In recent years, collagen supplements have become popular. Most are hydrolysed, which means the collagen has been broken down to make it easier to absorb.

These supplements come primarily in powder form but are also available in capsules. The types of collagens found in supplements vary — some contain one or two types, while others contain up to five.

Several foods may naturally increase your intake, including pork skin and bone broth.

What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body.  It’s the main component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, joints, ligaments, skin, nails, muscles and gut.  The supplement has many important functions, including providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones.  It makes up nearly 30% of the body’s total protein mass and 60% of cartilage.  At the age 30, its production in the body slows down and begins depleting, resulting in thinner, drier, and less elastic skin.

There are 28 types of collagens, but here are the most common types.

Types of collagen

Type I

Type I Collagen is found in wild fish, beef and extra membrane.  It is the more abundant type of collagen in all your body.  It is made primarily in your skin, hair, nails, bones along with your blood vessels and connective tissue.

If you want to improve your beauty, your bones and your muscles you need to take type I collagen.  The source is fish, meat and extra membrane.

Type II Collagen

Type II Collagen is one of the more critical, it makes up your ligaments, your tendons, your body’s fascia and part of your connective tissues as well.  Type II Collagen is very important for any type of joint health and intervertebral discs.  So, if you have joint discomfort, lack of mobility, lack of flexibility.  You want to make sure you are taking type II Collagen.  Type II Collagen is found in chicken collagen.  You get your chicken collagen from bone broth.  Type II Collagen is accompanied by “Glucosamine Chondroitin Hyaluronic Acid”, which is a kind of collagen booster.  Type II Collagen is very powerful for your joints.

Type III Collagen

Type III Collagen is found in different parts of the body but is much less prevalent than type I Collagen and even less than type II Collagen.

Type III Collagen is a component of our skin and our body’s organs systems; like in your liver, your heart.  These organs are supported by type III Collagen, that’s why collagen is so important.  It supports your gut lining as well, your arterial walls.  Sources: wild fish and beef collagen.

Type lV Collagen

Type IV collagen is a component of your kidneys, inner ear, and eye lens.

Type V and X Collagen

This unique type of Collagen is found in the eggshell’s membranes.  These kinds of collagen are in your skin, other surfaces and it supports cells as well.

Foods that contain collagen

Foods that contain gelatine, such as bone broth, provide collagen. Gelatine is a protein substance derived from collagen after it’s cooked.

Collagen is found in the connective tissues of animals. Thus, foods such as chicken skin, pork skin, beef, and fish are sources of collagen.

Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis, so you should also be sure to eat foods rich in this vitamin, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and bell peppers.

More research is needed to determine whether eating collagen-rich foods helps increase collagen levels in your body, as they may not have the same benefits as supplements.

Digestive enzymes break down the collagen in food into individual amino acids and peptides.  However, the collagen in supplements has already been broken down, or hydrolysed, which is why it’s thought to be absorbed more efficiently than collagen from foods.

So, when you look for Collagen, always make sure to buy the one that is multi collagen.  We want to get different type of collagen as possible in our diet.

Health Benefits of Collagen Supplements

  • Improve skin health
  • Relieve joints pain
  • Prevent bone loss
  • Boost muscle mass
  • Promote heart health
  • Improve hair and nail health
  • Improve gut and brain health
  • Promote weight loss

How long does it take to see results?

Collagen turnover is a slow process. As such, no matter your goal for using collagen, it will take at least 8 weeks to experience noticeable results.

Most studies use a minimum of 8 weeks to assess collagen’s effects on skin health and joint pain relief, but other studies use longer periods, such as 12 months, for bone health.

Thus, you should be patient and not expect results for a while.

Can you take collagen in pregnancy?

While you should always check with your doctor when starting a new supplement, collagen supplements are generally considered safe during pregnancy. With a reputation for improving the look of skin, hair, and nails, it would be understandable if you wanted to continue taking collagen throughout your pregnancy. And generally speaking, many experts don’t think it would be harmful to do so.

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