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Are you taking the right Collagen supplement?

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

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

  • Healing wounds

  • 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:

  • Bone health

  • Joint health

  • 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.

It is a major structural component in hollow organs such as large blood vessels, the uterus, and the bowel. Other functions of type III collagen include interacting with platelets in the blood clotting cascade and working as an important signaling molecule in wound healing.

The best sources of type III collagen are bovine collagen peptides, protein-rich foods like beef, fish, bone broth, collagen-protein powder, and egg whites.

Type 4 Collagen

Type IV collagen is a less common type of collagen; however, it is still essential. This collagen aids in the filtration of the kidneys and other organs. It also exists naturally as building blocks in different layers of the skin. These layers of skin often surround our muscles, organs, and fat cells. This type of collagen is also thought to be important for wound healing and the forming of an embryo.

The best sources of type IV collagen are egg whites and other protein-rich foods. Type IV collagen is very difficult to find in supplement form, so you should make sure to get it from your diet.

Type 5 Collagen

Type V collagen is the last of the five most important types of collagens. Like some other types of collagens, type V can be found in collagen fibrils — meaning long, very thin collagen fibers.

This fiber-like collagen is found in some layers of skin, hair, and most importantly the tissue of the placenta. Since the placenta is vital to providing growing embryos with nutrients and oxygen, type V collagen is considered a crucial protein to neonatal development.

Type V collagen is also found in the cornea of the eye. Deficiency of type V collagen has been associated with decreased transparency in the cornea, which means impacted vision and decreased overall eye health.

The best sources of type V collagen are multi-collagen protein powder and protein-rich foods like egg whites.

If you're eating a healthy diet and feeding your body all the nutrients it needs to make collagen, you probably don't need a collagen supplement. But, HEY! there's nothing wrong with incorporating one into your daily routine. You can find collagen supplements in the form of flavored or unflavored powder and capsules.

If you opt to take supplements for whatever reason, be sure that when looking at bovine, pork or poultry-sourced collagen, you see the words "pasture-raised" or "grass-fed" to guarantee that it’s from a good source.

Types I, II, and III are arguably the best types of collagens and the most common types of collagens you’ll find in supplements. But remember that all types of collagens are essential to the human body. They each work in unique ways to help your body function.

Does eating collagen-rich foods increase the collagen level in my body?

Collagen can’t be absorbed by your body in its whole form. Your body breaks down the collagen proteins you eat into amino acids. So, eating collagen-rich foods doesn’t directly result in higher collagen levels in your body.

Still, many foods that provide the raw ingredients that support collagen production can be eaten as part of

a healthy diet. These foods contain the amino acids proline and glycine. Vitamin C, Zinc and Copper are also needed for the process. Foods that contain these amino acids, vitamins and minerals include:

  • Vitamin C- Vitamin C is found in oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and potatoes.

  • Proline- Proline is found in mushrooms, cabbage, asparagus, peanuts, wheat, fish, egg whites and meat.

  • Glycine- Glycine is found in red meats, turkey, chicken and pork skin, peanuts and granola.

  • Copper- Copper is found in liver, lobster, oysters, shiitake mushrooms, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, tofu and dark chocolate.

  • Zinc- Zinc is found in oysters, red meat, poultry, pork, beans, chickpeas, nuts, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, whole grains and milk products.

What happens to collagen as we age?

As you age, your body starts producing less collagen. Low collagen levels can loosen your cartilage and tendon, shrink the follicles causing hair loss and make your skin thinner, drier, and less elastic. The collagen is also lower in quality than when you were younger. Women experience a significant reduction in collagen production after menopause.

It’s normal for everyone to experience a decline in collagen production after age 60. In addition to wellness supplements that nourish skin from under the surface, incorporating a luxurious skincare routine that strengthens and protects your complexion from the outside in is essential in radiant youthful looking skin.

If you’re on a mission to increase collagen production, skincare products can be powerful tools to add to your beauty arsenal! Here are a few of Rhonda Allison's heavy hitters for ramping up collagen production and boosting your glow factor.

Skin Care Products that help boost Collagen production for radiant skin:

C-Stem Cell- A hydrating, yet powerful vitamin C strengthening the immunity health of the skin, delivering antioxidants and increasing collagen for even the most sensitive pro youth skin!

Antiox 18 Complex- A blend of 18 powerful antioxidants, including glutathione (L), resveratrol and green tea, this hydrating, biopeptide formula delivers instant firming and toning action and provides superior free radical-fighting benefits. An excellent daytime protection serum, skin will notice immediate results – healthier, younger-looking skin and a luminous glow.

Age Less- Looking to age less? Our holistic blend of antioxidants reduces damage and inflammation caused from free radicals while mimosa bark and repairing plantain stem cells strengthen skin, replacing damaged collagen. This powerful serum addresses the negative effects of glycation and brightens skin tone for a vibrant and luminous look.

DNAge Reversal- Strengthen and protect from environmental damage and stress with oceanic ingredients to boost mitochondria protection, apple stem cells to repair damaged tissue and CoQ10 to protect from free radicals.

Luminous Balancing Serum- Refined grape seed oil and wild yam extract help balance menopausal skin while delivering lightweight hydration and antioxidant support.

Peptide Mito-Protect- This potent, peptide blend fights free-radicals, leaving skin smooth, soft and radiant. Stimulates collagen, reduces wrinkles and firms skin with powerful antioxidants, CoQ10 and spin trap.

Peptide 38- Our most powerful peptide complex. Stimulates collagen and elastin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and loss of firmness and elasticity. Skin will be transformed and left feeling firmed, toned and youthful looking.

Stem Cell A- An encapsulated vitamin A with reparative stem cells. Increases collagen and elastin, reduces wrinkles and firms to slow down skin aging. A lifestyle-friendly, must-have for pro youth skin.

ChronoPeptide A- Using an encapsulated vitamin A and formulated with collagen-synthesizing peptides and superior antioxidants, this powerful anti-aging complex reduces wrinkles and promotes firmer, brighter, younger-looking skin.

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