The Difference Between Collagen Types: A Simple Guide

collagen protein chains

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If you are into health, beauty and anti-aging, you may have heard of collagen. Although there are over 28 types of collagen protein, there are five that are most common in your body. In this article, we will explore what is the difference between collagen types?

Let's get started...

What is Collagen Exactly?

To start with, collagen is the most abundant protein found in living animals and both men and women. The word collagen in Greek language is known as 'glue''s the glue that holds everything together in your body.

Not only that but because collagen fibers are strong and flexible, it's often referred to as scaffolding in the body too.

Further, collagen protein is made up of the building blocks of amino acids that are synthesized by vitamin C, zinc and copper.

Collagen is found everywhere including skin, hair, nails, bones, the cartilage in joints, lips, muscles, connective tissue, helps keep your intestinal lining intact, is in your teeth and the corneas of your eye.

As you age, your body stops making as much new collagen protein. 

In addition, there are activites known as collagen killers like stress, a poor diet, smoking and too much sun.

As a result of less collagen, you may start to see wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin on your face and body, experience joint pain, digestive distress and bone health may start to suffer.

The Different Kinds of Collagen

Although there are over 28 different kinds of collagen in your body, there are a handful that are the most common.

These types of collagen appear the most often in the human body, they include Types I, II, III, IV, V and X collagen. 

Let’s talk about the main types of collagen, what they do, and the differences between them.

Check out our review of the best multi collagen peptides powder for our top picks.

What is Type I?

Type I collagen is, by far, the most abundant collagen in the human body.

It's concentrated in the skin, tendons, blood vessel walls, connective tissues, bones and what rushes in to heal a skin injury.

Finally, collagen from marine collagen supplement sources has a higher concentration of type I as compared to grass-fed bovine collagen sourced from cattle/cows.

Learn more here about the differences between marine and bovine collagen sources.

Difference Between Other Types

Now that we know what Type I is, what about the other main types?


Type II collagen is concentrated in cartilage. Cartilage is the connective tissue that provides the cushioning between bones in your joints.


One of the best sources of Type II  is chicken bone broth, which is very rich in this kind of collagen.


Next, Type III collagen is somewhat similar to Type I and are in multiple animal sources and offer the same benefits.

Further, Type III can help maintian the structural integrity of the heart as well as the skin.

Bovine (cattle/cow)-sourced collagen, often in the form of gelatin (concentrated bone broth), is a great source of Types III and I.


Next up is Type IV collagen that serves as the mechanical support otherwise known as basement membrane. It divides tissues into compartments and also affects cell behavior, 

In order for cancer to spread, malignant cells must pass through the basement membrane. A lack of type IV collagen in your body may make it 


Type V collagen helps to form cell surfaces and hair.


Finally, Type X is crucial in bone formation and comes from chicken and bovine sources.

Which Collagen Is Best?

When it comes down to it, which type of collagen is best is not a straightforward question to answer.

For example, if you're going for anti-aging skin, hair, and nail benefits, you will probably want to stick with Type I and III.

Concerned about joint health? Type II is the one to focus on.

How about blood vessels and heart health? Types III and IV would be a good bet.

Luckily, if you want to get the benefits of all Types in one collagen product, that's easy to do.

Final Thoughts

Collagen protein is the most abundant in your body and basically holds the body together and gives it structure.

As you age, your body produces less new collagen protein which may lead to conditions such as wrinkles, joint pain and leaky gut.

You can help slow the damage of existing collagen and encourage your body to make new collagen by eating foods high in vitamin C, iron and zinc, reduce stress, get enough sleep don't smoke.

Now that you know about the difference in collagen types, you can make the best choice for your body and lifestyle.