Science of Collagen
Collagen – you need it!
If there’s one substance that the body knows it needs, it’s collagen. It’s vital for the health of every structure in the body, but especially the skin, the joints, eyes, heart and digestive system.
Over the past few years, there’s been an explosion of interest in collagen, and many products have been launched to market.
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DID YOU KNOW? “Age 40+? Your body’s ability to produce collagen decreases by 25%. By age 60, it has decreased by over 50%”.
The body is so smart, using different types of collagen for different roles in the body. Some collagen fibre types help to absorb shock and impact force, others have a structural role and yet others give tensile strength or elasticity.
Collagen – know your type!
The body’s biochemical brilliance means that certain collagen fibre types are found more abundantly than others in various part of the body. This is because they have different ‘jobs’ to perform; some for strength, some for shock absorption and others as a web on which other structural components build.
So…. which is right for you?
The five most common types are:
• Type I: skin, tendon, vasculature, organs, bone (main component of the organic part of bone)
• Type II: cartilage (main collagenous component of cartilage)
• Type III: reticulate (main component of reticular fibres), commonly found alongside type I
• Type IV: forms basal lamina, the epithelium-secreted layer of the basement membrane
• Type V: cell surfaces, hair.
All of these collagen fibre types are important in their own way. But whilst collagen decline in the skin is easier to see, it’s less so in the bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage.
In recent years, there has been a real interest in bone broths, and amino-acid rich foods for gut health. But these dietary sources are known to have proteins with high molecular weights which often not absorbed efficiently. Rather, many people choose to supplement with low molecular weight hydrolysed collagen peptides. This is especially useful for people who are looking to nutritionally manage their health.