What is the Difference Between Collagen and Collagen Peptides

The main difference between collagen and collagen peptides is that collagen is a fibrous protein that is a natural component of connective tissues in animals, including humans, whereas collagen peptides are a broken-down form of collagen.

Collagen and collagen peptides are related dietary supplements derived from animal connective tissues, known for their potential health and beauty benefits. These supplements are commonly used to support skin health, joint function, and hair growth.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Collagen 
      – Definition, Features, Functions
2. What are Collagen Peptides
      – Definition, Features, Benefits
3. Similarities Between Collagen and Collagen Peptides
      – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Collagen and Collagen Peptides
      – Comparison of Key Differences
5. FAQ: Collagen and Collagen Peptides
      – Frequently Asked Questions

Key Terms

Collagen, Collagen PeptidesDifference Between Collagen and Collagen Peptides - Comparison Summary

What is Collagen

Collagen is a fibrous protein composed of three polypeptide chains coiled together in a triple helix structure. These chains consist of amino acids, primarily glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. The unique arrangement of these amino acids and the triple helix structure give collagen its distinctive properties.

Collagen is often described as the body’s scaffolding due to its role in providing structural support to tissues. In addition to its strength, collagen is known for its resistance to tension and stretching, making it an essential component of tissues that need to withstand mechanical stress, such as tendons and ligaments.

Compare Collagen and Collagen Peptides

There are several types of collagen in the body, with Type I, Type II, and Type III being the most abundant. Each type is found in different tissues and serves specific functions. For instance, type I collagen is the most common type and is found in skin, bones, tendons, and other connective tissues. Type II collagen is a major component of cartilage. Moreover, type III collagen is often present alongside type I collagen and is essential for the structural integrity of organs like the liver and spleen.

Functions of Collagen in the Body

Collagen has several important functions in the body:

Structural Support: Collagen forms the structural framework of various tissues, contributing to their strength and elasticity. It is a critical component of the skin’s extracellular matrix, providing resilience and support.

Joint Health: Collagen is a major constituent of cartilage, the flexible tissue that cushions and protects the joints. It helps maintain joint mobility and supports joint health.

Bone Strength: Collagen is an integral part of the bone matrix, contributing to bone density and strength. It works in conjunction with minerals like calcium and phosphorus to maintain bone health.

Tendon and Ligament Integrity: Collagen fibers in tendons and ligaments provide tensile strength, enabling them to withstand tension and transmit force between muscles and bones.

Hair and Nails: Collagen plays a role in maintaining the health and appearance of hair and nails.

Organ Function: Certain types of collagen are present in organs like the liver and spleen, contributing to their structural integrity.

What are Collagen Peptides

Collagen peptides are derived from collagen. The key distinction lies in the processing of collagen to create peptides. While collagen’s original form consists of long protein chains, collagen peptides are created by enzymatically breaking down these chains into smaller, more manageable units.

The enzymatic hydrolysis of collagen results in the formation of short peptide chains with a lower molecular weight. These peptides are more water-soluble and can be more efficiently absorbed by the body. Their bioavailability makes them a popular choice for dietary supplements, as they offer a convenient means of incorporating collagen into one’s daily routine.

Collagen vs Collagen Peptides

Collagen peptides maintain the same amino acid composition as collagen, with the primary amino acids being glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. These amino acids are essential for the structure and function of collagen and are crucial for their potential health benefits.

Collagen peptides, despite their smaller size, still retain the triple helix structure characteristic of collagen. This structure also plays a crucial role in maintaining the strength and resilience of various tissues within the body.

Health Benefits of Collagen Peptides

Collagen peptides offer several potential health benefits, and their impact is mainly attributed to their role in supporting the following aspects of the body:

Skin Health: Collagen peptides may help improve skin elasticity, hydration, and overall appearance. By stimulating collagen production within the skin, they have the potential to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Joint Support: Collagen is a significant component of cartilage, the flexible tissue that cushions and protects joints. Collagen peptides can support joint health by providing the necessary building blocks for cartilage maintenance and repair.

Bone Health: Collagen peptides contribute to bone health by promoting bone density and strength. In fact, they work in conjunction with essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus to maintain bone integrity.

Muscle Mass: Collagen peptides contain amino acids that are vital for muscle growth and maintenance. They can support the development of lean muscle mass, particularly with resistance training.

Similarities Between Collagen and Collagen Peptides

  • Collagen and collagen peptides have a similar amino acid composition.
  • Moreover, they have similar health benefits, such as supporting skin health, joint function, and hair and nail growth.

Difference Between Collagen and Collagen Peptides


Collagen is the natural, unaltered form of the protein found in the body and animal tissues. Meanwhile, collagen peptides are a processed form of collagen.


Moreover, collagen molecules are large and consist of long, triple-helix protein chains. In their natural form, they have a high molecular weight. However, collagen peptides are smaller fragments of collagen resulting from the enzymatic hydrolysis of collagen.


Collagen is typically obtained from animal connective tissues, such as cowhide, fish scales, or chicken cartilage. Collagen peptides are produced by further breaking down collagen through enzymatic hydrolysis.


Collagen has lower bioavailability due to its larger molecular size and reduced solubility, whereas collagen peptides have higher bioavailability, as the body readily absorbs their smaller molecules.

FAQ: Collagen and Collagen Peptides

Are collagen peptides bad for you?

No, collagen peptides are not bad for the body.

Is collagen a protein?

Yes, collagen is a protein.

What is more effective, collagen or collagen peptides?

Collagen peptides are generally considered more effective than collagen because they are more easily absorbed and have higher bioavailability due to their smaller, more digestible molecules.


The main difference between collagen and collagen peptides is that collagen is a fibrous protein that is a natural component of connective tissues in animals, including humans, whereas collagen peptides are a broken-down form of collagen.


1. “Collagen.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation. 
2. “COLLAGEN PEPTIDES: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews.” WebMD.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Collagen — Smart-Servier (cropped)” By Laboratoires Servier – Smart Servier website: Images related to Collagen, Skeleton and bones and Bones — Download in Powerpoint format. Flickr: Images related to Collagen, Skeleton and bones and Bones (in French). (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Collagen Product on Pink Surface”  (CC0) via Pexels

About the Author: Hasini A

Hasini is a graduate of Applied Science with a strong background in forestry, environmental science, chemistry, and management science. She is an amateur photographer with a keen interest in exploring the wonders of nature and science.

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