Collagen: Chemical The Breakdown
Collagen is an abundant protein secreted mainly by connective tissue cells. The initial secretion from the cells is called procollagen.
“Your body makes procollagen by combining two amino acids: glycine and proline. This process uses Vitamin C.”Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD – Healthline.com
Collagen makes up approximately 1/3 of the overall protein composition in the body. This protein is an essential component of connective tissue maintaining the structure of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and skin.
The Different Types of Collagen
There are 28 different types of collagen existing in the body. Of those 28, there are 5 specific strands that are the most prevalent in the body.
- Type 1 – The most prevalent form of collagen in the body. These collagen fibers are found in blood cells, skin, bones, connective tissue and scar tissue. Type 1 Collagen is known for benefits like, improving skin health and hydration.
- Type 2 – Found more commonly in elastic tissue. Elastic tissue is a type of connective tissue in the dermis, artery wall and certain tendons and ligaments. Type 2 collagen is know for improving joint health.
- Type 3 – The second most prevealent form of collagen in the body. Commonly found in the intestines, type 3 collagen made of primarily of reticular fibers (networks of small connective tissues that make up the supporting tissue of other organs.
- Type 4 – Makes up the layers of deep skin known as Basal Lamina(the lower membrane of skin that meets the inner layer of the human body). This a base layer of skin that surrounds the muscles, organs, and fat cells. Type 4 Collagen aids in the filtration of organs, like the liver.
- Type 5 – Long and fibrous existing in the placenta, the cornea of the eye, and in certain layers of the skin and hair. Type 5 collagen is vital to neonatal development helping to maintain the integrity of the placenta.
The Benefits of Collagen
The protein collagen has many benefits for the skin and overall health.
“The protein collagen in the skin is highly correlated to the suppleness and elasticity in skin. A deficiency of collagen in the skin can lead to fine lines and wrinkle development in the skin.” – abrainforbeauty.com
In addition to skin health, collagen strengthens the integumentary system(hair and nails), promotes healthy digestion, and supports joint health and mobility. This is only a few of the many applications for collagen.
Maintaining Collagen in the Body
With age the production of collagen slows down. Collagen supplements are one direct method of retaining and promoting the production of collagen.
Nutrients such as vitamin c, proline, glycine and copper are active components in the formation of collagen from pro collagen in the body.
You can also eat a “pro-collagen diet” Eluxe Magazine’s Melanie Di Salvo wrote the article, Where does collagen in beauty products come from?.
There she depicts a pro collagen diet consisting of the following foods.
- dark green, orange and red veggies
- fruits rich in vitamin C, like citrus, mongosteen, hibiscus, camu camu, rosehips, goji berries
This diet reinforce the essential nutrients linked to the generation of new collagen in the body.
What is your preferred method of maintaining collagen? Comment down below!