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Focus on: Collagen

By Emma Cattell BSc (Hons) ANutr, senior research and development nutritionist.

Collagen is a group of naturally occurring proteins found in animals (particularly in the flesh and connective tissues.) It is the most abundant protein in vertebrates comprising approximately 25% of total bodily protein and to date, 27 different types of collagen have been identified.

The three forms of collagen supplement commonly available on the market are denatured, undenatured and hydrolysed. Denaturation is an irreversible process whereby heat causes peptide chains to unwind into their constituent amino acids which depletes the arthritic benefits associated with the type II peptide but speeds up absorption due to smaller molecular size. Undenatured collagen has not been subject to a heating process and therefore its peptide chains remain unchanged. Undenatured collagen is broken down by the body into its constituent amino acids for absorption. When collagen is hydrolysed, the process involved causes proteins to be broken down via hydrolysis to smaller peptides and free amino acids.

The three types of collagen that makeup 80-90% of bodily collagen are types I, II and III. These three types are differentiated by the protein they contain. Type I occurs primarily in connective tissue, type II almost exclusively in cartilage tissues and type III in skin. The collagen content of skin is heavily reduced with age and beings to deplete faster than it is synthesised immediately after birth.

Types I and III can be taken together whereas type II should be taken separately to obtain the full benefits. Types I and III tend to be utilised for beauty products whereas type II is used in joint and cartilage support. 

Type II collagen products are generally obtained from chicken sternum whereas types I and III are generally obtained from either bovine, porcine or marine sources.

Available now from Cambridge Commodities:

  • UC-II® undenatured type II collagen - P31859
  • Collagen type II 20% HA - P08026
  • Hydrolysed collagen bovine (90% protein) - P08107
  • Marine collagen type 1 - P03394

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