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Blog / Marine Collagen is Better Than Beef Collagen – And Here’s Why

Marine Collagen is Better Than Beef Collagen – And Here’s Why

February 4, 2020    |   Nancy L Morse, BSc. (HONS), CNPA.    |    Anti-Aging, Collagen, Fish Collagen, Ingestible Beauty

There are tons of collagen options on the market as the category continues to explode. It can get overwhelming trying to figure out which is the best – and among the many questions you might ask yourself is what is the difference between marine (fish) collagen and bovine (cow) collagen? The most obvious difference is that marine collagen is made from fish skin and bones while bovine collagen is made from cow hides. So, what does that really mean, and why did Bend choose to make our collagen using marine ingredients?

Marine Collagen is Better Absorbed in your Body

Marine collagen gives you more bang for your buck. Fish collagen consists of smaller peptides (peptides=pieces of protein) than bovine sources and as a consequence is 1.5 times more easily digested, absorbed and distributed throughout the body. This enhanced bioavailability means your body may benefit more from its anti-aging and tissue-building effects. According to mindbodygreen, this is also why choosing hydrolyzed collagen peptides is superior than consuming gelatin as it’s easier on your stomach since the proteins are smaller to break down. 

Marine Collagen has better Water Solubility

Fish collagen dissolves readily in water, which makes it easy to dissolve in your favorite beverage, while bovine collagen is less soluble.

Marine Collagen Provides Better Suitability  

Type I collagen is the most abundant type of collagen in the human body and accounts for 80% of the collagen in skin. As we age, the ratio of type I to type III collagen in our skin decreases, which weakens the skin and contributes to wrinkles. While bovine collagen contains both Type  I and Type III collagen, marine collagen is primarily Type I collagen. This means it is most similar in structure to human collagen, and therefore is ideally suited to top up your body’s collagen needs.

Marine Collagen Improves Skin Moisture

Marine collagen supplementation protects against skin photoaging by repairing skin collagen and elastin protein fibers, improving moisture retention and improving hyaluronic acid content. Although bovine collagen has been shown to improve skin collagen content, it had no significant effect on skin moisture or hyaluronic acid content. One study showed that when marine collagen was combined with plant-derived antioxidants, participants’ skin elasticity improved remarkably.

Marine Collagen Is Better for the Environment

Roughly 11.7 million tons of unused fish parts are discarded annually during processing, so using them to make collagen is environmentally friendly. On top of that, fish protein in general releases far less greenhouse gas emissions than most meat products.

Although cowhides are abundant byproducts and cheap to produce, their sourcing plays a negative role in climate change. Livestock production accounts for 14.5% of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions with beef and bovine milk production contributing 41 and 19% of those emissions; that includes grass-fed as well as grain-fed animals.

Rich in Amino Acids and Antioxidants

Marine Collagen includes 8 of the 9 amino acids that make up a complete protein including glycine and proline. In addition, studies have shown that marine collagen contains antioxidants that can reduce the presence of reactive oxygen species in the body, which can cause inflammation. 

In sum, Bend chose marine collagen over bovine for the reasons outlined above. Our hydrolyzed marine collagen is primarily derived from the skin of cod from Icelandic fisheries, with smaller amounts from the skin of haddock and pollock. The hydrolyzed collagen is manufactured in Nova Scotia, Canada. Click here to shop Marine Collagen + Co-Factors.

Bend Beauty Marine Collagen


Editors note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated to include new research findings. 

Author: Nancy L Morse, BSc. (Hons), CNPA, NWS (retired), Scientific Research Consultant. Nancy has had a 37-year career in natural health product and pharmaceutical product development. She is the sole author of 7 peer-reviewed scientific publications and of numerous books within the alive Healthy Living Guide series, as well as co-author of 35 additional scientific journal publications.  She has been an invited speaker at universities, taught courses and workshops in nearly two dozen countries and has been a guest on radio and television talk shows. She currently maintains contracts with various companies involving new natural and pharmaceutical product development, clinical research collaborations, product marketing and training initiatives, and quality system implementation.