Collagen - Health Benefits, Food Sources, Supplements, Types

What is Collagen?

The most prevalent protein in the human body is collagen, which accounts for around one-third of the body's total protein content. It plays a significant role in the development of connective tissues such skin, bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.

These tissues benefit from collagen's strength, suppleness, and support, which aids in preserving their form and function. It contributes to the healing of wounds by providing a framework for the development of new tissue.

Age-related changes in the body, such as wrinkles, joint discomfort, and weakening bones, can be brought on by a decrease in collagen formation. There are numerous collagen supplements on the market today that make the claim to help with skin appearance, joint pain relief, and bone health promotion.

While collagen supplements might have some advantages, additional analysis is required to fully comprehend how they affect the body. Before beginning any new supplement regimen or making dietary or lifestyle changes, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional.

Types of Collagen

The human body has numerous different forms of collagen, each with a marginally different structure and function −

  • Type I collagen − Type I collagen makes up around 90% of all the collagen in the body, making it the most prevalent kind. It gives strength and support and is present in the skin, tendons, ligaments, bones, and other connective tissues.

  • Type II collagen − This kind of collagen is present in cartilage and aids in preserving the tissue's shape and functionality.

  • Type III collagen − This form of collagen is present in blood vessels, muscles, and skin and helps to keep these tissues' flexibility and structure.

  • Type IV collagen − This kind of collagen is present in the basement membrane, a thin tissue layer that divides the body's many cell layers.

  • Type V collagen − This kind of collagen, which is present in hair, the placenta, and cell surfaces, aids in controlling cellular behaviour.

  • Type VI collagen − Type VI collagen is present in connective tissues like tendons and cartilage and helps to keep such tissues' structure and functionality in tact.

  • Type VII collagen − Skin contains type VII collagen, which aids in holding the skin in place against supporting structures.

Each form of collagen has a distinct structure and function and contributes in a special way to the upkeep of the wellbeing and functionality of diverse body tissues.

Sources of Collagen

A type of protein called collagen is mainly present in meals that come from animals. The following foods contain collagen −

  • Bone broth − To make bone broth, bones and connective tissue from animals like chicken, beef, or fish are simmered. Collagen and other nutrients are abundant in it.

  • Meat − The connective tissues of meat, such as beef, hog, and chicken, contain collagen. Collagen can be found in meats like shanks and brisket that have greater connective tissue.

  • Fish − Good collagen sources include the skin and bones of fish. To enhance collagen intake, the skin and bone of fish like salmon, tuna, and cod can be eaten.

  • Eggs − Egg whites are a good source of collagen, especially proline, a protein that functions as a structural component of collagen.

  • Gelatin − Made from collagen that has been heated and then chilled, gelatin is a material. It is frequently used in cooking and is used in a variety of sweets and desserts.

  • Dairy − Milk and other dairy products like cheese contain the amino acids needed to produce collagen.

  • Sources from plants − Although plant-based foods don't naturally contain collagen, certain of them, such soy, beans, lentils, and nuts, can help the body produce more of it.


Dietary supplements known as collagen supplements typically contain collagen that is obtained from animals like cows, fish, or pigs. These dietary supplements come in a variety of forms, including powders, capsules, and tablets, and are frequently advertised for their possible advantages for the health of the skin, joints, and bones.

The following are a few potential advantages of collagen supplements −

  • Skin health − Collagen is a key component of the skin, and taking supplements of it may enhance skin suppleness, wrinkle reduction, and hydration.

  • Joint health − A significant portion of the cartilage that cushions the joints is collagen. In adults with osteoarthritis, collagen supplements may help relieve joint discomfort and stiffness.

  • Bone health − Collagen is a crucial component of bones, thus taking supplements of it may aid with bone density and fracture prevention.

Although there is some evidence to suggest that collagen supplements may have some advantages, it is crucial to note that further research is required to fully comprehend how they affect the body.

Furthermore, collagen supplements might not be good for persons with specific medical disorders like liver illness or allergies to animal products because they could result in adverse effects including digestive pain and allergic responses.

When using collagen supplements, as with any other dietary supplement, it's crucial to speak with a healthcare professional. You should also pick a recognised brand that has its purity and quality tested by a third party.

There are several kinds of collagen supplements, including −

  • Collagen peptides − Collagen peptides are hydrolyzed collagen proteins that have been divided into tiny peptides that the body can more readily absorb. They can be added to foods and beverages and are often offered as powders.

  • Tablets and capsules containing collagen powder − These dietary supplements come in tablet or capsule form.

  • Collagen in liquid form − Certain dietary supplements are available in liquid form and can be taken orally or mixed into beverages.

  • Drinks and shots containing collagen − These are pre-packaged beverages and shots that also include vitamins and minerals as well as collagen.

  • Collagen cream and serums − Creams and serums containing collagen are topical products that are applied directly to the skin. While occasionally being promoted as supplements, they are not actually supplements.

It's critical to choose a collagen supplement from a reliable company that has its products tested by a third party for purity and quality. Also, it's crucial to adhere to the dosage and usage guidelines given that taking too much collagen may result in undesirable side effects.

It is important to remember that while collagen supplements may have some advantages, collagen production can also be increased naturally through a healthy diet and way of life. Healthy collagen levels in the body can be supported by eating a diet high in collagen-building components, including as protein, vitamin C, and zinc, and refraining from practises that can harm collagen, such smoking and excessive sun exposure.

Health Benefits

A protein called collagen is crucial for the health of the skin, bones, joints, and muscles, among other bodily parts. The following are some potential advantages of collagen for health −

  • Skin health − Collagen, a key component of the skin, may assist to boost moisture, decrease wrinkles, and improve skin flexibility. According to certain research, collagen supplements may assist to improve the texture and look of the skin as well as delay the ageing process.

  • Joint health − A significant portion of the cartilage that cushions the joints is collagen. In adults with osteoarthritis, collagen supplements may help relieve joint discomfort and stiffness.

  • Bone health − Collagen is a crucial part of bones and may assist to increase bone density and lower the risk of fractures.

  • Muscle mass − Strength and muscular mass may be enhanced by collagen, a key component of muscle tissue.

  • Gut health − By enhancing the integrity of the gut lining and lowering inflammation, collagen may enhance gut health.

  • Heart health − By enhancing blood vessel function and lowering risk factors for heart disease such high cholesterol and blood pressure, collagen may enhance heart health.

Although there is some evidence to suggest that collagen may have health benefits, it is crucial to emphasise that more research is required to fully comprehend how collagen affects the body. Moreover, collagen supplements may have some adverse effects and be inappropriate for those who have specific sensitivities or medical conditions. Before taking collagen supplements, it's crucial to see a healthcare professional.


Despite the fact that collagen-rich foods can aid in the body's collagen production, there is little proof that eating collagen causes the skin's collagen levels to rise. To produce new collagen in the body, the body must first break down dietary collagen into its component amino acids.

Updated on: 31-Mar-2023


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