Q: How many types of collagen are there?

Collagen occurs in many places throughout the body, making up a huge 90 percent of our bone mass and 30 percent of all other proteins our body produces.

There are various types of collagen (at least 16), each type being found in different areas of the body: the skin, connective tissues, lungs, muscles, joints, blood cells, arteries, and more. 

The five most common types are: 

Collagen Type I

  • Found in our skin, tendons, ligaments, and heart
  • Crucial for healing wounds and holding together our muscles and bones, in addition to making our tissue strong so it doesn’t tear 

Collagen Type II

  • Found in our cartilage and connective tissues
  • Because our joints rely on well-lubricated cartilage, collagen is integral in optimizing our joint health.

Collagen Type III

  • Found in our organs, such as our heart and skin (alongside type I). 
  • The reticulate in type III helps give our skin and tissue their elasticity and firmness. 

Collagen Type IV

  • Integral in lining our digestive and respiratory organs

Collagen Type V

  • Supports new hair formation as well as placentas 

Collagen Type X

  • Important to the formation of new bone 

If this sounds confusing, think about it this way: If you divided your body into 16 different quadrants, there would be some type of collagen in every single quadrant, and multiple types of collagen in varying quadrants. Type I and type III collagen would be in every quadrant, because your skin covers your entire body—and hence these are considered to be the most abundant types of collagen.

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