What Is Marine Collagen?

by Melissa Chichester

Our ancestors used every part of the animal for food – parts such as joints, organs and blood. Although we might cringe at eating those foods, these animal parts contain healthful proteins, including one that is a popular supplement today: collagen. In addition, these animal parts also contain nutrients that create collagen in the body. 

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, responsible for giving your skin and joints elasticity and strength. Sometimes, collagen is called the “glue” that holds your body together. This is appropriate because the word “collagen” comes from the Greek word, “kolla,” which actually means “glue.” 

Unfortunately, collagen production declines dramatically with age. By age 40, you’re most likely not producing collagen anymore. This loss of collagen can contribute to signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen supplements can help – and that includes marine collagen supplements.*

What is marine collagen?

There are plant-based foods that can contain vitamins and minerals that promote collagen production in the body (such as Vitamin C).* However, most collagen is sourced from animals. Most of the time, collagen comes from chicken, cows, pigs, and fish. Marine collagen is usually derived from fish scales and skin. Most marine collagen comes from cod or snapper. Marine collagen contains high amounts of amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, which are challenging to receive through food sources. 

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A benefit of marine collagen is that it is a source of the amino acids glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Amino acids are the “building blocks of protein” and are involved in collagen production.

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When to avoid marine collagen 

It is not recommended to use marine collagen if you have a seafood or shellfish allergy. Pregnant women should also discuss using marine supplements with a healthcare practitioner. Always discuss taking supplements with your physician. 

Overall, marine collagen can offer the same benefits as other collagen supplements, just from a different source.