‘Marine’ collagen supplements, made from fish protein, can have a profound impact on your overall health and wellbeing. A plentiful and efficient supply of collagen means that thousands of bodily processes and structures can be completed effectively.
Marine collagen is packed with short proteins called peptides which your body can use to build its own collagen. With crucial parts of your body working at their optimum, you will look and feel great.
What is collagen?
Collagen’s name comes from the Greek words ‘Kolla’ meaning ‘glue’ and ‘gennao’ which means ‘I produce’. ‘Glue producer’ is a great way to think about collagen and its function in your body. Anywhere you need a stretchy, sticky, structural protein you will find collagen.
So far, 28 types of collagen have been identified. Each one has a different structure that matches it perfectly to how it is used in your body. Collagen types I to IV are the most common. Type I makes up nearly 90% of the total collagen in your body.
As you age, your collagen production slows down. At the age of 20, you reach the peak of collagen production, then in your thirties, it begins to decline. This decline is responsible for many of the visible signs of ageing; skin loses elasticity and firmness, skin repair and healing slow down, hair begins to thin, joints and digestive system cease to work as effectively.
Eating collagen doesn’t mean that your body can immediately use it because it is broken down into single amino acids and peptides by your digestive system. Eating food or supplements with high levels of the right amino acids and peptides is the most efficient way to allow your body to increase its collagen levels.
What does Marine Collagen do for your body?
Collagen has been found to provide an incredible range of individual benefits. Together they create an impressive effect which has resulted in thousands of people turning to marine collagen.
The health of your hair, skin and nails and the appearance of ageing, not only show the health of those individual structures; they are often a reflection of your overall health and condition.
The peptides found in marine collagen, specifically support the synthesis of type I and type III collagen. When your body has everything it needs to build collagen proteins, it can increase their production.
While there is lots still to learn about effectively boosting your body’s collagen production, a wide range of studies have been conducted to help us understand what works and what doesn’t.
Skin elasticity and wrinkle reduction
Research designed to investigate the effect of collagen supplements on skin found that regular amounts taken over a period of between 8 to 12 weeks showed a reduction in wrinkle depth, better skin hydration and elasticity.
A study involving oral supplementation of collagen peptides over a 24 week period, found that it improved nail growth and reduced the symptoms of brittle nails. It has also been shown that collagen supplements provide your body with the required building block for thick healthy hair.
So far, there is little evidence to show how collagen supports gut health. However, those who recommend collagen as a means of improving digestion do so because of its role in maintaining healthy, flexible structures.
The function of your gut depends on the effectiveness of its permeable structures. For it to work effectively, the correct molecules must be allowed through membranes while others are kept out. It is believed that collagen proteins support the structures that allow for this permeability.
Many more studies have been conducted into links between collagen and the health of joints and connective tissues. One particular study involved 73 athletes taking 10g of collagen daily for 24 weeks. Compared to a control group, they experienced significantly less joint pain, both at rest and during exercise.
In 2016 a review was conducted to evaluate the evidence related to collagen and serious joint conditions. It concluded that:
Collagen hydrolysate has a positive therapeutic role in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: potentially increasing bone mineral density, having a protective effect on articular cartilage and, primarily, providing symptomatic relief of pain.
Are there any side effects?
Collagen is considered to have high levels of safety and doesn’t pose any serious risks. Despite this, it is essential to know the ingredients of any supplement you take and how they are sourced.
Collagen often comes from foods that are known allergens, such as seafood, shellfish and eggs. If you have any allergies or intolerances, check the ingredients carefully, as you would any other food.
Several studies using collagen supplements recorded high levels of safety but did note that some participants reported indigestion, heartburn or bloating.
Is Marine Collagen better than Bovine Collagen?
Marine collagen is a better option than collagen sourced from beef protein. When collagen supplements are produced from fish, they contain peptides that are smaller than those from bovine sources. Because they are smaller, they have greater bioavailability which means that your body can absorb them and put them to work quicker.
Many collagen supplements are provided in the form of a powder that can be made into a drink. Marine collagen dissolves easily in water, making it more pleasant to drink, and manufacturers can easily add natural flavours to make the whole experience more palatable. Bovine collagen can dissolve incompletely leaving lumps or residue behind.
Also, the ratio of type I to type II collagen found in marine sourced collagen better matches the ratio found in humans. We need large amounts of type I and small levels of type III. Bovine collagen delivers both type I and type III but has less type I than we require.
There is a growing body of evidence to indicate that marine collagen supplements have a positive effect on health and well-being. Not only are they quick to dissolve and pleasant to drink, but they are also the most bioavailable, natural source of type I peptides.
An efficient supply of collagen peptides increases the levels of collagen that can be synthesized in your body. This supports the maintenance and creation of numerous crucial structures throughout your organs, bones and tissues.
The combination of each of these effects can result in an overall feeling of health and vigour. Marine Collagen doesn’t just have one or two effects, it’s a ‘big picture’ supplement with a significant overall impact on whole-body health and wellbeing.