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What Is Chicken Collagen?

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  • Written By: Ann Olson
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2014
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Chicken collagen is a naturally-occurring protein in the cartilage, bones and tissue of chickens. Chicken collagen is usually taken from the breast cartilage, after which it is synthesized and made into an injectable solution or supplement. Chicken collagen is also called type II collagen or collagen type II, as type II forms of collagen are taken from cartilage matter. This type of protein is used to treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, back and neck pain, and pain caused by surgery, though its use and effectiveness hasn't been well studied.

Chicken collagen is commonly used for conditions affecting joints, such as arthritis, because scientists believe it contains chondroitin and glucosamine, two chemicals that reportedly reduce or prevent osteoarthritis, a joint disease that causes joint degradation, pain and stiffness. Both chondroitin and glucosamine are used frequently in joint health supplements, especially those designed to reduce joint pain and inflammation. There is little scientific evidence, however, that either chemical can reduce joint pain or inflammation.

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Scientists also believe this type of collagen can rebuild cartilage in humans. Cartilage can degrade and weaken due to age, poor joint health, or arthritis — a term used to describe a range of joint-degrading diseases. The best evidence of its efficacy comes from a study that tested its effects on patients specifically suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This form of arthritis is a disease marked by the immune system attacking the body when no foreign invaders are actually present. This kind of arthritis can be debilitating, and patients often experience pain, swelling, and loss of function of the joints.

According to the findings in the study, chicken collagen may reduce the inflammation and pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. These findings were never compared to a placebo, however, and a drug approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis has still been shown to be far more effective. More studies need to be performed to prove that chicken collagen is an effective treatment.

There are some side effects associated with chicken collagen as well. These can include nausea, headache, pain at the injection site, drowsiness, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn. People who are allergic to eggs or chicken can experience severe allergic reactions to this extract, as it is derived from chickens. There is no information available about its possible interactions with any drugs and supplements, so people should talk with their doctors before using this extract while on a supplement or prescription medication regimen.

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