What is it, and where is it found?
There are over 28 types of collagen found in the body. These are the three common types of collagen and where you can find it in the body.
- Type I: Skin, tendon, vasculature (think blood vessel), organ, and bone. (Over 90% of collagen in the body is Type I)
- Type II: Cartilage
- Type III: Reticulate (soft mesh tissue found in the liver, bone marrow, and organs of the lymphatic system); often found together with type I collagen.
Why is collagen important?
Collagen is important for the structure and strength of your bones, cartilage, blood vessels, and skin. Taking collagen may reduce joint pain and improve joint mobility, along with improving the appearance of skin. (In conjunction with other vitamins, minerals, and amino acids; a reminder that there is no one superfood and that a balanced diet with a variety of nutrients -- meaning beyond collagen -- is still key for supporting health).
Collagen is a source of glycine (an amino acid), which can help with restorative sleep, glycemic control, and increasing growth hormone levels, pain reduction, and symptoms of schizophrenia. In addition, taking collagen type II has been associated with reduced autoimmunity to the body’s own collagen type II.
Where do I find collagen in food?
Bone broth is a great source for collagen. Slow cooked soups (e.g. pho or menudo) can be a source of collagen too. Chicken soup, cooked with the skin and bones and feet, is another great way to add collagen to your diet. If you are more open to trying more nose-to-tail meals, try eating organ meats, such as liver, heart, spleen, or kidneys. Canned sardines (not deboned) is another convenient way to add collagen to your diet.
How much collagen should I take?
- For good skin, taking around 10 grams of collagen a day may help in conjunction with a nutritious diet that includes vitamins, mineral, other types of amino acids, and fatty acids.
- Collagen is basically made up of 30% glycine. In order to have more restorative sleep and reduce fatigue the next day, take about 9 grams of collagen [with?] 3 grams of glycine about an hour before bedtime. Glycine is a semi-essential amino acid, meaning the body can create some of it, but more is needed from the diet. To obtain enough glycine for a healthy metabolism, consuming about 10-15 grams of collagen twice per a day is recommended.
What form of collagen supplements are available?
Collagen peptides (easier to digest than gelatin for some people)
- Bone broth powders
Jim Van Buskirk helped edit this work.