You might have heard this trending ingredient’s name thrown around, but what is collagen? The word “collagen” is derived from the Greek “kolla,” meaning glue. It’s the main protein in connective tissue and the most abundant protein in the human body. Different types of collagen provide strength and structure to bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. You can think of collagen as the “glue” that holds you together. When you’re young, your body naturally produces an abundance of collagen but production decreases as you grow older, tapering off dramatically by the age of 40.†
So now that you know it’s essential, what is collagen made of? Most collagen products are made from animal parts that are otherwise normally discarded, such as bones, skin, scales and connective tissue from cows, chickens, fish and even egg shells. More than just byproducts, these extremely nutrient-dense parts are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, gelatin and collagen, which are all beneficial to supporting whole body wellness.†
The best way to promote health always starts with the right diet, and there are plenty of collagen foods that support production and wellness. For example, bone broth contains a bioavailable form of collagen that your body can use right away, but you can also add collagen powder to your foods. Check out The Upside blog for great collagen-enhanced recipes and ideas on how to get the most out of your collagen supplement.†
Speaking of supplements, as more and more arrive on the market, it’s important to understand the different types of collagen, as well as the benefits of each. There are 28 different forms of collagen, but most of what’s in the body includes types I, II and III.
Type I collagen accounts for most of the collagen in your body. Made of densely packed fibers, this form provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue and teeth. Fun fact: Gram for gram, type I collagen fibrils are stronger than steel!†
Type II collagen is made of loosely packed fibers. This form is found in elastic cartilage and plays an important role in cushioning your joints.
Type III collagen, the second most abundant form, is a major component of the extracellular matrix in a variety of internal organs and skin. This form is most commonly found alongside type I.
Many collagen products contain mostly type I and/or type II collagen – the types our bodies use the most. You can also look for collagen products that contain multiple types of collagen to address different parts of your body at once.†
If you’re looking for where to buy collagen, look no further than Vitacost.com. Whether you’re in the market for the best collagen peptides, collagen vitamins or collagen creams, we have a collagen out there to suit you and your lifestyle. Browse brands that specialize in collagen (such as Vital Proteins collagen), single or compound collagen formulas and check out these 10 must-try collagen products for recommendations on how to boost your health from head to toe.
For more information, such as how to use collagen peptides, answers to other common questions, expert tips and advice and more, check out The Upside blog.
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