Collagen is an essential protein you can find in our skin, muscles, and bones. It helps retain and maintain body structure, which has a vital role in our lives. Since the collagen in our bodies wears out over time, bovine collagen can be used as a supplement to restore the lost collagen.
What is Bovine Collagen?
Bovine collagen comes from beef bone and cartilage. It is the closest form of collagen you can find naturally in our bodies. Taking bovine cartilage as a supplement provides a good intake of type I and III collagen.
Type I and III collagen are the most important forms of collagen and constitute 90% of the human body. Our skin, hair, nails, ligaments, muscles, teeth, gums, eyes, and blood vessels contain type I and III collagen. These collagen types are also present in the intestine, which improves gut health.
Bovine collagen contains a total of 18 amino acids, but only 3 of these play an important role in our bodies:
- Glycine: builds strong DNA and RNA strands. It also promotes creatine production, which leads to healthy muscle growth.
- Proline: promotes the body to produce collagen.
- Hydroxyproline: stabilizes collagen production.
These 3 amino acids are considered the building blocks of collagen and are crucial for maintaining the body’s structure and having immune-building powers. However, while bovine collagen doesn’t have the 9 necessary amino acids that create a protein, it does have amino acids that we cannot obtain from our regular diet. It is essential to eat various protein-filled foods to maintain optimum collagen levels.
Where Does Bovine Cartilage come from?
Bovine cartilage is sourced from cows as it is present in their hides, bones, and cartilage. However, other animals can also be used to extract bovine collagen, such as yaks, antelopes, and water buffalos, since they come from the same species.
Bovine bones are boiled in water to make them easily dissolvable to extract bovine collagen. After drying up, they get pressed to become powder, which is then consumed as collagen supplements.
Is Bovine Collagen Safe?
Since bovine collagen has previously been used in diets by people, results show that it is completely safe to consume. You can include supplements in your diet to boost collagen production in the body to remain youthful.
You can also use bovine collagen as a topical treatment for many wounds over the skin. It is administered as a subcutaneous injection to patients with rheumatoid arthritis and certain forms of cancer to provide relief and aid recovery. It can be used orally for chemical reactions to certain toxins and intravenously injected under the skin for intestine inflammation.
Benefits of Bovine Collagen
Over time and due to various factors, the collagen found in our bodies starts to fade away, making our bodies weak and brittle. Collagen loss is normal with increasing age, but hormonal changes, stress, trauma, consuming processed food, and multiple other factors lead to the deterioration of collagen. Bovine collagen has numerous benefits for the body, which include:
When a person has osteoarthritis, the bones and cartilage become stiff and lose flexibility. Osteoarthritis leads to damage in the joints causing pain to the patient as the bones start rubbing against each other, causing friction. Using hydrolyzed collagen benefits patients with osteoarthritis as collagen treats inflammation and also helps in strengthening bones. Bovine cartilage has come under the attention of medical professionals seeking to cure osteoarthritis and osteoporosis with the help of beef cartilage. 
Helping You Sleep Better
Glycine, the amino acid, is found in abundance in bovine collagen. This amino acid has amazing sleep-enhancing properties. Research showed that taking glycine before bed improved the sleep quality of those who complained about poor sleep. Glycine maintains body temperature and aids in better sleep. Moreover, collagen helps in controlling blood sugar levels, hence improving sleep. 
Nourishing The Skin
Collagen improves skin health and can become an integral part of your natural skincare routine. It builds elastin in the skin, which keeps it smooth and prevents wrinkles from developing. It fights signs of aging and reduces the effects of cellulite in the body. 
Supporting Muscle Growth
All muscles are produced from protein and require it for strength. Collagen has protein forms in it, which improve muscle health. Glycine produces creatine which helps increase muscle mass and improve muscle performance during strenuous activities.
Side Effects of Bovine Collagen
Although bovine collagen is a natural form of collagen and has multiple benefits associated with it, it carries some side effects, which you should be careful about before consumption. The U.S Food and Drug Association has deemed it safe for usage, which is why it has become a popular trend to take collagen supplements in various countries.
There are barely any side effects related to it, and it is safe for both oral and topical use. However, some people face upset stomachs, rashes, and other digestive issues when using it. If you have certain allergies or are already taking medication, you should consult your doctor before using it.
Before using it, people undergo allergen tests to stay safe from reactions. However, people may react mildly to bovine collagen in certain rare cases. These reactions may include wheezing, eczema and hives. You should contact your doctor immediately in such circumstances.
Hydrolyzed Bovine Collagen
Hydrolyzed beef collagen means that the long protein chain goes through hydrolysis to become collagen peptides. The hydrolysis process makes it easy for collagen to dissolve and absorb water.  Hence, you can easily add it to your liquids and foods. Smaller protein bits also mean faster absorption in the body, which leads to higher effectiveness of the collagen.
Bovine Collagen vs. Marine Collagen
As the name suggests, marine collagen is made from fish skin and bones. Both bovine and marine collagen provides the nourishment and strength required in the body while improving gut health. Those who want a cheaper option should go for bovine collagen, along with those who have intestinal issues. Moreover, those who are allergic to beef should stick to marine collagen. People who want to see quick results in their hair, skin, and nails should also opt for marine collagen. 
Nonetheless, both provide the same benefits, so it’s up to you which one you want to try.
Considering the overwhelming benefits of bovine collagen and its lack of major side effects, we think it’s safe to say that you can consume it to improve your health. Bovine collagen is a great supplement and a good source of protein. However, you also need to increase your protein intake from other natural sources.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Bello, A. E., & Oesser, S. (2006). Collagen hydrolysate for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders: a review of the literature. Current medical research and opinion, 22(11), 2221–2232. https://doi.org/10.1185/030079906X148373
- Bannai, M., & Kawai, N. (2012). New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep. Journal of pharmacological sciences, 118(2), 145–148. https://doi.org/10.1254/jphs.11r04fm
- Borumand, M., & Sibilla, S. (2014). Daily consumption of the collagen supplement Pure Gold Collagen® reduces visible signs of aging. Clinical interventions in aging, 9, 1747–1758. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S65939
- León-López, A., Morales-Peñaloza, A., Martínez-Juárez, V. M., Vargas-Torres, A., Zeugolis, D. I., & Aguirre-Álvarez, G. (2019). Hydrolyzed Collagen-Sources and Applications. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(22), 4031. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24224031
- Food and Nutrition Sciences. (2015, October 27). A Novel Enzymatic Method for Preparation and Characterization of Collagen Film from Swim Bladder of Fish Rohu (Labeo rohita). Scientific Research Open Access. Retrieved August 28, 2022, from https://file.scirp.org/Html/13-2701752_61421.htm