Can you take collagen and glucosamine at the same time?
Collagen and glucosamine are two extremely common joint supplements. They are both used in comprehensive joint stacks designed to enhance every aspect of joint health, from pain reduction to improving flexibility.
Yet collagen and glucosamine are not always taken together. In fact, most joint supplements contain either glucosamine or collagen; rarely are they put together. The most common way that people supplement with glucosamine is taking it as part of a pre-made joint supplement stack. Collagen, on the other hand, is typically taken as a standalone supplement (or as part of something like a face cream, or a “collagen complex”).
Why are the two seemingly kept separate by most supplement manufacturers?
Can you take collagen and glucosamine together?
Let’s find out!
Taking collagen and glucosamine at the same time
So, can you take glucosamine and collagen at the same time?
Yes, of course you can!
There is nothing about either of these supplements which makes them unsuitable for stacking. Both collagen and glucosamine have excellent side effect profiles, and they both carry very low long-term health risks.
More importantly for our question, collagen and glucosamine do not interact with one another in a meaningful way. The two substances are of course intimately linked; glucosamime is a structural component of many connective tissues, including collagen. Studies have found that supplementing with glucosamine can drastically reduce collagen deterioration in the knee. Other studies have found that glucosamine increases the production of collagen type II.
However, while these substances are physiologically linked, they do not interact with one another when used as supplements. Taking collagen does not interfere with your glucosamine supplements, and vice versa. They do not potentiate one another, and they do not make the chances of side effects increase.
But this begs another question: should you take glucosamine and collagen at the same time?
Should you take collagen and glucosamine together?
There is a good reason to hesitate before you take both glucosamine and collagen at the same time.
The reason being that collagen doesn’t seem to be very effective at all for promoting joint health!
Despite being a widely-used joint supplement, collagen does not appear to be effective for imrpogin joint health, increasing flexibility, or protecting connective tissues from damage. In fact, collagen doesn’t seem to be very effective for increasing collagen density at the joints, which is the bare minimum we would expect from it!
Surprisingly, it is glucosamine which seems to be effective for promoting collagen production and improving joint health. Studies have found that supplementing with glucosamine increases collagen formation, along with the formation of most other connective tissues (and synovial fluid to boot).
This isn’t as paradoxical as it sounds. There are lots of substances that do not work as supplements as they are not digested or absorbed by the body, or they fail to cross the blood-brain barrier (where they are needed to work). Common examples are GABA (a neurotransmitter), choline (a neurochemical building block), and collagen. The body prefers to receive the building blocks of these molecules or some kind of analogue as that is what is present in our natural diets. Ingesting the target molecule or compound itself will often lead to it passing straight through the digestive system undigested and un-absorbed.
So there’s nothing wrong with taking glucosamine and collagen together. There just might not be much point to the collagen!