Types of Collagen: Which One is Right for You? - Amandean

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February 22, 2022 6 min read

In this article:

  • What is collagen?
  • Health benefits of collagen
  • Structure & function of the primary types of collagen
  • Which collagen supplement is best for you?

What is Collagen?

So before we get into the specific types, what exactly is collagen? For one, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. In fact, collagen makes up about a third of all the protein in our bodies, and it's found in everything from skin to bones.

Collagen is primarily concentrated in connective tissues that hold the body together and provide stability. Body parts containing collagen include: 

  • tendons
  • ligaments
  • cartilage
  • skin
  • bones
  • teeth
  • blood vessels
  • organs

Collagen is a fibrous protein. Proteins are classified based on their shape and structure as globular or fibrous. While globular proteins are spherical, mobile, and play roles in biological processes, fibrous proteins help provide structure.

Collagen is composed of three protein strands twisted together like a rope, also known as a triple helix.  Each collagen strand is composed of the amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, lysine, and arginine. 

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. In collagen, these amino acids are used to construct collagen fibers that are then bundled into collagen fibrils. The collagen fibrils help hold cells together, providing strength to collagen-based tissues. 

Health Benefits

As you age, collagen production slows down which causes collagen structures to weaken.  This makes us more susceptible to the effects of aging such as bone and joint pain, collagen degradation, and wrinkled skin. Collagen decline can lead to a variety of health problems, including the following:

  • accelerated wrinkling
  • decreased collagen in bones and joints 
  • loss of collagen from teeth and gums leading to gum disease and tooth loss
  • eye issues 
  • heart disease 
  • high blood pressure/high blood sugar
  • osteoporosis

Collagen supplements can help promote collagen synthesis in the body, helping collagen structures stay strong and healthy. As collagen synthesis increases, collagen-based tissues become stronger and better able to support the body. 

Health benefits of collagen include:

  • Stronger collagen structures in the body
  • Reduced joint pain 
  • Increased collagen synthesis 
  • Improved hair, nail, and skin health 
  • Decreased wrinkled appearance on face and hands 

Structure & Function of the Primary Types of Collagen

Now let's explore the first five types of collagen. Incidentally, collagen types are named using Roman numerals. The collagen types make up varying structures within the body and each has its own function. 

Type I Collagen

Type I collagen is created by about 25% of the collagen-producing cells (fibroblasts) and makes up an estimated 80-90% of the collagen found in the human body.

Collagen I provides structure to collagen-based tissues, maintaining strength and flexibility where needed. These tissues include bones, skin, and tendons, as well as organs like the lungs, heart, kidneys, and stomach lining.

Clinical studies have shown that collagen peptides improve skin health and signs of aging. In addition, collagen may support stronger tendons and ligaments for improved athletic performance.

Collagen I dietary supplements include collagen hydrolysate and collagen peptides. These are collagen molecules that have been broken down into smaller fragments for improved digestibility and greater bioavailability.

Choose a supplement containing type I collagen if you’re looking for health and beauty benefits such as: reducing fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin elasticity, speeding up wound healing, reducing the appearance of cellulite, strengthening skin and nails, and healing the gut lining. 

Type II Collagen

Type II collagen is the primary collagen found in cartilage and ligaments. It's more elastic and helps with joint function, reducing joint pain, and decreasing recovery time after exercise.

Some randomized double-blind trials have even found that supplementation with type II collagen leads to a decrease in swollen and tender joints in subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). 

Other research has shown that type II collagen supplements can help reduce joint pain in athletes. These effects could be especially beneficial long-term to prevent joint deterioration and injury in high-impact activities. 

Type II collagen is often sourced from chickens. These supplements are best used in combination with collagen type I and collagen type III supplementation.

The health benefits of supplements containing type II collagen may include building cartilage, reducing joint pain, whether due to arthritis, physical activity, and overall joint health. 

Type III Collagen

Type III collagen has a similar structure to type I collagen, but type III collagen molecules are twisted. Collagen type III is the second most abundant form of collagen in the body (following type I) and is found primarily in skin and blood vessels. It's also present in the bones of the spine, ribs, skull, and pelvis. 

Type III collagen is typically found in the body alongside type I and these two types have overlapping health benefits. Amandean marine collagen and premium grass-fed bovine collagen supplements both contain type I and type III collagen.

The major health benefits attributed to type III collagen supplements include supporting arterial walls and gut lining. Collagen type III is excellent for improving cardiovascular and skin health.

Type IV and V Collagen

Although they are found in much smaller amounts in the body and in supplements, let's take a look at collagen types IV and V. 

Type IV collagen is found in basement membranes, a thin layer of connective tissue supporting layers of epithelial tissues in muscle, fat, and nerve cells. It’s also part of collagen structures called desmosomes, which help cells adhere to each other. This collagen protein network is found in the dermis of the skin and between muscle fibers, binding cells together to provide structural support. 

When the body’s collagen type IV is healthy, it provides protection against environmental toxins. In addition, it helps increase collagen synthesis and improves collagen health for better nutrient absorption.

Finally, there's type V collagen. Type V collagen is found in the shell of red blood cells. Collagen type V plays a vital role in the bone matrix, the cornea of the eye, interstitial matrix of muscles, liver, lungs, and placenta. 

Type V collagen is essential for development. About 50% of patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) have a mutation in type V collagen which causes certain connective tissue diseases. 

Health and beauty benefits of types IV and V collagen include anti-aging properties for healthier skin, healthy blood vessels, collagen synthesis in bones and joints, and supporting collagen structure in the gut.

Which Collagen Supplement is Best for You?

Collagen is naturally found in animal skin, muscle, and bone. The best way to consume collagen through food sources is homemade bone broth. The source of collagen in supplements is typically from the skin or bones of fish, pigs, chickens, or cows. The two primary collagen supplements are: 

When choosing a collagen supplement, you want to ensure that it's sourced ethically, sustainably, and doesn't contain any contaminants or hormones. Double-check ingredients to ensure there aren't extra fillers, and look for hydrolyzed collagen supplements with high bioavailability. 

Amandean collagen supplements contain high-quality type I and type III collagen with 18 amino acids. Some of the benefits of Amandean collagen supplements include:

  • Quality ingredients: single source, all-natural raw ingredients.
  • Testing certifications: all products are rigorously tested for quality and packaged in a cGMP certified facility.
  • Sustainably sourced and traceable ingredients: Marine Collagen is sourced from wild-caught cod, and Premium Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides are from grass-fed, pasture-raised South American cattle.
  • Flavor and solubility: Amandean's collagen protein powders are odorless, tasteless, and hot and cold-soluble, making them easy to mix into beverages or incorporate into recipes.
  • Bioavailability: hydrolyzed collagen has been broken down into peptides (short chains of amino acids) for optimal bioavailability and absorption in the body. 

When a combination of collagen types is consumed, optimal collagen synthesis can occur for improved collagen structure in the body. In addition, vitamin C is a critical factor in collagen synthesis. Be sure to include Liposomal Vitamin C in your daily supplement routine. There are so many health benefits to collagen, be sure to visit the shop to find the collagen supplement that's right for you.

Summary Points:

  • Collagen makes up about a third of all the protein in our bodies, and it's found in everything from skin to bones

  • Collagen supplements can help promote collagen synthesis in the body, helping collagen structures stay strong and healthy

  • Collagen I provides structure to collagen-based tissues, maintaining strength and flexibility where needed

  • Type II collagen is the primary collagen found in cartilage and ligaments

  • Collagen type III is the second most abundant form of collagen in the body (following type I) and is found primarily in skin and blood vessels

  • Type IV collagen is found in basement membranes, a thin layer of connective tissue supporting layers of epithelial tissues in muscle, fat, and nerve cells

Article References:

  1. The Collagen Family. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3003457/

  2. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jocd.12174

  3. Effects of oral administration of type II collagen on rheumatoid arthritis. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8378772/

  4. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1185/030079908X291967

  5. Type IV Collagen. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128098479000040

  6. Type-V Collagen. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/type-v-collagen

  7. Biochemistry, Collagen Synthesis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507709/



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