Gelatin is a type of protein derived from the partial hydrolysis of collagen and is found in parts of animals that provide us with important amino acids, the “building blocks” of proteins. In fact, its unique amino acid profile is the reason for many of its health benefits, which you will read about later.

Main benefits and uses of gelatin

So what exactly is gelatin? In the case of food manufacturing, gelatin is turned into a dry powder that is created from the isolation and dehydration of animal parts, including skin, bones, and tissues. This may not sound overly appetizing, but you likely don’t even know you’re eating it when you eat it because it’s virtually colorless and tasteless.

The reason it is used in food preparation and as the base for many jellies, desserts, and candies is because it acts as a sticky adhesive, similar to natural glue. The gelatinous quality of gelatin is actually one of the things that makes it beneficial when we consume it, because this is what allows gelatin to help form strong cartilage or connective tissue that provides elasticity to parts of our body.

Fortunately, we can consume gelatin by eating much more than just processed desserts. You may have noticed a surge in popularity of bone broth lately. Did you know that this is really a rich source of natural gelatin? Bone broth is often used to help eliminate food allergies or intolerances, digestive problems, leaky gut syndrome, autoimmune disorders, and more.

One of the reasons is because gelatin provides amino acids like glycine that strengthen the intestinal lining and therefore reduce inflammation. Glycine is used by physicians to help improve digestive, joint, cardiovascular, cognitive, and skin health.

More benefits of consuming gelatin

Additionally, the benefits of gelatin include the following:

1. Improves intestinal health and digestion.

Like collagen, gelatin is beneficial in preventing intestinal damage and improving the lining of the digestive tract, thus preventing permeability and leaky gut syndrome. You may think of the intestinal lining as one of the body’s most important lines of defense, keeping food particles, bacteria, and yeast within the digestive system they belong to and preventing leakage into the bloodstream, which triggers inflammation.

Gelatin can enhance your ability to produce adequate gastric acid secretions that are necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. The glycine in gelatin is important for restoring a healthy mucous lining in the stomach and facilitating the balance of digestive enzymes and stomach acid. When you don’t produce the proper amount of stomach acid / enzymes, you can experience common digestive problems like nutrient deficiencies, acid reflux, bloating, indigestion, and also anemia. Older people often experience more digestive problems because vital digestive juices are depleted during the aging process and worsened with increased stress.

Finally, gelatin is able to absorb water and fluids, which helps prevent fluid retention and a bloated stomach while improving constipation.

2. Protects the joints and reduces joint pain.

Collagen and gelatin have gained notoriety for relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is common in older people and is considered the leading cause of common joint pain. As people age, they tend to develop more stiffness, pain, and limited mobility that get worse over time as collagen continues to break down and erode. Gelatin and collagen help stop chronic inflammatory responses, reducing pain and stopping progressive disease that leads to disturbances in joint function, such as degenerative joint disease.

Research shows that people with osteoarthritis, joint pain, bone-related problems such as osteoporosis, and exercise-related pain or injury can benefit from gelatin supplementation. In clinical trials, people who take gelatin (about two grams a day) tend to experience less inflammation, less joint or muscle pain, better recovery, and even better athletic ability compared to people who take a placebo.

3. Helps improve sleep quality

Certain studies have shown that gelatin helps people who continually experience trouble falling asleep, cannot sleep, or have a general unsatisfactory sleep if they take three grams before bed. Researchers investigated the effects of gelatin on subjective sleep quality and found that it improved daytime sleepiness, daytime cognitive functions, sleep quality, and sleep efficiency (sleep time / time in bed), as well as shortened the time it takes to fall asleep and improve sluggishness. -sleep wave without changes in the architecture of normal / healthy sleep.

Glycine also appears to improve sleep in a different way than traditional sleep medications or hypnotics, which typically means less sleepiness and side effects the next day.

4. Lift your spirits and improve cognitive skills

The amino acid glycine is considered an “inhibitory neurotransmitter,” which means that it acts similarly to some anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications, just without the complications and unwanted side effects. People use glycine and other forms of amino acid therapy to naturally increase mental clarity and calm because certain amino acids help decrease “stress hormones” like norepinephrine and increase “happy hormones” like GABA.

About half of the inhibitory synapses in the spinal cord use glycine, and research shows that when glycine is not properly metabolized, it can increase the risk of developmental problems, lethargy, seizures, and mental retardation.

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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.

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