Medically the review by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — written by James McIntosh on June 16, 2017

Collagen is the many abundant protein in the human being body, uncovered in the bones, muscles, skin, and also tendons.

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It is the substance that holds the body together. Collagen develops a scaffold to carry out strength and also structure.

Endogenous collagen is organic collagen, synthesized by the body. Exogenous collagen is synthetic. It originates from an outside source, such as supplements.

Endogenous collagen has actually a number of important functions. Break down and depletion is linked to a number of health problems.

Exogenous collagen is used for medical and cosmetic purposes, including the fix of body tissues.


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Share top top PinterestCollagen has actually a sturdy structure. Gram-for-gram, some types are stronger than steel.
Collagen is a hard, insoluble, and also fibrous protein that renders up one-third that the protein in the human being body.

In most collagens, the molecules space packed with each other to form long, slim fibrils.

These plot as sustaining structures and also anchor cells to every other. They give the skin strength and elasticity.

There space at least 16 different types of collagen, however 80 to 90 percent of them belong to types 1, 2, and also 3. These different species have various structures and functions.

The collagens in the human being body are strong and flexible.

Type 1 collagen fibrils are an especially capable of being stretched. Gram-for-gram, they room stronger than steel.


Roles: What does collagen do?

Collagen is secreted by assorted cells, but mainly by connective tissue cells.

It is uncovered in the extracellular matrix. This is an complex network of macromolecules that determines the physics properties of body tissues. A macromolecule is a molecule include a big number that atoms.


Share top top PinterestWith age, collagen weakens, bring about wrinkles and also cartilage problems.

In the dermis, or the center layer of skin, collagen helps type a fibrous network of cells called fibroblasts, ~ above which brand-new cells have the right to grow. It likewise plays a duty in replacing and restoring dead skin cells.

Some collagens act as protective coverings for fragile organs in the body, such as the kidneys.

With age, the body produces less collagen. The structure integrity that the skin declines. Wrinkles form, and also joint cartilage weakens.

Women endure a dramatic palliation in collagen synthesis after menopause.

By the period of 60 years, a considerable decrease in collagen production is normal.


Uses: Medical and also cosmetic

Collagen is resorbable. This means it deserve to be damaged down, converted, and absorbed back right into the body. The can also be formed into compacted solids or lattice-like gels.

Its diverse range of functions and the truth that the is naturally developing make it clinically versatile and suitable for various clinical purposes.

Collagen for clinical use can originate indigenous humans, cows, pigs, or sheep.

Skin fillers

Collagen injections deserve to improve the border of the skin and fill out depressions.

Fillers the contain collagen can be provided cosmetically to eliminate lines and wrinkles native the face. It can additionally improve scars, as long as these do not have actually a spicy edge.

These fillers space sourced from humans and also cows. Skin tests have to be done prior to using collagen indigenous cows, to avoid aggravating any type of allergies.

Collagen deserve to fill reasonably superficial volumes. An ext extensive gaps room usually filled through substances such as fat, silicone, or implants.

Wound dressing

Collagen can assist heal wounds through attracting new skin cell to the wound site. It disclosure healing and provides a communication for new tissue growth.

Collagen dressings can assist heal:

chronic wounds that perform not answer to various other treatmentwounds that expel bodily fluids such as urine or sweatgranulating wounds, on which different tissue growsnecrotic or rotting woundspartial and full-thickness woundssecond-degree burnssites that skin donation and also skin grafts

Collagen dressings room not recommended for third-degree burns, wounds extended in dried eschar, or because that patients who might be sensitive to assets sourced native cows.

Guided organization regeneration

Collagen-based membranes have actually been used in periodontal and implant treatment to encourage the development of specific species of cell.

In dental surgery, collagen obstacles can protect against fast-growing cells around the gum from migrating to a wound in a tooth. This preservation a room where this cells have actually the opportunity to regenerate.

Collagen-based membranes can assist healing in this cases and they are resorbable, so this obstacle does not should be surgically removed after the key operation.

Vascular prosthetics

Collagen tissue grafts indigenous donors have been supplied in peripheral nerve regeneration, in vascular prostheses, and in arterial reconstruction.

While collagen prostheses space compatible through the human body, some have actually been found to it is in thrombogenic, or most likely to cause coagulation of the blood.

Treatment of osteoarthritis

Collagen additionally or formulations may aid treat osteoarthritis.

A 2006 review discovered that supplements containing collagen assisted decrease painful symptoms and also improving joint duty in world with osteoarthritis.

As the complement was absorbed, collagen gathered in the cartilage, and also this aided to rebuild the extracellular matrix.

Not every studies have actually supported this findings, however.

Skin revitalization


Share ~ above PinterestCollagen creams space unlikely to work, as collagen molecules room too huge to pass with the skin.

Many commodities containing collagen, including creams and powders, case to revitalize the skin by increasing collagen levels in ~ the body.

This is unlikely, however, as collagen molecules room too huge to be took in through the skin.

Any benefit is probably due to the moisturizing effects of this products. They carry out not directly increase collagen.

Such therapies are also not classified together drugs, so any claims concerning their efficacy do not need to be scientifically proven. Fist is advised once using these products.


Laser therapy can assist treat big marks, together it deserve to stimulate the expansion of collagen, elastin, and also melanin.

A healthful diet can help the body develop collagen.

Nutrients that may support collagen formation include:

Copper: In shellfish, nuts, red meat, and also some drinking water.

What loss collagen?

Some determinants can diminish the level of collagen within the body. Preventing them can keep the skin healthy for longer.

High sugar consumption: A high-sugar diet boosts the price of glycation, a procedure where blood sugars affix to proteins to form new molecules called progressed glycation end assets (AGEs).

AGEs damage adjacent proteins and can do collagen dry, brittle, and weak.

Smoking: countless chemicals existing in tobacco smoke damages both collagen and elastin in the skin.

Nicotine likewise narrows the blood ship in the outer layers that the skin. This compromises skin wellness by reducing the distribution of nutrients and also oxygen to the skin.

Sunlight: Ultraviolet rays in sunlight reason collagen to breakdown more rapidly, damaging collagen fibers and also causing abnormal elastin to construct up.

The UV beam in sunlight damages the collagen in the dermis, and the skin rebuilds incorrectly, developing wrinkles.

Autoimmune disorders: part autoimmune disorders cause antibodies come target collagen.

Genetic changes can affect the extracellular matrix. The collagen that is developed can it is in lower, or it might be dysfunctional, mutated collagen.

The aging process reasons collagen level to deplete naturally over time. Over there is no method to stop this.

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Avoiding tobacco and excess sun exposure and following a healthful dietary and also exercise regimen can help reduce clearly shows aging and also protect collagen, maintaining the skin, bones, muscles, and joints healthy and balanced for longer.