Collagen products are hitting the beauty and health industry hard because of how beneficial collagen is for the entire body. From skin to nails to joints and tendons, collagen is the most important and abundant protein found in the body. This information is nothing new, even our prehistoric ancestors kept a handy supply of collagen in the form of bone broth during long winters and times of famine.
There are a few different sources of collagen including bovine, chicken, and pigs, but fish collagen is the one that is really on everyone’s lips due to its incredibly high concentration of type I collagen and it’s extraordinary bioavailability. If you are not sure what this all means, don’t stress, we have explained it all below! Keep reading to find out more about fish collagen powder and its incredible health benefits and why you need Approved Science® Collagen Powder today!
Why Do We Need Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein that serves as one of the most essential building blocks for our connective tissues, bones, blood vessels, skin, teeth, and corneas. The triple helix amino acid chains are sturdy fibers that form the body’s scaffolding and glue all the unique components together. Without collagen, we would quite literally fall apart.
Our cells are able to produce collagen naturally from the foods we eat. Over 28 different types of collagen have been identified but the four most abundant types are I, II, III, and IV. Let’s take a closer look at the role each play in our body:
- Type I: This is the most abundant type and accounts for about 90% of the collagen in the body. These tightly coiled fibers are what gives the muscles, tendons, skin, cartilage, and teeth it’s structure.
- Type II: This type of collagen is not packed as densely as type I and is commonly found in the cartilage between the joints.
- Type III: This type is found in the same cells, organs, and muscles where type I is present. The fine mesh-like fibers are what give vital organs like the liver, bone marrow, and spleen their structure.
- Type IV: This type of collagen is found in the basal lamina and provides the skin cells with support.
The body does a good job of producing collagen from the protein and vitamin C in our diets, but as we age, the body’s ability to produce enough of it starts to decline. In our mid-thirties is usually when we start to notice that our skin isn’t as tight and supple as it used to be and our bones become more prone to degenerative bone disorders.
Supplementing with pure collagen powder helps to keep the collagen production in the body at an optimum level, which ultimately helps restore the integrity of our skin, muscles, arteries and other vital cells and organs.
The Different Sources Of Pure Collagen Powder
There are a few different sources of collagen supplements available on the market, but like most things in life, not all are created equal. Hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptide supplements and powder are made from the connective tissues of mammals, aquatic animals, and fish.
The tiny molecular bonds are extracted from the connective tissues and pulverized to create a fine powder, which is either sold as a pure collagen powder or encapsulated for those who prefer taking capsules. The main sources of collagen include:
- Fish and marine animals
Bovine and fish collagen powder are among the most widely available and safest forms of supplements on the market. In theory, porcine collagen should be the best option because humans share a very similar skin structure with pigs, however, because of the conditions most of the animals are kept in and the limited amount of research available, it can be risky taking porcine collagen supplements. The same goes for hydrolyzed chicken collagen. Birds are extremely susceptible to aviary diseases, and these microscopic pathogens can still be present in the final collagen product.
Bovine vs Fish Collagen Powder: Which Is Better?
There is no doubt that the collagen found in both fish and bovine is extremely beneficial for us. Bovine is rich in type I and III collagen, which is essential for repairing the bones, skin, tendons, and muscles. Fish collagen powder is rich in type I collagen, which is a vital component of connective tissue, blood vessels, and the skin. However, there are a few things that set these two apart, which makes all the difference for your health and the planet.
Collagen peptides are usually extracted from the hides of cattle once their meat has been harvested for food, making this type of collagen easy to source, inexpensive, and widely available.
While the cowhides may not go to waste and it enables us to get our hands on a much cheaper source of the essential protein we need, it has a very negative impact on our environment. A staggering 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions such as methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide are caused by livestock production.
Another downside to bovine sourced collagen is its bioavailability. Even though the peptides have been hydrolyzed or broken down into much smaller particles, it is not easily absorbed by the body.
Marine and fish collagen is derived from a few different species including starfish, prawns, and sea urchins, but the most popular form of marine sourced collagen is fish. The peptides are extracted from the scales, bones, and skin, which as it turns out usually goes to waste. In fact, over 11.7 million tons of these unused parts are discarded during the harvesting process. What would otherwise be a huge strain to our environment has now become a precious source of protein we all need, thus making fish collagen powder a more sustainable choice. Not to mention the significantly reduced number of greenhouse gases emitted from farming fish. This is due to the fact that fishing doesn’t require feeding or upkeep of livestock or large amounts of farmland.
Saving the planet is not the only reason for choosing collagen derived from fish. Studies have concluded that fish collagen is more than 1.5 times more bioavailable than any of its counterparts. The smaller molecular size and weight enables the body to easily absorb the collagen through the intestinal barrier. This is then absorbed into the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body where cells can start to synthesize the collagen and use it in the skin, bones, joints, tendons and other essential organs and tissues.
Unfortunately, bovine collagen does not offer the same bioavailability, making it less effective and efficient. Fish collagen powder is certainly the best contender when it comes to sourcing the most effective type of collagen peptides.
Does The Type Of Fish Matter?
There are a lot of concerns regarding the consumption of both mammals and aquatic animals due to the conditions they are bred and farmed in. Fish and shellfish are known to contain high amounts of methylmercury – an organic form of mercury due to water pollution. When we eat fish and other seafood products, we are also exposed to this toxin. Unfortunately, this problem cannot be avoided altogether, but the good news is that the amount of mercury varies depending on the species of fish and where it has been caught.
Larger breeds such as tuna, northern pike, and mackerel have a higher concentration of mercury because they feed on smaller fish who also have small concentrations of mercury in their bodies. These mercury levels from the water and fish they eat begin to accumulate to potentially dangerous levels. Thanks to all the pollution, the mercury content in our waters is on the rise.
In one study, researchers found that at least one-third of the marine life caught in New Jersey had significantly higher levels of mercury of around 0.5ppm (parts per million), which is enough to pose a few health risks when eaten regularly.
Another problem we are faced with when it comes to aquaculture is the unregulated use of antibiotics in the fish farming industry. But fish still forms a part of a healthy diet due to its high omega 3 and protein content, which is why making wise choices about the type of fish in your supplements and diet is important.
Salmon, which only contains 0.022 ppm of mercury as well as Trout, which only contains 0.071 ppm are good choices if you want to rev up your omega 3 intake. However, when it comes to pure collagen powder, Wild Alaskan Pollock is the best choice. It only contains 0.031 ppm of mercury and is abundant in types I and III collagen. This type of collagen is also rich in glycine, hydroxyproline, and proline – three essential amino acids that stimulate collagen synthesis within the cells found in the skin, bones, and joints.
Fish Collagen Powder Benefits
There is a lot more to collagen than what we read in beauty magazines and product adverts. Yes, reversing the signs of aging is one of the remarkable properties of this fibrous protein, but there is so much more to gain in terms of your health and wellbeing by taking a high-quality marine collagen powder. Let’s take a closer look at what the research says.
Improved Skin Health
As we age, we can visibly see our collagen levels drop. Skin becomes looser, wrinkles get deeper, and thigh dimples are much more predominant. Rubbing collagen-rich cream on your skin is not going to do much to reverse these telltale signs of aging. The only way to see results is to ingest collagen peptides.
Research has shown that the type I collagen found in fish collagen powder helps to reduce wrinkles, improve elasticity, and enhance skin hydration. The hydrolyzed peptides are transported in the bloodstream and distributed to the dermis where they are then bound to receptors in the fibroblasts membrane that stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, elastin, and collagen. This process helps to restore the integrity of the skin structure, which as a result, slows down aging caused by photodamage, smoking, and other environmental factors.
As we age, our bone density starts to decline, making us more susceptible to degenerative bone disorders like osteoporosis. Multiple studies have found that marine collagen has a positive effect on curbing inflammation associated with osteoporosis and encourages bone regeneration and healing by improving bone mineral density and stimulating bone tissue engineering.
In one review published in 2013, researchers found that supplementing with marine collagen increased the level of hydroxylysine-aldehyde (type I collagen of the bone) and accelerated the process of bone mineralization, which is when calcium phosphate nanocrystals start to accumulate in the bone matrix, thus leading to stronger, healthier bones.
One of the most interesting benefits of fish collagen powder is its ability to combat certain pathogens. More specifically Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria found in the nose and on the skin that is responsible for staph infections – a highly contagious infection that can cause blisters, boils, food poisoning, and in some cases can be fatal.
One study concluded that the antimicrobial peptide found in fish collagen known as collagencin inhibited the growth of the Staph bacteria entirely. This is especially promising for improving food safety and our defense against the harmful pathogen.
Improved Sleep Quality
As we mentioned before, fish collagen powder is abundant in glycine. While glycine comes with a few benefits on its own like improving antioxidant activity and protecting the liver from alcohol-induced liver damage, it is also a safe and natural alternative to prescription sleeping tablets. The amino acid has shown a positive effect on cognitive function and sleep cycles.
Research has suggested that glycine induces a calming effect on the body by lowering the core body temperature, which helps you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep for longer.
In one study, individuals who suffer from sleep disorders took glycine before bed. The results showed that participants were able to fall asleep quicker and that the quality of sleep was significantly improved. The participants also experienced a significant reduction in fatigue and daytime sleepiness as well as an improvement in psychomotor vigilance.
Accelerates Wound Healing
Collagen is an essential component of wound healing. When we cut or scrape ourselves, collagen distributes various cells like the keratinocytes and fibroblasts to the affected area. Together with these cells, collagen helps to promote new tissue growth. The more collagen type I present, the quicker the wounds heal.
While it was previously thought that collagen only acted as the scaffolding for the skin, research shows that it actually controls various cell functions and plays an important role in every process during wound healing including inflammation, hemostasis, and proliferation.
Supports Gut Health
There are so many factors that impact our gut health. From stress to a poor diet, the sensitive lining in our intestines is always at risk of damage. The intestinal lining enables nutrients and water to be transported into the bloodstream via small gaps known as tight junctions. These tight junctions are also used to block harmful toxins and bacteria from entering into the bloodstream. When the tight junctions are ‘loose’ or not functioning correctly, intestinal permeability is increased, meaning that bacteria and other harmful pathogens are able to escape the intestines and enter the bloodstream. This condition is known as Leaky Gut and can in some cases lead to Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease.
The high glutamine and glycine content found in fish collagen powder helps to reduce inflammation associated with these types of gut disorders and aids in rebuilding and regenerating the intestinal walls. In addition to that research has revealed that Alaskan pollock skin-derived collagen prevents further breakdown of the protein found in the tight junction.
Boosts Workout And Recovery
Marine collagen is a great way to fuel performance, build muscle mass and speed up recovery time after a vigorous workout. Glycine is one of the amino acids used by the body to produce creatine. For those who are new to the resistance training scene, creatine is the natural substance that gives your muscles the added energy they need during high-intensity training and quick activities like weight lifting and sprinting. The various mechanisms of creatine in the body also help to increase the size of the muscles.
After the intense workout, collagen helps the muscles to recover due to the high content of proline. Proline is a potent antioxidant that promotes tissue repair and cellular regeneration and helps to curb inflammation in the joints.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Much like bovine counterparts, fish collagen powder does not cause any adverse or significant side effects. Provided you are using a marine source with a low mercury content like Wild Alaskan Pollock, marine collagen peptides do not pose a risk to your health. In some cases there have been reports of digestive discomfort and bloating, however, it is not common amongst most users. With that being said it is vital to avoid taking any form of fish collagen powder if you have a fish or shellfish allergy. It is always advisable to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements if you have allergies, underlying medical conditions, or are on medication.
Fish Collagen Powder: The Ultimate Collagen Source
When searching for collagen supplements, Wild Alaskan Pollock collagen powder is one of the best sources when compared to its counterparts like bovine, porcine, chicken, or eggs. It’s highly absorbable collagen peptides and incredible health benefits are what makes this the bottled fountain of youth we have all been searching for.
From curbing aging to boosting workouts and strengthening the bones, your body will thank you for investing in a high-quality marine collagen supplement. If you are ready to get your youth back with a pure collagen powder that is backed by science and comes with a money-back guarantee and no other ‘fishy’ additives, then Approved Science® Collagen is the answer!