Which collagen is best? A question that is often asked with the misnomer that marine collagen is superior to bovine collagen, however, this isn’t true - let’s find out why…
Marine collagen and bovine collagen are equally effective - one is not better than the other
As long as the quality of the supplement is high, as is the case for all Edible Health UK products, then its source won’t ultimately matter.
We’ll get to that in just a second. But firstly, let’s wrap our heads around the protein in general before we start looking at the two different types of collagen in more detail.
Amino acids, peptides & proteins - a quick overview
In a nutshell:
- Amino acids make proteins.
- Peptides are short chains of amino acids.
- Proteins are molecules that serve all kinds of purposes in our bodies.
- Collagen is a protein.
Amino acids, whether individual or as peptide chains, provide the body with the building blocks that our bodies need to create, grow, repair, heal and rejuvenate. They are responsible for cell structure, function and regulation of our organs and our tissues.
When the body digests protein from food, it gets broken down into amino acids and protein peptides that the body can then use for all of its functions.
So what is collagen?
As it turns out, it is the number one most prolific protein in the human body making up about a third of our total protein content.
Found in our bones, skin, hair, muscles, skin, ligaments, cartilage and tendons, it is our structure and our strength - literally keeping our bodies together.
So it’s no wonder that when our naturally-occurring levels begin breaking down or they are depleted, then a number of health issues can arise.
What factors can compromise/decline our collagen?
There is a range of factors that can trigger decline. For example:
- poor nutrition
- environmental toxins
- compromised sleep quality
- exposure to UV rays
It’s therefore no surprise that supplements can become important to help maintain well-being.
Different types of collagen
To date over 40 different types have now been identified. The volumes in which they are present in the human body depends on the type. For humans, the three most prolific are:
- Type I - this is the most abundant (90%) in our bodies and it’s this type that is responsible for providing structure to the bones, dermis, connective tissue, ligaments, tendons, cornea and teeth
- Type II - present in elastic cartilage and serves to cushion the joints
- Type III - the muscles, organs (including of course the skin), vessel walls, and arteries are all given structure through the support of this one
Now we have a good overview, we can start to look at where differences might - or might not - lie.
What is marine collagen?
Just like us, fish also produce collagen proteins, which are largely in their skin and scales. Our Edible Health product takes only fish skins and uses a cutting-edge, solvent-free, alkaline manufacturing process.
It is a source of mostly type I collagen.
What is bovine collagen?
Cows also produce it, with the best sources located in their bones and hides. Edible Health product sources entirely from cow hide, again using the same cutting-edge, solvent-free, alkaline manufacturing process.
This is a source of types I and III collagen.
So depending on our collagen needs, do we use one form of supplement over the other or take both?
It’s understandable to think that taking both marine and bovine collagen would offer the best results with the most collagen Types, but this is not true.
Just because, for example, bovine is a source of types I and III doesn’t mean your body will use it to then create types I and III. Instead, your body will take the supply and may use it for whatever is most necessary for you and your present needs.
So in this respect, it doesn’t matter which one you take.
But wouldn’t different sources of collagen break down to create different amino acids?
Good call, and yes. There is a slight difference between the two, but that relates only to the quantity of each amino acid.
The marine collagen type typically has more of the following:
- Alanine (increases immunity and provides energy for the central nervous system, muscle tissue and brain)
- Arginine (for wound healing)
- Aspartic acid (has a role as a neurotransmitter)
The bovine supplement typically has more:
- Glycine (provides strength for muscles, skin, bones, blood)
- Hydroxyproline (plays a role in collagen stability)
- Proline (helps maintain and strengthen heart muscles)
But if you’re using an Edible Health powder then these differences are not significant. As long as you take the supplement at the recommended serving every day, then the efficacy will be the same.
Well, if that’s the case then why create two different products?
It’s a fair question.
If the body is ultimately going to disregard the source or different types of collagen and use it for whatever it needs at the time, then why bother with creating a choice? Because it’s not just our biological needs that matter…
Allergies, ethics and religion - which collagen is best?
Good news - if you’re allergic to fish or fish products then the bovine supplement will be for you.
You don’t eat red meat or red meat derivatives? You’re a pescatarian who eats fish but no other animals? No problems at all; the marine collagen type is the way to go for you.
And some religions prohibit the consumption of any part of the cow, which therefore makes the marine supplement an acceptable alternative.
Which one tastes and smells better?
This question is totally subjective and it’s a shame we can’t demonstrate over the internet! At least, not yet…!
But regardless the good news is that when it comes to marine collagen vs bovine collagen, both smell and taste are hardly noticeable in either product. That said everyone is different and some people might experience a slight taste or smell from either product.
However, when mixed in smoothies, juices, soups, coffee, stews, salad dressings or even pre-mixed shots, there should be no taste at all!
Bovine collagen vs marine collagen - sustainability
Importantly, we source both our marine and bovine supplements from materials that are by-products from the already established fish and cattle industries. Using fish skin and cattle hides that were to be discarded helps reduce waste and environmental impact.
Our Edible Health marine product relies mainly on the Tilapia and Pangasius species, due to their higher collagen content. We use fish skins from farms in Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Iceland, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan.
Granted sometimes the precise species might differ pending availability, but all our farms are registered by the EU. All fish on these registered farms are fit for human consumption, something official vets guarantee by way of health certificates. Moreover, the product is certified not to contain carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic components.
Our bovine supplement comes from cows mainly farmed in Europe. As is the case with our fish, the cows are under official veterinary control and managed according to international regulations. They are all deemed fit for human consumption and free from BSE, hormones, antibiotics, toxins and heavy metals.
Which one costs more?
OK, when it comes to bovine collagen vs marine collagen, there is one clear difference!
Raw material for the marine supplement is over double the cost of its counterpart, so bovine is cheaper to buy.
Marine collagen vs bovine collagen - both are best!
So the marine collagen vs bovine collagen verdict is in! Aside from any personal, dietary or religious preferences, the only real varying factor here is cost.
As long as you choose a high-quality product that is:
- Fully certified
- From a trustworthy company
… then taking marine or bovine makes no difference to efficacy. Whatever choice you make, the outcome will be the same for your body.
Take collagen daily
Persistency and consistency are key to success. So take the recommended serving daily for optimum benefits.
Marine v bovine collagen summary points:
- When it comes to Edible Health Bovine and Marine collagen, one is not better than the other. They are equal in terms of quality and efficacy
- Bovine collagen is made of sustainable cow hide
- Marine collagen is made of sustainable fish skin
- The raw material of marine collagen means that it is more expensive than bovine. This is the only significant difference
- The reason we have created both is because we want to give our customers options. Some people don't eat, like or are not able to eat meat for religious/ethical reasons, in which case marine is best for them. Some people are allergic to or do not like fish, in which case bovine is best for them
- Edible Health is all about providing as much lifestyle flexibility and choice as we can for our customers
- We shouldn't ask the question of which is better, marine or bovine. Instead, we should ask the question of which brand provides the best product
- Edible Health Bovine and Marine Collagen are both 100% pure and contain collagen that is 100% certified Halal, Kosher and free from antibiotics, heavy metals, BSE, steroids and hormones, and have no gluten, dairy, sugar or soy containing ingredients, or any ingredients that are WADA prohibited.
The information we have provided herewith, and all linked materials, are not intended nor should they be construed as medical advice. Moreover, the information herewith should not be used as a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions and consult your General Practitioner for advice specific for you.