What is the difference between collagen and elastin?

Decreased production of elastin and collagen in the skin leads to wrinkles or hard skin.

Collagen and elastin are two proteins that form fibers to help form connective tissue in the body. Collagen is widespread in the body and gives connective tissue strength and flexibility. Elastin is a protein that returns to its original shape after being stretched. Although collagen occurs more widely in the body, both it and elastin are necessary for many tissues to function.

Aged skin has depleted elastin and collagen levels.

Collagen is so anatomically prevalent that it accounts for a third of the body’s total protein. That’s about 6% of the total body weight. In the body, collagen forms collagen fibers that make up ligaments and tendons, cartilage, skin, and bone tissue. There are about 20 types of collagen, some of which are specific to certain tissues or organs. Other types of collagen support organs or occupy the space between organs and tissues. Collagen occurs in strong, flexible collagen fibers.

Collagen creams can be used to replenish the collagen supply in the body and reduce the signs of aging.

Elastin, as its name implies, is a protein with elastic quality. It will return to its original state after stress, whether compressed or stretched. Elastin fibers form networks like collagen. Fabrics gain elasticity when they contain elastin.

Both collagen and elastin are notable for their roles in aging. As the body ages, collagen proteins become more cross-linked and rigid. Collagen is important for strength, but tissues like the lens can become overly stiff and cause vision problems. Decreased production of elastin and collagen in the skin leads to wrinkles or hard skin.

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Collagen allows the body’s ligaments to stretch properly, which helps prevent connective tissue from becoming vulnerable to injury.

Vitamin C is necessary for the formation and organization of collagen fibers. Scurvy, which is caused by vitamin C deficiency, causes symptoms such as poor wound healing and bleeding from blood vessels. Teeth can even fall out because the ligaments that hold them in the cavities are weakened.

Both collagen and elastin occur in the important extracellular matrix, which is formed by loose connective tissue, in this case known as areolar. This type of tissue surrounds almost every capillary or small blood vessel in the body. Nutrients from the blood pass through the extracellular matrix fluid to support the body’s cells. Thus, no cell is far from the connective tissue formed by collagen and elastin. The extracellular matrix structure also supports the functionality of tendons to support stretching, bones to support weight, and the skin’s ability to resist injury.

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