What Are the Different Types of Collagen and Their Benefits? Types and Sources of Collagen Explained
When it comes to collagen, it can seem as though there are a lot of different terms to wrap your head around. These may relate to the source of the collagen (bovine collagen or marine collagen), the type of collagen is based on its role in the body (Types I and III, for example), or even how the collagen is processed to help it perform better (i.e. hydrolyzed collagen). Here, we explain some of the most common terms to know when it comes to collagen.
Types of Collagen
While there are 28 known types of collagen, the majority of the body’s supply is made up of five main ones: Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV and Type V collagen. From these, Type I and Type III collagen are the most abundant in the body. While the science behind each is quite technical, all you need to know is that these ‘types’ basically refer to the different role or function they play in the body.
Type I Collagen
Type I collagen alone accounts for around nine-tenths of all collagen in the human body. Type I collagen is not only the most abundant type of collagen, but one of the most abundant molecules in the body, and it is particularly important for skin, bone, and connective tissue. It’s also present in our tendons, corneas, blood vessel walls and other connective tissue. Type I collagen is produced by cells called fibroblasts, which are found predominantly in the dermis (skin), and as such is especially important for skin health and maintenance.
Type III Collagen
Type III collagen is the second most abundant collagen in the body, found as a major structural component in organs such as skin, large blood vessels, uterus, lungs and bowel. Type III collagen also has a function in wound healing and in healthy blood clotting activity. Type III collagen makes up anywhere between 5% and 20% of the entire collagen content in the human body.
For context, young skin is composed of approximately 80% Type I collagen, and about 15% of Type III collagen. The importance of Type I and Type III collagen for the body is undeniable, and as such, you’ll find them in all Dose & Co. collagen peptide products.
Different sources of collagen
Bovine collagen is a common collagen source that is derived from animals in the bovine family, most commonly cows. It’s typically made from farming by-products such as bone, cartilage and hide. Bovine collagen is rich in Types I and III collagen, and most closely resembles the collagen that’s present in the human body. The bovine collagen that we use in Dose & Co. collagen peptide powders is sustainably sourced, and is free from hormones and GMOs.
Marine collagen is a common collagen source derived from marine life, most commonly fish. It’s typically made from by-products of fishing, and often includes skin and scales. Marine collagen is rich in Types I and III collagen, and is beloved for being highly bioavailable. The marine collagen that we use in Dose & Co. collagen peptide powders is sustainably sourced, and is free from hormones and GMOs. It’s also free of fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates.
As plants do not have a natural supply of collagen like humans and animals do, there are currently no true vegan sources of collagen. Plants do have other amino acids and proteins that are beneficial to humans, but they aren’t the same as collagen. Currently, most ‘vegan collagen’ supplements don’t actually contain any collagen, and as such they can’t contribute any collagen to our bodies. Instead they work to support the body’s own collagen production, say by providing additional amino acids that it might use to make collagen. However, because we can’t predict or control what our bodies use amino acids for, they may be turned into collagen, or they may be used for something else entirely. Other ‘vegan collagen’ supplements contain an artificial collagen supply from yeast, which also works by supporting collagen production.
Hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen hydrolysate, refers to collagen that undergoes a process called hydrolysis—which breaks down the protein into smaller peptides with a low molecular weight, making them easier for the body to absorb. Hydrolyzed collagen has high bioavailability in that it is readily absorbed by, and has a higher compatibility with, the body. Hydrolyzed collagen can come from a variety of sources, including bovine and marine. We incorporate hydrolysed collagen peptides into all Dose & Co. collagen products, pure collagen proteins that are proven to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis in skin cells, counteract skin aging and improve the skin’s visual appearance.*