Collagen is a vital structural protein found in the body. There are 28 different types of collagen, making up 30% of the total protein in the body. It has benefits for the skin and joints, helping to fight signs of aging. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen which leads to wrinkles and other signs of aging. Fortunately, there are now several types of collagen supplements available that can help promote healthier-looking skin. But what type of collagen is best for skin?
In this blog post, we will explore six main types of collagen – Type I, II, III, IV, V, and X – so that you can make an informed decision when choosing a supplement for your skin health needs. We will learn about the distinctive skin benefits that set types I and III apart from the others.
Overview of Collagen Types I-V and X
An overview of the main types of collagen are;
1. Type I Collagen – Most Prevalent in the Human Body, including the skin and hair
2. Type II Collagen – Found in Cartilage and Supports Joint Health
3. Type III Collagen – Often Found Alongside Type I in Skin, Blood Vessels, and Internal Organs (e.g. uterus)
4. Type IV Collagen – Found in the Basement Membrane and Supports Skin Structure
5. Type V Collagen – Typically Found in the placenta, the eyes (cornea), and embryonic tissues.
6. Type X Collagen – Rarely Found in Humans but Extremely Strong and Flexible, and Plays a Role in Bone Formation
Type I Collagen
Type I collagen is the most prevalent type in the human body, making up around 80-90% of the total collagen. It is found in skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments as well as other connective tissues.
Type I collagen SUPPLEMENTS are typically derived from bovine and marine sources and work to improve skin health by increasing elasticity, reducing wrinkles, and helping to heal wounds. It can also help support joint health and alleviate joint pain.
Type II Collagen
Type II collagen on the other hand is mainly found in cartilage and plays a crucial role in maintaining joint health. Type II collagen, along with chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid help to provide cushioning and shock absorption to the joints.
Type II collagen SUPPLEMENTS are typically derived from marine sources, such as chicken sternum cartilage, chicken bone broth, and shark cartilage. They can help improve joint health, reduce inflammation, and provide relief from joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Type III Collagen
Type III collagen is often found alongside type I collagen in the skin, blood vessels, and internal organs (e.g. uterus). This type of collagen helps support and maintain the skin’s structure, as well as the strength of blood vessels and internal organs.
Type III collagen SUPPLEMENTS are typically derived from bovine sources, such as bone broth. They can help improve skin health by increasing elasticity, reducing wrinkles, and healing wounds.
Type IV Collagen
Type IV collagen is found in the basement membrane – a thin layer of cells that sits between different layers of tissue to provide support and structure. It supports the structure of the skin and provides strength and flexibility to the connective tissue that links muscles, organs, and bones together.
Although type IV collagen is primarily found in the skin, it is not commonly included in collagen supplements.
Type V Collagen
Type V collagen is typically found in conjunction with collagen type I. Type V collagen is located near the basement membrane of the skin and in collagen fibers. It helps to organize collagen fibrils, acts like a scaffold that holds the fibers together, and to which the cells adhere. It is also typically found in the lungs (e.g. bronchi and bronchioles), the placenta, the eyes (cornea), and embryonic tissues.
Multi-collagen SUPPLEMENTS often contain Type V collagen, which is usually sourced from eggshells. Type V collagen is important for regulating the development of collagen fibers, neonatal growth, and promoting good eye health.
Type X Collagen
Type X collagen is rarely found in humans but is extremely strong and flexible, making it ideal for bone formation in articular cartilage. It is part of the cartilage matrix that forms the cartilage template for bone growth into adulthood.
Collagen SUPPLEMENTS that contain Type X collagen are typically derived from chicken and eggshell sources and can help to improve joint health by rebuilding cartilage, restoring elasticity, and providing cushioning. It is important to note that this type of collagen supplement should be taken in conjunction with other types of collagen for optimal results.
Comparison between Bovine and Marine Collagen Sources
When it comes to collagen supplements, two of the most common sources are bovine and marine.
One advantage of bovine collagen is that it contains higher levels of type I and III collagen, which are important for skin health. Bovine collagen also tends to be less expensive than marine collagen, making it a more accessible option for many consumers.
On the other hand, marine collagen is considered to be more easily absorbed by the body due to its smaller molecular size. Additionally, marine collagen is rich in type I collagen, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin as well as strong bones and tendons.
Another benefit of marine collagen is that it is a sustainable source, as many types of fish are abundant and often considered a renewable resource. Some marine collagen supplements are also derived from the parts of the fish that are typically discarded, such as the skin and scales, making it a more environmentally-friendly option.
Ultimately, the choice between bovine and marine collagen may depend on a variety of factors, including individual preferences and dietary restrictions. However, both types of collagen can be effective in improving skin health, supporting joint mobility, and promoting overall wellness.
Types of Collagen That are Beneficial for Skin Health and Aging
The most beneficial collagens for skin health, particularly aging skin, are Type I and Type III.
Bovine collagen, which is derived from cows, is rich in these types of collagen. Type I collagen makes up 80 – 90% of the skin’s dermal layer and provides structure and elasticity to the skin, promoting a youthful appearance. It can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin hydration, and increase skin firmness.
Type III collagen, on the other hand, is crucial for skin elasticity and is often found in conjunction with Type I collagen in the skin. As the body ages, the production of both types of collagen decrease, leading to sagging and wrinkled skin.
Marine collagen, although it is richer in Type I collagen, is also a great source of collagen for overall skin health. Its smaller molecular size allows it to be more easily absorbed by the body, making it an effective supplement for promoting skin hydration and improving skin texture.
In summary, both bovine and marine collagen can be effective in improving skin health and reducing the signs of aging, particularly Type I and Type III collagens.
Safety Considerations When Taking Collagen Supplements
Collagen supplements are generally considered safe since they are just like the proteins that you get from eating protein-rich foods. However, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind when taking them.
First and foremost, it is important to choose a reputable brand that uses high-quality ingredients and follows good manufacturing practices. Look for supplements that have been independently tested for purity and efficacy by third-party organizations, such as NSF International or the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).
It is also important to follow the recommended dosage instructions on the supplement label. Taking too much collagen may lead to digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
Individuals who have allergies or sensitivities to certain foods should also be cautious when taking collagen supplements. Some supplements may contain allergens such as shellfish, egg, or soy, so be sure to read the ingredient list carefully.
Another safety consideration is the potential for interactions with other medications or supplements. Collagen supplements may interact with blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin or aspirin, as well as with supplements that have blood-thinning properties, such as fish oil or ginkgo biloba. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before taking collagen supplements if you are taking any medications or supplements.
Lastly, collagen supplements are considered to be safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women and children. However, you should consult with a healthcare provider before taking collagen supplements, as there is limited research on the safety of these supplements in these populations.
Five Tips on Choosing a High-Quality Product for Skin Health
When it comes to choosing a high-quality collagen supplement, there are several factors to consider beyond just the type of collagen it contains.
Here are five tips to help you choose the best product for you:
1. Source of Collagen:
As mentioned earlier, collagen can be derived from different sources. Bovine collagen is typically sourced from cows, while marine collagen is derived from fish. It’s important to choose a product that sources its collagen from high-quality, sustainable sources. Look for products that are transparent about their sourcing and production processes.
2. Type of Collagen:
Type I and III collagen are the most beneficial for skin health and aging. Ensure that the product you choose contains a sufficient amount of these types of collagen.
3. Purity and Efficacy:
Choose a supplement that has been independently tested for purity and efficacy by a third-party organization such as NSF International or the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). This ensures that the product contains what it claims and is free of harmful contaminants.
4. Additional Ingredients:
Some collagen supplements may contain additional ingredients like vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants that further support skin health. Look for products that contain these additional ingredients but be sure to check the dosage and safety of these ingredients.
The price of collagen supplements can vary greatly. While a higher price doesn’t necessarily guarantee the quality, avoid buying the cheapest option available. Quality products often come at a higher price point.
By considering these factors, you can choose a high-quality collagen supplement that is both safe and effective. Always consult with a healthcare provider before taking any new supplement, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications.
Concluding Remarks & Key Takeaway
Overall, when it comes to choosing a collagen supplement for skin health, type I and III are the best options. Be sure to look for products that source their collagen from high-quality sources and contain additional ingredients like vitamins or minerals, which can further support skin health. Remember to follow all dosage instructions listed on the product label and consult with your healthcare provider before taking any new supplement. With these tips in mind, you should be able to find a safe and effective collagen supplement that meets your needs.
If you have any questions or comments about selecting the appropriate collagen supplement for the health of your skin, please feel free to share them below!
Disclaimer: The content in this article is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and should not be taken as such. Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements or medications.