The role of collagen, collectin and vitamin C in the immune system

Publish:2020-02-25Author:TCI Co., Ltd
The role of collagen, collectin and vitamin C in the immune system

The immune system plays a massive role in the human body. The host defense system is made up of many biological components and structures that help fight against diseases. The two broad classifications for the system are the innate and adaptive immune systems. Fighting infection in our daily lives might be overwhelming considering the number of pathogenic microbes we are exposed to frequently. The cellular and structural components of the body contributes towards achieving the goal. This article is focused on describing some vital component that plays an essential role in our body, most notably when combined to make a supplement for us.

Bovine collagen is a special type of collagen which helps to facilitate the body's natural detoxification process as a result of the glutamine and glycine components. Those components help the liver perform the detoxification process. The collagen also increases the metabolism and conversion of essential nutrients.

Collectins and collectin receptors is an important component of innate immunity. This family of proteins is made up of units with chains consisting of a C-type lectin domain attached to a collagen domain. Those chains are organized into a triple collagen helix. These group of proteins represents an important pattern recognition molecule that is formed to identify and bind to oligosaccharide structures or lip moieties usually found on surfaces of microorganisms. The binding is preferential towards the monosaccharides units of mannose type when compared to others.

Important factors that contribute to the high affinity which exists between the collectins and microorganisms depends on the high density of carbohydrate ligands located on the surface of the microorganism or the degree of the oligomerization of the collectin. The process of binding usually facilitates microbial clearance via the process of aggregation, complement activation, opsonization & activation of phagocytosis, and inhibition of the microbial growth (Koenraad et al, 2004).

Five collectins have been described. Collectins type SP-A and SP-D are mainly found in the surfactant coating the luminal surface of the pulmonary epithelial cells, but are also produced by cells lining the gastrointestinal tract. Mannan-binding lectin (MBL), conglutinin and collectin-43 (CL-43) are serum proteins produced by the liver. Conglutinin and CL-43 have so far only been found in Bovidae (Holmskov et al, 2000).

It has become increasingly evident that pulmonary surfactant Collectins ( type SP-A and SP-D), present in the alveolar and bronchial epithelial fluid linings, not only play significant functions in the innate defense mechanism against pathogens, but also are involved in immunomodulatory roles, which result in the protection against, and resolution of, allergen-induced airway inflammation (Wang et al, 2007). The respiratory collectins( type SP-A and SP-D) can specifically bind to aero-allergens and inhibit mast cell degranulation and histamine release.

Vitamin C contributes significantly to the immune system by supporting diverse cellular functions associated with either innate or adaptive immune system. It tends to play a unique role in epithelial barrier function against pathogens hence promoting oxidant scavenging activities of the skin, which eventually helps protect against the environmental oxidative stress. Vitamin C also leads to the accumulation of the phagocytic cells to enhance chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and generation of the reactive oxygen species, which all helps to kill microbes. Another important immune function of vitamin C is shown in its contribution towards apoptosis, which helps to clear dead or weakened cells at the site of infection to avoid tissue damage. Its roles in fighting infections have been well studied. Vitamin C deficiency results in impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections, particularly of the respiratory tract infections. Vitamin C deficiency also may impact on the ability of phagocytes to migrate to sites of infection. Epidemiological studies have indicated that hypovitaminosis C (plasma vitamin C < 23 μmol/L) is relatively common in Western populations, and vitamin C deficiency  (<11 μmol/L) is the fourth leading nutrient deficiency in the United States(Schleicher et al, 2009).


Bovine Collagen-collectin supplementation fortified with vitamin C is an essential need that will help build the immune system at a rapid rate with the use of both innate and adaptive immune system mechanisms. This product is a rich source of immune booster simply because the presence of vitamin C helps turn the collagen into a useable protein for our body. All three components are strong booster to the immune system, thus allowing it to remain functional in times of trouble.

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