What is collagen?
Collagen is an abundant structural protein that occurs naturally in the human body; it has several important functions and is essential for optimal health. Think of collagen as the “glue” that holds you together and gives your tissues integrity, strength, and elasticity.
Different types of collagen
Type 1 collagen makes up about 80-90% of the collagen found in the human body. The long, tightly packed collagen fibers in type 1 form a matrix that’s flexible yet unbreakable. It’s vital for providing structure, strength, and elasticity to your skin, tendons, muscles, organs, blood vessels, bones, and even the cornea of your eyes.
Type 1 collagen is probably most well-known for its skin health benefits. It makes up roughly 90% of collagen in the skin and is necessary for a supple, hydrated, and youthful appearance.
Type 2 collagen fibers are the main component of joint cartilage. It forms about 90% of healthy articular cartilage, which creates a smooth sliding surface to protect the ends of the bones from grinding against each other.
The fibers in type 2 are shorter than in type 1, giving it shock-absorbing properties that cushion joints and keep them flexible. Undenatured collagen type 2 can be found in our T2NDC® supplements, which have been expertly developed to reduce joint degeneration and painful arthritis.
Type 3 collagen is the 2nd most abundant form of collagen in the body. These densely packed fibers work in conjunction with type 1 collagen to give firmness and elasticity to skin, muscles, lung tissue, the uterus, and the digestive tract.
Type 4 collagen is a little different from other forms of collagen as it’s a sheet-like protein. It makes up the basal lamina – a thin, cushion-like layer of fluid that’s a vital part of the endothelial cells that surround and protect muscles, digestive organs, respiratory organs, blood vessels, and fat cells.
Type 5 collagen consists of very long, thin fibers that work in conjunction with collagen types 1 and 3 to support healthy skin, eyes, and hair. It’s also essential for proper fetal development as it strengthens the placental tissue responsible for providing nutrients and oxygen to a baby in utero.
Undenatured Collagen vs Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
As evidence of the health benefits of collagen mounts, collagen supplements are growing in popularity. There are two forms of supplemental collagen with different mechanisms of action: Undenatured/Native Collagen and Hydrolyzed Collagen.
So what's the difference?
Undenatured collagen is that native form of collagen that’s carefully extracted from chicken cartilage to retain its bioactive triple helix. It’s this helical structure that supports joint health and flexibility. By introducing it to the body in small doses, undenatured type 2 collagen acts as an immune modulator, preventing the immune system from attacking the body’s joint cartilage. This allows room for strong, flexible joint cartilage to be renewed and rebuilt.
Hydrolyzed collagen (also known as collagen peptides and denatured collagen) is native collagen that’s been “digested” into small amino acid chains called peptides. The original collagen protein is put through enzymatic hydrolysis, breaking the bonds of the triple helix into small, bioavailable peptide building blocks. These peptides are rapidly absorbed by the body to be reassembled into collagen in connective tissue – whether that is type 1, type 2, type 3, or others!
These different collagen supplements also differ when it comes to dosage. Hydrolyzed collagen peptides need to be taken in larger doses, while undenatured collagen is only required in a small daily dose to exert its benefits. In short, undenatured collagen interacts with the immune system in the digestive tract, while hydrolyzed collagen promotes the synthesis of new collagen to help rebuild connective tissue.
At 10KATE Laboratories, we pride ourselves on being industry leaders when it comes to collagen supplements. Using our patented processing technology, we extract type 2 collagen in its native and biologically active form for use in our joint support formula T2NDC®.