Collagen is the major protein in the connective tissues of the body. It ensures the integrity, elasticity and strength of skin, cartilage and bones.
Collagen is a triple helix built from three amino acid chains, which forms strong fibers and provides the body with structure. Collagen is the human body’s most abundant protein, making up around 30% of total protein content. It ensures the integrity, elasticity and strength of our body's connective tissues and thus maintaining the form and function of our skin, cartilage and bones.
Different cells in our body are responsible for the production of collagen. The cells use specific amino acids as building blocks for the long chains that are wound together to the large collagen triple helix. Several helices are then organized into the strong fibers that provide structural tissue support, flexibility and the ability to withstand forces.
Collagen constitutes 70% of the skin's dry mass content. A key component of the skin’s structure, collagen fibers provide the infrastructure for elastin, which maintains skin elasticity, and for hyaluronic acid to trap moisture.
Tendons are strong fibrous connective tissues that connect muscles to bones. During muscle contraction the tendons' role is to transmit forces and withstand tension. Tendons contain 85% collagen type 1 and also proteoglycans.
Joint cartilage is made up of cellular building blocks (chondrocytes), which produce an extracellular matrix, consisting of collagen and proteoglycans (mainly aggrecan). Collagen fibers make up 70% of cartilage and are responsible for its structure and strength, while proteoglycans serve as lubricant to the joint.
Representing around 90% of organic bone mass, collagen provides the structural framework on which calcium and other minerals are anchored. Collagen fibers also provide bone flexibility.
Discover a few facts about collagen: its presence in
the human body and its effects on us.
Collagen is a vital element in our bodies, but as we get older, we begin to produce less and less of it. Discover when that process begins and how it affects your body.
Collagen occurs naturally in our bodies. As we begin to produce less of it around the age of 30, more and more people are benefiting from ingestible collagen solutions.
Collagen type II differs from collagen type I in some details of its composition: the order of the amino acids in the chains differs slightly between type I and II,
type II is made of three identical collagen chains, whereas the type I helix
contains two identical and a third, different chain.
In our body there are many different forms of collagen:
80 to 90% are either type I, II or III collagen.
The fibril structure of each type is the same: three long chains of amino acids in a compact triple helix structure but at molecular level, there are important differences.
Type III collagen is often found with type I. For instance, when our skin recovers from damage, type III collagen appears as scar tissue. It can also be found in our blood vessel walls, playing a key role in supporting elasticity.