Difference Between Collagen 1, 2, and 3

August 25, 2015 by Editorial Team

Collagen is a fibrous protein located mainly in the connective tissues within the body. It functions for producing and preserving cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, corneas, dentin, and other body tissues. It is known that the human body has at least 16 different collagen types, but the most prominent of all collagens are the first three which make up approximately 80 to 90 percent of all collagen in the body. This article will discuss the differences between collagen I, II, and III.

Definitions

Structure of collagen helix

Collagen type 1 is the most numerous in number among all collagen types. It can be found in bones, skin, and intervertebral disks. It can also be found in scar tissue. Among the collagen types, it is used in the research industry.

Collagen type 2 has fibrils that are important for providing tensile strength to tissues. It can be found in articular and hyaline cartilages, and the eyes. Type II collagen is used in the treatment of arthritis, cellulite, and wrinkles.

Collagen type 3 is the second most abundant collagen in the body. It is closely related to collagen type I in terms of location and manner of synthesis. It is primarily located in the intestinal walls, muscles, and blood vessels, although it can also be found with collagen type I. Collagen type I and type III can be mixed together to create supplements for the skin, bone, and muscles.

Comparison Chart

Collagen Type ICollagen Type IICollagen Type III
Most abundantLess abundantSecond most abundant
Can be found in skin, tendons, ligaments, bone, teeth, intervertebral disks, and scar tissueCan be found in articular and hyaline cartilages, and the eyesCan be found in intestinal walls, muscles, blood vessels, and with collagen type I
Research industryTreatment of arthritis, cellulite, and wrinklesSupplements for the skin, bone, and muscles

Comparison

Let us compare the three in terms of number, location, and other uses.

  • Among the three collagen types, the most abundant is type I, followed by type III, and the last is type II.
  • Collagen type I can be found in skin, tendons, ligaments, bone, teeth, intervertebral disks, and scar tissue. Collagen type II is found mainly in articular and hyaline cartilages, and in the eyes. Collagen type III is seen in the muscles, intestinal walls, and blood vessels. It is also closely associated with collagen type I, thus it is common to see collagen type III at sites with collagen type I.
  • Advanced medical technology has found ways to manufacture and use the different collagen types outside the body. Collagen type I is also used in the research industry. Collagen type II is manufactured into capsules that is used in treatment of arthritis, cellulite, and wrinkles. As for collagen type III it is manufactured into capsules as supplements for healthy skin, bone, and muscles.

Video

The following video could help better understand the difference between collagen type I, II and III: