Collagen is a protein found in connective tissue throughout our bodies. Collagen helps give skin its elasticity and keeps bones strong.
But did you know that collagen also plays a role in maintaining eye health?
Collagen is a major component of the human body. It provides strength and flexibility to muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone, blood vessels, organs, teeth, hair, nails, and other tissues.
The average person has about 15 pounds of collagen in their body.
Collagen is produced naturally by cells called fibroblasts. These cells produce collagen fibers that form into bundles or strands.
When these bundles are cut apart, they become individual collagen molecules.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is one of the most important proteins in our bodies. We use it for structural support throughout our entire body, especially in areas like bones, cartilage, connective tissue, muscle, skin, and blood vessels.
In fact, collagen is the second most abundant protein in our bodies.
While we often think about collagen in terms of how much we consume, it’s actually a very complex molecule that contains many different types of amino acids.
What Is Collagen Made Of?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins found in the human body. We use it to help keep our skin firm and elastic, and build strong bones and connective tissue.
But did you ever wonder how collagen gets into your body? Or where it came from?
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins found in our bodies. A major component of connective tissue, it helps give the skin elasticity, strength, and resilience.
It’s also present in tendons, bones, teeth, cartilage, blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and organs such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, pancreas, and intestines.
The structure of collagen molecules consists of 3 strands wrapped into a tight coil. Each strand is made up of 3 smaller coils, each containing 3 amino acids.
These amino acids are glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, making collagen a rich source of these important nutrients.
What Are Collagen Peptides Made Of?
Collagen peptides are used because they’re easier to absorb than whole collagen molecules. They’re also less expensive, and more digestible since there aren’t as many “baggage” molecules attached to the amino acids.
But what exactly does that mean? Well, let’s start with the basics.
The name “collagen” refers to a family of proteins found throughout the body. There are three types of collagen: type I, II, and III.
Each type of collagen provides different functions in the body. Type I and II help keep skin firm and elastic; type III helps maintain cartilage and bone strength.
So why do we care about collagen? Because our bodies produce it, but we don’t make enough of it to meet our daily requirements.
We rely on food sources to provide us with adequate amounts of collagen.
For example, beef contains around 3 mg of collagen per gram. Chicken breast is 1 mg per gram. And fish like salmon contain up to 10 mg per gram.
When we eat foods containing collagen, we break down those proteins into smaller pieces called peptides. These peptides are easy to absorb and use.
However, when we consume collagen directly, we are left with large fragments of the original material. So how are we supposed to absorb the good stuff?
To answer that question, we must go back to the basics of hydrolysis. When collagen is heated, it breaks down into smaller peptides, allowing for better absorption.
Where Does Collagen Come From?
Collagen is one of the most important proteins in our body. We produce about 20 grams per day, mostly in bone tissue. But we don’t get it directly from food; we make it ourselves.
Fibroblast cells are responsible for producing collagen. They’re like little factories that sit inside connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons, cartilage, skin, blood vessels, muscles, nerves, etc.
When you exercise, the amount of collagen increases in those areas.
When you age, the number of fibroblast cells decreases. This leads to less collagen being produced. So, people over 40 years old typically notice that they lose some elasticity in their joints.
We do have another source of collagen, though: animals. Animals eat plants, including grasses, grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and beans.
The Four Main Components To Collagen
Collagen is one of the most important proteins in our bodies. It makes up about 30% of our total protein content. We use it to make bones, skin, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
But what happens if we don’t produce enough collagen? What are the consequences? And how do you know if you’re experiencing low levels of collagen production?
In this article, we’ll go over the four elements needed for collagen synthesis.
1. Amino Acids
The first thing we need to understand when talking about collagen is that there are actually two types of collagen found in our bodies: type I and type II.
Type I is the most abundant form of collagen in our skin, tendons, ligaments, bone, teeth, blood vessels, cartilage, etc., while type II is the most abundant form in muscle tissue.
Both types of collagen are composed of repeating sequences of amino acids called peptides. There are twenty different amino acids used to make up proteins, and each one plays a specific role in the formation of a protein chain.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a crucial element of collagen synthesis. It activates enzymes that oxidize proline into hydroxyproline, which is necessary to complete collagen’s chain structures.
It also acts as a potent anti-oxidant, stabilizing the protein chains and protecting them against oxidation by free radicals.
Copper is the final crucial element in collagen production.
Without it, your body cannot synthesize collagen. In fact, without copper, your body won’t even start making collagen, because it needs copper to activate an enzyme in your body known as Lysyloxidase.
This enzyme helps make collagen and elastin, two proteins essential to keeping your skin firm and youthful looking.
Zinc is an important trace element that helps keep your body healthy. It aids in cell growth and development, and it helps maintain strong bones and teeth.
Your body needs zinc to build proteins, enzymes, hormones, immune cells, antibodies, and DNA. You also need zinc to make vitamins A, B6, D, E, K, and biotin.
So, now that you’ve learned all about the four main components of collagen production, you can understand anything there is to know about collagen and how it’s made!