Type II collagen is a naturally-occurring protein found in both hyaline and articular cartilage in the body. Hyaline cartilage does not contain any blood vessels or nerves and is found in areas of the body such as the ribs, larynx, and trachea. Articular cartilage contains no blood vessels and is seen in areas including the ear, nose, and knee.
Collagen is renowned for its role in promoting tissue repair, and because of this, type II collagen is often used in skin care products to produce an anti-aging effect on the skin. These effects can be somewhat controversial, so care should be taken when choosing a skin-care routine. This form of collagen is the group of proteins responsible for creating the movable joints of the body.
It is also instrumental in helping to form the various connective tissues of the body. Due to this role, it has been studied extensively in an effort to treat medical conditions relating to these parts of the body.
Tests have shown that type II collagen contains a substance known as chondroitin sulfate. This compound has been credited with having an anti-inflammatory effect on certain connective tissues of the body. For this reason, it is often used in medications designed to treat conditions like arthritis. Many studies have concluded that this compound is safer and has fewer side effects than other anti-inflammatory preparations, including ibuprofen.
Cartilage matrix glycoprotein (CMGP) is another substance found in this type of collagen. CMGP carries copper, a trace mineral necessary to the healthy functioning of the body, to the small cells located in the cartilage that forms the joints. This action helps improve the antioxidant protection in the joints and helps to keep them functioning properly by keeping them lubricated as well as cushioned.
Type II collagen is available as a dietary supplement, and it is reputed to help with hair and nail growth, as well as being beneficial to those with bone and joint discomfort. It is generally marketed in the form of a capsule. Dosage requirements vary, so medical supervision of this, as well as any other dietary supplement, is strongly recommended.