In addition to calcium, collagen type II plays a vital role in supporting articular cartilage, making up 85-90% of the collagen found in this tissue. It is an essential nutrient that provides additional energy and helps maintain the cartilage’s flexibility.
What exactly is collagen type II?
Collagen is the primary protein in the human body and is present in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, the digestive system, and tendons. Its main function is to maintain the smoothness and elasticity of the skin by replacing dead skin cells. In the context of joints and tendons, collagen acts as the “glue” that connects various components together. There are 29 different types of collagen, with types I, II, III, and VI being the most prominent ones.
Collagen type II serves as the principal structural component of articular cartilage, making up 50% of the cartilage protein and 85-90% of the total collagen in this tissue. It is responsible for providing strength and flexibility to the cartilage. Additionally, collagen type 10 is present in joints, and recent studies have shown its involvement in the formation of bones and cartilage.
Collagen type II forms a fibrous network, intertwined with other proteins to create a flexible structure. It contains essential amino acids such as arginine, proline, glycine, and glutamine. Moreover, collagen type II also contains chondroitin and glucosamine.
The benefits of collagen type II include:
- Reducing joint pain, especially in autoimmune arthritis cases.
- Improving the immune system.
- Enhancing skin health and beauty.
- Supporting better digestion.
- Increasing joint mobility.
Collagen type II is abundant in chicken breast cartilage, making it a natural source of this important nutrient.
What is Type II Hydrolyzed Collagen?
Type II hydrolyzed collagen refers to a specific form of collagen obtained by breaking down collagen fibers into smaller collagen chains known as “Collagen peptides” through the process of “hydrolysis.” This innovative technology was pioneered and patented by a Japanese company. Following hydrolysis, collagen peptides lose their gelling ability and become soluble in cold water. This particular type of collagen contains 10-20 times higher levels of essential amino acids, such as glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, compared to regular proteins.
Due to its molecular breakdown, collagen peptides from Type II hydrolyzed collagen are more easily absorbed by the body, leading to faster and more effective results compared to traditional collagen. Unlike regular collagen, which provides amino acids that must be broken down and reassembled into collagen, hydrolyzed collagen directly delivers readily usable collagen peptides to our bodies.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that these collagen peptides are readily absorbed into the bloodstream, where they can effectively penetrate and remain in joint cartilage and stimulate collagen production in the skin.
The Role of Collagen Type II in Joint Cartilage
Hydrolyzed collagen accumulation within cartilage stimulates chondrocytes to produce type II collagen. This type II collagen plays a vital role in the formation of new cartilage. Numerous studies have demonstrated that daily oral administration of Hydrolyzed Collagen increases bone density in rats.
Preliminary evidence suggests that collagen type II may offer relief from pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some studies have indicated that a product containing collagen type II can provide short-term pain relief for individuals with chronic arthritis. Collagen type II, along with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate, is beneficial for joint health and maintaining appropriate pH levels.
In a randomized trial involving 60 patients with severely active rheumatoid arthritis, those receiving Collagen type II treatment for three months experienced a reduction in the number of swollen and painful joints. Conversely, patients in the placebo group did not show any improvement. Notably, four patients in the Collagen group experienced reduced joint inflammation, and there were no apparent adverse effects observed in those taking Collagen.
Medically, osteoarthritis is recognized as a process that damages joint cartilage, particularly collagen fibers and the substrate present within the cartilage. Damage to articular cartilage triggers an inflammatory process where fragments of cartilage and broken collagen fibers enter the bloodstream. This, in turn, activates the immune system to clear out the damaged components, involving T-Killer cells. Unfortunately, the immune system may inadvertently attack healthy collagen in the joint cartilage, leading to “self-destruction” and accelerating the cartilage degeneration process.
When Collagen type II is introduced into the body, 53% of it is absorbed into the blood, becoming a crucial raw material for joint cartilage regeneration and nourishment. The remaining 47% interacts with the Peyer’s patch in the small intestine, familiarizing the body with Collagen and reducing the activity of T-Killer cells to prevent the destruction of absorbed collagen. Simultaneously, it slows down the inflammation of cartilage and prevents the spread of cartilage damage, effectively slowing down the process of joint degeneration. Collagen type II supply serves a dual purpose, protecting and regenerating joint cartilage while also having an immunomodulatory effect.
Collagen type II deficiency is linked to chondrodysplasias, often inherited conditions that cause dwarfism and bone deformities.
The Role of Collagen Type II in Height Increase
To comprehend how collagen type II affects natural height increase, it is essential to understand bone growth. Human height is primarily determined by the elongation of long bones (e.g., femur, bones of the lower leg) and vertebrae. This process, known as cartilaginous osteogenesis, occurs from the womb until the growth plates at the ends of the bones fully ossify, typically around ages 21 to 25. During this process, cartilage near the bone body absorbs calcium, leading to the death of cartilage cells and the formation of osteoblasts responsible for building bone cells.
At the ends of bones, cartilage cells continuously multiply, generating new cartilage to replace the portion that has turned into bone and providing the bone matrix, which includes Collagen type 10 and fibronectin. To create new cartilage, Collagen type II is a crucial raw material. Insufficient Collagen type II can lead to the cessation of bone formation, resulting in a condition called chondrodysplasia, where the body cannot grow taller. The replacement of cartilage cells with bone cells requires mineralization, highlighting the essential role of calcium in this process.
Collagen type II can be safely used continuously for 24 weeks. The appropriate dosage of Type II Collagen varies depending on several factors, such as the user’s age, overall health, and other conditions (diet, allergies, etc.), ranging from 500-4000 mg/day.
Possible side effects of using Collagen type II may include nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, somnolence (feeling drowsy or sleepy), skin reactions, and headaches.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There is currently insufficient reliable information about the safety of using Collagen type II during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. As a precautionary measure, it is advisable for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals to avoid using this supplement until more research is available.
Individuals who are allergic to meat or eggs should not use collagen type II, as it may trigger allergic reactions in those with such allergies.
As with any supplement or medication, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting Collagen type II or any other new dietary or medicinal product, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking other medications.
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