What is collagen made of?
Collagen is the largest and most abundant structural protein in the human body constituting 70% of our dry-mass skin content. It's the ground substance, and comprises most of the structural material in the human body. This is because although collagen is produced by lots of different cells, it is predominantly found in the connective tissue cells - so it is a huge part of your body.
In particular, collagen forms and affects our skin, bones, and connective tissues. It is essential in providing structural support, strength and, in conjunction with elastin, supporting a good level of elasticity. In particular, collagen can be found in the extracellular matrix - an intricate network of macromolecules that determine the physical properties of body tissues.
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Where is collagen found?
As well as being naturally present in many places across the human body, collagen is also found in animals including chicken, pig, cow and fish. This is where many collagen supplements take their collagen from. At Absolute Collagen, we only use Type 1 marine collagen as it's the best kind on the market. Type 1 marine collagen is the best source of collagen, having been shown to absorb up to 1.5 times faster than other types, as well as being free from diseases that can affect cow, chicken and pig-derived collagen.
What is collagen good for?
Collagen is a very important component and the depletion of it can cause deterioration of our skin and connective tissues. When we are young our collagen levels are at their highest. This is why our children have smooth skin and shiny hair. When collagen becomes weaker and less substantial it begins to sag, often showing as crow's feet or turkey neck; doctors call this Ptosis. This is due to collagen depletion. Unfortunately, research shows that collagen levels begin to deplete from the age of 25. By the time we get to 40, we will have lost around a third of our collagen, which can cause our skin to wrinkle, line and sag.
In the dermis, collagen helps form a fibrous network, upon which new cells can grow. Collagen is also required for the replacement and restoration of dead skin cells. For this reason, in the arena of ingestible beauty products, collagen is now recognised as the star player.
Hydrolysed collagen - what is it?
Hydrolysed (spelt with a "Z" in the USA) collagen is a processed form of collagen that is obtained when collagen fibres are broken down into small collagen chains also known as "collagen peptides" through a process known as "Hydrolysis".
"Hydrolysed Collagen" is more effective because it contains a complete amino acid sequence as a collagen peptide which can be absorbed and transported to the dermis of the skin. There are many products and brands that claim their collagen supplement or collagen builder contains collagen or hydrolysed collagen. Typically they do not contain any hydrolysed collagen or collagen peptides. Instead, they are mostly made up of 3 amino acids glycine, proline & hydroxyproline which together represent about 50% total amino acid content of the collagen helix chain. You need up to 18 different amino acids in the right quantities and ratio to create a collagen molecule.
What are the types of collagen?
There are several different types of collagen, including Type 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. They are slightly different from one another in terms of where in the body they are found and the properties they have, but the most important and most common is Type 1 - which is why we use it in our collagen drink. You can read more about the different types of collagen over on our blog.