Collagen is a type of protein found in your body that makes up your skin, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, connective tissues, and teeth. Collagen supplements have taken the health and wellness world by storm for their tasteless ability to provide our bodies with the collagen we lose as we age. But with so many different types, how do we know we’re taking the right one for our body?
It’s true there are about 28 different types of collagen. They differ in molecule and cell composition and how they are used in the body. However, there are 5 main types of collagen that will be the focus of this article.
The 5 main types of collagen all provide unique characteristics and health benefits. Believe it or not, most collagen supplement products on the market do not feature all 5 of these types. We will go through all 5 types of collagen and why it is essential to have them all in your hydrolyzed collagen product. But first…
What happens to collagen as we age?
After our 20’s we naturally lose 1% of our collagen each year! That’s not to be alarming, it’s just the truth. Collagen can be broken down by various lifestyle choices such as smoking, sugar consumption and drinking.
Whether you do any of those things are not, we still lose collagen to environmental factors such as sun exposure. Even if you are not a regular sun bather, UV rays from working in the yard or going for a walk can cause free radicals to break down collagen and stunt our natural production of collagen.
In other words, it’s likely that you will lose collagen as you age, no matter how hard you try to prevent it. Lack of collagen causes wrinkles in the skin, and there are not many elder people that do not have wrinkles.
How can I tell if I’m losing collagen?
Like wrinkles, there are other physical signs that your body is depleting collagen. These signs include:
- Discomfort in joints
- Hallowing around your eyes
- Weakened muscles
- Less flexible ligaments
- Loss of mobility
- Problems with blood flow
What can we do about it?
Besides finding a high-quality, hydrolyzed collagen peptide formula, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to prevent losing collagen at a rapid pace. For example, work on quitting smoking. Smoking is one the worst habits when it comes to the depletion of collagen because of the free radicals that enter the bloodstream.
Second, focus on your diet! We know that what we eat affects our health, and it’s no different when it comes to collagen depletion. Avoid foods high in sugar or processed foods to maintain a healthy natural collagen production. Not only that, but you can focus on collagen-rich foods such as egg whites, chicken, and seafood.
Also, apply SPF whenever you leave the house! The sun is always in the sky, even on the cloudiest of days. To protect your skin from harmful UV rays, it’s important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily.
Finally, find a high-quality collagen that features the type of collagen that works best for you. Most people find that type I and type III combined work the best for their desired results. However, only you know your body, so it’s up to you to inform yourself and decide what you need. Let’s get into the 5 types of collagen now, so you can make the best decision when shopping for your collagen powder.
Which type of collagen works for you?
Type I collagen makes up 90% of your body's collagen. It is densely packed to provide structure to your skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. It is the most abundant type of collagen in marine collagen - which is collagen from fish or shellfish.
The health benefits that come from taking type I collagen include:
- Minimize fine lines and wrinkles
- Rebuild muscles, eyes, bones, and spine
- Strengthen nails
- Grow long, strong hair
Type II collagen is found in elastic cartilage, which supports the joints. It makes up the majority of the connective tissue that protects your bones at the joints, in your spinal discs, and your eyes. Bone broth is a great source of type II collagen.
The health benefits of type II collagen include:
- Promote inflammatory response
- Reduce discomfort in joints
- Increase mobility
Type III collagen is found in your muscles, arteries, and organs like your intestines and uterus. It is most often combined with type I to strengthen the gut barrier and improve skin elasticity. Bovine collagen peptides are going to be the best source of type III collagen.
The health benefits of type III collagen include:
- Increase skin elasticity and hydration
- Improve gut health
- Provide integrity for many organs
Type IV collagen is found in the layers of your skin beyond just the epidermis (the most outer layer of your skin) known as the basement membrane zone. It is not the most popular type of collagen, but can be beneficial when combined with other types.
The health benefits of type IV collagen include:
- Promote skin elasticity and natural glow
- Support skin cell adhesion
- Strengthen skin barrier
Type V collagen is prevalent in the cornea of your eyes, some layers of skin, and hair and tissue of placenta. Type V is important in the developmental stages of life, specifically the formation of our eyes. Studies have shown it is safe for pregnant women to consume collage, however, it is always important to ask your doctor first.
The health benefits of type V collagen include:
- Promote eye health
- Support cell membranes
- Support bone matrix
- Promote tissue found in placenta
To decide which type of collagen is right for you, it’s important to inform yourself of what each type of collagen can do. The types of collagen differ in their health benefits, where they are found in the body, and what food sources they come from. If you have more questions, join our Facebook Tribe Group and ask a health-minded community all of your burning questions!