Collagen: Marine vs. Bovine vs. Plant Based
by Chris O on Jun 19, 2021
There are over 16 types of collagen in the human body, with Types I, II, II and IV being the most abundant, making up one third of the protein in your body.
It’s one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen is also found in many other body parts, including blood vessels, corneas, and teeth.
As you age, your body produces less and lower quality collagen. One of the visible signs of this is in your skin, which becomes less firm and supple. Cartilage also weakens with age. Collagen sourced from animal products will help your body to increase collagen production, add collagen into your body, and slow down signs of aging listed above. Humans create their own collagen naturally, as do other animals, which is why collagen is by default a non-vegan ingredient. Read on for more about vegan collagen.
What is the difference: marine collagen vs. bovine collagen?
The biggest difference between these two collagen supplements is the source. Marine collagen comes from fish, while bovine collagen comes from cows. Bovine is created from cow hides, and marine is made from fish skin and scales.
Marine collagen is primarily a Type I collagen, while bovine is typically a mixture of Type I and Type III. Type I helps form our bones, skin, and other tissues. It’s also the most abundant type of collagen found in the human body. It’s the strongest type, meaning it works the most effectively to heal and rebuild in your body.
Type III is similar to Type I, and is primarily found in our skin and organs. It’s the second most abundant type of collagen in your body. Both Type I and Type III help with elasticity in the skin and gut support.
Pros of Marine Collagen:
The biggest pro of marine collagen is that it is the most bio-available of all other types of collagen. This means it absorbs more quickly and more easily at 1.5 times faster than other types of collagen. Therefore, there is the potential for you to see results faster. Another pro is that, when wild-caught (like our Wild Ocean Marine Collagen), it is the cleanest of the available types of collagen.
One of the biggest reasons people take a collagen supplement is to help improve their skin. Whether it be for wrinkles, glowing skin, or better skin elasticity, collagen can be used to help these issues. A pro of marine collagen is that it's the best type to take for skin beautification and strengthening. Similarly, it is regarded as the best collagen for medicinal uses, such as wound healing. Another pro of marine collagen is that it is pescatarian friendly, and safe to consume for those who cannot have meat products for any reason.
Pros of Bovine Collagen:
One extra benefit of bovine collagen is that it has more overall “collagen benefits” due to the additional Type III protein and is usually more affordable as its less costly to produce. If you are taking collagen for joint pain or gut health, bovine may be a better option for you as well. It's important that you choose grass-fed collagen (like our ethically sourced Collagen Generator), if you decide to take the bovine variety.
What about Vegan or Plant Based Collagen?
The surge of plant based collagen in the consumer market may lead you to believe at first glance that it’s possible for collagen to naturally occur in plants. This is not the case; collagen protein contains an array of amino acids, the precise combination of which cannot be found anywhere in nature. There are no naturally occurring sources of vegan or plant based collagen, but that doesn’t mean you are out of luck for collagen boosting supplements if you follow a plant based diet!
Finding a high quality plant based collagen BOOSTER is what you want to be on the lookout for (like our Botany Vegan Collagen Booster).
Vegan collagens are usually made up of a variety of vitamins (like Vitamins C) and a unique amino acid profile. Adding a vegan collagen to your diet won’t necessarily add collagen into your body, but it will add a similar amino acid profile that will help slow down the signs of aging and will increase your overall wellness. L-Lysine should be abundant in the vegan collagen you choose. L-Lysine is one of the essential amino acids, which are those that the body cannot make and that people need to obtain from dietary sources. It’s key in keeping your hair and nails strong!
Collagens made from animal sources are the most effective. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Collagen is safe to take daily and the key is to be consistent with it. It usually takes 3 – 6 weeks to start seeing and feeling the benefits, so keep at it!