The 5 Main Types of Collagen and Their Benefits

The 5 Main Types of Collagen and Their Benefits

Let’s talk about a popular protein we all know and love: Collagen.

It’s no secret that your body needs protein for several aspects of your health. I mean, everything in your body is made of different proteins in some capacity.

Protein is found in every one of your cells. This includes your organs, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, skin, and much more.

These different types of proteins found in your body are basically endless too. Some are more abundant, and some are less abundant. However, one protein you’ll find more than any other is collagen.

Throughout this article, I’m going to teach you about the different types of collagen. But first, let's start with the basics.

For starters, what exactly is collagen?

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in your body, accounting for about 30–40% of the body’s total protein.

Collagen plays a major role in our health, and that's something we don’t think about often. Collagen is like the ‘glue’ that holds our bodies together. In fact, the word “collagen” comes from the ancient Greek word κόλλα (kolla), which means “glue.”

Now, not all proteins have the same functions. That’s the beauty of proteins actually; they’re extremely versatile.

The differences between proteins ultimately come down to their amino acid profiles. Collagen, for example, has more proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline than many other proteins.

This happens to be why it’s important to consume different types of proteins ... It gives your body a wider range of materials to build and maintain different tissues.

Here's where things may get confusing. Believe it or not, there is more than just one type of collagen. If you're wondering what these are, and how each can help support your body, keep reading.

5 Main Types of Collagen

Collagen comes in several different types, 28 of which have been identified so far. 

With that being said, most of the collagen in your body consists of types I, II, and III. Collagen types V and X aren’t as common, but can also help promote key body functions.

These are also the most common types of collagen you'll find in collagen supplements.

So, let's take a look at these five main types of collagen, what they do, and how they can be helpful for you!

Type I Collagen

Accounting for about 90% of the collagen in your body, type I collagen is essential. We need it for healthy bones, cartilage, blood vessels, ligaments, and nails. 

Oh yeah ... Don't forget about how important it is for your skin too! I’d be willing to bet that’s why most people use collagen supplements in the first place.

You see, our bodies actually naturally produce collagen. As we age though, collagen production begins to slow down. That's why it can be even more important to consume collagen protein as we get older.

Unfortunately, reduced levels of type I collagen in the skin can lead to unwanted signs of aging. Some of these signs include wrinkles, stretching, thinning, and dehydration of your skin. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it's safe to say nobody wants these things!

Type I collagen also promotes healthy muscle growth (1). Now, it’s not going to help to the same extent that complete protein sources do, but it does play a role!

When it comes to finding type I collagen, there are a few rich sources. Marine collagen from seafood is one, while beef bone broth is another great source.

Type II Collagen

For joint health and immune system support, type II collagen is the way to go.

Type II collagen makes up the majority of the protein in your cartilage. This could be why type II collagen can be helpful for joint health. It has even been shown to reduce inflammation and joint pain in animals with osteoarthritis (2).

But type II collagen's benefits don't stop there. It also plays a role in our gut lining, so it can be good for gut health too. Since the majority of your immune system stems from the gut (3), it can also support a healthy immune system.

So, where can you find type II collagen? Well, you can actually find a good amount of type II collagen in chicken.

Type III Collagen

Type III collagen tends to work side by side with type 1 collagen. You'll find it in cartilage, tendons, bones, skin, and more. It’s also a major part of hollow organs like large blood vessels and your intestines. 

Type III collagen is important for gut health, blood clotting, and wound healing too. Who knew collagen did this much?!

Chicken, pork, and beef are all good sources of type III collagen. Bone broth happens to be another good source when it comes to type III collagen as well.

Type V Collagen

Compared to the other types of collagen, type V is very interesting. For one, it's involved in the formation of type I and type III collagen in your body. We already know why these types of collagen can be so important.

On top of that, type V collagen may also help in the development of several internal organs. This includes the lungs, liver, and even the formation of cell membranes. 

It’s even essential to a healthy placenta in pregnant women. So while many websites focus on the benefits of types I, II, and III collagen, type V can also be very important.

You can find type V collagen in egg membranes, but cooking the eggs denatures these membranes. So, the easiest way to get more type V collagen is through supplementation.

Type X Collagen

Last but not least, we have type X collagen. Type X collagen is crucial in healthy bone formation, and it’s found in high amounts in growth plates.

For this reason, type X can be essential for healthy growth in young children. Not only that, but type X can be important in repairing bone after an injury.

This collagen also works with types I and II to promote healthy joint function. If you're curious where you can find type X collagen, eggs and chicken are both great sources.

As you can see, all these different types of collagen work together in different ways. But, who knew there were so many types of collagen?

Now, other than eating the foods I mentioned, are there other ways to get these diverse types of collagen? There actually are!

How To Get More Collagen

Like I said earlier, natural collagen production slows down as we get older.

Eating too much sugar (5), smoking tobacco (4), and overexposing your skin to harmful UV rays (5) can further speed up collagen loss as well. Avoiding these things could prove useful in slowing down the rate at which you lose collagen.

With that being said, there are also steps you can take to support natural collagen production.

For one, adhering to a diet that's rich in vitamin C and copper can help your body produce collagen. Eating protein sources like meat, poultry, and seafood can also help you maintain healthy levels of collagen.

Another good practice can be using a diverse and high-quality collagen supplement. A lot of people will take collagen supplements for the hair, skin, and nail benefits alone. I mean, what better way to get more collagen than to supplement with straight collagen?

Collagen Supplements & What To Look For

Using a collagen supplement can promote healthy skin, hair, nails, joints, and much more. When it comes to collagen supplements though, not all are created equal.

One thing I generally recommend is looking for a hydrolyzed collagen supplement. Hydrolyzed collagen is extremely bioavailable. This just means your body can absorb and use it easily.

For a full array of potential benefits, make sure the collagen you pick out is diverse too. When I say diverse, I mean it contains a blend of the different types of collagen to suit your personal needs.

Now, most collagen supplements come in a powder. On top of that, several of them come in flavors that actually taste pretty great in water and even coffee!

While most people use collagen supplements to benefit their hair, skin, and nails ... That’s not to say there can't be other benefits too. Again, this will have to do with the specific blend you find in the collagen supplement.

I would argue that the other benefits are often unsung and less appealing. However, that doesn't make them any less important!

Try 1st Phorm Collagen with Dermaval

If you are looking for a collagen supplement, 1st Phorm Collagen with Dermaval is a great option.

Why? Well, this collagen offers a complete source of all five major collagen types (I, II, III, V, and X). It also comes hydrolyzed and paired with Dermaval: a phytonutrient-rich complex.

Dermaval can improve the firmness and elasticity of skin by supporting healthy levels of elastin. Elasticity refers to your skin’s ability to return to its original shape after being stretched. That's why maintaining elastin can help prevent wrinkles over time. 

Since most people use collagen for healthy skin, dermaval is a great addition! Plus, Collagen with Dermaval is offered in several delicious flavors.

If you have any other questions about collagen, don't hesitate to reach out! At 1st Phorm, we're here to help real people get real and long-term results. That's why we have a full staff of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Nutrition Coaches you can talk to any time.

Just send us an email at CustomerService@1stPhorm.com or give us a call at 1-800-409-9732. We'll be here to help from 6 AM to 10 PM Central every day!

If you're ready to give the benefits of collagen a go, whether it's for your hair, skin, nails, joints or overall health ... you can shop Collagen with Dermaval here!

We also offer a naturally-sweetened version of our collagen as well: Collagen Natural with Dermaval.

References:

(1) Oertzen-Hagemann V, Kirmse M, Eggers B, Pfeiffer K, Marcus K, de Marées M, Platen P. Effects of 12 Weeks of Hypertrophy Resistance Exercise Training Combined with Collagen Peptide Supplementation on the Skeletal Muscle Proteome in Recreationally Active Men. Nutrients. 2019 May 14;11(5):1072. doi: 10.3390/nu11051072. PMID: 31091754; PMCID: PMC6566884.

(2) Orhan C, Juturu V, Sahin E, Tuzcu M, Ozercan IH, Durmus AS, Sahin N, Sahin K. Undenatured Type II Collagen Ameliorates Inflammatory Responses and Articular Cartilage Damage in the Rat Model of Osteoarthritis. Front Vet Sci. 2021 Mar 4;8:617789. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.617789. PMID: 33748207; PMCID: PMC7970046.

(3) Wiertsema SP, van Bergenhenegouwen J, Garssen J, Knippels LMJ. The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies. Nutrients. 2021 Mar 9;13(3):886. doi: 10.3390/nu13030886. PMID: 33803407; PMCID: PMC8001875.

(4) Knuutinen A, Kokkonen N, Risteli J, Vähäkangas K, Kallioinen M, Salo T, Sorsa T, Oikarinen A. Smoking affects collagen synthesis and extracellular matrix turnover in human skin. Br J Dermatol. 2002 Apr;146(4):588-94. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2002.04694.x. PMID: 11966688.

(5) Danby FW. Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):409-11. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.018. PMID: 20620757.

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