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What is Collagen? Types, Functions & Benefits

by Ankur Majumder 01 Nov 2022

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and makes up more than 30% of the protein in our bodies. All connective tissues, including tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones, as well as skin, hair, nails, cartilage, and muscles, require support and structure from collagen. Collagen promotes the formation of fibroblasts in the dermis (middle skin layer), which aids in the growth of new cells, playing a role in the replacement of dead skin cells. It is a part of the vital proteins category because these proteins are absolutely necessary to keep the body functioning correctly. Here’s what you need to know about collagen and how it works in the body!

Types of Collagen

Collagen is a protein that supports and reinforces your skin, hair, bones, and organs. It's responsible for creating the structure of the connective tissues in your body. At least one triple helix structure can be found in all collagen fibrils. There are 28 types of collagen that have been identified. The five most common types of collagen found in the human body are:

Type 1: This type produces 90% of the collagen in your body. It is closely knit and is required to form your skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.

Type 2: This type is present in elastic cartilage that serves to support joints.

Type 3: This type is located in muscles, arteries, and organs.

Type 4: This type is formed in the skin's layers.

Type 5: This type can be found in the cornea of your eyes, some layers of skin, hair, and placental tissue.

Top 5 Functions of Collagen

Collagen is a type of molecule. It is a fibrous, stiff, insoluble protein. It is essential in a variety of constructions, including: 

  1. Anti-aging properties
  2. Supports joints and muscle health
  3. Fights inflammation
  4. Prevents scurvy
  5. Builds strong nails and hair 

Skin Fillers

Collagen is a protein found in human skin. It supports the structure of connective tissue and helps maintain youthful skin. Collagen fillers created with hyaluronic acid can provide dramatic changes in appearance by adding volume, helping to create smoother skin and reduce laxity or "lax" wrinkles.

  • Smooth out wrinkles
  • Enhance the skin's features
  • Fill up the gaps
  • Reduce the visibility of scars

These items are derived from humans and other creatures. One filler is made from salmon and other fish cells. People should investigate the origins of their items and test them for allergic reactions first.

Dressing Wounds

It’s no wonder collagen is found in so many beauty products. When we’re young, our skin naturally produces collagen at a pretty regular rate. But as we get older (and when you live a modern life that doesn’t lend itself to natural remedies), there are some obvious signs of aging that appear—and almost all of them have something to do with weakened collagen production. To combat these issues head on, try supplementing your diet with collagen supplements and powders.

Collagen is essential in the normal healing process of wounds such as:

  • Control bleeding
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Managing blood vessel health and function
  • Boosting the strength of scar tissue
  • Restoring skin elasticity
  • Attracting cells that promote wound healing
  • Providing a platform for new tissue growth

Regenerating Tissues

Collagen is a fibrous protein that provides structural support for many tissues. It also increases the tensile strength of the skin and its elasticity. Collagen also plays an important role in tissue repair. Doctors sometimes use collagen to form scaffolds like this one in order to provide temporary support while new cells are produced during the healing process.

Membranes, plugs, or pads containing collagen can benefit from:

  • Bone regeneration
  • Wound healing
  • Managing extraction sockets after dental surgery
  • Promoting blood clotting

Treating Osteoarthritis

Collagen peptides are vital proteins that can help support the health of your joints. Osteoarthritis sufferers may benefit from supplementation with collagen powder or a collagen supplement. A recent study found collagen supplements to be as effective as NSAID pain relief drugs for arthritic joint pain.

Scientists released the findings of a study involving 120 patients in 2018, half of whom took oral supplements containing collagen and other chemicals for 90 days, while the other half received a placebo. Joint discomfort was reduced by 43% and joint mobility increased by 39% in those who took collagen.

Revitalizing Skin

Collagen peptides are vital proteins that make up the connective tissue in your body. These same proteins can be found in collagen powder. Once ingested, these small molecules are supposed to mimic the effect of your own skin cells by reinforcing your natural collagen production and reducing wrinkles. The effects of this supplement have been shown to last for up to a month after consumption.

A meta-analysis of 11 studies discovered that consuming 2.5–100 g of collagen per day orally for up to 6 months increased skin hydration, suppleness, and collagen content.

5 Benefits of Collagen

Collagen peptides are vital proteins that maintain collagen production and support skin elasticity. There are many benefits to adding collagen to your diet, including:

Improving Skin Health

Collagen is a protein that gives structure and strength to your skin. It helps to keep your skin elastic and hydrated. As you age, collagen production starts to decline, and this leads to wrinkles, fine lines, and deep folds in the skin. In order to maintain healthy-looking skin as you age, you can use collagen powder daily as part of your beauty routine. Collagen powder contains the same amino acids that are found in the human body, so it can help restore some of the lost collagen for a firmer look with fewer wrinkles. There are many types of collagen powder available on the market today, but they all have different effects on different people, so it's important to find one that suits your needs best.

Relieving Joint Pain

Collagen is a type of protein that makes up the connective tissues in our body. It provides support and elasticity to joints, bones, and other structures in our body. While collagen levels decrease as we age, they can lead to joint stiffness or pain when they are not replaced. Gelatin is a great way to replenish your body's stores of collagen while providing important nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and iron.

Preventing Bone Loss

Collagen can help to prevent bone loss by strengthening the bones and cartilage. It also helps maintain the elasticity of skin and hair. This protein is naturally produced by the body and can be found in many foods, such as red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. However, collagen supplements are becoming more popular because they provide a convenient way to increase one's intake of this beneficial compound.

Boosting Muscle Mass

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, accounting for 30% of the total protein content. It is a key component of skeletal muscle and tendon extracellular matrix (ECM) and is primarily responsible for their functionality in terms of force transmission, flexibility, and adaptability. According to research, collagen supplements may benefit people with sarcopenia, or the loss of muscular mass that occurs with aging.

Improving Heart Health

Collagen helps to maintain the structure of your arteries and it has some positive benefits for your cardiovascular health. However, you can't get enough collagen through diet alone, and if left untreated, it can cause symptoms like pain or swelling.

For six months, 31 healthy people consumed 16g of collagen every day. They had observed a considerable drop in arterial stiffness measurements from the start of the trial to the conclusion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is collagen really worth taking?

For decades, collagen has been used as a beauty supplement. It is known to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. Studies have also shown that it can speed up the healing process in athletes and may help reduce joint pain.

What does collagen do to your body?

Collagen is a type of protein that helps to keep our skin elastic and supple. It supports tissue strength and structure and helps maintain healthy bones. It’s also needed for strong nails, hair, and teeth.

What is the best source of collagen?

Because they include the amino acids that produce collagen—glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline—a variety of high-protein diets are thought to promote collagen synthesis. These include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, legumes, and soy.

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