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4 min

Type 2 collagen, ideal for joints: fact or myth?

You've certainly heard of type 2 collagen! This self-proclaimed superhero of our joints!

But wait a second, is this dear collagen really unmatched in saving our knees and hips? Come on, it's time to lift the veil on this matter.

Get ready to find out if our faithful type 2 collagen keeps its title as champion, even once it has undergone hydrolysis, or if types 1 and 3 collagen can also claim the throne of joint well-being!

So, ready to find out if this reputation is an undeniable truth or simply a well-constructed marketing gimmick? Let's go! 🔍

Understanding the Different Types of Collagen

The Role of Collagen in the Body

Well, you've been hearing about collagen for a while now, that's good. But what role does it really play in the body?

Collagen is a fibrous protein in the shape of a triple helix. 🧬 It is massively produced by our fibroblasts until our 30s. After that, these cells take a well-deserved retirement and produce it less and less!

But why is collagen so good for our body if it ultimately stops producing it?

Good question! Collagen is the mason of our body, responsible for the construction and strength of many of our tissues. It is there to build and maintain the structure of the skin, tendons, ligaments, as well as blood vessels and organs.

Collagen, or should I rather say collagens, because yes, there are several!

In total, more than 25 endogenous varieties, yes indeed!

Among the most widespread, there is type 1, specific to the skin, hair, and nails; the type 2 collagen  specific to the cartilage of joints ; and type 3… 

Well, it's a bit everywhere, in our internal organs, and even in our blood vessels.

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Sources of Different Types of Collagen

In the market, a wide range of collagens is available. 

  1. Type I collagen is often derived from the skin and bones of cattle, pigs, or fish. 

  2. Type II collagen is mainly extracted from the spines, bones, cartilage of chicken and fish. 

  3. Type III collagen is produced from the skin and bones of animals, similarly to type I collagen.

Each type of native collagen presents specific benefits. Type 1 collagen is often favored for its benefits on the beauty of the skin and nails, while type 2 collagen is more sought after for its positive effects on joints.

However, when they are hydrolyzed, that is, broken down into many fragments, the initial type of collagen loses its importance. Not clear ? 🤔 Don't panic, I'll explain it all right away.

The Truth About Different Hydrolyzed Collagens, You'll Be Surprised!

Understanding the Hydrolysis Process

The hydrolysis of collagen includes three main steps. 

  1. First, collagen is extracted from various sources and undergoes acid and/or alkaline treatment to prepare it.

  2. Next, thermal denaturation, that is, hydrolysis by heat, dissociates the three strands of collagen.

  3. Finally, enzymes take over! They cut the long chains of collagen into small pieces, called peptides.

🌈 You've got it, a native collagen thus differs considerably from a hydrolyzed collagen. Before hydrolysis, collagen appears as large three-stranded molecules. After hydrolysis, it consists of thousands of small single-stranded molecules, the peptides. And that's not all! Not only their size is different, but also their 3D shape, their viscosity, and their biological properties.

type 2 collagen

Why Discussing the Type of Collagen Post-Hydrolysis Is Incorrect 🤔

It is crucial to dispel a widespread belief that the type of collagen retains any relevance after hydrolysis. In reality, this idea is often the result of well-constructed marketing strategies. 

Before hydrolysis, we talk about different types of collagen – types I, II, and III, to name just a few — each with its structural particularities and biological properties. But after hydrolysis, whoosh! Everyone ends up in the same boat, because all hydrolyzed collagens are equal: they are all composed of thousands of peptides. 

Let's just say that at this stage, the collagen has lost the memory of its type of origin. 

🌟 In the end, the type of collagen for a hydrolysate serves only to indicate the source of the product.

Type 2 Collagen: The Superhero of Our Joints 🦵 ?

Native Type 2 Collagen vs. Hydrolyzed Collagens

The  type 2 collagen  naturally produced by our body is particularly abundant in our joints . Once hydrolyzed, the collagen loses its type specificity, whether it be collagen type I, II, or III. 

So, even if type 2 collagen is the darling of our joints when it is produced by our body, collagen peptides, whether they be type I, II, or III, have similar effects on our joint well-being! 

type 3 collagen

The Truths and Myths to Recognize

In the 1970s, the American scientist John H. Fessler paved the way by identifying and characterizing collagen, particularly that found in our joints. This discovery quickly caught the attention of the dietary supplement industry, which launched advertising campaigns touting the merits of this type of collagen for alleviating joint discomforts.

Over time, manufacturers naturally offered supplements based on hydrolyzed collagen, always favoring type II for its joint benefits. However, from a scientific perspective, numerous studies show a beneficial link between the consumption of collagen peptides — regardless of their types — and their impact on the entire joint sphere.

Choosing the Best Collagen: 4 Tips

Wisely Integrate Your Collagen into Your Daily Routine for Optimal Joint Well-Being

Taking care of your joints may involve integrating a course of marine collagen. However, make sure to properly integrate this supplement into your daily routine to maximize its effects on your body.

And don't forget that in addition to supplementation, it is essential to practice good daily habits to relieve your joints. 

Prioritize the Quality and Source of Collagen for Effective Results

When choosing your collagen supplement, the quality of manufacturing is essential to ensure its effectiveness. Make sure that the collagen comes from safe sources to guarantee its purity.

For our part, we use marine collagen, known for its absorption into the bloodstream and its high bioavailability. Additionally, opt for collagen that has been hydrolyzed, like our patented type I and III marine collagen Naticol®, for optimal absorption and effectiveness.

Be Vigilant Against Marketing Tactics to Make the Right Choice

Do not be swayed by misleading marketing tactics. While the type of collagen is important for native collagens, it becomes less relevant for hydrolyzed collagens. You now understand: no matter the type, these last offer similar benefits once hydrolyzed.

Explore Additional Resources to Deepen Your Understanding 💡

Interested in this topic ? Check out our complete guide to choosing the best collagen. It will answer all your questions.

To Remember

After closely scrutinizing type 2 collagen and its claims to be the supreme savior of our joints, the truth seems a bit more complex.

As we've seen in the article, all types of collagen, once hydrolyzed, appear to play an identical role.

Ultimately, the title of superhero does not exclusively belong to type II collagen!

What really matters is choosing a high-quality marine collagen and combining it with good practices to improve your joint health on a daily basis.


Co-founder of NOVOMA

Passionate and expert in micro-nutrition, Lucas founded Novoma in 2012. It is with conviction that he develops dietary supplements with effective active ingredients, carefully selected and 100% clean, to best meet the needs of the body.

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