Type-II Collagen

Last Updated: January 31, 2024

Type II collagen (CII) is a protein and component of joint cartilage. Oral ingestion of CII in its undenatured form may reduce autoimmunity to the body's own CII, resulting in less joint inflammation in instances of osteoarthritis and rheumatism.

Type-II Collagen is most often used for

What is type II collagen?

Type II collagen (CII) is a peptide and a major component of joint cartilage. When taken as a supplement, CII is usually in one of two forms: undenatured or hydrolyzed. Undenatured collagen has been minimally processed at a low temperature to keep its peptides mostly intact. Hydrolyzed CII has been processed with a higher degree of heat, acid, and enzymes, resulting in the breakdown of peptides from larger forms into smaller ones.

What are type II collagen’s main benefits?

The primary benefit of undenatured CII appears to be improvement in joint pain, mainly in the context of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Hydrolyzed CII (also known as CII hydrolysate) may improve skin health/appearance and reduce joint pain.

What are type II collagen’s main drawbacks?

By and large, CII seems fairly safe. One potential concern is that collagen (in dosages of around 10 grams per day) has been shown to increase oxalate levels in urine, likely because collagen consists of approximately 10% hydroxyproline, and a major metabolite of hydroxyproline is oxalate. As a result, higher doses of CII could increase the risk of oxalate-based kidney stones in susceptible individuals.

How does type II collagen work?

Undenatured CII has been proposed to improve joint pain through an effect on the immune system. More specifically, CII peptides are thought to induce the formation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in areas of the gut known as Preyer’s patches. These Tregs can enter circulation, where they produce anti-inflammatory compounds (e.g., IL-10), which in theory can inhibit inflammation and tissue damage in joints.

The hydrolysis of type II collagen seems to result in the breakdown of the most immunologically active peptides, meaning that the effect of hydrolyzed collagen on joints may not act via this mechanism. However, in higher doses, hydrolyzed CII might improve joint pain by supplying the amino acids used to repair the damaged tissue.

What are other names for Type-II Collagen?
Note that Type-II Collagen is also known as:
  • CII
  • Hydrolyzed collagen
  • Solubilized collagen
  • Gelatin
  • Collagen
  • Shark gelatin
Type-II Collagen should not be confused with:
  • Colostrum (different protein with a similar name)
Dosage information

The dose of CII taken depends on whether it is denatured (hydrolyzed) or undenatured. For skin and joint health, the daily dose of hydrolyzed collagen is around 10 grams per day. For treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, undenatured collagen is taken at a much lower daily dose (often around 40 milligrams), and while it doesn't need to be taken at any particular time of the day, it may be ideal to take it on an empty stomach before breakfast.

CII should not be taken as a protein supplement because it has a lackluster amino acid profile.

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