Many people hoping to support the health of their skin, joints, and hair pop collagen supplements daily or add collagen powder to their morning coffee, tea, or smoothie.
Even though the use of collagen supplements and other collagen products is increasing, most people don’t really know what collagen really is or what it does in the torso.
This article tells you everything you need to know about collagen, including what it is, what it can in your body, and whether collagen supplements are worth it.
collagen powder and pills
Type II collagen is a fibrillar protein consisting of 3 long chains of proteins that form a tightly packed network of fibrils and fibers. Its the main element of cartilage in the body. It involves dry weight and collagens. Type II collagen is what gives cartilage its tensile strength and elasticity, thereby enabling it to support the joints. It assists in the binding process by making use of fibronectin and other collagens.
What’s the difference between type II and type I collagen?
On the surface they appear to be the same, each being a triple helix i.e. consisting of three long chains of amino acids. However, at a molecular level there is an important difference.
What benefits does type II collagen play in the body?
As we’ve just seen, type II collagen is a major part of cartilage tissue. So to essentially understand the role it plays, one must go through the function of cartilage in the torso.
Cartilage is a firm but pliable connective tissue. There are different types of cartilage in the body, each with a specific function. The cartilage found in joints has several functions, such as:
allowing tissue to bear mechanical stress
allowing linked bones to move without friction
Cartilage is consisting of chondrocytes which are special cells that create what is known as an ‘extracellular matrix’ comprising proteoglycan, elastin fibers and type II collagen fibers.
The type II collagen fibers are the key collagenous substance within cartilage. They play a very important role. They form a network of fibrils that help bond proteoglycan and elastin fibers into a hardcore, but flexible tissue.
The main problem with cartilage is that it’s particularly susceptible to wear-and-tear. This really is partly because it’s ‘avascular’, meaning it doesn’t have a blood circulation for the direct delivery of nutrients.
Although the body is able to deliver some nutrients to the cartilage with a process known as ‘diffusion’( i.e. the nutrients diffuse through the surrounding connective tissue), this avascularity means that cartilage injuries heal slower because the body can’t deliver an adequate amount of the nutrients needed for the repair of chondrocyte cells.
In some cases, cartilage damage is considered irreversible because of the degradation of type II collagen.
So there is a growing number of people who are looking for natural ways to prolong the life span with their cartilages, as well as enhance their joint conditions.