Marine Collagen Vs Bovine Collagen. Which is more superior?

Collagen, the most abundant protein in our body that plays an important role in maintaining the health and elasticity of our skin, bones, joints, and connective tissues. There are two most popular collagen products on the market which are marine collagen and bovine collagen. This article will explore the differences between these two collagen types in order to help you make an informed choice of which collagen that is most suitable for your needs.

Source of Collagen

The primary distinction between marine collagen and bovine collagen lies in their sources. Marine collagen is derived from fish scales, skin, and bones and on the other hand, bovine collagen is sourced from the skin, bones, and tissues of cows.


The amino acid profile is different between marine and bovine collagen. Marine collagen is most abundant in Type 1 collagen whereas bovine collagen contains Type 1, 2 and 3. Type I making up 90% of our body which is the most important collagen for healthy skin, hair and nails. Type 2 and 3 collagens are mainly found in joint cartilages, connective tissues and organs; thus, bovine is essential for the health of joints and connective tissues.


Bioavailability refers to how fast the body is able to absorb and utilise the nutrients effectively. Due to the smaller molecular size of marine collagen, it has higher bioavailability compared to bovine collagen which means marine collagen peptides can be absorbed more efficiently by the body which lead to faster and more noticeable results.

Risk of disease

Wild caught fish marine collagen is viewed as the most premium collagen due to the source coming directly from the ocean. There is no disease transmission risk that can be obtained from invertebrate marine animals or fishes thus it is a cleaner source of collagen. Farm raised cows are prone to the risk of disease transmission such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Environmental Impact

Marine collagen does not leave ecological footprints to the environment because the collagen is sourced from fish by products. The more reliable source of marine collagen is collagen that is Marine Stewardship Council certified which means the source can be traced back to a sustainable fishery.  Sustainable fishing respects the ecosystems by maintaining the fish population in the ocean at a productive and healthy level, thus ensuring the people who depend on fishing will be able to maintain their livelihoods.

In conclusion, both marine collagen and bovine collagen offer many health benefits and they are both valuable in promoting a healthy body. The choice between the two types of collagens depends on our personal needs. Marine collagen is more effective in targeting premature signs of ageing whereas bovine is more effective in maintaining joint and bone health. Although arguably bovine also contains Type 1 collagen but due to the diluted profile of Type 1 Collagen it is not as superior compared to marine collagen when it comes to beauty needs.


Written by Maeraki team