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Major Sources of Collagen

Major Sources of Collagen

Collagen is an important protein that supports the connective tissues of the human body. It is a crucial component in building muscles, joints and bones. It is collagen along with elastin that gives the skin its strength, elasticity and a smooth youthful glow. With age, collagen production decreases, which can cause wrinkles, lines and sagging of the skin, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.


Collagen is commonly used in cosmetic surgery, such as for injection into the skin to decrease wrinkles and other signs of aging and in the treatment and healing of burns. Porcine (from pig skin) collagen has been used in the production of heart valves for use in heart valve repair. Collagen is also used in cosmetic products. Gelatin is a protein derived from collagen.

Major Sources

The main sources of collagen are from the skin or scales or bones of fish, (marine collagen), bovine collagen and porcine collagen.

Marine collagen is obtained from fish scales and skin of fish like, cod and the fins of sharks. Marine collagen is a popular natural supplement in Japan. Marine collagen is added to cosmetic products to aid in combating the effects of skin aging and other environmental effects. It is also added to some hair shampoos and conditioners to promote shine and volume as well as in some body soaps, cream and lotions. Marine collagen is available in powder or gel capsule forms.

Bovine Collagen

Bovine collagen is derived from the skin of cows. It is purified, sterilized and liquefied for use in cosmetic procedures such as, a collagen filler for the lips. Zyderm, Zyplast and Artecoll are brand names of bovine fillers used in cosmetic treatments. It is important for patients to be tested for allergy before being treated with bovine collagen to avoid having an allergic reaction.

Porcine Collagen

Porcine collagen is derived from the skin of pigs that are carefully monitored under a closed herd conditions or Specific Pathogen Free (SPF). These pigs are fed and cared for under the following standards. There is the absence of specific pathogens. They are not fed animal product protein. Their feeding history is fully documented. Veterinary monitoring is fully documented. Each animal is monitored and traced and genetic material will be introduced only from herds with the same SPF status.
This is according to Sun Max Biotech website.

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