Collagen is one of the most abundant and important structural proteins that constitute a significant portion of our body, more specifically our bodily tissues. It is responsible for providing strength and support to the tissues as well as our bones, tendons, muscles, cartilages and blood vessels.
It also forms a major part of our skin tissues and is responsible for providing elasticity and firmness to our skin.
However, as we age, our body stops producing as much collagen as a result of which the presence of collagen in our body reduces in amount. This essentially causes the protein to break down leading to the collapse of a certain dermal tissue of our skin. This, in turn, causes wrinkles and sagging of the skin.
Further loss of collagen leads to weak bones, stiff joints and thinning hair as well.
These issues can very well be fixed with the help of regular and timely intake of collagen or protein infused foods, or collage supplements. In fact, a good share of the Canadian population currently invests in a special category of cosmetics known as nutricosmetics as well as collagen tablets and drinks in an attempt to restore their collagen levels and regain skin and gut health. This has made collagen one of the most popular nutricosmetic ingredients in the world.
For many of these consumers through a doubt in their minds remains as to what kind of collagen to consume. Most collagen supplements contain two major types of collagen; bovine and marine. According to Dr. Lester Heisenberg of Yes Wellness, it is important to know the difference between the two in order to determine what’s best for you.
Bovine vs. Marine Collagen
Bovine collagen or beef collagen is basically sourced from cows. It is the kind that is mostly found in supplements.
On the other hand Marine collagen is mainly sourced from fish skin and scales and it is a relatively new kind to be introduced into the market.
Bovine collagen consists of type 1 and types 3 of collagen, both of which are responsible for the maintenance and repair of bone health, ligaments, tendons as well as skin. They are particularly rich in proline and glycine; two amino acids that carry an array of benefits like reducing fatigue and repairing any damage caused by exposure to the sun.
For the same reason, consumption of bovine collagen essentially helps to reduce joint pain, improving gut health and increase our overall muscle strength. Bovine collagen is also consumed by athletes and bodybuilders for better recovery from workout sessions.
Marine collagen mainly consists of type 1 collagen only. Additionally, the peptide molecules present in them are also smaller in size than those of bovine collagen. This makes them easier to be absorbed by the body.
They essentially provide the necessary amino acids for the development, strength and overall health of the connective tissues in the body. They are specifically abundant in a particular amino acid called hydroxyproline which is one of the main constitutive elements of our skin, walls of blood vessels and connective tissues.
For all these reasons, marine collagen is mainly consumed for reduction of wrinkles on the skin and improvement of skin elasticity. As it contains plenty of antioxidants, they help prevent exposure to free radicals and thus protect the skin from damage relating to ageing. On the whole, they improve the health of the skin and enhance skin texture with proper hydration and protection from photo ageing as well.
Which collagen should you take?
Bovine collagen is fairly easy to obtain as it is sourced from beef. If you have any allergic issues or intolerances related to fish or shellfish in particular, bovine collagen would be the best choice for you. Apart from that, if you have joint issues or low muscle strength, including rheumatoid arthritis, then you could consider consuming bovine collagen as it can help reduce pain and make movements much smoother.
People with digestive and gut issues can also purchase bovine collagen supplements or consume bovine collagen-rich foods.
Marine collagen, being sourced from cold water fish like salmon, has a very high level of bioavailability which means a large portion of the nutrient is available to be absorbed by the body. It also has a higher level of absorbency which makes it enter the bloodstream quite easily and in turn give quicker results. If you are struggling with ageing and wrinkled skin, or other similar skin issues like sun spots, then marine collagen is what you should be turning to.
You can easily assess your main issues and decide what kind of collagen to consume. If you already have health conditions like diabetes, make sure you consult your nutritionist or physician before making the decision. Regarding skin conditions, it is best not to experiment with the so-called collagen-rich nutricosmetics, especially if you have sensitive skin.