Let’s face it…. Choosing the right collagen is confusing.
Collagen is often referred to as the "glue" that holds our bodies together. It is the most abundant protein in the human body and plays a crucial role in maintaining the structural integrity of our skin, joints, bones, and various other connective tissues.
But with every ‘tom, dick and harry’ extoling the health virtues of this wonderous protein, how do you decipher the fact from fiction?
Should I take Type I, or maybe Type II, or then again someone told me I should take Type III. What do I do?
It’s all so confusing.
Is it marine collagen I should take, or maybe bovine? I don’t know! How do I make sense of the different types, and different sources? Which collagen do I choose for my ailment? Which one is the best for my joints, and which one do I choose for my skin? Its all so difficult!..... HELP!!
Okay, okay, let’s see if we can make this a lot simpler.
So first, what is meant by collagen ‘Type’?
Well, so far, scientists have discovered 28 different ‘types’ of collagen in the human body (and all mammals for that matter). They numbered these collagens from 1 to 28 using roman numerals (supposedly to make it simple). But for us ‘unscientific' people though, types I, II, and III are really all we need to know about as these correspond to 80%–90% of the total collagen found in the human body.
Type I is the most abundant in the skin at a whopping 80%.
Type III collagen corresponds to 15%.
Approximately 50% of all the protein in the body’s joint cartilage is type II collagen.
The other types of collagen make up the shortfall and contribute to the formation and stabilization of the type II collagen fibril network.
Now Type I, besides skin, renders structure to bones, fibrous cartilage, teeth, connective tissue, ligaments and tendons. It comprises most of the organic matter of bone, and supports and provides form to many other tissues of the vertebrate body via the connective tissue. It provides tensile strength and elasticity to the skin, contributing to its youthful appearance. So basically, Collagen Type I helps to enhance skin hydration, reduce wrinkles, and support bone health.
The collagen extracted from Fish or Marine Collagen is 100% type 1 collagen whereas the bovine collagen, extracted from cowhides, is approximately 90% type I and 10% type III. As mentioned above, our skin, hair and nails comprise predominantly of type 1 collagen so if you are looking purely to improve your skin then the fish collagen is the one for you.
Type II collagen is a key component of cartilage, making it crucial for joint health. It is typically sourced from chicken or bovine cartilage and is widely used in supplements to promote joint mobility and reduce joint pain in conditions like osteoarthritis. Type II collagen supplements work by supporting the body's own production of collagen in the joints, helping to maintain cartilage integrity and reduce inflammation, resulting in better joint comfort and flexibility. Only a small daily dose (around 1g) of Type II is needed to achieve therapeutic results and that’s why some brands combine the Type II with bovine collagen powder to produce a ‘multi type’ product which then contains Type I, II, and III.
In our bodies, Type III collagen, (often found alongside Type I collagen), is abundant in our skin, blood vessels, and internal organs. Type III collagen links with type I collagens to form binding fibers in many tissues, including tendon, skin, and bone.
Type III is essential for wound healing, as it forms the structural framework for newly generated tissue. It contributes to better skin health, helping to reduce scarring and promote overall skin elasticity. Additionally, it supports the integrity of blood vessels, which is crucial for overall cardiovascular health.
Collagen Type III, as well as supporting the structure of organs, muscles and the arteries, is the first to be synthesized in the early stages of wound healing, and interacts with platelets in the blood clotting cascade.
It is also found in the intestines and the uterus and bowel.
As mentioned earlier, bovine collagen contains 10% Type III collagen, and 90% Type I so targets multiple parts of the body. It’s a great ‘all-rounder’. So if you are particularly wanting to improve your joint or gut health, then I'd try bovine collagen or a 'multi-type' that also contains Type II. It will also do wonders for your skin.
Although marine collagen has been heavily marketed towards the skin beauty consumer (as it contains only Type I collagen), both bovine and marine collagen will give you excellent health results and reduce inflammation in the body
CollagenX fish and wild-caught marine Collagen is 100% pure type I whereas the bovine collagen is approximately 90% type I and 10% type III.
If you are wondering about the price difference in marine and bovine, well Marine is more expensive as it takes more of the raw product (fish) to make the same amount of the hydrolysed form.
There are some reports that suggest that Marine collagen is more bioavailable (absorbed into the body) than bovine, however both products produced by CollagenX have an extremely low molecular (peptide) weight and both are extremely bioavailable. You can find out more about the human digestion process of hydrolysed collagen here.
The amino acid profile is almost identical for Bovine as it is for fish and marine (whether wild caught or farmed) collagen.
Both dissolve quickly in liquids and very little in taste difference if any at all.
Collagen peptides supplementation, with CollagenX in the daily diet, will enhance whole body collagen turnover and other aspects of health more effectively than the current mix of proteins in the average Australian diet.
For more information on how to choose the right Collagen brand, check out this great article here