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UC-II Collagen for Joints

Question:
What is UC-II and does it help joints?
UC-II Collagen for Joint Pain? -- man with knee pain
Answer:
UC-II (InterHealth Nutraceuticals) is an ingredient found in many supplements for joint health, either as a stand-alone ingredient or in combination with other ingredients UC-II contains a patented form of undenatured (i.e., not hydrolyzed or processed by high heat or chemicals) type II collagen (collagen type 2) derived from chicken sternum cartilage, along with inactive ingredients. Based on laboratory and clinical studies, the makers claim that the undenatured collagen in UC-II differs from hydrolyzed or denatured collagen because it contains active immune modulators that reduce the secretion of enzymes that break down type II collagen, thereby slowing the inflammatory response.

To see the clinical evidence for UC-II, see the Joint Pain section of the Collagen Supplements Review, which includes our tests of products containing UC-II and other collagen ingredients and our Top Picks for collagen supplements for joint pain. The review also includes information about safety and potential side effects of UC-II and other collagen supplements.

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COMMENTS

Carol18140   July 17, 2019
I have tried two different brands of UC-II. The NOW brand did nothing. I had better results using the Life Extention brand. Hope you do a report on UC-II soon. Thanks

ConsumerLab.com   July 17, 2019
Hi Carol - Thank you for sharing your experience with this. From their labels, both products list the same amount (40 mg) of the same branded ingredient (UC-II) per capsule, although NOW includes seaweed-derived minerals.

Margueritte18336   September 16, 2019
Hi,
I'm trying to find the Life Extension Brand Of UC-II. It keeps kicking me over to another product that has NT-2..... Is that the same thing?

ConsumerLab.com   October 24, 2019
Hi Margueritte - You can find information about UC-II and NT2 in the "Dosage" section of the Collagen Supplements Review: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Collagen_Supplements_Review_Peptides_Hydrolysate/collagen/#dosage.

LEE18094   July 3, 2019
Is it possible to overdose on UC II? I read in the study that the dose was 40mg. I have a bottle from Swanson with 10mg pills of UC II 25%. So I took 4 capsules. I continued to read the study and saw they used "40mg containing 10mg UC II." So basically, I took 4 times the appropriate dose (because I read the study wrong). Very aggravating that they gave a 40mg capsule, and oh by the way, thats only 10mg of UC II! But, my bad. So how much damage did I do? Drinking lots of water and hoping for the best. Seems like if I ate a chicken sternum, I would get a bigger dose of this stuff... so I guess its ok...??

ConsumerLab.com   July 9, 2019
Hi Lee - You are correct that you took more than suggested. We have not seen an upper tolerable intake limit for UC-II, but, as you point out, it is collagen which is protein and the total amount of protein taken is small compared to the daily requirement for protein. In short, it would not seem to pose a risk. Much larger amounts of collagen (several grams) can cause side effects, as noted in our our answer here: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/does-collagen-help-with-arthritis/collagen_arthritis/.

Diana18082   June 25, 2019
I am interested in taking UC-II for joint pain (shoulder) but am curious about dosage. According to one label. 40 mg seems to provide 10 mg of actual collagen. What is considered a therapeutic dose, and how would I figure out how much I'm actually taking? Thanks in advance.

ConsumerLab.com   July 9, 2019
Hi Diana - Please see the "Dosage" section in our full answer above, where this is explained.

Hector Miguel17826   May 6, 2019
It is better when taking UC-II with SAM-e, preferably made in Italy or Switzerland, on an empty stomach. I have been on that convination for over 15 years, it stoped my arthritis, thus I can play single tennis without any problem with knees or hips.

Jennifer18106   July 7, 2019
Hi Hector, How much Sam-e do you take and what brand? I already take UC-II (from "Now"). I really appreciate you sharing your experiences!

Tiffini 17817   May 3, 2019
Hi, is here any tested Undenatured Type II Collagen product?

ConsumerLab.com   May 9, 2019
Hi Tiffini - ConsumerLab will be testing collagen products in 2019 and the results will be announced in CL's newsletter when they become available.

Tiffini 17835   May 9, 2019
Thank you for everything, greatly appreciated

ConsumerLab.com   May 10, 2019
Thank you for your kind words, Tiffini, we are glad you are enjoying ConsumerLab!

Elaine L17204   September 30, 2018
I'm very interested in taking collagen supplements, however, my concern is the raising of the animals used for their collagen. I'm not a vegan or vegetarian, but I try to eat clean. So, my concern is if the protein sources are receiving/consuming added hormones and/or antibiotics. Does anyone know of any "clean" collagen supplements?

Toni17395   December 23, 2018
"Bulletproof". (Both collagen hydrolysate and gelatin) are labeled as being sourced from pastured cattle. The powders are notable for their almost complete lack of taste, and a swift and complete solubility, both miles better than any other such products I have tried. The collagen doesn't bugger up the taste of my coffee, and the gelatin thickens my low-carb soups and stews quite nicely. Both seem to make my joints feel better and more useful. Find online at Tim Ferris' site.

No financial conflicts - just a satisfied customer.

Leonard16030   October 25, 2017
I started taking UC-II about eight years ago when I read about a couple of studies in PubMed indicating it may help joint pain. Since then, more studies have been completed. I suffered from painful golfers elbow, right shoulder joint pain, and knee pain in my left knee. After about three months of daily use (40mg cap), I noticed my joint pains disappearing. After six months of continuous use, there was no longer any pain in any of the areas described. I continue to take this product and am now in my late 60s. I golf three days a week and workout with free weights 6 days a week totally pain free. I am a believer.

Jane17178   September 19, 2018
What brand do you take?

Angela17612   March 8, 2019
Sounds great! what brand do you use or have tried

Linda14061   May 28, 2017
I have significant hip pain (70 yo F). MRI shows OA and loss of cartilage. Taking UC-II, and other supplements. Have any studies been done targeting hip OA? Dr wants to do hip replacement. Any suggestions for pain relief welcome!

ConsumerLab.com   June 17, 2017
Hi Linda - We've now answered your question here: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/osteoarthritis-hip-supplements/

JOHN8684   May 8, 2016
I started using UC-II years ago at the recommendation of a Medical Doctor. After several months, the knee pain which had bothered me for years, disappeared and has never returned. I forgot to re-order one month and suddenly began to experience a great deal of pain in my left thumb. It really hurt, so I went to see a local medical clinic where they X-Rayed the thumb and found I had arthritis. I got back on the UC-II and after awhile the pain in my thumb disappeared and has never returned. I now have UC-II set up on auto-ship so I never run out. I had a Naturopath review the supplements I was taking last year, and when he got to the UC-II, he said "This stuff works!"

louis8425   February 5, 2016
your latest issue states you have tested joint products containing type 2 undenatured collagen; however, the chart of joint supplements does not.?

ConsumerLab.com   February 5, 2016
Hi Louis - Two products in our most recent joint supplements review contain type 2 undenatured collagen (as UC-II), which is noted in the last column of the results table under "Other Notable Ingredients" (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/jointsupplements/).

You can also find these products by reading the full ingredients list for each product (click on "Ingredients" in the first column).

Dan8424   February 5, 2016
I suffered from lower backache and Sciatica for a year before starting to take Glucosamine Sulphate 900mg daily, which cured this completely after 6 weeks.

I continued taking Glucosamine over the next 14 years, changing the pill to a composite Glucosamine and Chondroitin at some point. Then, backaches susceptibility returned in spite of the Glucosamine.

I read by chance that Glucosamine Sulphate is the right composition, checked what I was taking and sure enough found it was Glusosamine Hydrochloric... I threw it to the garbage, hurried to the pharmacy and got Glucosamine Sulphate: 4 weeks later my back problems disappeared.

So it irks me when I hear of trials against Glucosamine Hydrochloric or talking about Glucosamine without giving the full compound formula.

Did you ever test Glucosamine Sulphate against Glucosamine Hydrochloric? This is VERY IMPORTANT.


Nicholas11624   January 26, 2017
Just for the sake of accuracy, the alternate to the sulfate form of Glucosamine is the the Hydrochloride (as opposed to Hydrochloric). But the point in general is well taken and I have read elsewhere that the Sulfate was the preferred form, possibly due to better bioavailability.

ConsumerLab.com   March 3, 2016
Hi Dan - Thank you for sharing your experience using these two different forms and their effect on your back pain. Interestingly, there is some evidence that, when combined with chondroitin, one form may be more useful in slowing the progression of knee osteoarthritis than the other -- although we are not aware of similar evidence for back pain (see the "What It Does" section of the Joint Supplements Review (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/jointsupplements/#whatitdoes).

Some of the products tested in our Joint Supplements Review contain glucosamine sulfate, and others contain glucosamine hydrochloride.

pat8416   February 3, 2016
Have these researchers even bothered to address the great variation in their claims of how much denatured type II collagen s actually provided by a 40 mg of UC-II?

ConsumerLab.com   February 20, 2016
Hi Pat - No, we have not found any explanation for the change provided by the manufacturer.

Lida8414   February 3, 2016
Do you show a list of products that contain UC-II? I cannot find on website. Your info regarding products that help with knee osteoarthritis make no mention of this ingredient.

micheline11345   October 17, 2016
Check Move Free, I find it effective. It also has some boron. Costco has a copy-cat Kirkland brand.

micheline11346   October 17, 2016
Just posted. I mean Move Free ULTRA, Schiff is confusing, same name, 2 different products.

ConsumerLab.com   February 8, 2016
Hi Lida - Two products in our most recent joint supplements review contain type 2 undenatured collagen (as UC-II), which is noted in the last column of the results table under "Other Notable Ingredients" (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/jointsupplements/).

You can also find these products by reading the full ingredients list for each product (click on "Ingredients" in the first column).


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This CL Answer initially posted on 9/2/2014. Last updated 11/11/2019.
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