Is Marine Collagen Better than Bovine Collagen?

Updated July 6, 2021


Collagen is becoming more and more popular in the health and wellness world. Collagen supplements are available at almost every health store, and are even appearing in grocery stores as well. New research supporting the benefits of collagen is appearing all the time, and people are starting to realize just how amazing the supplement really is. Here's why: it can help you achieve glowing skin and improved skin elasticity, strengthened joints and bones, better gut health, assist with your connective tissues, and more. These health benefits address a multitude of issues that can occur both internally and externally. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and it is formed through chains of amino acids that are building blocks. Some of these essential amino acids include glycine and proline. Unfortunately, starting at around age 20, natural collagen production decreases by 1% each year. This means you may encounter issues involving your skin, joints, bones, hair, and nails. Of course, there are countless factors that contribute to the aging process and the aforementioned issues, but collagen does play a large part. One thing that some people may find to be confusing is all of the different varieties and sources of collagen available. The sources include bovine, marine, porcine, and chicken, but bovine and marine are the most popular and most common types for supplements. The varieties include collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, collagen protein, and a few others. They can come as pills or powders, and sometimes liquid shots and gummies. With all these options, it's hard to determine which is best for you. A question some people might have regarding the most popular options is: is marine collagen better than bovine collagen? Read on to find out!

Marine collagen vs. bovine collagen - what is the difference?

The biggest difference between these two collagen supplements is the source. Marine collagen comes from fish, while bovine collagen comes from cows. Bovine is created from cow hides, and marine is made from fish skin and scales. Different sources means they come from different environments as well- one from the land and one from the sea. The environment in which the animals lived can play a role in the quality of the collagen supplement. Another difference is that marine collagen is primarily a Type I collagen, while bovine is typically a mixture of Type I and Type III. Type I helps form our bones, skin, and other tissues. It’s also the most abundant type of collagen found in the human body. It’s the strongest type, meaning it works the most effectively to heal and rebuild in your body. Type III is similar to Type I, and is primarily found in our skin and organs. It’s the second most abundant type of collagen in your body. Both Type I and Type III help with elasticity in the skin and gut support. 

Is marine collagen better for your skin?

Yes! Marine collagen is better for your skin. If you're one of the countless people who have tried different skincare products that don't give you the results you're looking for, your skin issue is likely internal and needs to be addressed through diet and possible collagen supplementation. Marine collagen is well-known as the collagen that helps provide a foundation for strong and glowing skin.

Pros of marine collagen:

The biggest pro of marine collagen is that it is the most bioavailable of all other types of collagen. This means it absorbs more quickly and more easily at 1.5 times faster than other types of collagen. Therefore, there is the potential for you to see results faster. Another pro is that, when wild-caught, it is the cleanest of the available types of collagen. Land animals may have a higher risk of contamination through hormones and disease. As with any dietary supplement, it is extremely important to find the cleanest and best one available, as it will be directly absorbed by your body. Marine collagen that is wild-caught is typically regarded as the safest and best variety. Of course, there are companies that don't produce the best quality products so it's a good idea to do your research and know your product. One of the biggest reasons people take a collagen supplement is to help improve their skin. Whether it be for wrinkles, glowing skin, or better skin elasticity, collagen can be used to help these issues. A pro of marine collagen is that it's the best type to take for skin beautification and strengthening. Similarly, it is regarded as the best collagen for medicinal uses, such as wound healing. Another pro of marine collagen is that it is pescatarian friendly, and safe to consume for those who cannot have meat products for any reason. This makes it an overall great option for anyone, with the exception of vegans and those with fish allergies. An important pro is that marine collagen production (when ethically sourced) is better for the environment. Parts of the fish that would otherwise be thrown away are instead used for making supplements. Lastly, another pro is that there is no fishy taste or smell, and it easily blends into smoothies, water, coffee, and pretty much anything else. 

Pros of bovine collagen:

One benefit of bovine collagen is that it is cost effective. It is cheaper than marine collagen, and is a popular item at health food stores and grocery stores. This means it is readily available and easy to find. Another benefit is that you can take it if you can't have fish for any reason. In this case, it is a good alternative to marine collagen. If you are taking collagen for joint pain, bovine may be a better option for you as well. It's important that you choose grass-fed collagen, if you decide to take the bovine variety. As we already discussed, land animals do have a higher tendency for contamination, so make sure the product you buy is the cleanest available. 

Which is better?

In terms of quality and bioavailability, marine collagen is better. It will still help your joint health like bovine, but will also help with skin issues, bone health, anti-aging, and more. They both have the potential to help heal your gut lining. If you can take marine collagen, it is definitely the best place to start when it comes to supplements. The type of collagen you take does matter. Whether it's collagen powder, bone broth, or one of our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars, know your product! Our bars contain 8 grams of wild-caught marine collagen, and 11-13 grams of protein. They contain other beauty boosting ingredients to help boost the production of collagen, such as sweet potatoes, and cocoa butter. Not only do you get the benefits of collagen, but the other ingredients are all clean and formulated to increase your energy and keep you full.



These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.


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In a consumer study, 96% of women saw an improvement in the texture of their skin.