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 I 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.
Types of collagen
While there are many types of collagen, we only need to focus on three of them as they make up around 80-90% of the body’s collagen. Luckily, they’re easy to remember. They are literally called Type I, Type II, and Type III.
Type I is the most abundant collagen in the human body. In fact, Type I accounts for about 70% of all the collagen in our bodies and is found throughout the structure of our skin, hair, nails, organs, tendons, and bones. The only place our bodies don't use it is in our cartilage.
That's where you'll find Type II. It forms the building blocks that connect and cushion our bones, helping them absorb shock.
Type III is the second most prevalent collagen in our bodies. Together with Type I, it makes up approximately 90% of all the collagen in your body. Type III, like Type I, is found in your skin, hair, nails and organs.
What is the best type of collagen supplement to take?
Now that we know the type of collagen our skin, hair, and nails crave, let's take a look at how we can maximise our collagen absorption and enjoy all its anti-ageing properties.
Collagen is not the easiest nutrient for our bodies to absorb. It's a long-chain amino acid – a protein. It is built by three primary amino acids – proline, hydroxyproline and glycine. Our digestive system finds it difficult to absorb collagen in its long-chain form. To help our bodies absorb collagen, we need to break down the long-chain amino acids into shorter chains.
These shorter chains of collagen are called peptides, also known as hydrolysed collagen. This process is known as hydrolysis and results in collagen peptides. Hence, the two names. We break our collagen down to a molecular weight as low as 2,000 Daltons. A Dalton, by the way, is just a unit of measurement for tiny molecules.
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.