What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and it’s one of the most important components of bones, skin, muscles, and connective tissues including tendons and ligaments. Many other body parts, such as blood vessels, corneas, and teeth, also contain collagen.
Collagen is made by combining two amino acids, glycine, and proline, in the body, but it can also be found in the form of collagen products or dietary supplements online or in health stores.
It can be thought of as the “glue” that binds everything together. The word “kólla” is derived from the Greek word “kólla,” which actually means glue.
There are at least 16 different types of collagen.
The four major groups are as follows:
- Type I collagen, which is made up of tightly packed fibres and accounts for 90% of your body’s collagen, is the most popular type. It benefits the skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.
- Type II is found in elastic cartilage, and it cushions the joints. Compared to Type I, it is made up of more loosely packed fibres.
- Type III supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.
- Type IV helps with filtration and is found in the layers of your skin.
You may be able to increase collagen production by ensuring that you get enough of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, and strawberries
- Proline which can be found in egg whites, wheat germ, dairy products, cabbage, asparagus, and mushrooms
- Glycine can be found in pork skin, chicken skin, and gelatin, but glycine is also found in various protein-containing foods (4).
- Copper is found in organ meats, sesame seeds, cocoa powder, cashews, and lentils.
Animal products such as bone broth, gelatin, chicken skin, and pork skin are very high in collagen.
Sugar can minimise the production of collagen because it interferes with its ability to repair itself. Try to minimise the consumption of refined sugars.
Make sure to have adequate sunshine but not too much as ultraviolet radiation can reduce collagen production.
Smoking reduces collagen production which may lead to impaired wound healing and wrinkles.