What is the Most Abundant Structural Protein in the Body? An Overview of Collagen

What is the Most Abundant Structural Protein in the Body? An Overview of Collagen

What is the Most Abundant Structural Protein in the Body?

Is your skin getting saggier with age? You must be worried about it, right?

The thing causing your skin to look dull is the loss of the most abundant structural protein in the body, i.e. collagen.

Collagen accounts for 30 per cent of the total body’s protein and is responsible for building tendons and ligaments, the body’s skin, muscles, bones, and other connective tissues.

According to research, one-third of the protein and a third-quarter of the dry weight in the human body constitutes collagen.

The role of collagen in the body is significant as it is a crucial component of the connective tissue and tightly holds the body’s cells together. If you want to know how you can restore collagen levels in your body, read the guide below.

Types of CollagenMost Abundant Structural Protein in the Body

Amino acids make up the protein. The amino acids responsible for collagen formation are proline, glycine and hydroxyproline.

These three amino acids group together from a triple helix structure leading to collagen formation.

Until now, 28 types of collagen exist. Each type differs from others due to its structure, location and how the body uses it.

That said, the leading five types of collagen are.

Type-I

Type-I collagen is the natural form of collagen which a human body can synthesise itself. It’s present under the first layer of skin, i.e., the dermis. It also contains 90% of the body’s collagen stores.

Moreover, collagen is also present in supplements. People concerned about their skin, ligament, bones, hair and nail being healthy rely on supplements.

There are no evident studies on the efficacy of Type-I collagen supplements, but those who used them showed positive results.

Source

Collagen type-I lies in skin, tendons and ligaments, and for supplements, it comes from cows.

Type-II

This collagen type is part of the connective tissues, cartilage and bone. It plays a significant role in curing muscle and joint pain.

Source

Collagen type II supplements come from cows.

Type-III

Type-III collagen works the same as type-I and helps improve skin health and elasticity. It lies in your skin, blood vessels, ligaments and joints.

Source

It’s present in the walls of blood vessels, skin, lungs, and intestinal walls.

Type-IV

This type of collagen lies in the extracellular basement membranes that separate different types of epithelial and endothelial cells.

Since it’s a network forming collagen, it acts as a barrier between tissue components.

Source

It lies in the extracellular basement membranes.

Type-V

Type-V collagen is present in the cornea of the eye. It is necessary for the fibrillation of collagen types I and III and, consequently, for the best possible fibrillary production and tissue quality.

Source

It lies underneath the dermal/epidermal junction, placental tissues and tissues associated with collagen-I.

What Does Collagen Do to Your Body?

What is the Most Abundant Structural Protein in the Body?

Collagen provides strength and support to your skin, hair, nails, muscles and connective tissues. It does the following things to your body.

  • It helps your blood clot.
  • It protects the covering of the organs.
  • It helps in the formation of fibroblasts in the dermis.
  • Offer strength, structure and support to connective tissues and muscles.
  • It enhances your skin, hair and nails.
  • Taking collagen supplements improves gut health.

Cause of Collagen Loss

Collagen is the most abundant protein in nature, and a little carelessness can lead to collagen loss. The following factors cause collagen depletion.

  1. Smoking: The nicotine in smoke causes the blood vessels to constrict, restricting oxygen supply to the skin. Thus, frequent smoking decreases collagen production, which causes wrinkles in your skin.
  1. UV Rays: Excessive exposure to sun rays can lower collagen production. The collagen breaks down and deteriorates your skin.
  1. Sugar-Based Products: When sugar binds to proteins, advanced glycation end products occur. Collagen weakens, dries out, and is brittle by these chemicals, harming neighbouring proteins.

These factors produce free radicals in the body, which cause the collagen fibres to break down. The collagen then begins to thin and weaken, which makes your skin saggy and full of wrinkles.

Ways to Prevent the Collagen Loss

Collagen is a protein whose production slows down with time. When a woman hits menopause or has arthritis, collagen loss happens. 

However, there’s no need to worry about it. People try to cope with the loss by following the ways below.

  1. Change Your Diet: A study suggests that including vitamins, polyphenols, nuts and leagues rich in mono-unsaturated fats, poly-unsaturated fats, and polyphenolic-rich beverages can improve skin’s health. It can improve elasticity in the skin by increasing collagen production.
  1. Use SunScreen: Since our body needs sunlight exposure to activate collagen-degrading enzymes, applying sunscreen is best to protect your collagen production from slowing down. Using broad-spectrum SPF 30 will be helpful once a day.
  1. Collagen Building Products: You can use many natural and artificial collagen-rich products to maintain collagen levels in your body. Some items include vitamin-A derivatives, natural aloe vera gel application or taking aloe sterols orally. Moreover, vitamin-C-rich fruits and vegetables also help increase collagen levels; if you want, you can apply vitamin-C serum.
  1. Change Your Skin Care Products: You’ll find many products claiming to boost collagen levels in the body, but in reality, not every product can reach the lower layer of the skin. Look for the following ingredients in skin care products, which have proven efficacy in enhancing collagen stores.
  • DNA-repairing enzymes
  • Antioxidants
  • Peptides
  1. Other Ways: Quit smoking, limit alcohol consumption and getting sufficient sleep.

Artificial Ways to Rebuild Collagen

No such thing as collagen treatment exists, but specific cosmetic treatments help reduce wrinkles, increase elasticity and make your skin look young. They are.

  • Microneedling
  • (Platelet-rich plasma) PRP therapy
  • Derma fillers
  • Chemical peels
  • Skin resurfacing lasers

Conclusion

Collagen is the most abundant structural protein in the body and handles holding skin tissues together. It has many benefits for skin, hair, nails, cartilage, and joints.

Your involvement in harmful activities can badly affect your collagen levels. Therefore, to maintain collagen levels in your body, you must eat and live healthily.

Also Check: Most Energizing Foods

FAQs

1. What is the body’s main structural protein?

The majority of proteins in nature belong to the structural protein subclass. The most abundant mammalian protein is known to be collagen. 

2. Is it safe to use collagen daily?

Collagen is a safe supplement for everyday use. Those who have used it didn’t experience any side effects.

3. Which protein is abundantly present in the human body?

The protein that is most ubiquitous in the human body is collagen. All of our bodies connective tissues contain this crucial element. 

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