What is chicken collagen?

by Hannah de Gruchy February 22, 2022

What is chicken collagen

Collagen is a type of protein that the human body uses for everything from giving the skin support and structure to forming healthy blood vessels, connective tissues, joints and bones. Chicken collagen is derived from the cartilage and skin of chickens.

There are five main types of collagen, all with different molecular structures and roles. The most abundant are types I, II and III and together, the different collagen types make up around 25-35% of all the protein in the body.

As we age, our levels of collagen naturally decline which results in skin wrinkling, sagging and weakness and discomfort in our joints.

This leads some people to choose to supplement their levels of collagen with collagen-rich foods or collagen supplements. Collagen supplements are produced from various different sources, mainly from animals, including from chicken cartilage and chicken skin.

Chicken collagen: fast facts

Human body bones
  • Chicken collagen comes primarily from the breast bone of chickens, but it can also be extracted from chicken skin.
  • Chicken collagen is predominantly type II collagen, which is found abundantly in the joints of the human body.
  • It also contains compounds called chondroitin and glucosamine that the body uses to build cartilage tissue that cushions the joints.
  • Chicken collagen is also rich in the amino acids proline and glycine, two of the main building blocks of collagen.
  • Bone broth, chicken soup and chicken feet are all rich in chicken collagen and along with collagen supplements, are safe to consume on a daily basis.

What is chicken collagen?

Chicken collagen is derived from chickens, most commonly from the cartilage found within the breast bone of chickens. The skin of a chicken is also rich in collagen, accounting for around 35% of the total weight of chicken skin.

Supplements, bone broths and soups containing chicken collagen are made by boiling the bones and sometimes the skin of chickens. The collagen floats to the surface of the mixture and is skimmed off to make supplements.

Chicken collagen is safe to consume on a daily basis, there are no known side effects, unless someone has an allergy to chicken or hen eggs. If you do have an allergies consider trying a bovine or marine collagen powder.

What are the benefits of chicken collagen?

Man running collagen benefits

Chicken collagen is an abundant source of type II collagen, which is the type of collagen found primarily in the cartilage within our joints. Cartilage is a spongy substance that cushions and lubricates the joints, helping to keep them supple and preventing the bones from painfully rubbing together as they move.

Collagen derived from chickens is also rich in amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and there are 20 different types. Each protein in the human body is made up of a different combination and number of amino acids.

One of the most abundant amino acids in the protein collagen is proline, and chicken cartilage is rich in collagen-forming proline. It’s also rich in glycine, another amino acid used in the rebuilding of cartilage. These amino acids make chicken collagen-rich foods and supplements a good option for helping to build the collagen required for cartilage production in the joints.

Chicken cartilage also contains chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine sulphate, compounds that the body uses to rebuild cartilage fibres. This makes chicken collagen supplements a good choice for healthy joint support.

Chicken collagen vs beef collagen: which is better?

Pure Collagen

Beef, or bovine collagen, is a type of collagen derived mainly from cows, but can also be derived from animals such as bison and yak.

Bovine collagen is rich in collagen types I and III, which are found primarily in the skin. Collagen types I and III help to support the skin, helping to minimise the visible signs of ageing including fine lines, winkles and sagging. Many people wishing to take collagen supplements to help support the health of their skin choose to take a bovine collagen supplement. Types I and III are also good for supporting the health of muscles and bones.

Since chicken collagen is rich in type II collagen and the components that make up cartilage, those looking to support the health of their joints often choose chicken collagen supplements.

Chicken collagen supplements and chicken collagen-rich foods

Chicken collagen can be taken in supplement form, or by drinking bone broth made from the bones of chickens. Chicken bone broth can be made at home by boiling a chicken carcass after you’ve eaten the meat, or it can be bought ready-made in powder form. All you then need to do at home is add hot water.

Chicken broth soup

Bone broth is rich in collagen as well as the amino acids required for the body to synthesise collagen and is a warming, savoury drink that can be consumed each day.

In some countries around the world, chicken feet are considered a delicacy. Chicken feet are rich in type II collagen and so eating them can also help to support collagen levels.

Bone broths made from chicken have been used medicinally for generations. Chicken soup, made from boiling chicken bones and adding stocks and vegetables is often referred to as “Jewish Penicillin” as it’s used traditionally to comfort people of all ages who might be feeling under the weather. Bone broth made from chicken cartilage is also commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Chicken collagen-rich foods such as these, as well as chicken collagen supplements and bone broths, are a good way of supporting our natural levels of collagen. Particularly so, the collagen in the cartilage that supports our joints. Need helping choosing your collagen? Send us a message or read our article on the best collagen powders in the UK.

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Hannah de Gruchy
Hannah de Gruchy


Health and wellness author and biologist specialised in sustainability, nutrition and eco-living.

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