Sign up for exclusive offers, plus tips and tricks to more youthful looking skin.

What is the Difference Between Bovine and Marine Collagen?


One of the most popular supplements on the market right now is collagen. It’s built a reputation for being great for your skin and hair. But, did you know that it is actually one of the most abundant proteins in your body?

If you’ve seen collagen peptides in your local supermarket, you may be wondering how it will benefit you and if you should add it to your daily regimen. Keep reading to discover the types of collagen you should look out for and it’s many benefits.


Differences Between Bovine and Marine Collagen?


One of the most important nutrients in your body is protein. Without it, your body will suffer and your health will deteriorate. It’s necessary for your bones, organs, tendons, as well as hormones.

Collagen is the most plentiful protein in your body and plays a significant role in your body. While there are around 16 types of collagen found within your body, there are four main types:

Type 1: This makes up the majority of your collagen and it made of dense fibers. It gives structure to your bones, cartilage, connective tissue, and tendons.

Type 2: The fibers are looser with type 2 and it found in your cartilage.

Type 3: Your organs, arteries, and muscles get their structure from this type of collagen.

Type 4: This is primarily found in your skin and it helps with filtration.

As you get older, you start producing less collagen. Also, eating excess sugar and too much sun exposure can help exacerbate collagen breakdown. But luckily, there are supplements on the market to help you increase your collagen levels in your diet.

However, as you search through brand after brand, you may notice that there are different types of collagen on the market, mainly bovine collagen vs marinecollagen. You may be wondering what’s the difference?

Below, you find out about the difference between collagen from beef and collagen from marine animals, as well as the pros and cons of both.

What is Bovine Collagen?

This collagen is sourced from beef and is the most common version of collagen found on the market. It is made from beef bones, skin, and muscles and is abundant in types 1 and types 3 collagen. This type of collagen is also full of amino acids which are necessary for the body to create its own versions of these collagens.

While choosing this collagen, you will likely have the option to purchase one that is made from grass-fed cows. Most of this collagen will come from countries that have a long history of producing grass-fed cattle. This type of collagen is superior because these cows have not been given artificial growth hormones and too many antibiotics. 

bovine vs marine collagen

Hydrolyzed or Gelatin

When looking for a collagen made from beef, the two types on the market will be hydrolyzed or gelatin. While they are both equally abundant amino acids, they are different in structure and reaction to liquids.

Hydrolyzed Collagen:

Created through hydrolysis, hydrolyzed collagen is gelatin that has been broken down into smaller proteins. Because the proteins are smaller, it is easy to dissolve in liquid, whether hot or cold. Also, you can easily add it to other foods, such as oatmeal or smoothies. Lastly, another benefit to consuming hydrolyzed collagen is that it’s easier to digest due to its smaller proteins. As a result, it may be easier for your body to extract amino acids for later use.


The protein in gelatin is larger so it may be harder to digest. For some, this means that you may bloat after consuming it. However, because it does turn liquids to gel, this form is great if you want to thicken up foods or create gummy supplements.

What are the Differences Between Bovine and Marine Collagen?

Improves Gut health

There are several ways that beef collagen is benefical to your gut. Because it is so full of amino acids, it is beneficial to your gastrointestinal system. Collagen has the ability to reginerate your stomach lining because it is made up of the same cells that line your gut. This is beneficial for those who suffer from leaky gut syndrome or frequent ulcers.

Because collagen contains glycine and glutamine, there are several other benefits that it can offer you for your gut health. Your intestines use glutamine as a source of fuel and when you become deficient, you can begin to develop irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. Increasing your intake of collage will not only help to reduce the symptoms of IBS but also help with digesting foods properly.

Assists with muscle recovery

If you enjoy working out or if you are an athelete, you should consider adding collagen to your daily regimen. Beef collagen helps to repair muscle tissue and rebuild loss muscle mass. It’s very high in protein which is necessary for muscle function and gaining strength.

Improves Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping at night? If you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, consider taking collagen supplements as a sleep aid.

How does beef collagen promote sleep? It contains glycine which affects the neurotransmitters in your brain. Studies have shown that those who consume glycine have increased productivity during the day and experience deep, healthy sleep at night.

Reduces joint pain

All of the tissue within your body is connected by collagen. Therefore, increasing your collagen intake could be beneficial for treating joint diseases such as arthritis. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling, alleviating some of the pain and stiffness that comes with moving your joints.

bovine vs marine collagen

Marine Collagen

Unlike collagen produced from beef, marine collagen comes from fish and marine animals. This type of collagen is fairly new on the market, although this type of collagen has always been consumed though soups and stews.

It is created similary to beef collagen – parts of the fish that are normally discarded are broken down and then hydrolyzed into an easily consumable supplement. It is a sustainable method and has little negative impact on the environement.

Collagen from fish is also rich in amino acids, particularly hydroxyproline. This amino acid is necessary for skin, blood vessels, and connective tissue. However, unlike beef collagen, it is primarily type 1 collagen. This means that its molecules are much smaller, making them easier to absorb.

Benefits of Marine Collagen 

Similarly to its bovine counterpart, this collagen offers many benefits to the body. Some of its benefits include:

Decreases Aging in Skin

As you get older, you will start to notice wrinkles and sagging in your skin. This is due to a decline in the quality of collagen that our skin is producing. To combat this, you should consider taking fish collagen supplements because it contains type 1 collagen, the same kind that’s in your skin.

Taking fish collagen will increase elasticity of your skin and thicken the epidermis layer of your skin. This will result in healthier, hydrated skin, fewer wrinkles, and sagging.

Improves bone strength

If you have weak bones, consider taking collagen to improve your bone strength. It provides two important benefits to your bones.

Fish collagen promotes your bones to grow and heal. Taking these supplements can increase the size of your bones because it increases your bone’s mineral density. As a result, it is useful for bone regeneration and healing.

Also, it improves not only the amount of bone tissue but also the quality of it. The structure of your bones determine its strength and durability. While your bone is made of minerals like calcium and phosphate, the rest is made of water and collagen, making it similar to scaffolding in your bones.

Stabilizes Blood sugar

If you are a diabetic, you may be looking for ways to lower your blood sugar. You should consult with your doctor to see if adding collagen in your diet will be beneficial.

Similar to aging, diabetes reduces your collagen production when sugar molecules begin attaching themselves to your collagen and inhibiting their function.

Collagen contains glycine and once your collagen and glycine levels start to decrease, studies have shown that it can result in glucose intolerance. From this, you can conclude that when your glycine levels drop, you have increased risk of developing type diabetes 2 and high blood sugar. To fight this, consider taking more collagen supplements to level your blood sugar levels.

Protects against free radicals 

Two amino acids found in fish collagen, proline and clycine, contain anti-oxidant properties. This allows them to combat cell damage by protecting against free radicals in your skin. As a result, proline will promote healthy skin and healing within cells. This is particularly beneficial for those who have damaged skin due to excessive UV exposure.


Regardless of whether your collagen is sourced from beef or fish, you can be sure that it will have many health benefits. Both will keep your body strong but choosing which one to get will be based on your needs and preferences.

People who are taking collagen to improve skin or those who don’t eat beef should consider getting fish collagen. However, beef collagen is just as beneficial for improving heart and gut health. Either way, both are a good choice and you should consider adding collagen to your daily routine.