All You Need to Know About Collagen – Types, Functions, and Dosage

collagen
Credit: WebMD

Collagen is the basic structural protein for connective tissues, blood vessels, teeth, and many parts of the body. It has several functions in the body; therefore, it is important to develop an in-depth understanding of this protein. Here in this article, you will get to know about all the important details about this protein, including its dosage.

Types of Collagen

Up to this date, researchers have found 28 types of collagen protein existing in the world. The most common ones in the human body are type I, II, III, IV, and V.

Every type has its own function. For example, where type I and III are commonly found in organs and epidermis, type II is abundant in joints and cartilages.

Many manufacturers advertise their supplements to consist of different types of collagen. There is a need for more research to develop a better understanding of the effects of different collagen on health.

Sources of Collagen

There are many natural sources that can provide collagen directly or supply the body with its amino acids to help the body build it naturally. Some foods you can include in your diet are as follows:

  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Bone broth
  • Fish
  • Dairy
  • Beef

Collagen in Supplements

The collagen supplements use a different combination of proteins. The type used in the supplements varies the dosage instructions. These supplements are not for vegan as the source of this protein is only animal. Some common ones are:

  • Hydrolyzed: It is sourced from bovine, poultry, pig, seafood, and other animals. They are broken into smaller particles for quicker absorption.
  • Gelatin: It is a cooked form usually extracted from animals.
  • Undenatured:  It is a raw form extracted from a chicken.

Functions and Loss of this Structural Protein

With age, the body tends to lose collagen, especially after you hit 40, the loss increases to 1% every year. Smoking, increased sun exposure, and excessive alcohol intake can also deplete collagen faster in the body.

Elastin and collagen are two main proteins, which keep the skin tight and firm. Loss of collagen increases the risk of wrinkles and weaker bones and joints.

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Collagen is a popular protein for wound healing and wrinkle-free skin. Many people go for collagen supplements to slow down their aging process and reduce the risk of arthritis. Apart from these, collagen is also an essential protein to ensure healthy hair, nails, and prevent bone loss. Bodybuilders take it to improve their muscle mass.

Dosage Instructions 

There are no proper or approved guidelines by health experts for the safe collagen intake. On average, a safe dosage is 2.5-15 grams every day. It largely depends on the purpose you are taking it for and the form you are taking it in.

Many powdered supplements suggest taking one to two tablespoons of it daily. Whereas, people taking capsules should go for only one to two pieces.

  • Hydrolyzed

It is available in both capsule and powder form. You can add its powder in any beverage you like or even soups.

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The 2019 review showed 2.5 grams of hydrolyzed collagen to be safe and effective for skin, joints, and hydration. An increase to 5 grams is beneficial for maintaining bone density and 15 grams to ensure healthy muscle mass.

  • Undenatured

There are a few studies that support 10- 40 mg of this type sufficient to support healthy joints.

  • Gelatin

Gelatin is available in semi-solid form when dissolved in water. Many people commonly use it in desserts that needs a gelatinous texture. In addition, people can also use it in soups, smoothies, and sauces to get an extra layer of proteins. Researchers need to work more on their dosage.

Adeena Tariq Lari
The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.