Collagen (as in "bone broth") versus collagen peptides

(Bob M) #1

I’ve been using collagen peptides from Costco. Even on sale, these are expensive. I’ve been taking 2 doses per day, and have to say this is one of the only – maybe THE only - thing I believe helps me. Many of the dark spots on my skin are waaaaaay lighter, for instance. My left shoulder, always a problem due to a torn rotator cuff muscle, is way better. (I can’t say the same for so many other things: vitamin C; berberine; alpha-lipoic acid; creatinine; the list goes on and on.)

Anyway, I am thinking of making “bone broth” with chicken bones and feet. So the dog can have some, and supposedly because it’s better to repair the digestive track, I was not going to use onions or salt or anything but bones. (Maybe some apple cider vinegar, though I can’t see that this is useful.)

The “collagen” that I get from bone broth, how does this compare with the “collagen peptides” I’m getting from Costco? I’m assuming the amount will be much less in the broth, but is there anything else different?

This is what Costco has:

(Though I just noticed that this has added Vitamin C…did not know that.)


Good question. I have been wondering the answer to this as well.

From what I understand, collagen supplements/powders get broken down into amino Acids like any other protein. These are then use as raw materials to build collagen for the body. So I guess the more raw materials for collagen available, the more likely that the body produces collagen. Although it is said that the amino acids from the collagen supplement may not always be used to produce collagen for the body.

So in that sense, one may assume that if the food consumed contains the same amount of collagen consumed in a supplement, the effect on collagen production should be roughly the same (all other things being equal).

The only thing that may give the collagen supplement/powder an advantage is that they are more readily broken down. While in food form (depending on the food), the protein food containing the collagen would need to be adequately digested to get the amino acids. So if a person has a problem with protein digestion etc -may be better off with supplements or broth?

I was thinking about this as I eat a lot of cow skin (traditionally called “ponmo” - yum!). It is mainly just collagen, keratin and water. So 100g of cow skin provides like 33g of protein which is mainly collagen. So when I eat this, I wonder if there was any point to supplementing with collagen supplements which have a lesser amount of collagen.

(Bob M) #3

Where do you get cow skin?

We bought half a pig, and I’ve been eating a lot of the skin – though it can be tough (no pun meant) to eat.

What I plan to do is drink some “bone broth” daily, hoping to get at least some of the benefits of collagen peptides, and decrease the amount of collagen peptides.

And I have the pig head, and I plan to make “head cheese”, which I assume will be a ton of collagen.


@ctviggen You can get cow skin from butchers, most afro-carribean grocery stores & some asian grocery stores.

With butchers in the Western world, I have noticed they usually discard this as there’s not really a market for it. If you can find a butcher willing to sell the cow skin (hair removed of course & chopped up), then you’ll get the best deal since they don’t normally sell it anyway .

I haven’t tried pig skin though. With cow skin, you just add the chopped pieces to a pot. I usually buy cow leg with the bone as well and add that to the pot too. Then add whatever seasoning/onions etc you want. Bring to a boil, say 40 minutes. You keep the liquid to drink as broth & you eat everything else (or add to stews, savoury dishes etc if you want to).

I love it so much. Just had some earlier :sweat_smile:

I think bone broth would work too, I am just never quite sure how to estimate the collagen amount in homemade broth. I have never heard of head cheese - sounds interesting!


Good head cheese is quite great :wink:
I recently buy something I call “fancy pâté”, it has pork skin and various organs in it :slight_smile:
And it’s very easy to buy pork skin, it’s aspic making season, my SO’s Mom keeps calling us to ask when we go to visit as there will be aspic! I like it but never made any, those sets with pork feet and extra pork skin never tempted me… But aspic is great, I just need plenty of meat in it as well.
Head cheese is better with extra meat too. Sometimes it’s just the meat from the head but sometimes extra meat is added. The last I bought had lots of big tongue pieces in it, it’s not typical and I didn’t particularly liked that… But tongue alone and normal head cheese, they are both great. To me, at least, tastes differ…

I often eat pork skin. I don’t waste good food and sometimes we buy smoked pork hock, that has lots of skin. My pork jowl has lovely skin too. These are cooked already so I easily ground them and mix with other things… It has a unique taste even with other things mixed in, I like it a lot.


It’s just overpriced incomplete protein, you get everything from all complete protein you get from that as far as aminos, the difference with skin and collagen is the much higher Glycine content. Way cheaper to supplement glycine when you’re consuming protein. To be anal, that one is already broken down in peptide form, so it’s digested already. You can buy Hydrolyzed Protein powders as well, but really not needed, plus then the price goes up and it doesn’t taste as good.

If you look at the amino breakdown on the back, the only difference is the missing Tryptophan, and the higher Glycine vs a protein powder.

(Bob M) #7

So, basically Whey protein + extra Glycine?

I am going to make some stock this weekend, and start using that for at least some of the times I’d be taking the collagen peptides. Will see what happens.


Maybe so, but my fingernails and toenails grow much faster since I’ve been adding collagen to my morning coffee. Maybe I’m wrong, but I conclude that my connective tissue probably benefits as well. I think certain amino acids perform certain tasks and/or provide certain raw ingredients that get used accordingly. Collagen bumps up some amino acids and my metabolism uses them for whatever it needs to use them.


Me too, and my sister as well (who is not keto) I am eating a lot of protein but for some reason it does not have the same effect. The effect is directly and independently observable. I don’t understand it except maybe it’s related to some people needing amino acids in different relative proportions.


I didn’t take much peptides yet (it’s a little dose per day and I often skip it as I don’t want to overeat protein even more, it’s a tiny difference but still) but my nails got a bit better already and it means a lot to me, I so hated painted my nails all the time (without it, they went below zero and it was painful). And collagen peptides aren’t particularly expensive even for me who can’t even afford ruminant meat (more than once a month or so) :wink: The thing above is expensive indeed, my pork peptides are a fragment of that price… We will see what will happen longer term.
I eat lots of skin (at least it wouldn’t be convenient to eat more) but it’s apparently not the same.

(Bob M) #11

An update. I’ve starting using Richard’s idea of a 5 hour instant pot on high pressure to really get the collagen out of bones. I’ve used it with his idea of smoked ham hocks (and I used the trotters too), and it really produces a beyond-jello type of gelatin. Been having this for lunch as “soup”. Will do the same for chicken this weekend to see what it’s like.

Note: after 2 hours, he takes the meat off the bones and puts the bones back in for 3 more hours. For my instant pot, it has a maximum of 2 hours, so you have to stop then anyway. To get a +3 hour time period, I end at 2 hours, reset, start for 1 more hour.

(Bob M) #12

Well, this is disconcerting:


Extremely disappointing. Thanks for the alert.


@ctviggen I strongly disagree with the premise of the linked article. I’m very doubtful that the collagen I add to my morning coffee contributes to deforestation, violence and human rights abuses in Brazil. Indeed, Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef, but the primary market for Brazilian beef is Asia. While some collagen processing is based on Brazilian sources, much is also based on North American, Australian and New Zealand sources.

Do you think for a second that all the hides, bones and tendons removed from the various beef cuts you purchase at your local grocery are just tossed into the garbage? I do not. They’re used to extract collagen.

PS: @admins This is NOT a political statement. It’s a statement of my opinion based on what I know about this topic. Collagen supplements are an important component of the diets of many of us who eat keto. I think it not helpful to demonize collagen based on an article of dubious intent.


Even my collagen peptides (pork) comes from Brazil. I am not happy now.
I wasn’t even happy with the Ethiopian beans, totally irrelevantly how they make the stuff. Why isn’t it more local?

By the way I made bone broth today :slight_smile: It’s nice though I may put in some meat later, the bones had very little.
And no way I ever will use more than 2 hours, it goes against something in me. Maybe if I use open fire? :smiley: My garden produces too much wood to burn (well some of them eventually becomes soil, that’s good… but it’s a very slow process and when it’s from smaller plants, it’s too big volume, I already have multiple big compost heaps) and I still have lots of wood from the rebuilding of the house more than a decade ago as well (and I used much of it for DIY projects)… But that requires supervision…