Collagen is one of the most essential protein in the human body. It makes up around 30% of our entire protein.
Collagen is the foundation of your body’s muscles, skin, tendons, bones, ligaments and connective tissues.
The different types of collagen can also be found in many of your organs and blood vessels.
In this article, we explore the five different types of collagen, where they are in the body and why they are important.
The 5 Essential Types Of Collagen
There are many different types of collagen which all differ slightly in their molecule structure. However, there are only five collagen types that are usually used for supplements(see also: How Long Does It Take For Collagen Supplements To Work?).
Type I Collagen
Type 1 collagen is the most common collagen in our body. In fact, it makes up 90% of the overall collagen amount in the human body.
You can find type I collagen in the skin, hair, organs, nails, tendons, blood vessels, bones, ligaments and eyes.
Type I collagen is so popular that the supplement industry includes this type in almost all collagen products.
This type of collagen is also found in marine, (see also: What Is Marine Collagen?)eggshell and bovine membranes.
There are only limited studies which conclude that type 1 collagen helps to strengthen ours bones.
That’s why, many people take type I collagen supplements in addition to a healthy diet to support healthier nails, skin and hair.
If you want to take in more type I collagen through your food, then you just need to eat more eggs, bone broth and beef.
Type II Collagen
While type 2 collagen isn’t as abundant as type 1, it’s still an essential protein in our body. This type can be found mostly in our joints.
Type II collagen aids our immune system and it promotes digestive health.
You can find type 2 collagen in most of our joints, the gut lining and cartilage.
There have been small studies with people who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis which have concluded that taking a type II collagen supplement can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
If you want to add more type II collagen to your body, then it’s a good idea to eat more bone broth and chicken.
Type III Collagen
Type III collagen is another essential collagen type that occurs naturally in our body. Type 3 collagen is different from the other types of collagen in its structure.
This makes it the ideal protein to support our muscles, gut, uterus and blood vessels. Collagen type 3 is also found in many organs, such as our intestines.
There are a few studies that indicate that the body uses type III collagen to fight inflammation.
However, there is no way to target specific inflammation areas of the body with type III collagen supplements.
Researchers also discovered that collagen type III is an essential part of our blood vessels. It is needed to strengthen arterial walls
If you want to add more collagen type 3 to your food, then try eating some more bone broth, beef and fish.
Type 5 collagen is not as abundant in our body as other types because it is usually found in the cornea in our eyes and the placenta of expecting mothers.
As part of our eyes, collagen type 5 controls how much light is allowed into our eyes.
Type V collagen is often found in combination with type I and type II collagen to strengthen the tissues in the human body.
Type 5 is also well-known by scientist to support the structure of our muscles, lungs, liver and bones.
There are a number of studies with type V collagen supplements which conclude improvements in cell membranes, placenta tissue and eye health.
However, there is much more research needed to find out how the body breaks down collagen type 5 and how it is used in the human body.
As collagen type V is so important for the growth of a placenta in expecting mothers, it’s worth mentioning here that it is safe to take collagen supplements during your pregnancy.
Type 10 collagen plays a key role in our joint cartilage. This type of collagen forms a network with other collagen elements.
Studies found that people who lack type X collagen are affected by rheumatoid diseases as well as cartilage and bone issues.
While some people claim that collagen type 10 can be used for broken bones and limb damage, there is no full proof yet.
Studies related to this have only found that collagen type 10 is responsible for bone formation but there is no specific evidence that supplements with type X could heal injuries as severe as broken bones.
If you want to digest type X collagen with your food, then it’s important to eat a good amount of chicken.
Do You Need All 5 Types Of Collagen?
Yes, your body needs all types of collagen in the right amount to function properly.
As all five types of collagen occur naturally in the human body, you will need to regularly replenish collagen.
Different types of collagen have different properties and support different body functions. That’s why, it’s important to find out what type of collagen you should supplement.
You can either choose a good-quality collagen supplement or eat collagen-rich foods, such as fish, chicken or beef.
It’s important that you eat a healthy diet in addition to any form of supplementation.
You can then choose to supplement your diet with a single type collagen or multi collagen supplement.
A multi collagen supplement is made from different sources, such as eggshell membranes, fish, chicken and cow.
While there are five main types of collagen, you will be able to find a lot more.
For example, type IV collagen is found mostly in the skin. It also helps the filtration of the kidneys and other main organs.
Type 4 collagen is not mentioned very often because it is simply not typically included in multi collagen products as supplements.