You’ve likely heard the claims around marine collagen. Its potential anti-aging benefits are touted as the holy grail for the fountain of youth…
Reports suggest that oral supplementation will thicken your nails, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, calm joint pain, enhance blood flow, build your bones, and more…
So, to the obvious question, will it?
The short answer is a remarkable YES…
But before we get to the benefits, let’s take a look at what collagen is, what it does, and why we need to consume this restorative compound.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in animals, us included. It forms crucial components in bone, cartilage, skin, and other types of connective tissues.
Without collagen, we would struggle to stand, move and remain hydrated. This incredible compound is essential for life.
What Does Collagen Do?
Collagen maintains the structure of our tissues. If we imagine a vertical garden, it is like the lattice work that supports the plants. As in this analogy, where the fretwork provides a foundation for fresh plants to grow, collagen provides a foundation for new cells to flourish.
In most types of collagens, molecules combine to form long, slender fibers. Like a pipe cleaner, they provide strength and flexibility. (As you might imagine, this is necessary for the youthful skin, where firmness and elasticity prevent fine lines and wrinkles. More on this shortly).
What is Marine Collagen?
Marine collagen is, as the name suggests, collagen that’s derived from ocean dwelling creatures. Fish tops this list. The collagen from the bone, fins, skin and scales can be extracted for human consumption.
Is Marine Collagen the Best Source of Collagen?
There are several key considerations in deciding the best collagen to take; is it safe, is it ethical, is it effective?
Safety concerns around cow (bovine) collagen include mad cow disease and foot and mouth disease. For some, pig (porcine) collagen is not an option for religious reasons. But marine sources?
A study published in the journal Food and Nutrition Sciences answered this question succinctly:
Fish collagen is absorbed up to 1.5 times more efficiently into the body, meaning that it has superior bioavailability over bovine or porcine types. Because it is absorbed more efficiently and enters the bloodstream more quickly, it is considered to be the best source of collagen for [health] applications.
In essence, marine collagen is safe, ethical and more effective than its alternatives.
The Benefits of Marine Collagen
Because marine collagen is so similar to our own, this compound provides a vast array of benefits. From more youthful skin to faster wound healing, reversal of metabolic syndrome to joint pain relief, encouraging nail growth to strengthening your bones. This compound packs a therapeutic punch!
Achieve youthful, gorgeous skin
Collagen provides the foundation for our complexion, so depletion leads to a loss of elasticity and sagging. It’s unsurprisingly, then, to learn that as we age the collagen in our skin diminishes. This leads to the wrinkles we experience with maturity.
Yet while we’re often told there’s not a lot we can do — unless you’re willing to go under the knife — this is not a truthful retort. Collagen is both protective and restorative.
A study published in the journal Food Chemistry noted that collagen polypeptides “had good moisture absorption and retention properties and could alleviate the damage induced by UV radiation.”
This research found that collagen exerted its skin protective effects by:
— lowering the loss of moisture and fat
— enhancing anti-oxidative properties
— repairing the collagen currently within the skin, and
— protecting elastin (which, as its name suggests, allows skin to “snap back” into place)
Research has also shown that supplementing with collagen leads to…
— enhanced elasticity, even in the elderly
— a reduction in the volume and appearance of wrinkles
— improved skin hydration
— elevated facial skin moisture
— diminished roughness
— reduced sign of aging
Collagen also “plumps” tissues by retaining moisture. This is perfect for smoothing skin and improving joint function.
Gorgeous could be a daily supplement away!
Wounds that heal faster, cleaner and better
When we are wounded, the body begins to heal almost immediately. Blood starts to clot, a scab forms to protect the underlying area, local blood vessels become more permeable to deliver oxygen and nutrients, immune cells migrate to kill any infection, and collagen provides the lattice work for the creation of new tissue. The more complete the healing process, the better the outcome.
Researchers investigated whether marine collagen could aid wound repair. They found that supplementation closed the wound faster, increased tissue regeneration, improved the development of new blood vessels, and enhanced the deposition of thicker, better-organized collagen latticework.
In short, marine collagen helps wounds to heal faster, cleaner and better.
Reversal of metabolic syndrome markers
Metabolic syndrome contributes to disability, reduced quality of life and death for millions of people around the world. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance can be manifestations of this condition.
So, when research came to light that marine collagen created a profound difference, we listened. What we heard was staggering!
A study published in the journal Clinical Investigation showed that marine collagen markedly reduced fasting blood glucose and HbA1c (a longer term indicator of high blood sugar). Diastolic blood pressure and average arterial pressure dropped. Blood triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterols decreased. Insulin sensitivity improved.
These results infer reversal of the potentially deadly markers of metabolic syndrome.
Joint pain relief
Joint pain is ridiculously common. Almost one in four Americans are told each year they have some form of arthritis. Then there are the aches caused by non-arthritic triggers. Often, the only treatments prescribed are medications or surgery. These come with serious risks and rarely address the underlying issue.
Here, collagen is unique. It contributes to the repair of damaged joints and reduces pain, safely and naturally.
Research has shown that supplementation provides chondroprotective effects; it stops the death of cartilage-building cells (called chondrocytes), preserves cartilage in a damaged joint, and seems to reduce inflammation.
One 24-week study found that supplementing with collagen provided joint pain relief at rest, when walking, when standing, while running in a straight line, and when changing direction.
Collagen may offer a safe, effective option for those in need of joint pain relief.
Brittle nails are widespread, with rough, ragged, and peeling surfaces often reported. Sometimes long cracks appear. This looks unpleasant and can be downright painful.
Yet, a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found an unlikely source of recovery: daily ingestion of collagen. The participants experienced remarkable improvements; a 12% increase in nail growth rate and a 42% reduction in the frequency of broken nails.
Strong, healthy bones are needed for a well, long life. But, as we age, the risk of brittle bones rises. Osteoporosis can lead to pain and fracture. Hip fractures, for example, afflict hundreds of thousands of US adults each year, usually requiring surgery and contributing to disability.
Again, we’re often told there’s not much we can do; that bone mineral density is determined by our earlier years. However, this is not quite true.
Collagen peptides have been proven to significantly increase bone mineral density. Importantly, it does so in the lumbar spine and the vulnerable femoral neck, the part of the hip that usually snaps.
As you can see, supplemental marine collagen has a crucial role to play in health, now and into the future.
Who is Marine Collagen for?
It’s a great question! Who is marine collagen for?
If you have an allergy or react to fish, we don’t recommend this product. If not, consider this…
Marine collagen’s benefits are vast. There are two approaches. Firstly, it is for those of us who wish to experience wellbeing and prevent illness. Secondly, it is for people who have developed a malady or disease and would benefit from effective, trustworthy and natural treatment.
So, if your skin is aging, if you have signs of metabolic syndrome, if you experience joint pain, poor nail growth or weakened bones, or if you wish to potentially prevent these problems, supplemental marine collagen is a safe, sensible addition to your daily life.