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Fish Collagen: How it Improves Your Health

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Fish collagen, also known as marine collagen, is essentially the superhero of collagens sourced from animals. So what exactly makes fish collagen, a Type I collagen, such a natural gem? To put it simply, it beats other collagens in both bioavailability and absorption thanks to it having the smallest particle size and lowest molecular weight out of all other collagen types. Being incredibly beneficial to the health of your skin (your body’s largest organ) and bones, the glycine- and proline-rich collagen found in fish will impress you as you read more about it!

What Is Fish Collagen?

Fish collagen is made up of mostly Type I collagen. Consisting of mostly one type of collagen doesn’t mean it is inferior to bovine collagen, which has both Type I and Type III. Type I collagen is found just about everywhere in the body except for cartilaginous tissue. It is the type of collagen that makes up 70% of our skin and is itself the most abundant collagen in the body, so you can already see how fish collagen can become your skin’s best friend. Type I collagen can do a number of positive things for your skin, from reversing the aging process and decreasing the prominence of wrinkles and cellulite, to enhancing your skin hydration and firmness.

Because fish collagen is indeed a Type I collagen, it is rich is two particular amino acids: glycine and proline. Glycine is foundational to DNA and RNA strand creation, while proline is foundational to the human body’s ability to naturally produce its own collagen. Considering glycine is vital to our DNA and RNA, it holds many significant functions for the body, including blocking endotoxin and transporting nutrients for body cells to utilize for energy. While proline can act as an antioxidant for the body and can prevent cell damage from free radicals, its number one function is to ensure collagen synthesis by helping in the stimulation of the process  within the body.

Fish Collagen Benefits

We mentioned all the science-related facts about fish collagen, but we’re sure you want to know the concrete health benefits this type of collagen can actually provide you and how to use collagen for skin. Here are 5 huge health benefits of fish collagen and marine collagen supplements.

1. Look young again!

Fish collagen has become quite the beauty craze. That’s because there are lots of collagen benefits for skin. Fish collagen has been shown to have anti-aging properties, particularly for your skin. Collagen in our skin actually begins to break down at the rather young age of 21. As we get older, we continue to lose more and more of our own collagen, and considering Type I collagen makes up 70% of our skin, replenishing it is important for maintaining healthy, happy, youthful skin.

Fish collagen may decrease the amount of wrinkles and appearance of cellulite in our skin. In addition, supplementing with fish collagen may help improve skin hydration, firmness, smoothness, elasticity, and suppleness!

2. Say goodbye to unsightly scars!

This is all thanks to fish collagen being a Type I collagen – it will be your skin’s best friend. Collagen is a major component in the dermal matrix of skin. In other words, the fate of the condition of your wounds is really up to your collagen. Remember, collagen not only builds; it repairs, too. Fish collagen may be helpful for alleviating your scars and ensuring faster healing altogether. This type of collagen has been studied for its role in promoting protein synthesis and cell proliferation.

Collagen can support skin tissue strength by regenerating the extracellular matrix of your skin. All of this jargon is to simply say that fish collagen may promote the regeneration of skin after a multitude of skin injuries and deformations, from scratches to burns to scars.

3.  Help Build up your bone strength!

Skin isn’t the only part of the body supplementing with fish collagen can benefit! Collagen makes up 90% of the organic matrix of our bones. One of the most common signs of aging is the loss of bone mass. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that millions of people across the world suffer from.

While minerals like phosphorus and calcium are great for promoting and maintaining bone strength, they are not easy to absorb into the bloodstream. That’s why many people are at risk for bone diseases due to bone loss and mineral deficiencies. Fish collagen may help your bone strength by supporting the absorption process of calcium and other minerals that are vital for bone strength.

Supplementing with fish collagen may help stimulate collagen synthesis in the bones, which is done by promoting osteoblasts (cells that help build the bone matrix). This means that fish collagen may help regenerate and heal your bones!

4. May stabilize your blood sugar!

Glycine has been studied for its various benefits to the human body, and fish collagen is uniquely packed with higher levels of glycine than any other types of collagen! And the glycine in fish collagen may help stabilize blood sugar. Researchers have recently found evidence that low levels of glycine in the body may lead to insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes. Indeed, in a 2016 study conducted by the Alberta Diabetes Institute, people with type 2 diabetes have been found to have low levels of glycine in their bodies. Therefore, supplementing with glycine rich fish collagen may help stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent insulin resistance glycine.

5. May reduce inflammation and fight bacteria!

Fish collagen just seems to sound better and better, doesn’t it? Here’s another benefit! Hydrolyzed fish collagen consists of bioactive peptides that have antioxidant properties. These properties can help in the reduction of reactive oxygen species, which are unstable molecules containing oxygen that cause the aging of tissues and put people at higher risks of cancer. Fish collagen can provide antioxidants, which then can fight against the accumulation of those reactive oxygen species, boosting the immune system and reducing inflammatory responses throughout the body.

The same bioactive peptides found within fish collagen also have antibacterial properties. These peptides, particularly the peptide collagencin, may help inhibit the growth of infections as well as bacteria that cause disease. Research is continuing to be done in order to explore the potential of fish collagen peptides as antibiotics!

Fish Collagen Powder Recipes

The great thing about fish collagen peptides is that they can go in a variety of different recipes, hot or cold! If you thought that you’d have to limit yourself to collagen smoothies, think again! Here are some recipes with marine collagen powder. 

collagen salsa roja jalapeno garlic high antioxidants low sodium

1. Collagen Salsa Roja 

Superfood Matcha Maca Collagen Energy Balls walnuts chia flax seeds further paleo

2. Superfood Matcha Maca Collagen Energy Balls 

pumpkin-collagen-bread-further-collagen-high-fiber-high-iron-dates

3. Pumpkin Collagen Bread 

island lime collagen colada smoothie banana dairy free

4. Island Lime Collagen Colada Smoothie 

You can find lots more recipes with hydrolyzed fish collagen on Further Food.

Fish Collagen Nutrition Facts

Serving Size:  6.6 grams

Calories: 26

Protein: 6.4 g

Sodium: 51 mg

Fat: 0 g

Carbohydrates: 0 g

Sugar: 0 g

Where Do Fish Collagen Peptides Come From?

Fish collagen comes from fish. This may be no surprise to you. However, what makes the fact that fish collagen comes from fish so special is the incredible abundance of marine sources. It is estimated that 60% of fish bi-product is thrown away as waste. Fish skin, which is rich with collagen, is typically a large portion of this. Collagen can also be extracted from not only the skin of the fish (though it is primarily taken from here), but the scales, fins, and bones as well.

Marine collagen and fish collagen tend to be used interchangeably, however, note that marine collagen does not always necessarily come from saltwater fish. Some marine collagens may be taken from shellfish and jellyfish instead.

Additionally, it is important to consider whether the fish is wild caught or farm raised. Farm-raised fish are often fed antibiotics and treated with pesticides. So, when you eat farm-raised fish, you might be getting unwanted antibiotics and pesticides! Wild caught fish has a lot more benefits, including a lower mercury content  and higher concentrations of nutrients such as Omega 3s. Always be sure to research where your fish collagen is coming from!

To top it all off, fish collagen’s bioavailability is of the highest amongst the other types of collagen. This means fish collagen can get absorbed the fastest into your body. Collagen from fish has the smallest particle size, meaning it breaks down much faster and absorbs into the body than other collagens. The fish collagen is able to enter your bloodstream at a higher rate, especially if that collagen is hydrolyzed (like fish collagen peptides!). You’ll be reaping many benefits of fish collagen supplements sooner; what’s not to love?

FAQs

What is fish collagen?

Fish collagen is collagen protein derived from fish, specifically fish skin, scales, and bones. Fish collagen is special because it comes from such an abundant marine source, meaning it’s bio-available. It is a Type I collagen, which is a sort of collagen that can be found almost everywhere in the body except for cartilaginous tissue. Supplementing with fish collagen has been shown to greatly benefit the skin and promote good health overall.

How is fish collagen different from other types of collagen?

Firstly, fish collagen is made up of Type I collagen, while other collagen products that come from different sources may be different (for example, bovine collagen consists of Type I and III). Because it is a Type I collagen, fish collagen is ideal for skin. Fish collagen is also one of the most bioavailable collagen proteins amongst the other types, and so has the fastest absorption rate! Collagen from fish has the smallest particle size, making it much easier to break down and enter your bloodstream.

How do I choose the best fish collagen product?

When looking for the right fish collagen for you, always make sure to do your research and read labels. Fish collagen that primarily comes from fish skin has a lot more benefits thanks to its soft structure. Go for a fish collagen that has been wild caught; they have a lot more benefits and are less likely to contain unwanted antibiotics or pesticides! We recommend Premium Marine Collagen Peptides because they are sustainably sourced from wild-caught North Atlantic codfish and are free of any unwanted fillers!

What are the benefits of fish collagen?

Fish collagen can do a number of things for your skin as well as other organs and functions. Supplementing with fish collagen can reduce wrinkles, decrease the appearance of cellulite, improve skin hydration, and enhance skin elasticity and firmness! Fish collagen is also able to help heal scars, build up your bone strength, stabilize blood sugar, and even fight bacteria. In other words, fish collagen is the ultimate anti-aging protein!

Want to read more?

What Are the Types of Collagen?

12 Collagen Benefits: The Top Health Benefits of Collagen

Got Questions About Collagen? We got answers!

Collagen Healed My Gut, Hair & Nails in 3 Months—It Can Change Your Life, Too!

References:

1. Chalamaiah, M., R. Hemalatha, and T. Jyothirmayi. “Fish protein hydrolysates: proximate composition, amino acid composition, antioxidant activities and applications: a review.” Food Chemistry 135.4 (2012): 3020-3038.

2. Xu, YaJun, XiaoLong Han, and Yong Li. “Effect of marine collagen peptides on long bone development in growing rats.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 90.9 (2010): 1485-1491.

3. Yamada, Shizuka, et al. “Effects of fish collagen peptides on collagen post-translational modifications and mineralization in an osteoblastic cell culture system.” Dental materials journal 32.1 (2013): 88-95.

4. De Luca, Chiara, et al. “Skin Antiageing and Systemic Redox Effects of Supplementation with Marine Collagen Peptides and Plant-Derived Antioxidants: A Single-Blind Case-Control Clinical Study.” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity 2016 (2016).

5. Proksch, E., et al. “Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis.” Skin pharmacology and physiology 27.3 (2014): 113-119.

6. Richard Yan-Do, Patrick E. MacDonald; Impaired “glycine”-mia in type 2 diabetes and potential mechanisms contributing to glucose homeostasis. Endocrinology 2017 en.2017-00148. doi: 10.1210/en.2017-00148

7. Zhu, Cui-Feng, et al. “Treatment with marine collagen peptides modulates glucose and lipid metabolism in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 35.6 (2010): 797-804.

8. Brett, David. ” A Review of Collagen and Collagen-based Wound Dressings.” Wounds: a compendium of clinical research and practice 20.12 (2008): 347-356.

9. Alemán, A., et al. “Antioxidant activity of several marine skin gelatins.” LWT-Food Science and Technology 44.2 (2011): 407-413.

10. Ennaas, Nadia, et al. “Collagencin, an antibacterial peptide from fish collagen: Activity, structure and interaction dynamics with membrane.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 473.2 (2016): 642-647.

11. Silvipriya, K. S., et al. “Collagen: Animal Sources and Biomedical Application.” (2015).

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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13 thoughts on “Fish Collagen: How it Improves Your Health

  1. Lilly

    I’ve read that fish scales are more benificial than the skin because of risk factors from the fish skin oils…:/ being rancid etc.
    Is this true?

    Reply
    1. Recipe Team

      Sharon: Our fish collagen is made from wild caught cod. However, in light of your allergy, we recommend that you consider bovine collagen instead.

      Reply
  2. Rosalyn

    I took your No Sugar Challenge and ready to buy your Collagen BUT! WHAT IS THE NUTRITIONAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FISH AND THE BOVINE and which delivers the most collagen, the fastest to my system ❓

    Reply
    1. Recipe Team

      The bovine is made out of grass fed cows from South America, and the fish collagen is made out of wild caught cod from Alaska. Fish collagen is considered the most bioavailable, meaning it gets absorbed faster and can get working sooner. Good luck!

      Reply

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