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What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body making up 25%-35% of the total protein content. It helps give structure to hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments and tendons. It has been coined the “glue” that holds the body together.

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At least 16 – 28 different types of collagen have been identified (depending upon the source). Three primary types of collagen are used in collagen products. About 80-90 percent of the body’s collagen is comprised of Type I & III Collagen.

Collagen Types I & III

Proteins in these types include:

  • Alanine – amino acid used in the biosynthesis of proteins
  • Hydroxyproline – amino acid that plays an essential role in the collagen’s stability
  • Proline – non-essential amino acid sythesized from glycine and important in function of joints and tendons
  • Glycine – amino acid found at the highest levels in collagen

In most products, these two types of collagen are combined for the best health results.

Collagen Type I

This type is found in the eyes, skin, tendons, bone and teeth. It’s beneficial to rebuild muscles, eyes, bones and the spine as well as minimize fine lines/wrinkles, strengthen nails, grow thicker hair, heal gut/intestinal tract, and improve skin hydration and elasticity. Marine collagen is particularly rich in Collagen Type I. Other sources include bone broth and bovine collagen.

Collagen Type II

This type is produced by chondrocytes which is the non-cellular matrix of cartilage and is a liquid-like filling within the cartilage. It makes up the majority (50-60%) of the protein molecules in the cartilage. It is found in high amounts in the eyes and spine. Deterioration of cartilage causes joint pain, so this type is known to support the joints by reducing inflammation and pain. Another benefit is that it boosts the immune system. The best source for Type II Collagen is bone broth from chickens.

Collagen Type III

Type III Collagen is the second most abundant type. It is found in the arterial walls, muscles, blood vessels, bone marrow, intestines and uterus. It helps the gut to heal, improves skin elasticity and hydration, and supports cardiovascular health. It is found in bone broth and bovine collagen.

Collagen Type IV

Type IV may help filtration system in kidneys and offer protection to the brain.

Collagen Type V

Type V is found in the skin and in the placenta.