Updated September 1, 2021
There are many collagen types. From type I to type X, as well as the type of animal the collagen comes from, and the form of collagen it ends up as, there's a lot to know about collagen production and supplements. Before it's turned into a supplement, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It's formed through chains of amino acids, which ultimately act as building blocks for us. Some essential amino acids include proline and glycine. Collagen is responsible for our skin health (playing a role in the elasticity of our skin as well as skin hydration), preventing joint pain, and more. Taken as a supplement, it can help with gut health, joint health, strengthening of bones, hair, and nails, skin elasticity, and even weight loss. There are no known side effects of taking collagen as a supplement, making it safe and risk-free to try. It's suitable for most diets, even keto and pescatarian diets. However, it is created from animal products, so it is not vegan or vegetarian, depending on how strict you are with what you eat. It's important to look at your collagen sources when choosing a supplemental product, which we discuss at the end of this article. From cows to chicken to fish, you've got plenty of options. With all these options, many people wonder: what is the best type of collagen? Read on to find out!
What are the 5 types of collagen?
There are five different types of collagen. The biggest difference is where the collagen comes from. It would be rare to find Type V and Type X in a supplement form. However, Type I, II, and III can all be found in many popular supplements.
-Type I is a protein and helps form our bones, skin, and other tissues. It’s also the most abundant type of collagen found in the human body. It’s the strongest type, meaning it works the most effectively to heal and rebuild in your body.
-Type II collagen is found in the body’s cartilage. This means that it is used to support joint and connective tissue health.
-Type III is similar to Type I, and is largely found in our skin and organs. It’s the second most abundant type of collagen in your body. Both Type I and Type III help with elasticity in the skin and gut support.
-Type V is what composes the cells in the placenta of a woman during pregnancy.
-Type X is typically found within our cartilage, and is important for bone and joint cartilage growth.
Pros and cons of each type:
Collagen supplements can be derived from a few animals. Bovine, porcine, marine, and chicken collagen are all the types of collagen available. Some are definitely better than others, such as marine collagen. With land mammals, there is typically a much higher chance for contamination or the addition of hormones or other chemicals. With marine collagen, as long is it is wild-caught, you know you are getting a clean source of collagen. However, there are pros and cons for each type. It is important to do your research and know what you are putting into your body, because if it is a poorly made product or one that contains additives, it will do more harm than good. You also need to do what is best for your own body, so that could mean one type works better for you than another type.
Bovine Collagen- Pros: It is less expensive, and it can be found at all health food stores. It is a good alternative if you can't have marine collagen / fish. Cons: There is a chance for contamination since cows are land mammals. It's not as clean as products that are marine sourced.
Porcine Collagen- Pros: It is relatively inexpensive. Cons: It's an uncommon type of collagen used for a supplement, and there is a higher risk for contamination or a less clean product.
Marine Collagen- Pros: The most bioavailable of all collagen types, it absorbs more quickly and easily. If you buy a kind that is wild-caught, you will be getting the purest and best collagen available (always read the labels to make sure there are no additives). Cons: It is slightly more expensive than other types of collagen. However, given its purity and bioavailability, the higher cost is worth it.
Chicken Collagen- Pros: Similar to bovine, it is less expensive. As long as it's organic, it can be a good alternative if you can't have marine collagen. Cons: Again, since it is a land mammal, there is a higher risk for contamination or additives.
What are the best brands for collagen?
The best collagen supplements are ones that contain the cleanest, purest ingredients. You should look for things like non-gmo, organic, wild-caught, and grass-fed, just to name a few. Finding a quality collagen supplement is important, and there are many brands out there that don't produce the best product. You always need to read your labels and find out exactly what's included. Like any dietary supplements, the cleaner the better. It's also important to decide what kind of supplement you want to take. There are pills, powders, gummies, liquid shots, collagen protein powder, collagen peptides, and more. Try and avoid shots and gummies, as they often have added sugar and fillers. You simply won't see the same results or receive all the health benefits of collagen if your supplement is compromised on its quality. For example, our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars are made with premium wild-caught marine collagen that is hydrolyzed (broken down into easily absorbed particles). Not only are they made with the best collagen available, the fish used to make the product are ethically sourced. Each bar contains 11-13 grams of protein and 8 grams of collagen. Our ingredients are good for you because they are all beauty boosters, increase your energy, and keep you fuller for longer. Plus, many of the ingredients are essential for assisting with the production of collagen, like vitamin A and vitamin C. Forget about the hassle of blending a collagen powder into a smoothie, or taking giant pills. Our bars are perfect to grab-and-go for a quick snack or meal replacement. There is nothing better than a quality product that's healthy and delicious!