Collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body, plays a vital role in maintaining the structure and integrity of our skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. It comes in several types, primarily type I, II, and III, each with distinct properties and roles within the body. As a key component in supporting overall health and wellness, collagen has gained increasing recognition, with a surge in the popularity of collagen supplements.
Among these supplements, marine collagen, bovine collagen, vegan collagen, and bone broth powder have emerged as popular choices, each offering unique health benefits. With this rise in popularity comes the need for a deeper understanding of these supplements, including how they compare and contrast in various aspects.
This article will compare marine and bovine collagen, two widely consumed collagen supplements, discussing their health benefits, sources, potential allergies or dietary restrictions and environmental impact.
What is Marine Collagen?
Marine collagen is a type of collagen derived from the skin, scales, and bones of fish. This collagen type is gaining popularity in the health and wellness community due to its high absorbability and bioavailability. Unlike other animal collagen sources, marine collagen primarily comprises type I collagen - most associated with skin and bone health.
Sourcing marine collagen involves carefully extracting fish, mainly from abundant and easily sustainable species. It is primarily sourced from the byproducts of the fishing industry, utilising parts of the fish that would otherwise be wasted. Hence, marine collagen supplements serve as a way to fully use the resources available, contributing to the sustainability of the fishing industry.
Marine collagen provides many health benefits, focusing on skin and hair health. Type I collagen, which is abundant in marine collagen, is crucial for maintaining the elasticity and moisture of the skin. Regular intake of marine collagen can help reduce signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and dryness. It also promotes the health and strength of hair. Marine collagen can also support bone health, joint health, and digestion. Its benefits are not limited to this; research is ongoing into its potential in various other aspects of health and wellness.
What is Bovine Collagen?
Bovine collagen is a form of collagen that is primarily sourced from cows, particularly their skin, bones, and muscles. As a prevalent choice for collagen supplementation, bovine collagen has been widely researched for its health benefits and is often used in products ranging from health supplements to cosmetics. Like marine collagen, bovine collagen also contains type I collagen, but unlike marine collagen, it also contains approximately 5% type III collagen.
The derivation of bovine collagen is often through a process known as hydrolysation, where the raw materials (skin, bones, and muscles) are subjected to high heat and enzymatic reactions. This process breaks down the collagen into smaller, more easily digestible molecules known as collagen peptides. These peptides can be efficiently absorbed in the digestive tract and utilised by the body.
Bovine collagen provides various health benefits, explicitly targeting joint and bone health. The type III collagen found in bovine sources supports the structure and flexibility of arteries, organs, and muscles, making it a crucial component for overall body health. Type I collagen is also essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. Bovine collagen can also support the health of the gut lining, potentially helping to manage gut-related conditions.
Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen: Health Benefits
Collagen supplements have become a go-to resource in the quest for health optimisation.
However, not all collagen is the same.
Health Benefits of Marine Collagen
Marine collagen is primarily composed of Type I collagen, which plays a significant role in maintaining the health and vitality of skin, hair, nails, and bones. One of the main health benefits of marine collagen is its potential to promote youthful skin. Its high bioavailability means it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream; allowing it to contribute to skin elasticity and hydration, reducing signs of ageing such as wrinkles and dryness.
In addition to skin health, marine collagen also contributes to the health of hair and nails, promoting growth and strength due to its rich amino acid content. The type I collagen found in marine sources also plays a crucial role in bone health, potentially aiding in the prevention of bone loss and related conditions like osteoporosis.
Marine collagen has also shown promise in supporting heart health. It contains specific amino acids like glycine and proline, which are necessary for maintaining the health of the arteries and the overall cardiovascular system. Research also suggests that marine collagen may have anti-inflammatory properties and could support joint health and wound healing.
Health Benefits of Bovine Collagen
Bovine collagen is a rich source of type I and type III collagen, contributing to various health benefits. Like marine collagen, bovine collagen supports skin health, promoting elasticity and hydration due to the presence of type I collagen. It can also contribute to the health of hair and nails.
Bovine collagen is especially beneficial when it comes to bone and joint health, as well as the health of the arteries and organs. This is largely due to its high content of type III collagen. Regular intake of bovine collagen has been linked to improved joint flexibility and mobility, and it may help alleviate symptoms of conditions like arthritis.
Bovine collagen is also beneficial for gut health. Its amino acid profile, including glycine and proline, helps maintain and repair the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, potentially benefiting those with conditions like leaky gut syndrome.
It's important to remember that while both marine and bovine collagen offer multiple health benefits, individual responses can vary based on a number of factors, including overall health status, age, and lifestyle.
Bovine vs Marine Collagen: Environmental Impact & Sustainability
The sustainability of collagen sources is a crucial factor to consider due to the environmental impacts associated with their extraction processes. Both marine and bovine collagen have their respective impacts that warrant careful consideration.
Marine collagen, derived mainly from byproducts of the fishing industry, presents a relatively lower environmental impact, as it utilises parts of the fish that would normally be wasted. However, sourcing practices matter - excessive fishing can severely deplete marine biodiversity. Therefore, sustainable marine collagen should ideally come from responsibly-managed fisheries to ensure minimal impact on marine ecosystems.
Bovine collagen, on the other hand, is linked to the environmental footprint of the cattle industry. This includes greenhouse gas emissions, land use for livestock farming, and the potential for deforestation. However, similar to marine collagen, bovine collagen production also reduces waste by using animal parts that would typically be discarded.
Regarding sustainability, the responsible sourcing of both marine and bovine collagen is vital. Sustainable practices involve supporting fisheries that prevent overfishing for marine collagen and farms practising regenerative agriculture for bovine collagen. As consumers, prioritising collagen products from companies committed to these sustainable practices can contribute positively to environmental preservation.
Marine vs Bovine Collagen: Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
Navigating the world of collagen supplements involves considering not only their health benefits but also potential allergies and dietary restrictions.
Marine Collagen Allergies & Dietary Restrictions
Marine collagen derived from fish may be unsuitable for those with seafood allergies. It is important to check with your preferred brand of marine collagen that the collagen comes from a shellfish-free production facility. Vegans and vegetarians will also need to avoid marine collagen due to its animal-based origin.
Bovine Collagen Allergies & Dietary Restrictions
Bovine collagen, while beneficial for many, can cause issues for those allergic to beef, triggering symptoms from skin reactions to breathing difficulties. Bovine collagen also doesn't align with vegetarian or vegan dietary principles due to being sourced from cows.
Therefore, those with specific dietary protocols will need to seek alternative sources of collagen, such as our vegan collagen range.
Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen: Similarities & Differences
Marine and bovine collagen both offer a rich source of type I collagen, which is crucial for skin, hair, and bone health. Bovine collagen, also rich in type III collagen, supports organ and arterial and gut health.
Potential allergies and dietary restrictions need consideration. Those with seafood allergies will need to employ extra caution around marine collagen sourcing, and the same applies to those with beef allergies in relation to bovine collagen. Vegans or vegetarians should source a non animal-derived collagen like vegan collagen.
From an environmental perspective, both types of collagen can help reduce waste but sourcing from responsibly managed fisheries and regenerative farms is crucial to minimising environmental impact. Planet Paleo is the only UK brand to be entirely MSC certified, sourcing all its marine collagen products from MSC-approved and regulated fisheries. Its bovine collagen also adheres to the strictest standards: it is sourced exclusively from grass-fed cattle in Argentina, recognised and endorsed by the LIAF Grass Fed certification.
Ultimately, the choice between marine and bovine collagen boils down to individual health needs, dietary preferences, and sustainability considerations. Regardless of choice, introducing collagen supplementation can significantly boost health and wellness when coupled with a balanced diet and active lifestyle.Know what supplement is right for you? Explore our range of marine collagen and bovine collagen supplements.