What is the Difference Between Types 1, 2 and 3 Collagen?

November 13, 2018

What is the Difference Between Types 1, 2 and 3 Collagen?

Our bodies contain 16 (at least) types of collagen, and it is so important that the only thing our bodies have more of is water. The different types have different jobs, but they work together to hold your skin, bones, and connective tissues together. Animal collagen has actually been used to make glue for thousands of years, so it’s no surprise that collagen is often called the body’s “glue.”  

As we age, we make less collagen — and we may both see and feel the loss in our creaky joints and in our thinning skin and hair. Diet and collagen supplements have been shown to help alleviate those symptoms (and more). But don’t worry, you don’t have to buy 16 different supplements to reap the benefits of the different types of collagen. Most of the collagen in your body is Type 1, 2, or 3. In fact, they make up almost 90 percent of your body’s collagen.

Type 1 and 3

You will most often see Type 1 and Type 3 discussed together. That’s because they are often found together in your body. Type 1 is the most abundant type of collagen in your body and it’s found  in bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin. It is also present in the GI tract and is essential for wound healing. It’s pretty much everywhere! Like Type 1, Type 3 also supports our organs and skin. In addition, it is essential for the tissues in your blood vessels and heart. Together, they’ve got you pretty well covered.

Type 2

Type 2 collagen is found primarily in our cartilage, eyes and inner ears.   It provides the necessary cushioning in joints and keeps them strong and flexible.


Do I Need to Supplement With Types 1, 2 and 3?

It seems reasonable that if you want to build tendons, skin and bones you should take type 1 collagen and if you want to build cartilage you should take Type 2 collagen.  However, the short answer is no.  Hydrolyzed collagen, the supplement you buy for better health,  is made up of single amino acids and also short strands of amino acids called peptides.  When you ingest these peptides, your body is able to start producing its own collagen again.  That means your body will produce Type 1 in your skin, Type 2 in your cartilage and Type 3 in your organs.

How to Choose a Collagen?

When looking for a collagen supplement it is most important to choose a high quality, highly absorbable product to ensure that all of the available peptides are getting through your gut and into your body, where they can encourage new collagen production.  Marine collagen is well recognized as the most absorbable type of hydrolyzed collagen because the molecules of fish collagen are 1.5 times smaller than a collagen made from beef of pork.  This means fish collagen can easily pass through the gut lining, producing more dramatic results.  Studies have shown marine collagen to:

  • reduce joint pain,
  • improve joint function,
  • increase bone density,
  • improve skin tone,
  • reduce inflammatory bowel symptoms
  • significantly improve wound healing
  • be an effective anti-aging agent

With so many collagen products on the market,  and most of them made from ingredients imported from Asia, it is extremely important to carefully evaluate the collagen that you are consuming.  By choosing a 100% made in Canada collagen you can be assured the highest quality of raw materials and production that meets the worlds strictest health and safety standards.

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