Collagen first became a household topic when it came to light that a lack of collagen caused the skin to wrinkle, sag, and appear aged; however, a lack of collagen is about more than just your physical appearance. With a decline in collagen, you will start to experience symptoms such as muscle degradation and joint pain, which could lead to great difficulty as one age.
In this article, we will discuss what collagen is, the importance of collagen synthesis and how you can increase collagen levels.
The Definition of Collagen
Collagen is the ”glue” that keeps your body together. It protects the skin, tendons, cartilage, and bones by ensuring their integrity, flexibility, and regeneration. It is the most abundant protein, accounting for over 30% of all human protein.
Collagen production in the body is reported to begin to drop from the age of 25. Collagen synthesis is the process of collagen production that takes place in the dermis.
Why do we need Collagen?
Collagen has multiple advantages for your health including skin health, reducing joint inflammation and maintaining healthy bones. It protects cartilage degeneration as well as supports tendons, ligaments and muscle mass. Individuals who have certain genetic markers can have increased collagen requirements as well as those who lead active lifestyles as they tend to suffer from ligament and tendon injuries. Collagen is also a great anti-ageing strategy.
What is the Synthesis of Collagen and the steps involved?
Collagen is made up of three chains. A triple helix is formed when these chains are twisted together. Collagen synthesis generally takes place mostly in fibroblasts, which are specialized cells whose primary role is to synthesize collagen and stroma. Collagen is synthesized both within and outside of cells.
There is a multitude of steps involved in collagen synthesis, each one complex and intricate. These steps consist of:
- Transcription: At the beginning of the process, mRNA transcribes genes that will be used to create individual amino acid chains.
- Translation: Once the genes have been transcribed, they are translated by mRNA and ribosomes interacting with one another. This creates a structure known as a pre-pro-polypeptide chain.
- Post-Translational Processing: In this process, the amino acids are arranged in three chains and twisted together to increase their strength.
- Final Intracellular Processing: In this step, the structure is referred to as pro-collagen and is ready to move to the Golgi apparatus. This is when the assembly into secretory vesicles takes place.
- Tropocollagen Formation: Here peptides are removed from the pro-collagen molecules by enzymes to form tropocollagen.
- Collagen Fibril Synthesis: In the final step, an enzyme known as lysin oxidase causes the tropocollagen molecules to bond together to form collagen fibril.
How to Increase Collagen Levels
Other than eating food rich in Vitamin C and amino acids which can increase the levels of hyaluronic acid and collagen in the body, there are also various supplements. Although consuming specific foods such as bone broth can assist, taking a collagen supplement may be more beneficial as it provides higher amounts of nutrients than the foods we consume. A collagen supplement will assist you in ageing more gracefully and allow you to live a more mobile and pain-free life.
At Geneway, we carry collagen with peptan bonds. Peptan™ collagen is a bioactive ingredient that has been specifically developed to deliver multiple health benefits and functional properties. Contact us to find out more about how you can slow down the effects of ageing.