Collagen is a high molecular weight protein that plays an essential structural role in various tissues. The two familiar sources are bovine and porcine. The need for another natural source due to sustainability and safety contributes to the use of the marine source. This is an important one which is rich in different types of collagen. There are about 20 types of collagen reported currently. Each is with different peculiarities in terms of function and location in the body. i.e., type I is found in bone, dermis, tendons, type II cartilage, vitreous body or type III skin, vessel wall, or type IV found in the basement membrane. Marine collagens are also from different sources, which range from fishes, invertebrate marine animals (sponges or jellyfishes). Whatever the sources of the marine collagen, isolation entails 3 important steps of preparation, extraction, and recovery. The marine collagen can either be fibrilar or nonfibrillar with lower gelling and melting temperatures. Apart from this, marine collagen is of relatively high viscosities. In terms of the chemical components, proline and hydroxyproline in marine types are reduce, serine, threonine, and methionine are increased. Attention is mainly focused on waste materials during fish processing since they are rich in collagen.
Exciting benefits of marine collagen
Bioavailability: marine collagen is smaller in terms of the type of peptide composition. These smaller peptides increase the digestibility hence absorbed and distributed easily in the body. This ultimately provides more benefits to parts that need collagen.
Water solubility: The increased solubility characteristics of marine collagen make it superior a superior option and this makes it dissolve when we need to use it.
Skin moisture: marine collagen has also been found to protect against some skin photoaging process via the process of skin collagen repair or contribution of elastin protein fibers, which ultimately helps to improve the moisture retention in the skin. This process also includes the improvement in hyaluronic acid content.
Brain and Memory Support: Marine collagen is found to have about 20 amino acid peptides integrated with some minerals, which helps to aid brain and memory support. Amino acids such as Arginine, Glycine, Methionine, Threonine, Tyrosine, and Tryptophan are some of the amino acids which help improve human neuronal activities.
Antioxidant function: There are also antioxidants found in marine collagen, which help reduce the occurrence of ROS hence reduced inflammation.
Tissue engineering and regeneration: Salmon skin collagen serve as a form of scaffolds for bone regeneration when it is combined with hydroxyapatite. This is a result of the elastic properties and the excellent absorption properties, which allows it to interconnect well to the human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and thus proliferate. The results of the process yield good osteogenic differentiation.
Cosmetic, Skin Care, and other medical applications: Products for Beauty and maintenance of youthful appearance is big business in this generation. People look out for safe and inexpensive products that could help achieve their cosmetic goals. Marine collagen has proven to be an important functional ingredient in the cosmetic industry. The creams and gels features of the marine collagen are integrated into several products to help provide anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, or UV radiation protection for the skin. It also now being used to aid the wound healing process. This is due to its ability to prevent moisture and heat loss from the site of a wound.
Considering the several benefits marine collagen offers, it should be the best alternative source for collagen. The application in biomedicine, food science, and cosmetics has contributed to the interest in marine collagen.