Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons.

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Collagen forms a scaffold that provides strength & structure within the body. It is an essential component of connective tissue & plays a crucial role in holding the body’s cells together. It also gives strength & elasticity khổng lồ the skin.

Endogenous collagen is natural collagen that the body synthesizes. Exogenous collagen is synthetic. It comes from an outside source, such as supplements.

Endogenous collagen has a number of important functions. Breakdown và depletion are linked lớn various health problems, such as scurvy.

People use exogenous collagen for cosmetic purposes, such as improving skin elasticity. Doctors also use it in techniques for wound healing.

What is collagen, & what does it do?

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Collagen is a molecule. It is a tough, insoluble, fibrous protein.

It plays a major role in many structures, such as:

skintendonsblood vesselscartilageboneconnective tissue, which anchors cells to each other

Collagen is a key component of the extracellular matrix, a network of molecules that holds together the body’s tissues.

Healthy collagen levels contribute to:

joint healthprotection of the kidneys và other organsskin elasticitya healthy cardiovascular system

Collagen is plentiful in the human body. According to lớn some older research, one-third of the protein in the human toàn thân and three-quarters of the dry weight of skin consist of collagen.

There are around 28 types of collagen, and they all have different structures. Most are formed of fibrils, which are long, thin structures that are strong & flexible.

In the skin, collagen provides strength and elasticity. As people get older, their collagen levels fall, and collagen fibers become thinner & weaker. Some experts believe this may contribute lớn skin aging. For this reason, many skin care products contain forms of collagen.

Some types of collagen are resorbable. This means they can be broken down, converted, và absorbed back into the body. It can also be formed into structures outside the body, with various medical uses.

Products that aim to boost collagen levels can originate from humans và other species.

Skin fillers

Fillers that combine collagen dermal fillers with hyaluronic acid may increase skin elasticity by boosting collagen production.

This can help enlarge tissues, filling gaps — such as wrinkles — in the skin.

People use them to:

reduce wrinklesimprove the contours of the skinfill out depressionsimprove the appearance of scars

Manufacturers source these products from humans và other species. One filler uses cells from salmon & other fish. People should kiểm tra the origin of their product and test first for any allergic reactions.

Learn about other types of dermal fillers & how they compare with Botox.

Wound dressing

Collagen plays a key role in the natural process of wound healing.

Aspects that applications of collagen can help with include:

controlling bleedingreducing inflammationmanaging blood vessel health and functionboosting the strength of scar tissuerestoring skin elasticityattracting cells that promote wound healingproviding a platform for new tissue growth

Collagen wound dressings contain collagen and other substances that aim khổng lồ boost healing.

They can take the size of:

dressings, for example, of sponge or fleecegelspowders

Guided tissue regeneration

Doctors sometimes use collagen to size scaffolds. These provide temporary support while the toàn thân produces new cells during the healing process.

Membranes, plugs, or pads containing collagen can help with:

bone regenerationwound healingmanaging extraction sockets after dental surgerypromoting blood clotting

Research from 2011 notes that, in oral surgery, collagen barriers can prevent fast-growing cells around the gum from migrating to lớn a wound in a tooth. This preserves a space where tooth cells have the chance lớn regenerate.

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Since these membranes are resorbable, a surgeon does not need to lớn remove them surgically once healing is complete.

Treatment of osteoarthritis

Collagen is essential for healthy cartilage and bones.

Some people say that taking supplements containing collagen hydrolysate may boost collagen levels & help manage symptoms of osteoarthritis.

In 2018, scientists published the results of a trial involving 120 people, half of whom took oral supplements containing collagen and other substances for 90 days, while the others took a placebo. In those who took collagen, joint pain fell by 43%, & joint mobility improved by 39%.

Further studies are needed to confirm that oral collagen can improve joint health.

Find out if diet can help manage osteoarthritis.

Skin revitalization

Boosting collagen production or preventing its decline may help keep skin strong, elastic, & younger-looking.

Possible ways of doing this include:

surgical treatments, such as injecting fillersapplying creams & other productsoral supplements containing hydrolyzed bioactive collagen peptides, vitamins, and antioxidantsdietary choices that provide nutrients and antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress

Consuming hydrolyzed collagen và certain nutrients may help boost collagen production or prevent its loss, according to some researchers.

Creams, powders, và other topical cosmetics that contain collagen often claim lớn revitalize the skin by increasing collagen levels in the body. However, studies have not shown that the skin can absorb the necessary ingredients in a way that will make a significant difference.

Learn how lớn boost collagen levels to lớn improve skin health.

Factors that may contribute to lớn lead lớn collagen loss or low collagen levels include:

hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause, health conditions, & so onoxidative stress, which results from metabolic processes & lifestyle choices, such as smoking and dietthe natural process of aginglow levels of ascorbic acid, also known as vi-ta-min C, which can lead lớn scurvy

Some genetic conditions can affect the production of collagen. Osteogenesis imperfecta can lead khổng lồ weak bones. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) can produce a range of symptoms, depending on which type of EDS the person has. Both conditions can be fatal in some cases.

Here are some questions people often ask about collagen.

What does collagen vày for the body?

Collagen is essential for the health of bones, skin, blood vessels, and all the body’s organs. Low collagen levels can lead to lớn joint problems và a lack of elasticity in the skin.

Is collagen worth using?

Studies suggest that supplements can boost collagen production in the body. However, creams that claim khổng lồ rejuvenate the skin are unlikely khổng lồ have a significant impact, as the molecules cannot pass through the outer layer of skin in a way that makes a difference.

What are the side effects of collagen supplements?

Possible adverse effects include mild diarrhea, a heaviness in the abdomen, và a rash. There may be interactions with other drugs. However, research has not yet shown which ones.