Bovine Collagen Supplement Benefits & How to Use

Posted by Ethan Boldt on

By Jill Levy

Although our bodies naturally produce collagen, production decreases with age. This can lead to changes in the appearance of our skin, along with muscle, joint and gut function.

Collagen protein supplements can be derived from a number of animal sources, with bovine collagen (specifically from cows) and chicken collagen being two of the most popular.

If you’re looking for support for a healthy gut, as well as for healthy joints, skin, hair and nails, then find out below why collagen powder products — including those containing bovine collagen — may be just what you’re looking for.

What Is Bovine Collagen?

Bovine collagen is a type of collagen derived from cows. Where exactly does bovine collagen come from? It’s a naturally occurring protein found in the cartilage, connective tissues, bones and hides (skin) of cows. 

What types of collagen are found in bovine collagen?

Bovine collagen is made up of mostly types 1 and 3 collagen. 

Type 1 collagen and type 3 collagen are the major components of our skin skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, gums, teeth, eyes and blood vessels. Together, these two types make up more than 90 percent of the collagen in the human body.

Bovine collagen is brimming with many amino acids, which help to form proteins, especially the types called glycine, proline and arginine. 

Glycine is necessary for building healthy DNA and RNA strands, which help with cellular processes. Glycine is also one of the three amino acids that form creatine, which helps to promote healthy muscle growth and stamina.

Proline plays a role in the body’s ability to produce its own collagen, which means it can help to support integrity of connective tissues throughout the body.

Arginine helps improve circulation and can support heart and brain health. It also helps stimulate the production of certain hormones that can be used for growth and energy output.

    How are bovine collagen supplements made?

    Bovine collagen supplements are typically hydrolyzed, meaning the collagen is broken down into more easily digestible and usable forms. Hydrolyzed collagen is highly recommended, since it helps the body absorb collagen more efficiently.

    Hydrolyzed collagen is made out of multiple amino acids (called “the building blocks of protein”) that are linked together, including the types called glycine, proline and arginine.

    The hydrolyzation process breaks down chains that bind amino acids in collagen together. This is done via the work of enzymes that essentially help to do some of the “digesting” of collagen protein for you.

    In case you’re wondering, beef gelatin is a form of hydrolyzed beef collagen, which means it’s essentially a part of broken-down collagen.

    Note: If you’re looking to get your collagen from food sources rather than supplements, then you may want to start consuming beef bone broth. As this delicious and nutritious liquid simmers, the natural collagen in the beef bones leaches into the broth, supplying you with collagen plus other minerals and beneficial compounds.

    Health Benefits

    As mentioned above, bovine collagen is highest in types 1 and 3 collagen. Type 1 collagen is the most abundant type found in the human body, so our bodies can use type 1 collagen from collagen supplements to help support the body’s ability to form healthy connective tissues.

    Type 1 collagen also plays a major role in forming our skin, so supplements made with bovine collagen are a great option for supporting skin health. 

    Benefits of consuming bovine collagen supplements, such as Multi Collagen Protein that contains bovine collagen plus other sources, can include the following benefits from the clinically studied eggshell membrane collagen ingredient:

    • Support for healthy hair, skin, nails, joints, and gut.
    • Reduced joint discomfort.
    • Support for exercise recovery.
    • Promotion of healthy hair thickness and growth, and reduced hair breakage.
    • Improved appearance of skin issues such as crow’s feet after four weeks of use, plus support for healthy skin elasticity.
    • Reduced knee stiffness at seven days of use.

    Supplements Featuring Bovine Collagen

    Bovine collagen can be found in collagen powders or in collagen capsule form. Make sure that you opt for collagen powder sourced from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows (raised without antibiotics or chemicals) for the best quality product. 

    Here’s more about Ancient Nutrition products that contain bovine collagen:

    1. Multi Collagen Protein

    Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein products provide you with a whopping 10 types of collagen from four real food sources, including cows, chicken, fish and eggshell membrane. This is the best way to provide a broad spectrum of collagen benefits, since each type has its own unique functions.  

    MCP is also enhanced with clinically-studied ingredients like 100 percent of your daily need of vitamin C, as well as 2 billion CFU* (*at time of manufacture) of the probiotic called Bacillus coagulans. These ingredients are added to support absorption and for extra support for a healthy immune system, gut health and digestion.  

    Our Multi Collagen Protein comes in a variety of superfood formulas designed for specific interests (like joint support, gut support and more). You can choose to either take them as a powder or capsule form.

    Key benefits include:

    • Provides support for your healthy hair, skin, nails, joints and gut.
    • Reduces joint discomfort and helps joints recover faster.
    • Promotes healthy skin and healthy hair thickness and growth.

    2. Collagen Peptides

    Collagen Peptides Protein features hydrolyzed collagen. Like Multi Collagen Protein, Collagen Peptides offer support for healthy nails, gut, joints and skin thanks to collagen types I and III.

    Our Collagen Peptides are made from two sources, clinically studied fermented eggshell membrane collagen and bovine collagen. The unflavored formula provides 18 grams of protein per 2 scoop serving (20 grams of collagen). 

    Collagen Peptides are also available in a flavor formula called Collagen Peptides Immune, which supports a healthy immune system and healthy digestion.

    Key benefits include:

    • Reducing collagen degradation to support healthy hair, skin, nails, joints and gut.
    • Improving the appearance of crow’s feet.
    • Reducing joint discomfort and supporting joints to recover faster.

    3. Keto Collagen

    Keto Collagen is the first-of-its-kind keto collagen protein powder created specifically for those following the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. It provides not only 18 grams of collagen protein per serving, but also performance fats in the form of MCTs which support natural ketone production.

    Key benefits include:

    • Features MCT oil to support natural ketone levels.
    • Supporting a healthy gut and joint function.
    • Supporting healthy skin hydration and elasticity.

    4. Multi Collagen Protein Beauty Within

    Collagen makes up roughly 70 to 80 percent of the protein found in skin, and  supplementing with this collagen can help support healthy skin elasticity and a more youthful appearance. 

    This formula features the skin-supporting benefits of collagen plus phytonutrients from a clinically studied ingredient (and it tastes like delicious guava passionfruit).

    Key benefits include:

    • Support for healthy skin elasticity
    • Improved appearance of crow's feet after 28 days.
    • Promotion of healthy hair thickness and growth while reducing hair breakage.

    5. Multi Collagen Protein Recovery

    This formula is ideal for athletes and active adults. It can help support muscle recovery and strength, especially post-workout, and also contains magnesium to promote restful sleep and a calm, relaxed state of mind.

    With 13 grams of collagen peptides per serving, along with plant extracts such as tart cherry that have been traditionally used for recovery, it’s ideal for those with a demanding lifestyle. 

    Key benefits include:

    • Reducing joint discomfort and knee stiffness in as little as one week.
    • Improving exercise recovery.

    6. Multi Collagen Protein Beauty + Sleep

    Ancient Nutrition MCP Beauty + Sleep formula features 10 types of collagen protein (types I, II, III, IV, V, VII, VIII,  X, XII and XXII) along with magnesium for restful sleep support. Magnesium is calming, while collagen and other “beauty” ingredients support overall skin health and skin elasticity, plus gut, joint hair and nail health.

    Additionally, this formula includes a blend of 13 superfoods like acai berry, coffee fruit extract, Japanese sophora flower and more for healthy skin and antioxidant support.

    Key benefits include:

    • Promoting restful sleep.
    • Supporting overall skin health and skin elasticity.

    7. Multi Collagen Protein Gut Restore

    Our Gut Restore formula features 10 types of collagen, plus it uniquely contains 1 billion CFUs* (*at time of manufacture) of soil-based organism (SBOs) probiotics to help promote healthy gut microflora, reduce occasional bloating and support healthy skin.

    Key benefits include:

    • Reducing knee stiffness and joint discomfort in a week.
    • Improving the appearance of crow's feet after 28 days.
    • Improving exercise recovery by 56%.

    How to Use

    A general guideline for adults to consume one serving of collagen protein each day, according to label directions for use. Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including dietary supplementation.  

    For reference, a serving of Ancient Nutrition’s Multi Collagen Protein Unflavored, which is virtually tasteless, is equal to 1 scoop of Multi Collagen Protein powder or 3 capsules of Multi Collagen Capsules. 

    If using Collagen Peptides, take 2 scoops with 12 ounces of your favorite hot or cold beverage.

    Our unflavored collagen powders can be dissolved in both hot or cold liquids, which means it’s very versatile and easy to add to your regular diet. Here are ideas for using collagen powder:

    • Try stirring or blending it into your daily coffee. 
    • Include one scoop in your morning liquid breakfast, such as a smoothie or shake.
    • Add to baking dishes, muffins, bars or pancakes to increase protein intake.
    • Replace other protein powder with collagen powder.
    • Take collagen pre- and post-workout for tissue support.

    Jill Levy has been with the Dr. Axe and Ancient Nutrition team for six years. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Fairfield University, followed by a certification as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jill takes a “non-diet” approach to health and really enjoys teaching others about mindful eating, intuitive eating and the benefits of eating real foods.