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How Can Collagen Improve Your Health?

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Collagen has been a buzzword in the world of health and wellness, but does it have real, measurable health benefits? This substance is often taken as an oral supplement to improve skin hydration and elasticity. It helps lessen the appearance of wrinkles and is also associated with other health benefits and minimal risk.

What is it?

Collagen is a protein that our bodies, and the bodies of most other animals, produce naturally. There are over 20 different types in the human body alone, and they maintain your skin, joints, and bones. 

As one ages, the level of naturally-produced collagen decreases, leading to weak, achy joints and wrinkled skin. Naturally-sourced supplements can help offset this decline which is bound to happen to us all. The two most popular sources are bovine collagen powder and fish collagen powder

The two are similar in terms of benefits offered. Something to keep in mind– since these supplements are derived from the parts of animals’ bodies, it’s not going to be an acceptable supplement for you if you lead a vegan lifestyle or diet. If that doesn’t apply to you, then let’s keep going and break down the main differences between the benefits of bovine and marine peptide supplements.


While most bovine-based supplements for sale are primarily sourced from cows, you may find ones that come from bison, antelope, yaks, water buffalo, and other bovine animals. Byproducts from cattle such as bones are boiled in water, dried, and reduced to a powder. 

Even though there are 20 different kinds of collagen in your body, they are categorised into one of four main types, which are conveniently referred to as types I, II, III, and IV. 

Bovine collagen reportedly helps the most with your body’s collagen categorised as type I or type III. Type I collagen is the most common one in the human body, forming numerous fibers in your skin’s connective tissue and in bone tissue. Type III collagen is an important protein found in any organs that are hollow, such as blood vessels, the bowels, or uterus. 

Marine collagen

Marine collagen comes from the byproducts of the fish industry, such as bones and scales, and is prepared is a process similar to the bovine supplement preparation process. While both forms of collagen may be similar in preparation and are both an excellent source of type I collagen, what mainly sets marine-based supplements aside from their bovine counterpart is the presence of type II collagen.

Type II collagen is important to the cartilage found in your eyes, spinal column, and other crucial joints in your body. This means that marine peptide supplements could be an excellent choice for anybody hoping to promote the health of their body’s joints, as well as the benefits conferred from type I supplements: healthy, hydrated skin with fewer wrinkles.

While marine-based supplements are newer to the market than bovine supplements, research has shown that marine-based product confers a lower risk of disease transmission and may be absorbed in a higher, more efficient rate than the bovine kind.

Final thoughts

Now that you’ve brushed up on the basics surrounding collagen, its different forms, and the diverse benefits of those forms, you should be able to decide if it is or isn’t right for you. 

Regardless of what you decide to purchase, the benefits are certainly going to be helpful for anybody trying to begin or continue promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.

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