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Bovine Collagen vs Marine Collagen

Jun 14, 2014 | 2 min read
Bovine Collagen vs Marine Collagen

What is collagen?

Collagen makes up almost one third of the thousands of different types of proteins that exist in our body.  It is a major structural protein which gives strength and support to body tissues including skin, bone, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels.

Why would you consider taking a collagen supplement?

International studies on collagen in the body have shown that up until our early 20's we still synthesise collagen in the body, however past the age of approximately 25 this begins to decline.

Supplementation with high quality collagen promotes collagen synthesis in the body and helps to restore our collagen to its former state.  Because collagen is important for skin elasticity many people choose to take a collagen supplement to help nourish the skin and combat the effects of ageing. 

Different sources of collagen

Collagen is found throughout the animal kingdom in mammals including man, birds and fish.  Collagen is not found in plant species.

Collagen is normally taken from the skin or tendons of the source and is classified into 3 different types:

  • Skin contains Type I and Type III
  • Tendon contains only Type I
  • Cartilage contains Type II collagen

Cosmetic Use

Because our skin contains predominantly Type I and Type III collagen these are predominantly used for cosmetic purposes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Type II collagen has been used in scientific studies for rheumatoid arthritis and has been shown to improve symptoms.

Bovine (and porcine) collagen is cheaper

Bovine collagen is sourced from cows and porcine collagen is sourced from pigs. It is cheaper to extract therefore is very commonly used in many cosmetics.  It is believed that up to 3% of people are allergic to bovine collagen but porcine collagen is more similar to human collagen so allergies are less common.

Fish (marine) collagen has superior bioavailability.

Marine collagen is extracted from cold water fish  - typically something like salmon. Fish collagen is absorbed up to 1.5 times more efficiently into the body which means it has superior bioavailability over bovine or porcine types. This is due to its smaller particle size compared to other types of collagen. The smaller particle size allows an easier and faster uptake and transportation of the collagen peptides to the skin, bones and joints for the synthesis of new collagen. Because it is absorbed more efficiently and enters the bloodstream more quickly it is considered the best source for your skin. It is refined to remove any fishy smells but while retaining its nutritional profile.

Other supplements for skin anti-ageing

Whilst collagen has a well documented history for cosmic purposes and is very widely used, more recently hyaluronic acid has emerged and is now often considered superior for helping to prevent skin ageing, 

Buy Marine Collagen Supplements

Just Vitamins sells a high quality 400mg Marine Collagen supplement which you can buy online here.
All orders are eligable for free standard UK Delivery.

Other blog posts on this subject


Apr 9, 2017
I really found your explanations to my question accurate and helpful. Thank you
Jun 27, 2017
I am interested to know why and how fish collagen is absorbed 1.5 times better than bovine collagen. Please froward me any information you may have. Thank you, looking forward to your reply.
Replied to on: Jul 11, 2017
Hi Angela,
Fish collagen’s ability to be more easily absorbed by our bodies is thanks to its lower molecular weight and size, which allows the collagen to be absorbed at a higher level through the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body.
I hope that answers your question?
Just Vitamins
Aug 15, 2017
Please tell me why would we buy Fish Collagen as compare to fish oil I read the other day that some of the products that go into fish oil is not that wonderful .Iam willing to try the collagen if it will improve my wrinkled skin any assistance would be appreciated thankyou Joanne
Replied to on: Aug 31, 2017
Hi Joanne,

Fish Oils are very different to Collagen. Fish oils are believed to help preserve collagen in the body, but they do not contain any collagen themselves. Most fish oils should nowadays be very safe, ours are screened for impurities and purified before being encapsulated.

To read more about collagen have a read of this article here:

Please also read our blog article about Hyaluronic Acid which you can find here which I think you will find interesting

I hope this helps answer your question.
Aug 27, 2017
Hi Just Vitamins:) I'd like to add to Angela's question. Can you please provide a reference that supports the statement re fish collagen being absorbed up to 1.5 times more efficiently and having superior bioavailability over bovine? I've been searching all over for a verifiable source for that info. Thanks!
Replied to on: Aug 31, 2017
Hi, the exact verifiable source is admittedly hard to find, however other scientific papers have referenced this fact such as this one here:

Sripriya, R. and Kumar, R. (2015) A Novel Enzymatic Method for Preparation and Characterization of Collagen Film from Swim Bladder of Fish Rohu (Labeo rohita). Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6, 1468-1478.

I hope this is of help to you!
Nov 17, 2017
Very useful information, thanks :)
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