Collagen is an essential part of our physical composition and can be found throughout the body. It is made up of three polypeptide chains, each of which has the conformation of a left helix. These three left helices are twisted together into a triple helix or coiled coil on the right, a cooperative quaternary structure stabilized by many hydrogen bonds. The five most common varieties of collagen include type I collagen, type II collagen, type III collagen, type V collagen, and type X collagen.
Type I collagen is the most abundant type of collagen in the body and is found in skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. It is also used to form larger collagen aggregates, such as fibrils. Type II collagen is found in cartilage and is responsible for optimal fibrillar formation and tissue quality in the human body. Type III collagen is found in skin, muscles, and blood vessels and works together with types I and II.
Type V collagen is found in hair follicles and placenta and contains several interruptions in the Gly-X-Y repeat sequence that make the molecule flexible. Lastly, type X collagen can be used during recovery from limb damage and broken bones. When considering any type of collagen in supplement form, it's always important to remember that the body naturally has its own collagen stores and can get more from a healthy diet. Collagen is an important type of protein that contains 19 different amino acids, including some of which many of us don't get enough of.
Consumers can check the type of collagen, source, and form by reading the label of collagen supplements available to them. Current research into the potential biomedical uses of type I collagen suggests that it can be used to increase the nucleation and development of bone mineral crystals. Type II collagen may help reduce pain from common joint problems, but more research is still needed on benefits such as a healthy response to joint inflammation, reconstruction of damaged articular cartilage, and increased range of motion. Nidogen binds to the γ1 chain of laminin, and also binds to type IV collagen and another component of the basement membranes, perlecane. To ensure you are getting the best quality collagen supplement for your needs, it's important to look for products that are third-party tested for purity and potency.
Additionally, look for products that are free from additives or fillers that could potentially reduce their effectiveness. Finally, make sure you are taking the recommended dosage as indicated on the product label.