Types of collagens and their effect when taken

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the animal kingdom, including the human body. There are more than 16 types of collagen, but 80 to 90% of this element present in the body is composed of types I, II and III. Type I collagen is present in the skin, tendons, bones, ligaments, teeth and interstitial tissues. Type II collagen is present in cartilage and the vitreous humor. Type III collagen is present in the skin, muscles and blood vessels. In summary, collagen is present throughout the body and is an essential protein for the maintenance of life. However, collagen's greatest fame is in relation to beauty, as it helps maintain skin elasticity and strengthen nails and hair.

When should I use collagen?

Doctors suggest collagen mostly for women over 50, but there is no rule. As our metabolism starts to slow down after the age of 30, the ideal is to start supplementing with protein from that point onwards. People who do not consume collagen in a satisfactory amount on a daily basis also need to include it as a supplement in their diet. To find out if this is your case, it is interesting to consult a nutritionist. Collagen is very useful for those who want to avoid stretch marks, sagging skin, and joint and bone problems, to prevent the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines.

Type I collagen

Different types of collagen are available in different forms to make supplementation easier and faster. It is the most common, especially in places that receive great tension and need more resistance, such as fibrous cartilage, tendons, loose and dense connective tissue, bones, dermis and even the cornea. It always forms thick, parallel bundles and collagen fibers.

Type II collagen

Structurally, it is not possible to differentiate collagen II from type I. It is present in regions that resist greater pressure, such as in hyaline and elastic cartilage, in the eyes and in the discs. Its synthesis takes place in chondrocytes and does not produce bundles. Type II collagen is more suitable for the treatment of osteoarthritis, as this protein helps to restore joint cartilage.

Type III collagen

It is present in smooth muscle and abundantly in loose connective tissue, constituting the reticular fibers. It is also present in the aorta artery of the heart, in the hematopoietic organs, in the lungs, in the liver, in the uterus and in the muscles of the intestine. This type is the first to decrease its natural production in the body. However, through supplementation it is easy to restore the ideal amounts for the proper functioning of the body.

Type IV collagen

Collagen molecules that do not associate into fibrils form it. They are intact to each other at the ends and form a mesh similar to a wire mesh. By associating with non-fibrous molecules of the extracellular matrix, they form a membrane that acts as a filter. This type is located in the basal lamina, kidneys, and capsule of the lens. It does not associate with thin and very small fibers, and has the function of filtration and support.

Type V collagen

It can be associated with type I, as it is also present in regions that receive high voltages. It is also responsible for offering the body's tissues the possibility of stretching and resisting various factors. It is present in blood, tendons, bones, and placenta and on the skin.

Type VI collagen

It is present in most connective tissues, blood, skin and discs.

Type VII collagen

It is present in membranes and cells, in the placenta and at the derma-epithelial junction.

Type VIII collagen

It is located in the cells of the endothelium — the epithelial membrane that lines the inside of blood vessels.

Type IX collagen

This type is associated with type II collagen, as it is present in the retina, corneas and cartilage, being a protein component of organs. Its function is to keep the cells together, offering resistance to eventual pressures.

Type X collagen

Type X collagen is located in the zone of hypertrophic cartilage, where chondrocytes are larger, with cytoplasm abundant in glycogen.

Type XI collagen

This type of collagen is present in vertebral discs and interacts with types II and XI.

Type XII collagen

It is associated with types 1 and 3, and can be located in regions that receive high stresses — such as ligaments and tendons.

What are the benefits of collagen?

It is no accident that this substance has become so popular. In addition to the benefits collagen provides for tendons, ligaments and the entire joint system, it is also ideal for people who have problems such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Hydrolyzed collagen reduces protein loss and thus the pathology does not advance rapidly, reducing pain and increasing mobility. Currently, we often find this type of collagen on the market. Hydrolyzed collagen contains 20 types of amino acids, mineral salts and vitamins. At the time of manufacture, industries manage to leave this protein in a minimum size, ideal for the body to be able to absorb it quickly. The different types of collagen also provide other benefits –

  • Strengthens nails and hair
  • Skin firmness and hydration
  • Helps in treating sagging
  • Prevents premature skin aging
  • Prevents and protects joint wear
  • Helps in the treatment of osteoporosis

You may have already noticed that some supplements have the description of hydrolyzed collagen on the packaging, as well as collagen peptides in the composition, and even collagen precursors. Knowing the difference between these concepts is important to answer the question of whether collagen works.

What foods contain collagen?

Protein foods, in addition to being sources of collagen, help to provide the essential amino acids for the constitution of this protein in the body. Among the options that should be part of your menu are red and white meats, moot jelly, eggs, fish, cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, citrus and red fruits, chestnuts, walnuts, almonds, oats and soy. However, it is essential to pay attention to the method of preparation, as this factor can cause the substances to be lost. To prevent this from happening, it is worth steaming food for a short time and not storing it in the fridge for a long time.

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