Marine Collagen vs. Collagen Peptides - Which Is Better?

Want to know the secret to healthy, glowing skin, luscious hair and strong joints? It’s not a magic potion, it’s collagen. This protein has taken the health, wellness and beauty industries by storm, and it’s easy to understand why — the benefits of collagen are many. But what is collagen and how can it be used to promote optimal health? Read on for an in-depth look into this amazing molecule. 

We’ll discuss what collagen is, the different types of collagen and the differences between marine-derived collagen and collagen peptides. With a better understanding of these key components, you can make more informed decisions about which source of collagen best suits your needs.

What Is Collagen?

When it comes to staying strong and healthy, collagen plays a starring role. This protein accounts for roughly one-third of all proteins in the human body – it is the main component of connective tissues like tendons, cartilage, bones and skin. It also lines your organs and helps with muscle growth. 

Collagen’s incredible structure helps provide strength and stability throughout the body. Its tightly woven triple helix is made up of three strands of amino acids — making it incredibly dense and ideal for use as a building block in cells and tissues alike. 

How Is Collagen Utilized in the Body?

Collagen plays a crucial role in many different organ systems and tissues. Let’s delve into exactly how collagen functions in the body. 


Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it is constantly exposed to the elements. In this way, it acts as a sacrificial barrier to help protect the rest of your body from the outside world. Part of the skin's protective abilities comes from the structural support of collagen. 

Collagen found in your skin is also one of the components that help to keep skin youthful and plump looking. Collagen support plays a large role in maintaining youthful skin. Unfortunately, collagen in the skin tends to decline over time, which can cause wrinkles. Taking a dietary collagen supplement is one strategy many people implement to help combat the natural decline in collagen that comes with age. 

Studies have shown that taking collagen supplements can have a beneficial impact on the skin by supporting skin hydration and elasticity


Protein is essential to maintaining a healthy body – but it’s also a key constituent of your hair. Collagen has a non-essential amino acid known as proline, which is vital for the production of keratin, one of the hair’s main structural components. It works to promote healthy, strong strands.

Additionally, collagen is typically found in the skin surrounding the hair follicle, which plays an important structural role in the follicle. 


Bones tend to be considered extremely hard and solid, but they are typically quite porous. Despite bones not being as dense as rock, they are extremely strong thanks to an interconnected web of collagen, proteoglycans, glycoproteins and calcium.

Collagen is a major contributor to your overall bone mass and plays an integral structural role in supporting your entire body. The skeleton is the body's scaffolding, and collagen allows for this scaffolding to be strong and resilient. 

Cartilage and Ligaments

Cartilage and ligaments are tissues that allow bones to slide past one another in a controlled manner across a joint. Cartilage reduces friction and helps to limit bone-on-bone grinding, while ligaments help to stabilize a joint from hyperextension. Both of these crucial tissues found in your joints contain collagen. 

These tissues can accrue wear and tear over time, and a high-quality collagen supplement may help support healthier joints

Muscles and Tendons

It is well known that muscles and tendons are made of proteins, but many don’t realize that collagen also has a role in these tissues. Collagen is typically found in the sheath surrounding muscles, known as fascia. This covering helps to keep muscle fibers together and plays an important role in optimal muscle function.

What Is Type 1 Collagen?

Type 1 collagen is one of the most abundant types of collagen and it is most commonly found in bones, tendons, and the skin. Type 1 collagen is synthesized by cells called fibroblasts, and various growth factors and hormones regulate its production. 

As you age, the number of fibroblasts tends to dwindle, leading to less type 1 cartilage formation. This phenomenon is one of the potential reasons why things like wrinkles, skin aging and joint issues are more prominent as we age. 

Sources of Collagen

With age, your body produces less collagen, which can lead to wrinkles, joint discomfort, and mobility issues. Many people have discovered the benefits of collagen supplements for easing these concerns. 

But not all collagen supplements are created equal. It’s a common misconception that all supplements are the same, but this is far from the truth – rather, the quality and effectiveness of collagen can vary greatly depending on their source and processing methods. Collagen is a crucial structural protein in humans, and it can also be found in other animal species. Therefore, most collagen supplements are animal-based.

Let’s take a closer look at the two primary categories of collagen sources for supplements, their unique characteristics, and the health benefits they offer. 


Terrestrial sources of collagen refer to collagen that is derived from cattle and pigs. These animals are typical livestock and their connective tissue can be processed to provide isolated collagen for supplementation. 

Terrestrial collagen contains a unique blend of different collagen types well-suited for supporting joint health. While it can be beneficial for joint health, it contains a less bioavailable form of collagen that needs to be hydrolyzed and broken down to promote better absorption into the body. 

Additionally, the resources needed to raise terrestrial livestock like pigs or cows can make it less ideal from an environmental perspective. 


Marine collagen is collagen that is derived from aquatic animal sources. Like land animals, fish and other sea creatures like jellyfish also have connective tissue that utilizes collagen as an integral component. These tissues can be processed and isolated to yield tasteless marine collagen supplements

Marine collagen composition tends to have more type 1 collagen than terrestrial sources and significant amounts of type 2 collagen. The unique blend of marine collagen can help to support your skin and is thought to be better absorbed by the body. 

Which Source Is Better?

Both marine collagen and collagen peptides have their advantages and disadvantages.

Marine collagen is highly bioavailable and easily absorbed by the body. It’s rich in type 1 collagen, the most abundant type of collagen found in your body. Raising fish holds less of an impact on the environment, making marine collagen an ideal sustainable source as all parts of the fish are used that would otherwise be wasted.

In contrast, collagen peptides are typically sourced from land animals and can undergo hydrolysis to improve absorption. These sources often use less commonly consumed parts of the livestock, but raising them can require more resources. 

To support a healthy, active lifestyle, many people turn to supplements to ensure their bodies receive the nutrients they need. When it comes to collagen, both marine collagen and collagen peptides have been shown to promote skin elasticity, joint health and healthy bone density. However, research suggests that marine collagen may be more effective in supporting skin health, while collagen peptides may be more beneficial for joint health. 

Ultimately, choosing between marine collagen and collagen peptides depends on personal preference and desired benefits. If making environmentally-conscious decisions about where you source your collagen matters to you or if you are a pescatarian, marine collagen may be your best option. Regardless of which supplement you choose, incorporating collagen into your routine may help you look and feel your best.

Collagen vs. Collagen Peptides

Collagen, irrespective of the source, tends not to be used in its pure form for supplementation due to poor absorption in the body. When you get a collagen supplement and look at the ingredients, you will most likely see hydrolyzed collagen peptides rather than unaltered collagen for this exact reason. 

Bottom Line

Collagen plays an important role within the body, providing strength and support. Naturally, as you age, your body’s ability to produce collagen will dwindle, leading to a decrease in tissue strength and elasticity. Supplementing collagen with VITALITY X + COLLAGEN POWDER or other high-quality collagen supplements may provide your body with the collagen peptides it needs to keep up with aging and minimize premature signs of aging like wrinkles. 


Collagen: What it is, Types, Function & Benefits

Oral Intake of Low-Molecular-Weight Collagen Peptide Improves Hydration, Elasticity, and Wrinkling in Human Skin: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study | Nutrients 2018

Specific Collagen Peptides Improve Bone Mineral Density and Bone Markers in Postmenopausal Women—A Randomized Controlled Study | NCBI 

24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain | NCBI

Age-Related Changes in the Fibroblastic Differon of the Dermis: Role in Skin Aging | NCBI.