UC II Collagen vs. Glucosamine: Which is Better for Joint Health?

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UC II collagen vs. glucosamine – Which should you take for joint health?

We have countless supplements that promise to reduce joint pain and improve mobility. Among them, UC II collagen and glucosamine are two popular choices across the world. UC II is a recent addition to the list of joint health supplements, while glucosamine has existed for some time.

So, which one of the two is better for your joint health?

Let’s find out!

The Best Supplement to Support Joint Health

You should always be careful while choosing a new supplement. It’s better to know the truth as many products are marketed with false claims.

What is UC II Collagen?

UC II or undenatured type II collagen is a patented ingredient said to have beneficial properties for knee problems. We have a few studies that have ventured to determine the efficacy of UC collagen. This ingredient is a special type of collagen, the protein responsible for supporting our body structures.

Among other things, collagen is present in the connective tissue between bones, including our knees.

Our bodies produce enough collagen to support our body structure. However, the body’s ability to make collagen decrease as we age, which can result in:

  • Skin thinning
  • Poor hair quality
  • Wrinkles and saggy skin
  • Joint and ligament stiffness

What are the Benefits of UC II Collagen?

You can buy collagen supplements that provide some benefits for joint problems. According to WebMD, collagen may improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis like pain and stiffness. However, it may not be effective in all types of joint disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis.

Some studies also show collagen to work better than a mix of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine (we will explain what it is in a short while).

However, can the same be said about UC II collagen?

Luckily, we have a few pieces of research that assessed the effectiveness of UC collagen. One study conducted in 2009 found the ingredient to improve osteoarthritis of the knee.

 What did the scientists find?

The group taking undenatured type II collagen experienced less stiffness and performed better in knee extensions. In addition, they exercised longer without feeling knee pain, which they generally did.

However, the placebo group didn’t show the same results.

The results of UC II collagen are promising, but we have very few studies on the subject. Additionally, not all studies show the same results. According to Examine, UC collagen has only a minor effect on joint issues like pain and swelling.

Scientists agree we need more research to recommend UC II collagen for joint health.

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a natural substance in our body and present in bones and joint fluids. You can buy glucosamine that is either synthetic or made from shellfish.  

We also have different types of glucosamine, like glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride.

What are the Benefits of Glucosamine?

Glucosamine may reduce the effects of aging on joints, according to WebMD. Some folks also use the same to treat joint conditions like arthritis.

A few studies show glucosamine to reduce the degradation of collagenIt may also reduce inflammation or its markers, as limited research indicates.

However, scientists still need more research to confirm the benefits of glucosamine. In addition, many studies used glucosamine with other substances like chondroitin.

Therefore, it’s not easy to isolate the results.

Note: The Arthritis Foundation doesn’t recommend taking glucosamine supplements for osteoarthritis due to insufficient scientific evidence.

UC II Collagen vs. Glucosamine: Which is Best for Joint Health?

What should you choose between undenatured type II collagen and glucosamine for joint health?

Now, let’s compare the efficacy between UC collagen and glucosamine in reducing joint pain and stiffness. We have two studies to rely upon, one conducted in 2009 and another in 2016.

We will first take up the groundbreaking study done in 2009. The study involved several parties that include:

  • University of Houston College of Pharmacy
  • University of Connecticut
  • School of Medicine, University of California Davis

In this study, researchers divided the participants into three groups

  1. The first group took a dose of 40 mg daily
  2. The second group took glucosamine hydrochloride plus chondroitin sulfate (GC)
  3. The third group was placebo

At the end of the study, the researchers found UC II collagen to provide better results for joint problems. Specifically, it was able to reduce pain, stiffness, and physical function better than the GC or placebo group.

The authors concluded that UC II collagen is “highly effective at supporting joint health,” and the “overall benefits were impressive.”

Now, let’s head over to our second piece of research.

The 2016 study is almost a repeat of the above clinical trial. However, the scientists divided the 190 participants into two groups:

  1. The first group took 40 mg UC II collagen daily
  2. The second group was given GC or placebo

The study went on for 180 days and found UC collagen to improve joint knee symptoms. It performed better than the GC/placebo group to reduce pain, stiffness, and physical function.

However, the scientists called for more research to understand how UC II works.

What Should You Take for Joint Health?

UC II collagen vs. glucosamine – what should you take?

As far as research is concerned, UC II collagen is better at reducing joint symptoms and improving mobility. Glucosamine is not that effective, especially when taken without catalysts like chondroitin.

However, we only have two studies to prove the results. The scientific community needs more studies to recommend anything for medical conditions confidently.

Therefore, we don’t have enough evidence to say UC II collagen is better than glucosamine.

Moreover, don’t get your hopes too high about collagen. Research is also limited here, and not all experts think UC II makes much of a difference, including Examine.

As a result, you should consult a medical professional for the best solution to your joint problems.

Final Thoughts

Initial research shows UC II collagen to be better than glucosamine for joint health. You may be able to reduce joint stiffness, pain, and immobility. However, we need more research to say anything conclusively as we have minimal evidence.

Therefore, you may be better off with supplements or medicines that are proven to work for joint conditions.


Does glucosamine have collagen type 2?

Glucosamine and type 2 collagen are not the same thing. Both are available separately. However, some sources suggest taking Glucosamine and type 2 collagen together for better results in joint conditions.

Does UC II collagen work?

Initial research shows UC II collagen to reduce joint pain and stiffness. It can also improve physical function and mobility. However, the FDA doesn’t recommend it for joint conditions. We need more evidence to use UC II collagen for joint problems confidently.

What contains type 2 collagen?

You will not find collagen from external sources. Animals make their collagen from protein. However, you can buy collagen supplements made from cow or chicken parts.

How long does UC II collagen take to work?

Some studies show UC II collagen to provide results within 30 days. Other studies have used the same for two or three months. You should be able to notice some differences in a month.

What are the benefits of UC II collagen?

UC II collagen may improve pain or stiffness in joints. It is a patented ingredient with very little research. You can buy collagen supplements containing UC II collagen.