When cooking a fish dish, it is cleaned to get rid of the skin and scales, without knowing that this part of the fish has a high content of proteins, amino acids and minerals that are essential for humans. Fish scales vary depending on the species of fish, those with a smaller size usually have equally small and soft scales, while other larger fish have rigid and large scales.

Depending on the type of scale, these can provide a wide variety of benefits to people, such as: preventing skin aging, fighting joint pain, maintaining tendon health, helping the skin to heal quickly, enter other things.

Benefits of fish scales

The benefits are mainly related to collagen, which is found in fish scales. This substance makes the scales provide the following benefits:

Accelerate the skin’s healing process

Scientists have done studies to extract collagen from fish scales, in this way, they manage to modify it to make it diluted in water and to be able to apply it directly to the skin. The results of the use of this collagen in the healing and healing process of skin wounds have been incredible, resulting in that wounds heal much faster and preventing the horrible permanent marks that sometimes remain; As a result of all this, today, many ointments and drugs contain collagen extracted from fish to accelerate these processes.

In cases of severe burns, fish scales are part of the treatments that can be applied, thanks to its regenerative properties around the tissue. Improvements have been evidenced in many cases of this type, which confirms the effectiveness of the scales in these cases.

Treatment of osteoarthritis and joint pain

Osteoarthritis is caused by the wear of the cartilage in the joints and, these are composed of 75% collagen, due to this, daily consumption of the collagen extracted from the scales is recommended to be able to recover the damaged cartilage.

As the cartilage regenerates, the pain of osteoarthritis diminishes and the patient can return to the routines and activities that he was forced to eliminate from his life due to osteoarthritis. In addition, it is efficient as a preventive treatment, reducing the wear of the joints, while protecting them from the natural aging caused by age.

Prevents skin aging

In these times, the physical is something of the utmost importance, therefore, the skin is something that must be constantly cared for, since it is the first thing that people observe.

The main component of the skin is collagen, this substance is important for the skin to maintain its elasticity and youth. This component is reduced as the person ages, appearing the dreaded wrinkles on the skin, as a result, the direct application of creams with scales, has a very positive effect, since it rejuvenates the skin considerably (it is even possible to consume the scales, to obtain much more noticeable results).

Strengthens muscles and tendons

When exercising constantly, the tendons wear out more quickly than those of those with a light routine, and in these cases, consuming collagen from fish is essential to maintain good health in tendons, muscles and joints in general.

They help to fall asleep

The flakes have an amino acid called glycine, which when consumed, greatly reduces tiredness and fatigue. You only need to consume a small dose to enjoy a more peaceful sleep; Not to mention, it also helps to avoid fatigue after long exercise routines.

They could replace the plastic

Although this is a benefit still under study, in the future it could represent an important advance in ecological and biodegradable matters.

Using this part of the fish that has no apparent greater importance, materials similar to paper or plastic have been obtained, some quite resistant; even more, than the same plastic. So, if the project continues, the scientists in charge may be able to develop packaging and adhesives made from an all-natural material.

Thus, the levels of pollution caused by plastic waste would be reduced, as well as those caused by the production process.

As a raw material in the fashion industry

The scales together with the skin of the fish, represent an attractive pattern to the eye, therefore, curing and painting it, it serves as a raw material for products such as bags and shoes. However, this is a project still in development, since there are many people who do not find this design attractive.

Function of scales in fish

They also have a purpose in fish and provide them with benefits. The scales vary in size, hardness, colors, and composition; but they all have the same main function: to protect the fish. In addition to other functions depending on the species, such as:

  • They provide physical protection against objects and predators.
  • They protect against parasites and fungi that can make them sick.
  • They keep the water in the fish for a longer time.
  • In some fish, they facilitate swimming and reduce turbulence.
  • They help maintain the proper temperature of the fish.

How to consume fish scales?

A shiny fish with abundant scales that are difficult to remove is usually a sign of freshness. Regardless of whether the meat or the scales will be used, a fish with this characteristic should be chosen so that it provides greater amounts of protein.

The direct consumption of the scales is not recommended, although it contains many benefits, that is where most of the toxins and pollutants in the water where the fish lived are found.

The flakes are consumed indirectly, that is, the collagen is extracted and with it, gelatin is produced. This product is in charge of providing the body with the extra amounts of collagen it needs, whatever the consumption objective.

Said collagen, it is also possible to consume it pure, many supplements are made from this element. Creams and ointments are ideal for skin problems, and powders or pills to consume it directly in the necessary dose.

In short, the fish scales cannot be eaten directly, since they can bring side effects for the human being, the most advisable thing is to consume it through collagen, which is the result that is generated, after having treated fish scales (and it is the substance, which produces all the benefits mentioned above).

Pure homemade collagen

Extracting the collagen from the scales is not a very complicated process. First, the scales are removed from the fish and they are washed to remove any remaining skin, meat, blood or sand. Then, they are boiled in twice the water between 40 and 60 minutes, if a cup of flakes will be used, for example, it is boiled in two cups of water. Let it cool and proceed to strain it to discard the scales, the remaining liquid is pure collagen, and it should be stored in the refrigerator.

Collagen can be drunk mixed with juices to obtain a pleasant taste while providing more nutrients to the body.

Types of scales

While all scales contain the amino acids that provide benefits to humans, there are several types to provide different types of benefits to fish. Among the types of scales that exist today, the following can be mentioned:


They have a structure similar to that of teeth, they are very small and do not grow, they are only added as the fish increases in size. They are as hard as teeth and function as protection from other living things.


These are quite flexible and are located one on top of the other, they are very common to observe. They function as a protective barrier especially against microorganisms harmful to the health of fish.


These scales are thick, shiny and diamond or oval shaped, in addition, they are usually interspersed with each other, with smooth edges. Many of the species with this type of scales develop them weeks after being born.


They are very similar to cycloids, with the distinction that their edges are a kind of serrated, rather than smooth. They work as protection, in addition to being harmful to predators.

These scales, together with the cycloids, are the ones that contain the highest concentration of collagen.

Bottom Line: Do Fish Scales Really Have Benefits?

It is common knowledge, the many benefits that the consumption of fish brings, with its multiple proteins and vitamins that contribute to a healthier body, but it is also necessary to know the great amount of benefits that can be obtained from fish scales, which are normally ignored. Although it should always be remembered that it is the collagen from the fish scales that provides the benefits and not the scales as such, therefore, care must be taken when wanting to consume the fish scales, since what is consumed , is the collagen obtained from fish scales.

Samantha Robson
 | Website

Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *