Collagen is one of this year’s most touted superfood supplements. Health food gurus credit this protein with the ability to improve skin and joint health while promoting graceful ageing. The best part is that collagen can be added to any beverage for a quick boost.
Despite all of the benefits offered by this protein, it’s only recently that researchers have started conducting studies into it. So far reports state that the human body naturally produces collagen and it’s actually the most predominant protein in our bodies. Studies also indicate that collagen comes in 24 different categories. Each category serves a unique function which gives you the opportunity to choose a type that best suits your needs.
The following is a list of the most popular types of collagen available:
Type I Collagen
Type I collagen is mostly used for its skin tightening and brightening properties by those who want to age gracefully. It also strengthens the nails, hair, bones and ligaments, which makes sense when you consider that these organs are all made of this type of collagen.
Studies that have been conducted on Type I collagen show that it has the ability to increase the skin’s moisture content, improve thickness, function and overall appearance.
Fish peptides are the most common form of Type I collagen and part of what makes it popular is the fact that it’s almost twice as bioavailable to the human body as bovine and chicken collagen. Type I collagen is used to make skin tightening creams and other topical cosmetic products.
Type II Collagen
Type II collagen is mainly sourced from chicken. This is what gives chicken broth and soup its powerful flu-healing properties. It boosts the immune system while supporting joint health. Type II collagen is also present in the gut lining where it helps regulate digestive health. Type II collagen is a great option for anyone that wants to strengthen the joints because it’s a major component of cartilage.
Type III Collagen
Type III collagen is what the body uses to build arterial walls responsible for protecting heart health. It works in conjunction with Type I collagen but is available in much smaller quantities. Similar to Type I collagen, Type III collagen helps strengthen bones and promote supple skin. Most people use these two proteins together in order to maximise their benefits.
Type III collage is typically derived from bovine (cow).
Type V And X Collagen
Type V and X collagen are not as widely used or well-known as the previous categories of this protein but this doesn’t mean that they’re not as important. In fact, both Type V and X collagen serve key bodily functions. For example, Type V collagen is credited with building cell membranes and placenta tissue (for women) and it’s sourced from eggshell membranes. On the other hand, Type X collagen is known for building strong bones and it can be sourced from both bovine and chicken sources. Collagen supplements that combine Type V and Type X collagen are rare but very potent, so they are worth making the investment.
What to Keep in Mind When You Shop
Taking a collagen supplement is a great way to support your immune system in order to build strong bones, promote healthy teeth and glowing, tight skin. However, in order to reap these benefits, you need to take a collagen supplement that combines several different types of this protein.
Unfortunately, most supplements only contain types I and III of the collagen protein which does offer some health benefits but not as comprehensive as a supplement that contains three or more types.
When you look at the packaging of a collagen supplement you’re likely to come across a label that says “hydrolysed.” This means that the different types of collagen present into the bottle have been broken down into peptides for ease of absorption.
Collagen supplements contain vitamin C as well because it’s a nutrient that facilitates collagen synthesis. If you purchase a collagen supplement without vitamin C make sure to purchase a vitamin C supplement that you can take with your collagen in order to maximise the results you get.