Collagen - what is it and why should you know about it.
Monday, 19 February 2018 | Editor
COLLAGEN - WHAT IS IT AND WHY SHOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT IT?
So, what is Collagen?
You may have heard about collagen from face cream adverts, but as you can see, it does so much more than just preventing wrinkles!
Like any protein, collagen is made up of long chains of amino acids, however the high concentration of proline and glycine make collagen quite unique. There are several steps and enzymatic processes in collagen synthesis, and by the end, we end up with a three-dimensional and adaptable structure. The important bit to remember here, is that those enzymes require vitamin C. Without adequate supply of vitamin C this process won’t work efficiently, and without continuous collagen supply, we can end up with weak connective tissue and problems with our joints, skin, bones and so on.
Each of those tissues, whether it’s your joints or your skin, are structurally different. Some are more elastic and stretchy (e.g. tendons) whereas some are tough and rigid (e.g. bone). Apart from collagen, there are other important molecules that bind with each other forming a distinctive blend of material, each with different characteristics and functions. These include hyaluronic acid, glucosamine or chondroitin. Collagen often forms the backbone, onto which those other components attach, e.g. minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in bones.
Common signs of weak connective tissue and decreased collagen synthesis:
But not all collagen is equal
In fact, our body produces various types of collagen, for example type 1, 2, 3 and so on. However, type 1 forms the vast majority of body collagen. Although we can buy collagen in powders or supplements, it is not guaranteed that it will be used properly in the body, because it is quite a big molecule and it gets broken down in the stomach, rendering it less useful. That’s why it is important to get the right type of collagen, with proven benefits. Marine Collagen displays high resemblance to human collagen and is therefore easily absorbed through the gut wall and quickly delivered to the target tissues.1,2,3 It can improve skin elasticity, hydration and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.5 This form can also improve the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) – another component of joints, ligaments and tendons.6
We also need to support the body’s ability to produce collagen and prevent it from getting damaged. In addition, we can provide other nutrients to support general connective tissue health. Here are some of the main ones:
All of those nutrients together are much more powerful than a single ingredient. Because of the abundance of collagen in the body, supporting its production can potentially have many positive effects on our health.
(Courtesy of BioCare)