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What Is UC-II and Does It Help Joints?

Question:
What is UC-II and does it help joints?

Answer:
UC-II (InterHealth Nutraceuticals) is an ingredient now found in many supplements for joint health, either as a stand-alone ingredient or in combination with other ingredients (see examples in the Review of Joint Health Supplements). UC-II contains a patented form of undenatured type II collagen (i.e., the collagen is not processed by high heat or chemicals) 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.

For more information about UC-II, including findings from clinical studies and dosage, see the full answer>>

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Lee16030   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?

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).

This CL Answer initially posted on 9/2/2014. Last updated 8/8/2017.

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