Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It plays an important role, including making skin structure and helping blood clotting.
In recent years, it has become popular as a nutritional supplement and as a component in shampoo and body lotion.
But what is collagen? And how does it work? This article will give you a comprehensive view of this important protein.
What is collagen?
Collagen is kind the protein The most abundant, accounting for about one-third of protein structure in the body.
It is one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Collagen is also found in many other body parts, including blood vessels, corneas and teeth.
You can consider it a "glue" that binds all these things together. In fact, the word comes from the Greek word "kólla", meaning glue.
Below is an illustration of the molecular structure of collagen:
Summary: Collagen is a protein that gives structure to your body, including bones, skin, tendons and ligaments.
The role of collagen in the body
There are at least 16 types of collagen. The four main categories are type I, II, III and IV .
Below is a closer look at the four main types of collagen and their role in the body:
- Type I: This makes up 90% of the body's collagen and is made of dense fibers. It forms the structure of skin, bones, ligaments, cartilage fibers, connective tissue and teeth.
- Type II : This type is made of more loose fibers and is found in elastic cartilage, pillow cushions.
- Type III: This type supports the structure of muscles, organs and arteries.
- Type IV: This type supports filtration and is found in the skin layers.
As you age, your body will produce less collagen and lower quality.
One of the obvious signs of this is that your skin becomes less firm and soft. Cartilage also weakens with age.
Summary: There are at least 16 types of collagen. It is found throughout your body, functioning to provide structure and support.
Nutrients enhance collagen production
All initial collagen is procollagen.
Your body creates procollagen by combining two amino acids: glycine and proline. This process uses vitamin C.
You can help your body produce this important protein by securing the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C: There are many citrus fruits, bell peppers and Strawberry .
- Proline: High in egg white, wheat germ, dairy products, cabbage, asparagus and mushrooms .
- Glycine: It is found in pig skin, chicken skin and gelatin, but glycine is also found in various protein-rich foods .
- Copper: There are many in meat, sesame, cocoa, cashew and lentils .
Summary: Four of the nutrients that help make collagen are vitamin C, proline, glycine and copper. In addition, eating high quality protein also provides essential amino acids for the body.
Things that damage collagen
Perhaps even more important is to avoid the following collagen destruction behaviors:
- Sugar and refined carb: Sugar disrupts collagen's self-healing ability. So reduce the amount of sugar consumed and refined carb .
- Too much sunshine: Ultraviolet light can reduce collagen production. Avoid excessive sunshine .
- Smoking: Smoking reduces the amount of collagen. This can weaken the healing process and cause wrinkles .
- Some autoimmune disorders, such as scarlet fever, can also harm collagen.
Summary: You can help your body maintain and protect collagen by avoiding harmful behaviors, including overeating, smoking and sunburn.
Natural food source
Collagen is found in connective tissue of animal foods. For example, it is found in large quantities in chicken skin and pig skin.
A special source of collagen is bone broth, made by boiling chicken bones and other animal bones.
Gelatin is basically cooked collagen, so many amino acids are needed to produce it.
But there is debate about whether collagen-rich foods actually increase the concentration of this substance in your body.
When you eat protein, it is broken down into amino acids and then gathered, so eating a lot of collagen doesn't mean that your body's collagen levels will increase.
Summary: Animal products such as bone water, gelatin, chicken skin and pig skin contain a lot of collagen.
Benefits of collagen supplement foods
There are two types: collagen hydrolyzate (collagen hydration) and gelatin. Gelatin is made from cooking collagen.
These substances break down large proteins into chains Smaller, more easily absorbed in the body.
There are not many studies on dietary supplements, but available studies show positive benefits in the following areas:
- Muscle mass: A study in 2015 in older men showed that combining the use of collagen amino acid supplements and strength training increased weight and muscle strength compared to placebo .
- Arthritis: Another study for people with osteoarthritis uses this supplement. They found significantly less pain relief than those taking placebo in the 70-day study .
- Elasticity of skin: Women taking supplements showed improved skin elasticity in a 2014 study. Collagen was also used in topical treatment to improve skin appearance by minimizing small grooves and wrinkles. .
Some other medical doctors also support the use of collagen supplements to treat the association .
Summary: According to studies, collagen supplements can help improve skin and muscle mass, while reducing joint pain.
Safety and side effects
So far, there is no reliable information about the safety or effectiveness of collagen supplements.
The potential side effects of gelatin supplements include persistent unpleasant flavors, heavy feeling and heartburn.
Also, if you are allergic to a supplement, you may have an allergic reaction.
Summary: There are no significant reports of side effects. However, you may have an allergic reaction if you are allergic to a supplement.
The amino acid chain of collagen in the powder can be easily incorporated into food.
The chain amino acid form is not colloidal, so you can mix it into soft drinks, soups or baked products without affecting the texture.
You can use gelatin to make jello jelly or homemade marshmallows. See some more recipes .
When considering supplements, you should look for a good quality source. Marine-derived collagen made from fish skin is also available.
Summary: You can find supplements in pill or powder form. Powder can easily be added to food.
Collagen has many uses, and is used in food and medicine industries.
For thousands of years, it has been used to create glue. Today, it is still used to make musical instruments.
In food, it is heated to produce gelatin and is used to create sausages for sausages. In the medical field, it is used as a filler in cosmetic surgery as well as a coat for treating burns.
Summary: Collagen has many uses, including a coat for treating burns and stringing instruments.
Collagen is an important protein that gives structure to many parts of the body.
Interestingly, the foods and nutrients you eat can help your body make this protein.
In addition, collagen supplements are also beneficial. Some early studies have shown that they can improve skin quality, muscle function, and relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis.