There’s a lot of collagen on the market these days, but it can be hard to know which is the best source for your needs. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, however after the age of 25 our bodies start to produce less collagen naturally every year. Since collagen is the major building block of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments taking a collagen supplement can help repair and renew these important parts of our body in order to keep us active.
So, what’s the difference?
The best source of type 1 collagen. Type 1 is the most plentiful collagen in our bodies. High quality marine collagen powders are hydrolyzed, meaning they are broken up into smaller peptides that are easier for our bodies to use. But the biggest benefit to marine collagen is its superior bioavailability to other types of collagen. Bioavailability refers to the body’s ability to quickly absorb and activate the collagen, producing optimal results.
Don’t forget to check the label. Marine collagen has become a bit of a blanket term to describe collagen from any ocean source, which includes a wide array of aquatic life, even sharks.
Another issue is that much of the fish collagen on the market is not sustainably-sourced and comes from farmed fish from South East Asia. The scales of this fish are large and tough and so need lots of additives such as hydrochloric acid to break them down.
Cofo Provisions uses only USA (Alaskan) wild caught fish (pollock and cod) from a Marine Stewardship Approved fishery, with no additives.
Bovine collagen comes from cattle and is extracted from the hides and hooves of the animals and undergoes a very similar manufacturing process to marine collagen. However, most of the collagen is not sourced from ‘grass-fed’ sources and cannot guarantee a humane or natural raising of the animal.
Bovine collagen provides type 1 and type 3 collagen which also benefit your bones and joints but is not as bioavailable due to the larger nature of the molecular structure of the collagen that is broken down and hydrolyzed, making it harder for the body to absorb.
Again, check the label. Make sure the label states that it’s ‘grass-fed’ bovine. You always need to consider the source when choosing collagen. Grass-fed refers to how the animals were raised, as opposed to feed lot (or grain fed) animals.
So, when it comes to types of collagen like marine collagen or bovine collagen, it boils down to your own personal choice and your main motivation for taking collagen. We at Cofo believe in sustainability; we care deeply about where our food or supplements come from, so we consciously look for labels that reflect our values. Bioavailability is also a key factor in choosing collagen, in which case marine collagen would be best.