Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is found in cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bone tissue, but also in the skin, nails and hair. Nutrimuscle explains everything you need to know about collagen and why it is important to supplement it.
- What is collagen?
- How is collagen produced?
- The health benefits of collagen
- How to take collagen?
- Which collagen food supplement to choose?
- What you must remember
What is collagen?
Collagen is a fibrous protein that mainly makes up the connective tissues of the human body , such as bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and skin. It is considered the most abundant protein in the human body, accounting for approximately one third of the total protein mass.
Collagen is made up of amino acids, including glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. It is made by cells called fibroblasts, which produce collagen fibers that bundle together to form tissue.
There are several types of collagen: type I, which is found in bones, skin and tendons, and type II, which is found in cartilage. Additionally, collagen is found in other parts of the body such as blood vessels, corneas and teeth.
Collagen can be extracted from different sources, such as the skin and bones of animals like cattle, pigs and fish. It is also possible to produce it artificially in the laboratory.
Collagen supplements in hydrolyzate or peptide form are popular for their potential benefits for joint, skin, and hair health. Research has suggested that these supplements may help increase bone density, relieve joint pain, and improve skin hydration and elasticity.
How is collagen produced?
Fibroblasts are responsible for producing collagen. Propeptide collagen proteins are synthesized by these cells, then converted into collagen fibers using the enzyme prolyl-4-hydroxylase.
Collagen synthesis is a complex process that requires the participation of various cofactors and enzymes. Fibroblasts require several essential nutrients such as vitamin C, copper and iron to optimally produce collagen. Deficiencies in these elements can impair collagen synthesis.
Collagen is also continually broken down in the body by enzymes called collagenases. However, the rate of degradation is balanced by the production of new collagen by fibroblasts.
From the age of 25, collagen production decreases by 1% per year. This decline causes the appearance of wrinkles, joint pain and an increased risk of injury. It is essential to compensate for these losses to avoid any health problems.
The health benefits of collagen
Collagen is essential for maintaining tissue structure and firmness. The health benefits of collagen are numerous:
Improves skin health:
Collagen is a key element of the skin, giving it firmness and elasticity. Taking collagen eliminates fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin hydration and increases the production of natural collagen.
Strengthens bones and joints:
Collagen is also found in bone tissue, where it contributes to their strength and flexibility. Collagen supplementation reduces joint pain and improves bone density.
Promotes hair and nail growth:
Collagen stimulates hair and nail growth. It provides the amino acids necessary for the formation of keratin, the protein that makes up hair and nails.
Collagen improves digestive health by strengthening the lining of the intestine and reducing inflammation. This may relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn's disease.
Collagen reduces inflammation throughout the body. This helps reduce pain and redness associated with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
How to take collagen?
Having a slightly strong taste, collagen can be added to a protein or fruit juice to mask this flavor. It can also simply be taken directly in capsule form with a little water. It is recommended to take 3 to 10g of collagen per day depending on your needs.
Collagen does not act as a temporary painkiller to be taken only when you are in pain. It works slowly, but deeply on the joint, promoting its regeneration. The latter can only happen gradually.
Collagen is therefore not formulated to be used for a short period of time. On the contrary, it must be taken over the long term in prolonged courses, or even non-stop, as long as your muscle training remains intense.
How to choose a collagen food supplement?
Choosing collagen depends on several factors, such as lifestyle, dietary preferences, and health goals. Here are some things to consider when choosing a collagen supplement:
The source: Collagen can be extracted from different sources, including bovine, marine and porcine. Bovine and marine collagen supplements are the most common. Marine collagen is often considered the best source because it is more easily absorbed by the body.
Form: collagen is available in the form of peptides and hydrolyzate. Peptides are short chains of amino acids that are easily absorbed by the body. Hydrolysates are longer chains that require additional digestion. Peptides are often preferred because they are easier to absorb.
The presence of other ingredients: Some collagen supplements may contain other ingredients to improve their effectiveness, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C or antioxidants. It is important to read the label carefully and choose a supplement with ingredients that suit your needs.
Depending on your health goals, certain types of collagen are more appropriate than others. For example, we observe more benefits on the skin with type I collagen.
What you must remember
In summary, collagen is a fibrous protein crucial for maintaining the structure and firmness of connective tissues in the human body. It is essential for the health of various parts of the body such as skin, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, corneas, blood vessels and teeth. Collagen production gradually declines with age, which can cause health problems such as joint pain and wrinkles.
However, supplementing with collagen compensates for this loss and improves bone density, reduces joint pain, and increases skin elasticity.