Collagen for Vegans; 16 Amazing Amino Acids in Sea Moss

So you’re on the hunt for a reliable source of collagen for Vegans, right? Chances are that someone has told you that Sea Moss is a great source of Vegan collagen.

The truth of the matter is that no seaweed contains collagen to a level that has been determined to be suitable for commercial processes. 1

But don’t despair! There are collagen-stimulating solutions that are Vegan, and Sea Moss does play a part here. So, come with me as we explore the truth behind collagen for Vegans in seaweed.

Is Collagen for Vegans a Real Thing?

Ok. So the Sea Moss being a source of collagen for Vegans bubble seems to have been popped here. But we still have the question about Vegan collagen, and is it a real thing.

Seaweed can certainly play a part in stimulating collagen production, even though it doesn’t consist of collagen per se. What it does consist of is many of the amino acids that support collagen production and stimulation.

Specific seaweeds contain a variety of nutrients and compounds that support collagen production in the body. These include vitamins C and E, which are essential for collagen synthesis, as well as antioxidants that help to repair and protect collagen fibrils.

Vitamin C in Sea Moss

As you dig deeper into the content below, you’ll see that Eucheuma Cottonii contains Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, a protein that helps keep the skin strong and healthy. An adequate intake of Vitamin C can help protect collagen fibers and prevent damage to the skin. This, in turn, can help slow down the aging process and keep the skin looking youthful and radiant.

Additionally, Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to the development of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

It is important to consume a diet rich in Vitamin C, or take a Vitamin C supplement if needed, to ensure that you are getting enough of this essential nutrient.

With these essential vitamins found in Eucheuma Cottonii,

Vitamin E in Sea Moss

α-Tocopherol, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is a type of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in many foods and can also be taken as a dietary supplement.

α-Tocopherol is the most active form of vitamin E in the body, and it is the form that is most commonly found in supplements, and it’s also in Sea Moss.

This form of vitamin E is known for its powerful antioxidant properties, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is also essential for maintaining healthy skin and eyes, and it may play a role in supporting the immune system.

In addition to these key vitamins, this seaweed is also a reliable source of minerals like zinc, copper, and magnesium, which also play a role in maintaining healthy collagen levels.

There are many different species of seaweed, but some are preferred over others as a source of dietary support for collagen production.

Which Amino Acids are Required for Collagen Production?

Collagen synthesis is supported in the dermis when Glycine (Gly), Lysine (Lys), and Proline (Pro) are present. 2 3 4

As three amino acids that are required to produce collagen, these are found in Eucheuma Cottonii typically as (mg / g-1 dry weight) Gly 2.27 ± 0.32, Pro 2.02 ± 0.09, Lys (mg g-1 reference protein) @1.45 ± 0.48. 5 6 7

Now that’s some exciting news on the collagen for Vegans front!

However, the absence of the amino acid hydroxyproline is the only downside with Eucheuma Cottonii, but this amino acid can be sourced from Ulva Rigida and Ulva Rotundata. 8 9 10 11

The general response I find I get when I tell people about eating seaweed is a lot like “Oh, yuck!” and “Why would you want to eat salty, smelly seaweed?”

The truth of the matter is that when seaweed is properly prepared it doesn’t have a pungent smell or an off-putting taste.

In fact, I’ve used seaweed in cooking that has had no flavour, and it hasn’t changed the smell or the taste of the dish.

thick and golden sea moss dusted with salt grains that have naturally leached out of the plant being held in an open palm. Caption overlay reads 'we love a good looking harvest'
We love a good-looking batch of Sea Moss. Find this image on Instagram.

Collagen for Vegans; Is it Needed?

Regardless of your lifestyle and dietary choices, if you live by a Vegan ideology or not, collagen plays a key role in keeping you healthy.

It is easier to separate the different products you may choose to consume or avoid than it is to separate the different essential components of nutritional value derived from a broad range of foods.

By that, I mean it is easier to say ‘no’ to animal products and have that values-based line in the sand than it is to then try and find some of the sources of sustenance required from other things.

You could turn to supplements to support health in specific areas, but you then have the question of where the supplemental sources of nutrition are derived from, and how good the product really is for you.

To be clear on the importance, collagen is a protein that is produced by the body. It is the most abundant protein in the human body and is a major component of connective tissues.

It is made up of long chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. These chains are arranged in a specific pattern to form strong, flexible fibers that provide structure and support to the body’s tissues.

In this sense, collagen can be considered a protein, as it is made up of proteins. However, it is also correct to say that collagen is made of proteins, as it is composed of amino acids that are arranged in a specific way to form a protein.

As collagen for Vegans (and non-Vegans) is really needed to ensure specific dimensions of physical health are maintained such as supporting:

  • Connective tissue (tendon and ligament) health
  • Organ health and functionality
  • Digestive health and functionality
  • Skin, hair and nail health and more

It becomes important for us to take a closer look at solutions that are suitable and aligned with Vegan values.

The Easiest Way to get Collagen for Vegans from Seaweed

We now know that Sea Moss doesn’t contain actual collagen. However, it does contain many of the needed amino acids. This is the exciting part.

The compounds found in Eucheuma Cottonii have been studied and found to help with supporting skin health in key areas. Sounds like this seaweed is the perfect base to support the stimulation of collagen for Vegans to me!

A number of studies completed with different research objectives have found that certain constituents within Eucheuma Cottonii have been able to provide support in:

  • Wound healing 12 13
  • Protecting against hepatotoxicity 14
  • Reducing inflammation 15

Nutritional Content Assessment of Sea Moss

Much of the value that is attributed to Sea Moss is wrapped up in the popular belief that it consists of 92 of the 102 minerals found in the human body.

But is this popular belief really true? And, would you really want to consume all of these minerals consistently in the interests of good health?

Let’s consider some of the scientific evidence that has been verified in countless studies from around the world.

What are the Essential Minerals for Human Health?

The full list of minerals found in the human body includes:

  1. Calcium
  2. Phosphorus
  3. Potassium
  4. Sulfur
  5. Sodium
  6. Chlorine
  7. Magnesium
  8. Iron
  9. Zinc
  10. Iodine
  11. Selenium
  12. Manganese
  13. Copper
  14. Molybdenum
  15. Fluoride
  16. Chromium
  17. Cobalt.

These minerals are what is considered to be ‘essential’ for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and other tissues, and are involved in many bodily functions. 16

Are there any Other Minerals found in the Human Body?

Many other minerals can be found in the human body, but they are not considered essential for human health. These are not directly connected to stimulating collagen for Vegans, but they do play a key role in overall health.

These minerals may be present in trace amounts in the body, or they may be absorbed from the environment or from certain foods. Some examples of non-essential minerals include:

  • Arsenic
  • Boron
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Tin.

There may be other non-essential minerals found in the human body, but these are the most common ones. It is important to note that the term “non-essential” refers to the fact that these minerals are not required for human health in the same way that essential minerals are. 17

They may still have some beneficial effects on the body, but they are not considered essential for maintaining good health. It is important to limit exposure to these minerals, as excessive intake can be harmful to the body.

Take a look at the Periodic Table below for some deeper profile-oriented information on the elements that are listed. The interactive format this has been provided in is very impressive! 18

Minerals found in Eucheuma Cottonii

For those of you who want to geek out on the science, the following is an extract from the study “Nutrient content of tropical edible seaweeds, Eucheuma cottonii, Caulerpa lentillifera, and Sargassum polycystum” published in the Journal of Applied Phycology in 2008. 19

More than just supporting collagen for Vegans, the nutritional value profile of Eucheuma Cottonii has been found to consist of the following:

Nutrient Profile% = Dry Weight of SampleValue
Protein%9.76 ± 1.33
Lipid%1.10 ± 0.05
Ash%46.19 ± 0.42
Crude Fiber%5.91 ± 1.21
Carbohydrate%26.49 ± 3.01
Moisture Content%10.55 ± 1.60
Soluble Fiber%18.25 ± 0.93
Insoluble Fiber%6.80 ± 0.06
Total Dietary Fiber%25.05 ± 0.99
Vitamin Cmg 100 g-1 WW35.3 ± 0.01
α-Tocopherolmg/100 g DW5.85 ± 0.27
Na (Sodium)mg/100 g mg 100 g-1 DW1,171.84 ± 0.01
K (Potassium)mg. 100 g-1 DW13,155.19 ± 1.14
Ca (Calcium)mg. 100 g-1 DW329.69 ± 0.33
Mg (Magnesium)mg. 100 g-1 DW271.33 ± 0.20
Fe (Iron)mg. 100 g-1 DW2.61 ± 0.00
Zn (Zinc)mg/100 g mg 100 g-1 DW4.30 ± 0.02
Cu (Copper)mg. 100 g-1 DW0.03 ± 0.00
Se (Selenium)mg. 100 g-1 DW0.59 ± 0.00
I (Iodine)μg g-1 DW9.42 ± 0.12
Na/K ratio0.14
Total cations15,535.58 ± 1.70
Fatty Acid ProfileCarbon No.% of Total Fatty Acid Content
Henocasanoic C21:0
Saturated Fatty Acids (FA)25.17 ± 0.38
Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA)23.28 ± 0.47
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA)55.15 ± 0.57
PUFAs ω64.68 ± 0.05
PUFAs ω345.72 ± 0.59
Ratio ω6/ω30.10
Amino Acid ProfileNo. (mg g-1 reference protein)Seaweed (mg g-1 dry weight)
Aspartic Acid (Asp)2.65 ± 0.15
Glutamic Acid (Glu)5.17 ± 0.13
Serine (Ser)1.92 ± 0.04
Glycine (Gly)2.27 ± 0.32
Histidine (His)0.25 ± 0.10
Arginine (Arg)2.60 ± 0.14
Threonine (Thr)34@2.09 ± 0.01
Alanine (Ala)3.14 ± 0.11
Proline (Pro)2.02 ± 0.09
Thyrosine (Tyr)1.01 ± 0.12
Valine (Val)35@2.61 ± 0.07
Methonine (Met)25@0.83 ± 0.17
Isoleucine (Ile)28@2.41 ± 0.04
Leucine (Leu)66@3.37 ± 0.06
Phenylalanine (Phe)6319.07 ± 2.48
Lysine (Lys)58@1.45 ± 0.48
Chemical score (%)25.6
Most Limiting Amino Acid (LAA)Lysine
Total Amount52.86 ± 3.37
Essential Amino Acid (EAA)32.07 ± 3.13
EAA (%)60.59 ± 1.36
Protein (%)9.76 ± 1.33

Notes: [19]

  • Per the table above, values are expressed as a mean±standard deviation, n=3.
  • Chemical Score (%) = (mg Limiting Amino Acid per g of Test Protein x 100) / (mg Limiting Amino Acid per g of Reference Protein).
  • Amino Acid No. based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, The World Health Organization, and The United Nations University amino acid requirement pattern. @(number) represents LAA.

The presence of these various amino acids is where a lot of the support for stimulating collagen for Vegans and healthy skin and connective tissue production comes from.

So how easy is it to use Eucheuma Cottonii? Follow the steps shown below to get the most out of your Sea Moss!

Working with Sea Moss

This is how I process my Sea Moss to make it into a gel so I can use it in a range of recipes. I find that this is a great source of amino acids to support the production of collagen for Vegans. The simple steps to make your own gel are as follows:

How to Prepare Sea Moss

Working with clean utensils is required for a longer shelf life when making your own Sea Moss Gel. Always make sure any preparation areas are clean, and you only use clean equipment and storage containers for the best results.

How to Prepare your Sea Moss

Total Time: 1 day, 12 hours and 15 minutes


1) Thoroughly rinse any surface salt or sand off the Sea Moss.
2) Allow the Sea Moss to rest and soak in a container of water for 5 to 10 minutes.
3) Repeat the rinsing process to remove any remaining sand or debris that has become loose after soaking.


1) Place the Sea Moss in a large container or a jar with a lid.
2) Cover the Sea Moss completely with filtered or alkaline water.
Note: If using a bowl, place a small plate on top of the Sea Moss in the container to keep it submerged. If using a jar, fill to the top and firmly attach the lid.
3) Allow to soak for 12 to 24 hours (longer may be required depending on the climate you live in).
Note: Soaking can be done in a refrigerator if you prefer.


1) Remove from soaking and place into a strainer.
2) Rinse off with clean water.
3) Place into a powerful blender capable of blending thick ingredients.
Note: This may need to be done in stages depending on the volume your blender can handle.
4) Add roughly 1 cup of fresh water to the blender to assist with the blending process and blend for approximately 2 minutes.
5) Stop the blender and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender.
6) Blend again until smooth.
Note: Some blenders do not require the sides to be scraped down. This depends mainly on the blade configuration, jug shape, and power of your blender.
Note: When decanting from the blender the optimal consistency for a firm gel is for this to pour like cream. If you prefer thinner gel, add more water. More water can be added to a thick gel that has set later to make this thinner for uses that require a thinner gel.


1) Pour the blended gel into a sealable jar and refrigerate with the lid on.
2) Allow to site for approximately 12 hours.
Note: The gel will thicken, taking on a jelly-like consistency when it is cooled. If this is too thick you can mix through more water after it has set. If this is too thin your only option is to add less water when blending on your next batch.
3) Store in the refrigerator and use as needed in recipes.
Note: Always use a clean spoon when serving your gel. Keep refrigerated. Shelf life is approximately 2 to 4 weeks from preparation.

Estimated Cost: 5 AUD


  • 30g of Sea Moss


  • Large Bowl or Jar with a lid
  • Strainer or Sieve
  • Blender
  • Spatula
  • 500ml to 600ml Jar(s) with lid

Materials: Filtered or Alkaline Water

What are the Benefits of Consuming Sea Moss?

If you don’t consume meat, or animal products, I believe that Sea Moss is a veritable gift when it comes to a sustainable source of nutrients for building healthy collagen for Vegans.

I have found that my previously poor gut health has improved since I have been regularly consuming this seaweed. The process for preparation outlined above gives me an easy-to-use supply of collagen-stimulating gel that can be added to almost anything.

Since taking Sea Moss in this form I have also found that my hair and nails are significantly stronger. My eyes appear to be much brighter than before too.

I haven’t felt any aches in my joints that previously were a little annoying from time to time, and my body weight has been more stable.

According to the research that I have done, consuming Sea Moss also helps with improving intestinal health where the good bacteria through its prebiotic properties.


How do Vegans get Collagen?

Sources of collagen for Vegans can be challenging. Many of these are animal-based, but there are nutrients and amino acids in plant-based options that support collagen production. These are easy to access and can be found in things like soy, seaweed, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, and berries to name a few.

Is Collagen OK for Vegans?

Collagen is required to support a healthy body. The need for a reliable source of collagen for Vegans is just as important as it is for those who chose to consume animal products. The subjective nature of this being ‘ok’ or not is really down to the individual to decide upon from an ethical standpoint more than a health-based perspective.

What is a Vegan alternative to Collagen?

As there is no collagen for Vegans, strictly speaking, if you’re after Vegan collagen peptides you’ll need to look to plant-based whole foods. Alternatively, there are GMO options if this is aligned with your values. Yeast and bacteria have been engineered under specific circumstances to synthesise collagen fibrils.

Is there a Vegan way to boost Collagen?

Yes. You can boost your own collagen for Vegans by consuming whole foods that are rich in the needed vitamins and minerals. Another means may be through Vegan collagen supplements, but you’ll need to check these are there are considerable variations from one product to the next.

Why do Vegans need Collagen?

Vegans need collagen to support the general health of the body where connective tissue performs specific functions. Consider how your body will function if it has no, or low collagen levels with regard to your joints, gut health, and skin health to name a few. Collagen production and support is needed to maintain a broad quality of life and reduce the deterioration of your physical state for as long as possible.

Are there any Vegan Collagen foods?

Not strictly speaking, no. Any foods that contain collagen aren’t by definition Vegan. So, there is a need to consider collagen-stimulating foods if you’re Vegan and you are looking for a way to boost your own supply.

What is the best Vegan Collagen?

The best source of collagen for Vegans is found in maintaining and boosting their own supply. When you are living by a Vegan ideology, the easiest way to do this is to keep up your consumption of plant-based foods that support collagen production and reduce your exposure to factors that deteriorate collagen levels. This can include avoiding excessive sun exposure, smoking, alcohol, and caffeine.


The benefits of Sea Moss are numerous and varied. As a source of support to help stimulate collagen for Vegans, this humble seaweed packs a powerful punch when it comes to supporting a healthy body. With its high nutritional value and amino acid profile, Sea Moss is an excellent addition to any diet. It is a rich source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron, which are all essential minerals for good health. Additionally, Sea Moss contains vitamins like Vitamin C and α-Tocopherol, which have antioxidant properties.

Beyond supporting collagen health and production, Sea Moss has a positive impact on gut health and can help regulate intestinal bacteria. Its high fiber content and prebiotic properties make it an excellent dietary addition for those seeking to improve their overall digestive health.

Furthermore, Sea Moss has been linked to improvements in hair, nail, and skin health. It is a sustainable and ethical option for those who choose to consume plant-based foods and is easy to prepare and integrate into daily meals.

Overall, Sea Moss is a key product that should be considered as part of a well-balanced diet. Its numerous health benefits make it a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to support their overall health and wellbeing. With its versatility and easy preparation, Sea Moss is an excellent option for those seeking to boost their nutrient intake and support their body’s natural processes.


Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Ter-Er Kusu-Orkar MBCHB MRes (Dis) MRCS (RCSEd)
Dr. Ter-Er Kusu-Orkar
  1. “The algae and seaweed opportunity: An Australian prospect” A. Spencer, March 2021 [Agrifutures] [Archive] ↩︎
  2. “Glycine” – National Library of Medicine, 16 September 2004 [NIH] [Archive] ↩︎
  3. “Lysine” – National Library of Medicine, 16 September 2004 [NIH] [Archive] ↩︎
  4. “Proline” – National Library of Medicine, 16 September 2004 [NIH] [Archive] ↩︎
  5. “Importance of amino acid composition to improve skin collagen protein synthesis rates in UV-irradiated mice” – H. Murakami, K. Shimbo, Y. Inoue, Y. Takino, H. Kobayashi, 23 August 2011 [PubMed] [Archive] ↩︎
  6. “Nutrient content of tropical edible seaweeds, Eucheuma cottonii, Caulerpa lentillifera and Sargassum polycystum” – P. Matanjun, S. Mohamed, N. Mustapha, K. Muhammad, 2009 [AGRIS] [Archive] ↩︎
  7. “High glycine concentration increases collagen synthesis by articular chondrocytes in vitro: acute glycine deficiency could be an important cause of osteoarthritis” – P. Paz-Lugo, J. A. Lupiáñez, E. Meléndez-Hevia, 13 July 2018 [PubMed] [Archive] ↩︎
  8. “Hydroxyproline” – National Library of Medicine, 16 September 2004 [NIH] [Archive] ↩︎
  9. “Comparison of different extractive procedures for proteins from the edible seaweeds Ulva rigida and Ulva rotundata” – J. Fleurence, C. Le Coeur, S. Mabeau, M. Maurice, A. Landrein, December 1995 [SpringerLink] [Archive] ↩︎
  10. “Ulva rigida C.Agardh, 1823” – M. D Guiry, 21 December 2004 [WoRMS] [Archive] ↩︎
  11. “Ulva rotundata Bliding, 1968” – M. D Guiry, 21 December 2004 [WoRMS] [Archive] ↩︎
  12. “Bionanotechnology: Emerging Applications of Bionanomaterials – Chapter 8 – Bionanomaterials for wound healing applications” – I. Chummun, H. Ramphul, D. Jhurry, A. B. Luximon, 17 June 2022 [ScienceDirect] [Archive] ↩︎
  13. “Wound healing properties of Eucheuma Cottonii extracts in Sprague-Dawley rats” – S. G. Fard, R. T. R. Tan, A. A. Mohammed, G. Y. Meng, S. K. S. Muhamad, K. A. AL-Jashamy, S. Mohamed, November 2011 [Academic Journals] [Archive] ↩︎
  14. “The Potency of Red Seaweed (Eucheuma cottonii) Extracts as Hepatoprotector on Lead Acetate-induced Hepatotoxicity in Mice” – G. Wardani, N. Farida, R. Andayani, M. Kuntoro, S. A. Sudjarwo, September 2017 [PubMed] [Archive] ↩︎
  15. “Dietary polysaccharide-rich extract from Eucheuma Cottonii modulates the inflammatory response and suppresses colonic injury on dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in mice” – S. Sudirman, Y. H. Hsu, J. L. He, Z. L. Kong, 5 October 2018 [POLS One] [Archive] ↩︎
  16. “Vitamins and Minerals” – NCCIH, February 2018 [NIH] [Archive] ↩︎
  17. “Trace Elements – Deficiency and Toxicity” – K. L. Johnson-Davis, Y. Yang, March 2011 [ARUP Consult] [Archive] ↩︎
  18. “Periodic Table” – M. Dayah, 12 October 2022 [PTable] [Archive] ↩︎
  19. “Nutrient content of tropical edible seaweeds, Eucheuma cottonii, Caulerpa lentillifera and Sargassum polycystum” – P. Matanjun, S. Mohamed, N. Mustapha, K. Muhammad, 22 May 2008 [DeepDyve] [Archive] ↩︎

Last Updated on 1 month by D&C Editorial Team

6 thoughts on “Collagen for Vegans; 16 Amazing Amino Acids in Sea Moss”

  1. Can I be rough with the sea moss when I wash it for the first few times? Or is it going to break up after being in the water?

    • Hello Jacinta,

      You can be rougher with the sea moss in the earlier stages of cleaning. The longer it stays in the water the softer it will become. I have found that after a few hours it begins to soften up a little too much to wash it roughly.

      If you give it a good solid wash a few times in the first thirty minutes this should be enough.

    • Hello Ian,

      Thanks for reaching out to us.

      At this stage we are selling through select retailers in Melbourne, but will soon be launching online. Watch this space!

  2. I have read the purple Irish Sea Moss has more nutrients then the neutral colour
    Do you have any experience you can share with us.


    • Hello Hannah,

      The process that is used to drop the colour out of the seaweed is typically one where sun bleaching is used. There are no chemicals used here. At least not in our Sea Moss. I can’t speak with conviction about how other sellers have their seaweeds processed.

      As a part of the sun bleaching, there is a large volume of milky coloured water that is dropped out of the seaweed. This has a high salt content in it as the seaweed is grown naturally in the ocean. Nutritionally, we haven’t yet assessed the contents of the water to identify the extent of nutritional loss arising from this process. Such a process is quite expensive, but it is something we are considering out of curiosity.

      Purple Sea Moss has become something of a fashionable thing lately. It looks nicer than Olive Sea Moss and Green Sea Moss once it has dried in direct sunlight.

      I hope this helps you.

Comments are closed.


About the Author

Matthew has been on an active journey towards living a healthy life from a young age. Influenced by his Grandmother, a practicing Naturopath who served her community from the 1940's to the 1980's, his views on living holistically were shaped from a young age. Growing up in different parts of Australia, his connection with the Ocean and a passion for sustainability comes through in everything he does and shares.

"I'm not a Doctor, and I don't play one on the Internet." - me

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