What Is zuCollagen
By Jayton Miller
Next to water, your skin, hair, nails, cartilage, and tendons are made up of mostly collagen protein. Factors like old age and poor dietary habits lead to collagen decline. This accounts for wrinkly skin, joint health issues, and hair whitening as you near your golden years. On top of that, depletiond of collagen also leads to muscle atrophy and brittle bones. In short, you’ll age prematurely.
If you’re still relatively young, then we assume you still have a full set of hair, supple skin, and a full range of body motion. You have collagen to thank for all this. What is collagen anyway? Maybe you’ve seen it as a supplement, but do you really know what collagen is? We’ll explain all there is to know about collagen, and why it does your body wonders.
Table of Contents:
What Is Collagen?:
Collagen is one of the most beneficial things that we can consume as human beings. This powder is derived from the bones, joints, skin, and ligaments of animals. As a source of protein, collagen has some really big benefits for your health and your quality of life.
From improving the integrity and thickness of your hair to reducing the amount of joint pain that you have, collagen can help.
Collagen is a protein that makes up a lot of the extracellular matrix and connective tissue in the cells of animals. Collagen has a very unique profile of amino acids that lead to the health benefits that it has on the human body, of which the most significant ones that make up the collagen molecule are glycine, proline, and lysine.
Glycine has to be one of if not my favorite amino acids that we have discovered in mammalian bodies to date. The more that I look into this amino acid the more benefits that I tend to find that it has. It has been shown in numerous cases to help with sleep quality, help to decrease inflammation, stimulate secretion of growth hormone, help protect and improve the function of the liver, helps increase uptake of glucose, is used in the biosynthesis of creatine, helps improve metabolism and thyroid function and even helps with proper neuronal function.
The next best amino acid that we find in collagen is proline. Proline has been shown to increase growth performance, act as an anti-inflammatory, and helps with neuronal health.
Finally, we have lysine. Lysine is an amino acid that you really don’t hear much about. When you have two superstars like glycine and proline attached to you to make up a molecule, it is easy to get overshadowed. Lysine has many benefits as well which include lowering blood pressure, fighting herpes, reducing anxiety, and possibly helping in regulating sugar levels.
Not all collagens are the same; they fall into multiple categories. By different types of collagen, we’re not talking about collagen according to the source (e.g. from beef, from fish, from a supplement). We’re talking about collagen according to their molecular makeup, in which case the different collagens are simply described as Type 1, Type 2, etc.
Once you have a baseline understanding of the differences, you’ll know exactly what to look for in a collagen supplement (such as collagen powder) or collagen-rich food source.
How Many Collagen Types are There?:
Collagen types are numerous. There is actually a total of about 16 known collagen varieties, but about 90 percent of the collagen in the body consists of Type 1, 2, and 3. Humans only have Types 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10.
Collagen is the most abundant protein, comprising about 30 percent of all proteins in the body. Collagen’s specific amino acid profile makes it different from other proteins, such as casein or the whey found in your typical protein supplement.
If you’re still unsure about what collagen protein is, just think of it this way. Collagen makes up:
- 70-80% of your skin
- 10% of your muscle
- 30% of your bones
- 80% of your tendons
- 60% of your cartilage
Main Collagen Types
- Type I Collagen – This is the most common collagen type and aids in gastrointestinal health, restful sleep, white blood cell production, and memory. Bovine bone broth is an excellent source of type I collagen.
- Type II Collagen – This is the second-most common and is the primary collagen source that makes up cartilage. Chicken broth is a high source of this type of collagen and is recommended for joint pain sufferers.
- Type III Collagen – This type of collagen aids in the production of type I collagen and shares many of the same functions as type I.
Type 1 Collagen
Most collagen types you find in stores in supplement form are Type 1 collagen. This is the protein that makes up our skin, bones, teeth, joints, ligaments, tendons, and scar tissue. Collagen Type 1 is typical in anti-aging and wrinkle-prevention creams. This is because the protein promotes the elasticity of the skin and minimizes skin lines and other features associated with old age. Aesthetics aside, this collagen also makes up the lining of your gastrointestinal tracts, so it’s a crucial protein from a gut health standpoint.
The science behind collagen Type 1 is also very strong. One study showed that subjects that took a Type 1 hydrolyzed collagen supplement over a 60-day period saw a remarkable improvement in skin moisture and skin firmness. It’s believed that collagen helps promote the release of sebum, the body’s natural production of oil to prevent dry skin.
Collagen Type 1 is partly made up of the amino acid glycine. Studies have found that glycine has properties beneficial for your digestive system. For one, it prevents stomach ulcers by minimizing harmful gastric juices in the stomach lining.
In essence, collagen keeps your intestines from becoming too acidic. This makes collagen supplementation especially beneficial for those who regularly suffer from heartburn, bloating, or upset stomach. In this instance, we recommend collagen-rich foods along with foods high in probiotics.
Like collagen, probiotics are also readily available in supplement form. Floracil50 is one example that provides a natural source of beneficial probiotic strains.
Type 2 Collagen
Other types of collagen supplements you can expect to find at your local Walgreens include Type 2. This collagen is found mainly in cartilage. As such, this protein is crucial for joint support and health. Are you experiencing knee or elbow pain? You are likely Type 2 collagen-deficient, which occurs naturally as you get older.
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition revealed that supplementation with a collagen Type 2 reduced knee pain in otherwise healthy subjects. This suggests that collagen may be a useful supplement for athletes with a recurring joint injury. Cartilage loss, by the way, is a common issue for avid runners, hence why knee discomfort and knee-knocking are typical ailments.
Type 3 Collagen
Type III collagen aids in the production of type I collagen and shares many of the same functions as type 1.
You don’t hear a whole lot about type 3 collagen. This is because it shares many of the same characteristics and benefits as type 1. In fact, type I and III collagens are often lumped together. If you shop for a type 1, you’ll often find collagen products listed as both type 1 and type 3. We’re not even sure if collagen type III exists as a standalone supplement. Nevertheless, this type is mostly found in the skin, connective tissues, vascular system, and lungs.
Studies on collagen type III aren’t as numerous as type 1. One research study, though, did find that this variant is crucial for cardiovascular development and the production of type 1 collagen fibers.
Type 5 Collagen
You just don’t hear a whole lot about type 5 and onward. You’ll usually only see type 5 in supplements as part of a complete collagen product. Being less common and less abundant, though, does not make it less important. A research paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry indicated that type 5 is pivotal for overall collagen fibril assembly. In layman’s terms, that means it’s important in the production of other collagens.
For women, type 5 collagen has even more of a significant role as the protein contributes to the healthy development of the placenta. This makes it pivotal for pregnant women.
Type 10 Collagen
Last but not least, we have type 10 collagen. This plays a significant role in bone health. It’s needed for bone and cartilage healing after an injury. This includes the joints, so it has a similar function as type 2 collagen. Studies have shown that type 10 is needed for normal ossification (bone tissue formation).
Read More: Why You Should Stop Eating Whey Protein
What About Pro-Collagen?
Collagen types also include pro-collagen, which may be available as a supplement or topical cream. What exactly is this? Many kinds of scientific literature describe pro-collagen as “the precursor to collagen.” It’s basically what collagen is before being formed by fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) to become fully-fledged collagens.
Taken as a supplement, pro-collagen has many of the same benefits as the different collagen types. This includes improving joint mobility, skin elasticity, muscle tissue recovery, and promoting cartilage regrowth.
Our zuCollagen protein contains 20 grams of collagen and includes all 5 types of collagen in each scoop! Sourced from organically-raised grass-fed cows, we're so confident it's the best protein on the market that we include a 60-day Money-back guarantee! Click here to purchase zuCollagen today!