Collagen can also be obtained from broth and gelatin iRADIO

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For some, collagen is a miracle substance that they rely on. It helps to smooth out wrinkles and slows down, for example, the wear and tear of joint cartilage. But there are many types of collagen and it depends on how they are processed so that the human body can accept them well. The guest of Czech Radio Hradec Králové was Hana Střítecká from the Institute of Preventive Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University in Hradec Králové, who is also the director of the Fér potravina association.



Hradec Králové
10:14 April 2, 2024

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Some “gummy” sweets that look like collagen are not made from gelatin, but from the carbohydrate agar (illustrative photo) | Source: Shutterstock

According to Hana Strítecka, collagen ensures flexibility in the body and helps prevent tendons from cracking or the formation of deep wrinkles. “It is own body protein, on average we have it in the whole body, basic proteins, about 30 percent. In articular cartilage, skin, nails or hair, it is already 70 to 80 percent.”

Ing. Hana Strítecka talks about the topic: collagen in our body and in food. Jana Kudyvejsová asked

Collagen-can-also-be-obtained-from-broth

“The body makes enough of it, but only up to a certain age,” says Stríteccká.

It is stated that around the age of 40 we should already pay attention to his income, some experts even reduce this age to 30 years. This will prevent the loss of skin elasticity, the formation of deep wrinkles, faster wear of joint cartilage, but also increased intestinal permeability.

There are several types of collagen

So far, 28 types of collagen have been identified in vertebrates. They differ in size and shape – whether they form a network (collagen IV, VII and X) or just fibers. There are more of those that are only fibrous (e.g. I, II, II, V…). For us, the first four collagens are the most important, followed by the fifth says Stríteccká and gradually describes these five types.

“Type I is the most widespread in the human body and is made up of denser fibers. It accounts for up to 90 percent of all collagen in the body and is found in bones, tendons, skin and connective tissues. Type II has looser fibers. It occurs mainly in the cartilages, which are elastic thanks to it and have the task of protecting the joints from mechanical wear.’

Hana Střítecka

Nutritional therapist, chemical technologist, university teacher from the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Hradec Králové, and director of the Fér potravina association. In his practice, he tries to raise the awareness of the general population about the problems associated with obesity, the technological procedures of food production and orientation in their offer.

Type III is mainly in the younger body, it disappears in old age. “It is part of muscle, organs and especially arteries and again ensures elasticity. Such stiffening in old age is, among other things, because we lose this type of collagen, explains Střítecka.

“Type IV is a basic part of the layers of the skin, while type V is on the surface of cells and can be found in hair or in the placenta,” he explains.

Sources of collagen

If we were to take collagen as such, its molecule is too large and the structure complex for the human body to be able to use it from an external source. Therefore, it is necessary that dietary supplements, as well as food sources rich in collagen, are further processed and undergo various splitting – hydrolysis.

“The first such stage of ‘modification’ of collagen is gelatin,” explains Stríteccká. This is denaturation (unraveling of the complex structure), i.e. partial breakdown of collagen. However, it only occurs during heat treatment of collagen.

Medicines. Illustrative photo.


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Thanks to denaturation, gelatin is already usable for us, albeit still to a limited extent. In order for collagen to become even more biologically active (that is, usable) for us, the denatured fibers still need to be split into shorter pieces – hydrolyzed.

Gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen therefore contain the same amino acids, only their chains are of different lengths. Thanks to this, for example, gelatin only dissolves in warm water, where it forms a gel-like substance and solidifies again after cooling, whereas hydrolyzed collagen can be dissolved in cold water.

Sources for the production of collagen supplements are different from the skins or other parts of the body of cattle, poultry and pigs, for example, even nowadays, marine collagen originating from the skin of fish is increasingly being discovered. It depends on what the collagen is obtained from. If it is from cartilage, there will be mainly type II, and from skin it will be type I. From what I get the collagen from, that prevails in the product,says Střítecka.

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The presence of vitamin C, which improves the subsequent use and processing of collagen fibers in the body, can help to improve the effect of supplements.

Newer research shows that hyaluronic acid (HA) is another suitable helper, especially when it comes to supplements for the musculoskeletal system. There, it is advisable to supplement collagen and HA with chondroitin sulfate.

If we don’t want to reach for supplements, where should we look in food sources? Strítecka explains that those who like to nibble cartilage from bones have an advantage. For others, just long-drawn broth, salt from legs and skin, or perhaps gelatin, either in sweet or salty form.

“Just be careful, unfortunately a large number of especially ‘rubber’the sweetness is not from gelatin, but from agar, and that is something completely different. It’s not gelatin, it’s carbohydrate,warns Střítecka.

You can listen to the entire radio consultation about collagen above.

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