Kolla- The glue that binds us
Collagen- it is the most abundant protein throughout the human body and plays an integral role in maintaining the integrity of the integumentary system. The word is derived from Greek word kolla meaning glue. . (Lodish & Zipursky, 2000) A brief history on the molecular science of collagen:
- In 1953, Highberger & Schmitt, microscopically observed collagen’s distinguishing characteristics.
- Later in 1954, Ramachandran and others devised a triple helical structure collagen model. From this date the facts on human collagen progressed- where what used to be thought we had one type of collagen now it is known we have several types. There are 16 types of collagen, the majority 80-90% are found within three categories ranging from Type I to Type III. The most prevalent collagen being- type I which connect muscles to bone. (Lodish & Zipursky, 2000)
Constituents of Collagen
The physiochemical properties of collagen include two main non-essential amino acids. Molecular structure reveals a polypeptide chain in lengths of 1000 amino acids. (Mayne & Burgeson, 1987) This includes hydroxyl L-proline which is a precursor of proline. The bioactive peptides found in plants help increase the catalytic effect of amino acids needed for the production of collagen. (Tang-Ho, Mussinan, et al, 2013). The biological and pharmacological components in eating a plant based diet provides higher levels of antioxidants that benefit the biosynthesis of collagen in our bodies. In return this means a stronger, healthier body including enhancing our skin’s integrity.
*Some of the food protein sources noted as having antioxidant peptides includes: soy, potatoes, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, bran, quinoa, alfalfa , many other vegetables and fruits (vitamin C).
- Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000. Section 22.3, Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix.
- Mayne, Richard & Burgeson, Robert (1987).Structure & Function of Collagen Types, Orlando, FL, Academic Press, Inc.
- Tang-Ho, Chi, Mussinan, Cynthia, Fereidoon, Shahidi & Contis, Ellene (2013). Nutrition, Functional & Sensory Properties of Foods, United Kingdom, Royal Society of Chemistry.