Collagen Family? Which Of The 5 Common Types Is Best For You?

types of collagen

As of today, there are around 28 collagen types and according to a study from France, 14 types of collagen have been well studied. All of these have collagen fibril that makes up their structure. 

But, what makes these types of collagen different from one another?

In this article, we will have an overview of collagen peptides and their types, how they work, and the benefits they provide.

Collagen Peptides: An Overview

According to a study from Wisconsin, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body.

In humans, ⅓ of this collagen is made from protein, specifically the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline.

Generally, collagen makes up the cartilage, bone, and skin. Moreover, there is endogenous collagen and exogenous collagen.

The former is the one naturally produced in the body and the latter comes from supplements and foods.

According to a study from Austria, due to aging and other factors like exposure to UV rays, smoking, excess alcohol, and lack of sleep, natural collagen production declines.

This is the reason why people start to use collagen supplements.

Vitamin C and Collagen Synthesis

There is a correlation between vitamin C and collagen synthesis.

According to a study from New York, vitamin C is needed to stimulate the synthesis and maintenance of collagen.

It also binds collagen fibers together and regenerates vitamin E. 

In another study from France, it was reported that both collagen and vitamin C are pro-vitamins for the skin.

They work together to enhance their effects on skin health.

Different Types of Collagen

Collagen powder

Most of the different types of collagen are formulated as hydrolyzed collagen to improve their absorption and digestion in the body.

In this section, the common types of collagen will be elaborated on.

1) Type I Collagen

Of all collagen family forms, type I collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body.

According to a study from Malaysia, type I collagen accounts for 90% of collagen, and this collagen type I is usually found in the following:

  • Hair, skin, and nails
  • Eyes
  • Ligaments and tendons
  • Organs
  • Blood vessels
  • Bones

Based on a study from the United Kingdom, the peak production of type I collagen in the body is around 25-34 years old.

After this period, collagen type I production gradually decreases.

This is the reason why skin sagging, wrinkles, and thinning of hair can be observed.

If you wonder where you can get type I collagen, you can consider beef, bone broth, and egg shells. Take note that marine collagen is also suitable if you wish to take supplements instead.

Moreover, if you are a health enthusiast and you frequent the gym, you should always have enough type I collagen in your body. Remember, type I collagen is associated with fracture healing.

Consistent with a study from Turkey, type I collagen is the most effective one in terms of bone healing.

This is because type I collagen can increase the levels of inflammatory cytokines in the body.

According to a study from France, marine collagen can stimulate the synthesis of natural collagen, and compared to other collagen supplements, marine collagen demonstrates higher absorption rates and bioavailability.

2) Type II Collagen

Another type of collagen includes type II collagen.

According to a study from California, type II collagen promotes joint health, immune function, and gut health. Generally, type II collagen can be found in the following:

  • Joints
  • Cartilage
  • Gut lining

Apart from these, type II collagen is also the structural component of the ear, nose, and bronchial tubes.

Take note that type II collagen is less packed than type I. In addition to this, studies about type II collagen are limited. 

Generally, cartilage is the connective tissue that protects the ends of long bones at the joints. If you have weak joint cartilage, you might be at risk of osteoarthritis and other joint-related health issues.

If you wonder what foods are rich in type II collagen, you can consider collagen chicken and bone broth as well.

Moreover, take note that chicken collagen is also rich in hyaluronic acid.

Remember, this collagen type comes in chicken. If you have any allergies to this food, seek out medical consultation before taking collagen supplements that contain this collagen type.

3) Type III Collagen

Generally, type III collagen is the second most abundant in the body and it helps intestinal health, aids muscle structure, and promotes healthy blood clotting.

Additionally, type III collagen can be found in the following:

  • Organs
  • Arteries
  • Structure of muscles

Type III collagen is designed to support healthy skin. It is also associated with bovine collagen.

To understand better, bovine collagen is mainly derived from the bones and skin of cows.

According to some experts, collagen supplements that contain type III collagen are used to help fight inflammation.

However, there are only specific areas in the body where this collagen acts effectively.

If you wonder what foods are rich in type III collagen, you might want to consider beef, bone broth, and fish.

4) Type V Collagen

Moving on, we also have this collagen type V in the body and this collagen is responsible for supporting neonatal development, enhancing eye health, and regulating collagen fibers.

Generally, type V collagen is mostly found in the placenta of an expecting mother and cornea.

According to a study from Japan, during pregnancy, this collagen is also responsible for forming cell membranes and making the uterus more rigid.

In the eyes, collagen type V is used to maximize the transition of light and support corneal stroma. 

If you wonder where this collagen can be found, it is usually sourced in egg shells and multi collagen protein powder.

Take note that many collagen supplements contain this collagen.

Thus, you should know how to choose the best one especially if you have special health needs.

5) Type X Collagen

The last common type of collagen is type X. This collagen plays an important role in joints, bones, and connective tissues.

Like the other types, collagen X can also be found in chicken and egg shells.

Type X collagen is also known as the network-forming collagen, and, according to a study from Florida, this collagen found in egg shells can reduce joint discomfort and improve the appearance of crow’s feet and skin tone after 4 and 8 weeks, respectively.

Benefits of Collagen Supplements

The use of a collagen supplement offers many health benefits, and in this section, we will have a brief discussion about the beneficial effects a collagen supplement can offer.

1) Support skin health

The main use of a collagen supplement is to reduce skin aging and increase skin elasticity. When skin aging occurs, you start to experience wrinkles and sagging skin. 

According to a study from the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, the use of a collagen supplement for skin care can increase dermal collagen density, increase skin hydration, and speeds up wound healing without causing any side effects.

Sometimes, a collagen supplement is also used to treat acne breakout but more research is needed to support this phenomenon.

2) Improve joint health

Collagen is very prevalent in your connective tissues.

According to a study from China, a collagen supplement works by maintaining the integrity of your cartilage and preventing the risk of developing osteoarthritis. 

Based on a clinical review from Mexico, collagen can effectively improve joint stiffness by lowering inflammation.

Interestingly, at a low dose, these effects can already be observed.

In this study, it was reported that consuming 10 grams of collagen per day can already offer pain relief.

3) Prevents bone loss

Collagen loss is associated with bone formation. If you do not have enough collagen in the body, you are most at risk of bone loss.

According to a study from France, human bones are mostly made of collagen, and as you age, your bone formation is reduced.

This is because you can experience reduced bone mineral density due to bone breakdown. 

In another study from Austria, it was reported that having low mineral bone density can increase your risk of bone fracture.

Eventually, when you get bone injuries, your healing process is reduced. 

If you are taking calcium supplements, you can try taking collagen together with these supplements to achieve better effects.

Remember, both of these two can effectively prevent bone breakdown.

4) Increase muscle mass

Collagen is also important in the development and maintenance of skeletal muscle.

This is the reason why patients with sarcopenia or muscle mass loss take collagen products to improve their symptoms and prevent premature muscle wasting.

Based on a study from Germany, participants who took 15 grams of collagen while exercising were able to increase their muscle mass and muscle strength within 12 weeks.

This means there is also a potential for collagen to promote healthy muscle growth.

For bodybuilders, it is natural to think that collagen protein can replace whey protein. However, this is not the case.

Although collagen protein offers beneficial effects on muscle mass, it does not give the optimum benefits whey protein can give.

5) Support heart health

Collagen is also found in arteries and this is the main reason why this protein can support cardiovascular health. 

According to a study from Japan, collagen can make arteries more flexible and elastic, increase good cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, or the build-up of fats in your arteries.

Final Thoughts

When you think of collagen, there is a broader concept you should consider.

Collagen comes in different types and each of these types is found in different parts of the body. 

Moreover, each of these types also has different responsibilities.

Some types are for the joints, bones, and connective tissues while others are for the arteries, eyes, cell membranes, and placenta. 

As you age, your body’s collagen stores decrease. Fortunately, the use of collagen products can help you out.