WHAT DOES COLLAGEN DO?
We hear the word collagen and supplements everywhere now, with the rising number of people talking about it, i thought it was a fabulous time it really get to the nitty gritty of it.
What is it exactly? and why do we lose it?
Ok so here is the scoop- Collagen is the connective tissue that gives our skin elasticity and a youthful bounce to it. Consider it the main character and a vital part in keeping our skin smooth, plump and radiant simply because it helps fibroblasts to form in your dermis, which helps stimulate the growth of new cells.
While we normally associate collagen with skin, the actual protein plays such a vital role throughout the human body, and for many other things! Not just skin. Collagen is essential for good health and over 90% of your body’s collagen is made up of type I (skin, bones, tendons, organs) that not only supports elastin in skin but also provides strength and structure to bones, tendons and ligaments, helping them to withstand pressure during stretching and impact! I know right! INTERESTING.
Types of Collagen
While there are 28 known types of collagen, the majority of the body’s supply is made up of five main ones: Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV and Type V collagen. From these, Type I and Type III collagen are the most abundant in the body. While the science behind each is quite technical, all you need to know is that these ‘types’ basically refer to the different role or function they play in the body.
TYPE l COLLAGEN
Type I collagen alone accounts for around nine-tenths of all collagen in the human body. Type I collagen is not only the most abundant type of collagen, but one of the most abundant molecules in the body, and it is particularly important for skin, bone, and connective tissue. It’s also present in our tendons, corneas, blood vessel walls and other connective tissue. Type I collagen is produced by cells called fibroblasts, which are found predominantly in the dermis (skin), and as such is especially important for skin health and maintenance.
TYPE III COLLAGEN
Type III collagen is the second most abundant collagen in the body, found as a major structural component in organs such as skin, large blood vessels, uterus, lungs and bowel. Type III collagen also has a function in wound healing and in healthy blood clotting activity. Type III collagen makes up anywhere between 5% and 20% of the entire collagen content in the human body.
Young skin is composed of approximately 80% Type I collagen, and about 15% of Type III collagen. The importance of Type I and Type III collagen for the body is undeniable!
Different sources of collagen...
Bovine collagen is a common collagen source that is derived from animals in the bovine family, most commonly cows. It’s typically made from farming by-products such as bone, cartilage and hide. Bovine collagen is rich in Types I and III collagen, and most closely resembles the collagen that’s present in the human body.
Marine collagen is a common collagen source derived from marine life, most commonly fish. It’s typically made from by-products of fishing, and often includes skin and scales. Marine collagen is rich in Types I and III collagen, and is beloved for being highly bioavailable.
As plants do not have a natural supply of collagen like humans and animals do, there are currently no true vegan sources of collagen. Plants do have other amino acids and proteins that are beneficial to humans, but they aren’t the same as collagen. Currently, most ‘vegan collagen’ supplements don’t actually contain any collagen, and as such they can’t contribute any collagen to our bodies. Instead they work to support the body’s own collagen production, say by providing additional amino acids that it might use to make collagen. However, because we can’t predict or control what our bodies use amino acids for, they may be turned into collagen, or they may be used for something else entirely. Other ‘vegan collagen’ supplements contain an artificial collagen supply from yeast, which also works by supporting collagen production.
Hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen hydrolysate, refers to collagen that undergoes a process called hydrolysis, which breaks down the protein into smaller peptides with a low molecular weight, making them easier for the body to absorb. Hydrolyzed collagen has high bioavailability in that it is readily absorbed by, and has a higher compatibility with, the body. Hydrolyzed collagen can come from a variety of sources, including bovine and marine.
WHAT HAPPENS TO COLLAGEN LEVELS AS WE AGE?
Collagen is produced by the body when amino acids, which are sourced from protein-rich foods (including beef, fish, chicken and beans) are combined with minerals (such as copper, and zinc) and sources of vitamin C (think: citrus fruits).
When we’re young, our collagen levels are at their peak; however, once we hit our mid-20s, collagen production naturally starts to decline.
This decline in natural collagen levels causes some of the side effects of skin aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, loss of elasticity, decreased hydration, joint pain and slower wound healing.
So there you have it folks! The scoop on the famous Collagen!
To improve your skins elasticity, hydration, boost collagen production and get cells turning at a good speed I will always recommend micro-needling sessions every 6 weeks and The beauty chefs collagen supplements which we are hoping to have available in clinic very soon!