WHAT IS IT? Collagen is a structural protein that’s rich in amino acids; it’s found in connective tissue. Supplements claim to prevent or ease joint pain and inflammation, and accelerate healing.
DO THEY WORK? One study found that 13 weeks of supplementation improved osteoarthritis symptoms – but it was conducted by a supplement manufacturer. ‘There is no persuasive evidence that collagen can benefit arthritis or reduce symptoms such as joint pain,’ says Anita Bean, author of Sports Supplements (Bloomsbury). And a 2011 European Food Safety Authority review found that a relationship between collagen supplementation and joint health has not been substantiated.
ARE THEY SAFE? No serious adverse effects reported. THE VERDICT A pricey protein source that’s unlikely to ease your joints.