Bovine, porcine, marine, and chicken. All four sources share similar methods of extraction, producing gelatin or smaller collagen peptides. But, the similarities end there. The defining difference is quality. Chicken and marine constitute high-end collagen, porcine and bovine represent lower-end collagen.
Chicken collagen is derived from sternal cartilage, a part of the chicken devoid of impurities such as blood and lymphatic vessels. Chicken sternal cartilage from antibiotic and hormone free chickens is the collagen source that is most compatible with human collagen supply because the sternal cartilage of a chicken is analogous to human articular cartilage. Chicken cartilage comes from the cleanest part of a chicken. Primarily producing type II collagen.
Marine collagen is derived from fish scales. A sustainable collagen source, scales historically were a waste product but after finding high collagen levels they have become a sought-after pesticarian collagen that is regarded as the most bioavailable collagen of the four sources. Primarily producing type I and III collagen.
Porcine collagen is derived from the skin and bones of a pig. Historically the oldest source of collagen. Pigs were some of the first domesticated animals and when their meat, bones, and skin were cooked gelatin dense stews were created. Topical porcine collagen is a massive trend throughout the world, sold as an anti-aging gel or cream. Pig products are time-tested but are also often produced at a lower quality control standard. Primarily producing type I and III collagen.
Bovine collagen is derived from cow hide. The most common source of collagen. Grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free cows that have been raised in pasture can provide a good source of collagen and is the most popular collagen source on the market. Primarily producing type I and III collagen.
Dietary collagen regardless of type, source, and means of supplementation is at its core a boost in the amino acids necessary to produce endogenous collagen protein. Having said that dietary restrictions, quality standards, purity levels, and bioavailability/absorption do differ between these categories of collagen and should be taken into consideration by the customer before buying and taking a collagen supplement.