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Marine Collagen vs Bovine: A Simple But In-Depth Breakdown

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Do you know collagen is the most abundant substance in the body after water?

Now you know!

The abundance of this substance reveals a lot about its importance. 

Sadly, your body’s ability to produce collagen starts to decline at the age of twenty. It decreases at the rate of 1.5% per year, which means you produce 25% less by age forty. 

As such, supplementation becomes key. 

Marine and Bovine collagen are two common collagen supplements in the body. They help to supplement the natural collagen production of the body as it declines. 

So, are you ready to learn more about marine and bovine collagen? 

Well, this guide aims to help you understand the importance of collagen in the body. 

We’ll see if there’s a clear winner in the bovine collagen vs. marine collagen stakes, so keep reading to find out!

What is Collagen? 

Collagen is one of the most versatile proteins in the body. It is found in crucial body parts, including ligaments, bones, muscles, and tendons. 

You will also find the word “collagen” almost every time we talk about the skin. Collagen is one of the essential building blocks of the skin accounting for up to 75% of the skin structure and it plays an active role in the skin’s youthfulness. 

The primary function of collagen in these structures is to act like glue—the name of this structure “kolla,” which means glue in Greek. 

Functions of Collagen in the Body 

Collagen plays several vital roles in the body. Some of the functions of collagen in the body include: 

  • It improves skin health, prevents aging, and keeps the skin tight.
  • Collagen holds joints together and helps to relieve joint pain.
  • Collagen is capable of preventing bone loss and osteoporosis. 
  • It helps to boost muscle mass in crucial parts of the body. 
  • It promotes and improves heart health and functionalities. 
  • Collagen promotes brain and gut health. 

Why Do You Need Collagen Supplement? 

Before we move into the comparative evaluation of marine and bovine collagen supplements, it is crucial to understand why you need the supplement in the first place.

The body, in its early stage, is capable of producing enough collagen for itself. 

However, this ability degenerates from the early twenties onwards by around 1.5% per year (about 25% before forty). 

The steady decline in the body’s ability to produce collagen comes with numerous side effects, which include:

  • Achy joints 
  • Thinning and breaking hair 
  • Digestive issues 
  • Fine lines and other age-related skin and bone symptoms

Marine Collagen 

Marine collagen is one of the best sources of collagen. It is from marine sources such as wild caught fish; hence, its name. It primarily comes from fish’s scale and skin. 

Ordinarily, we often discard these fish parts during processing, but it is one of the best collagen sources for humans. 

Benefits of Marine Collagen 

Marine collagen has unique features compared to other types. These features make them useful for specific purposes. 

Below are some of the amazing benefits of marine collagen; 

1. It is the Best Option for the Skin

Marine collagen is the primary source of TYPE 1 collagen. This type of collagen is the most abundant in the body, and plays several crucial roles. 

TYPE 1 collagen contributes mainly to skin health, helping to maintain the skin’s firmness and elasticity. 

The cosmetic industry often uses it for its ability to restore skin glow and youthfulness. 

2. Impressive Taste 

You can use marine collagen many times over without getting bored or tired of it. It offers a fishy taste that you would always want to have in your jam. 

Nevertheless, if you are sensitive to fish tastes, you can go for tasteless options. There are several collagens without taste, but they produce effective results. 

3. Superior Bioavailability 

Bioavailability is the extent to which a substance is available to the body after consumption. So, the nature of marine collagen makes it easy for the body to break it into usable units; hence, its increased bioavailability.

Most marine collagens are present in the powder. This form makes it easy for the body to break it into usable peptides. 

Bovine Collagen 

Bovine collagen is also referred to as grass-fed collagen. It primarily comes from cattle and other animals that feed on grass. The collagen is extracted from the hides of these animals. 

Although bovine collagen undergoes similar processing as marine collagen, they have different results. It is closely related to the natural collagen synthesized in the body. 

Benefits of Bovine Collagen 

Grass-fed collagen is beneficial because it is influenced by what the animals eat. The benefits of bovine collagen include;

1. Great for All-round Health 

Bovine collagen is suitable for all-round health because it contains both TYPE 1 and TYPE 3 collagen. These two types are the most abundant forms of collagen in the body. You will find bovine collagen in almost all connective tissues throughout the body. 

So, it strengthens joints and aids speedy recovery from injuries. Besides, it mitigates joint aches and promotes overall bone health. 

2. A Suitable Alternative for Human Source 

Collagen from a human source is similar to bovine because of their feeds. Cattles and other sources of grass-fed Collagen have a similar diet to humans. So, their structures and compositions are identical. 

Types of Collagen 

There are about 16 different types of Collagen. But only four are common and typical in the body. Below are the common types of collagen in the body;

  1. Type 1 Collagen: Type 1 collagen constitutes about 90% of the entire body’s collagen. It has dense fibers that are tightly packed together. This structure accounts for its dominant presence in various body parts. Type 1 collagen is typical in connective tissues, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, tendons, skin, and teeth. 
  2. Type 2 Collagen: Type 2 collagen is more loosely packed than type 1. This structure makes it elastic. So, it is common in elastic cartilages that help with the cushioning of joints. 
  3. Type 3 Collagen: Type 3 collagen is moderately packed. This structure makes it suitable for arteries, muscles, and organs. 
  4. Type 4 Collagen: Type 4 collagen is more loosely packed than type 2. This structure makes it suitable for filtration. So, it is predominantly present in skin layers. 

Differences Between Bovine Collagen and Marine Collagen 

The processing of both marine and bovine Collagen is similar. They differ in structure and function. But the most significant difference between the two is their source. 

Bovine Collagen is majorly from grass-fed animals, typically cows and cattle. Marine collagen, on the other hand, is from the skin and scales of fish. Bovine comes from a land source, while marine is from an aquatic source. 

These environments play vital roles in the type of collagen they produce. Marine collagen contains primarily type 1 collagen. So, the structure of marine collagen is tightly packed with dense fibers. 

Bovine or grass-fed collagen offers a mix of both Type 1 and Type 3 collagen. This feature gives bovine an increased functionality over marine collagen. 

Bovine vs. Marine Collagen: Which is Better? 

Both Bovine and Marine collagen perform similar purposes. They also undergo identical processing, but they differ in structure and function. So, it is difficult to say one is outrightly a better choice than the other. 

Take marine collagen if your main focus is to improve skin health, hair, and nails. It mainly contains Type 1 collagen, which is best for this purpose. 

Bovine collagen is a better option if you want something that functions beyond skin health. It contains type 3 collagen, which helps to cushion body joints. It also aids the speedy recovery of bones and tissues. 

Also, marine collagen has more Aspartic acid, Arginine, and Alanine. Aspartic acid can act as a neurotransmitter, and Arginine speeds up the body’s healing process. The alanine constituent provides the body with energy, increases immunity, and aids the functionality of body muscles and tissues. 

Bovine collagen, on the other hand, is richer in Glycine, Proline, and Hydroxyproline. Glycine improves muscle strength, skin health, and bones. Hydroxyproline aids the stability of Collagen while proline improves heart muscles’ strength. 

If you are sensitive to fish or meat, or you have a preference for either one, the choice is simple. Go for fish collagen if you are sensitive to meat and vice versa. 

Factors That Can Aid The Decline Of Body Collagen Production

It is natural for the body’s collagen ability to decline steadily over time. But this decline can worsen when you subject yourself to certain conditions. 

Some of the factors that hasten the decline in the body’s collagen production include: 

  • Smoking 
  • Prolonged exposure to UV rays 
  • Environmental toxins 
  • Poor nutrition 
  • Aging 
  • Poor sleeping habits 

Natural Food Sources for Collagen 

Several natural sources can supply you with collagen peptides, so you don’t have to rely on supplements. Peptides are chains of amino acids, which are used to make protein. The connective tissues in animal foods are usually rich in collagen. So, you can get an abundance of it in animal skin meals, particularly pork, cattle, and chicken skin. 

Another natural source of collagen is animal bone broth. Bone broth is made by boiling the bones of animals, particularly animals with soft bones. You can try bones from animals like chicken and other grass-fed animals. 

The only concern about these natural sources is that they might unnecessarily raise the body’s protein level. 

Risk and Potential Side Effects of Bovine and Marine Collagen

Despite the rich health benefits of these collagen supplements, they still have some potential side effects. 

The biggest risk or side effect of collagen supplements is the sensation of heartburn. It can also leave a feeling of heaviness, and an unpleasant taste can linger after taking the supplements. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Collagen

The use of collagen supplements is a good way to supplement the body’s inability to provide enough. But there are still many questions begging for answers with the Bovine and Marine collagen debate. Here are some of the frequently asked questions; 

Can I use collagen every day? 

Collagen supplements are a good option for meeting the body’s demand. You can use it as often as prescribed by the manufacturer. Using it every day might not be a good idea. It is best to know when to take breaks. 

Is collagen better in pills or powder? 

The choice of collagen pills or powder is personal. Both types are suitable options and will help you meet regular demands. However, it is easy to add collagen powder to drinks and water, so it is better for large quantities. But pills are a quicker way to take collagen. 

Does marine collagen cause weight gain? 

No! Marine collagen will not cause weight gain. Weight gain will only occur with excessive calorie intake. But collagen does not have a high calorie. 

Does collagen make the breast bigger? 

NO! Collagen is not a breast enlargement supplement. It will only make the best firmer and youthful due to its effect on the general body skin. 

A Final Word From Wellness Nova

Collagen is one of the essential proteins in the human body. It is responsible for healthy joints, skin glow, and gut health. It also helps with bone strengths and improves heart functions. 

But the Bovine vs. Marine Collagen leaves many people with a hard decision to make. The choice between these two is personal. It can also be dependent on the reason for using the supplement. 

Evaluate the composition and function of each type and decide the best for you! 

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Article by:

Wellness Nova Team

Our detailed review has been contributed to by multiple members of the Wellness Nova Review Team to ensure the best research and highest standard of quality. Have a good or a bad experience with one of the products? Please let us know, we love the feedback!

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