Marine collagen (often called hydrolyzed fish collagen) is a great source of easily digested, absorbed and distributed collagen peptides that are known to improve skin hydration, elasticity and reduce wrinkles. Like all types of collagen, it is naturally found in the body and can be boosted with supplements and regular skin care treatments.
Like other collagen sources, fish collagen is a highly effective and safe supplement with no reported side effects. However, it is not a good fit for people who have fish allergies or are allergic to shellfish. It is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women or people with a history of liver or kidney disease.
In contrast to other forms of animal collagen, fish collagen is usually sourced from the skins of cold water fish including cod, pollock, haddock and hake. Because so much of the raw materials from fish are normally thrown away as waste, fish collagen is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative than other products sourced from animals such as cows.
The process of making fish collagen is the same as for other types of animal collagen, which involves heating the raw material to denature its triple helix structure and then using proteolytic enzymes to break it down into smaller fragments – called peptides. These peptides are easily absorbed and distributed in the body, which makes them more efficient than whole collagen. The peptides from fish collagen are particularly high in the amino acids glycine and proline, which help to promote healthy tissue growth for hair, skin and nails.