What Is Collagen?

- Jan 17, 2017 -

Collagen is a protein made up of amino-acids, which are in turn built of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Collagen contains specific amino acids – Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline and Arginine. Collagen is most commonly found in the skin, bones and connective tissue within the body, providing structural support, strength and a degree of elasticity (in combination with elastin).

Collagen makes up approximately 30% of the proteins within the body. These are tough and strong structures found all over the body: in bones, tendons and ligaments. Collagen is a substance that is naturally produced by the body. However, the production of this substance diminishes as people grow older. The results of the low production include wrinkles, thinning skin and brittle hair among others.

Collagen production naturally declines with age, reducing the structural integrity of the skin and leading to sagging skin, the formation of lines and wrinkles and the weakening of cartilage in joints. 

Collagen is secreted by a variety of different cells, but primarily by connective tissue cells. With age, collagen production slows and the cells structures weaken. The skin gets thinner and is easier to damage, hair gets lifeless, skin sags and wrinkles, tendons and ligaments become less elastic, joints get stiff etc. While young, the body consistently produces collagen, but collagen synthesis begins to decline around the age of 40, with a dramatic reduction in synthesis in women after menopause. By the age of 60 there is typically a considerable decline in collagen production.

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