Difference Between Collagen and Elastin (With Table)

Our body is made up of different kinds of elements. The inner structure is formed by a skeleton covered with muscles and then the skin. This is the simplest description of our body. One of the main nutrients to develop and strengthen our muscles is protein. Protein is classified into white proteins and yellow proteins, having different functions in our body. As they are both proteins, they may have many similarities between them. Here are few basic differences between collagen and elastin.

Collagen vs Elastin

The difference between collagen and elastin is that the main function of collagen is to strengthen the muscles, whereas the main function of elastin is to provide elasticity to the muscles. The collagen protein is secreted by the body throughout the lifetime of a human. It is produced abundantly when a muscle is injured to return the muscle strength.

Collagen is the protein secreted by our body to strengthen the muscles. It is abundantly formed when our muscles get injured or tear up due to intense workouts. This protein is white and is also known as white-colored protein. It is mainly found in skin, blood vessels, muscles, and bones and also in other parts of our body.

Elastin is the protein produced by our body to provide elasticity to the muscles. This protein is abundantly produced during the fetus stage of an organism. The secretion of the protein stops after the puberty of a human. It is mainly found in the elastic connective tissues of organisms. Found mainly in blood vessels and skin. Elasticity is very important for us to walk, jump and run.

Comparison Table Between Collagen and Elastin

Parameters of ComparisonCollagenElastin
DefinitionMain protein found in connective tissuesProtein found in elastic-connective tissues
ColorWhite color proteinYellow color protein
Found inSkin, blood vessels, bones, etcBlood vessels, skin, etc.
Produced duringThroughout the lifetime of  humansAbundantly produced during the fetus period and stops after puberty.
FunctionProvides strength to the musclesProvides elasticity to the muscles

What is Collagen?

Collagen is the protein secreted by our body to strengthen the muscles. It is abundantly formed when our muscles get injured or tear up due to intense workouts. This protein is white and is also known as white-colored protein. It is mainly found in skin, blood vessels, muscles, and bones and also in other parts of our body.

It is the main protein that is found in ligaments, bones, tendons, etc. it helps to join bone to bone and other parts together. It is very strong and less flexible. Collagens have very limited elasticity, which helps them to form ligaments binding two bones together. Collagen is mainly made up of amino acids, glycine, and proline. 

Vitamin A, vitamin C, and copper are very important for the production of collagen in the body. Collagen is produced in the body throughout the life cycle of a human being. It comprises the most important functions indirectly. If our muscles are not strong enough, we cannot even stand up. 

So we need to follow a balanced diet and do regular exercises to maintain the balance of the nutrients. Intence workouts lead to breakage and tear in the muscles. So it is advised to take protein supplements to recover the torn muscles. The deficiency of this protein called collagen leads to diseases like osteogenesis imperfect, Ehlers Danlors syndrome, chondrodysplasias, etc.

What is Elastin?

Elastin is the protein produced by our body to provide elasticity to the muscles. This protein is abundantly produced during the fetus stage of an organism. The secretion of the protein stops after the puberty of a human. It is mainly found in the elastic connective tissues of organisms. Found mainly in blood vessels and skin. Elasticity is very important for us to walk, jump and run.

Elastin is less abundant in our body as compared t collagen. But it is found in excessive amounts in the fetus stage, as at that time of development of a body and elasticity is very needed for the formation of cells. Elastin is also produced till puberty in a human. As in puberty, many drastic changes occur in the body. 

For example, the increase in height, stronger muscle development in males, etc., all these need a huge amount of elastin. After puberty, the production of elastin reduces due to the less need in the body. 

Decreased amount of elastin leads to wrinkles and a leathery look to the skin. It is mainly found in blood vessels and skin. The amount of elastin reduces as we grow old. This leads to wrinkles in the skin of old people. The deficiency of this protein called elastin leads to diseases like Marfan’s syndrome, atherosclerosis, and emphysema.

Main Differences Between Collagen and Elastin

  1. Collagen is the main protein found in the connective tissues of animals. Elastin is the protein found in elastic connective tissues.
  2.  Collagen is a white color protein. On the other hand, elastin is a yellow color protein.
  3. Collagen is mainly found in skin, blood vessels, bones, etc., whereas elastin is mainly found in blood vessels, skin, etc.
  4. The protein called collagen is produced throughout the lifetime of humans. On the other hand, a protein called elastin is abundantly produced during the fetus period and stops after puberty.
  5. Collagen provides strength to the muscles, whereas elastin provides elasticity to the muscles.

Conclusion 

Both collagen and elastin are proteins found in our bodies. Both of these are very important to maintain the structure of our bodies. The collagen helps to maintain the strength of the muscles, and the elastin makes them elastic. Collagen helps to repair torn muscles and bring the strength back to them.

The skin also depends on the muscles. The skin becomes less elastic when the production of elastin decreases in the body. After puberty, the production of elastin starts decreasing, which is followed by the wrinkles in the skin of old people. There are differences among these, but both are very important for production by the body.

References

  1. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.biochem.77.032207.120833
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065323305700139
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