What Are Collagen Peptides? Everything You Need To Know
Written by: Liz Brown - Jun. 16, 2020
It’s an important question to ask yourself, especially when decided between different types of collagen supplements. This article will explain almost everything you need to know to make the best decision for your body and get the best bang for your buck. By the end of this article, you’ll know what collagen is, the effects it has on your body (including your appearance!), and why collagen supplements are essential to reversing the aging process by helping you look and feel years younger…
We’ll be going over:
- What is collagen?
- How is collagen distributed throughout our body?
- What is the difference between collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen and gelatin?
- Collagen types and benefits
- Where does collagen come from?
- Different types of collagen supplements
- Benefits of Super Youth collagen
What Is Collagen?
First, some science.
Collagen is one of our body’s most important proteins, made up of long-chain amino acids that twist into a tightly bound helix conformation. This helix gives collagen the strength it needs to support key functions such as tissue architecture and durability, and cell-to-cell relationships.
Collagen is the major component that ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of all connective tissue matrices and can be found in tissues such as skin, blood vessels, bones, tendons, and ligaments. It’s even found in your teeth, cornea, cartilage, digestive tract, and the discs between your vertebrae!
It is made primarily of three amino acids: proline, hydroxyproline, and glycine, but the triple helix itself is made up of more than 1,000 amino acids! This makes collagen the most abundant protein in your body.
In layman’s terms, collagen is the glue that holds our bodies together and is responsible for basically everything.
As you approach your 30s your collagen production begins to decline and continues to decline as you age. Leaving your skin, hair, nails, and joints dull, tired, and brittle. 🙈 It’s also why you may experience new wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, stretch marks, cellulite, weak and achy joints, poor mobility, and more!
Suffice to say, a healthy supply of collagen is crucial for prolonging your youthful appearance and quality of life!
How is Collagen Distributed Throughout Our Body?
About 30% of your body’s proteins are one type of collagen or another and are distributed throughout your body by weight ratio of dry mass (not including weight from water, blood, etc.):
- Skin 75%
- Joint Cartilage 70%
- Tendinous Muscles 6%
- Ligaments 70%
- Tendons 85%
- Bones 90%
What is the Difference Between Collagen Peptides, Hydrolyzed Collagen and Gelatin?
What is hydrolyzed collagen and what are collagen peptides? And how are gelatin and bone broth related? If you’ve looked into collagen at all, you’ve certainly come across these terms before. But what do they mean?
For the most part, they’re synonyms, used interchangeably because they all share the same 18 types of non-essential amino acids as well as eight of the nine essential amino acids. Getting them confused is easy to do. But look closely and you’ll see some subtle differences that make each one of these types of collagen unique.
Just to refresh your memory, pure collagen is one long triple helix that contains about 1,000 amino acids.
Collagen peptides are made after the long chain of pure collagen has been broken down. So a collagen peptide is a section that has broken off from the original collagen helix. Although it is made from pure collagen, it has different properties.
Unlike pure collagen, peptides are much shorter amino acid chains, allowing them to be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. After absorption, collagen peptides travel throughout the body repairing, rebuilding and providing energy. They’re also shuttled to the different tissues where cells will build the peptides into full-length helices to repair our skin, bones and joints, or the cells can use the amino acids directly for energy.
After absorption, collagen peptides travel throughout the body, repairing, rebuilding and providing energy. Collagen peptides are shuttled to the different tissues where cells will build the peptides into full-length collagen helices to repair our hair, skin, bones and joints. Sometimes, the cells use the amino acids directly for energy.
It’s important to understand that hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides are the same product but with different names. Full length collagen is broken down into collagen peptides through a process called hydrolysis.
Hydrolysis is the chemical breakdown of the collagen due to a reaction with water. Hence, collagen peptides are frequently referred to as hydrolyzed collagen, collagen peptides, and hydrolyzed collagen peptides.
Like hydrolyzed collagen, gelatin has gone through a form of hydrolysis. The only difference is that gelatin goes through partial hydrolysis turning it into a gel. Because it has not been fully broken down into peptides, it is not absorbed into the bloodstream as effectively. The partially hydrolyzed chains in gelatin hold onto a lot of water, so supplementing with a gelatin form of collagen can cause bloating and intestinal discomfort.
Additionally, gelatin will only dissolve in hot water, while collagen peptides will dissolve in both hot and cold liquids. Gelatin is difficult to break down during digestion and is too large to cross the intestinal wall. This means unhydrolyzed, full-length form, collagen are the least effective types of collagen. Go with (hydrolyzed) collagen peptides instead.
What about Bone Broth?
Bone broth is made by mixing animal bones and connective tissue with water and slowly heating. The collagen in the bones slowly turns into gelatin that dissolves in the water and turns to broth.
Because it’s still gelatin, bone broth does not have the same healing abilities as collagen peptides since it’s not easily digested into the bloodstream. Adding a scoop of collagen peptides into the broth can increase the benefits, but bone broth alone won’t get the job done.
The Different Types of Collagen And Their Benefits
According to Molecular Cell Biology, there are at least 16 types of collagen, but about 80-90% of the collagen in the body consists of three types: Type I, II, and III.  Although it is not as abundant in the body, the presence of Type V collagen is essential for Types I and III to function properly.
Types I and III Collagen
Collagen Type I and Type III are found in our body’s scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, muscle, skin, teeth, joints, the organic part of bone, and organ capsules.
Benefits of Types I & III collagen:
- Minimize fine lines and wrinkles
- Improve skin elasticity and smoothness
- Support bone matrix (36% of bone is made up of these types)
- Correct weak or damaged nail beds
- Thicken fine hair
- Reduce hair loss
- Improve circulation
- Promote glycine production which builds lean muscle and helps burn fat during sleep
Type II collagen
Collagen Type II is found throughout our joints and cartilage. It makes up 50-60% of protein in cartilage and 85-90% of collagen in articular cartilage.
Benefits of type II collagen:
- Reduces popping knees
- Supports back, jaw and joints
- Includes glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid
- Improves joint strength and elasticity
- Present throughout the connective tissue of organs and is important for the repair and maintenance of the body. This improves elasticity in tendons and ligaments that decline with age.
Type V collagen
Essential for the formation of Types I and III, Type V collagen supports optimal tissue quality in hair, skin, nails and vital organs, restoring youthful features inside out. It also contributes to the bone matrix, corneal stroma, and interstitial matrix of muscles, liver, lungs and placenta.
Benefits of Type V collagen:
- Smooths cellulite
- Reduces the visibility of stretch marks
- Supports healthy hair, skin, and nails.
- Improves gut health and digestion
- Soothes IBS, leaky gut, and heartburn
Type X collagen
Best known for its healing properties, Type X collagen supports bone formation in cartilage which makes it helpful to prevent normal wear and tear in joints and keeps your body youthful and performing at optimal levels. It is a reliable marker for new bone formation in articular cartilage.
- Accelerates healing in muscles, connective tissue, and bone fractures
- Regenerates the strength and flexibility in torn muscles, joints, and ligaments
- Aids in recovery after exercise
Collagen Sources: Where Does Collagen Come From?
Now that you understand the difference between the different forms of collagen, and have a better idea about how collagen works, the next thing you need to know is where these collagen types are sourced from. This is an important detail because where it is sourced plays a vital role in what type of collagen you get, and this directly affects the benefits. There are three different sources of collagen that are used in collagen supplements, beauty products, etc.
These animal sources include:
- Marine/piscine (fish) 🐟
- Bovine (beef) 🥩
- Fowl (chicken) 🍗
Marine collagen is considered to be a superior form of collagen because it raises levels overall body collagen (Type I), directly resulting in the improvement of skin, hair, nail, and bone quality. Piscine collagen is extremely popular in the beauty industry because it increases skin benefits that provide a glowing, youthful complexion. This is one of the highest quality collagen sources on the market.
Bovine collagen provides a healthy dose of Type I and Type III collagen, and is rich in glycine, which is necessary for building healthy DNA and RNA strands and forming creatine (the compound responsible for protein metabolism).
Beef collagen is the most popular form of collagen supplementation on the market and helps repair connective tissues like joint cartilage, bone matter, and other tendons and ligaments. Additionally, there are some added benefits such as: protein sparing, improved sleep quality, accelerated wound healing, and improved gut health.
Type II collagen supplements are usually derived from chicken and are particularly effective for supporting cartilage in the body. Although they help support Type II collagen, they are not as effective as marine collagen.
Types Of Collagen Supplements
Many collagen supplements on the market will contain only one or two types of collagen. Single or double-collagen supplements target a very specific, and thus solitary, benefit. That presents a downside: Limited sources, limited benefits.
For example, bovine collagen, the most common form of collagen, only increases the benefits for Type I and III collagen, and completely neglects the other three important types of collagen. This results in fewer benefits for the consumer. When selecting a collagen supplement its best to find a product that contains all five collagen types to ensure optimal results.
Super Youth is a multi-collagen peptide supplement specifically formulated to include all five types of hydrolyzed collagen peptides (Type I, II, III, V, and X) that stem from all three sources (Piscine [wild-caught, pacific snapper], Bovine [grass-fed, pasture-raised cows], and Fowl [cage-free chickens]) to fight all side effects of aging! This high-quality collagen blend has the most diverse collagen ingredients to help you look and feel years younger.
Benefits of Super Youth collagen
In addition to premium ingredients, one of the many reasons why Super Youth is the most desirable collagen supplement on the market is because of how easy it is to incorporate into your daily routine. It is flavorless and odorless and because it only contains hydrolyzed collagen peptides, it can easily be mixed with any food, or hot or cold beverage. It is also gluten-free, non-GMO, contains 7g of protein and is only 30 calories per serving!
With just a SINGLE scoop of Super Youth per day, you can:
- Restore skin’s natural glow
- Increase skin’s hydration and elasticity
- Smooth cellulite and stretch marks
- Reduce wrinkles & even skin tone
- Achieve fuller, healthier hair
- Grow stronger, longer nails
- Brighten teeth and gums
- Support healthy muscles
- Strengthen joints and bones
- Improve gut health and digestion
- Boost fat loss
Want to read more about Super Youth, its ingredients, and all the benefits? Clicking here.
The Bottom Line
So. What are collagen peptides? They’re complex, that’s for sure. They’re critical to our health, that’s clear. They’re found all throughout our bodies. And there sure are a lot of them.
As far as supplementation, collagen peptides are the way to go. They’re in a highly digestible form that our bodies put to use almost immediately. You can normally find supplements containing individual collagen types, but to get the holistic benefits of collagen peptides, aim for supplements that contain multiple, high-quality sources.
Oh, and don’t forget about taste! Go with something flavorful that makes every sip a treat!
 Lodish H. et al., Molecular Cell Biology. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000. Date Accessed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21475/