Collagen is the most abundant component of the extracellular matrix, a complex network of both structural and functional proteins that surrounds cells and organs and exists within tissues, also constituting more than 75% of skin’s dry weight. While there are more than 28 different types of collagen, there are predominantly just five main types.
The five main types of collagen and what they do:
- Type I. This type makes up 90% of body collagen. Type I is densely packed and used to provide structure to skin, bones, tendons and ligaments.
- Type II. This type is found in elastic cartilage, providing joint support.
- Type III. This type is found in muscles, arteries and organs.
- Type IV. This type is found in the layers of the skin.
- Type V. This type is found in the cornea of the eyes, some layers of skin, hair and tissue of the placenta.
Collagen levels in the body
Collagen production in the body naturally lowers with age, beginning between 18-29 years of age and lowering by around 1% per year after the age of 40.
However, age isn’t the only reason for a decline in collagen. To make collagen, the body needs enough of the amino acids that are involved in the building of collagen, amino acids like lysine and proline, which need to be obtained from the diet. As such, a diet low in adequate protein, vitamins and minerals will also contribute to lower levels of collagen. The production of collagen is also sensitive to environmental stress, so too much oxidative stress on the body can impact the quality of collagen fibres in the body.
While there isn’t a lot you can do about lower levels of collagen in the body due to the normal effects of ageing, a good diet, combined with avoiding excessive oxidative stress on the body through things like avoiding smoking and excess alcohol consumption will help.
Collagen and supplements
Collagen contributes to normal collagen formation to support the normal structure and health of skin, cartilage, joints, bones and muscles.
The collagen found in supplements typically comes from two sources – either fish collagen, commonly sourced from the skin and/or bones of fish, or bovine collagen – sourced from the cartilage, bones, tendons or hides of various animals.
Which collagen is best?
The main difference between fish or bovine collagen is the type of collagen they contain.
While both fish and bovine collagen have benefits for skin, hair, nails and joints, fish collagen mainly contains type 1 collagen, where bovine collagen contains both types I and III. The choice of the type of collagen right for you will depend on why you are using it and your individual requirements.
Herbs of Gold Collagen
Herbs of Gold have a range of collagen supplements, available as either fish or bovine collagen, in a delicious berry flavoured powder.
Herbs of Gold Collagen Gold contains premium hydrolysed fish collagen combined with nutrient rich super-foods including acai and acerola, as well as zinc and vitamin C for the maintenance of normal healthy skin, hair, and nails, providing 2.5g of collagen per serve.
Herbs of Gold Collagen Forte contains high-strength hydrolysed collagen from bovine, also containing nutrient rich super-foods, and providing 5.5g of collagen per serve.
 Choi, F. D., Sung, C. T., Juhasz, M. L., & Mesinkovsk, N. A. (2019). Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology : JDD, 18(1), 9–16.
 Varani, J., Dame, M. K., Rittie, L., Fligiel, S. E., Kang, S., Fisher, G. J., & Voorhees, J. J. (2006). Decreased collagen production in chronologically aged skin: roles of age-dependent alteration in fibroblast function and defective mechanical stimulation. The American Journal of Pathology, 168(6), 1861–1868.