Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, acting as the building block for skin, tendons, ligaments, and many other tissue types. Think of it as the glue that holds everything together.
There are a multitude of different types, uses, and benefits of collagen. In this article, we will focus on bovine collagen peptides. You’ll learn what they are, where they come from, the differences between bovine and other types of collagen, potential benefits, side effects, and more.
Here are the sections in this article … click/tap to navigate:
- What are Collagen Peptides and How Do They Differ From Regular Collagen?
- Compare Bovine Collagen to Other Sources (Marine, Chicken, Vegan)
- How Bovine Collagen Is Made
- The Health Benefits of Bovine Collagen Peptides
- Potential Side Effects or Considerations
- How to Choose a Quality Bovine Collagen Supplement
- Tips for Incorporating Collagen into Your Diet
- Best Bovine Collagen Brands: Pros and Cons
What are Collagen Peptides and How Do They Differ From Regular Collagen?
Collagen “peptides” are simply broken-down collagen molecules (which our bodies digest and absorb better).
Regular collagen is like that thick novel you’ve been meaning to read. Collagen peptides, on the other hand, are like its summarized, Clif’s Notes version.
Because of their smaller structure, peptides get absorbed more efficiently and get to work faster.
Comparing Bovine Collagen to Other Sources (Marine, Chicken, Vegan)
Bovine Collagen Origin, Types, Pros and Cons
- Origin: Derived from the skin and bones of cows.
- Primary Types: Mainly contains Type I and Type III collagen (more on this below).
- Pros: Closest to human collagen. Supports skin elasticity, joint health, and overall body structure.
- Cons: Those who have concerns about the ethics and sustainability of animal farming might steer clear.
Marine Collagen Origin, Types, Pros and Cons
- Origin: Sourced from the skin and scales of fish, especially from species like cod or snapper.
- Primary Types: Primarily contains Type I collagen.
- Pros: Known for enhancing skin hydration and reducing wrinkles. High bioavailability and absorption rates.
- Cons: Fishy aftertaste. Might not be ideal for those with fish allergies. Not ideal for mixing with most drinks because of the strong taste. Typically more expensive than other types.
Chicken Collagen Origin, Types, Pros and Cons
- Origin: Extracted from the cartilage of chickens.
- Primary Types: Predominantly Type II collagen.
- Pros: Good for joint health, and especially noted for its support in conditions like arthritis.
- Cons: More specialized; might not provide the broader benefits of Type I and Type III collagen from bovine sources.
Plant-Based / Vegan Collagen Boosters Origin, Types, Pros and Cons
- Origin: Derived from ingredients like seaweed, wheat, soy, or various genetically modified yeasts and bacteria.
- How It Works: Instead of providing actual collagen, these sources offer the necessary amino acids and nutrients that stimulate the body’s own collagen production.
- Pros: 100% vegan and vegetarian-friendly. May also contain other beneficial plant-derived nutrients.
- Cons: Not actually collagen but a “booster” that may help the body to produce more (although this has not been proven). Might not have the immediate efficacy of animal-derived collagen supplements.
Types of Bovine Collagen: What’s the Difference?
Bovine collagen mainly consists of Type I and Type III collagen, with Type II playing a cameo. Let’s unpack each of these …
Type I Collagen
The superstar of the collagen world, Type I makes up a whopping 90% of your body’s collagen.
- Found in organs, skin, tendons, and more.
- Highly associated with providing skin its structure. Hence, it’s the go-to for anti-aging, skin elasticity, and hydration.
- It’s the strongest type, meaning it works superbly for maintaining the health of your tendons, organs, and bones.
- Requires the support of other collagen types to ensure comprehensive health benefits.
Type II Collagen
Often sourced from poultry (chicken cartilage), it plays a smaller role in bovine collagen products.
- Found predominantly in cartilage.
- Has shown potential in aiding arthritis symptoms.
- Primary benefit is for joint health, meaning it doesn’t have the broad spectrum of benefits that some other collagen types offer.
- More often found in chicken sources, making it less prevalent in bovine collagen supplements.
Type III Collagen
The Robin to Type I’s Batman, Type III is the second most abundant collagen in the human body.
- Supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries, promoting overall youthful vitality.
- Often found alongside Type I, enhancing the benefits of both.
- Rarely found in isolation and often needs the presence of Type I to function optimally.
How Bovine Collagen Peptides Are Made: Why Hydrolyzed Matters
Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen that has been broken down into smaller, more digestible pieces by a process called hydrolysis. The main benefit of hydrolysis is it makes it easier for our bodies to absorb the collagen.
- Raw Material Collection: It all starts with the collection of bovine parts, predominantly leftover “waste” products like hides, bones, etc. These are rich in collagen but not in the form your body can easily digest.
- Cleaning & Preparation: The collected materials are cleaned with a lime-alkaline solution to remove non-collagenous compounds.
- Extraction: The cleaned materials undergo a hot water extraction process. Here, the heat causes the collagen to turn into a gelatin-like substance.
- Enzymatic Hydrolysis: Here’s where the magic happens. The extracted gelatin is then introduced to specific enzymes that break the protein down into smaller chains of amino acids, aka peptides.
- Purification: The hydrolyzed mixture is then purified to remove any unwanted substances, ensuring you’re getting the purest form of collagen peptides.
- Drying & Milling: Once purified, the mixture is dried, often using a process called “spray drying.” After drying, it’s milled into a fine powder, ensuring easy mixability when you use it.
The Health Benefits of Bovine Collagen Peptides
Let’s touch on some of the main benefits of collagen now.
- Skin Health: Elasticity, Hydration, and Aging. Regular bovine collagen intake can boost skin elasticity, hydration, and even help reduce the appearance of those pesky fine lines and wrinkles.
- Joint Health: Arthritis, Pain, and Cartilage Support. Creaky knees and painful elbows? Bovine collagen offers support to our joints, reducing the symptoms of arthritis and other joint disorders.
- Bone Health: Density and Strength. Keep your bones robust and healthy as you age with a dash of bovine collagen in your daily routine (try a scoop or two in your morning coffee or tea).
- Muscle Mass and Athletic Performance. Looking to add lean muscle or enhance your athletic performance? Bovine collagen peptides make a great addition to your protein shakes.
- Gut Health and the Connection to the Microbiome. An unhappy gut is a precursor to many health issues. Collagen can play a role in strengthening the gut lining, promoting a healthier digestive system.
Potential Side Effects or Considerations
Bovine collagen peptides are largely beneficial for most people. However, there are a few potential side effects and considerations for a small number of folks:
- GI Issues: Some people might experience minor digestive disturbances when they first start consuming bovine collagen. This can include feelings of fullness, bloating, or a change in bowel habits. Most of the time, these symptoms are temporary and can be reduced by starting with a smaller dosage and gradually increasing to the recommended amount. A probiotic supplement can also help.
- Allergic Reactions: Though rare, it’s possible for someone to have an allergic reaction to bovine collagen. Symptoms might include itching, rash, or swelling. If you suspect an allergy, stop taking the supplement and consult with a healthcare professional.
- Taste and Odor Sensitivity: Some people might detect a particular taste or smell from certain brands of bovine collagen, especially if it’s unflavored. This isn’t a side effect in the traditional sense, but it can affect the palatability and overall experience of consuming the product. Try a few different brands if you notice a weird taste in yours.
- Interaction with Medications: It’s always wise to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including bovine collagen. This is especially important if you’re on medications, as there can be potential interactions.
How to Choose a Quality Bovine Collagen Supplement
When considering a bovine collagen supplement, here are our best tips:
- Look for a product with Type I and Type III collagen, given their complementary roles.
- Taste (or lack thereof) matters. Unflavored bovine collagen should not have a strong smell or taste.
- Mixability also matters. If your collagen forms large, gelatinous clumps, then that is definitely not an ideal experience.
- Make sure your brand is third party tested and manufactured in a GMP-certified facility.
How to Incorporate Bovine Collagen Peptides into Your Diet
Bovine collagen peptides are one of the most versatile protein sources. The neutral taste of most bovine collagen powders ensures that you get the health benefits without compromising the flavors of your favorite dishes.
Here are some ways you can use bovine collagen peptides:
- Coffee: Stirring bovine collagen into your morning coffee is a popular way to start the day. It dissolves easily, doesn’t alter the taste, and provides an early protein boost.
- Tea: Prefer tea? Whether it’s green, black, or herbal, a scoop of collagen can seamlessly blend in.
- Other Chilled Drinks: From iced lattes to refreshing lemonades, collagen peptides can be mixed into cold drinks. However, ensure you mix well as some brands clump more than others and might need a bit more stirring or blending in colder temperatures.
- Protein Boost: Upgrade your post-workout smoothie by adding a serving of collagen peptides. Not only does it ramp up the protein content, but it also supports muscle recovery.
- Flavor Neutrality (or Flexibility): With both flavored and unflavored collagen options available, you can either complement your smoothie’s natural taste or give it a new twist!
- Protein Pancakes: Give your morning pancakes a nutritional upgrade. By adding collagen into the batter, you can enjoy a protein-packed breakfast that keeps you satiated longer.
- Soup & Stews: Collagen can act as a thickening agent. Next time you make a soup or stew, add a scoop for added texture and health benefits.
- Baked Delights: Whether you’re baking bread, muffins, or cookies, incorporating collagen peptides ensures you’re getting a protein boost with every bite.
- Savory Dishes: Don’t limit collagen to just sweets and drinks. Mix it into your pasta sauces, casseroles, or even sprinkle some on your salad dressings.
- Dosage and Frequency:
While a typical serving size provides about 10 grams of collagen and 9 grams of protein, it’s always best to refer to the brand’s recommendation.
Like any health habit, consistency is key to reap the full benefits, so find ways to make it a seamless part of your daily routine.
Best Bovine Collagen Brands: Pros and Cons
Before you plunge into the world of bovine collagen, remember: not all collagen brands are created equal. Sure, they might all glisten under the fluorescent store lights, but the quality, source, and additional ingredients can wildly differ.
That’s why it’s essential to read those labels, do your homework, and ensure you’re getting the crème de la crème of bovine collagen peptides. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of some of the most talked-about brands in the market, shall we?
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
Live Conscious Collagen Peptides
Purely Inspired Collagen Peptides
Orgain Collagen Peptides
Native Path Collagen Peptides
Sports Research Collagen Peptides
Ancient Nutrition / Dr. Axe Collagen Peptides
Great Lakes Collagen
So, here we are at the end of our collagen journey. Are bovine collagen peptides a worthy contender to add to your supplement routine?
If so, our new product, Pure Food Collagen Peptides, is coming your way soon!
Our collagen powder is formulated using hydrolyzed bovine collagen, renowned for its exceptional bioavailability.
And unlike many collagen powders on the market, Pure Food Collagen Peptides Powder dissolves instantly in both hot and cold beverages and is completely odorless and tasteless. No unpleasant odors or overpowering flavors. No grainy or chalky textures like other protein sources.