What is Collagen?

The word “collagen” refers to a family of proteins that are abundant in the human body. Collagen is one of the main structural components of skin, muscles, joints, tendons, and even bones. It is also found, to a lesser extent, in our eyes, the lining of our gut, the dentin in our teeth, and in the discs of our spine.

What is Collagen Made of?

There’s two ways to answer this question, and I’ll address both of them. First I’ll talk about the more scientific aspect of what is collagen made from then I’ll describe how the collagen industry sources collagen.

Collagen is protein made up of amino acids wound tightly together to form fibrils. Our bodies continually produce these fibrils to build, strengthen, and repair our fibrous tissues such as muscles and skin.


Collagen primarily contains the specific amino acids Glycine, Proline, Lysine, Hydroxyproline and Arginine which play vital roles in maintaining the health and integrity of our body's connective tissue. Connective tissue refers to the structural framework for your organs, blood vessels, eyes, tendons, cartilage, skin, bones, lymphatic system, and muscles.


These amino acids form into fibrils by twisting, folding, cross-linking, and layering which is how different collagenous parts of your body can have such different tensile strengths and elasticity. In other places minerals are incorporated to produce solid structures such as bone, nails, and teeth.

What is collagen type 1 2 and 3?

The different tensile strengths and elasticity mentioned above that are made up of particular structural combinations of amino acids form what are known as different “types” of collagen. They are referred to by number, usually formatted as a roman numeral

Collagen type 1 is the most common type of collagen found in the human body. It is found in your skin and throughout your organs. Your body can also make other types of collagen out of dietary intake of type I collagen because it has plenty of glycine and proline which form the building blocks of all collagen types.


Collagen type 2 is found mostly in joints and cartilage.


Collagen type 3 is a sturdier fiber than type 1 but is typically found in the same parts as the body offering structural support.

What is collagen powder made of?

So, we’ve talked about the science of collagen and what amino acid peptides is collagen protein made from – but maybe what you really want to know is where we get it. What is the collagen powder you buy in the store actually made of.

Collagen is present in all vertebrate animals and is an animal byproduct. The main industry sources of collagen are bovine, porcine, fish, and poultry. Immortal Tortoise collagen is sourced exclusively from the hides and bones of grass fed pasture-raised cows.


If anyone asks you “what is collagen protein made from” you can show them this page!

What is collagen hydrolysate made from?

You may be wondering why you need a powder supplement if collagen comes from common food sources like beef and chicken.


The human digestive system does a poor job of absorbing collagen from food sources. Collagen molecules are simply too large to be absorbed and you tend to pass them right through as waste. This means that you aren’t getting much collagen from food sources, even from foods that are high in collagen such as a quality bone broth.


This is where a process called “hydrolysis” comes into play. Hydrolysis breaks collagen molecules down into digestible absorbable sizes by breaking down the molecular bonds between individual collagen peptide strands. There are two primary ways to hydrolyze collagen; enzymatic hydrolysis and chemical hydrolysis.


Immortal Tortoise collagen peptides are hydrolyzed using all natural fruit enzymes. This process is natural, healthy, and results in a pure collagen powder with no chemical aftertaste. This product is fully bioavailable and will not gel.


Hydrolyzed collagen is not completely flavorless or odorless, but it’s flavor is light and fairly neutral. Most people have no trouble tolerating it.  

Common Questions Include:

What is collagen used for in your body?

Our bodies use collagen to rebuild and replenish tissues that deteriorate due to aging, injury, or daily wear and tear. Our ability to do this naturally diminishes with age leading to wrinkles, sagging muscles, sore joints, and digestive issues. Supplemental sources of hydrolyzed collagen can slow or even reverse this loss of natural collagen.

What are collagen peptides good for?

Hydrolyzed collagen powder is one of the easiest ways to get a full daily dose of supplemental collagen. Powdered collagen mixes easily into any liquid, has minimal taste or texture, and absorbs quickly into your system. You can take as much or as little as you want.