Collagen is one of the most important building blocks in the human body. It is the main structural protein in the connective tissues throughout the body. Collagen is the most plentiful protein in all mammals — including humans.
Unfortunately, older human bodies cannot produce collagen as effectively as younger bodies can. As you age, your collagen production slows down, and the collagen you do have becomes more fragmented. This can lead to wrinkles, saggy skin, and other common signs of aging. As you lose collagen, you may also experience more joint pain and teeth problems. To replenish this important component of your body’s tissues, you may want to consider supplementing with marine collagen. If you’re wondering, “What is marine collagen?” this guide explains what this supplement is and how it can help your body.
What Is Marine Collagen and Where Can You Find It?
Marine collagen is collagen that comes from marine sources, usually the scales and skin of snapper, cod and other fish. Through the process of hydrolysis, which is a method of breaking down the chemical bonds in the raw material with water, collagen breaks up into smaller particles. These particles dissolve more easily in liquids (either hot or cold types). Because it goes through hydrolysis, marine collagen is sometimes called hydrolyzed collagen.
You don’t need to live near the ocean to take advantage of the many health benefits marine collagen can provide. Due to its popularity, you should easily be able to find dietary supplements containing this ingredient. Marine collagen supplements most commonly come in powder or capsule forms.
What Is Marine Collagen Good For?
Marine collagen offers an impressive variety of health benefits. From promoting quality sleep to improving exercise performance, here are some of the main things marine collagen can do for your body.
Promotes Quality Sleep
Marine collagen contains the amino acid glycine in abundance. This amino acid has valuable sleep-supporting properties. If you consume glycine before bed, you may be able to get a higher-quality sleep. Glycine may also help regulate your body’s core temperature so you can sleep more soundly. Marine collagen could help you maintain normal blood sugar levels so you’re less likely to experience sleep disturbances due to blood sugar spikes or dips. For those who wonder, “What is marine collagen good for?” improved sleep is just one example.
Boosts Skin Health
Collagen is essential for glowing, vibrant skin. As your body slows down its collagen production, your skin will start to look dull, loose and wrinkled. The good news is that consuming marine collagen can help restore skin thickness by stimulating the activity and production of skin fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are the cells in the skin that produce fibres like collagen. One study shows that supplementing with hydrolyzed collagen can improve skin firmness and collagen density after 12 weeks.
Supports a Healthy Gut
If you’re still wondering, “What does marine collagen do?” consider its impact on the gut. There are many things you can do to heal your gut naturally so you experience fewer unwanted digestive symptoms. Consuming marine collagen can boost gut health by supporting healthy digestive tract tissue. Collagen contains amino acids that reduce inflammatory gut conditions and help keep the epithelial cells in your digestive tract in good condition. If you have frequent diarrhea, bloating or other symptoms of poor gut health, consider taking a marine collagen supplement regularly.
Promotes Strong Bones
Marine collagen may not contain calcium and other minerals that promote bone health. However, it does help support the body’s ability to absorb important bone-building nutrients. Therefore, in an indirect way, marine collagen helps to promote strong bones.
Boosts Nail and Hair Growth
People who wonder, “What is marine collagen good for?” are often surprised to discover this popular supplement may help them maintain healthy hair and nails. Fully understanding how marine collagen affects hair and nails will require more studies, but there does appear to be a link between them. Most studies investigating the connection between collagen and hair and nail health look at bovine sources of collagen. However, marine collagen offers the same general benefits and is therefore likely to increase hair and nail growth just as its bovine-derived counterparts do.
Improves Exercise Performance
Collagen contains amino acids, such as glycine, that support muscle mass. They can also improve exercise performance and reduce post-exercise aches and pains. Whether you’re training for a weightlifting competition or you simply want to get in better shape, you may be able to enhance your efforts by taking a marine collagen supplement.
Should You Try Marine Collagen?
Now that you know the answer to the question, “What is marine collagen?” it’s time to discuss whether you should add it to your diet. Here are some indications you might benefit greatly from supplementing with this important ingredient:
- Decreased skin elasticity
- Brittle or dry nails
- Joint pain
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Slow wound healing
Collagen may also improve your life and health if you have trouble sleeping or have cataracts. If you’re concerned about collagen potentially interacting with other medications or health conditions, talk to your doctor. Some people may not be good candidates for marine collagen supplements, including those with allergies to shellfish or other fish and people with chronic kidney disease.
What Are Foods That Boost Collagen?
There are many animal- and plant-based foods that can boost your body’s collagen production due to their amino acid content. Some good options include:
- Poultry and beef
- Egg whites
- Bone broth
There’s no guarantee that your body will use the amino acids in these foods to make collagen. It may use the amino acids to build other proteins. If you have concerns that your body isn’t making enough collagen, consider taking a collagen supplement.