The Role of Collagen in Our Body
Did you know that without collagen, our body would be but a mass of shapeless tissues? In fact, collagen plays a major role in how most of our body’s structures work. In this post, we cover important information about collagen and its properties.
A definition of collagen and the different types
Collagen is a protein. Its name comes from the Greek “kólla”, which means “glue”. Indeed, in our body, collagen allows cohesion of the tissues and organs. It also provides hydration, resistance, and flexibility properties.
Know that there are more than 20 types of collagen in the human body. Types I to V represent 99% of all the collagen in the body. These different types of collagen are used to make:
Type I: Bones, tendons, ligaments, skin and several internal organs
Type II: Cartilage and eye structure
Type III: Skeletal muscle and blood vessels walls
Type IV: Most internal organs
Type V: Most connective (supportive) tissues; it is often associated with Type I.
How is collagen produced ?
Collagen is a protein or polypeptide. Therefore, it is composed of a chain of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. The amino acids are compounds used throughout the body at the cellular level. They are either produced naturally by the body or must be supplied through our diet.
Collagen is produced by different types of specialized cells, including cells called fibroblasts. These are located in the connective tissues, which play a very important role in our body. Fibroblasts make it possible to assemble amino acids into polypeptides, and therefore to create collagen.
A word about connective tissues
Connective tissues are found all over our body and are mostly made of collagen. Their function is to connect and support other tissues in our body, especially our organs. In addition to their support function, they also perform filling, attachment, insulation and protection. It is found in many structures, including tendons, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, muscles, as well as in organs such as the eyes and skin. Connective tissues make up 80% of the entire human body!
The effects of aging on collagen production
Aging and our lifestyle directly interfere with many metabolic processes. This includes our body’s ability to synthesize new proteins, especially collagen. According to McGill University’s Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, it is essential that the body compensates for the intake of essential amino acids through food when it is unable to synthesize new proteins.
Besides aging, other factors can increase the body’s need for amino acids for the production of new proteins, such as collagen. These factors include stress, injuries and certain degenerative diseases associated with aging. Smoking, exposure to UV rays from the sun, and heavy sugar consumption could be other sources of oxidative stress of our body, which may impact on amino acid requirements.
It is estimated that, starting from the age of 30, the production of collagen decreases by about 1% per year, a percentage that increases from the age of 50. In collagen-rich tissues, this can lead to a decrease in function which can be manifested by the following signs:
• Joint and muscle stiffness
• Appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Lack of muscle tone
• Body aches
• Slower healing of wounds
• More often fatigued
Ironically most of us accept to live with these minors discomforts, as we do not experience any major health problems or pain in our early thirties. However, as far as the reduction of collagen in our body is concerned, these problems are just the tip of the iceberg; together with aging, they directly affect our health and quality of life.
When the production of amino acids, and therefore collagen, is no longer sufficient to meet the body’s needs and to regenerate tissues, taking supplements can then be a solution.
AminoLock Collagen supplies the body with all the amino acids needed to produce collagen of all types. Having the lowest molecular weight among collagen supplements on the market, AminoLock Collagen is more easily absorbed by the body. This may result in more marked beneficial effects in preventing the signs of aging mentioned above, associated with reduced collagen production.
The Genacol range includes several products, all of which are made from AminoLock Collagen (except topicals). We bet that you will find a supplement to meet your needs.
If you need help to find the perfect product for you, don’t hesitate to contact us. It will be a pleasure to assist you!