on the life-changing benefits of CBD oil to see how you can use it (by itself or alongside collagen supplements) to relieve your arthritis pain.