If you’ve heard that there are different types of collagen, you may be wondering which type is most beneficial. Here’s what you need to know.
Collagen’s health benefits are catching on, and as they do, more and more people are diving deeper into the science behind collagen nutrition. You may have heard by now that there are a number of different “types” of collagen. Put simply, these different types are essentially representative of the area of the body from which the collagen was sourced. While there are many different collagen types, types I, II and II are the most common types of collagen you’ll find in supplements. Here’s what they’re all about.
Type I Collagen
Type I collagen is the most prevalent type of collagen in the body. This is the type of collagen you’re probably thinking about if you’re interested in preserving the levels of collagen in your skin, hair or nails. It is worth noting that, like all types of collagen, levels of type I collagen begin to decline after about age 25. Because it is so prevalent in the connective tissues, we often see the decrease of type I collagen resulting in characteristics such as sagging skin, fine lines, brittle nails and thinning hair.
But type I collagen isn’t just a beauty-related substance. It’s also a major component of the tendons, organs and bones. This makes it a vital component of any diet or wellness routine, particularly if you’re intent on staying active as you age.
Type II Collagen
Another common collagen type to find in supplements is type II collagen. Though somewhat less prevalent in the body than type I, type II collagen is extremely important. It is the main component of cartilage, which is extremely healthy for the skeletal system, as well as for active people who need to rely on their joints. People who exercise regularly, want to support their mobility or have concerns about their joints as they age will absolutely want to get type II collagen into their diet.
Type III Collagen
Perhaps the most confusing type of collagen is type III collagen. This type of collagen is also known as reticulate collagen, and forms the basis of reticular fibers. Reticular fibers provide support for the body’s tissues, especially the organs. Type III collagen is generally found alongside type I collagen. As a result, this duo is usually found in tandem when you take a collagen supplement or eat a collagen-rich food.
Best Sources of Collagen
There are many types of collagen protein, but types I, II and III are the most commonly discussed in terms of diet and supplements. You can get these healthy proteins in your diet by consuming bone-infused foods, such as eating cartilage directly off the bone, consuming bone-in fish, eating organ meats or drinking bone broth.
An even easier way to top up your collagen levels is by taking a whole-food collagen supplement. Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides and Marine Collagen are rich in types I and III. If you’re more interested in a nourishing source of type II collagen, Vital Proteins’ Cartilage Collagen will do the trick.