Collagen is a protein produced by the body that plays an essential role in the structure and function of skin, cartilage, bone, and connective tissue. It is the most abundant protein in the human body and is composed of a chain of amino acids twisted into a triple helix structure. Collagen production occurs through collagen synthesis, which occurs mainly in fibroblast cells. Nutrition remains the most important factor in collagen production, as the body needs to break down dietary proteins into amino acids to get the components it needs.
Threonine is important for skin and connective tissue, since it is heavily involved with collagen and elastin. Collagen peptides derived from the skin, bones, and scales of fish may help regulate the proliferation of osteoblasts and the synthesis of collagen-modifying enzymes in humans. In food, collagen is naturally found only in animal meat, such as meat and fish, which contain connective tissue. However, a variety of animal and plant foods contain materials for the production of collagen in our own body. Consuming hydrolyzed collagen and certain nutrients can help increase collagen production or prevent collagen loss.
Ultraviolet radiation can damage collagen, specifically collagen fibers, and reduce collagen production. If you're trying to increase your body's collagen production process, try to avoid sugar (candy, soda, refined carbohydrates), alcohol, smoking, and excessive sun exposure, as all of these factors can damage existing collagen and cause premature aging. But does collagen live up to expectations? And is there enough evidence to support these claims? Before you rush to buy your collagen supplement, keep reading to learn what collagen is, where it comes from, and what science says about its potential health and beauty benefits. A study in the journal Maturitas tested the effect of collagen hydrolysates obtained from gelatins on markers of bone metabolism in postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density and found no significant improvements in their bone structure. With aging, collagen in the deep layers of the skin changes from a tightly organized fiber network to a disorganized maze. Collagen is applied topically, often with other structural proteins and antibiotics, to promote healing and prevent infections. And for even more spectacular results, make sure to stay away from excess sugar and refined carbohydrates which can cause inflammation and damage collagen.