Should You Choose Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen?

Looking to improve your health because a friend recommended it or saw a collagen supplement advertisement? Here's the trouble, finding the best collagen supplement can be hard! Between the many different variations of collagen, one of the most important questions that you'll have to consider is which type to purchase - marine vs bovine based collagen supplements.

In this article, we'll explain the key differences between fish-based and cow-based collagen supplements and give you our recommendation so that you can make a better choice for your body.


What are collagen supplements made from?

Collagen supplements are mainly marine-based (using skin and scales of fish) or bovine-based (using bones and hides of cows). These parts used to be byproducts that were simply discarded. However, thanks to the rapid advancement in science and technology, these byproducts are now known to contain collagen which in turn contains essential amino acids like glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline!


What's the difference in the way they're made?


Collagen hydrolysis


Although they are made from two different sources, the same process of hydrolysis converts them into the white collagen powder that consumers are used to seeing on the market.

For marine sources,

  1. Before extraction, the skins undergo a thorough water bath to ensure that the collagen is clean and any allergens are reduced to insignificant levels.
  2. The collagen is then hydrolyzed using a food-grade acid and then employing food-grade enzymes afterwards to break down the collagen’s molecular weights (measured in Daltons).
  3. Filtering, purification and concentration is then carried out in order to sterilize the collagen peptides.
  4. The collagen peptides are then converted into a final powder form through a spray-drying process.

So which type of collagen should I choose?

Marine collagen supplements is mainly type 1 collagen while Bovine collagen supplements are mainly a mixture of type 1 and type 3 collagen. Type 1 collagen is also the most abundant type of collagen present in our bodies. It has a smaller peptide molecule size than Type 3 as Type 1 collagen is rich in amino acids proline, glycine, and hydroxyproline. Type 3 is only found more abundantly in our intestinal lining than type 1 collagen.


Collagen in our muscles

For most people:

If you want to see faster results like skin hydration and radiance, and tendon repair, the amino acids contained in type 1 marine based collagen would be the better choice. Our skin and tendons contain about 80-90% type 1 collagen compared to only about 10-20% of type 3 collagen.

The higher bioavailability of type 1 collagen peptides also means that marine collagen is absorbed to our skin matrix and tendons 1.5x more efficiently than bovine collagen, allowing the user to physically see the effects of marine collagen on their skin and feel their tendons repairing quicker.


There are a some who will be better off with bovine collagen. If you are someone who is allergic to fish products, then you may want to consider taking bovine collagen instead. Although allergic reactions to fish collagen peptide is rare, you should consult your physician before choosing to consume marine collagen supplements.

If you are specifically looking to improve gut health, the type 3 collagen present in bovine collagen would render it more appropriate between the two.


Which is better for the environment? 

This is more clear cut: Marine collagen! 

Roughly 11.7 million tons of unused fish parts are discarded annually during processing, so using them to make hydrolyzed collagen is environmentally friendly. By helping to use all parts of the fish, marine collagen peptides can be produced sustainably while also reducing waste. On top of that, fish protein in general releases far less greenhouse gas emissions than most meat products. 

While minimizing our impact on the environment is close to our hearts, we also realize bovine collagen may not be everyone’s cup of tea. By choosing fish derived hydrolyzed collagen, we offer a pescatarian option for those who may not consume terrestrial animals. Our hydrolyzed marine collagen is also kosher.


KORYA Collagen only sells pure marine fish based collagen peptide powder supplements made in South Korea.

You can shop our premium hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides here

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