Collagen is found throughout your body. It’s a structural element of bones, muscles, tendon, and ligaments in fact collagen and skin are always talked about together. This is because it’s a major component of your largest organ. Below I discuss Collagen 101. 

You may not be aware that collagen is also found in:

• blood vessels
• the cornea of your eye (just about pure collagen)
• teeth (it’s true!)
• cartilage
• discs between your vertebrae
• the digestive tract

The fibrous nature and strength of collagen make it an ideal protective casing for your kidneys and other organs, and connects cells all over your body to each other. It’s “large scale” from bones and organs right down to the cellular level.

The structure of collagen protein is what gives it the unique strength your body needs – it’s a triple helix, three chains twisting around each other – and there are 1,050 amino acids in each of the three chains that make up collagen. They’re held together with hydrogen atoms which are the smallest of all the atoms.

Glycine is the amino acid that takes up the middle of the triple helix structure because it’s the only one that can fit. These long fibres don’t just exist as single protein ropes, collagen can come together to form striated horizontal sheets.



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Originally published on in 2020.