Collagen has superpowers when it comes to health, beauty and wellness. But did you know there are different types of collagen in your body? And there’s not just one source of collagen either. Supplement companies use a variety of collagen supplies. And some are…not so great.
If you want to make sure you’re taking the most sustainable and effective collagen supplements, read on. We’ll tell you the types of collagen, what they do and the best sources of collagen to nurture your body.
The 5 Types of Collagen and Their Benefits
There are many different types of collagen - up to 28 in fact! But explaining all of them might be collagen overload. So, we’re sharing the top five types of collagen that are most relevant to your day-to-day life.
Type 1 Collagen
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, and type 1 collagen makes up 90%. So, having enough of this type of collagen is vital for a healthy you.
- Skin - You need type 1 collagen for youthful, plump skin. Collagen levels naturally decline from your mid-twenties (eurgh, we know), which is when fine lines and wrinkles appear. But type 1 provides elasticity, so your skin bounces back.
- Hair - The majority of your hair is made from a protein called keratin, which is built using collagen.
- Teeth and nails - If you want those pearly whites, then take your type 1 collagen supplements! They will keep your teeth healthy and help you grow strong nails.
- Bones - Collagen makes up a lot of your bone density, so you might find bones breaking more easily as you age. That’s why extra collagen is a massive bonus.
Tendons and ligaments - Type 1 collagen keeps your tendons and ligaments elasticated. So, when you stretch or extend a part of your body, it returns to its original shape.
Type 2 Collagen
Different types of collagen play different roles. You have less type 2 collagen, but don’t underestimate its power! It’s still vital for a healthy, functioning body.
- Gut health - The benefits of collagen for gut health are plentiful. One key advantage of type 2 collagen is it strengthens your gut lining to maximise the absorption of nutrients.
Cartilage - This tissue protects your bones by absorbing shock and is built using type 2 collagen.
Type 3 Collagen
Collagen type 3 benefits are vital for internal functioning. Here’s why:
- Organs - Type 3 collagen is crucial for healthy organs. Your heart, liver and kidneys need it to work at their best.
- Arteries - A healthy blood flow reduces inflammation. This helps you receive the oxygen and nutrients you need to glow.
Muscles - If you want to get strong and tone those muscles, you best believe you need type 3 collagen in your diet.
Type 4 Collagen
There isn’t a long list of collagen type 4 benefits, but it has a crucial role in luxurious skin (your body’s largest organ).
Creates the basement layer of your skin - Your skin has multiple layers (3, to be precise). Type 4 collagen helps build the basement layer to protect your tissue for luminous skin.
Type 5 Collagen
Eyes - I bet you didn’t consider that different types of collagen help with your eyesight. Well, it does! Type 5 strengthens the fibres in your eyes and may help to prevent cataracts.
Different Sources of Collagen in Your Supplements
Now you know about the five different types of collagen, let’s get into the sources companies use for collagen supplements.
Bovine collagen is usually a cow's hide, tendons and bones (mmm…). You consume the animal’s already-made collagen when you take bovine collagen supplements.
Bovine is rich in type 1 collagen. You might be thinking - great! Well, think again. There’s a link between bovine collagen and mass deforestation in the Amazon rainforests. Farmers are burning forests to breed cattle for collagen, so it’s not the most environmentally-friendly choice.
If we told you your marine collagen supplement is crushed-up fish scales and bones, would you still add the powder to your morning coffee? Didn’t think so.
Rather like bovine collagen, marine collagen is made from bones and skin. The fish flesh is thrown away, and manufacturers crush the collagen parts into supplement powder.
Hydrolysed collagen is the same as marine collagen. But the collagen peptides (chains of amino acids) are broken down so they are easier to absorb.
You probably recognise that gelatin comes from animals like pigs. It’s often used in cosmetics and chewy sweets and may increase collagen production.
Ah, our favourite source of collagen! Vegan collagen supplements are plant extracts rich in amino acids. These acids are the building blocks your body needs to make every type of collagen. That means you can get the benefits of vegan collagen supplements without harming animals or the planet.
Arella Beauty’s Collagen Supplement is (and always will be) Vegan
We understand that a completely vegan lifestyle is challenging for some people. But small changes like switching to vegan supplements make all the difference. That means you can go and live your best life without a fish scale in sight 😉
Written by Emma Carey for Arella Beauty.
Emma is a holistic beauty and wellness writer. She has three years of experience in the well-being industry and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Wellness. Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.