Is Marine Collagen Better than Bovine Collagen?

Updated September 28, 2021

Obviously you know we here at Kalumi LOVE collagen. And 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 Collagen is the Queen of our world: 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. You can find it almost anywhere, including your bones, tendons, joints, internal organs, and of course, your skin. 

Unfortunately, starting at around age 20, natural collagen production decreases by 1% each year. I know right, seriously? As if we don’t have enough to worry about once we turn 20. 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. 

This is because collagen is what keeps your skin looking plump, youthful, and strong. Without collagen, our skin starts to droop and sag, we will see more fine lines and wrinkles. Oh no… I mean aging is totally normal but we want to age gracefully, right!?

One thing that some people may find to be confusing is all of the different varieties and sources of collagen available. There are so many different types and forms of collagen, it can honestly be overwhelming at times. 

The sources include bovine, marine, porcine, and chicken, but bovine and marine are the most popular and most common types when it comes to 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 mean they come from different environments as well—one environment being the land and one environment being the sea.The environment in which the animals lived can play a role in the quality of the collagen supplement. 

Ok don’t have a cow but…. cows (the source of bovine collagen) are raised on farms. Many times, the conditions are not ideal, and can be dirty. If you don’t carefully pay attention to where your sources are coming from, you could end up consuming collagen from cows that have been treated with antibiotics or contaminated feed. 

Fish (the source of our marine collagen), on the other hand, come from open water sources. As long as your marine collagen doesn’t come from farm-raised fish (yes, brands actually try to trick you by using farm-raised!), you can expect your source to be much cleaner than bovine collagen. Wild-caught fish are taken from their natural habitat, where there are no antibiotics or food additives. 

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 collagen is the most abundant type of collagen found in the human body. It’s also the strongest type, meaning it works the most effectively to heal and rebuild in your body. Type I helps form our bones, skin, and other tissues. Type III is the second most abundant type of collagen in your body. 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. 

Type I collagen is the best type of collagen for you to consume. There is the most research supporting Type I, your body relies the most on Type 1, and it is the key element of various structures within your body. 

Is marine collagen better for your skin?

Yes! Marine collagen is better for your skin. This is why you will only ever find marine collagen in our products.  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. 


Studies show that marine collagen actually works to improve the texture of your skin, your elasticity, the moisture in your skin, and your biological age (i.e. helping with wrinkles and fine lines). 

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 helps digest more quickly and more easily at 1.5 times faster than other types of collagen. Another pro is that, when wild-caught, it is the cleanest of the available types of collagen.

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, marine collagen is 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. 

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.

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, but this is also because it is more cheaply made. When it comes to collagen, a cheaper product might be good for the wallet, but not so great for your body. 

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. 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, sustainability and bioavailability, marine collagen is better. It can help your joint health like bovine, in addition to helping support those with skin issues, anti-aging, bone health, 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. 

Whether it's collagen powder, bone broth, or one of our Kalumi bars, know your product! Our bars contain eight grams of sustainably wild-caught marine collagen, and 11-13 grams of protein. Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars are formulated with other beauty-boosting ingredients such as sweet potatoes and cocoa butter. 

Our Kalumi bars offer a delicious and convenient way to get your collagen intake. Plus, they have MCT oil and cocoa butter for quality fats. All four of our flavors are gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO. Talk about a major win for your skin (and body)!


At the end of the day, you know your body best. This is true for everything in life. There’s no one better fit to determine what works best for you, then, well YOU! The same applies to supplements and diet. 

Our motto is to eat things that make you feel good and actually deliver powerful results. Based on the research and evidence we shared with you, we feel confident in saying that marine collagen is the best choice in terms of collagen options, but especially when compared to bovine collagen. 

We’re totally not about knocking something and saying it is ‘bad’ for you; because any collagen is probably better than no collagen! But the truth is, isn’t it worth the extra investment to feed your body the best you can, and consuming a collagen that considers environment and quality first over what’s cheaper?

When you’re ready to try marine collagen for yourself, don’t forget, our bars and powder are two amazing options! We can’t wait to hear which flavor bar you like best.



Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature | NCBI

L-Glutamate supplementation improves small intestinal architecture and enhances the expressions of jejunal mucosa amino acid receptors and transporters in weaning piglets | NCBI

An Overview of the Beneficial Effects of Hydrolysed Collagen as a Nutraceutical on Skin Properties: Scientific Background and Clinical Studies | Open Nutraceuticals Journal

Enhancing Skin Health: By Oral Administration of Natural Compounds and Minerals with Implications to the Dermal Microbiome | NCBI 

Skin Anti Aging and Systemic Redox Effects of Supplementation with Marine Collagen Peptides and Plant-Derived Antioxidants: A Single-Blind Case-Control Clinical Study | NCBI Type I Collagen - an overview | Science Direct

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