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What is collagen and why does the body need it?

What is collagen and why does the body need it?

What is collagen, what role does it play in the body, and why does the body need it? Is it even worth taking supplements with collagen? This article discusses the mechanism of action of hydrolyzed collagen, collagen peptides, and oligopeptides.

What is collagen, what role does it play in the body, and why does the body need it? Is it even worth taking supplements with collagen? This article discusses the mechanism of action of hydrolyzed collagen, collagen peptides, and oligopeptides.

Does collagen really "work"?

Many wonder whether collagen helps with skin, joint, hair, and nail problems. The answer to this is quite simple: dietary supplements with collagen work. However, it is essential to remember that the effects and the speed of its action vary from person to person. Some people notice results after just two weeks of use, while others only after three or more months of constant use.

Although many studies have investigated and proven the positive effects of collagen, the mechanism of action is rarely mentioned. You may be wondering why ''laymen'' must know the mechanism of action of collagen.

What is collagen?

Primarily to understand why collagen really helps or how it helps. Collagen is not a ''new marketing gimmick'' that turns money. It is the most abundant protein in our bodies and we start to lack it as we age. After 25, we start losing about 1% of collagen annually.


How does collagen loss manifest itself?

  • in poor functioning of the musculoskeletal system (stiffness)
  • leads to wrinkles, cellulite, and dry skin,
  • leading to a lack of shine in the hair and skin.

Collagen synthesis can also be disrupted by sustained overload (physical activity, high-level sports). Women experience an even more significant decline in collagen during and after menopause due to reduced estrogen levels.

Collagen in food

To prevent or slow down the decline of collagen in the body, we need to replace the lost collagen in the body. A possible way to maintain collagen in the body is to consume sufficient amino acid building blocks throughout the diet. Amino acids that form collagen are found in bone broths, egg whites, meat, and fish.

Role of vitamin C in collagen synthesisRole of vitamin C in collagen synthesis

Vitamin C can be introduced into the body through citrus fruits, berries, peppers, broccoli, etc. It is also essential to take in copper (present in nuts, red meat, and shellfish) and vitamin A (present in the liver, eggs, milk, cheese, and fish).

However, the easiest and most practical way to get all the vital building blocks of collagen is to take collagen supplements, which also allow maximum absorption.

Factors that accelerate the decline of collagen deficiency in the body

  • UV light - accelerates the formation of wrinkles due to the breakdown of collagen in the dermis
  • a diet rich in simple sugars
  • smoking
  • autoimmune diseases
  • genetics

Avoiding overexposure to the sun, using sunscreen with SPF, and eating a healthy, balanced diet helps reduce the visual signs of aging by slowing collagen loss.

How do we replace lost collagen in the body?

We cannot replace lost collagen. We can protect the remaining collagen in the body and, by taking collagen supplements, stimulate the body to start making more collagen on its own. How can this be done?

The best way is to start with the basics. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body. It is primarily found in connective tissues such as ligaments and ligaments. But it is also found in ligaments, the cornea, blood vessel walls, and the digestive tract.

It is the main protein found in the extracellular matrix of the skin, together with elastin and hyaluronic acid. The extracellular matrix is a base/substrate composed of extracellular macromolecules of proteins and glycosaminoglycans that can combine to form an organized structure. This influences the development, migration, shape, and function of the cells to which it is attached.

Types and composition of collagen molecules

There are 28 different types of collagen found in the body. They differ according to the sequence of amino acids in the individual chains. The most common types of collagen in our body are collagens I, II, III, and IV. Each type has its structure and role. More than 90% of the collagen in the body is type I. Learn more about the origin and types of collagen here.

Collagen types

I Long fibrils connect to some other types in different tissues. In our body, it makes up 90% of all collagen in the skin, tendons, bones, and artery walls.

II Long fibrils that cross-link with collagen IX to proteoglycans in the intercellular matrix Cartilage

III Long fibrils cross-linked to type I collagen Skin, muscle, blood vessel walls

IV Two-dimensional network in basal lamina Basal laminae of all cells

Collagen is composed of three alpha chains, consisting of different amino acid residues with a specific amino acid composition. This can be thought of as a jigsaw puzzle, with various amino acids instead of frames.

Then, when all the pieces are assembled, we get the shape of a triple helix (three chains interlocking). Several of these triple helices* then link together to form collagen fibrils. Collagen fibrils are formed from different types of collagen. The collagen fibrils in the skin are mostly comprised of type I and type III collagen.

*One helix comprises nearly 1000 glycines, 350 prolines, and 300 hydroxy prolines. The body can synthesize the critical amino acids glycine and proline on its own, but vast amounts of both amino acids are required for collagen synthesis. Collagen is formed in the body in several stages of biosynthesis, and vitamin C is essential for its formation.

Collagen has high tensile strength and, together with keratin and elastin, contributes to the firmness and elasticity of the skin and gives it structure.

Amino acid composition of fish collagen in Collagen Shot

Questions are often asked about the differences in collagen molecule size and amino acid composition between the different collagen food supplements on the market. The honest answer is that all manufacturers' amino acid composition of hydrolyzed fish collagens is very similar. So too, are the % and rate of absorption similar?

However, dietary supplements with collagen differ mainly in the choice of the addition of other active ingredients to the collagen, which themselves affect the nails, hair, skin, and joints, while at the same time enhancing the effects of the action of the collagen itself.

Fibroblasts and epithelial cells mainly secrete collagen. Fibroblasts are cells in the deeper layer of the skin (dermis) whose primary function is to generate the basic building blocks and organize them. They are sensitive to chemical and physical stimuli.

Chemical stimuli are based on the key and lock principle. This means that small ligands ''bend'' the receptors on fibroblasts to stimulate their activity. Ligands are carriers of cellular information that bind to different receptors - recipients of cellular details - depending on their shape.

Consequently, different genes are activated, responsible for cell division, wound healing, and the synthesis of extracellular matrix macromolecules (collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid).

Physical stimuli are directly linked to the interaction between collagen and fibroblasts. Activation of fibroblasts results in increased collagen synthesis.

The role of collagen in our skin

''Young'' skin comprises 80% type I collagen and about 15% type III collagen. As we age, the ability to synthesize collagen decreases and collagen fibrils become thicker and shorter. This results in a loss of collagen type I—consequently, the ratio of the different collagen types in the skin changes.

Consequently, the density of collagen and elastin in the dermis decreases, which also worsens the skin's structure and elasticity. As a result, the skin can no longer maintain its shape and cannot fit the face as ''tightly'' and becomes looser, and wrinkles start to appear.

To give you an idea, let's use food foil as an example. When this is first stretched over the container, it is nice and smooth and holds its shape. But over time (especially if the container is uncovered several times), it becomes wrinkled and harder to stretch, or it is no longer the same as it was when it was first used. This is precisely what happens to our skin when it loses collagen.

Hydrolyzed collagen

Hydrolyzed collagen is made up of small peptides with a low molecular weight. It is derived from natural collagen in bones, skin, and connective tissue. Its low molecular weight makes it easier to digest, absorb, and distribute in the body.

Hydrolyzed collagen

Mechanism of action of collagen

Oral ingestion of hydrolyzed collagen allows it to reach the small intestine. This is important because the small intestine is the main compartment where digestion and nutrient uptake occurs. Hydrolyzed collagen is absorbed into the blood through small collagen peptides and free fatty acids.

It is then distributed throughout the body via the blood. Most of it is found in the dermis, which has two mechanisms of action. These two mechanisms are crucial to understanding how collagen works in our bodies and explaining its effectiveness. Free amino acids provide the building blocks for forming collagen and elastin fibrils.

Collagen oligopeptides (a molecule composed of two to ten amino acids) act as carriers of cellular information and bind to receptors on fibroblasts to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid - the basic building blocks of the extracellular matrix.

Hydrolyzed collagen is enriched in specific amino acids: glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Each of these has a particular function.

Absorption of collagen

For hydrolyzed collagen to act on the deeper layers of the skin, it must cross the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. The speed of transport across the intestinal wall can limit its effectiveness, so the form and quantity it is transported are essential. The first step is the breakdown of hydrolyzed collagen into dipeptides, tripeptides, or free amino acids.

It is well known that peptides are broken down into free amino acids in the digestive tract, hence the often-heard statement that collagen cannot work because 'the acid in the stomach breaks it down. However, research shows that peptides in the range of 1k to 15k Daltons (Dalton = Da = molecular weight of collagen) are absorbed. Read the full article here.

Numerous studies support the fact that collagen peptides can be efficiently absorbed and distributed evenly in the deepest layers of the skin. However, there are still questions about their effectiveness.

Are collagen peptides really that effective?

YES. Many studies have investigated their effectiveness and found that collagen peptides can:

  • Stimulate the proliferation (the process where connective tissue is formed) and motility of fibroblasts
  • Stimulate the density of collagen fibrils, which is key to maintaining taut skin
  • Increase hyaluronic acid synthesis
  • Activate protection against UVA radiation

Studies have also found that 28% of participants experienced an increase in skin moisture and 30% a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles after supplementation with 10 g of hydrolyzed collagen.

Do dietary supplements with collagen also affect nails and hair?

Nails and hair are made up of keratin, which (like collagen) has a supporting function in the body. Collagen and keratin are molecules that are structural proteins. Keratins form the stratum corneum of the skin's epidermis, while keratin in hair and nails is an appendage/extension of keratins in the skin's epidermis.

Research on the effect of collagen on hair and nails is lacking, but collagen is rich in amino acids, which the body needs to form keratin found in nails and hair.

Collagen shot 10.000

With its combination of ingredients, we can say with certainty that Collagen Shot 10,000 also affects the strength and growth of the nails and the appearance and accelerated growth of the hair.

In addition to fish collagen, Collagen shot 10,000 also contains:

  • MSM - organic sulfur, which is one of the main components of keratin,
  • Vitamin D3 - influences normal bone mineralization and the immune system,
  • Vitamin C - stimulates the body's production of collagen, which is essential for the normal functioning of blood vessels, bones, cartilage, gums, skin, and teeth,
  • Zinc - helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails.


Etiquetas: collagen collagen shot collagen supplements hydrolyzed collagen marine collagen

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