In our previous posts we reviewed what are the different properties of collagen, specifically, marine collagen, and what positive impact collagen can have on our gut health, [IB1] joints[IB2], varicose veins[IB3], as well as rosacea[IB4]. In those posts we already have highlighted the importance of collagen and how exactly it impacts and helps our bodies, we briefly touched upon the composition of collagen, as well as what are the differences between marine and collagen of other animal origin. In this post, we aim to look a bit more closely at what collagen is made of, its composition. Additionally, we will touch upon the ways in which we can help maintain collagen in our bodies and even stimulate its production.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN ELEMENTS MAKING UP COLLAGEN?
Essentially, collagen is a protein. Human body contains many different types of protein, and each of them fulfils a different function. Namely, proteins partake in such processes as digestion, muscle and vascular activity, among others. Cell and tissue structure, as well as many enzymes and hormones, are made of proteins. As we have mentioned previously (have a look in our blog[IB6]), collagen is among the main body proteins, and makes up about a third of the total protein composition in our body. Collagen acts like a glue (by the way, the word kólla in Greek means exactly that), as it literally holds the human body together, and can be found in bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments, as well as blood vessels, teeth and in other parts of our bodies.1
Proteins are made of many different interconnected chains of amino acids. Proteins are made of 300 or more different amino acids, as well as amino acid chains, which determine the form of the protein and its function in the human body.2 Collagen is made of three amino acid chains, and each of those chains is made of 1000 amino acids. The positioning of collagen's amino acids is unique, and it is made of primarily the following amino acids: glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Below is a brief description about each of those:
Glycine is white and crystalline; it is soluble in water and has a sweet taste. Most proteins are low in glycine, except collagen, as about 25-35% of its composition is actually glycine. In the human body, glycine helps to synthesize the antioxidant glutathione, which in turn is needed to fight free radicals, which cause oxidative stress and damage cells and proteins. Glycine also participates in the development of another amino acid, creatine, which in turn provides the energy needed for muscle and brain function.3 Glycine participates in the regeneration of damaged skin and tissues, protects joints and cartilage, improves digestion, as well as is a part of various other processes in our body.
Proline is also found in various proteins, and especially in collagen. The body uses proline mainly for skin rejuvenation.4
Hydroxyproline, as shown in some studies, is involved in the synthesis of glycine, pyruvate, and glucose. Both proline and hydroxyproline are important for cell structure and function.5
As proteins are constantly being renewed in the body during the synthesis process, the body needs a constant supply of amino acids.
HOW TO STIMULATE COLLAGEN PRODUCTION?
Collagen production slows down after the age of 25, and this leads to skin ageing, formation of wrinkles and stiffening of joints. Collagen helps the skin maintain its firmness and moisture levels, as well as promotes cell regeneration. As a result, over time, it becomes increasingly important to maintain adequate levels of collagen, as well as to stimulate its synthesis in the body itself. Including more of the following in our diets can certainly help this process:
Hyaluronic acid is an important element in maintaining the health and youth of our skin. Oral administration of hyaluronic acid stimulates fibroblast activity, which in turn begins to produce collagen more actively. Hyaluronic acid is found in products high in amino acids, such as beans, root vegetables and soy.
Vitamin C acts in the human body as an antioxidant, as well as participates in collagen synthesis. It also regulates skin pigmentation and helps maintain an even facial skin tone throughout the year. Vitamin C is found in various citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, papaya, broccoli and various green leafy vegetables.
Antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals and help collagen perform its functions better. Antioxidants are found in large quantities in products such as blueberries, green tea, licorice extract, among others.
Proline is found in large quantities in egg whites, wheat germ, dairy products, cabbage, asparagus and mushrooms.
Glycine is most commonly found in a variety of protein-rich products, such as gelatin.6,7
WHAT CAN COL DU MARINETM MARINE COLLAGEN OFFER TO YOU?
Col Du Marine™ marine collagen peptides are primarily made of glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Our marine collagen peptides are of low molecular mass, which is why they are so easily digested and absorbed by our body. Col Du Marine™ marine collagen peptides are easy to use and can be dissolved in any drink and food, therefore they can be added to your daily diet. Col Du Marine™ marine collagen peptides have neutral taste and smell.
Col Du Marine™ in the new gold sachet also contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and silicon from bamboo sprout extract, which brings even more benefits to your body! Read more about the new formula here.[IB1]
(1) Collagen — What Is It and What Is It Good For?, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen#what-it-is
(2) What Are Proteins and What Is Their Function in the Body?, https://www.eufic.org/en/whats-in-food/article/what-are-proteins-and-what-is-their-function-in-the-body
(3) Health Benefits of Glycine, https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-glycine#1
(5) Wu, G., Bazer, F. W., Burghardt, R. C., Johnson, G. A., Kim, S. W., Knabe, D. A., Li, P., Li, X., McKnight, J. R., Satterfield, M. C., & Spencer, T. E. (2011). Proline and hydroxyproline metabolism: implications for animal and human nutrition. Amino acids, 40(4), 1053–1063. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-010-0715-z (source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3773366/ )
(6) Ways to get healthier looking skin by boosting collagen levels, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317151#Ways-to-boost-collagen
(7) Collagen — What Is It and What Is It Good For?, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen#nutrients-that-increase-collagen