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21st September 2023

Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen

Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen

Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen

In the world of collagen supplements, two types stand out: marine collagen and bovine collagen. Marine collagen is sourced from fish, while bovine collagen comes from cattle. Both have their own unique benefits and differences, which we will explore in this blog, Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen, to help you decide which one may be best for you.

Why is Collagen important to Skincare, Beauty, and Pain-Free Joints?

Collagen is a protein that plays a crucial role in maintaining the strength and elasticity of your skin, joints, bones, and connective tissues. It is also found in your organs, blood vessels and intestinal lining. About 30% of the protein in your body is collagen, but during the ageing process your body produces less, leading to wrinkles, sagging skin, joint pain, and reduced mobility. It is not only the passing years that causes a depletion of collagen, but smoking, and over exposure to ultra-violet rays also rob you of this protein, causing you to physically age sooner than you should. That's where collagen supplements come in, offering a way to replenish your collagen levels, promoting a healthy, youthful appearance, and helping to keep joints flexible and pain free.

Definition and Comparison of Marine and Bovine Collagen

Marine collagen vs bovine collagen. Marine collagen is derived from the skin, scales, and bones of fish, making it an excellent source of collagen for those who prefer a marine based option. On the other hand, bovine collagen is sourced from the hides, bones, and cartilage of cattle. These differences in sources contribute to variations in the composition, effectiveness, and potential benefits of each type of collagen.

5 Types of Collagen

The five most common collagen types are I, II, III, IV & V


The structure of collagen is made up of a wide range of molecules, all different, but related to each other in their function. The most widely understood types are I, II, III, IV, and V, and it is these members of the collagen family which appear in supplements.

Functions of each of the five types are:

  • Type I – Represents 90% of all the collagen in your body and is needed to give structure to your skin, bones, ligaments and tendons.
  • Type II – Gives cartilage its elasticity which is vital for joint strength.
  • Type III – Found in muscles, arteries and your internal organs.
  • Type IV – Found in the layers of your skin.
  • Type V – Needed for the health of the cornea in your eyes. It is also found in skin, hair, and in the tissue of placenta.

There are approximately 28 more types of collagens in your body, and these are still being researched to establish their various functions, but the five mainstream types have already been scientifically verified for meeting specific needs.

Differences Between Bovine and Marine Collagen

Marine collagen is extracted by hydrolysing fish bones and skin, while bovine collagen is obtained through a similar process from cattle hides and bones. Both types go through a rigorous cleansing process to remove impurities and ensure the highest quality collagen supplements.

Marine collagen is known for its higher absorption rate, as it contains smaller peptides which are easier for the body to absorb and utilise. This
makes it more effective in promoting healthy skin, reducing wrinkles, and supporting bone and joint health.

Bovine collagen contains a higher amount of Type I and III collagen, which are beneficial for promoting wound healing, skin elasticity, and supporting joint cartilage.

Benefits of Marine Collagen

  • Improved skin health and anti-aging properties
    • Marine collagen is renowned for its ability to enhance skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin health. By providing the necessary building blocks for collagen synthesis, marine collagen helps to maintain skin strength, firmness, and a youthful appearance.

Benefits of Marine Collagen include Improved skin health and anti-aging properties


  • Joint and bone health support
    • With its high concentration of Type II collagen, marine collagen is also beneficial for supporting joint and bone health. It helps to improve joint mobility, relieve joint pain, and prevent the degeneration of cartilage.
  • Potential weight loss and muscle building benefits
    • The protein content in marine collagen makes it an ideal supplement if you are looking to achieve weight loss and encourage muscle building. It can help suppress appetite by giving a feeling of fullness, and boost your metabolism, helping you achieve a lean physique.
  • High protein content and nutritional value
    • Marine collagen is a rich source of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids necessary for optimal health. It offers a convenient way to fulfil your protein requirements while providing vital nutrients for the maintenance of skin, hair, nails, and other connective tissues.
  • Absorption and digestibility advantages
    • The smaller molecular size of marine collagen peptides allows for superior absorption and digestibility compared to other forms of collagen. This means that your body can make better use of the nutrients, leading to faster and more noticeable results.

For in-depth information on collagen sourced from fish, see our blog: Marine Collagen Benefits

Bovine Collagen Benefits

  • Joint and cartilage protection
    • The Type I and III collagen found in bovine collagen are particularly beneficial for maintaining the integrity and elasticity of joint cartilage. Regular supplementation can help reduce joint pain, enhance flexibility, and support overall joint health.

bovine collagen can be particularly beneficial for maintaining the integrity and elasticity of joint cartilage.

  • Skincare benefits and wound healing properties
    • Bovine collagen is valued for its exceptional wound healing properties, making it a popular ingredient in skincare products. It helps with cellular regeneration, improving skin texture, and reducing the appearance of scars and blemishes.
  • Potential for improved hair and nail health
    • Bovine collagen provides the necessary amino acids to support the growth and strength of hair and nails. By promoting collagen production, it can address issues such as brittle nails and thinning hair, resulting in healthier and more vibrant strands.
  • Rich source of essential amino acids
    • Like marine collagen, bovine collagen is a complete source of essential amino acids. These amino acids are vital for numerous bodily functions, including muscle growth, tissue repair, hormone production, and immune system support.

For in-depth information on collagen sourced from cattle, see our blog: What is Bovine Collagen

Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen

Numerous research studies have demonstrated the benefits of marine collagen for skin health, joint mobility, and overall well-being. These studies consistently show improved skin hydration, elasticity, and reduced signs of aging when supplementing with marine collagen. See Collagen Beauty Blend (Marine Collagen).


Scientific research has also highlighted the benefits of bovine collagen in promoting wound healing, joint health, and hair growth. Studies have shown positive results in terms of reducing joint pain and improving hair and nail health when supplementing with bovine collagen. See Collagen Joints Blend (Bovine Collagen)


Choosing the Best Quality and Source of Supplement

Marine Collagen and Bovine Collagen Supplements can be supplied in powder, capsules or tablets.

When selecting collagen supplements, it’s important to prioritise quality and ethical sourcing procedures, ensuring purity, potency, and absence of harmful substances.


It’s worth bearing in mind that marine collagen is produced mainly from sea life and fish parts that would otherwise go to waste, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Bovine collagen often comes from cattle raised for food, utilizing parts that are usually discarded. Both sourcing methods have their merits, and the choice ultimately depends on personal preferences and dietary restrictions.

A multi-collagen supplement will usually offer all 5 types. This is due to it being sourced from a mixture of bovine, marine, chicken, and eggshell
membrane. There is some anecdotal data suggesting that humans benefit from multiple types of collagens, but further research is needed to verify this.

Making Your Choice

In reaching a decision between marine collagen and bovine collagen, it is essential to consider your specific needs and preferences. Both types offer numerous benefits, from improving skin health to supporting joint function and overall well-being. To make an informed decision, you could consider discussing the choice with a healthcare professional who can advise the best collagen supplementation option based on your individual needs.

Vegan Options for Boosting Collagen

If you follow a vegan lifestyle or have concerns about animal-derived products, there are plant-based supplements available. These vegan options typically include ingredients such as algae and certain fruits and vegetables that stimulate your body’s own collagen production.

You can also help your body produce collagen by regularly eating foods rich in certain vitamins and nutrients:

  • Vitamin C - blueberries, red bell peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries and oranges, or by taking a vitamin C supplement.
  • Omega-3 - avocado, walnuts, chia seeds or by taking an omega-3 supplement.
  • Vitamin A - found in sweet potatoes.
  • Amino Acid Lysine - found in soybean, tofu and cashew nuts.
  • Lycopene - found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit.

10 Key Takeaways

  • Collagen is important for maintaining skin elasticity, joint health, and overall well-being.
  • Marine collagen is sourced from fish, while bovine collagen comes from cattle.
  • Marine collagen is effective in improving skin health, joint mobility, and supporting weight loss efforts.
  • Bovine collagen promotes wound healing, joint and cartilage protection, and can enhance hair and nail health.
  • Marine collagen has a higher absorption rate, while bovine collagen contains a higher concentration of Type I and III collagen.
  • Scientific research supports the efficacy of both marine and bovine collagen in providing various health benefits.
  • Choose high quality collagen supplements that undergo rigorous testing and adhere to manufacturing standards.
  • Marine collagen is an environmentally friendly option, while bovine collagen utilises parts of cattle that would otherwise go to waste.
  • Vegan collagen options are available for individuals concerned about using animal products.
  • If you are still unsure, discuss with a healthcare professional to determine the best collagen supplementation option for your specific needs.

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