The joints are located in the area where two different bones meet, and have many functions. They give our skeleton structure and allow muscles to move the limbs. However, when the joints are worn or inflamed, something as self-evident as moving can become extremely painful and thus difficult.
These problems are especially pronounced in some sports, which put more strain on the joints in the long run. In order for our joints to stay healthy and functional for as long as possible, it is therefore important that we nourish them properly. There is still a rule that a balanced diet is the best choice to achieve this, and we will highlight some nutrients that will help keep your joints moving longer.
When the amount of collagen in the body decreases with age, there is also an increased risk of developing degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis, a disease that could also be called "wear and tear" of the joints (source 1).
Some studies have shown that collagen supplements can improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain (sources 1 and 2).
MSM’s ability to speed up the elimination of waste products from the cells leads to pain-relieving properties. For example, muscle pain and soreness following exercise is caused by a buildup of lactic acid; MSM helps speed up the release of such acids and toxins, and so speeds up recovery.
Furthermore, many bodily pains, such as joint pain, muscle pain, and headaches, can be caused by inflammation. MSM has been proven to be greatly successful in reducing inflammation, and pain.
Studies indicate that MSM is associated with a reduction in joint and muscle pain by inhibiting inflammatory processes. It also reduces the level of cartilage degradation (source 3). In patients older than 50, a lower level of pain, less swelling, and less rigid joints were reported at 12 weeks with a dose of 1200 mg MSM per day (source 4).
It plays an essential role in the formation of new collagen, which means that low levels of vitamin C can affect joint health.
Studies on vitamin C have found that it can stimulate the production of collagen and proteoglycan (both of which are important parts of joint cartilage) and can protect against the breakdown of cartilage.
As a conclusion, vitamin E may retard the progression of osteoarthritis by ameliorating oxidative stress and inflammation of the joint. Further studies are warranted to develop vitamin E as an anti-osteoarthritis agent to reduce the global burden of this disease.
- Elisângela Porfírio, Gustavo Bernardes Fanaro. Collagen supplementation as a complementary therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Rev. Bras. Geriatr. Gerontol., Rio de Janeiro, 2016; 19(1):153-164. DOI: 10.1590/1809-9823.2016.14145.
- Bello AE, Oesser S. Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature. Curr Med Res Opin. 2006 Nov; 22(11):2221-32. DOI: 10.1185/030079906X148373
- Ezaki J, Hashimoto M, Hosokawa Y, Ishimi Y. Assessment of safety and efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane on bone and knee joints in osteoarthritis animal model. J Bone Miner Metab. 2013 Jan;31(1):16-25. DOI: 10.1007/s00774-012-0378-9.
- Xu G, Zhou T, Gu Y, Wang Q, Shariff M, Gu P, Nguyen T, Shi R, Rao J. Evaluation of the Effect of Mega MSM on Improving Joint Function in Populations Experiencing Joint Degeneration. Int J Biomed Sci. 2015 Jun;11(2):54-60. PMID: 26199577; PMCID: PMC4502733.
- Kristine L. Clark, Wayne Sebastianelli, Klaus R. Flechsenhar, Douglas F. Aukermann, Felix Meza, Roberta L. Millard, John R. Deitch, Paul S. Sherbondy & Ann Albert (2008) 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain, Current Medical Research and Opinion, 24:5, 1485-1496, DOI: 10.1185/030079908X291967