5 Benefits Of Marine Collagen

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Carla Oates The Beauty Chef Founder

What is marine collagen? And should you be taking it? Here, we explain everything you need to know about marine collagen supplements—plus, why this ingredient is so beneficial to your health.

Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the human body. It has a fiber-like structure and is found in connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage. Importantly, collagen also plays a role in strengthening your skin. You know how when you’re young, your skin has a youthful bounce? You can thank collagen for that.

Unfortunately, once we hit our mid-20s, our collagen production starts to decline—and that’s why taking a collagen supplement is a simple and convenient way to include more collagen in your diet. 

There are two types of collagen on the market: bovine collagen (derived from the hides and hooves of cattle) and marine collagen (derived from the skin of fish).

What Is Marine Collagen?

Marine collagen is derived from fish skin and scales. It’s important to note that not all marine collagen is created equal. Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified collagen is comprised of wild-caught fish, ensuring that the surrounding environment is unharmed.

You’ll notice that most collagen supplements contain “hydrolysed collagen”. Put simply, this refers to the process used to obtain the collagen peptides found in the product. In marine collagen, this means that the collagen has been broken down into peptides (AKA smaller units of protein) so that it is more easily absorbed by the body.

What Does Marine Collagen Do For Your Body?

Incorporating a marine collagen supplement into your wellness routine is a simple-yet-convenient way to boost your daily intake. This is particularly useful if you don’t eat a lot of collagen-rich foods or the amino acids required to help build and preserve your own collagen stores.

Health Benefits Of Marine Collagen: 

1. It Helps Improve Skin Elasticity And Hydration 

Think of a collagen supplement as an ingestible addition to your skincare routine. It can act as an antioxidant to help counteract the damaging effects of free radicals.

A 2019 review of 11 studies saw an improvement in skin elasticity and hydration in women who took 3-10 grams of collagen per day for an average of 69 days.

“The beauty and skin health benefits of collagen are undeniable—which is why at The Beauty Chef we have always promoted a diet rich in gut and skin-loving amino acids—as lack of collagen contributes to fine lines, wrinkles and reduced skin hydration,” says The Beauty Chef founder Carla Oates. “This is why it’s such an essential nutrient to consume regularly to help fight the effects of ageing and support plump, firm skin.”

2. It Supports Gut Health

Marine or fish collagen supplements can support gut health, thanks to the ingredient’s amino acid content.

These amino acids—including proline, glycine and glutamine—help to strengthen and rebuild the delicate lining of our digestive tract. We know that foods rich in amino acids can also have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. It’s beneficial to include an abundance of amino-acid rich foods—like marine collagen, bone broth, animal protein, eggs and dairy—in our diet regularly.

3. It Supports Joint And Bone Health

Collagen is essential for maintaining the integrity of your cartilage and bone strength. This means that as our body’s natural collagen levels start to decline, we can become more susceptible to joint pain and low bone density.

Research has shown that taking a collagen supplement can help support joint and bone health. One 2019 review of five studies found that participants with osteoarthritis who took 10 grams of collagen per day for 24 weeks saw an improvement in joint pain and stiffness. Similarly, a 2018 study of 66 women who took collagen daily for 12 months found that the supplement led to an increase of up to 7% in their bone density.

4. It Promotes Stronger, Healthier Hair

Did you know that your hair is mostly composed of the protein keratin? 

As mentioned earlier, collagen is a source of amino acids, including proline. As it turns out, proline is also the main component of keratin—this means that if your hair isn’t as healthy as it could be, consuming a diet rich in proline could provide your body with the essentials to promote stronger hair.

5. It Encourages Lean Muscle Growth

Collagen is an important component of our body’s muscle mass—in fact, up to 10% of muscle tissue is composed of collagen.

If you’re interested in growing stronger and increasing your muscle mass, research suggests that supplementing your diet with collagen protein could help. A 2015 study found that taking collagen daily could stimulate muscle growth after exercise. Eating a balanced diet filled with protein-rich foods is especially important for maintaining muscle tissue as we get older.

As you can see, marine collagen benefits are far-reaching. One of the tastiest ways to up your intake? Via this Avocado, Mint & Berry Collagen Smoothie. Bon appétit.