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Bone Broth vs. Collagen: What's the Difference?
By Dr. Josh Axe
March 8, 2022
Bone Broth Protein and Multi Collagen Protein— two of our top-selling supplements — are ideal for anyone who is looking to support the health of their skin, hair, nails, joints, ligaments, tendons and gut. Now you can our new Collagen Peptides to the mix!
What is the difference between these products? How much collagen are in these supplements … and what types? And wait, aren't bone broth and collagen pretty much the same thing?
I will answer all of those questions below. First off, collagen is a type of protein that’s found in real bone broth, but they aren't identical. The key difference is that bone broth features collagen, but collagen does not always feature bone broth, though ours does.
Fortunately, both help support healthy connective tissues throughout the body, as well as a healthy gut function and healthy skin. Learn more below!
Bone broth is a traditional type of stock that is made by slow-simmering animal bones in water, sometimes along with chicken feet, joint tissue, cartilage, vegetables and herbs.
It isn’t your typical stock that is made with meat or fish, but instead is prepared with bones (hence the name!) that inherently features collagen peptides.
Does bone broth have collagen? Yes! Bone broth is a whole food source of collagen, plus it provides other nutrients.
When made into a powdered supplement, Bone Broth Protein is derived from real bone broth liquid. It’s dehydrated to remove water/liquid and then processed and made into a concentrated powder that is shelf-stable, convenient and has many uses.
Bone Broth Protein powder provides many of the same benefits as homemade bone broth, but it's more versatile and easier to consume on a regular basis, since it requires no preparation or cooking.
Collagen is a type of structural protein that makes up approximately 30 percent of all the proteins in the human body.
It literally helps to hold the body together (acting as an internal “glue”) by forming connective tissues found all over, including tendons, ligaments, bones and more. Thanks to the presence of collagen in our bodies, we are able to create and maintain the health of our hair, skin, nails, bones and organs, as well the linings of our gastrointestinal tracts.
As a type of protein, collagen is made up of amino acids, especially the types called glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and arginine. While other protein sources like meat, fish and eggs also provide these amino acids, collagen generally has higher levels. This is a key reason that collagen stands out among other foods with protein, and even other protein powders.
When you use collagen supplements, rather than getting it from whole food sources such as bone broth, then you’re consuming what’s called “collagen peptides.”
Collagen peptides are a source of protein that’s available in powder form (which can be mixed with liquid) and capsule form. When a product is referred to as “hydrolyzed collagen,” this means that the collagen has already been broken down into smaller, easy-to-digest particles.
Collagen peptides and bone broth powder supplements are made in different ways and can feature collagen from different sources. Collagen powder, for example, can be extracted from bovine hides, eggshells and other sources, while bone broth powder is typically made from bones, ligaments, tendons, etc.
Liquid bone broth and our Bone Broth Protein powder feature collagen from one or two sources (typically chicken and/or beef bone broth).
Our Bone Broth Protein Pure contains chicken bone broth concentrate with naturally occurring type II collagen.
High-quality bone broth supplements (like ours) also contain a wider mix of nutrients, including glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid (for chicken bone broth that is type 2 collagen — not beef), and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. All of these work together to provide support for the gut, joints and skin.
Ancient Nutrition's Multi Collagen Protein not only has collagen type II from chicken bone broth, but several other collagen types such as I, III, V and X from four other sources (now totaling 10 types of collagen!).
The new formula for Multi Collagen Protein now includes clinically studied ingredients. In particular, its fermented eggshell collagen ingredient is backed by sixhumanclinical studies. That is rare in the supplement industry and means this new upgraded ingredient went through rigorous testing in human studies to identify its proven benefits — and how long it takes to see specific, reliable results.
For example, the new Multi Collagen Protein is actually proven to do the following:
Improves the appearance of crow’s feet after 4 weeks and skin tone after 8 weeks
Promotes healthy hair thickness and growth with a reduction in hair breakage
Reduces knee stiffness in a week
Improves exercise recovery by 53%
Rapidly reduces joint discomfort in 7 days
Improves stiffness and knee function at 30 days
Ancient Nutrition's brand new Collagen Peptides Protein Powder features two sources of collagen: eggshell membrane and bovine collagen.
Like MCP, Collagen Peptides are made from a proprietary fermented eggshell membrane collagen ingredient. The fermentation process uses beneficial bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms to boost the availability of nutrients.
Collagen Peptides are also available in vanilla flavor and orange, aka Collagen Peptides Protein Powder Immune that supports a healthy immune system and healthy digestion thanks to the addition of a clinically studied SBO probiotic strain called Bacillus subtilis.
It offers results in as little as one day, providing support for healthy hair, skin, nails and joints. For example, Collagen Peptides provide rapid relief for exercise-induced joint discomfort (Day 1) and stiffness (Day 5) immediately following exercise. It improves the appearance of crow’s feet after 4 weeks and skin tone after 8 weeks. And it promotes healthy hair thickness, growth with a reduction in hair breakage.
How does the amount of collagen, protein and calories compare for our bone broth and collagen supplements?
Bone Broth Protein — 12.2 collagen grams for one serving (22.3g)
Multi Collagen Protein — 10 collagen grams for one serving (10.1g); so per gram, more collagen than BBP or Collagen Peptides
Collagen Peptides — 20 collagen grams for one serving (20g)
Bone Broth Protein — 20 protein grams for one serving (22.3g)
Multi Collagen Protein — 9 protein grams for one serving (10.1g); so per gram, almost as much protein as BBP
Collagen Peptides — 18 protein grams for one serving (20g); same as MCP
Bone Broth Protein — 80 calories for one serving (22.3g)
Multi Collagen Protein — 35 calories for one serving (10.1g); so per gram, slightly fewer calories than BBP
Collagen Peptides — 70 calories for one serving (20g); same as MCP
Now that you know the major differences between these products, it’s time to talk about which may be better suited for you, collagen or bone broth?
One isn’t necessarily better than the other — it all depends on the taste you prefer, how you plan to use it and your goals.
If you want to reap the benefits of a heaping pot of homemade bone broth without having to slave over a hot stove for many hours, then try Bone Broth Protein.
If you prefer a more neutral taste, the Bone Broth Protein Pure flavor is mostly unflavored and shouldn’t affect the flavor of recipes. Other flavor options include chocolate, vanilla, turmeric and salted caramel.
Multi Collagen Protein and Collagen Peptides may be the best options for you if you prefer products that provide several types of collagen. These products are for anyone who is looking to naturally support the body, especially joint, skin, gut, hair and nail support.
They feature two to five types of collagen depending on the kind (Multi Collagen Protein provides up to 10 types) from real food sources, including chicken, beef, turkey, eggshell membrane and fish.
MCP comes unflavored, vanilla, chocolate, cold brew, cucumber lime and strawberry lemonade. It also comes in capsule form. Collagen Peptides comes unflavored, vanilla or orange (Immune). It also comes in tablet form.
Personally, each day, I typically use both Multi Collagen Protein as well as Bone Broth Protein, such as in my favorite morning smoothie.
All of the above are easy to enjoy any time of day. Often it's recommended to have first thing in the day to make sure you never miss your daily collagen intake.
These bone broth and collagen powders can be consumed hot or cold. Use it as a base for homemade broths, soups, stews and casseroles. They can also be baked with or cooked.
The most common use is simply consuming on its own as a drink. Each mixes easily with water, coffee, almond/coconut milk, green juice or smoothies.
Bear in mind that all of these products tend to be well-tolerated and supportive of digestive health, healthy joints and healthy skin. Hydrolyzed collagen is oftentimes especially easy to digest and recommended for those looking to support gut health.
Lastly, our bone broth and collagen supplements are sourced from non-GMO, grass-fed and pasture-raised, cage-free and cruelty-free sources, and are made without hormones.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet, Collagen Diet and Ancient Remedies.