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Marine Collagen: Everything You Need To Know (+ #1 Choice For 2021)

Written by Shelby Torrese

Reviewed by Liz Brown

Everything you need to know about marine collagen, why you should be taking it, and what happens when you don’t.

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It’s hard to escape the collagen craze these days, and even more difficult to sort through all of the noise to decipher which brands and what types of collagen are worth the time, and money! With so many collagen brands and collagen types floating around the internet, I thought it was due time that I broke down one of the most popular ones, marine collagen! So many friends and family members have asked me why in the world we need different types of collagen, and whether it really does make a difference, or not. I completely understand their confusion and skepticism, because I have been there! Like them, you’ve probably heard a ton about bovine and fowl collagen, but you’d be surprised to know that you’re not getting the full benefits out of your collagen supplements if it doesn’t also include marine collagen.

To make things easy, I’ve created the best, straightforward guide to marine collagen! I’m even including what the best marine collagen on the market is (in my humble opinion), everything there is to know about the pros and cons of taking marine collagen alone, and what to look for when shopping around for it!

In this blog we’ll cover everything you need to know about marine collagen.

Article At A Glance

  • What is marine collagen?
  • Benefits
  • Types of marine collagen
  • Pros & cons of taking marine collagen
  • Best marine collagen peptides powder
marine collagen

What Is Marine Collagen?

Marine collagen, also known as marine collagen peptides or piscine-derived peptides, is collagen derived from marine animals. While marine collagen can be sourced from a variety of fish, the best marine collagen comes from wild-caught fish (1), such as cod and Alaskan pollack. Making sure your marine collagen comes from wild-caught sources is key! Wild-caught Alaskan pollack showed lower mercury levels than commercially sourced fish, such as mackerel and swordfish. (2) Plus, wild-caught fish eat a natural diet, making them lower in saturated fat, as opposed to farm-raised fish that eat a fortified diet. (3

Buying hydrolyzed collagen is also important. When you see ‘hydrolyzed’ on collagen supplements, it essentially means that it will easily dissolve into both hot and cold beverages! This makes it perfect for adding to hot coffee in the morning, or even your iced Detox tea. Plus, it will be more easily digested than non-hydrolyzed collagen supplements. 

Hydrolysis is a process of breaking down proteins with a water-based chemical reaction, making them easier to digest. The hydrolyzation process of wild-caught fish is a simple one, consisting of fish scales being washed and hydrolyzed. Studies have also shown that hydrolyzed protein produces slightly more effective and efficient results, as it has an antioxidative effect on the liver. (4) Oxidative stress can cause aging, weakened immune systems, high blood pressure, inflammatory conditions, and more. The antioxidant levels in marine collagen help to counter the effects of oxidative stress and can help keep the liver healthy when taken regularly. Oxidative stress is mainly caused by free radicals such as fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides, air pollutants, and even cell phones! So, getting enough antioxidants is crucial! (5)

Marine Collagen Benefits 

The benefits of marine collagen are allll about beauty. I mean, it only makes sense that the fountain of youth comes from a marine source, right? Type I collagen is the main type in marine collagen, and it’s responsible for things like glowing, youthful skin and stronger, longer hair and nails, and other benefits including:

  • Sebum production for glowing, youthful skin
  • Anti-aging
  • Stronger, longer hair and nails
  • Supports a healthy weight
  • Liver function
  • Slows and improves biological aging

One study showed that supplementing with marine collagen significantly improved skin elasticity and sebum production. (6) When we say that marine collagen is responsible for that radiant glow, we’re really talking about sebum! Sebum is the oil that is naturally secreted from the skin’s surface. When our sebum production is out of balance, we may either experience dry skin from lack of secretion, or oily skin from overproduction. Sebum is also responsible for photoprotection, antimicrobial activity, and anti-inflammation. (7) Sebum is how our skin stays hydrated and moisturized. Without a healthy collagen supply, we are at risk for imbalanced sebum production, which leads to rapid aging, such as more prominent wrinkles, skin sagging, and increased fine lines.

Marine collagen provides extensive benefits for both inner health and outer beauty. 

Marine sources of collagen have a few advantages over other animal sources. For one, they have lower inflammatory effects and toxins, and are easier to source on a commercial level than other sources, such as bovine and fowl. (8) Marine collagen has also been shown to positively affect glucose and lipid metabolism in patients with type II diabetes, improve lipid metabolism in obese people, and improve early alcoholic liver injuries. (9) This means that collagen not only plays a role in skin health, but also weight management and liver function.

One study conducted on healthy, middle-aged men and women showed significant improvement in skin tightness. Pictures taken of study participants showed lifting in the face, and follow-ups after the study concluded showed that participant’s biological age continued to decrease after the study. (10) Biological age is assessed by biomarkers such as lifestyle, appearance, activity levels, eating habits, and sleeping habits. Chronological age is simply the number of years we’ve been alive. One of the fun parts about taking collagen is that you can start telling people your biological age. 😉

marine collagen

What Are The Different Collagen Sources?

There are four different types of collagen sources, including:

  • Marine 
  • Bovine
  • Fowl
  • Eggshell membrane

How Does Marine Collagen Compare To Other Types Of Collagen?

While each collagen has its own set of benefits, each collagen source also contains specific collagen types. I like to think of collagen types as being similar to hair types. We all have hair, but they differ in thickness, color, and shape. So, just like hair types, there are no good or bad collagen types, they’re just different!

Marine collagen consists of mainly type I collagen, whereas bovine (beef) collagen contains types I and III. Fowl (chicken) collagen contains type II, and eggshell membrane collagen contains types I, V, and X. Each type provides unique benefits ranging from joint mobility and muscular stability, to a glowing complexion and improved digestion. In order to reap the full benefits of collagen, supplementing with all 5 types is best! That’s why my top choice for collagen supplements is Super Youth multi-collagen peptides. It is a hydrolyzed collagen with all 5 types, all sourced from wild-caught sources! 

Marine Collagen vs Bovine Collagen

Marine collagen (Type I)
Bovine collagen (Types I and III)

Bovine collagen contains types I and III collagen, which help maintain strong and healthy bone density, whereas marine collagen contains primarily type I collagen. As we age, our bones begin to break down and weaken, so bovine collagen is a great supplement for preventing rapid erosion. (11)

Marine Collagen vs Fowl Collagen

Marine collagen (Type I)
Fowl collagen (Types II)

Fowl collagen contains type II collagen, which help promote lubricated, mobile joints. Joints become brittle as we age, so fowl collagen source is a great way to re-stimulate the production of synovial fluid, which is the fluid that keeps our joints health and flexible. (12)

Marine Collagen vs Egg Collagen

Marine collagen (Type I)
Eggshell membrane collagen (Types I, V, and X)

Eggshell membrane collagen contains types I, V and X collagen, which all contribute to total-body wellness. These collagen types help boost immunity, and allow our body to recover from injury and sickness more quickly. (13)

marine collagen

Pros & Cons Of Taking Marine Collagen

If you’re already taking marine collagen, you’re on the right track! Marine collagen packs a serious benefits punch, but there are some cons to take into consideration if you’re solely taking marine collagen. If you’re exclusively taking marine collagen, read below to find out why you may want to include a variety of collagen types.


The pros of taking marine collagen are, of course, all of the endless beautifying benefits that you get! As I’ve already mentioned, marine collagen helps boost our natural, radiant glowing selves by regulating sebum production. It is also responsible for tightening, thickening, and lifting our skin, giving us a more youthful appearance. Yaaass. And one of the best things about marine collagen? It’s SUPER easy to add into your diet without too much fuss. The best marine collagen supplements can be added directly to water or easily added into a smoothie or your morning coffee. 


Marine collagen is chock full of benefits, but we miss out on a lot of benefits that other collagen types have to offer when we take marine collagen alone. When we intake collagen from multiple sources, such as bovine, fish, and fowl together, the benefits increase exponentially! For instance, collagen Type I (found in marine collagen) cannot be effective without collagen Type V (found in eggshell membrane collagen). Type V provides the fibrillar support to promote optimal tissue quality associated with marine collagen benefits. For example, joint repair and bone strength come from collagen types II and III, which can be found in bovine collagen and eggshell collagen. Each source comes with its own set of benefis, so finding a collagen that combines all of these vital sources is key! How can you recognize if a collagen includes all 5 types? Look for callouts such as hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides, bovine collagen peptides, eggshell membrane collagen, and fowl collagen peptides! Otherwise, you’re missing out on a TON of benefits that can make your collagen regimen 100% effective. 

Best Marine Collagen Peptides Powder

The best marine collagen is one that contains multiple types of collagen, is sourced from wild-caught fish, and is hydrolyzed! If you’re wondering where the heck you can find such a perfect collagen powderlook no further than SkinnyFit Super Youth! It’s my absolute favorite for all of these reasons and more! 

SkinnyFit’s Super Youth multi-collagen peptides is sourced from wild-caught Alaskan pollock, and undergoes an incredibly thorough hydrolyzation process to ensure optimal digestibility and effectiveness. PLUS it has a combination of FIVE collagen types from FOUR all-natural sources, such as grass-fed bovine and cage-free chickens. This ensures that all necessary types of collagen are present in each and every scoop! The reason I especially love Super Youth over other brands is its price point! A competitor brand collagen is up to three times the price of Super Youth, without all the benefits or types mentioned. Choosing the right marine collagen is a no-brainer for me. Super Youth has outshined every other collagen brand I’ve tried by taste, nutrition profile, and price.

The Bottom Line On Marine Collagen

If you’re looking for the beautifying benefits of collagen, then marine collagen is the one for you! It will give you the glow-y, radiant skin you think only exists with bronzer, and the hair and nail strength/length you’ve always dreamed of. But why stop at those benefits? Combine your marine collagen with bone strengthening bovine collagen, joint-repairing fowl collagen, and immune-boosting eggshell membrane collagen, all from one super easy formula!

The best way to create a new habit is to make it enjoyable. If you choose Super Youth multi-collagen peptides, be sure to check out all of my favorite ways to add it into recipes like drinks, snacks, and even cocktails, on the SkinnyFit blog! They’re so delicious, you’ll hardly believe they’re good for you. 😉

Mentioned In This Post

SkinnyFit Unflavored Collagen

Look and feel younger with Super Youth Multi-Collagen Peptides! This versatile collagen powder includes 5 collagen types from 4 natural sources to restore youthfulness from the inside out.

Learn More

About The Author

Shelby Torrese

Nutrition, Movement & Meditation Coach

Shelby Torrese is a wellness enthusiast (and matcha fanatic!) from Miami, FL. She attributes her love of movement to her mom, a personal trainer, and her love of food to her dad, a farmer. She studied creative writing in college while getting her yoga certification, and went on to pursue fitness and nutrition in grad school. Her go-to advice is, “Balance,” and she is a firm believer that the ocean can cure just about everything.

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • NASM Certified Nutrition Coach
  • M.S. in Human Performance


Reviewed By

Liz Brown

Fitness & Nutrition Expert (CPT., FNS.)

Liz is a health & wellness expert, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the fitness & nutrition industry. She emphasizes research and simplifies complex topics to help make healthy living simple and sustainable. When she isn't researching and writing, she's sharing delicious recipes, easy DIYs, and home decor tips on her blog and social media.

More from Liz, visit: Personal Blog, TikTok, Instagram


  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer(since 2012)
  • NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (since 2014)
  • Credentialed Coach Practitioner, Coach Training Academy
  • B.A. Liberal Studies (Health & Nutrition Sciences)
  • A.A. Liberal Arts (STEM)

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