Eggshell membrane is the unexpected lesser-known source of collagen

Eggshell membrane is the unexpected lesser-known source of collagen.

When we think of collagen-rich sources, bone broth often comes to mind, thanks to its time-honored tradition of simmering bones and tissues.

However, the world of collagen extends beyond this familiar option.

What is Collagen?

At the heart of connective tissues, collagen- often referred to as a “complex protein” -reigns supreme as a protein that provides structural integrity and resilience to the body.

It contains a whopping 19 different amino acids. Protein plays a vital role in your overall health. It forms the foundation of your bones, muscles, and skin. Moreover, it’s essential for building tissues and creating important substances like hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters. Amino acids, the fundamental components of proteins which is it is critical to include essential amino acids in your diet for maintaining optimal health.

It’s the key player in skin elasticity, joint health, strong bones, gut health, flexible tendons, and resilient cartilage, making it the essential glue that keeps our bodies functioning optimally.

Collagen is foundational for beauty, vitality and youthfulness.

Collagen types and their benefits

There are 28 types of collagens- that science has discovered so far- identified in the human body, each tailored to specific functions within the body.

Type I collagen, accounting for 90% of total collagen, resides just beneath the skin’s surface, providing resilience and flexibility. It forms the cornerstone of skin, bones, joints, cartilage, and teeth.

Type II collagen, distinct for its looser structure, supports joints and bones by promoting a healthy inflammation response. It aids in joint and connective tissue restoration, featuring chondroitin and glucosamine for cartilage rebuilding.

Type III collagen, comprising a single alpha chain, contributes to the health of vital organs like the gut, muscles, blood vessels, and the uterus. Its role in major organ systems positions it as a key player in inflammation-related conditions.

Type V collagen participates in cell membrane formation, placental tissue development, skin, hair, and even the cornea of the eye.

Type X collagen, known as the network-forming collagen, significantly influences bone formation and is found within joint cartilage.


Collagen’s Link to Fourth Phase Water

Collagen’s role extends beyond structural support. Recent research hints that collagen’s helical structure might influence the formation of structured water, also known as the fourth phase of water. This structured water is believed to enhance cellular hydration and overall vitality.


Eggshell Membrane: An Overlooked Collagen Source


These collagen-rich membranes not only safeguard the egg against bacterial threats but also hold a treasure trove of health-enhancing properties.

Nestled within eggshell membranes, this potent collagen variety interacts synergistically with hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate. The result is a combination that nurtures joint flexibility, skin hydration, and overall health.

Eggshell membranes are the only natural source of Type V and Type X collagen that supports your joint health, promoting optimal weight, enhancing skin vibrancy, and supporting gut well-being.

Surprisingly resilient and containing Type I, V, and X collagens, these membranes play a more profound role in our well-being than previously thought.

While there are few studies supporting that collagen exists in egg yolks, the significance of collagen residing within eggshell membranes is often underestimated. This unique form of collagen is found in the delicate membranes of hen eggs, which serve as a barrier between the rigid eggshell and the egg white.1 2  3

That’s not all. Recent research published in the Journal of Proteomic revealed that eggshell membranes contain even more types of collagen than originally thought. Through proteomic analysis, researchers found that collagen types III, IV, VII, VIII, XII and XXII were also present in eggshell membranes.4

Benefits from Eggshell Membrane Collagen

  • Joint Health and Flexibility: Eggshell membrane collagen works in harmony with your joints, offering protection against discomfort, stiffness, and wear-and-tear. Its partnership with glycine and proline fosters a balanced response to inflammation, ultimately improving joint mobility. 6
  • Gut Resilience: Abundant in amino acids such as glutamine, glycine, and proline, eggshell membrane collagen plays a pivotal role in fortifying your intestinal barrier. This is essential for repairing a compromised gut, nurturing digestive health, and optimizing nutrient absorption.
  • Youthful Skin: With its unique blend of Type V and X collagen, eggshell membrane collagen rejuvenates your skin. It enhances elasticity, preserves moisture, and encourages the production of vital fibrin and elastic proteins, contributing to a more youthful and radiant complexion.
  • Support for Weight Management: Glycine, a key component of collagen, facilitates the conversion of glycogen into energy, promoting metabolic efficiency. Furthermore, the satiety-inducing properties of protein may assist in appetite control.

There are all these benefits while conventional wisdom wants to divert our attention by focusing on the false studies demonizing cholesterol.

Eggs, a nutritional powerhouse, have long been celebrated for their health benefits. Despite the often-negative portrayal of cholesterol, it’s worth noting that cholesterol plays a vital role in our health. Cholesterol is a component of every cell in our bodies.

Not only is cholesterol found in our skin, but it’s also essential for synthesizing vitamin D Vitamin D3, which is activated by UV rays in sunlight. Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from sunlight triggers the formation of vitamin D3 from the compound 7-dehydrocholesterol in skin.  5

The benefits of eggs deserve its own post. The focus of this post is about the Eggshell membrane as the lesser-known yet worthy source of collagen.

The Different Type and Best Source of Collagen

While each type of collagen has an array of benefits, let’s take a look at the benefits of eggshell membrane collagen. 

When it comes to sources of collagen we get from our diets, the main ones are animal foods high in protein including beef, chicken, fish and eggshell membranes.

  • Bovine (Cow) Collagen: Derived from the skin, bones, and muscles of cows, bovine collagen predominantly encompasses types 1 and 3 collagen. Enriched with glycine and proline, bovine collagen is a valuable resource for fostering creatine production, muscle development, and endogenous collagen synthesis.
  • Chicken Collagen: Chicken collagen primarily centers on type 2 collagen, making it a sought-after asset for nurturing cartilage health. This unique composition holds relevance for joint well-being, particularly due to the inclusion of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate. These compounds not only support joint vitality but also wield anti-aging effects. Chicken collagen remains a prominent choice, prominently providing type 2 collagen.
  • Fish Collagen: So if you’re looking to get your collagen from fish, which is rich in type I and III collagen, eat fish with the skin intact. Fish-derived collagen stands distinguished by its remarkable absorption capacity, predominantly featuring type 1 collagen. Laden with glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline amino acids, it resonates well with the body’s needs. Type 1 collagen’s ubiquitous presence across various bodily systems renders fish collagen advantageous for joint health, skin vibrancy, vital organs’ robustness, blood vessel integrity, digestive harmony, and skeletal strength. Hydroxyproline, a pivotal component of the collagen triple helix, contributes to collagen’s stability and is vital for countering joint degradation and the subsequent signs of aging. Its synthesis hinges on vitamin C’s involvement, highlighting the significance of this vitamin in maintaining collagen levels.
  • Organ Collagen: Organs with the highest concentration of collagen will be the ones with the most collagenous valves, tendons, and cartilage-rich structures such as these organ meats:   Heart, Intestines, Kidneys, Lungs, Trachea (popular in organ supplements), Eyeballs, Tripe- tripe is the first or second stomach of a cow or other ruminant used as food. 
  • Eggshell Membrane Collagen: Eggshell membrane collagen, sourced from eggshells, predominantly comprises type 1 collagen. While it also encompasses types 3, 4, and 10 collagen, type 1 collagen takes precedence, mirroring the human body’s composition. Additionally, eggshell membrane collagen houses glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and a spectrum of amino acids, each contributing to diverse benefits. These include facilitating connective tissue growth, expediting wound healing, enhancing muscle mass, and mitigating pain and stiffness.

As you can see when we delve deeper, we unearth a spectrum of benefits that each source brings to the table. 6  7

Bone broth contains collagen in the form of gelatin, while eggshell membrane contains specialized collagen types that have unique benefits for the body.

Understanding their unique attributes empowers us to make informed choices, tailoring our collagen intake to address specific health goals.

While direct comparisons between eggshell membrane collagen and bone broth collagen may not be straightforward due to different types and concentrations, it’s worth noting that eggshell membrane’s targeted benefits make it a valuable addition to your wellness routine.


How to Get Collagen Out of Eggs 

You can search for a supplement that has a clean source of this kind of collagen but why would you want to waste your time and money when you can consume it in whole food source with all the full spectrum benefits that mother nature intended.

The simplest way to get that collagen from eggshell out is to prepared soft boiled eggs and when you spoon the egg white and yolk, you make sure you pull the membrane and consume that too.  Here is a short Instagram reel showing you how I extract the eggshell membrane out of my eggs.

Although there’s just not enough evidence to prove that collagen exists in egg yolk ,I recommend you eat it — the yolk contains good stuff such as bioavailable iron, folate, and vitamins!

Voila! This way you are consuming the whole egg and while the yolk is soft full of nutrients.

Simple. No need to make everything complicated.

Incorporating diverse sources of collagen into your diet, such as soft boiled eggs with the eggshell membrane, can contribute to your body’s holistic well-being.


  1. Robel EJ. Levels of calcium and soluble collagen in turkey egg shell membranes. Comp Biochem Physiol A Comp Physiol. 1988;90(3):421-4. doi: 10.1016/0300-9629(88)90212-5. PMID: 2901311.
  2. Yamauchi K, Matsumoto Y, Yamauchi K. Egg collagen content is increased by a diet supplemented with wood charcoal powder containing wood vinegar liquid. Br Poult Sci. 2016 Oct;57(5):601-611. doi: 10.1080/00071668.2016.1206193. Epub 2016 Sep 27. PMID: 27376436.
  3. Wong M, Hendrix MJ, von der Mark K, Little C, Stern R. Collagen in the egg shell membranes of the hen. Dev Biol. 1984 Jul;104(1):28-36. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(84)90033-2. PMID: 6203793.
  4. Ahmed, T.A.E., Suso, H.-P., & Hincke, M.T. (2017). In-depth comparative analysis of the chicken eggshell membrane proteome. Journal of Proteomics. Elsevier. 23 February 2017.
  5.  Alshahrani F, Aljohani N. Vitamin D: deficiency, sufficiency and toxicity. Nutrients. 2013 Sep 13;5(9):3605-16. doi: 10.3390/nu5093605. PMID: 24067388; PMCID: PMC3798924.
  6. Wong M, Hendrix MJ, von der Mark K, Little C, Stern R. Collagen in the egg shell membranes of the hen. Dev Biol. 1984 Jul;104(1):28-36. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(84)90033-2. PMID: 6203793.
  7. Ahmed, Tamer A.E., Suso, Henri-Pierre, Hincke, Maxwell T. (2017). “In-depth comparative analysis of the chicken eggshell membrane proteome.” Journal of Proteomics, Elsevier, 23 February 2017.
  • Pawlak D, et al. (2017). The prevalence of cobalamin deficiency among vegetarians assessed by serum vitamin B12: a review of literature. Eur J Clin Nutr, 71(12):1493-1499.
  • Kumar S, Sugihara F, Suzuki K, et al. (2015). A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, clinical study on the effectiveness of collagen peptide on osteoarthritis. J Sci Food Agric, 95(4):702-707.
  • Vollmer DL, et al. (2018). Clinical efficacy of a new eggshell membrane-based topical agent compared to a w/o emulsion on cellulite-affected skin: a randomized, single-blind study. J Cosmet Dermatol, 17(3):458-463.

  • Gelband H, et al. (2017). Collagen: Collagen Source. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. PMID: 29494074.
  • Benito-Ruiz P, et al. (2009). A randomized controlled trial on the efficacy and safety of a food ingredient, collagen hydrolysate, for improving joint comfort. Int J Food Sci Nutr, 60(Suppl 2):99-113.
  • Watanabe-Kamiyama M, et al. (2010). Absorption and effectiveness of orally administered low molecular weight collagen hydrolysate in rats. J Agric Food Chem, 58(2):835-41.
  • Yang Y, et al. (2019). Collagen structure regulates water and solute transport across tight junctions in a tunable manner. J Cell Sci, 132(14):jcs226654.
  • Hafeman AE, et al. (2011). Effects of consuming a collagen hydrolysate supplement on symptoms of knee osteoarthritis and life quality among adult women. Int J Food Sci Nutr, 62(6):653-9.
  • Robel EJ.Comp Biochem Physiol A Comp Physiol. 1988;90(3):421-4. doi: 10.1016/0300-9629(88)90212-5.PMID: 2901311
  • Collagens of the chicken eggshell membranes.  Arias JL, Fernandez MS, Dennis JE, Caplan AI.Connect Tissue Res. 1991;26(1-2):37-45. doi: 10.3109/03008209109152162.PMID: 1905610
  • Eggshell Membrane as a Biomaterial for Bone Regeneration.  Torres-Mansilla A, Hincke M, Voltes A, López-Ruiz E, Baldión PA, Marchal JA, Álvarez-Lloret P, Gómez-Morales J.Polymers (Basel). 2023 Mar 8;15(6):1342. doi: 10.3390/polym15061342.PMID: 36987123
  •  Avian Eggshell Membrane as a Novel Biomaterial: A Review. Shi Y, Zhou K, Li D, Guyonnet V, Hincke MT, Mine Y.Foods. 2021 Sep 14;10(9):2178. doi: 10.3390/foods10092178.PMID: 34574286
  •  Vitamin D synthesis through sun Atli Arnarson BSc, PhD. Healthline. 2018.

Disclaimer:  I used to have a disclaimer that said “consult with your physician”. I now stand firmly behind on inviting you to consult with your inner healer to ensure you are making informed choices right for your body.   

Why give management of your health to those who benefit from you being sick?!?

Try practicing and living in accordance with the 7 Natural Laws. Most likely most of your imbalances will get resolved. If there are any remaining issues that simply need additional help, then consult with a functional doctor who truly practices holistically not just masking the symptoms with herbs or homeopathy.

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As always, to your health,

About Caroline

My vision is to empower you to achieve your optimal health and lead a healthy life through awareness and education. It is to bring you simple, delicious, nutritionally dense foods and easy recipes that support the wellness of your mind, body and soul. My goal is to teach the effective principles and practices of our ancestors in a modern context forliving a vibrant life.



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