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What is Collagen and what is the Difference between Bovine and Marine Collagen?


What is Collagen and what is the Difference between Bovine and Marine Collagen?

Fish: Friend or Foe?

Collagen provides structure, support or strength to our skin, muscles, bones and connective tissues and unfortunately, it starts to decrease around the age of 30.Growing older really is the gift that just keeps on giving! Luckily, we can slow the depletion of collagen down, you just need to know how. A good collagen supplement can give those vital amino acids a boost to improve joint health and support those suffering with arthritis. It can also restore some of that gorgeous childhood plump to our skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as strengthening hair and nails, getting rid of some of that pesky brittleness that creeps up on us as the decades start to roll by. Another major benefit of a decent collagen supplement is the support it can offer in meeting fitness goals; not only does it boost your mobility, it also helps with the synthesis of muscle mass production, which makes for a more successful weight loss strategy. I feel as though I have just described some sort of middle aged God or Goddess, but it really is achievable with a bit of collagen love.

What’s the Difference between Bovine and Marine Collagen?

At WillPowders, we get asked about the difference between Bovine and Marine collagen all the time. Our collagen is Bovine and this was a conscious and well researched decision. That’s how we roll at WillPowders - a bit of due diligence goes a long way. Whilst there are loads of articles online that favour Marine collagen and which suggest that the efficacy of Marine collagen is better, we simply do not agree and here’s why…

Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen

Marine collagen peptides are made in the same way that other collagen is, it’s just different animal bi-products that are used. Yummy! Fish scales, bones, crustacean shells and other sea creatures are boiled down to make gelatin which is then put through a process called hydrolysis. This is how really clever people can create smaller proteins called Peptides and voila…collagen is produced! Now, the general consensus is that Marine collagen is superior to other collagens and the claims include: Marine collagen is more effective for joint health and skin health; Marine collagen is more sustainable and Marine collagen is more humane. However, research shows that Marine collagen is not clinically better and in fact, may actually be inferior. Why? Because Marine collagen is only made up of Type 1 collagen - this means it only supports skin, hair and bones; whereas, Bovine is made up of both Type 1 and Type 3 collagen, meaning it not only supports your skin, hair and bones, but your muscles, arteries and organs too. You know, the things that keep you alive!

Collagen Sustainability

At WillPowders we care about sustainability and we also recognise that beauty and well-being comes at a cost, a cost that our natural world often has to pay the price for. This doesn’t sit well with us.

When researching our collagen products we uncovered that an inordinate amount of sharkskin is used in Marine collagen. Now, regardless of our innate fear of Great Whites and not wanting to go back in the water after the trauma that Jaws inflicted on us all, we do need our toothy friends to help maintain the ecosystem of our oceans, which, due to overfishing, has deteriorated dramatically. WillPowders say no to commercial fishing!

WillPowder’s Bovine collagen comes from selected farms in Switzerland. We know exactly how our cows are farmed, what they have been eating and how they have been cared for throughout their lives. Our Bovine collagen is 100% traceable and high animal welfare is guaranteed and prioritised. Our farmers do not use growth hormones and the cows have zero exposure to Glyphosate.

A word of advice, if you don’t use Willpowder’s Bovine collagen, ensure you know where it comes from. Collagens from the Americas often derive from farms where they spray crops with this poison and, as a result, it can be traced in the food chain. You can ask for a third party test for Glyphosate, which we would urge you to do if you’re unsure. In terms of sustainability, there isn’t a very large industry which supports Marine collagen. This makes the production unreliable, less available and very expensive.

Marine collagen isn’t necessarily an animal bi-product, which means the animal is being used for one thing and one thing only. Bovine collagen is produced from cowhides, which are also used to produce the leather for the car industry, making it more financially effective and sustainable, unlike fish scales which are rarely used for anything else.

A WillPowders Bovine Collagen Peptides Powder pouch on a white background

Bovine Collagen Peptides

100% pure Swiss Grass Fed Bovine Hydrolysed Collagen Peptides Powder. A Collagen Supplement providing 18 amino acids for all the family. Easily digested collagen supplement. Benefits bone, joint, skin, hair, nail and gut health.

In summary

At WillPowders, we know the impact that gut harmony can have on overall health and well-being, which is why our Bovine collagen is what it says on the tin - collagen with no hidden nasties.

Marine collagen has a characteristic, fishy odour which impacts the way it tastes. This fishy flavour is often masked with other ingredients to make it more palatable, for example sucrose, orange juice concentrate and other additives. This can play havoc with your gut function and therefore hinder your sleep, mood and immunity, not to mention the risk of bloating up like a puffer fish.

Marine collagen has been studied mostly for cosmetic purposes - research into increasing skin moisture and decreasing fine wrinkles has been at the heart of tests and trials. A Japanese study showed that collagen from pork was more than twice as effective as Marine collagen. Perhaps this is because we have more in common with warm blooded land mammals than our cold, scaly, gilled friends in the sea.

Surely, it doesn’t take a genius to surmise that our uptake of amino acids might be more similar to a cow than a fish? We suggest you buy your fish whole and eat it on a plate. That way, you know what you’re paying for and you know which bits you’re chowing down on.

Fish is a favourite of ours (although it might not seem like it), it’s brimming with omega 3 and glorious good fats, something you can’t get enough of and which will give your brain function a boost.

If you are determined to use Marine collagen, and are worried about the side effects, there are a couple of things you can do: get in touch with your supplement company and see if they can tell you where the fish comes from (which ocean and whether or not it’s line caught); ask if their products are third-party tested for contamination and whether they test for BMAA (they won’t because nobody in the industry tests for BMAA, in any supplements made from the sea) and ask for certification of ‘Shark Free’.

At the end of the day, Marine collagen and Bovine collagen are very similar in molecular structure. They are both high in Glycine Proline, Hydroxyproline and critical amino acids, which are excellent for you, your skin and your connective tissue. They will support your sleep and hormonal regulation, but we can’t figure out why anyone would want to pay through the nose for a collagen that could potentially damage your gut health, isn’t sustainable and could adversely impact you neurologically.

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Our blogs are written with love in the hope that they go some way in helping you feel like the rockstar you are, and whilst we do our due diligence, research like maniacs and fact check our stuff, we know everyone’s journey is different. They are intended to educate and empower you, not usurp medical advice. We would never advise you to stop, adjust, or modify any prescription medication without the direct supervision of your healthcare practitioner, but don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about your new found knowledge, brought to you by the marvels of nature because they don't know everything!