Types of Collagen
Collagen is a structural protein found abundantly in animal tissues such as skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments. There are over 16 types of collagen, but roughly 90% of collagen in the human body consists of type I, II, and III. An understanding of these major collagen types is useful when evaluating different collagen supplements.
Marine collagen refers to collagen derived from fish bones, skin, and scales. It consists predominantly of type II collagen.
Marine collagen peptides exhibit worse bioavailability compared to mammalian collagen thanks to their higher molecular weight structure. The worse bioavailability facilitates bad absorption across the intestinal barrier into systemic circulation. Although once absorbed, the bioactive collagen peptides may improve skin hydration and elasticity.
Bovine collagen refers to collagen isolated from bovine hides, bones, or tissues after meat processing. It contains abundant type I and also type III collagen, making it attractive for joint health. Multiple clinical studies support benefits of bovine collagen supplementation for skin structure and sports performance and injury recovery. As type I & III collagen makes up 70-80% of skin structure, Bovine collagen supplements have gained popularity for improving skin health.
Bovine collagen supplementation may also reduce inflammation in the gut due to its high glycine content. Glycine has been demonstrated to activate anti-inflammatory pathways and improve gut integrity. The anti-inflammatory effects likely underlie observations of reduced joint pain in osteoarthritis patients taking marine collagen.
Compared to marine collagen, bovine collagen peptides tend to have lower molecular weights resulting in superior bioavailability. Bovine collagen remains cheaper to produce because cattle hides are plentiful products of the beef industry. Individuals avoiding seafood may also prefer bovine over marine collagen.
In summary, marine and bovine collagen offer complementary nutritional profiles. Marine collagen provides lower bioavailability collagen peptides to provide skin health but Bovine collagen delivers abundant type I & III collagen to support improved skin quality & anti-inflammatory glycine, as well as joint and bone health. Careful consideration of intended use, diet, and cost may inform decisions between these two popular collagen supplements.
The skin and glow article is completely inaccurate has no source in the papers and actually has many papers written against it.
Marine collagen peptides are produced in the same way as other types of collagen—the animal byproducts like scales, bones, and shells are simply from sea creatures instead of land animals. These parts go through a process of boiling, gelatin extraction, and hydrolysis to break the proteins down into smaller peptides, thus creating a collagen supplement.
The prevailing view is that marine collagen is superior, with claims that it is more effective for joint and skin health, more sustainable, and more humane. However, research reveals that marine collagen is not clinically superior and may, in fact, be inferior to its bovine (cow-derived) counterpart.
Why? Marine collagen consists exclusively of Type 1, meaning it only supports the skin, hair, and bones. Bovine collagen contains both Type 1 and Type 3, providing additional strengthening of the muscles, arteries and organs—all the critical systems that keep us alive and thriving.
While the sustainability and ethics of marine collagen production are respectable qualities, bovine collagen simply offers more diverse molecular compounds that benefit the entire body, inside and out. When it comes to supporting whole-body wellness, the evidence clearly shows that bovine collagen’s diversity of collagen types makes it a powerfully complete supplement unmatched by marine sources alone