You've heard people talking about collagen. You've heard collagen can slow signs of ageing. You've heard it's excellent for your skin. But do you know why it's so important for skin health as well as your ligaments and joints?
And do you know what type of collagen you should be taking? What about marine collagen vs bovine collagen - what's better? Well, what if we told you there are over 20 types of collagen within your body. On top of that, different types of collagen are better suited to particular parts of your body.
There's a lot to learn about collagen, and we don’t blame you if you’re a bit confused. Luckily, it's what we love, and it's what we do. So, get ready to absorb some essential collagen info.
How many types of collagen are there?
While there are many types of collagen (over 20), only three of them make up around 80-90% of the body’s collagen. These are Type I collagen, Type II collagen, and Type III collagen. But there are other collagen types that are important to note. So here we will discuss the five key collagen types, what they do.
The 5 types of collagen are:
Type I Collagen
Collagen type 1, known for its strength and rigidity, is found in bones, tendons, ligaments, and the dermis of the skin. Type 1 collagen is like the backbone of our skin. It forms a framework of fibres that give our skin its firmness and resilience. These collagen fibres act like scaffolding, holding our skin together and preventing sagging and wrinkles. By maintaining the integrity of our skin's structure, type 1 collagen helps keep it looking youthful and vibrant. Furthermore, type I collagen regulates bone mineralisation and is crucial for wound healing.
Type II Collagen
Collagen type 2 is an important part of cartilage, which is the cushioning material found in our joints. It gives cartilage its ability to be flexible and bounce back, providing support for our joints. This collagen type plays a big role in keeping cartilage strong and functioning properly.
Type III Collagen
Type 3 collagen, often found alongside type I collagen, plays a vital role in making our skin elastic. It's present in tissues such as blood vessels, the walls of hollow organs, and most importantly, our skin. This collagen type gives our skin the ability to stretch and recoil, allowing it to bounce back after being stretched. It helps maintain the suppleness and resilience of our skin, contributing to a smooth and youthful appearance. Without type III collagen, our skin would lose its ability to stretch and regain its shape, leading to sagging and wrinkles. Therefore, this collagen type is essential for maintaining healthy and elastic skin. So the key collagen types for youthful, bouncy skin are collagen type 1 and 3.
Type IV Collagen
Type 4 collagen creates a thin network-like structure that supports and holds together the cells in basement membranes. It provides a strong foundation and acts like a filter for these cells. This collagen type is super important for keeping tissues, like the kidney, lungs, and the barrier protecting the brain, in good shape.
Type V Collagen
Type 5 collagen is usually found together with type I collagen, and it helps organise and arrange collagen fibres in our bodies. It's present in many connective tissues, like our skin and tendons. Type V collagen also helps keep our hair, the outer layer of our eyes (called the cornea), and the placenta structured and stable.
Which type of collagen should I use?
Collagen is a diverse family of proteins with distinct roles in the human body. But now you know what collagen types are available, you can identify which collagen supplement is best for you.
If your ultimate goal is to take collagen for its anti-ageing and beauty benefits, you’ll be looking for a collagen supplement that is high in collagen type I. Marine collagen primarily consists of type I collagen and as we know, this type of collagen is known for its beneficial effects on skin health, promoting elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Our Natural Marine Collagen is in fact clinically proven for its benefits on skin including smoothing fine lines, increasing skin elasticity and hydration.
What about marine collagen vs bovine collagen?
You may have already guessed it, but these types of collagen come from different sources. Marine is collagen from fish. Bovine from cattle, porcine from pigs and fowl from chickens.
Both marine collagen and bovine collagen offer numerous health benefits. The most important thing to consider is why you're taking the supplement. If you want to target ageing and improve the complexion of your hair, skin and nails, then marine collagen is what you want. It’s been proven in clinical studies to help reduce wrinkle depth and increase moisture levels.
Hydrolysed marine collagen will firm up skin and improve its elasticity. Not only will it be better for your skin, but it can also be broken down into shorter chains of amino acids, which, as you now know, helps your body digest the nutrients. So, you'll absorb more of the right, skin-focused collagen. A win-win.
Bovine collagen, on the other hand, will help your skin; however, it is more commonly used to address different parts of your body. If you're suffering from joint pain, or gut health issues, bovine may be your preference. It is also important to note that bovine collagen isn't as bioavailable as marine collagen – so you won't be able to absorb as much, as easily.
At the end of the day, the question you need to ask yourself is 'what do I want collagen to do for me?' If you want to improve your skin, hair, nails and fight ageing, then marine collagen is the best type of collagen supplement for you.