The human body is complex and requires many substances to remain healthy, usually in a careful balance. Most substances in our body have specific roles that must be fulfilled to ensure the different parts of our anatomy function properly. Some substances help internal organs function, while others facilitate our body's ability to heal. Regardless of the function, the nutrients, proteins, and other substances involved in human anatomy are crucial.
One of the lesser-recognized substances in the human body is a protein called collagen, which plays a significant role in developing our largest organ. Collagen is a little tricky compared to other proteins, and people often need a collagen supplement to overcome deficiencies and issues. Unfortunately, collagen is not necessarily an easy supplement to use.
Collagen, like so many chemical substances, has multiple subtypes that play different roles from each other. While most people use collagen supplements for a specific purpose, the different variants can make it difficult to keep track. As confusing as it can be to identify the different types of collagens and their role in our biology, there is a larger question on people's minds. People tend to assume that these variants are fundamentally the same protein and that there is no harm in intermingling them.
While the idea makes sense in theory, you will find that biology and chemistry often turn such assumptions into their playthings. Therefore, we must ask ourselves whether we can take different types of collagens together or if we have to keep them separate.
How Many Types of Collagen Are There?
The first thing you are probably asking yourself is: how many collagen variants exist to warrant such a question? There is a simple answer and a complicated answer to this question. The simple answer is that 5 types of collagen matter to us, but the complicated answer is that there are 28 distinct types. You might be confused about how the existence of 28 distinct collagen variants can be diluted to 5 important ones, but it is as simple as these 5 being the only ones to have a profound effect on our biology.
Nevertheless, keeping track of these 28 collagen variants has made it clear to researchers that there might be other types we have not identified yet. While this might be difficult to wrap your head around, we will be focusing on the 5 major collagen types.
The first thing to understand is that there are 2 categories that collagen variants can be divided into that affect their composition.
These categories are:
- Fibrillar Collagen: Fibrillar collagen is the type of collagen our bodies use to generate new tissue. The fibers create a sort of blueprint that our bodies use collagen to build according to that design.
- Non-Fibrillar Collagen: Non-fibrillar collagen is a type of collagen that is not used to create new tissue. Instead, non-fibrillar collagen modifies existing tissue, making it a secondary collagen form slightly less critical than fibrillar collagen.
While these 2 categories are important, they are generalized and serve to categorize the collagen variants. As we mentioned earlier, 5 collagen types matter to our biology. These collagen types are:
- Type I Collagen: Type I collagen is a fibrillar collagen and accounts for 90% of our overall collagen content. Type I collagen creates large fibers and improves our body's healing ability.
- Type II Collagen: Type II collagen is a fibrillar collagen involved in creating cartilage. Type II collagen accounts for 50% of the protein in generic cartilage and 90% of the protein in articular cartilage.
- Type III Collagen: Type III collagen is a fibrillar collagen that contributes to developing muscles and internal organs.
- Type IV Collagen: Type IV collagen is a non-fibrillar collagen known as basement membrane collagen. Type IV collagen is responsible for maintaining the body's basement membrane.
- Type V Collagen: Type V collagen is a fibrillar collagen that contributes to the health and development of hair, bones, muscles, and corneas. Type V collagen is unique because it is primarily found in our eyes.
Several details about these 5 collagen variants are extremely important but too specific to discuss in this article. Nevertheless, all 5 variants are essential to our overall health and extremely difficult to maintain. As a result, these 5 collagen types account for most modern collagen supplements. This brings us back to the question that brought you to this article: can these 5 types of collagen be taken together?
Can Different Types of Collagen Be Used Simultaneously?
The different types of collagen play different roles in the body and ultimately contribute to our ability to recover from damage. While all these collagen types are important to our health, some suffer from deficiencies that generate health and cosmetic issues. When these deficiencies manifest, it is sometimes necessary to compensate for the problem with supplements. These supplements can be used to correct the issues caused by collagen deficiencies so we can restore our health and appearance.
Depending on your needs, you might only need 1 type of collagen or more than one. Unfortunately, little information is circulating to tell people whether the collagen variants are compatible or conflict.
The answer is oddly complicated, especially considering the collagen variants are subtypes of the same protein. Nevertheless, they do not all cooperate in the body when used in supplement form, and you need to be careful about which types of collagen you mix. While supplements for Types IV and V collagen are unavailable, Types I, II, and III collagen are readily available in supplement form. Using these collagen supplements is generally simple if you follow the instructions, but these 3 subtypes are not the happiest of companions. Some combinations work, but you will be surprised to learn that you cannot take all 3 types simultaneously.
Ultimately, the collagen supplement you need will depend on the issue you are trying to correct. Collagen is responsible for managing multiple aspects of our biology and body, most of which are cosmetic, but others include physical health. When taking collagen to treat your hair, skin, nails, and bones, you will likely need 2 types. Types I and III collagen are oriented toward these body parts and can improve their health in multiple ways.
Specifically, they can:
- Minimize wrinkles in the skin.
- Improve the elasticity of the skin.
- Support bone health.
- Improve the health of damaged nail beds.
- Thicken hair and reduce hair loss.
- Improve circulation.
Types I and III collagen can be safely taken together and complement each other to enhance their effects on the body. These collagen types can help correct cosmetic skin, hair, and nail issues while improving bone health. Despite the benefits of combining Types I and III collagen, they do not provide the benefits of Type II collagen. When taking a Type II collagen supplement, you are likely trying to elicit the following effects:
- Reduce popping knees.
- Improve the health of the back, jaw, and joints.
These benefits offer health improvements for the joints and cartilage found in the body, which can diminish over time and lead to conditions like osteoarthritis. Improving physical health on this level is extremely difficult, even when using supplements or medication. Unfortunately, this sensitivity is why combining Type II collagen with Types I and III is inadvisable.
Because collagen is a precious resource for our bodies, it tends to prioritize collagen use by figuring out our biggest issue. It is also bound by the laws of bioavailability that determine how much of a substance we absorb. Collagen's bioavailability is not poor, but attempting to absorb multiple collagen types that affect different body parts can be difficult for our bodies.
Since Type I and III collagen affect different areas than Type II collagen, simultaneously taking all 3 will adversely affect our ability to absorb any of them. That said, no health issues arise from combining these 3 collagen variants. The only hazard is that they will lose some of their effects when trying to dip into both sides of the pool. Therefore, you should take your collagen supplements without mixing the wrong types if you want to yield the benefits.
While there are few supplements for Type IV and V collagen, the few that exist suffer a similar handicap. Most research indicates that these types should be taken separately from the other 3, and simultaneously taking all 5 will radically diminish their efficacy and make the supplements almost useless. Unfortunately, there are other concerns insofar as collagen supplements are concerned, especially since the efficacy of collagen supplements is limited in those with normal levels of collagen in their systems.
Natural Limitations of Collagen
Collagen is a limited substance in the human body, with the lion's share manifesting while we develop in the womb. This initial surge of collagen is responsible for our skin's creation, but our amount diminishes over time. In the early stages of life, the remaining collagen is plentiful and designed to repair damage to several body parts. Unfortunately, as we age, the level decreases until only enough is left to manage the essentials.
This is why collagen depletion has an adverse effect on our physical appearance, as previously mentioned. Most research indicates that collagen naturally depletes at an alarming rate as we continue aging. Even more disconcerting is that our bodies slowly lose the ability to generate new collagen in response to the reduced levels.
Current research indicates that our body's ability to produce collagen drops by 25% by the time we turn 40. Once we turn 60, that percentage doubles to a 50% deterioration, meaning we have significantly less with half as much potential to create more. This deterioration of our natural collagen production is why our skin and hair show signs of age, and we begin to develop wrinkles. These deficiencies are uncommon, but our collagen levels will naturally decrease as we age, and even our natural amount will be insufficient. In a sense, age generates a collagen deficiency unless you happen to have genetics that circumvents the aging process.
These natural limitations have made collagen supplements an extremely important resource for people with low collagen levels. Even if collagen is naturally deteriorating from age, collagen supplements can help compensate for the issues low collagen generates. Unfortunately, collagen supplements are essentially useless in our youth when collagen is abundant since our bodies do not need more. Ultimately, collagen supplements are a tool for people who have begun to experience a natural depletion of their collagen levels. Otherwise, you only overload your body with extra protein that will fail to disseminate.
If you are facing a collagen deficiency, acquiring a collagen supplement might be the next step. Unfortunately, finding a collagen supplement you can rely on can be challenging, especially one with the blend of collagen you need. The key is finding a vendor that can be trusted to provide a healthy supplement for your needs.
Keep it All Natural!
Collagen is an essential component of the human body since we would walk around without skin if we did not have it. While all 5 major collagen types are present in our bodies, attempting to supplement all 5 simultaneously will result in diminished results. You will be better off supplementing the collagen types that apply to your specific needs, and Type I and III collagen can mix when treating issues like skin and hair. Type II collagen should be taken alone if needed, but collagen supplements should ultimately be avoided unless you have a deficiency. The trick is getting ahold of a collagen supplement you can trust from a vendor with natural supplements.
We at Bella All Natural fully espouse the idea that supplements should be natural rather than synthetic. That is why we have dedicated ourselves to providing products that generate benefits for health and appearance. Among our products is our Collagen Powder, which provides a daily dose of collagen from marine life without any incompatible combinations. If you want a collagen supplement you can trust, we encourage you to visit our website and try it personally. Regardless of your choice, remember always to keep it All Natural!