The Wonders of Collagen!
Collagen is the main protein of connective tissue in all animals and the most abundant protein in mammals, this means us! So about 25% of your body tissue is collagen!
Facts About Collagen
Composition: Collagen fibrils are collagen molecules packed into an organized overlapping bundle. Collagen fibers are bundles of fibrils.
Other Uses: If collagen is partially hydrolyzed, the strands separate into random coils, producing gelatin, which is used in many foods, including flavored gelatin desserts. Besides food, gelatin has been used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and photography industries. Nutritionally, collagen and gelatin are considered poor quality protein because they lack adequate amounts of some of the essential amino acids. Some collagen based dietary supplements are claimed to improve skin and fingernail quality and aid joint health, although mainstream scientific research does not support these claims.
Origins of Collagen: From the Greek word for glue, kolla, the word collagen, means "glue producer" and refers to the early process of boiling the skin and sinews of horses and other animals to obtain glue. Collagen adhesive was used by Egyptians about 4,000 years ago, and Native Americans used it in bows about 1,500 years ago. The oldest glue in the world, carbon dated as more than 8,000 years old, was found to be collagen, used as a protective lining on rope baskets and embroidered fabrics, and to hold utensils together and also in crisscross decorations on human skulls. Animal collagen glues are thermoplastic, softening again upon reheating, and so they are still used in making musical instruments such as fine violins and guitars, which may have to be reopened for repairs, an application incompatible with tough, synthetic plastic adhesives, which are permanent. Animal sinews and skins, including leather, have been used to make useful articles for millennia.
Collagens are still employed in the construction of artificial skin substitutes used in the management of severe burns. These collagens may be bovine or porcine and are used in combination with silicones, glycosaminoglycans, fibroblasts, growth factors and other substances.
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