Collagen is a protein made of amino acids and part of the connective tissue in the body. Collagen is mostly made up of molecules that form a polypeptide chain to form long and thin fibrils that support each other and ensure the skin is strong and elastic .
Collagen at a glance
The collagen tissues support the formation of bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments and cartilage. Collagen is also found in many other body parts, including blood vessels, corneas and teeth. Collagen help the skin strong and supple, sustains the renewal of skin cells and replace the damaged and dead body cells .
You can think of it as the “glue” that holds all these things together. In fact, the word comes from Greek word “Kolla”, which means glue.
Body collagen decrease as we age
As we grow older, the collagen production in our body has decrease and can cause the skin to loss elasticity, reduction of the thickness of the epidermis, increase in the formation of wrinkles and sagging, and also make the skin vulnerable and easily damaged.
However, collagen deficiency is not only associated with a decrease in skin conditions.
Aging effects on our body due to collagen level reduction
The deficiency of collagen causes friction between bones and lead to arthritis. Based on the study from Case Western Reserve University in 2000, specifically the Rheumatic Disease Division found that collagen supplements can help reduce joint pain and slow the progression of arthritis .
The deficiency of collagen can cause digestive problems. In the medical world the term is known “Leaky gut syndrome”. The stomach has layers of tissues including several layers of connective tissue made of collagen, fibers, and fibroblast cells that produce more collagen and fibers. When the layers are damaged, ingested particles can pass through into the bloodstream causing “leaky gut .
The deficiency of collagen also makes difficult for the body to regulate blood pressure because the walls of blood vessels are made of collagen . Difficulty controlling blood pressure can have an impact on frequent headaches, chest pain, dizziness and weakness.
The deficiency of collagen can also make the gums lose its grip strength so that it makes the teeth “woobly”. Not only toothache, collagen deficiency can cause symptoms of sensitive teeth and tooth loss early.
The most easily observed sign when our body run into collagen deficiency is from the hair. Collagen fills the space around our hair follicles. When collagen is insufficient, the nutrients from the base of the hair will not reach the follicle. Hair also looks dull and thin.
 Tsutsumi A, Sugiyama T, Matsumura R, Sueishi M, Takabayashi K, Koike T, Tomioka H, Yoshida S (March 1991). "Protein losing enteropathy associated with collagen diseases". Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1004370/
 Pastor-Pareja JC, Xu T (August 2011). "Shaping cells and organs in Drosophila by opposing roles of fat body-secreted Collagen IV and perlecan". Developmental Cell. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21839919
 Roland W. Moskowitz, MD: Professor of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University; Director, Division of Rheumatic Diseases, University Hospitals of Clevelan. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11071580
 Postlethwaite, A.E., Seyer, J.M., and Kang, A.H. 1978. Chemotactic attraction of human fibroblasts to type I, II, and II collagens and collagen-derived peptides.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC411359/
 Don W. Fawcett. 2002. Buku ajar histologi. Edisi 12. Terjemahan Jan Tambayong. Jakarta: EGC