Many of us are looking for ways to improve our health and well-being. Good health is essential for a full, rich life. Whilst, there seems to be all sorts of recommendations to alter your diet and lifestyle to improve all facets of health, it’s the small, consistent changes that seem to make the largest difference to our long-term well-being.
Collagen supplements are an easy, inexpensive way to support the body and drastically improve different aspects of our overall wellness. Marine collagen, in particular, can offer a large number of benefits when it’s added into our regular routines.
What is Marine Collagen?
Marine collagen, at its basic level, is collagen derived from fish. Generally, fish skin and/or fish scales are used to produce it. Once the collagen protein is extracted from the fish products, it goes through an additional process called hydrolysis. This process breaks down the collagen proteins into even smaller units of protein called collagen peptides. These peptides are more easily digestible for the human body, meaning faster and greater benefits! They’re also easier to add to your hot or cold liquids or foods because the smaller molecules dissolve much more quickly and easily. They also leave no taste or smell!
Similarly, to bovine collagen (collagen from cows), marine collagen isn’t just absorbed and delivered as extra “collagen” to the body. Consuming collagen peptides actually stimulates the body to produce little cells called fibroblasts, and these fibroblasts are what help the body to make collagen. In addition, our digestive system will also take the marine collagen peptides and break them down into individual amino acids, which are then taken in and used by the body where they’re needed most. Marine collagen generally contains 18 different amino acids, but has especially high levels of glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Marine collagen only contains 8 of the 9 essential amino acids, so it isn’t considered a complete protein source. However, this does not impact its effectiveness.
Why Choose Marine Collagen?
Consuming any form of collagen can be beneficial to your health. However, there are some unique marine collagen benefits.
- Marine collagen is rich in both glycine and proline. Glycine and proline are individual amino acids. These particular amino acids are used to perform essential tasks throughout the body. Glycine helps with the building of lean muscle. It also effects the health of the central nervous system and is known to help dispel diabetes by improving glucose tolerance. Proline is essential for collagen synthesis and helps to prevent cell damage from free radicals!
- Marine collagen is sustainable. Fish skin and fish scales are often classed as “waste products” of the fish trade. However, researchers have discovered that using these same waste products in a new way can generate new products with a long list of long-term health benefits. Creating marine collagen this way helps to lower environmental pollution and is sustainable in its creation.
Benefits of Marine Collagen
- Marine collagen has anti-ageing properties. The types of collagen found in marine collagen are the very types of collagen that make up our skin. Supplementing a healthy diet with marine collagen can help to improve and to prevent visible signs of skin ageing. Collagen can help with skin elasticity, skin texture, the appearance of wrinkles and can even hydrate skin due to its hygroscopic (attracts and absorbs water) properties!
- Marine collagen can benefit bone health and bone healing. Marine collagen has recently been touted for its ability to aid the body in its own natural collagen production process. Our natural collagen is essential for bone health!
Studies have found that marine collagen peptides from fish skin could also positively impact bone health by adding to bone density and by bolstering anti-inflammatory properties in people with osteoarthrosis. Marine collagen has also been found to have an impact on natural collagen quality and synthesis.
- Marine collagen can help to achieve more quality sleep. Glycine is the most prevalent amino acid in marine collagen, and glycine can have impressive sleep enhancing benefits! One study found that taking glycine before bed improved sleep significantly in people who struggled with insomnia. Glycine can also help to lower core body temperature which is linked to better sleep.
- Marine collagen can help to keep blood sugar levels stable. The high protein levels in marine collagen can help to keep blood sugars level after consumption, whilst the glycine in marine collagen can also help to control spikes and dips in blood sugar. High glycine levels can also help to prevent type 2 diabetes with low glycine levels being linked to impaired glucose tolerance.
- Marine collagen can heal the gut and promote overall gut health. Our gut microbiomes are delicate ecosystems that can be disturbed by everything from poor diet to stress. Marine collagen contains both glycine and glutamine, which are two amino acids that play an essential role in rebuilding the tissue of our digestive system. Glycine, which has anti-inflammatory properties, can also benefit those who struggle with intestinal inflammation such as IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, Chrons or irritable bowel disease.
- Marine collagen can help with post-workout recovery and muscle building. Creatine is a natural compound which has been proven to help increase muscle mass and improve endurance and athletic performance. Glycine, a main component in marine collagen’s amino acid profile, aids the body’s production of creatine. The antioxidant properties of proline, another amino acid in marine collagen, can help ward off post-workout aches and pains linked to cellular damage.
Marine collagen is also much easier to digest than whey or casein proteins. It doesn’t bother sensitive tummies in the way that traditional dairy-based protein powders can.
- Marine collagen can boost hair and nail growth and strength. As mentioned earlier, marine collagen contains high amounts of proline. This amino acid is an essential part of keratin production. Keratin is what our bodies use to produce more hair! While more research is still pending, a small study, found that high doses of marine collagen increased hair growth rate, volume, and thickness.
Another study determined that patients who consumed collagen on a daily basis for 24 weeks saw their nail health improved, including more growth and less breakage!
Is Marine Collagen Right For You?
Collagen, and specifically marine collagen, is an easy addition to any health and lifestyle routine. Because of its small particle size, its completely tasteless and flavourless, which means you can easily add it to any of your morning, noon or night-time drinks or eats!
Adding Edible Health Marine Collagen Powder to your diet is a small change that could make a big difference to your long-term health!