Collagen vs Hyaluronic Acid: Difference and Comparison

The human body requires every nutrient in a minute or macro quantity; thus, they are also classified as micro and macronutrients. Several sub polymers of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and fats are required by our body and are breakdown within it.

The key sources for the several nutrients are different, and no such food fulfils the full-body nutrient requirement single-handed. Therefore, it is advised to take a proper and complete rich nutrient diet for every individual. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Collagen is a protein that provides structural support and elasticity to the skin, while hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that helps the skin retain moisture.
  2. Collagen is found in the skin, bones, and connective tissues, while hyaluronic acid is found in the skin and other body tissues, such as the eyes and joints.
  3. Collagen production decreases with age, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin, while hyaluronic acid levels also decrease, causing dryness and loss of elasticity.

Collagen vs Hyaluronic Acid

Collagen is a protein organized in a matrix in the skin responsible for the tightness, firmness, elasticity and constant renewal of skin cells. Hyaluronic acid is a kind of carbohydrate, a sugar molecule, that can bind large amounts of water and is responsible for the smoothness and hydration of the skin.

Collagen vs Hyaluronic Acid

Collagen is a protein that is considered the key protein present in the human connective tissue. The word collagen originated from the Greek word ‘kola’, meaning ‘glue’ and the other Greek word ‘-gen’, meaning ‘production’.

The molecular mass of the collagen protein is 300-400 kDa, and the collagen protein is found in mammals, solely in animals.

Hyaluronic Acid is known to be a biopolymer of carbohydrates. It is a linear and insoluble mucopolysaccharide.

The word hyaluronic acid originated from the Greek word ‘hyalos’, which means glass. The hyaluronic acid is formed by the repetitive units of two types of disaccharides units called D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-glucosamine, and both the repetitive disaccharide units are linked to each other by the glycosidic bonds. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCollagenHyaluronic Acid
DefinitionKey protein in the human connective tissueBiopolymer of carbohydrate and is known as mucopolysaccharide.
OccurrenceIn mammals, solely or mainly in the animals.Synthesize by every living organism except the algae
Chemical StructureLong spiral peptide chain made up of 19 to 105 amino acids.Long linear chain made up of repeat bonds of disaccharides D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-glucosamine acid.
Molecular Mass300,000 – 400,000 Da5000 – 20,000,000 Da
SynthesisIt is produced within the body, and after attaining 30 years of age, it weakens the process.It is synthesized in the cell membrane of fibroblasts cells by proteins.
FunctionLiable for the firmness, tightness, of the skin also component of muscles, joints, teeth’s, bonesResponsible for smoothness of skin
UseBurn surgery, cosmetic surgery, slowing the ageing process, strengthening of hair and nailsNeurosurgery, skincare, ophthalmic surgery, etc

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a polymer of the protein and is the key protein present in the human connective tissue. The word collagen originated from the Greek word ‘kola’, meaning ‘glue’, and the other Greek word used as the suffix is ‘-gen’, meaning ‘production’.

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Collagen protein is found in mammals but mainly in animals. The collagen protein is present in different parts of the body with different concentrations of it.

In the cranial bones, it is 23%, cartilage has 50% collagen, and skin consists of up to 75% of the concentration of collagen, and many more, although on an overall basis, the human body signifies about 30% of the total collagen concentration within.

It is a long peptide chain that is spiral. Each peptide chain consists of about 19 to 105 amino acids to form the chain.

The protein shows an insoluble property in that it can’t be absorbed or digested by the human body. The molecular mass ranges between 300,000 – 400,000 Da for the collagen protein.

It is observed that the collagen protein is produced inside the body by various procedures, and the production of the protein gets slower after the individuals attain the age of 30 thus, it is advised by the doctors to consume various collagen-rich supplements orally.

There are many uses listed for the collagen protein as it is an important protein in keeping the skin healthy, responsible for the firmness, tightness, and elasticity of the skin, cosmetic surgery, bone grafts, tissue regeneration, increasing the strength of hairs and nails, slow down the ageing process, and many more.

collagen

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a form of a polymer of carbohydrates and is known as a mucopolysaccharide. Hyaluronic acid is the common polymer that is synthesized in nearly all living organisms, with one exception, that is, algae.

The word originated from the Greek word ‘hyalos’, which means ‘glass’.

For the very first time, hyaluronic acid was isolated from the vitreous of the calf’s eyes. It is considered that an individual weighing an average of 70 kg contains 15 g of hyaluronic acid in its body.

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It helps in the building of intracellular substances in mammals and can be easily found in various tissues and organs such as – synovial fluid, vitreous, skin, heart valves, different tissues – connective, epithelial, and nerve.

The structure of hyaluronic acid is not complex as the chain is long and linear. It is formed because of the repetitive amount of the disaccharide units called D-glucuronic acid and the N-acetyl-glucosamine, and both the disaccharide units are linked to each other because of the glycosidic bonds.

The acid is insoluble and may consist of as many as 25,000 repetitive units in the chain. The molecular mass of the acid is approximately 5,000 to 20,000,000 Da.

hyaluronic acid serum

Main Differences Between Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid

  1. In the human connective tissue, collagen is considered the main protein, whereas hyaluronic acid is the biopolymer of the carbohydrate, known as the mucopolysaccharide.
  2. The presence of collagen protein in nature is observed in mammals only, specifically in animals, whereas the presence of hyaluronic acid in nature is shown by all individuals or organisms, with algae as the exception for it.
  3. Collagen is a long and spiral peptide chain with 19 to 105 amino acids connected, while hyaluronic acid is formed by two disaccharide units repetition known as D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-glucosamine that are linked to each other by the formation of the glycosidic bond. 
  4. The scientists’ observed molecular mass of the protein ranges between 300,000-400,000 Da, whereas the observed mass for the hyaluronic acid is 5000-20,000,000 Da.
  5. Collagen is synthesized in the body and weakens after 30 years of age, whereas hyaluronic acid is produced inside the cell membrane of fibroblast cells.
  6. Collagen is liable for the firmness, and tightness of the skin, and is also a component of muscles, joints, teeth, and bones, while hyaluronic acid is liable for the increment in the smoothness of the skin and many other things.
  7. Collagen is used for burn surgery, cosmetic surgery, slowing the ageing process, strengthening of hair and nails, etc., while hyaluronic acid is used in various surgeries like – neurosurgery, and ophthalmic surgery, also good for skincare treatments, etc.
Difference Between Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid

References

  1.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0141813021011715
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0194599813508082
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10856-012-4641-3
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/(SICI)1097-4636(199603)30:3%3C369::AID-JBM11%3E3.0.CO;2-F

Last Updated : 10 July, 2023

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28 thoughts on “Collagen vs Hyaluronic Acid: Difference and Comparison”

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    Reply
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  2. The detailed analysis of collagen and hyaluronic acid provides valuable knowledge about their significant role in maintaining skin health and overall well-being. It’s essential to understand the importance of these nutrients for promoting optimal skin elasticity and moisture.

    Reply
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  3. The comprehensive explanation of collagen and hyaluronic acid provides valuable insights into their crucial roles in maintaining skin health and overall well-being. It’s essential to understand the diverse functions of these nutrients for promoting optimal skin elasticity and moisture.

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  4. Collagen proteins are vital to maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. As we age, the natural decrease in collagen production makes consuming collagen-rich supplements crucial. Hyaluronic acid is also essential for maintaining skin’s moisture and smoothness. It’s interesting to see how both nutrients play different but crucial roles in maintaining healthy, youthful skin.

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  9. The detailed explanation about collagen and hyaluronic acid provides valuable knowledge about their synthesis, chemical structure, and functions. It’s essential to recognize the diverse roles these nutrients play in maintaining optimal skin health and overall wellness.

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