Collagen Treatments and Medical Uses

Collagen comes from the cartilage of animals including fish, bovine (cow), chicken, etc. Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that is composed of mucopolysaccharides, proteins, calcium, sulfur, and collagen. Collagen is found in most connective tissue in the body including our bones, skin, and the cartilage in our joints. The most common form of collagen is gelatin. Studies do indicate that consuming gelatin can help to improve the health of your hair and finger nails. Additionally, some forms of collagen (type II) may offer some mild benefit for individuals suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.

Dosage and Administration

The most common form of collagen supplement, bovine cartilage, is usually recommended at three grams 3 times a day. Shark cartilage is also a popular form of collagen supplementation. Some professionals recommend shark cartilage supplementation in much higher doses (e.g., 60 to 100 grams per day orally or by enema). These amounts are not substantiated by scientific study and their safety has not been confirmed either. Please know that the amount of calcium in 60 to 100 grams of shark cartilage exceeds the 2 to 2.5 grams per day that is commonly considered to be the upper limit of safe intake.

Type II collagen, when used for its effects on rheumatoid arthritis, is used in very small amounts, from 0.02 mg to 10 mg per day. Gelatin and collagen hydrolysate is usually recommended at 7 to 10 grams per day.