Complete collagen is a molecule of youth, beauty and health. It is important to know that His Majesty collagen is the main element of connective tissue, which makes up about one third of all proteins in our body. To date, scientists have discovered 28 types of collagen, of which 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the most common and provide the strength of the skin, bones, cartilage, eyes, teeth, vascular walls and internal organs.
The word collagen comes from the Greek word kólla, which means glue. Just think: collagen, like glue, sticks together cells and tissues into one whole, ensures their vital activity and is the skeleton of our body.
The process of collagen synthesis and its assembly into bundles (collagen fibrils) is very complex and involves various vitamins, amino acids, minerals, enzymes, etc. With their deficiency, collagen synthesis will be disrupted and a catastrophe for the connective tissue, the scale of which is difficult even to imagine. With age, the quality of collagen decreases under the influence of various destructive factors, which include: the abuse of sugar and refined simple carbohydrates; excessive sun exposure; smoking.
And without full structural support for collagen, our skin, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones become fragile and vulnerable. As a result, various health problems appear – premature aging of the skin and joints, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, decreased vision, increased blood pressure, increased risk of strokes and heart attacks. I am sure everyone understood that complete collagen is the foundation of healthy connective tissue and one of the most important factors in our well-being and appearance. But how to ensure the synthesis of full-fledged collagen in our body? Who are the key players in the synthesis of complete collagen?
We have heard about vitamin C since childhood and everyone knows the taste of vitamin C, which my mother gave, especially during a cold. But few people thought about the extremely important role of vitamin C for connective tissue. The uniqueness and importance of vitamin C for the body cannot be overestimated. What is its significance?
It turns out that our body requires vitamin C for the production of the main component of connective tissue – collagen. Vitamin C is needed for the formation of mature collagen molecules and their assembly into fibrils, which provide the structural strength of our body. In case of vitamin C deficiency, defective collagen with reduced mechanical strength is synthesized. As a result, collagen-rich tissues suffer – tendons, ligaments, skin, cornea of the eye, cartilage and bone tissue, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin C deficiency leads to impaired tissue regeneration, in particular skin, and impaired wound healing.
Moreover, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, helps to resist oxidative stress, neutralizes the activity of free radicals and thus prevents the destruction and aging of connective tissue.
And of course, vitamin C is a powerful booster for the immune system and helps to fight off various infections. It is important to know that vitamin C is not synthesized in our body. This means that you need to eat foods containing sufficient vitamin C every day. The daily requirement for vitamin C varies depending on age, gender, physiological conditions (pregnancy, breastfeeding), and the presence of concomitant health problems. Bad habits also matter. It has been proven that smoking and alcohol abuse lead to impaired absorption and a decrease in the level of vitamin C. Taking analgesics, antidepressants, anticoagulants, oral contraceptives, steroids can reduce the level of vitamin C in the body. The best source of vitamin C is fresh fruits and vegetables.
Scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of collagen supplementation in fighting skin aging, treating arthrosis and arthritis, and increasing muscle strength and mass. Elastic skin, shiny hair, healthy joints, and strong muscles are just some of the benefits of regular collagen supplementation.
Note that there are two types of collagen supplements: hydrolyzed collagen and gelatin.
The source for their preparation and collagen extraction is connective tissue (skin, cartilage) and animal bones (beef, pork, lamb, chicken) and fish (marine collagen). It is believed that the bioavailability and quality of marine collagen is much higher than that of animal collagen. Particularly valuable is collagen obtained from fish that live in the deep, clear waters of the oceans and seas, for example, from the fins of the blue shark, the skin of Alaska cod and the salmon that lives in the waters of the island of Hokkaido.
The classic way to extract collagen in the form of gelatin is by boiling in water, as this is usually done at home when preparing broth or jellied meat, which are also a rich source of collagen. The gelatin recovered during this process is tasteless and colorless. It dissolves in warm water and, when cooled, acquires a jelly-like consistency. It is composed almost entirely of protein (98-99%), and its unique amino acid profile gives it many health benefits.