Is Collagen Enough to Rebuild Connective Tissue?

Collagen is an essential building block for whole-body health.

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in joint cartilage and the dermis of the skin.

It provides the structural framework of your connective tissues to keep your skin firm and resilient and your joints active and fluid.

Collagen is the body’s most important building block, and it makes up approximately 30% of the proteins in our bodies.

Collagen is the essential structural protein that ensures the cohesion, elasticity, and regeneration of all our connective tissues, including skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones.

It is also vital for our internal organs, veins, and arteries, eyes, gums, hair, etc.

Collagen is strong and flexible and is the ‘glue’ that holds everything together.

It strengthens various body structures as well as the integrity of our skin.

There are many different types of collagen in our body, but 80 to 90 percent of them belong to Type I, II, or III, with the majority being Type I collagen.

Type II collagen is the most important for our joints.

Type I collagen fibrils have enormous tensile strength, so they can be stretched without being broken.

Collagen distribution by weight ratio of a dry mass:

75% of the dry weight of your skin

6% of the dry weight of tendinous muscles

70% of the dry weight of ligaments

85% of the dry weight of tendons

90% of the dry weight of bones

70% of the dry weight of joint cartilage

With age, our bodies naturally begin to produce less collagen, and the first signs of aging start to occur.

From around the age of 30 and accelerating in our 40s, loss of collagen affects all the connective tissues.

Here’s how:

As skin cells become less active, the collagen network that provides skin firmness and structure break down.

Our skin becomes dehydrated and thinner, while lines, wrinkles, and deep furrows start to appear.

Bone turnover becomes imbalanced, with bone loss exceeding bone formation.

This imbalance causes our bones to become more fragile and breakable.

Lower levels of collagen and other matrix components caused by aging can lead to loss of cartilage and joint function — this loss of cartilage results in joint discomfort.

A gradual loss of muscle mass and strength caused by aging can affect our balance, gait, and overall mobility.

Aging is a natural process, but extrinsic factors – such as UV, pollution, or lifestyle choices – can accelerate the process and lead to premature signs of aging.

I hope you understand how important it is to be able to rebuild collagen in our bodies.

But is collagen enough?

Collagen is like a brick in a house, but we still need cement to connect these bricks.

This “cement” in our bodies is hyaluronic acid (HA).

Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that helps provide hydration for your skin, lubrication for your joints, and is a gel-like substance that holds your cells together.

The other important component, especially for our joints and connective tissue, is chondroitin sulfate.

Chondroitin sulfate is a naturally occurring element of joint cartilage that gives its fantastic shock-absorbing properties.

It would be nice to have all these three components in a form that our body could recognize, right?

How should we choose a collagen supplement that works?

There are so many collagen supplements on the market, and a lot of them do not work.

Here is what you should look for:

  • Look for a collagen supplement that mirrors how our body is built: 60% collagen, 20% chondroitin sulfate, 10% hyaluronic acid, and 10% other components
  • It shouldn’t be a mixture, but a natural matrix that consists of these three components
  • This natural collagen/HA matrix should have an optimized molecule size for a maximal absorption (1.5 – 2.5kDA)
  • It should deactivate the enzyme called hyaluronidase that destroys HA
  • It should be in liquid form
  • It shouldn’t go through the GI tract but be absorbed sublingually
  • Its effectiveness should be proven clinically