What’s Collagen? Everything you need to know about your body collagen.

5 minutes read.      

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body of all vertebrates.

Its function ranges from providing structure, support, and strength to your skin, muscles, bones, and connective tissues. It helps to make tissues strong and resilient, able to withstand stretching.

Collagen helps your whole body structure to stay strong and fresh and viable to respond to any physical activities properly. However, there are some factors that can damage or reduce your body’s collagen.

It’s important you understand what your body’s collagen is all about, and how to maintain it, improve it and protect it. That is why I made this article for you.

Feel free to skip ahead to any of the topics that interest you most:

What’s Collagen?

Collagen is a protein molecule made up of amino acids.

Collagen is the primary building block of your body’s skin, muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments, and other connective tissues.

Just as the name implies “collage(n)”, it’s a tissue that binds, connects, and sticks other tissues together in the body.

The so-called “microfibrillar structure” is what makes up collagen.

When it comes to our joints and tendons, simply say collagen is the “glue” that helps hold the body parts together.

Sources of collagen

Where is collagen found in the body?

collagen is in bone joints and under the skin tissue

Collagen (native collagen) is majorly found in the bone, skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage of all vertebrates.

It’s also found in your organs, blood vessels, and intestinal lining. Collagen are protein molecules and proteins are made up of amino acids. The main amino acids that make collagen are proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline.

In food, collagen is naturally found in animal flesh like tough-cut meat, especially from the ribs part, and fish that contain connective tissue, and eggshell membrane.  However, a variety of both animal and plant foods contain materials for collagen production in our bodies.

collagen is found in the eggshell
collagen is found in tough cut meat like the rib meat and the ligament (egara anu and agwara anu)

Native Collagen (type I) is found in abundance in different tissues such as bones, bone broth, tendons, lung tissue, or even connective tissue of animals like bovine (cattle).

rib meat

Bovine collagen shows biocompatibility with that of humans.

As a result supplement and cosmetic industries extract most of the collagen they use from bovine.

Other sources include poultry and fish especially cartilage fish.

collagen is found in cartilaginous fish

Does eating food rich in collagen increase my body’s collagen level?

Yes. Feeding on those collagen-rich foods will naturally maintain and improve your body’s collagen level. Because that food contains the amino acids that make up collagen.

Use natural foods source if available in abundance, to support your collagen synthesis instead of collagen supplements.

The reason and benefits of collagen supplements on the native collage are still debated. Though there is reasonable evidence that they help maintain hydrated skin and relieve osteoarthritis pain, more research is needed to establish whether they can increase the formation of your body’s natural collagen.

Types of Collagen

About 28 types of collagen have been identified. Their difference in structure is based on how their makeup molecules are assembled, the cell components that are added, and where they’re used in the body.

But among all, they are five main types:

Type I. This type makes up 90% of your body’s collagen. Type I is densely packed and used to provide structure to your skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments.

Type II. This type is found in elastic cartilage, which provides joint support.

Type III. This type is found in muscles, arteries, and organs.

Type IV. This type is found in the layers of your skin.

Type V. This type is found in the cornea of your eyes, some layers of skin, hair, and tissue of the placenta.

Other types include;

Type 10/Type X: Type 10 helps with new bone formation and forming articular cartilage. It’s involved in the process of endochondral ossification, which is how bone tissue is created in mammals. It’s been found to be beneficial for bone fracture healing and repairing synovial joints.

Fibrillar collagen is the most abundant collagen in vertebrates and it plays a structural role by contributing to the molecular architecture, shape, and mechanical properties of tissues such as tensile strength in the skin and the resistance to traction in ligaments (it’s can be found in collagens type I, II, III, V, XI, XXIV, and XXVII).

The MULTIPLEXING collagen family includes types XV and XVIII. Collagen types XV and XVIII represent a molecule of the basement membranes. Collagen XV is found in skeletal and cardiac muscle, and collagen type XVIII is a component in the liver.

Other collagen types are in very low concentration and in specific organs in the body

Specific Functions of Collagen

The word “collage” comes from the Greek word “kólla,” which means glue. Collagen‘s strong fibers work like glue to hold things together in your body: muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs, and skin.

It provides structural support to the extracellular space of connective tissues such as bone, muscle, and skin. Due to its rigidity and resistance to stretching, it is the perfect matrix for skin, tendons, bones, and ligaments.

It maintains the structural integrity of the tissues and organs of humans and other animals.

Each type of collagen has a different job. Type I builds skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Type II helps to make cartilage, the flexible tissue between bones and in your ears and nose. Type III helps create muscles and blood vessels.

Type IV has been reported in the epithelium-secreted layer of the basement membrane and the basal lamina. Collagen type V is one of the principal components of cell surfaces and placenta

Factors that damage the formation of collagen

There are three main kinds of lifestyle habits that can damage collagen in your body;

1. Smoking: Smoking decreases collagen production. It damages collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkles and slow wound healing. Nicotine constricts blood vessels near your skin’s surface, preventing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

2. Eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates: Sugar attaches to proteins to form advanced glycation end products. These molecules damage nearby proteins and cause collagen to become weak, dry, and brittle.

3. Exposure to ultraviolet light: Too much sunlight reduces collagen production and caused collagen to break down more rapidly which will later result in skin wrinkles.

It is true, the above-mentioned factors can really damage your collagen.

To reduce your risk of collagen damage by avoiding these lifestyle habits.

Do diseases and infections damage my collagen?

Apart from the above mention lifestyle, other known factors that can affect or damage human collagen include;

Autoimmune diseases (your body’s immune system attacks its own tissue) can damage collagen. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, dermatomyositis, and scleroderma are autoimmune connective tissue diseases known to damage collagen.

Genetic mutations can also damage collagen. Collagen construction errors result in conditions such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and osteogenesis imperfecta.

Hormonal changes, drugs, alcohol, processed foods, hydrogenated oils, overwork, fluoridated water, nutritional deficits, dehydration, stress, and trauma.

How to improve your collagen to slow signs of aging?

There are some kinds of lifestyles you must adopt if you want to improve your natural body collagen level.

lightweight long-sleeve
wide-brimmed hat with sunglass UV protection
  • To slow the effects of skin aging, wear sunscreen every day. Exposure to ultraviolet light damages collagen.
  • Use products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with UV protection, and lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants while outside.
  • Look for clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor label for extra protection. Avoid tanning beds.
  • You can help your body make more collagen by eating healthy foods rich in collagen.  Your body puts together those amino acids, “glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline” that are responsible for the formation of the triple helix structure of collagen to produce new ones.

You find these amino acids in high-protein foods such as chicken, fish, animal organs (e.g lungs) beef (tough cuts and ribs part), eggs, dairy, and beans.

Other nutrients, like vitamin C, zinc, and copper, also play an important role. You can get vitamin C in citrus fruits, tomatoes, and leafy greens, bell pepper, and berries.

Collagen production requires nutrients like zinc and copper which you get from eating shellfish, beans, meats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Effect of age on collagen

How does age affect my collagen?

Your collagen levels decline naturally with age. As you get older, your body makes less collagen. You can’t measure exactly how much it declines but when it drops you may have symptoms such as joint pain or stiff tendons or ligaments.

Your muscles may weaken. You could also have papery skin. Taking collagen supplements may help ease these symptoms.

But it will be preferable to your body if you can feed on those natural foods rich in collagen instead of packaged supplements.

However, talk to your doctor or dietician about the best approach for you.


The importance of collagen in our body cannot be over-emphasized.

Collagen is a Greek word meaning “glue”. It’s a strong fibrous tissue that helps your whole body structure to stay strong and fresh and viable to respond to any physical activities properly.

The three factors that can damage the formation of your body’s collagen include smoking, eating too much white sugar and highly refined food, and exposure to ultraviolet light.

Eating foods and parts of animals such as the bone, soft bone, ligament (akwara anu), tough cut meat (e.g rib meat), and eggs with shell membrane which contains collagen in abundance can help you improve and maintain strong body collagen.

Now that you have learned it if you can follow all the effective measures I mentioned in this article that will go a long way to improve and maintain your natural body collagen.

I hope you get the value worth your time. I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment if you like this post. Do you have any question other questions as regards collagen I didn’t touch here? Feel free to share with me in the comment below.



The content provided in living Good Blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good Blog takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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