By Jill Levy
Collagen is a structural protein that’s a key component of cartilage, bone and other tissues in both animals and humans.
Did you know that there’s actually more than one type of collagen? A little known fact is that there are at least 16 known collagen types, including type 1 and type 2.
What is type II collagen used for? As explained more below, this type is most abundant in sources including chickens and is associated with benefits including support for healthy joints, healthy skin and gut health.
What Is Type 2 Collagen?
Type 2 collagen is one type of collagen protein found in the human body that helps to build connective tissues, cartilage and bones. It’s made up of chains of amino acids like arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline.
Type II is the major collagen found in cartilage, helping to give cartilage its strength and elasticity. Cartilage is connective tissue that functions to protect the ends of bones and supports movement of joints. It also helps to form other body parts, including the ears, nose, the bronchial tubes and the rib cage.
What is type two collagen made from? It is found in high amounts in chicken cartilage (also called chicken collagen). Chicken cartilage can be synthesized and used in powdered collagen supplements and bone broth supplements.
Collagen type 2 can also be naturally obtained from drinking chicken bone broth, which is made with nutrient-filled animal parts such as bones, ligaments and connective tissue.
Type 1 vs. Type 2
A very high percentage of collagen in the human body, between 80 percent and 90 percent, consists of collagen type 1, collagen type 2 and collagen type 3.
Type 1 collagen accounts for most of the body’s supply. Type 1 is found in our skin, bones, tendons, corneas, blood vessel walls and other connective tissues. It’s made up of amino acids including proline, glycine and hydroxyproline.
Because it helps to build components of the skin that keep it strong and elastic, many people take collagen supplements featuring type 1 collagen to support healthy skin. You’ll find type 1 collagen in sources including bovine and marine/fish collagen.
Compared to other animal sources of collagen, chicken collagen is extremely high in type 2 collagen. It also inherently contains chondroitin and glucosamine, two compounds that help support healthy cartilage.
General Benefits of Type II Collagen
1. Supports Healthy Joints
Type 2 collagen is the major component of joint cartilage, and because it comes from chicken collagen that is inherently loaded with joint-healthy chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate, it’s typically one of the most helpful collagen supplements for supporting joint comfort and mobility.
Type 2 collagen makes up about 50 percent of all protein in cartilage and 85–90 percent of collagen of articular cartilage. Healthy cartilage in our joints makes it easier to move and can, generally speaking, contribute to athletic performance and recovery, plus it allows our bodies to absorb shock and bear stress.
Collagen type 2 also contains amino acids that help form creatine, which promotes healthy muscle growth and supports healthy energy levels to power your workouts. Additionally, type 2 collagen can help to support strong bones, which further contributes to stability and mobility, especially as someone ages.
2. Supports Skin Health
Why is this collagen good for the skin? One reason is because it helps to support healthy cartilage, which is found under the skin of your nose, ears and elsewhere and gives your skin its structure and shape.
It also contains amino acids that stimulate cells in the skin and help with the natural growth and repair process. And not only can collagen type 2 support your skin, but also the health of your hair and nails, too.
3. Supports a Healthy Gut
Amino acids found within collagen type 2 help support maintenance of tissues that form the gastrointestinal tract. This can support an overall healthy gut.
Best Type 2 Collagen Supplements
As mentioned above, you can obtain collagen type 2 by drinking real chicken bone broth, ideally that you make at home using high-quality ingredients, or by taking a collagen supplement that features type II collagen.
Most high-quality collagen supplements contain hydrolyzed collagen, which means the collagen peptides have been partially broken down to help with absorption. Once hydrolyzed, the amino acids in collagen become more bioavailable, which means your body can generally put them to work more easily.
Want a protein powder made of exclusively type 2 collagen? Look no further than Bone Broth Protein, which includes exclusively type II collagen along with glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and 19 amino acids.
We consider this the top bone broth supplement on the market and don't consider it very close. In fact, it's three times more potent than homemade broth, twice as potent compared to the leading bone broth brands (based on protein content), and five times (!) than leading brands on micronutrients and macronutrients.
Ancient Nutrition also makes a Multi Collagen Protein powder that provides you with five types of collagen (including type I, II, III, V and X) from four real food sources. Taking a supplement containing multiple types of collagen means you get an array of benefits.
Many folks, including Dr. Axe himself, take both Multi Collagen Protein and Bone Broth Protein to maximize the benefits for the joints, skin and gut.
How to Use
Making a type 2 collagen supplement a regular part of your routine is very simple. Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to starting any new dietary or supplement routine.
Collagen protein powders — which are typically unflavored but also come in a variety of flavors such as chocolate and vanilla — can easily be mixed into smoothies, soups and even baked goods. If you opt for an unflavored supplement, you’ll be able to get collagen’s health benefits without adding any taste to recipes like broth or stews.
A general recommendation is for most adults to take between 1-3 scoops/servings per day. However, you should always read label directions for suggested use.
Multi collagen capsules are also available, which are extremely convenient to take daily either with or without a meal.
To get the most benefits from collagen supplements, focus on eating a nutrient-dense diet that contains “collagen boosters” — including foods high in vitamin C, manganese, copper and antioxidants that help your body make and use collagen.
- Type II collagen is one type of collagen protein found in the human body that helps to build connective tissues, cartilage and bones.
- Supplements featuring chicken collagen, such as chicken bone broth protein powder, are brimming with type 2 collagen. Chicken collagen/type 2 collagen also inherently features chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate, which are both popular for supporting healthy joints.
- Type 2 collagen vs type 1, which is better? Both have their benefits, including supporting skin, gut and joint health. Type 1 is usually sought out for its skin-related benefits. Ideally, you’ll obtain a mix of both from a hydrolyzed mutli-collagen protein supplement, such as Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein.
Jill Levy has been with the Dr. Axe and Ancient Nutrition team for six years. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Fairfield University, followed by a certification as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jill takes a “non-diet” approach to health and really enjoys teaching others about mindful eating, intuitive eating and the benefits of eating real foods.