Collagen is making quite a name for itself these days and I’m sure you’ve wondered whether it is just another wellness trend or if it’s truly worth the hype. It’s safe to say that research and evidence surrounding the benefits of collagen is growing - slowly but quite steadily. Additionally, the abundance of subjective and personal evidence claiming the benefits of collagen - particularly for: joint pain and inflammation, muscle recovery, gut lining repair, and skin health - is certainly encouraging and incentivizing further studies.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that we naturally produce, which serves as an important building block for various parts of the body. It is the single most abundant type protein that we have, making up about 30% of our body’s supply. The largest structures that collagen is found in are:
(much of connective tissues)
Unfortunately, this crucial protein tends to decline overtime due to factors such as: aging, smoking, UV damage, inflammatory diets, stress, and genetics. As a result, many individuals can benefit from increasing collagen through diet, supplementation, or both
Different Type of Collagen + Best Sources of Each
Did you know that there nearly 30 different types of collagen exist?! 80-90 percent of collagen in the body consist of types 1, 2, and 3 which explains why most research and supplements are tailored to these specific types.
Type 1: Type 1 collagen makes up roughly 90% of hair, skin, nails, bones, organs, and ligaments. It is commonly used for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, strengthening hair and nails, improving hydration and elasticity of the skin, supporting muscle recovery and promoting wound healing. Type 1 collagen also makes up a part of the gut lining so it is often considered in “leaky gut” repair protocols.
Best Sources of Type 1 Collagen: Marine Collagen Powder, Fish or Beef Bone Broth, Egg Whites, Wild Caught Fish, Beef.
Type 2: Type 2 collagen is the foundational element in cartilage and makes up most of fascia, ligaments, and tendons. It is most commonly used to promote joint health, help reduce symptoms of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, support spinal discs, eye health, and it plays an important role in the maintenance of the gut lining.
Type 3: Type 3 collagen is found alongside Type 1 in the skin, bones and intestinal lining, however, in smaller amounts, though its role is still very important. It is also found in the muscles, organs, blood vessels and arterial walls making it a vital component of cardiovascular health. Type 3 has also been found to improve the synthesis of blood platelets thereby optimizing the coagulation process.
Which One Should You Take?
As a holistic nutritionist, I take a well-rounded and balanced approach in the context of addressing health concerns and achieving wellness goals. As a result, I believe that ALL types of collagen should be consumed to cover the wide range of benefits you would potentially receive for consuming all three types. That being said, I would recommend prioritizing (rather than exclusively taking) one type over others if you are looking to address a health concern where one type of collagen would be most beneficial. For instance, if you have an autoimmune disease and are working to repair the gut lining, then collagen type 1 and 3 could be prioritized, but type 2 should still be considered, especially if any joint issues are present. The safest bet is a multi-collagen supplement such as this one. Or you can try rotating across different types of collagen supplements. Keep in mind that you don’t need to solely focus on collagen peptide powders! Do not hesitate to rotate between fish, beef, and chicken bone broths as well. Remember – variety is key when it comes to taking a well-rounded approach to increasing collagen in the body.
Key Lime Pie Collagen Smoothie Recipe
Click here for a delicious key lime pie smoothie recipe!
I absolutely love adding collagen to my smoothies as it helps to better achieve a rich and creamy texture. It has been a game changer in my Mixed Connective Tissue Autoimmune Disease healing protocol. I’ve been including it into my diet as my daily snack. I use a multi-collagen protein powder and get all its benefits through this delicious smoothie.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,
Registered Holistic Nutritionist, B.A. (Hons.). Psych., Creator & Director of The Naked Remedy