It also replaces and restores dead skin cells. Connective tissue consists primarily of collagen. But, in spite of its critical function in the body, collagen is a relatively simple protein. Usually, you'll see diagrams showing collagen as a fiber. However, certain chemicals can interfere with collagen cross-linking. The COL1A1 gene produces a component of type I collagen, called the pro-alpha1(I) chain. Collagen-based animal glues may be made by boiling the skin and sinews of animals. Collagen also has an important function in bone. Collagen provides structure to the skin, and works hand in hand with another protein, called elastin, to allow skin the flexibility it needs to stretch and return to its original state as your body moves. Collagen provides structure to our bodies, protecting and supporting the softer tissues and connecting them with the skeleton. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. The function of collagen is to provide structural support and strength in the skin, bones, and connective tissues. It is one of the long, fibrous structural proteins whose functions are different from those of globular proteins, such as enzymes. However, collagen is found in many more tissues. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. In addition to being a key component of the human body, collagen is an ingredient commonly found in food. Collagen production declines with age, and the protein can be damaged by smoking, sunlight, and other forms of oxidative stress. Topical products that contain collagen can't actually deliver any of it below the skin surface to replenish damaged or aging tissue. Collagen provides structure to the skin, and works hand in hand with another protein, called elastin, … Loss of collagen is a cause of wrinkles. They are surely both proteins important to the function … Collagen may be applied to wounds to serve as a scaffold on which new cells can form, thus improving healing. Because collagen is an animal protein, there's some disagreement over whether foods made with collagen, such as marshmallows and gelatin, are considered vegetarian. Function. Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids that are found in the human body. Bone is made up of a mixture of collagen and a mineral called hydroxyapatite. Collagen fibers not only make up your skeletal muscle fibers, but they also make up your smooth muscles (such as those in the bladder and reproductive system) and your cardiac (heart) muscles. Types of Collagen. Collagen is also found in cartilage, bone, blood vessels, the cornea of the eye, intervertebral discs, muscles, and the gastrointestinal tract. Functions of collagen: Collagen provides skin its potency and also water-resistant features: Collagen provides skin its potency and also water-resistant features, whilst collagen and also elastin collectively provide flexibility. The function of these collagens, as well as of collagen K. Gelse et al. Collagen forms fibrils that provide the structure for fibrous tissue, such as ligaments, tendons, and skin. This gives the vessels strength, structure and flexibility, all of which are needed to effectively transport blood throughout your entire body. Collagen protein function can be found in wounds to facilitate healing, in dense sheets that hold organs in place, wrapping around tubular structures (blood vessels), and in corneas to aid in focusing light. Fibroblasts are the cells that most commonly produce collagen. Bone is made up of a mixture of collagen and a mineral called hydroxyapatite. It even impacts the overall health of your gut. Some sausage casings are made from this protein. In fact, 70% of skin, hair, nails and nearly 100% of connective tissues are collagen. Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. Collagen is the most plentiful protein in your body. Collagen used for medical purposes need not be human collagen. It has various important roles, including providing structure to your skin and helping your blood clot. Collagen also provides important function in your blood vessels. It is used in gelatin desserts (such as Jell-O) and marshmallows. You have probably heard about collagen for years in skin creams or face products. How to Stimulate Collagen & Elastin Production in the Body, Radiocarbon Laboratory, University of Waikato: Bone. Because collagen is such a large protein, it is not absorbed through the skin. Collagen is used in cosmetic treatments and burn surgery. One of the most noticeable functions of collagen is the support it provides for your skin. The two work together to form the structure, flexibility and strength of your bones. In fact, gelatin can even be made using human collagen. It is one of the most plentiful proteins present in mammals and it is responsible for performing a variety of important biological functions. According to research done by the Radiocarbon Laboratory, at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, approximately 30 percent of bones are made up of organic materials, of which collagen makes up to 95 percent 1. Here's a look at what collagen is and how it is used in the body. / Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 55 (2003) 1531–1546 1537 types XIX  and XX  , within the tissue is still Collagen fibers support body tissues, plus collagen is a major component of the extracellular matrix that supports cells. The Answer Is Collagen. Collagen provides structure to the skin, and works hand in hand with another protein, called elastin, to allow skin the flexibility it needs to stretch and return to its original state as your body moves.