Interested in remaining strong, confident, and pain free? That’s what will allow us to stay active and independent, enjoying the activities we love for years to come.
If this sounds like you, collagen supplementation may be something you have considered. A quick internet search will show the benefits of Collagen are numerous:
Improves skin and hair
Strengthens bones and teeth
Repairs muscle and prevents injury
After looking at that list, you might be saying “sounds too good to be true”. If this is you, then head over to the article we posted “Could Collagen Really Help Me Feel Younger?”. We break down the ways collagen works in the body and what the research says about it.
Or, you might see all those health and beauty benefits and be saying “sign me up”. Don’t get too excited yet. There is one big mistake people make when they go running to the store to buy a collagen supplement. This mistake is the reason that many people decide that collagen is in fact too good to be true.
The truth is, all collagen is not created equally.
The quality varies greatly and with poor quality comes poor results. In our previous post (you can find it HERE) we discussed the the three things you need to look for on the label of a collagen supplement to be sure it is high quality and will be most effective.
The BIG problem I see people have comes down to the type of collagen they are using. There are different types of collagen that can go to different parts of the body to support different structures. And if you want to see particular results with collagen, you need to be sure the product you are using has the type of collagen that addresses this need.
There are actually 28 different types of collagen, but let’s break down the main types of collagen found in supplements and what benefits you could get from each:
Type I Collagen
This type of collagen forms the scaffolding of bone, skin, tendons, and other connective tissues. Research in skin health has shown that when type I collagen is increased, the results are visible in terms of fewer wrinkles, improved wound healing, and even reduced cellulite.
You will find type I most commonly in supplements and should be on your “must have” list if you are seeing skin and beauty benefits of collagen. Multiple sources will provide optimal results, so look for grass fed bovine and sustainable fish on the label.
Type II Collagen
Supporting joint strength and elasticity is the role of type II collagen. It is most supported in the research for joint health and decreasing pain from arthritis. This is because type II collagen is what makes up the cartilage that is present in our joints and cartilage is what starts to “wear and tear” over time.
Whether you want to decrease pain and inflammation that you currently have in your joints, or want to prevent joint problems in the future so you can remain active and independent, look for type II collagen to reach these goals. This type of collagen is sourced from chicken collagen.
Type III Collagen
Also an abundant collagen in the body, it is found to provide elasticity to skin and intestinal walls. It is more mesh like than type I and supports structures such as muscles, organs, and blood vessels.
There is also evidence type III can enhance exercise performance as it is most abundant in muscle. If you have goals for building muscle, improving recovery, or even weight loss (because lean muscle mass will assist here), look for type III collagen from bovine and fish.
Type V Collagen
This is a fiber like collagen found in layers of the skin and hair. It is also present in the cornea and can thus impact vision and eye health. The most important factor of type V collagen is that it is essential in the formation of type I and III.
Type V collagen also provides the fibrous structure to support type II collagen in joint cartilage. So, if healthy joints, skin, muscle, hair, and eyes are important to your goals, then seek out Type V collagen. It is found in egg shell membrane, which is typically absent from most canisters you find on the shelf.
Type X Collagen
This is the most rare form of collagen , but very important to an anti aging strategy because it contributes to new bone formation. Collagen type X (which is generally found in eggshell membrane collagen) is a protein typically present in normal joint cartilage.
Overall, type X collagen is described as a “network-forming collagen” – holding together other proteins, minerals, and substances in both bone and cartilage.
The sources of these types of collagen are also very important. For example, bovine (from a cow) collagen alone does not absorb very well. Just like the more types of collagen will give you a more wide range of benefits, a variety of sources will give you the best absorption and allow your body to best use the nutrients you are providing it.
In summary, the types of collagen in your supplement will allow you to reach the goals you desire.
Want healthy skin and beauty benefits? Type I and III
Want to reverse joint pain or prevent injury? Type II and V
Want to improve bone density and cartilage strength? Type X
Want to gain strength and recover faster from workouts? Type II and V
Maybe you are looking at this list and thinking. . . . “I want ALL those things”!
If you want to see results in more than one area you will have to find a collagen product with multiple types. We recommend a product that has all five of these and the addition of ingredients that support the bodies absorption of the collagen. Because none of this is important if your body can’t use what you are giving it. To learn more about this product and get a coupon code if you want to try it for yourself, email firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have to remember that collagen isn’t a magic bullet. When muscles and joints are not working properly we will not feel or move better with a scoop of powder a day. Discuss your concerns about aches, pains, or how to optimize your body while aging with an expert today.
Click the link below to request a call from a Doctor of Physical Therapy. They can help you discover the next best step toward reaching your goals!