Ever wondered how collagen is made?
January 21, 2019
It's a common ingredient listed in thousands of cosmetic items in the aisles of pharmacies and beautician stores all over the world, but have you ever wondered how collagen is made?
This article will uncover the science behind collagen and how it is used for more things than you may previously have realised.
How collagen is made
Collagen is a naturally occurring animal protein found in fibrous, connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments and skin.
It can be both soft and hard, depending on the degree of mineralisation and what it is intended to do.
The collagen found in bones is clearly tough and rigid to provide structure; that found in the extracellular space in our cartilage is less rigid, forming the shapes of our ears and noses for example.
Most compliant of all is the collagen found in tendons and muscle tissue, where it needs to provide maximum elasticity.
Overall, 28 types of collagen have been discovered, but the most common by far is Type 1.
Collagen makes up around 30% of a mammal's protein content and constitutes around 2% of muscle tissue.
The amino acids that make up collagen are arginine, glycine, hydroxyproline and proline, themselves made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
The most common cell that actually creates collagen is the fibroblast, a biological cell found in connective tissues.
These are the parts of your body that play a key role in the healing and regeneration of tissues.
Collagen production starts with procollagen, a smaller molecule made up of Vitamin C and protein.
Molecules bond to form fibrils, strands similar in structure to a carpet fibre, which gradually grow to form collagenous fibres.
That’s an abridged version of course, but in short, that is how collagen is made.
Diet and ageing can affect collagen production, which is why people of a certain age are turning more and more to collagen-boosting products to stay vital. More about that later.
Collagen is extracted from dead mammals, usually livestock.
A process of cooking cartilaginous animal materials - bones, connective tissues and skin - creates gelatin, a form of collagen that has been irreversibly hydrolyzed.
This means it has permanently combined with water at a molecular level and is actually a process you can witness at home when cooking meat bones into soup.
Later on in the process, this collagen gelatin will be treated to remove other animal matter, including salts and fats.
The most common sources of collagen used to make commercial supplements come from cows, chickens, pigs and fish.
Marine collagen is typically the best for collagen supplements, as peptides from fish are considered to be superior in raising all over body collagen to improve skin, hair, nail and bone quality.
Absolute Collagen uses marine collagen for their supplements, which has been clinically proven to improve skin quality. The collagen found in Absolute Collagen uses is made from fish heading for human consumption, therefore no fish has been specifically killed for its collagen
Differing quality of collagen
The quality of collagen harvested can vary greatly.
An animal with a natural diet that has grazed on pastures or swam freely in the ocean are invariably healthier and produce better quality collagen than that from caged hens and other factory farmed livestock.
One of the most popular forms of collagen comes from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows.
Everyday uses of collagen
Collagen as gelatin is used in many food products. You’ll probably be familiar with gelatin being in sweets such as gummy candies.
It’s also found in desserts and some yoghurts.
Lesser-known are the non-food uses of gelatin. It is found in photographic film, gel capsules for pills, and even glues used to make stringed instruments.
As alluded to above, collagen can be used in medical applications when creating artificial skin for burn victims, and it’s here where it is more likely to be human-sourced collagen that’s being used.
Trumping all of these and probably most commonly known is collagen’s skin-plumping and firming effect.
For this reason, it is a major ingredient in skincare and anti-ageing products. It’s great for treating dry or damaged skin as it restores suppleness and reduces flakiness.
As highlighted earlier, as we get older our bodies can struggle to produce collagen themselves, so powder supplements and creams are increasingly popular to provide a boost of this healing and strengthening protein.
Those over 25 can benefit from extra collagen in their diet, yet it’s not just age that reduces our body’s collagen production.
Drinking too much, smoking, being exposed to pollutants, UV ray exposure, and a Vitamin C deficiency can all combine to leave you short of this vital protein.
The effects of not having enough collagen can be all too apparent with problems like wrinkles, dry skin, lifeless hair and brittle nails.
Hydrolyzed collagen supplements, also known as collagen peptides, are often combined with flavourings and additional nutrients to be drunk as a shake.
One of our #Absoluters favourite ways to take Absolute Collagen is to put it in their morning shake or smoothie.
Unless you can honestly say you eat bone stew every day, you can probably benefit from these collagen supplements.
These shakes are convenient and cost-effective ways of increasing the amount of collagen in your body.
They can fight the signs of ageing by simply helping the normal function of your skin, bones and all of the connective tissues in between.
Pick up your collagen supplement
So that’s a short summary of how collagen is made, how it’s extracted and finally, how it’s used.
Now you know how collagen is made and how restorative it is, there’s simply no denying how good it is for us and our skin whatever stage of life we’re at. We can all benefit from affordable collagen-boosting products.
Maxine Laceby the founder of Absolute Collagen had one mission, to create a readily mixed collagen supplement with maximum of the best collagen in the minimum dose at the lowest price possible
You can try Absolute Collagen’s supplements for men and women.
You’ll find positive reviews from customers who have great success stories to share after using our collagen supplements for their hair, skin and nails.
We look forward to you being our next happy and younger-looking Absolute Collagen customer!