Definition: Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, helps to hold the body together like glue and can be found in muscles, joints, skin, tendons, digestive system, etc.  It is the substance that gives strength and elasticity to skin and other organs. As we age the natural production of collagen slows down leading to some of the aging signs such as wrinkles and joint pain.

  • Lifestyle factors such as a diet high in simple carbohydrates, smoking, and excessive sun exposure can contribute to the reduction of our collagen levels.
  • Genetic factors as well as a diet low in collagen and digestive problems can reduce the production of collagen.
  • Collagen, in the gastrointestinal tract, is metabolized to multiple amino acids, some of which are used by the gut, and the rest are absorbed systemically. Some of the collagen, fermented by bifidobacteria in the gut acts as a prebiotic providing food for beneficial gut probiome.
  • Collagen is composed of many amino acids including glycine, proline, glutamine, and arginine. Glycine has been found to have many functions in the body including as an inhibitory neurotransmitter promoting relaxation and sleep, improving insulin resistance, acting as an anti-inflammatory, and improving liver function amongst other things. Proline has been shown to improve metabolism, help the immune system reduce atherosclerosis, etc. Glutamine helps with mood, and concentration, improves gut and immune health, etc.  Arginine, which also readily converts into nitric oxide, promotes cardiovascular health, immune system health, etc.
  • There are over 27 types of collagens identified. The important types of cartilage are types 1,2,3,4,5 and 10.  
  • Type 1 is considered the most common type of collagen and is present in skin, around muscles, bones, teeth, disks as well as cornea and arteries.
  • Type 2 is the 3rd abundant form and is found mainly in joint cartilage, disks as well as vitreous part of the eyes.
  • Type 3, the second most abundant collagen and most commonly found combined with type 1, can be found in intestinal walls, uterus, around muscles, and blood vessels.
  • It should be mentioned that type 4 is found lining our gut and respiratory surfaces, type 5 helps with placental function and type 10 helps bone fracture healing amongst other functions.
  • Supplements such as Vitamin C, copper, and manganese support the natural production of cartilage.
  • Animal products high in amino acids, such as eggs, poultry, fish, and dairy products, may promote natural cartilage production.


  • Cardiovascular disease: Types 1&3
  • Eyes problems: Types 1 & 2
  • Gut issues: Such as leaky gut, inflammatory gut issues, IBS, GERD, liver detox, etc. Types 1 &3
  • Joint diseases: Such as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, etc. Type 2
  • Metabolism issues: Such as low metabolism and energy, improving muscle mass. Types 1 & 3
  • Spine/Disk disease: Types 1 & 3
  • Skin, and hair issues: Such as wrinkling, dryness and roughness, cellulite, and stretch marks. Types 1 & 3
  • Uterus diseases: Type 3

Sources of Cartilage:

  • Bovine Collagen, rich in proline and glycine, mostly made of types 1 & 3
  • Chicken collagen mostly type 2
  • Fish collagen, rich in proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline, mostly type 1
  • Egg collagen found in eggshells and whites, rich in glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, etc., contains mainly type 1 as well as some 3,4 and 10

To schedule an appointment please contact us

Carolina Integrative Clinic

254 Towne Village Dr, Cary, NC 27513, United States


Tel: (919) 869-6661

Fax: (919) 301-9349