Collagen is an important protein in your body. It is the main component of connective tissues and is plentiful in skin, tendons, muscles, intervertebral disks, cartilage, bones, teeth, blood vessels and organs.
The name collagen comes from the Greek kolla, meaning "glue" and -gen, meaning "producing", because skin of horses and other animals were boiled to produce glue.
Collagen is made of peptide chains, and the amino acids glycine, lysine and proline with vitamin C as a co-factor. The molecules have a triple helix structure, which makes them very strong.
Collagen is used to produce gelatin. In medicine is it used to treat bone- and skin injuries and cosmetic surgery.
Collagen is the primary component in the inner layer of our skin. It provides structure to the skin, and works together with the protein elastin to make the skin flexible. The ageing process causes proteins to break down, and collagen is no exemption. The result is wrinkles.
Collagen fibers provide the muscles with strength and structure. The heart's muscles and valve rings are all supported by collagen.
Collagen provides strength, support and elasticity to nerves and blood vessels. Collagen makes up the walls of the veins, arteries and capillaries. Vitamin C deficiency results in reduction in production of collagen. This leads to inflammation and high risk for cardiovascular disease. In worst case can it lead to scurvy.
Collagen in muscles and tendons make them elastic, which is necessary for us to move our body. Collagen in intervertebral disks and cartilage protects the bones from wear.
Bone is made of collagen and a mineral called hydroxyapatite.