What is collagen?
You may already know that collagen is the most abundant protein in our body; but did you know that there are 28 different types of collagens found in the human body? It’s one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It can also be found in many other parts of the body like teeth, corneas, and blood vessels. Proteins are made from amino acids. The main amino acids that make collagen are proline, glycine and hydroxyproline. These amino acids group together to form protein fibrils in a triple helix structure. Your body also needs the proper amount of vitamin C, Zinc, Copper and Manganese to make the triple helix.
What does collagen do?
Collagen’s main role is to provide structure, strength and support throughout your body.
Collagen’s specific roles include:
Helping fibroblasts to form in your dermis (middle skin layer), which helps new cells grow.
Playing a role in replacing dead skin cells.
Providing a protective covering for organs.
Giving structure, strength and elasticity to your skin.
Helping your blood to clot.
There are 5 types of collagens that are truly essential: Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, and Type V
Type 1 Collagen
This is the type of collagen that preserves the levels of collagen in your hair, skin, nails, tendons, organs and bones. Type I collagen makes up 90% of your body’s collagen.
Type I collagen has been found to be useful for:
Preventing and removing wrinkles
Hydrating your skin
Reducing cellulite and stretch marks
Losing weight, but a moderate amount and especially in non-obese people
The best sources for type I collagen are fish collagen or marine collagen, egg whites, bovine collagen peptides, protein-rich foods such as fish, beef, and bone broth.
In terms of supplements, the well-known “Collagen Peptides” are primarily composed of type I collagen.
Type 2 Collagen
Type II collagen is also commonly found in collagen supplements. It is the main component of cartilage and is extremely healthy for the skeletal system. This type of collagen has also been known to effectively treat joint pain. If you have joint pain or even if you are just an active person who relies on their joints, you may want to consider adding type II collagen to your diet.
The next most thoroughly researched of the different types of collagens is type II collagen and it has been found to be useful for:
Effectively alleviating arthritis
The best sources of type II collagen are bone broth, protein-rich foods like chicken and multi-collagen protein powder.
Type 3 Collagen
This is the second most prevalent type of collagen in our body after type I. It is generally found in reticular fibers, such as in the bone marrow. Type III collagen is usually found alongside type I collagen in the body.