The Collagen Types Debate: How many are there? Actually?
There is debate around how many types of collagen we have in our bodies — which is funny to us considering we live in the age of information, yet, really have no clue on most things. What a time to be alive.
Even if we don’t have the exact science (yet) telling us there’s 16 types of collagen, 28, or 183 — we can all probably agree that collagen is awesome, important, and we all want and need collagen’s benefits. Unless you’re someone who actually believes that collagen-rich bone broth is a hoax. Um, that’s here for your entertainment.
The 5 Common Types of Collagen
As you've probably concluded, this isn't a perfect science. Yes, there are more than 5 collagen types.
But, to protect everyone's sanity here, let's focus on the 5 types of collagen that are known, widely accepted, and popular in the collagen supplement world:
- Type I
- Type II
- Type III
- Type V
- Type X
(For those new to the collagen world, yes, Roman numerals are making a comeback, baby.)
We’ll explain the differences between the 5 types of collagen and which animal sources are best to supply you with each particular (Tim Ferris' favorite fancy word) type of collagen.
Shameless plug, our multi collagen protein contains all 5 types (I, II, III, V, X) of collagen from 4 different sources (cows, chickens, fish, eggs). Many collagen supplements are sourced only from beef and contain Type 1 & Type III. And we have chocolate. 🙂
Now, let's now break down each of these 5 types, starting with Type I.
That's 1 for those who are confused by Roman numerals, which we are too, no judging!
Type 1 collagen is the winner. It is the most abundant in our body, it is found all over the place and accounts for 90% of the following.
Type 1 Collagen is found in our:
- Blood vessels
It is the Homecoming Queen and most popular kid in school. Type I collagen makes Regina George jealous. And don’t act like you don’t know who Regina George is, you do.
Type I collagen is so popular we have an entire industry devoted to it, more or less. We have yet to see a collagen supplement NOT have Type 1 because it’s easily sourced.
Best sources for Type 1 Collagen
The consolation medal we give to the loser of the big game, hooray #2. "If you ain’t first, you’re last."
My Ricky Bobby reference is not to diminish the fabulous Type 2 collagen, which is found primarily in our joints and also helps support digestive health and promotes immune function. Last we heard joints are pretty important, right?
Type 2 Collagen is found in our:
- Gut Lining
And since everybody loves science, here is a study where 4 people had their rheumatoid arthritis (RA for short) completely vanish form taking a type II collagen supplement from chicken.
Um, we don't know about you, but we don't care how small the study is if someone has their RA ‘go away’ from taking a collagen supplement. Sign ALL of us at CB Supplements the hell up.
Also, if you are the kind of person who loves anecdotal evidence, just go read our reviews, see our Customer Love, or Contact Us and we'll share the unbelievable stories of how multi-collagen changed their lives.
And if you’re the kind of person who thinks all anecdotal evidence is bull crap and we have to have massive double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to come to any conclusion, please withhold your contact. 🙂 Just chill out and be nice.
Best sources for Type 2 Collagen
3 is the world’s second-favorite number, behind 7 — who knew?
Y’all know how Robin is the trusty sidekick and very much an important role of heroism to Batman, but he is the #2 and not as cool?
That is exactly what type III collagen is to type I — super important, fairly abundant in the body, but not the main hero. Can Batman be as cool without Robin? No. That's why type I needs type III.
Type 3 Collagen is found in our:
- Blood Vessels
- Structure of Muscles
Type III collagen is found in many organs (most notably our intestines), blood vessels and aides the structure of muscles.
Aides in the structure of muscles?
Yeah, hopefully, we just got an athlete’s attention who might be reading this article. But, full transparency, there is not a ton of literature in the scientific journals to prove this statement.
Best sources for Type 3 Collagen
Let’s turn our attention to the fact that it (type III collagen) is a primary ingredient of blood vessels.
Get ready for this study.
Though small (only a sample size of 14), this study of 14 people showed that almost half died of aneurysms and on their autopsy showed that their arterial walls lacked normal amounts of collagen type III, which may be due to genetic defect in the manufacturing of this type of collagen.
Would consuming type III collagen have helped? There is no way to know.
Rapid-fire Q&A time:
- What is the main ingredient of blood vessels? Collagen.
- What specific type of collagen makes up blood vessels? Type III.
- And what only represents about 14% of a Standard American Diet (SAD)? Protein.
- And how much of this protein is collagen protein? Virtually none.
Is it safe to say that many of the deaths related to weak arteries have to do with genetic and/or dietary collagen deficiencies? Quite possibly.
The number of fingers you have one hand, well, typically.
Speaking of fingers, guess where type V collagen is primarily found? No, not the fingers (well, maybe because it is in the skin, but it's not the answer.)
Type 5 Collagen is found in our:
- Placenta of an expecting mother
- Eyes (Cornea)
Holy guacamole, important collagen alert. Here is the most scientifically fancy statement of this whole article — from a neonatal development perspective, type V collagen is critically important.
It makes up the home of your unborn child for 40 weeks. But, *gasp*, can a pregnant woman take multi-collagen? (we'll be addressing that in a future article with help from our Dr. Cate).
Type V collagen is also found in the eyes, specifically in the cornea.
Best sources for Type 5 Collagen
- Eggs (lots of 'em!)
- Our Multi-Collagen Protein Powder (sorry, that's two shameless plugs — forgive us)
Like King Henry the 10th, remember history class?
At long last, type 10 collagen.
Type 10 Collagen is found in our:
Type X collagen is found in joints and bones and plays a key role in the health of these structures. Type X doesn’t get the hype that type II gets, probably because it is much easier to consume type II collagen that X.
Best sources for Type 10 Collagen
- Eggs (more precisely, eggshells)
Type II is the chicken collagen we'll call it, and type X is the eggshell collagen.
So either you need a truckload of eggs every day to get your recommended daily serving of type X collagen, or just take CB Supplements multi-collagen.
Less common types of Collagen (the "outsiders")
If you do enough digging, you'll find reference to these other types of collagen:
Type 4 collagen is found primarily in the skin within the basement membrane zone. It aids in the filtration of the kidneys and other organs.
But, you won't find Type IV in most multi collagen powder products (like ours).
As more scientific research grows, we'll add to this section of less common types of collagen.
So, what's the best type of collagen?
(Trick question y'all)
It's hard to quantify what type of collagen is "best" — as you've read above, each type aids the human body and has tremendous benefits.
Yes, some types are easier to source (Type I vs Type X), but does that make it better? Probably not.
We believe that collagen is awesome and the more types we can supplement our body with, the better.
(I guess that means everyone is getting a participation trophy?)
Seriously though, we always recommend trying to get collagen out of food first. Try these collagen-rich foods before supplementation. We make this recommendation often (because it's the right thing to do), so start there.
But, if you're like the rest of us and know we're not getting enough collagen in our daily diets, supplementing is the next right step. A multi collagen is a more complete protein supplement than standard beef collagen, and as you learned, all 5 types play a crucial role in our bodies.
So, if you're going to supplement, go multi and get all 5 types of collagen in every scoop!