A friend of mine recently went to the doctor because of some knee pains. She was advised by her physician to take collagen supplements to help with the knee issues. When she shared this with me, I was a little surprised with the doctor’s prescription. Collagen, really? Isn’t that for the skin?
This rendered me curious and so I did my own research and discovered that collagen is a pill in its own league!
Today, let’s get to know more about this extraordinary protein that certainly has more than its face value.
What Is Collagen?
If you are like me, you might know collagen from your favorite skin care products. But, do not be mistaken as it does more than just care for your skin.
Collagen is the rifest protein in our bodies - most especially type 1 collagen. It is a hard, insoluble, and fibrous protein that makes up a third of the protein in our bodies. Found in skin, bones, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and digestive system, collagen gives our skin elasticity and replaces dead skin cells.
With our joints and tendons, collagen is the “glue” that keeps the body together (That should take away the surprise). However, as we age, our body’s collagen production slows down hence the wrinkles, sagging skin, and in my friend’s case, the joint pains.
There are 16 types of collagen, but 80 to 90% of them belong to types 1, 2, and 3, so we will focus on these three today.
What Are the Types of Collagen?
Types 1 and 3 Collagen
Types 1 and 3 collagen usually belong together because they are most abundant and have similar roles. Together, they make up more than 90% of the total collagen found in our bodies. Collagens 1 and 3 are the key components in the muscles, hair, skin, and bones. They are churned by osteoblasts and fibroblasts which are cells found in the connective tissues and cells that create bones.
Type 1 collagen can be found in all the parts of our bodies, except the cartilaginous tissues. This collagen replenishes the skin and helps reverse aging. Some studies have shown that people who supplemented with Type 1 collagen showed enhance hydrated skin and firmness. They also showed fewer wrinkles. Type 3 collagen, on the other hand, can be found in the artery walls and hollow organs. It is important to note that these two types of collagen contain four pertinent amino acids:
- Glycine - blocks endotoxin, a compound responsible for activating inflammatory signals that can cause low thyroid levels.
- Proline - important to stimulation of collagen synthesis; also acts as an antioxidant and prevents cell damage from free radicals.
- Glutamine - prevents gut inflammation.
- Arginine - helps synthesize creatine.
Type 2 Collagen
Type 2 collagen is produced by chondrocytes which means you can find them in your cartilage. It makes up 50% to 60% of cartilage protein.
Type 2 collagen is responsible for supporting your joints and cartilage to help support your back, joints, and jaw. This is why my friend’s doctor specifically recommended the Type 2 collagen - because it focuses more on joint health. I’ve also read that if this is what you wish to address, you should supplement Type 2 separately from Types 1 and 3 collagen.
Why Type 2 Collagen?
If I’m being honest, what I learned about the different types of collagen is that it’s not a three-in-one pill. Each type has its own benefits. Right now, I wish to answer the question, “Why should I use type 2 collagen?”
1. For a Healthy Skin
Type 2 collagen, especially the hydrolyzed kind, is best known for its skin enhancing advantages. What most people do not know is that as we start aging, the breakdown of skin is directly connected to the amino acid content. As we age, amino acids like glycine, proline, hydropoline, and alanine decrease as we grow older, most especially if our diet is not healthy. As evidenced by science, the essential amino acids present in hydrolyzed collagen promotes hydration and smoothness of the skin. When the skin is well-hydrated, it immediately enhances the thickness, suppleness, and elasticity of the skin
2. Enhances Joint Health
I no longer am surprised why my friend’s doctor prescribed collagen for her knees. It turns out, collagen is the most common structural protein in our bodies, so naturally, it plays an essential role in our joint health. You see, as we age, skin and muscles sag, ligaments become weaker, and bones lose density. Supplementing with collagen will help us gain new cartilage and stimulate collagen production by chondrocytes. On top of this, hydrolyzed collagen also stimulates the cells that build bones because it contains chondroitin and hyaluronic acid - both components support joint health as hyaluronic acid lubricates the joints.
3. Feed Your Tissues
Hydrolyzed type 2 collagen gives the body tissue-oriented nutrients to maximize nutritional support. This may come as a surprise, but hydrolyzed collagen contains 8 out of 9 essential amino acids. This type of collagen is way easier to absorb hence it makes its way to its targeted tissue easier and in the process, helps trigger collagen production.
In my friend’s case, she suspects that the pain in her knees may have come from driving and mostly, working out. I have cautioned her time and time again to be careful in working out and to not neglect her “internal” (meaning bone and joint) health in the name of losing weight.
My plea goes out to all of you, my dear readers. Please take care of those bones and joints. I don’t want you to jeopardize all the hard work you have put in just because of working out too much or wrong positions when exercising. You don’t want to end up being injured and skip days (or if worse, weeks) at the gym, do you?
With all the choices of this kind of collagen, my friend decided to go with Nutra Botanics’ Type 2 Hydrolyzed Collagen. It contains 1000 mg of collagen hydro fix or collagen Type 2 Chondroitin Sulfate, 350 mg of protein, 350 mg of collagen type 2, 220 mg of Chondroitin Sulfate, and 80 mg of Hyaluronic Acid. It also contains Magnesium Stearate, Silica, and Gelatin. All these components only make our the supplement more effective and easily absorbed.
The good news is, Type 2 Hydrolyzed Collagen is easily accessed via nutrabotanics.net. Check them out and help a loved one care for himself and ease whatever pain.