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Does marine collagen work?

by Natasha Whiting

Does marine collagen work?

Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally in the body and can be consumed as a food supplement to hold back the symptoms of ageing. Marine collagen is a popular form and can have benefits for skin, joints, nails, hair and more, but just how effective is this increasingly popular supplement?

Can it really turn back time and make you look and feel younger?

Collagen is generally marketed as an anti-ageing product and it is very much trending in both the skincare and wellness sectors. It has been a popular product in the far east for a long time, but has only recently started catching on in the west.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up around 80% of the dermis. This means it contributes to the firmness, suppleness and glow of the skin, as well as providing healthy cushioning in our joints and strengthening our hair and nails. Natural collagen production peaks around the mid-twenties, after which it starts to decline. This is when we begin to see the very first signs of ageing, and it only gets worse as we get older. If you are unhappy with the fine lines, wrinkles and sagging areas of your skin, or your hair and nails are declining, read on. If you are suffering from joint pain or your gut health is not what it used to be read on. We will explore how and why does marine collagen work.

What does collagen do in the body?

Simply put, liquid collagen contains hydrolysed peptides, a highly bioavailable form of collagen protein. These peptides are the smaller chain molecules, broken down using a process called hydrolysis, making them easier for your body to absorb and utilise. All the essential amino acids of collagen are still fully intact, and the body separates them in order to stimulate the natural production of collagen in the body.

What are the known benefits of marine collagen?

With high-quality liquid marine collagen, you may experience benefits to your skin health, joint strength, bone density, your hair and nails, and you may even feel benefits to your muscle mass and gut health. When it comes to your complexion, there is very little that cannot benefit from liquid collagen. Specifically, collagen proteins can: Boost moisture levels in skin Reduce the appearance of wrinkles Promote healthy hair and nail growth Minimise the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks But it is more than the dermis that benefits from collagen supplements. All the connective tissues of the body can benefit, so you may experience improvements in joint pain and your digestive system may improve as well.

But does marine collagen work?

If your question is "Does marine collagen work?" then you will be pleased to learn that the answer is yes! There is plenty of science behind why the supplements work, and lots of testimonials from people who have experienced the benefits. However, the following conditions must be met for a collagen supplement to be effective:

1. It must contain hydrolysed collagen peptides.

2. There must be a high concentration of peptides in every portion. You should expect at least 5g per serving. Be warned that many liquid collagen drinks claim to offer benefits without providing any facts about the dosage contained in each serving. Collagen should be the primary content of the drink.

3. It needs other bioactive compounds known to boost, rather than destroy, collagen.

How to identify a high-quality collagen supplement

It's not good enough to simply choose a random product containing collagen, and collagen-rich food may not provide the benefits you need. If you want all those benefits, you need to start doing some research and reading some labels. The key is to get the right kind of protein in the right dosage with the requisite supporting nutrients.

The most abundant type of collagen is Type I, which is the one in our dermis and hair. Type II collagen is the one present in our joint tissue and bones, while Type III makes up around 15% of the dermis and is also present in our intestines. If you want to experience the beauty benefits of marine collagen, you should look for peptides with at least 90% Type I collagen. You also want the right supporting ingredients to boost the effectiveness of the collagen protein. These include: Vitamin C Vitamin B Vitamin E Antioxidants

4 reasons marine collagen works better than powder and pills

1. You get more peptides per serving

With liquid collagen, the concentration of peptides and other nutrients is higher and it gets into the bloodstream quickly for more effective absorption.

With lots of peptides in the bloodstream, the body's wound healing response is triggered, reactivating the body's natural collagen production. You need between 5 and 10 grams of peptides per day to get the maximum benefit from your collagen - if you were taking pills, this would mean swallowing 10-20 large pills every day. Clearly this is not as workable as simply drinking a serving of liquid each day.



2. Absorption is highly efficient

Peptides delivered in a liquid state are known to be the most bioavailable and easily absorbed. This is because a significant amount of the 'digesting' has already been done for your body. The peptides are ready to be swiftly absorbed into the bloodstream to trigger the processes that create collagen naturally.

Supplements ingested in pill form force your body to do more work to digest the pills themselves and extract the nutrients. This makes the collagen less absorbable than if you got it from a drink.



3. The drinks are backed up by science

The debate around the efficiency of collagen drinks has been intense, but there is lots of evidence that liquid collagen can provide the benefits it claims to.

A medically reviewed study from 2008 showed that liquid collagen may help more with collagen formation in the body than powder, pills or topical collagen. Another study demonstrated that ingesting peptides improves fibroblast density to enhance collagen formation in the dermis. These are special cells that synthesise collagen and elastin.



4. Collagen drinks are highly convenient

Ready-to-drink collagen is easy to use. It can come in tiny shots or a dose that you add to 150ml of water or another liquid. There is no need to mix peptide powder with juice as liquid collagen dissolves right on your tongue.

Collagen drinks are usually loaded with other skin-friendly ingredients as well, eliminating the need to consume additional supplements. You just need to find the collagen drink that works for you.  

Ingredients to avoid with collagen supplements

Coffee is known to have various health benefits, but it is not a great idea to take it in combination with collagen. This is because caffeine has been shown to destroy the protein. You should also avoid alcohol and added sugars as they are bad for skin health. Alcohol may also break down collagen.

Why marine collagen?

Fish extract collagen comes from the skin and scales of fish. Sourced from wild-caught fish, it is considered superior to other forms of collagen because of its purity and high bioavailability. There will be no chance of it containing anything like Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), foot-and-mouth disease or any bird viruses. The calcium levels in marine sourced products are low as there is far less calcium in fish scales than there is in animal bone. The only downside of marine collagen is that some people with seafood allergies may not be able to take it.

Does collagen have any side effects?

There are a few side effects reported from taking liquid collagen, but they are very rare: Peptides sourced from animal bones can cause side effects if the bones were not properly treated before extraction. You could also find yourself with elevated calcium levels from this type of collagen. When it comes to collagen extracted from cows, pigs or chickens, quality can be a concern. This is because, during testing, some popular supplements have been found to contain contaminants like antibiotics, steroids, insecticides and prescription drug metabolites. Some of this can be found in collagen extracted from mass-farmed fish too, which is why it is best to look for wild-caught fish extracts. The side effects associated with these things are usually quite mild, but long-term consumption could cause bigger complications. The best course of action is to take the time to look for high-quality products that are unlikely to contain these contaminants. Collagen itself is known to be very safe to consume.

Avoid marine collagen if you suffer from seafood allergies and always stay within the recommended dosage to avoid any potential side effects from taking excessive collagen.

Final thoughts

Marine collagen can deliver the results it claims to, but only if you take a high-quality product and use it the right way. Do your research and make the right lifestyle choices and you will enjoy the benefits of taking marine collagen.

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