Collagen is the most common protein in the human body and makes up nearly one-third of proteins in the body. Collagen mainly functions to hold the structure together like cement to ensure structural stability. Endogenous collagen is natural collagen that the body makes itself while exogenous collagen is man-made to cope with the great demand in medical and cosmetic industries. Conclusion: there are collagen supplements available on the market to prevent collagen deficiency, which leads to many health problems.
Where is collagen found in our body?
It turns out that there are about 30 different types of collagens that have been found so far. However, there are six common collagen types found in our bodies.
- Collagen I- found in bones, tendons, organs
- Collagen II- found mainly in cartilage
- Collagen III- found mainly in reticular fibers (fine fibrous connective tissue occurring in networks to make up the supporting tissue of many organs).
- Collagen IV- found in the basement membrane of cell membranes (a thin noncellular layer located between epithelial cells and the connective tissue that underlies them, composed of collagen and other proteins and has a variety of functions including support and filtration)
- Collagen V- found in hair, nails
In another word, collagen is the building block structure for connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons and cartilage which are essential for bone, skin and joint structures. Hence, it is important that we prevent loss or damage to collagen structure and vitamin C as we age or are exposed to UV light or harmful substances like nicotine and alcohol.
Medical and Cosmetic uses of collagen
Collagen can be dissolved. This means that it can be broken down, changed, and put back into the body. If you want, it can also be made into solids or gels that look like a lattice.
It has a wide range of functions and is naturally occurring, which makes it a good choice for a wide range of medical applications. Collagen that is used in medicine can come from humans, cows, pigs, or sheep.
- Collagen injections help smooth out wrinkles and fill up depressions in the skin. Collagen-based fillers can be used to erase lines and wrinkles from the face cosmetically. It can also help with scars if they don’t have a sharp edge.
- Collagen can aid wound healing by recruiting new skin cells to the area. It aids in the healing process and offers a foundation for future tissue formation. Collagen dressings can help heal chronic wounds with poor response to other treatments, wounds with body fluids like urine and sweat and necrotic or rotting wounds.
- Collagen supplements or formulations may be able to help with osteoarthritis. People with osteoarthritis who took collagen supplements had less pain and better joint function, according to a 2006 study. Collagen built up in the cartilage as the supplement was taken up by the body. This helped to rebuild the extracellular matrix.
- Research suggests that taking collagen supplements may improve skin health and appearance, most often found supplement form is hydrolyzed to enhance the absorption process by breaking the molecules into smaller pieces.
What happens if lack of collagen
As the explanation above implies, a lack of collagen leads to structural instability. This condition can be seen among the elderly as the skin looks less elastic with more wrinkles and they tend to feel weak joints; it is more obvious among postmenopausal women as they experience a drastic reduction in collagen synthesis around the age of 60s. Similar symptoms are observed in these disorders: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Osteogenesis imperfecta (Brittle Bone disease) and vitamin C deficiency (scurvy).
How to overcome collagen deficiency
As the aging process is irreversible, we should adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle to prevent drastic loss of collagen in the body. Nutrients that may support collagen formation include proline, anthocyanidins, vitamin C, copper and vitamin A. Avoid the sugary diet and processed food as people who eat a lot of sugar are more likely to have glycation, which is when blood sugars connect with proteins to make new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs can break down nearby proteins and make collagen dry, brittle, and weak, making it less strong. Jangan ragu-ragu untuk bertanya Soalan tentang kesihatan anda
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