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Collagen Glossary

Feeling lost in the sea of collagen vocabulary?
Here is a handy list of terms you should know!

Aging: 

Aging, in a biological sense, is a time-centric deterioration of the physiological functions necessary for survival. Scientists are not certain exactly what causes the symptoms we associate with aging, but modern theories suggest oxidative damage, general wear-and-tear, telomere shortening, and mitochondrial genome damage may be to blame. Throughout human history, until the last century or so and the rise of modern medicine, most humans did not live long enough to exhibit the signs of aging we attempt to combat today.

Amino Acids: 

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are made of a carboxyl (-COOH) and an amino (-NH₂) group. There are about 20 amino acids that are essential for humans.

Bioavailability: 

The rate or percentage at which a compound is able to be absorbed into the body’s circulatory system.

Cofactor: 

A substance whose presence is essential for the activity of a particular enzyme. Vitamin C is a necessary cofactor in the synthesis of collagen.

Collagen: 

Collagen is a protein made of 3 amino acid chains that twist together. It is the main structural protein of the body, comprising up to 70% of the protein found in the human body. Collagen is a primary component in skin, hair, and nails, the lining of organs, cartilage, muscle, and bone.

Ethically sourced: 

The definition of ethical sourcing is more vague than sustainable sourcing. Generally, it means that a product is purchased and/or produced in a manner which demonstrates respect for the individuals producing it and the environment from which it comes. It means that employees are paid fairly for their work, farmers are paid fairly for their product, and the product is produced in a manner which does not significantly harm the environment.

Hydrolysis: 

Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction in which water is used to break down the chemical bonds of a substance. The completed collagen protein is too large of a molecule for it to be absorbed into the body. Therefore, it must be broken down into individual amino acid chains to be useful when ingested. 

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Protein: 

A protein is a complex substance made of one or more amino acid chains. The type of protein is determined by the sequence of amino acids in the chain and the sequence of the chains themselves. Proteins are the main structural building blocks of the body.

Peptide: 

A peptide compound consisting of two or more amino acids linked in a chain.

Sustainably sourced: 

Ingredients that are sustainably sourced cause little to no damage to the environment and, therefore, are able to be used over an extended period of time. Sustainability and ethicality often go hand in hand.

Type I Collagen: 

Type I collagen is the most abundant form of collagen in the human body. This variety is involved in skin hydration, elasticity, and structure as well as in nail and hair health. It is most commonly associated with collagen beauty treatments.

Type II Collagen: 

Type II collagen is associated with bones and joints. It comprises most of the structure of cartilage. Cartilage deterioration results in the pain pain and stiffness typically associated with age.

Type III Collagen: 

Type III collagen makes up the lining of organs and intestines. It is often found alongside Type I collagen and is key in supporting gut health and healing.

Vitamin: 

Vitamins are organic compounds that are necessary for normal growth and cell function. They must be introduced in small quantities in the diet, as they cannot be synthesized by the body. Each organism has different vitamin needs.

Vitamin C: 

The presence of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for collagen synthesis. The presence of this compound allows the amino acid chains to bond tightly. Severe depletion causes scurvy, a disease resulting from the disintegration of the collagen bonds. Most people are able to function from 10mg of Vitamin C daily, which they can get from a healthy diet. Vitamin C is often found in citrus fruits.

 

 

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