The Influence of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides on Knee Joint Discomfort in Young Physically Active Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Nutrients. 2021 Feb 5;13(2):523. doi: 10.3390/nu13020523.


First evidence indicates that the supplementation of specific collagen peptides is associated with a significant reduction in activity-related joint pain in young adults. The purpose of the current investigation was to confirm the efficacy of the same collagen peptides in a comparable study population. In total, 180 active men and women aged between 18 and 30 years with exercise-related knee pain but no diagnosed joint disease completed the trial over a period of 12 weeks. Participants were randomly assigned to the group receiving 5 g of specific collagen peptides (CP-G) or to the placebo group (P-G). For the primary outcome, changes in pain during or after exercise from pre- to post-intervention were assessed by the participants using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). These changes were additionally evaluated by the examining physician by means of anamnesis and physical examination of the affected knee joint. As secondary outcomes, pain under resting conditions and after 20 squats were compared between the study groups. In addition, the mobility of the knee joint and the use of alternative therapies (e.g., ointments or physiotherapy) were recorded. The supplementation of specific collagen peptides derived from type I collagen with a mean molecular weight of 3 kDa led to a significantly (p = 0.024) higher reduction of exercise-induced knee pain (-21.9 ± 18.3 mm) compared with the placebo group (-15.6 ± 18.5 mm). These findings were consistent with the physician's evaluation (-23.0 ± 19.2 mm vs. -14.6 ± 17.9 mm, p = 0.003). The decrease in pain under resting conditions and after squats did not significantly differ between the groups, as only a small number of participants suffered from pain under these conditions. Due to the clinically unremarkable baseline values, the mobility of the knee joint did not change significantly after the intervention. In conclusion, the current investigation confirmed that the oral intake of bioactive collagen peptides used in the current investigation led to a statistically significant reduction of activity-related joint pain in young active adults suffering from knee joint discomfort.

Keywords: VAS; activity-related knee pain; collagen peptides; pain reduction; range of motion.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthralgia / diagnosis
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthralgia / physiopathology
  • Arthralgia / therapy*
  • Collagen Type I / chemistry*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Molecular Weight
  • Pain Measurement
  • Peptides / administration & dosage
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Physical Examination
  • Placebos / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Rest
  • Sports
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Collagen Type I
  • Peptides
  • Placebos