Collagen Type 2: Definition & Explanations

Kollagen Typ 2: Definition & Erklärungen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It plays an essential role in the structuring of connective tissue and skin and keeps them elastic and stable. Type 2 collagen is one of 28 types of collagen. The structural protein is found in cartilage, eyes and intervertebral discs, where it performs important tasks.

In this glossary entry, we present collagen type 2 and its structure in detail. We have summarized what effect collagen type 2 has in the body. We also explain how you can get collagen and what factors influence production.

the essentials in brief

  • Type 2 collagen is the body's most important structural protein and makes up about a third of all protein in the human body. A total of 27 other types of collagen are known.
  • The structural protein acts on numerous structures in our body. Type 2 collagen is mainly found in cartilage, the eye and the intervertebral discs, where it provides the necessary elasticity and strength.
  • The body's own production of collagen can be stimulated with the help of a balanced diet with a focus on vitamin C and the amino acids proline and lysine. In addition, dietary supplements with collagen hydrolyzate are offered.

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Glossary entry: The term collagen type 2 explained in detail

In this glossary entry you will find everything you need to know about collagen type 2. We will explain what collagen type 2 is and how it is structured. We have also summarized the effects of the protein in the body.

We will also show you what you should pay attention to when taking collagen type 2 and which factors can impair the synthesis

What is collagen type 2?

One of the most important structural proteins is collagen. It makes up about 30% of the total protein mass in the human body. Collagen is found in skin, tendons, joints, bones, muscles, blood vessels and cartilage. The protein gives the structures elasticity, stability and strength.

Collagen is fiber-forming (fibrillar): The individual collagen fibers form a collagen framework. This strengthens and supports the connective tissue.


Type 2 collagen is mostly found in joints and cartilage. There, the structural protein provides strength and support and at the same time elasticity and resilience. (Image source: Anna Auza / unsplash)

Type 2 collagen is one of 28 known types of collagen. It is a component of cartilage, the vitreous humor of the eye and the intervertebral discs. It also gives strength and structure to connective tissue (1).

The structural protein is used in cosmetics to refine the complexion. Type 2 collagen is also used as a dietary supplement to strengthen joints and cartilage.

What is the effect of collagen type 2?

Type 2 collagen affects the human body in different ways. The structural protein is involved in the following parts of the body:

  • Band washers
  • cartilage tissue
  • vitreous body of the eye

Collagen affects the skin, joints, cartilage and blood vessels. In this section you can learn more about these sub-areas.

skin and connective tissue

The skin is the largest human organ with various functions. On the one hand, it protects us from external influences such as pathogens, sunlight and impacts, but on the other hand it also protects us from the inside by forming antibodies and regulating heat (2).

Skin is made up of 80% collagen (3).

The skin consists of three layers: subcutaneous tissue, dermis and epidermis. There is a network of fibers in the dermis. This includes the collagen fibers. They are responsible for the stability and tensile strength of the skin (3).

Collagen is therefore an important component of the skin and connective tissue. The following list summarizes some of the effects of collagen on the skin:

  • Skin hydration: In a 2019 blinded placebo-controlled study, subjects were given a collagen supplement. This study was able to show that a collagen preparation can improve skin moisture and the elasticity, roughness and density of the skin (4). In other studies, skin moisture could also be increased by supplementing with collagen (5,6).
  • Cellulite: The effect of collagen on cellulite was examined in a placebo-controlled study. Normal-weight and overweight subjects took bioactive collagen peptides orally for 6 months. The results show that the treatment had a positive effect on cellulite. The effect was somewhat smaller in overweight patients (7).
  • Skin aging: The formation of skin collagen decreases with age (8). If the estrogen level drops during the menopause in women, the skin also becomes drier and more wrinkled – collagen formation decreases (3). External influences such as UV radiation, food or stress also contribute to skin aging (9).

Collagen has the ability to store water efficiently. This allows the collagen to expand and contract again. The skin benefits from firmness and elasticity (3).


The skeleton is the support of our body. If it's weakened, problems arise.

The bone tissue gives the bones stability.

The tissue consists of bone cells surrounded by an extracellular matrix. Collagen makes up around 95% of the organic components of this matrix.

In connection with a mineral (hydroxyapatite), the collagen fibers give the bone the necessary stability and resilience (10).

A 2004 study examined the effect of collagen on bone metabolism in rats. The result was improved bone metabolism after oral administration of collagen peptide (11).

In addition, collagen hydrolyzate can help against osteoarthritis and osteoporosis (12).

In a study of postmenopausal women, bone formation increased after taking collagen peptides. Bone resorption also decreased (13).


The flexible connection between two or more bones is called a joint. The knee and hip joints are among the largest joints in the human body.

Collagen can prevent and reduce pain in the joints (14).

There is a joint space between the bones that contains synovial fluid. The ends of the bones are covered with a layer of cartilage. If this connection is damaged, pain usually occurs.

The cartilage layer consists of cartilage cells and an extracellular cartilage matrix. In the basic substance of these components, collagen fibers are embedded in a network (10).

formation of cartilage

Collagen is an important component of cartilage. Taking collagen hydrolyzate can improve the synthesis of cartilage cells. These produce collagen fibers in cartilage.

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In addition, the production of the mineralized bone matrix increases (15).

Collagen makes up approximately two-thirds of the dry weight of articular cartilage (16).

blood vessels

Many types of collagen are found in vascular tissues (17). Collagen and elastin are responsible for the stability and mobility of the vessels.

Arteriosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, can occur in the vessels.

In this disease, cholesterol and other fats are deposited in the inner wall layer of blood vessels. This leads to plaques that constrict the bloodstream, making the vessels less elastic and thickening (18).

A study found evidence that collagen is suitable for the prevention of this disease. The level of harmful cholesterol decreased in the subjects (19).

Studies looked at pulse wave velocity when taking collagen at the same time. Pulse wave velocity indicates the speed at which a pressure wave travels through the artery. It is high in diseases of the blood vessels (e.g. narrowing).

Researchers found that pulse wave velocity was reduced and that collagen may help prevent vascular disease (20,21,10).

How is collagen type 2 constructed?

In collagen type 2, 3 chain-like strands wind around each other to form a triple helix. These chains each consist of around 1000 amino acids. Every 3rd amino acid is the amino acid glycine.

If many of these triple helices connect, collagen fibrils are formed, which can combine to form a collagen fiber. The collagen fibers have high tensile strength (22).

What is the daily requirement for collagen type 2?

The exact need for collagen is not known. The body can independently form collagen from amino acids. However, with increasing age, the production of collagen type 2 decreases.

collagen type

The body's own collagen production is influenced by age, among other things. Collagen production decreases with age. Flabby, wrinkled skin and joint problems can be a result. (Image source: Pranav Kumar Jain / unsplash)

The need is individual. Someone who has cartilage damage or joint problems such as rheumatism needs more collagen (10). One study showed that as little as 40 mg of collagen type 2 can reduce symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (23).

How do I get collagen type 2?

A healthy person receives collagen type 2 through the body's own production. You can stimulate this production by taking certain vitamins, amino acids or dietary supplements. Not only collagen type 2 is promoted, but also many other forms of protein.

An additional intake of collagen becomes necessary when there is a deficiency.

In the risk group for a collagen deficiency are older people, people with joint and muscle problems, skin diseases, diabetics or smokers (24). Collagen is often used in sports and cosmetics.

In the following sections you can read how you can take collagen type 2 and what you should pay attention to when taking it.


In fact, the body can produce collagen itself. However, the amino acids found in food can help the body make collagen.

The amino acids glycine, lysine and proline are an important component of collagen.

About a third of the body's proteins are made up of the amino acids glycine, lysine, and proline (24).

It makes sense to take the following substances to support collagen formation in the body:

  • Proline: This amino acid is found in protein (25), which is often found in meat and nuts. Also, grains like white and spelled flour, legumes (especially soybeans), and cheese are high in proline (26).
  • Glycine: Meat, fish, nuts, legumes, and grains like oatmeal are high in glycine (27)
  • Copper: Copper is an important cofactor for the enzyme lysyl oxidase, which plays an essential role in collagen formation (28). Foods high in copper include cocoa powder, cashews, pork liver, soybeans, lentils, and shrimp (29)
  • Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid, known as vitamin C, is an important cofactor for the hydroxylase of proline and lysine. In addition, vitamin C promotes collagen gene expression (30) Almost all symptoms of scurvy (vitamin C deficiency disease) are linked to defective collagen biosynthesis (31) Foods such as acerola, rose hips, strawberries, nettles, parsley, paprika and Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C (32)


Collagen can be taken via supplements. These are offered in various forms: powder, tablets, capsules or drinking ampoules.

When collagen is taken orally, collagen hydrolyzate is used. It contains the same amino acid structure as type 2 collagen and is formed by the hydrolysis of collagen. Collagen hydrolyzate is also known as collagen peptide: hydrolysis breaks down the long amino acid chains of collagen into small fragments (peptides) that are easier to digest (33)

In this table we have summarized the effects of hydrolyzed collagen.

place of action Description
joints and bones Collagen hydrolyzate can help prevent joint diseases and can be a therapy for joint wear and tear (34). Taking collagen hydrolyzate stimulates the synthesis of mineralized bone matrix and cartilage cells, which produce collagen fibers in the cartilage (15,35). Taking collagen can help prevent and treat osteoporosis (36).
wound healing Oral administration of collagen can be a method to promote wound healing and treat wound disorders. Faster wound closure was observed with treatment (37,38).
blood pressure Collagen hydrolyzate has an antihypertensive effect. It can suppress the increase in systolic blood pressure and inhibit cardiovascular damage. Its use in cardiovascular diseases can therefore be useful (39).
glucose tolerance In one study, the effect on glucose tolerance could be observed. Collagen hydrolyzate has antidiabetic properties. It inhibits glucose uptake in the gut and improves insulin secretion (40).
skin Collagen hydrolyzate has the property of improving skin conditions. It decreases wrinkles and roughness and increases moisture and elasticity (41).

Collagen hydrolyzate is pure protein and comes from animals such as chicken, fish, pigs or cattle and is therefore not vegetarian or vegan.

Vegetarians and vegans can take supplements or foods that stimulate the body's own production of collagen. These should contain vitamin C and amino acids such as proline and lysine.

What Factors Can Affect Collagen Synthesis?

The body's own production of collagen is affected by various factors. The following aspects can reduce the synthesis of collagen:

  • Ultraviolet Radiation (42)
  • High in sugar and refined carbohydrates in the diet (43)
  • smoking (44)
  • Increasing age (45)

When you prevent or reduce these factors, your body has an easier time making collagen. This leads to improved health.

What other types of collagen are there?

There are 28 known collagen types (types I to XXVII), which differ structurally and perform different functions in the body. About 10 other proteins with collagen-like domains are known (31)

kind Type
Fibrillar Collagen Type I, II, III, V and XI
Mesh-forming collagen Type IV, VIII and X
fibrin-associated collagen Type IX, XII, XIV, XXII
Beaded collagen Type VI
anchoring fibrils Type VII
With transmembrane domains Type XIII, XVII, XXIII and XXV

The various types of collagen are found throughout the body: teeth, tendons, bones, muscles, bone marrow, vessels, eyes or in the skin. Collagens assume a supporting, stabilizing and anchoring function. Although they have a high resistance to traction, they are flexible and malleable.

A tendon, for example, is made mostly of collagen and has an incredible tensile strength of 500 to 1000 kg/cm² (46).


Type 2 collagen is an important part of our body. It is found in cartilage and the gel found in the vitreous humor of the eye that surrounds the discs. Collagen is essential for the stability of joints and bones, but also for skin and blood vessels.

In addition to the body's own production, you can also absorb type 2 collagen through food and supplements. With increasing age, the body's own production decreases. Factors that can affect the production of type 2 collagen include smoking, exposure to UV rays, and consuming too much sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Individual proofs(46)

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