What is Collagen: Types, Benefits And Side Effects

Delving into the realm of skincare and physiological well-being, the spotlight turns to the fundamental protein that plays a pivotal role in the body’s structural integrity — collagen. This discussion will navigate through what is collagen. The various facets of collagen, explore its significance, functions, and the factors influencing its production and health.

What is Collagen Types, Benefits And Side Effects
What are Collagen Types, Benefits, And Side Effects

What Is Collagen?

Collagen stands as the most abundant protein within your body, constituting approximately 30% of its total protein content. Serving as a fundamental building block, collagen plays a crucial role in the formation of your skin, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and various connective tissues. Moreover, it is present in organs, blood vessels, and the lining of your intestines.

The synthesis of proteins involves amino acids, with proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline being the primary ones responsible for creating collagen. These amino acids join together to form protein fibrils structured in a triple helix. The synthesis of this triple helix requires adequate levels of vitamin C, zinc, copper, and manganese within the body.

What Does Collagen Do?

What Does Collagen Do
What Does Collagen Do

The primary function of collagen is to impart structure, strength, and support across the entirety of your body.

Collagen serves specific roles such as:

  1. Assisting in the formation of fibroblasts in your dermis (the middle layer of your skin), facilitating the growth of new cells.
  2. Participating in the replacement of dead skin cells.
  3. Offering a protective covering for organs.
  4. Providing structure, strength, and elasticity to your skin.
  5. Contributing to the clotting of blood.

Are There Different Types Of Collagen?

A total of 28 collagen types have been identified, each distinguished by the assembly of molecules, the inclusion of cell components, and the specific location within your body where the collagen is employed. All collagen fibrils share the common characteristic of containing at least one triple helix structure.

The primary five types of collagen and their functions are as follows:

  1. Type I: Constituting 90% of your body’s collagen, Type I is densely packed and serves to provide structure to your skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
  2. Type II: Found in elastic cartilage, Type II contributes to joint support.
  3. Type III: Present in muscles, arteries, and organs.
  4. Type IV: Located in the layers of your skin.
  5. Type V: Found in the cornea of your eyes, certain skin layers, hair, and the tissue of the placenta.

What Happens To Collagen As I Age?

As you age, your body produces less collagen, and the existing collagen undergoes a faster breakdown. Additionally, the quality of collagen diminishes compared to when you were younger. Women and individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB) commonly face a notable decline in collagen production post-menopause. It is typical for everyone to undergo a reduction in collagen production after reaching the age of 60.

Can I Tell If My Body’s Collagen Level Is Decreasing?

Collagen cannot be directly measured, such as through a blood test, but some indications suggest a decrease in collagen levels. These signs and symptoms encompass:

  1. Wrinkled, crepey, or sagging skin.
  2. Hollowing in and around your eyes and face.
  3. Shrinking and weakening muscles, accompanied by muscle aches.
  4. Stiffer and less flexible tendons and ligaments.
  5. Joint pain or osteoarthritis resulting from worn cartilage.
  6. Reduced mobility due to joint damage or stiffness.
  7. Gastrointestinal issues are caused by thinning of the lining of your digestive tract.
  8. Challenges with blood flow.

What Lifestyle Habits Damage Collagen?

What Lifestyle Habits Damage Collagen
What Lifestyle Habits Damage Collagen

Steer clear of these factors that can diminish collagen levels in your body:

  1. Smoking: Smoking not only reduces collagen production but also damages collagen and elastin, resulting in wrinkles and delayed wound healing. Nicotine’s effect on blood vessels near the skin’s surface restricts the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
  2. Avoiding excessive consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates is advisable. Sugar can bind to proteins, forming advanced glycation end products that damage nearby proteins, resulting in weakened, dry, and brittle collagen.
  3. Furthermore, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, especially from sunlight, can reduce collagen production and accelerate its breakdown, leading to wrinkles. It is recommended to minimize sun exposure and consistently use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher when outdoors.

What Diseases And Other Factors Damage Collagen?

Autoimmune diseases, characterized by the body’s immune system attacking its tissues, have the potential to harm collagen. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, dermatomyositis, and scleroderma are autoimmune connective tissue diseases specifically recognized for their impact on collagen.

Genetic mutations can likewise contribute to collagen damage, leading to conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and osteogenesis imperfecta, where errors in collagen construction occur. Additionally, collagen levels naturally decline with age.

What Can I Do To Improve Skin Collagen Loss To Slow The Signs Of Aging?

To mitigate the effects of skin aging, it is advisable to consistently apply sunscreen every day. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light has detrimental effects on collagen, so using products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher is crucial. When outdoors, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with UV protection, and lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants. Opt for clothing labeled with an ultraviolet protection factor for additional safeguarding and avoid the use of tanning beds.

Maintaining a well-balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and a moderate amount of seafood, meats, poultry, dairy, and eggs, is also beneficial for skin health.


What type of collagen is best?

Marine collagen emerges as the most consumer-friendly choice globally. Being a type I collagen, marine collagen is particularly well-suited for enhancing skin and bone health, making it the top choice for anti-aging collagen powder. In contrast, collagen derived from bovine and porcine sources is type II collagen, predominantly found in cartilage.

Is it OK to use collagen every day?

Generally, using collagen daily is deemed safe; however, there is still much to discover about the specifics of certain supplements. As of now, there are no reported side effects associated with collagen supplements. If you encounter any gastrointestinal distress, it might be attributed to one of the other ingredients present in the product you are using.

Does collagen work?

There is some evidence suggesting that the consumption of collagen supplements may contribute to enhanced skin health and a reduction in signs of aging. Although further research is warranted, a study indicates benefits without observed adverse effects. It’s worth noting that recommending supplements is not currently the standard practice among the majority of dermatologists.

The Bottom Line

Meanwhile, you can actively support your body in naturally producing collagen by maintaining a well-balanced diet rich in nutritious foods. A diversified diet should encompass chicken, beef, fish, dairy, eggs, beans, leafy greens, other vegetables, whole grains, and citrus fruits. To minimize damage to the collagen in your skin, it is essential to refrain from smoking, avoid exposure to second-hand smoke, and apply sunscreen daily.

This article is for informative reference and to explore the nuances and benefits of, and importance of Collagen. To learn about our available spa treatments and services, please visit the L Spa Da Nang website.

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