Collagen- Why it’s important

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It’s found in blood, bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, skin, blood vessels, corneas, teeth and provides structure for many parts of the body. It’s like an adhesive that holds things together and gives your tissues their structure.

There are at least 28 different types of collagen within the human body.
Here’s a brief overview of the five main types of collagen.

The vast majority of collagen, 90 percent consists of Type I collagen the type that makes up 3/4 of our skin’s dry weight. This collagen is found in our dermis(skin), ligaments, bones and tendons. It helps form bones, important for wound healing and can be found in the GI tract. It also gives the skin its stretch and elasticity and holds the tissue together so it doesn’t tear.

Type II collagen is found in the cartilage and vitreous, the gel between the lens and the retina in the eye. This collagen may be beneficial in preventing or delaying age-associated joint pain.

Type III collagen is found in the muscles, fascia, blood vessels, and the intestine. It helps give skin its firmness and elasticity. According to studies from deficiency in Type III collagen has been linked to a higher risk of ruptured blood vessels.

Type IV collagen is plays an important role in forming basal lamina, tissue that surrounds organs, muscles, fat and provides cushion for the tissue above it . This is needed for proper function of nerves and blood vessels.

Type V is found in the bone, dermis, cornea, placenta and is needed to make the surface of cells along with hair strands and tissue found in women’s placentas.

When it comes to sources of collagen beef, chicken, fish and eggs are foods which are high in protein.

Bovine (cow or beef) collagen comes from cows, specifically from their bones, skin, and muscles. Made of Type I & III collagen, it is rich in glycine & proline and useful for building muscle.

Type II collagen is most abundant in chicken collagen, which is best in building cartilage and beneficial for joint health.

Fish collagen derived from fish provides mostly type I collagen. Type I is found throughout the entire body and is beneficial for joint, skin, vital organs, blood vessels, digestion and bones.

Egg shell membrane collagen found in the shells and whites of eggs contains type I, III, IV collagen. It provides amino acids that have benefits for wound healing, building muscle mass, connective tissue, reducing pain, and stiffness.

A very good source of collagen is bone broth. This is made by simmering bones and connective tissues of animals in liquid to extract nutrients and flavor. Bones are boiled, collagen is released and thickens. Bone broth can be used in soups, stews, added to sauces, too cook rice or can be drank on its own.

Gelatin is a cooked form of collagen full of amino acids such as alanine, glutamic acid, glycine, and proline. Connective tissues of cows or pigs are boiled, and a gelatinous colorless residue is released. Gelatin can be mixed into broths, consommes, soups, sauces and stews.

One important  vitamin that supports the formation of collagen in the body is Vitamin C. Without Vitamin C , the body is unable to form collagen. Many fruits and vegetables especially citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. Make an effort to include oranges, cherries, blueberries, yellow peppers, lemons, blackcurrants, spinach, kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts in your diet.

Include collagen in your daily diet and see how it makes you feel.



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