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February 10, 2022
The Astonishing Truth About Multi-Collagen: Why More Isn't Always Better
There’s growing excitement around this supplement called “multi-collagen protein”, but is it really all that it’s hyped up to be?
What makes it different from non-multi-collagen? Are there more health benefits, or less? And more importantly, which collagen supplement should you be taking?
Before I reveal all of the above answers, let’s quickly define collagen…
Collagen is the richest source of protein in the body—making up 33% of it, in fact (1). It’s often referred to as the “glue” that holds the body together, providing strength and support to skin, bones, joints, intestines, and more.
Although your body produces collagen naturally on its own, that production begins to slow with age. So what once was a body with 100% collagen is now a body with 50% collagen by the time you reach 50 years old. Low levels of collagen can result in sagging skin, brittle bones, stiff joints, and thinning of the intestinal lining.
Now that you know what collagen is, let’s address what multi-collagen is—along with its potential downside and the alternative to turn to.
What Is Multi-Collagen Protein?
Did you know that there are 28 different types of collagen? These types are identified as Type 1 Collagen, Type 2 Collagen, Type 3 Collagen, and so on—all the way up until Type 28 Collagen (2).
With that being said, multi-collagen protein is a collagen supplement that contains more than one type of collagen. Typically, “multi-collagen” products contain Types 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Which raises the question: Do these types help or hinder one other?
What’s the Difference Between Each Type of Collagen?
Each type of collagen is found in a different part of the body…
Type 1 Collagen can be found in the hair, skin, nails, cornea, teeth, tendons, bones, organs, and blood vessels—making up over 90% of the collagen in the human body (3).
Type 2 Collagen can be found in the joints, cartilage, and gut lining.
Type 3 Collagen can be found in the skin, organs, intestines, muscles, and blood vessels.
You get the point…
Collagen is found all throughout the body. Which makes sense why a multi-collagen supplement may seem like the optimal choice. A “one and done” type of approach to whole-body health, perhaps.
Well, not necessarily…
The Downside to Multi-Collagen
As you now know, most collagen supplements contain five different types of collagen, claiming to deliver benefits starting as early as day one.
However, science is saying otherwise…
Given that Type 1 and 3 collagen are the most abundant and important collagen fibers found in the human body, it makes more sense to use a formula that’s highly concentrated with Type 1 and 3 fibers (4, 5).
Whatsmore, most multi-collagen powders use subpar collagen types in their formula, making them far less potent—and far less transformational when it comes to the benefits you most desire: Plump skin, ache-free joints, thick hair…
Even worse, multi-collagen formulas that use a blend of collagen sourced from a variety of different animals poses a concern for purity, allergen contamination, safety, and quality assurance. For example, given that marine life is more subject to toxins and pollutants, using a collagen product that includes this source is less than ideal.
Case in point: More isn’t always better. For optimal results, it’s best to use a collagen powder that contains Types 1 and 3 (that come from one single source: Grass-Fed Bovine).
The Healthier Multi-Collagen Protein
While multi-collagen supplements tend to be less expensive, there are a few key reasons why choosing bargain brand multi-collagens may not be the smartest option for meeting your daily collagen needs…
For starters, research indicates that certain collagen types should be taken together while others should be taken separately.
For example, because Type 2 Collagen makes up the fluids and functions in cartilage and joints, it should be taken separately from Types 1 and 3 to ensure adequate absorption (4, 5).
For this reason, taking multi-collagen supplements that combine all the various types of collagen into one serving isn’t recommended (it will stunt the absorption!), hindering the body from reaping the full benefits.
Thus, in order to experience maximum anti-aging results with collagen supplementation, use a powder that combines Types 1 and 3—and leave out all the rest.
With that being said, your collagen label should checkmark the following:
☑ Be Grass-Fed Bovine
☑ Be Peptides (or Hydrolyzed)
☑ Contain Type 1 Collagen
☑ Contain Type 3 Collagen
If it doesn’t, then it’s likely a second-rate supplement that won’t deliver the same transformational results.
The Bottom Line
Multi-collagen supplements can be beneficial when it contains the right types of collagen—like Type 1 and Type 3 Collagen.
However, if it’s a supplement that combines Types 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 altogether, absorption won’t be as effective.
Take Type 2 Collagen, for example…
Type 2 Collagen is found mainly in the joints and cartilage. If it were combined with any other collagen fiber, its absorption in the joints and cartilage would be compromised. Whereas, since Type 1 and 3 Collagen overlap in the skin, organs, and blood vessels, it’s best to take them together.
In short, more isn’t always better—especially in the case of collagen types. Remember to look at the label of the supplement you’re buying to see what types of collagen it contains and where it’s sourced from.
Certified Health Coach and Head of Content at NativePath (aka I’m the gal responsible for ensuring that every blog we publish helps you live life a little more #OnThePath).
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.