Rejuvenated skin, glowing hair, resilient nails that won't chip or break. And if that wasn't already enough, you can build muscle or lose weight with it too.
So what's the "it" we're talking about here? That would be collagen, aka one of the hottest supplements out there in the market.
The thing is, there are many different types of collagen (28 to be exact), so it can get a little confusing on what's really important. To provide some clarity, we're breaking down 5 of the most common collagen types.
By the time you're done reading this post, you'll know exactly which types of collagen are best for you and your health goals. We've also thrown in a few ways on how you can naturally increase your collagen levels.
So, without further ado, let's dive in.
What Is Collagen?
Roughly 30% of the protein in your body comes from collagen, making it the most abundant protein in your body.
Collagen comes from the Greek word "glue," which definitely fits, considering it's used to produce connective tissue. It plays a major role in the strength of your skin, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
Collagen also contains amino acids, which are the fundamental building blocks of protein, and provide you with energy, immune support, and digestive support, among other things.
Starting at around age 30, your body's collagen production starts to decline, which can rear its ugly head through wrinkly or dry skin, brittle nails, and weak bones or stiff joints.
That's why supplements like collagen powder have become so popular. They're a quick and convenient way to get a collagen boost. Benefits in your skin, nails, hair, and joints have been well documented for those who take collagen supplements. It's also dairy-free, and has been shown to be a useful tool for building muscle and losing weight.
What Are the 5 Different Types of Collagen?
We mentioned this before, but there are 28 different types of collagen. Rather than put you to sleep running down every single one, we're going to focus on the most common ones. Those are type I, type II, type III, type V, and type X.
So let's run down the 5 main types of collagen and their functions.
Type I Collagen
This is the most abundant type of collagen found in your body, representing about 90% of your natural collagen supply. It's typically found in bovine or fish collagen supplements.
If you're mainly looking for the beauty-boosting benefits of collagen, then type I is where you want to start. But improving wrinkly skin, thinning hair, and brittle nails aren't all it does. It also plays a key role in the strength of your bones, tendons, and even your blood vessel walls.
Type II Collagen
If you live an active lifestyle, it may be worth your while to incorporate more type II into your diet. Type II collagen is the primary element of cartilage, giving it the strength and flexibility to support your joints.
Supplements containing chicken collagen can be a great source of type II collagen. Chondroitin and glucosamine (two compounds in chicken collagen) are both are fantastic for your joints.
Type III Collagen
Type III collagen is the second most abundant type of collagen found in your body. It teams up with type I collagen to heal your gut and hydrate your skin. You'll find type III collagen in grass-fed bovine products.
While there isn't as much research out there on type III collagen specifically as there is for types I and II, the research that's out there definitely demonstrates the benefits of type III collagen. Studies show that type III collagen declines in your skin more with age than type I collagen, which suggests type III plays a greater role in giving your skin that youthful look we all crave.
Type V and Type X Collagen
Type V collagen mostly relates to eye health, as it's found naturally in the cornea. It can also be found in the tissue of a woman's placenta, and it helps to create cell membranes. Type X collagen is key to bone formation, and you'll also see it in joint cartilage.
Want to Increase Your Collagen Naturally? Here's How
- You can get collagen from natural foods, such as chicken, fish and shellfish, egg whites, citrus fruits, and leafy greens. But since collagen in its purest form comes from the bones, cartilage, and tendons of animals, another solid option is bone broth.
- Fill up on foods high in Vitamin C (like oranges, kiwifruit, and red or green bell peppers).
- Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. They help preserve your body's collagen and have many other benefits, such as reducing inflammation, reducing your risk of heart disease, and improving brain function. Some of the best sources of omega 3's are fatty fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, and tuna.
Do You Need Collagen in Your Life?
The correct answer is an emphatic, without a doubt, yes! And now that you've learned all about the different types of collagen, you know which ones will help you meet your health goals.
Be sure to check out PaleoPro's wide assortment of collagen supplements:
- Premium Multi-Collagen: With a whopping 19g of protein and just 70 calories per serving, this multi-collagen blend contains the 5 powerhouse types of collagen aimed at supporting healthy skin, hair, nails, and joints.
- Grass-Fed Bone Broth Collagen: If you're in the mood for some hot chocolate, or a delicious vanilla shake, try our bone broth collagen. It contains 16g of protein in just 70 calories per serving.
- Protein + Multi-Collagen Blend: Think if protein powder and collagen had a baby. You get 20g of "real food" protein, with all the collagen goodness, at just 90 calories per serving.
Or, if you want a hand in creating your own supplements, just use our custom creations tool. Go ingredient by ingredient and flavor by to create the ultimate custom blend tailored to your individual diet, tastes, goals, and lifestyle!
About the Author:
Chad Richardson is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, OH. When he's not behind his computer, you'll most likely find Chad getting his Arnold Schwarzenegger on at the gym. That, or he's on Netflix trying to find a new show with multiple seasons of at least 10 episodes each.
The information contained in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any conditions or diseases.