Gelatin is a product made by cooking collagen. It is made almost entirely of protein, and its unique amino acid profile gives it many health benefits.Collagen is the most plentiful protein found in humans and animals. It is found almost everywhere in the body, but is most abundant in the skin, bones, tendons and ligaments.
Those who have survived years of school lunches may get weak in the knees at the prospect of having to eat still more gelatin. But a new study reported at a meeting of the American Academy of Family Physicians in Dallas last week suggests that adding a special gelatin supplement to the diet could provide some relief to people with mild osteoarthritis of the knee.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis or inflammation and swelling of the joints. It occurs as a consequence of aging and the thousand natural shocks that weight-bearing joints or frequently used joints — such as the knees, fingers, and wrists — are exposed to. Just as the knees in a favorite pair of jeans wear out over time, wear-and-tear on cartilage, the tissue that coats and helps to lubricate the ends of bones where they meet in joints, can eventually cause osteoarthritis. Symptoms of the condition include pain, stiffness, and limited mobility of the affected joint.
In the study, 175 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly assigned to receive either a daily gelatin supplement or a placebo. Those who ate a supplement containing 10 grams of gelatin plus calcium and vitamin C had significant improvements across the board in pain, stiffness, and mobility measures.
Gelatin may keep osteoporosis at bay, heal your gut, and help you sleep, among many other valuable health benefits. Keep reading for all the reasons why you should eat gelatin, plus how to incorporate it into your diet in delicious ways. It provides strength and structure for tissues. For example, collagen increases the flexibility of the skin and the strength of the tendons. However, it is difficult to eat collagen because it is generally found in unpalatable parts of animals. Luckily, collagen can be extracted from these parts by boiling them in water. People often do this when they’re making soup stock to add flavor and nutrients. The gelatin extracted during this process is flavorless and colorless. It dissolves in warm water and takes on a jelly-like texture when it cools. This has made it useful as a gelling agent in food production, in products such as Jell-O and gummy candy.
It can also be consumed as bone broth or as a supplement. It’s Made Up Almost Entirely of Protein. Gelatin is 98–99% protein. However, it’s an incomplete protein because it doesn’t contain all the essential amino acids. Specifically, it does not contain the essential amino acid tryptophan. Yet this is not an issue, because you are unlikely to eat gelatin as your sole source of protein. It’s also easy to get tryptophan from other protein-rich foods. It Protects Your Bones and Joints. Bone is living, growing tissue, comprising mostly collagen. And as I discussed here already, collagen is the glue that holds our tissues together. So, it’s easy to see why getting more collagen in the form of gelatin is good for bone and joint health. Research shows that gelatin may have a beneficial effect on cartilage metabolism and inhibit the breakdown of collagen in bone. It may be effective in treating both osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Its amino acids glycine and proline are anti-inflammatory and are likely responsible for research results finding gelatin effective in reducing arthritis-associated joint pain. Lysine, also in gelatin, strengthens bones by helping the body absorb calcium and form collagen. The body can’t make this amino acid, so it must come from diet. Lysine has also been shown, in animal studies, to hasten fracture healing.
It Preserves Your Muscle Mass. Glycine is the hero again here: research has found that increasing glycine intake, either through supplementation or high-glycine foods such as gelatin, can help slow or reduce the age-related loss of muscle. (For some people, this weakness can cause them to become less physically active as they age or even to fall due to reduced strength and stability or injure themselves when they exercise.) Supplemental glycine can protect muscle in a variety of wasting conditions brought on by serious illness such as cancer or due to very reduced calorie intake.
2021 /HEALTH & BEAUTY/ D&F Magazine