11 Scientifically Proven advantages of fish collagen.
Marine and fish sourced collagen have plenty of scientifically proven advantages over animal sources of collagen.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, collagen is the most abundant fibrous and insoluble protein in the body and is the substance that makes up approximately 70% of the protein and holds the whole body together. It is present in the skin, muscles, tendons, and bones, where it arranges for structure, elasticity, and support . Several scientists, researchers, and medical authorities define a number of advantages of collagen. But, the natural source of collagen is the most beneficial source of collagen.
There are different sources of collagen such as bovine, pork, fish and other animal sources. Among them, fish is the safest and environment-friendly source. It helps to control environmental pollution because it obtains from a waste of fish processing. According to research, It is transparent, slightly opalescent and has a homogenous, gel-like consistency, with a characteristic smell . Another reason for considering this source as a best is due to a belief that “life originated from marine” . There are many benefits of fish collagen but 11 scientifically proven advantages of fish collagen over land / animal collagen are:
A collagen obtains from the fish is the most environment- friendly source of collagen as it obtains from the by-product of fish processing. A 75% of total weight of fish is discarded as a waste product including 60% of skin products. A skin of fish is the most abundant source of collagen and it is a waste product. If we can reutilize it as a source of collagen, it can be a valuable and environmentally sustainable source. A collagen obtains from fish skin is of Type-I collagen which is more absorbable and maintains skin integrity. So, collagen made from fish skin helps to reduce environmental pollution and provides greater benefits over ordinary source .
Negligible presence of biological contaminants and toxins
The presence of biological contaminants in collagen is the main cause of hypersensitivity, intracutaneous and pyrogenic reaction. They can be the source of systemic toxicity. Therefore, the collagen must be free from any type of biological contaminants and toxins. Kohei Yamamoto et al. conduct a biological study to check the presence of biological contaminants and toxins in fish collagen. The researchers performed both in-vivo and in-vitro test to check the contaminants. All tests related to viruses, bacteria, and endotoxin were negative. Besides this, all evaluations of pyrogenic reactions, acute systemic toxicity, intracutaneous reactions, chromosomal aberrations, sensitization and cell toxicity yielded negative results . The fish collagen is safe for external and internal use because of the absence of any type of biological toxins.
Free of zoonosis such as BSE, TSE, and FMD
Most of the industries are using collagen obtained from the animal source. There is a risk of the transference of diseases when we used collagen obtained from the animal source. The most commonly reported diseases are BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy), and FMD (Foot and Mouth Disease) . World Health Organization considered these diseases “a major health problem” . Fish collagen is the best alternative to animal collagen as it is free from the risk of transmitting diseases. Different studies confirm the safe alternative use of fish collagen. Besides this, fish collagen is easily available and free from dietary constraint .
Greater absorption due to low molecular weight
Collagen obtained from animal source cannot be absorbed by the external layer of the skin because of its high molecular weight; they remain on the skin and protects the skin from water-uptake [9, 10] and microbial attack . Fish collagen is a new, trendy and valuable component due to its composition and properties. It can easily be absorbed by the external layer of the skin; they enter into systematic circulation and provides systematic benefits such as reduce weight, strengthen teeth and bones, healthy prostate, prevent mental disorders, boosts memory and even prevent cancer.
Greater absorption due to lower body temperature than animals
The collagen obtained from animal skin is more cross-linked, as compared to fish, to maintain the integrity of the skin. Different researchers hypothesized that cross-linking of collagen in animal associated with high body temperature and high environmental temperature. The fish has a lower number of crosslinkers because the body temperature of fish is lower as compared to animal [2, 12]. Therefore, fish collagen has greater absorption properties as compared to animal collagen. Greater absorption means greater systematic effects. According to Sripriya et al., fish collagen is absorbed up to 1.5 times more efficiently as compared to animal collagen, meaning that it has superior bioavailability over other sources. Because it is absorbed more efficiently and enters the systematic circulation more rapidly, it can be categorized as the best source of collagen for food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and biomedical uses .
A high content of collagen
A high amount of collagen is present in fish. Zhang et al. analyzed different sources of collagen to check yielded quantity and type of collagen. According to his report, a high content of collagen is present in fish scales, skin and bone . Besides this, fish collagen has a very high amount of hydroxyproline, glycine, and proline. These specific amino acids are playing many essential roles in our body. These amino acids are necessary for skin and mental health. Hydroxyproline and proline are the main components of the collagen triple helix and maintain the collagen stability which is an essential component of the human skeleton and skin . Several studies reported that glycine is beneficial in insomnia or sleepiness. Collagen is beneficial in insomnia because of its glycine content . Glycine protects the body from cancer because of its antioxidant properties. Besides this, a study conducted on rodents confirmed that glycine has anti-tumor properties. Glycine limits the flow of blood by blocking the formation of new blood vessels, which is necessary for the growth of tumorous cells .
In immunogenic response to collagen, the body considered collagen or metabolites (especially telopeptides) of collagen as a foreign matter and starts humoral and cell-mediated responses. This process decreases the effect of collagen and starts allergic or hypersensitivity reactions . Most of the collagens obtained from the animal sources have telopeptides that are attributed to its immunogenicity. The telopeptides are not present in collagen obtained from the fish source. Therefore, collagen obtained from the fish possesses little immunogenicity .
Less significant religious and ethical constraints
Collagen obtained from the animal source is not acceptable for most of the communities. The collagen obtained from the porcine source is not acceptable for Muslim community because in Islam it is a major sin to use pork or pork-related materials . In Hindu religion, cows are thought to be sacred. They worshiped the cow and avoid to eat its products . So, there are religious constraints in use of collagen obtained from a bovine or porcine source. Fish is commonly used both in Hindu and Muslim communities. Therefore fish collagen can be used without any religious or ethical barriers.
Low inflammatory responses
Inflammation can cause ‘leaky gut’ syndrome by affecting the outer lining of the intestine and tight junctions. Leaky gut is mostly because of food sensitivities and hardly digestible foods that can damage the collagen layer. Foods that are not completely digested by our stomach included wheat/gluten, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts etc . According to Jordan Reasoner, leaky gut can allow the passage of undigested food, toxins, bacteria and other microbes and cause a number of health-related problems . Fish collagen is beneficial in such condition as it forms a protective layer, heal damaged cell outer lines, soothe the gut’s lining and help with the breakdown of undigested food and proteins.
The collagen obtained from the fish is of Type-I nature. Type-I collagen is more metabolically compatible as compared to Type-II. The reason is that type-I collagen obtains from skin, organs, bones, vascular ligature and tendon while type-II obtains from cartilaginous tissues. Fish collagen is not only metabolically compatible, it also boosts the body metabolism. Fish collagen increases the metabolism by its cleansing effect on the liver. Collagen maintains the energy level of our body because of its glycine content .
Minor regulatory and quality control problems
The collagen obtained from the fish is of natural origin, so highly acceptable to our body and there are no regulatory and quality control problems. It has no toxicity profile. Several studies confirm that fish collagen is the safest source of collagen. It is free from diseases reported after taking animal collagen . It is also free from biological contaminants and toxins .
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