Bovine collagen is a form of protein that comes from cows. Bovine collagen can come in different forms (gelatin versus hydrolyzed) and contains Type I and III collagen. Learn more about what bovine collagen is and why supplementing with bovine collagen can provide significant health benefits to your skin, joints, gut (digestive health), and in fact, your entire body.
What is Bovine Collagen?
Bovine collagen, or beef collagen, is a special kind of protein consisting of Type I and Type III collagen. Judging from the name, you may have already guessed that bovine collagen comes from cows. This type of collagen can be made into in two different consumable forms: the gelatin form and the peptide, or hydrolyzed, form. Bovine collagen is now eaten widely around the world as both scientists validate and consumers experience the powerful health benefits it provides for our skin, gut, joints, and more.
Structure of Bovine Collagen
Bovine collagen actually consists of two types of collagen: Type I and Type III. Type I collagen makes up 70% of our skin and is key to replenishing skin. This type of collagen can enhance skin hydration and strength, decrease wrinkles, and help reverse skin-related issues related to aging. While Type I collagen can be found all throughout the body except for cartilaginous tissues, Type III collagen, the other type of collagen found in bovine collagen, can be found in our artery walls and other hollow organs. You can additionally find it with Type I collagen in fibrils, which are simply subdivisions of muscle fibers. Because bovine collagen has both of these types of collagens, it offers plenty of health benefits. After all, Type I and Type III collagen together make up more than 90% of the total collagen in the body!
Collagen itself consists of three long amino acid chains, each containing over 1000 individual amino acids. These chains are twisted, forming a helix conformation. Collagen in its full length form is difficult to digest. The gelatin form of bovine collagen has been partially broken down through a process called partial hydrolysis. Since it’s not fully broken down, gelatin is more difficult for the body to absorb and may cause some water retention and even bloating.
The peptide form of collagen is the most recommended form for consumption. Collagen peptides can also be called hydrolyzed collagen, and we’re sure you can guess why. The amino acid chains are hydrolyzed, meaning they have been broken down to form short chains. Don’t worry – no amino acids are lost in the process; it’s the structural properties that changed. In fact, it is said that the rate of absorption of collagen peptides in the body surpasses 90% thanks to complete hydrolysis. For this reason, collagen peptides are much more efficiently absorbed into the body than non- or partially-hydrolyzed chains of amino acids.
Collagen Is Vital to Our Skin
And in fact, collagen is vital to many other parts of our body. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our body. Collagen is found in our stomach lining, bones, joints, tendons, hair, and nails (just to name a few). Collagen is a protein, a protein that repairs. Yes, that means collagen is unique from other amino acid chains found in our bodies. Regular proteins are used to build muscle tissue, make enzymes and other body chemicals, and serve as the building blocks of bones, skin, blood, and muscles. Collagen specializes in repairing parts of our body, including the largest organ: skin. Wear and tear is no joke, and collagen is the protein that knows this and tackles it head on.
The issue with our body’s collagen? When we reach our twenties, our natural production of collagen starts slowing down and keeps dramatically decreasing as we age. In fact, collagen production decreases by 23% each subsequent year. So, while our bodies continue using and needing collagen, we aren’t replenishing it at the same rate as when we were younger. This can become quite a problem considering collagen is what keeps our teeth, hair, bones, eyelashes, skin, and joints young and at their optimum strength. One way you can regain collagen is through supplementing with bovine collagen.
Where Does Bovine Collagen in Supplement and Powder Form Come from?
Bovine collagen comes from cows. Bovine collagen can come from the skin, muscles, bones or tendons of cows. Western diets typically do not incorporate these parts of the cow, and so what’s special about bovine collagen is that it makes use of the bi-product of cows that would usually get thrown away as waste. Once the cattle is harvested for its meat, the unused parts, such as the hides, are taken away to extract the collagen protein within them. The protein is then hydrolyzed in order to make it so that it is broken down and therefore easier for people to digest. That would be the peptide form.
The best bovine collagen comes from traditionally raised cows. By traditionally, we mean that the cows are raised in abundant grassland. We often look to cow farms of South America because countries like Argentina have the perfect land for the cows to grow and feed without the use of chemicals and non-natural tactics for raising livestock. They also have a long history of raising and herding cattle. There is, however, bovine collagen that comes from feedlot cattle. Always be sure to check the product you pick up to see where your collagen is coming from, looking for keywords like “non-GMO,” “pasture-raised,” or “grass-fed.”
Nutritional Information on Bovine Collagen
Bovine collagen provides 18 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids. Bovine collagen is a great source of glycine and proline. Glycine is a key component in the creation of DNA and RNA strands. The building of healthy DNA and RNA strands is necessary for providing the foundation of functional body cells. Proline aids in the body’s ability to produce collagen on its own. Bovine collagen also contains glutamine, helpful in preventing inflammation of the gut, and arginine, which helps improve athletic performance.
Of course, we can’t talk about bovine collagen without sharing some of its incredible (and scientifically backed) health benefits!
Health Benefit 1. You may sleep better!
No one enjoys restless nights – it provides for a slow, sleepy day. As the most abundant amino acid in collagen, glycine is an immunonutrient that promotes deeper sleep, meaning it also helps in you getting a more restorative sleep. Previous human studies have shown that subjects who took collagen before sleeping experienced better sleep quality and a decrease in fatigue the following day. The same results have been found in animal studies as well. So what does this all mean? Bovine collagen can be your new and natural sleep aid!
Health Benefit 2. Say hello to a happier, healthier gut!
The essential amino acids found in collagen benefit your gastrointestinal system. That includes your stomach, your intestines, and your stomach lining. Glycine increases stomach acid levels, a vital digestive liquid that is produced within the stomach, thus improving overall digestion. Generally, collagen has healing effects on the gastrointestinal tract as well. Thanks to the increased stomach acid levels, bovine collagen may help prevent and soothe gastroesophageal reflux disease, inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, and heartburn.
Health Benefit 3. Bovine collagen can treat osteoarthritis.
We mentioned earlier that collagen can be found in our bones and joints, which is why there are more and more studies revealing that bovine collagen can help in the treatment of bone and joint diseases, one of them being osteoarthritis. Collagen, which can also be found in cartilage, may help reduce pain for people suffering from osteoarthritis, meaning people whose cartilage is wearing away and causing pain, because it may be able to strengthen the physical cartilage itself.
Health Benefit 4. Your skin will thank you.
If you haven’t noticed, collagen tends to benefit the parts of the body it makes up. Considering it makes up 70% of our skin, it’s no surprise that supplementing with collagen can contribute to improving skin quality. Collagen helps fight signs of aging, from reducing wrinkles, smoothing out puffiness and scars, and decreasing cellulite for softer, youthful skin. Skin elasticity and moisture improves significantly. Collagen is your skin’s best friend.
Health Benefit 5. You’ll feel lighter on your feet, before and after your workouts!
Bovine collagen provides a great source of protein which can help in pre or post workouts. The Type I and III collagens that make up bovine collagen will help you feel a dramatic improvement in muscle recovery. Collagen helps to build muscle and in repairing tissue. Your tendons and ligaments are well-supported if you consume bovine collagen before and after you exercise – that means you’ll recover faster after exerting your body physically in any way. While on the topic of exercise, collagen also helps spare other proteins when your blood sugar is low. This means that when you need energy to burn and you have low blood sugar, collagen serves as a great substitute, sparing those important muscle tissues from use. Additionally, bovine collagen protein can help to keep you full longer which is helpful for those seeking to lose weight.
BONUS Health Benefit: Bovine collagen can be your new and natural topical treatment, too!
Imagine that! Bovine collagen has been reported to help with a few common external issues, including itchy symptoms due to anal pruritus and hemorrhoids. It can also aid in improving acne, though this is a benefit whether you consume the collagen or directly apply it in cream form onto the problem spots.
Bovine Collagen Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 8 grams
Calories: 29, Protein:7 g, Sodium: 24 mg, Fat: O g, Carbohydrates: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g
So how can you add bovine collagen into your diet?
Hydrolyzed bovine collagen, or bovine collagen peptides, can be easily implemented into your daily routine. Bovine collagen peptides have no taste or texture, and dissolve well into all types of foods. Bovine collagen peptides can be added to a variety of recipes, from smoothies to baked goods to soups and stews and more. You should also consider replacing your protein powders with collagen powder, since many protein powders are full of sugar and other additives. Try adding bovine collagen to your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. It can be consumed any time of the day – the moment you consume bovine collagen peptides, the body begins to absorb it. Here are some recipe ideas:
For more recipe ideas, check out the Further Food website.
- Collagen is the one of the most abundant proteins in our body.
- Our bodies natural collagen supply starts to decline in our 20s.
- Supplementing with bovine collagen helps to replenish the natural collagen that we lose as we age.
- Bovine collagen comes from parts of cows.
- Bovine collagen is made up of Type I and Type III collagen, which together make up 90 % of the total collagen in our body.
- Bovine collagen is best consumed as collagen peptide (also known as hydrolyzed collagen) in which the long chains of the collagen have been broken down from hydrolysis.
- Bovine collagen has 18 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids.
- Bovine collagen is a great source of glycine and proline. Bovine collagen also provides an abundant supply of glutamine and arginine.
- Supplementing with bovine collagen may help you sleep better.
- Supplementing with bovine collagen may help treat and prevent gastroesophagul reflux disease and leaky gut
- Supplementing with bovine collagen may help treat joint pain caused from osteoarthritis
- Supplementing with bovine collagen may help reduce the signs of aging by reducing the appearance of wrinkles and scars and providing moisture to the skin.
- Bovine collagen is a great source of protein, which is helpful in pre and post workouts.
- Bovine collagen can be added to drinks and foods without any added taste or texture.
Want to read more?
*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.