Structure of Bovine Collagen
Bovine collagen actually consists of two types of collagen: Type I and Type III.
Type I collagen makes up 70% of our skin and is key to replenishing skin. This type of collagen can enhance skin hydration and strength, decrease wrinkles, and help reverse skin-related issues related to aging. While Type I collagen can be found all throughout the body except for cartilaginous tissues, Type III collagen, the other type of collagen found in bovine collagen, can be found in our artery walls and other hollow organs. You can additionally find it with Type I collagen in fibrils, which are simply subdivisions of muscle fibers. Because bovine collagen has both of these types of collagens, it offers plenty of health benefits. After all, Type I and Type III collagen together make up more than 90% of the total collagen in the body!
Collagen itself consists of three long amino acid chains, each containing over 1000 individual amino acids. These chains are twisted, forming a helix conformation. Collagen in its full length form is difficult to digest. The gelatin form of bovine collagen has been partially broken down through a process called partial hydrolysis. Since it’s not fully broken down, gelatin is more difficult for the body to absorb and may cause some water retention and even bloating.
The peptide form of collagen is the most recommended form for consumption. Collagen peptides can also be called hydrolyzed collagen, and we’re sure you can guess why. The amino acid chains are hydrolyzed, meaning they have been broken down to form short chains. Don’t worry – no amino acids are lost in the process; it’s the structural properties that changed. In fact, it is said that the rate of absorption of collagen peptides in the body surpasses 90% thanks to complete hydrolysis. For this reason, collagen peptides are much more efficiently absorbed into the body than non- or partially-hydrolyzed chains of amino acids.