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Marine collagen | Everything you need to know about taking marine collagen peptide supplements


Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is primarily found in the skin and connective tissue. In fact, collagen makes up 70-80% of the weight of healthy skin and contributes to skin elasticity and hydration. As we age, we lose collagen from the skin, which leads to fine lines and wrinkles due to a loss of skin elasticity. In response, many people supplement with collagen to help maintain collagen levels in the skin.

One popular collagen supplement ingredient is marine collagen. Here we discuss all things marine collagen; you will learn about fish collagen, hydrolysed collagen, and all the benefits and possible side effects of marine collagen peptides. Finally, we answer your burning questions about marine collagen so you can make an educated decision when choosing the best collagen supplement.

What is marine collagen?

Marine collagen is simply collagen that has been taken from the skin and scales of fish. It is a popular supplement ingredient because it contains mainly Type I collagen fibres. These collagen fibres are also the most abundant in human skin, so they are considered more bioavailable for the skin than collagen supplements containing Type II collagen.

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Understanding the difference between fish collagen supplements and bovine collagen supplements is essential to choosing the most effective supplement for your needs. Bovine collagen can often contain a higher proportion of Type II collagen fibres, especially if cartilage has been used in production. Type II collagen may be less bioavailable for the skin since this collagen type is more commonly found in the joints. As mentioned, fish collagen contains Type I collagen, the most bioavailable type for the skin.

If you are choosing to supplement to support skin health, it may be preferable to choose marine fish supplements. However, if your primary concern is joint health, you may not need to prioritise Type I collagen supplements.

What is hydrolysed marine collagen?

Hydrolysed, when referring to collagen supplement, means that the collagen proteins have been broken down into smaller pieces called peptides. These small peptides are highly bioavailable because they can be quickly digested and absorbed into the body. In fact, it takes a matter of minutes for hydrolysed collagen to enter the bloodstream to be used in the body compared with hours for solid foods.

Hydrolysed collagen is produced in three stages: extraction, hydrolysis and purification:

  1. The extraction stage involves adding a dilute acid to the collagen protein source – the fish skin – which breaks down the rope-like collagen structure into individual gelatine strands. This process can also be done using heat – for instance, bone broth.
  2. The hydrolysis stage uses dilute acid or protein-digesting enzymes to break down the gelatine strands into smaller peptide chains. Hydrolysis means breaking bonds with water – water molecules are added into the amino acid chain, replacing the chemical bonds, breaking sections off from the chain.
  3. Finally, once peptides have been produced, it is time to purify them. The peptides are taken out of solution (undissolved) and then separated by size; it is essential to isolate the smallest peptides as these are the most bioavailable type. Once the right peptides have been funnelled off, they can be turned into collagen powder.

What are the benefits of marine collagen?

Marine collagen is expected to be the most beneficial for supporting the hair and the skin because the type of collagen present in fish collagen supplements is similar to the collagen in our skin. The hair follicles also lie within the collagen matrix of the skin, so it may be the case that marine collagen peptides help to secure the hair follicles in the scalp by reinforcing the collagen structures.

Collagen peptide supplements can enhance hyaluronic acid and collagen production. This effect may explain why collagen supplementation with peptides improved skin hydration, roughness, and reduced wrinkles after 90 days.

Now, what about fish collagen peptides specifically? Well, hydrolysed marine collagen has been shown to decrease the appearance of nose and eye wrinkles after 90 days of supplementation with Peptan® Marine. The same pioneer study also found that marine collagen peptides improved the hair's mechanical strength after 90 days.

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What are the side effects of marine collagen supplements?

Fish collagen is generally well-tolerated as a food supplement. Marine collagen peptides are smaller pieces of protein - a macronutrient that we are all capable of digesting in our day-to-day lives.

However, there are always possible side effects when taking a food supplement, especially when the dosage is not carefully considered. Here we look at the potential side effects to be aware of when taking a fish collagen supplement.

  • Minor bloating
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • An allergic reaction (hives, itching, rashes).

If you experience a minor allergic reaction, you must immediately stop using marine collagen supplements and consult your doctor about possible undiagnosed allergies. You must seek emergency medical attention if you experience any severe allergic reaction to fish collagen.

To avoid unwanted side effects of marine collagen supplements, it is important to use controlled ingredient doses so as not to cause digestive discomfort or possibly cause more severe side effects. Using a food supplement in place of a healthy lifestyle or diet is never recommended.

You should avoid taking marine collagen supplements if you are:

  • Allergic to fish or shellfish –Marine collagen is taken from the skin and scales of fish, so it is not safe for those with a fish allergy to consume marine collagen peptides.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding –it is generally not advised for pregnant or breastfeeding women to consume fish or take fish collagen supplements.
  • Vegan or vegetarian –marine collagen is taken from fish, so it is unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans.

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Marine collagen Frequently Asked Questions

You asked, and we responded. Here, we answer your top marine collagen questions so you can be equipped with all the knowledge you need before purchasing a fish collage supplement.

How much marine collagen per day is best?

Studies have found that 5,000mg of fish collagen peptides have positively affected the skin and hair. As a result, we have decided to include 7,000mg of marine collagen peptides in each daily Beauty Complex sachet to give you the best chance of seeing supplement benefits.

Which marine collagen is best?

There are many different marine collagen supplements available to buy, including powders, collagen drinks and tablets and choosing the right supplement can be challenging. A Marine collagen powder containing collagen hydrolysate is the best collagen supplement because they are the most effectively absorbed and does not need fillers and binders. Beauty Complex daily sachets contain high doses of fish collagen peptides and additional ingredients known to support the skin, hair and nails, including Selenium, vitamin C, biotin, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.

How long does marine collagen take to work?

Many successful studies using collagen peptides for the skin saw benefits after 90 days. For this reason, we recommend taking marine collagen supplements for at least nine weeks to see the most significant benefits to the skin, hair and nails.


  1. Peptan Collagens For Beauty From Within
  2. Aging of the skin connective tissue: how to measure the biochemical and mechanical properties of aging dermis.
  3. Skin collagen through the lifestages: importance for skin health and beauty
  4. Cosmetic Potential of Marine Fish Skin Collagen
  5. Collagen types. Molecular structure and tissue distribution
  6. Rousselot announces: new fundamental study on bioavailability adds to growing scientific literature investigating the mechanisms behind Peptan’s Health Benefits
  7. Collagen Extraction from Animal Skin
  8. Collagen Supplements for Aging and Wrinkles: A Paradigm Shift in the Fields of Dermatology and Cosmetics
  9. Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  10. An Insight into the Changes in Skin Texture and Properties following Dietary Intervention with a Nutricosmeceutical Containing a Blend of Collagen Bioactive Peptides and Antioxidants