New Generation Collagens – Triple Helix Colway’s Collagen
We use the plural form of the word collagen, because ultimately we intend to produce many more products. We are able to do this because the fish collagen hydrate, in the form of a temperature resistant gel, makes it possible to emulsify with many other biologically active substances that are beneficial to our skin.
Collagen is a word that is synonymous with many restorative and rejuvenating products. That is why in the beauty and pharmaceutical world it is frequently misused. The name collagen is attached to almost every product, even those that have been altered or degraded to such an extent that they no longer resemble collagen.
Collagen, in the form of elongated fibrils, is mostly found in fibrous tissues such as tendons, ligaments and skin. It is also abundant in corneas, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, the gut , inter-vertebral discs and the dentin in teeth. Collagen used in creams and supplements is usually produced from bovine or porcine connective tissue or fish cartilage and scales. To transform it into a form that can be utilized in skin care products and supplements, requires aggressive chemical or enzymatic processing called hydrolysis. The final product is called hydrolyzed collagen. It resembles collagen in its amino acid composition, but not in its structure.
Being “dead” protein, inactive hydrolyzed collagen does not make its way through the epidermis to interact with the tissue, and so doesn’t achieve anything more than a temporary moisturizing effect.
So what is the solution?
Colway’s Natural Collagen is totally different. It is extracted from fish skin in the form of triple helix (spiral) molecules which are precursors of the collagen fibers. So, in simple words, it would have become collagen fibre but it was captured and extracted from fish skin at earlier stages of development and preserved (not processed!) as hydrate. Its molecules maintain their triple helix structure and determines their biological activity in a beauty product. Such helical pro-collagen easily breaks down into peptides once it touches the skin. These peptides, are transdermal, unlike hydrolyzed collagen. Scientifically speaking, we are more entitled to call our flagship product “collagen” than thousands of distributors of preparations that are made of protein that would be once considered collagen. Our product differs in that it maintains the model structure of collagen and even the inter-spiral and intra-spiral bonds.
Thousands of “collagens” on the market are usually hydrolyzates composed of amino acids, which are in our opinion, “post-collagen” proteins. They are not collagen any longer, they merely contain amino acids typical to collagen tissues. Polish collagen extracted directly from the fish skin is a tertiary collagen, a stage before it develops into collagen fibrils and then fibres. This unique Polish method of triple helix collagen extraction and preservation is not used in any other part of the world. However, consumers tend not to know what exactly a hydrolyzate is and how and why it is different from a hydrate.
Why triple helix?
The story of Colway’s Natural Collagen, over the last ten years, reads like a fairy tale. We have created a truly amazing product. It maintains its structure of the triple helix, characteristic only to living organisms. But there is one major drawback. This collagen stays active and maintains the structure of triple helix as long as it is kept cool. When the bottle is warmed, the temperature breaks the bonds between those three spirals and they “die”, literally speaking. As a result, the product becomes inactive and loses its properties of a transdermal anti-aging serum.
SO WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE TRIPLE HELIX IN COLWAY’S COLLAGEN?
What would a biochemist or a cosmetologist say?
Collagen’s triple helices are needed Because they have an ability to attach H2O molecules to create a gel. In a gel form, it is used as an effective and the most simple and natural skin care product in the world, that not only rejuvenates the skin, but also helps address numerous skin problems. Without the triple helices fish molecules cannot be transformed into a workable cosmetic product.
Collagen as a molecule, is still excessively large to cross the barrier of epidermis to penetrate the skin. Even if it is thousand times smaller than a molecule of hydrolysed collagen, it is still huge… It has a mass of 80–360 kDa (kilodaltons) and the diameter of 4–100 nanometres. It is impossible for it to pass the epidermal barrier. Therefore, it is not a triple helix collagen molecule as such that passes to the extracellular matrix of the dermis to the area around the fibroblast. Only after it breaks down into short peptide chains composed of amino acids can it pass through the skin.
So, if the triple helix spirals must break down in order for its peptides to penetrate into the skin, then why is Natural Collagen maintained in the form of those spirals?
At this point, we know that only those peptides that have just dissimulated from the collagen triple spiral and show a biological activity, can migrate through the epidermis. Collagen that experiences a high temperature in the bottle breaks down into peptides and becomes liquid. It loses any useful properties after a few hours. When the collagen gel maintains a triple spiral conformation in the bottle, no decomposition processes take place, even after many years.
How is the triple helix created and how does it break down?
It is necessary to remind you of the manner in which a collagen molecule is created. Well, it is always created in the same way. The atoms of hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen form an amine group. Other atoms join the amine group, in particular oxygen, and the connected carboxyl group is created. First simple, and then complex amino acids are created from that unit, and in the next stage peptides are built. From two to even hundreds of amino acids in a peptide chain. Those processes take place in the productive cells, which in the skin are known as fibroblasts. Peptide chains create single spirals, and they interweave to create triplets. This already happens outside the cell. The addition to the fantastic phenomenon of collagen genesis is the hydroxylation of proline amino acid to hydroxyproline and lysine to hydroxylysine, which is impossible without vitamin C. The construction is joined as with a “zip” and this is how the triple helix, or tropocollagen, is formed.
And how does that superhelix break down on our skin?
Well, it never happens in the same way. Different laboratories conducted research on collagen at its molecular level. They observed the repeatability of the processes of triple helix dissimulation, but the chemists examining Polish fish collagen until 2012 did not manage to define any rule governing the process of its breakdown. What is known that the collagen triple helix dissimulates into single helices, the helices break down into peptides, and some of the peptides even break down into single amino acids. However, the process doesn’t have any recurrent patterns of any kind, which is quite peculiar, as collagen has the most regular patterns of amino acid chains of all proteins. Because of the instability of this process, we have until now, only been able to produce a product that must be kept in a cool environment. Because of this limitation, we found direct sales to be an ideal platform to the sell our product.
Also, the world expansion of such a fabulous product has been geographically and logistically limited. That said, Colway’s Natural Collagen has become tremendously popular in Poland and in a few neighboring countries that have adopted a similar, MLM system of selling it. However, we have always had a vision of putting this bioactive collagen on the global market.