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7 Best Collagen Supplements for Joints in 2024

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Collagen is easily one of the most popular supplements available today, especially for people looking to optimize their joint health. This is what we’ll be covering in this article, as we’ve narrowed down a list of the best collagen supplements for joints available today. 

It’s worth noting that many of these supplements have identical doses of collagen, with 40mg of UC-II cartilage totaling 10mg of total collagen per serving. This means we prioritized other factors like additional components, brand reputation, and price above collagen per serving. 

Whether you’re using collagen for knees or collagen for joints and bones, keep reading to see what our top picks are. 

Our team of certified nutritionists and professional athletes has reviewed 20 products and the best ones made it to this list. We’ve based our evaluations on 5 key factors and we have spent 2 weeks testing most of these products out. Additionally, we have also analyzed hundreds of online user reviews. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section because our list is regularly updated.

best collagen supplements

Top 7 Best Collagen Supplement for Joints Reviewed

  1. Joint Support by TL – Top Pick
  2. Fortify by Legion – Runner Up
  3. Life Extension ArthroMax Advanced
  4. BPN Strong Joints – Best Third-Party Tested
  5. Healthy Origins UC-II – Budget Pick
  6. NOW Foods, UC-II Joint Health
  7. Source Naturals UC-II
ProductTotalCollagen
per Serving
Additional
Components
Nutrition Label
Transparency
Third-Party
Testing
Price /
Quality
Transparent Labs48.510101099.5
Legion48.510101099.5
Life Extension48109109.59.5
BPN48108.510109.5
Healthy Origins47.5108109.510
NOW Foods4710810910
Source Naturals46.51081099.5
TOP PICK

1. Joint Support by TL

Joint Support by TL
  • Collagen Type: UC-II
  • Additional Сomponents: Curcuma Longa, Boswellia Serrate, Calcium Fructoborate
  • Number of Servings: 30
  • Serving Size: 2 Capsules
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.83
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor Bjornsson, Paul Sklar, Sean Harris

The first product on our list of the best collagen type 2 supplements for joints comes from Transparent Labs, which is one of the highest-quality and trustworthy brands around. While this is the priciest option on our list, you can be confident you’re getting a top-notch product. 

Before going any further, while this product says it has 40mg of collagen, we believe this is a typo. Based on the other products on our list, this likely should say 40mg of cartilage, for 10mg of total collagen. 

Moving on, you can expect the additional ingredients Curcumin, Boswellia Serrata, and Calcium Fructoborate. While Collagen is the main active ingredient for joint health, these 3 additional ingredients may all provide some benefits mainly relating to inflammation. Overall, this is likely the best collagen for arthritis pain on our list, as each of these additional ingredients does appear to be beneficial for joint pain. 

At 2 capsules per serving, Transparent Labs falls around the average serving size for our list. However, at ~$1.83 per serving, this is easily the most expensive supplement we’ll be covering. While it comes from a very trustworthy brand, this certainly is far from the most budget-friendly option on our list.

48.5 EXPERT SCORE

Transparent Labs consistently delivers some of the highest-quality supplements on the market, with this Joint Support supplement being no exception.


Collagen per Serving:0
Additional Components:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Price / Quality:0

Positives:

  • Comes from one of the most reputable supplement brands around
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Contains some solid additional active ingredients

Could be better:

  • Most expensive option on our list by far
  • Nutrition label is somewhat unclear
Runner Up

2. Fortify by Legion

Fortify by Legion
  • Collagen Type: UC-II
  • Additional Сomponents: Curcumin, Agmatine Sulfate, Grape Seed Extract, Boswellia Serrate
  • Number of Servings: 30
  • Serving Size: 3 Capsules
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.68
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by Athletes: Gage Clark, Grant Tinsley, Machaela Brabham

Next on our list of the best collagen for joints is a product from Legion, a similar brand to Transparent Labs. Legion is known for consistently delivering high-quality supplements made of all-natural ingredients, and this supplement is no exception. 

Like Transparent Labs’ joint support supplement, you can expect 40mg of UC-II cartilage with 10mg of collagen. There are also several of the same additional ingredients, including Curcumin and Boswellia Serrata, although Boswellia is dosed fairly low. 

legion products instagram
Photo by @legion

The unique ingredients here are Grape Seed Extract, meant to help with blood flow to the joints, and agmatine sulfate, meant to reduce pain caused by nerve irritation and damage. Overall, this is a similarly complete formula to Transparent Labs, as all 4 of these ingredients do appear to be beneficial in their own right. 

Each serving of Legion is 3 capsules, which may get annoying if you’re not a fan of swallowing pills. Also, at ~$1.68, this comes at a similar premium price point to Transparent Labs, so keep this in mind if you’re looking to save some money.

48.5 EXPERT SCORE

Similar to our top pick, Legion is a trustworthy brand offering a premium collagen supplement complete with several extra active ingredients.


Collagen per Serving:0
Additional Components:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Price / Quality:0

Positives:

  • Grape Seed Extract is a unique additional ingredient
  • Contains similar active ingredients to Transparent Labs like Curcumin and Boswellia Serrata
  • Comes from a high-quality, reputable brand

Could be better:

  • High price point
  • Large 3-capsule serving size

3. Life Extension ArthroMax Advanced

Life Extension ArthroMax Advanced
  • Collagen Type: NT2
  • Additional Сomponents: Glucosamine, Boron, Boswellia Serrate
  • Number of Servings: 30
  • Serving Size: 2 Capsules
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.85
  • Company Founded: 1980
  • Recommended by Athletes: Jonas Kuehne, Kylie Ivanir, Gwen Gottlieb

Next up is Life Extension, a brand that’s been around for over 40 years. We’ll be looking at their Arthtromax supplement, which is the first supplement on our list to be under $1.00 per serving, and the only option to be made with NT2 Collagen instead of UC-II. 

It appears NT2 is simply Life Extension’s patented form of UC-II, with both supplements likely producing the same results. As for additional ingredients, Life Extension also contains Boswellia Serrata and Calcium Fructoborate, similar to Transparent Labs.

This is the only supplement to also contain Glucosamine, which is a common supplement for joint pain, although there’s little research available to support its effectiveness. 

Also similar to Transparent Labs, Arthromax comes in a 2 capsule serving size, making it fairly standard for our list. As mentioned, at ~$0.85 per serving, this is also much cheaper than Transparent Labs and Legion. With that being said, there are still plenty of cheaper options still to come on our list.

48 EXPERT SCORE

Life Extension is a long-standing supplement brand offering a high-quality collagen supplement complete with additional ingredients at a fair, moderate price.


Collagen per Serving:0
Additional Components:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Price / Quality:0

Positives:

  • Long-standing brand that’s been around for 40+ years
  • Hundreds of 5-star reviews on iherb.com
  • Includes several additional ingredients including Boswellia Serrata and Calcium Fructoborate

Could be better:

  • Still somewhat pricey despite being cheaper than TL and Legion
  • Glucosamine likely won’t have any major effects
Best Third-Party Tested

4. BPN Strong Joints

BPN Strong Joints
  • Collagen Type: UC-II
  • Additional Сomponents: Hyaluronic Acid, OptiMSM
  • Number of Servings: 30
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.33
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Jessica Lynne, Katrin Tanja, Daniela Mondragon

Next on our list is BPN’s Strong Joints supplement, which is the first supplement on our list to contain a seal from Informed Sport, making it an excellent choice for those looking for third-party certification.

You can expect the standard dose for our list here with 40mg of cartilage totaling 10mg of collagen. The additional ingredients here are OptiMSM and Hyaluronic acid. Remember that when it comes to collagen supplements, not all additional ingredients are beneficial. Unlike the other ingredients included in the products above, research suggests that neither of these ingredients will have significant benefits for joint health.

This is the first 1-capsule supplement on our list, making it ideal for those who don’t enjoy swallowing pills or capsules. Also, BPN is another Collagen supplement that comes at a premium price of ~$1.33. This is high, especially considering the lack of effective additional ingredients.

48 EXPERT SCORE

BPN offers the only collagen supplement on our list with an Informed Choice certification, making it ideal for professional athletes, or those who greatly value third-party testing.


Collagen per Serving:0
Additional Components:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Price / Quality:0

Positives:

  • Informed Sport Certification
  • Small package size may be good for trying collagen for the first time
  • Small 1-capsule serving size

Could be better:

  • No reviews on iherb.com
  • Premium price point
Budget Pick

5. Healthy Origins UC-II

Healthy Origins UC-II
  • Collagen Type: UC-II
  • Number of Servings: 120
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.20
  • Company Founded: 1996

Next on our list is Healthy Origins, which is the most basic collagen supplement we’ve covered so far, being the first single-ingredient supplement on our list. This is also the cheapest supplement on our list by far, making it an excellent budget pick. 

As mentioned, all this supplement includes is 40mg of UC-II Chicken Cartilage for 10mg of total collagen. If you don’t care about any additional ingredients and you’re looking for a basic supplement with no bells and whistles, Healthy Origins will be a great pick. 

This is also a single-capsule supplement, similar to BPN, which makes sense considering how simple the formula is. At only ~$0.20, this is significantly cheaper than almost all the products on our list. While you won’t be getting the potential benefits of additional ingredients, this is an excellent budget-friendly way to take collagen.

47.5 EXPERT SCORE

Coming at a great price, Healthy Origins offers a simple, budget-friendly collagen supplement.


Collagen per Serving:0
Additional Components:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Price / Quality:0

Positives:

  • Cheapest option on our list
  • Great for someone looking for a single-ingredient supplement
  • One capsule serving size

Could be better:

  • No potentially beneficial additional compounds
  • Some reviews not an upset stomach after use

6. NOW Foods, UC-II Joint Health

NOW Foods, UC-II Joint Health

Next on our list is another simple, budget-friendly option, this time coming from NOW Foods. NOW has been around for more than 50+ years, making it a longstanding, highly reputable brand. 

You can expect the standard dose of UC-II collagen found in most other products on this list. The only additional ingredient here is Aquamin, which are minerals derived from seaweed. While there is some evidence to support the use of Aquamin for inflammation and joint pain, evidence is fairly minimal. 

Similar to the previous 2 products, each serving of this supplement is only 1 capsule. Also, at only ~$0.33 per serving, this is one of the cheapest supplements on our list, only being beaten by Healthy Origins.

47 EXPERT SCORE

A longstanding company known for delivering great budget options, NOW Foods UC-II supplement is a simple, cheap collagen supplement.


Collagen per Serving:0
Additional Components:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Price / Quality:0

Positives:

  • One of the cheapest options on our list
  • Aquamin may be a beneficial additional ingredient
  • Single capsule serving size

Could be better:

  • Fairly simple formula for those who want additional ingredients for joint support
  • No significant discount for buying a larger package size

7. Source Naturals UC-II

Source Naturals UC-II
  • Collagen Type: UC-II
  • Additional Сomponents: Dibasic Calcium Phosphate
  • Number of Servings: 120
  • Serving Size: 1 Capsule
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.51
  • Company Founded: 1982
  • Recommended by Athletes: Sammy Mcness, Alicen Divita, Nicole Macias McNamara

Closing out our list is Source Naturals’ UC-II supplement, which is similar to the previous 2 options on our list as it is also very simple. The main difference here is that Source Naturals is slightly more expensive. 

You can expect the standard dose of collagen here with no additional active ingredients for joint health, similar to Healthy Origins. However, you will be getting a small dose of Calcium at 8% DV per serving.

Like the past several options we’ve covered this is a single capsule serving, ideal for easy daily use. While this is similarly simple to the previous 2 supplements, it’s significantly more expensive than both at about ~$0.51 per serving.

46.5 EXPERT SCORE

While Source Naturals delivers a solid simple collagen supplement, it is quite a bit more expensive than other equivalent products.


Collagen per Serving:0
Additional Components:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Third-Party Testing:0
Price / Quality:0

Positives:

  • Great for those who want a basic formula
  • Some additional calcium in each serving
  • Comes from a longstanding brand

Could be better:

  • Fairly expensive for the simple formula
  • No additional active ingredients

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What Is Collagen and What Are Its Possible Benefits?

Collagen has quickly become one of the most popular supplements on the market. It’s typically derived from the connective tissue and cartilage of animals. Supplementation is mostly used for hair, skin, nail, and joint health. 

Much of the research done on collagen is related to its use for joints and it appears to have significant benefits. But, which collagen is best for joints?

Undenatured Type II Collagen – the collagen covered throughout this article – has been shown to have significant benefits for the treatment of severe rheumatoid arthritis. This same form of collagen has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms as well. This second study was specifically related to symptoms in the knee, making a good case for collagen supplements for knee pain.  

collagen capsules

It’s worth noting that there are numerous other types of collagen, but the vast majority of research on the use of collagen for joint pain has been done using Type II Collagen. There is not sufficient evidence to support the use of other forms for joint pain. As a result, we recommend sticking to Type 2. 

Therefore, collagen does currently appear to be beneficial for treating joint pain and osteoarthritis, along with medication and physical therapy. If you’re experiencing any joint pain, we strongly recommend talking with your doctor to ensure you’re being properly treated. 

How to Choose the Best Collagen Supplements for Joints?

If you’ve decided that you want to give collagen supplementation, there are a few things you’ll want to keep an eye out for. This includes the supplement’s formula, the brand’s reputation, and your doctor’s recommendations. 

1. Look For Uc-II Collagen

As mentioned above, the vast majority of research done on collagen for the treatment of joint pain was done using undenatured type 2 collagen, or UC-II. This was the type of collagen we looked for while arranging this list, with each product on our list containing a standard 40mg dose of UC-II (or NT2 in the case of BPN, which is essentially the same thing). 

2. Consider Additional Ingredients

It’s worth noting that many of the products on our list contain additional ingredients, which are all supported by varying amounts of research. Some of these ingredients may help with joint pain through anti-inflammatory properties (Curcumin, Calcium Fructoborate, Boswellin), while others don’t have much research proving their effectiveness (MSM, Glucosamine, Hyaluronic Acid).

collagen capsules in bottle

Before buying any supplement, we recommend doing some research on its additional ingredients. It may also be a good idea to discuss these with your doctor as well to see if there are any additional ingredients they recommend seeking out or avoiding. 

3. Choose Collagen From a Reputable Brand

Even when you’ve narrowed down your search to just UC-II collagen, there are still a ton of choices available. This is why we recommend choosing a collagen supplement from a reputable brand. It’s best to choose brands that have been around a long time, or at least those that have a strong reputation for delivering quality products. This typically ensures a level of quality that isn’t found in smaller, less reputable brands. 

While brands like Transparent Labs and Legion come at a premium price point, we believe they still offer excellent value for money considering their outstanding formulas. With that being said, if you’re more budget-conscious, brands like NOW Foods have been delivering great products at an affordable price for well over 50 years. 

We prioritized brand reputation when making our list. All of the products we recommend come from newer brands that have established a very trustworthy reputation, or those that have been producing high-quality products for a long time. 

4. Prefer Products With Recognized Third-Party Testing

Similar to the point above, it’s never a bad idea to look for additional seals of quality from third parties. 

Many brands such as Legion readily post their lab-test results to guarantee the quality of their products. There are also organizations such as Informed Sport and ConsumerLab which guarantee a high level of quality to products they approve. Finally, GMP certification is another good thing to look for to ensure a product has been manufactured to a certain standard of quality. 

many collagen capsules on the table

Overall, any seal of approval from a recognized third-party relating to purity, quality, or manufacturing standards is something you should look out for when buying any supplement – not just collagen. 

5. Use Collagen Only After Your Doctor’s Approval

Finally, as we always recommend for products that are meant to treat conditions such as joint pain – consult with your doctor before buying anything. Collagen is generally considered safe, but it’s still a good idea to talk to your doctor before using it. While collagen may very well benefit you, there may also be other more effective treatments available. 

Overall, all we can do is give general recommendations about which products to check out. At the end of the day, we can't give you the individual medical advice that your doctor can. This is why it’s so important to consult with them before using something like collagen for your joint pain. 

FAQ

Is Type 1 or 2 Collagen Better for Joints?

The vast majority of research done on collagen supplementation used type 2 collagen instead of type 1. It currently doesn’t appear there’s sufficient evidence to support the use of type 1 collagen for the treatment of joint pain or any related conditions. 

How Much Collagen Do You Need for Joints?

The standard dose of UC-II for joint pain in the studies listed above is 40mg of UC-II cartilage, totaling 10mg of collagen per day. This is the dose found in all 7 supplements included on our list and should be sufficient to provide some relief to joint pain. 

Of course, we recommend consulting with your doctor about the optimal dose for you, as well as any other additional treatments that may be beneficial. 

Can I Use Collagen Peptides for Joint Health?

Because collagen peptides are typically made of Type I and III collagen instead of Type II, we generally don’t recommend this form of collagen for joint pain. Instead, UC-II Collagen pills for joints will likely provide more significant results. 

Conclusion

Research shows that supplementation with UC-II collagen is beneficial for the treatment of joint pain caused by both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. While we recommend consulting with your doctor before use, collagen supplementation is certainly worth considering if you suffer from joint pain. 

If you’re interested in using a collagen supplement for your joints, our top pick is Transparent Labs’ Joint Support for its effective combination of ingredients, and the brand’s excellent reputation. 

Have you ever used collagen supplements for joint health? What was your experience like? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References

  1. Robert H. Shmerling, MD, “Curcumin for Arthritis: Does it Really Work?” Harvard Health Publishing, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/curcumin-for-arthritis-does-it-really-work-2019111218290 (Accessed Dec. 4, 2024)
  2. Department of Surgery, “Boswellia”, NYU Grossman School of Medicine,  https://froemkelab.med.nyu.edu/surgery/content?ChunkIID=21617 (Accessed Dec. 4, 2024)
  3. George Dan Mogosanu, et. al, “Calcium Fructoborate for Bone and Cardiovascular Health,” Biol Trace Elem Res. 172: 277–281. (2016).
  4. Jin-Sil Park, et. al, “Grape-seed proanthocyanidin extract as suppressors of bone destruction in inflammatory autoimmune arthritis” PLoS One.;7(12) (2012).
  5. Ory Keynan, “Safety and Efficacy of Dietary Agmatine Sulfate in Lumbar Disc-associated Radiculopathy. An Open-label, Dose-escalating Study Followed by a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial” Pain Med. Mar;11(3):356-68. (2010).
  6. Gretchen Reynolds, “Ask Well: Glucosamine and MSM for Joint Pain?” hss.edu, https://www.hss.edu/newsroom_glucosamine-msm-for-joint-pain.asp (Accessed Dec. 4, 2024)
  7. UConn Musculoskeletal Institute, “Alternative Treatments: Hyaluronic Acid”, UConn Health, https://health.uconn.edu/msi/clinical-services/orthopaedic-surgery/hyaluronic-acid/ (Accessed Dec. 4, 2024)
  8. Joy Frestedt, “Aquamin Research: Minerals from Red Algae” Oceanography, 1:3 (2013). 
  9. The Nutrition Source, “Collagen,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/collagen/ (Accessed Dec. 4, 2024)
  10. David E. Trentham, et. al, “Effects of Oral Administration of Type II Collagen on Rheumatoid Arthritis”, Science, Volume 261, Issue 5129, pp. 1727-1730 (1993).
  11. David C. Crowley, “Safety and efficacy of undenatured type II collagen in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: a clinical trial” Int J Med Sci. ; 6(6): 312–321. (2009).

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Sports Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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