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What Are the Different Collagen Types?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 March 2014
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Collagen refers to natural protein that can be found in various parts of the body, including the skin and bones. Numerous types of collagen have been identified. These are usually referred to by number, such as collagen one, two, and three, or using Roman numerals, such as collagen I, II, and III. The differences between the collagen types are generally based on their unique chemical compositions.

It is believed that collagen types I, II, and III compose the majority of the body’s collagen content. Of these three proteins, collagen type I is believed to be the most abundant. Collagen I one can be found in many bodily structures, including bones, skin, and intervertebral disks. It is, therefore, present throughout the body. This type of collagen is commonly used in the gelatin industry and for research.

Collagen type III, which can be found in the skin, muscles, and intestinal walls, has been found to be the second most abundant type in the body. It is often closely associated with collagen I. This is because these collagen types are commonly found in the same places and they are synthesized in a similar manner. These collagen types are often combined to form supplements taken to maintain and promote healthy skin, bone, and muscles.

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Type II collagen is prominently found in cartilage and also in the vitreous humor. This type of collagen is used for the treatment of several conditions, including arthritis, cellulite, and wrinkles. When it is used for this purpose, it is often consumed orally in the form of capsules.

Collagen V is found distributed all over the body and is believed to be a component of most or all connective tissue. It is commonly associated with collagen type XI and can be found in the fibrils of cartilage. These two types of collagen have similar biological functions and structure. They are also believed to be important controlling factors in fibrillogenesis. This is the name of the process by which fibrils develop in other collagen fibers.

Type VIII is a short chain collagen that is most widely known for being a major structural component in the Descemet’s membrane, which is located in the cornea. This collagen is also found in the blood vessels of vascular tissues. This type of collagen has also been noted to be present in certain organs that are affected by diseases. For example, type VIII collagen has been found in various tumors and in cell lines extracted from carcinomas.

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Discuss this Article

lighth0se33
Post 3

I have been looking for a way to stop more wrinkles from forming on my face. I researched the use of collagen in beauty products and supplements.

Though collagen peptide is available as a supplement, it will be broken down by the acids of the stomach, so that would not do any good. There are topical creams that contain collagen available, but since it cannot be absorbed through the skin, that also would do no good.

I found that what I should look for is not collagen creams but creams designed to improve the structure of the skin and stop further collagen damage from occurring.

kylee07drg
Post 2

@Perdido – I read this same information when I started gaining weight. I asked my personal trainer about it, and he told me some more interesting cellulite facts.

As a person gains weight, the fat cells located between the collagen bands of fiber become more plump and start to bulge. If the person continues to put on weight, which most likely means they aren't exercising, then muscle tone decreases.

Because of this, the skin loosens, allowing gravity to pull down the skin. As this occurs, the collagen bands pull the skin from the underside, making it appear even more dimpled.

Perdido
Post 1

I developed extreme cellulite on my legs a few years ago. I discovered that collagen fibers play a part in the appearance of cellulite.

Under the skin, fat is harbored inside of a collagen fiber network. Some of these bands of collagen grow upwards and become attached to the skin's underside. The thin and weak attachments cause the wavy appearance of cellulite.

Also, cords of fibrous collagen, both strong and thick attachments, pull the skin downward, causing the dimpled appearance of cellulite found on the thighs and buttocks. For this reason, even thin people get cellulite.

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