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The Truth About Marine Collagen

by: Better Not Younger November 17, 2021 6 min read

Better Not Younger features a senior woman pulling her face skin to show skin slasticity and softness due to marine collagen ingestion.

Head down any supplement aisle these days and the collagen supplement offerings are overwhelming to say the least. You have your powders and pills, bars and beauty gummies, even collagen-infused waters and shots. 

But your choices don’t stop there—some are sourced from bovine collagen (that’s cow), others from marine collagen (that’s fish) and others still from porcine collagen, otherwise known as pig. And did we mention there are 28 different types of collagen? That being said, only 3 of them (types I, II, III) are the true influencers of firm, glowing skin and stronger, healthier-looking hair. Even so, there’s still a bunch of confusion out there about which types are found in bovine collagen vs marine collagen vs porcine collagen. 

So before we dive into the details about marine collagen, let’s set the record straight: Cow, fish or pig, the source of collagen doesn’t dictate the collagen type. Bovine collagen, marine collagen and porcine collagen are all composed of the same amino acid building blocks and contain types I, II and III, though each collagen source has different amounts of each type. For example, marine collagen tends to have higher amounts of types I and III while bovine collagen tends to have higher levels of type II. What’s important to keep in mind is that not all supplements will contain all types and each supplement will have varying ratios of different types. This all depends on the processing method, which is at the discretion of those formulating the supplements. 

Now that we cleared that up, let’s take a closer look at this superstar protein.

 

What Is Collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the animal world and it’s naturally found in your body. It’s an important part of your skin, bones, muscles, teeth and just about every last piece of your body. It’s an important substance in tendons and ligaments and functions as the connector between everything. And when it comes to your skin​​—and this includes your scalp—collagen is what provides its elasticity and helps it retain water to stay plump and hydrated, which can provide youth-boosting benefits all around. 

As you age, your body’s production of its own collagen decreases. This begins as early as your 20s but we really only begin to see the effects in our 40s and beyond. This translates to looser skin, less water retention, drier skin and less plumpness.

Options to boost collagen to help support smoother skin, including the skin on your scalp, include topical products that help with water retention to plump and hydrate skin while functioning as an emollient and collagen supplements for wrinkles, which provide collagen that can break down into amino acid building blocks to be used by the body. When skin has more collagen, it’s healthier (this means it’s plumper, more elastic and has a healthier skin barrier) and if your scalp is healthier, your aging hair is likely to not thin quite so quickly. But not all collagen types are created equal, so here’s what you need to know about the different varieties—and marine collagen specifically.

 

Collagen Types I, II and III

Type I collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies (making up about 90% of our collagen) and it’s found in skin, tendons, ligaments and bones. 

Type II collagen is most abundant in cartilage and is known for cushioning joints. 

Type III collagen provides structure to connective tissues such as blood vessels, intestinal walls and skin. 

 

What Is Marine Collagen?

Like the name suggests, marine collagen peptides come from fish, whether it’s wild caught or sustainably raised. The collagen peptides—which are broken down to be absorbed by the body—are sourced from the skin of the fish and used in a wide variety of collagen products, including collagen supplements for wrinkles and our oral supplements for skin health, Power Within Skin & Scalp Collagen Gummies. These gummies, made with marine collagen I and III, are designed to boost your body’s collagen levels for optimal skin, scalp and hair elasticity, suppleness and health. 

Marine collagen is much like the collagen you already have in your body, in that it’s a gelatinous substance that provides elasticity and connects everything together. After it’s sourced from the fish, it’s put through an enzymatic hydrolysis process to turn it into the proper substance that can be used by people like yourself who are looking to add more collagen into their bodies. 

So why did we decide to use marine collagen in types I and III for our Power Within Collagen Gummies? Marine collagen type I is what is the most similar to the collagen in your body—that elastic substance that keeps skin taut and smooth. Marine collagen type III is often used in conjunction with type I because it aids in increasing skin elasticity. This marine collagen is also often found in muscles and blood vessels—both of which can help improve skin as you age.

 

What Does Marine Collagen Do?

Like any collagen, marine collagen supports elasticity in your skin. But beyond just helping to smooth out wrinkles, it also adds hydration and makes skin healthier—and that means all your skin, including your scalp. When you use marine collagen for your scalp, like with our collagen gummies, it helps bolster the skin by adding moisture and protecting it from free radicals. Free radicals are toxins from the environment that can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. The collagen aids in keeping the scalp skin healthier, which also can keep your hair thicker as you age. 

Studies have also linked collagen supplements to stronger hair and nails, concluding that collagen supplements—including marine collagen—could stimulate hair growth in addition to helping keep hair thick and healthy.

 

How Does Bovine Collagen Differ from Marine Collagen?

While marine collagen is made from fish, bovine collagen is made from cows. Bovine collagen is probably the most prevalent collagen in the marketplace, though the self-care industry has been expanding to include other sources of collagen. While bovine collagen peptides include collagen types I, II and III, they have a greater amount of type II than marine collagen because they’re coming from a larger animal, compared to marine collagen, which tends to come from fish skin. Bovine peptides benefits include decreasing bone loss and helping with skin elasticity, though marine collagen helps with skin elasticity, too.

 

Is Marine Collagen Better Than Bovine Collagen?

As we mentioned above, when comparing marine collagen peptides to bovine peptides benefits, they’re truly much the same—both are hugely important to boosting skin elasticity and improving hair health. Research has shown, however, that bovine collagen tends to be more beneficial in muscles and bones and marine collagen tends to be more beneficial for joints.

Marine collagen is much newer in the market and is largely appealing to consumers who don’t want cow or pig products, whether that’s for religious or ethical reasons. Additionally, marine collagen supports a more sustainable process for collagen extraction and has a reduced environmental impact. A recent study also showed that the bioavailability of marine collagen (the degree and rate at which it’s absorbed) is a bit higher than bovine collagen because of the molecular size.

 

How to Use Marine Collagen for Hair

For an extra collagen boost, start by taking Better Not Younger’s oral supplements for skin health because it also benefits your hair. Remember, hair health starts with a healthy scalp and since your scalp is skin, it gets to enjoy all the skin benefits we just discussed. These gummies will supplement the collagen you’re losing as you age—which is essential for fighting follicle damage and fortifying the scalp and hair follicles—so your hair can stay thick and healthy.

In addition to your added collagen, you still want to take care of your scalp and strands in other ways, so make sure you’re using a scalp fortifying serum that will keep your scalp healthy and your hair strong. Use a scalp massager to work it in and sit back and admire how luscious your hair looks! 

Tell Us: Are you taking a collagen supplement for your hair or skin? Share in the comments below! 

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