Short on time? Here are the top five things you should know about collagen to help you decide what type and source of collagen are best for you and what benefits you can expect from taking collagen.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It supports the structure of our hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments, tendons and also supports our gut lining and muscle strength.
Type 1 is the most abundant collagen type. It’s in the connective tissue of skin, bones, teeth, and the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage that support joints. It’s also a contributing factor to healthy, strong hair.
Type 2: This type is primarily the protein found in cartilage.
Type 3: This is found alongside Type 1 and is also the connective tissue (reticular fiber) of our organs: liver, spleen, kidneys. It's also found in arteries, adipose tissue + bone marrow.
*Types 1-3 are the most prominent for “beauty” benefits!
Type 4: This type forms the net that supports cells. Basically, the basal lamina gives external support to your skin cells.
Type 5: Collagen 5 can be found in the bone matrix, cornea, and in the connective tissue that exists between the cells of blood vessels, eye, muscles, liver, lungs, and placenta.
Collagen most commonly comes from bovine (cow), porcine (pig), marine (mixed sea animals), or (single) fish sources. Unless a marine source specifies a single fish, assume it comes from multiple sources (Cofo collagen is from wild-caught Pollock - 100% fish). Just as you want to be picky about the quality of meat you purchase, be picky about the quality of animals your collagen comes from.
As women age, especially as we reach menopause, our natural production of estrogen declines. Estrogen is a bone strengthening hormone that helps prevent osteoporosis. Fortunately, collagen also has a bone-strengthening effect because it promotes bone marrow formation and helps maintain bone structure. Type 1 collagen is the most essential for bone formation and types 3 and 5 support bone health as well.
Compared to food sources of collagen such as bone broth and collagen protein supplements, collagen peptides are an easily digestible and absorbable form of collagen that relies less on variables such as your gut integrity, digestive function, and micronutrient status. Ultimately, peptides are a quick, usable source of collagen because of their small size. Plus, you can add them to your water, smoothies, soups, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. without evening noticing they’re there!