Gelatin: Uses and Risks (2024)

Gelatin is a protein made from the skins and bones of pigs and cows. It's a common ingredient in a number of products, including:

Why do people take gelatin?

Many people with arthritis take gelatin supplements. Gelatin contains collagen. That's a material in the cartilage that cushions the bones in your joints.

The idea behind this usage is that eating gelatin (with collagen) will add collagen to your joints. However, that's probably not true. The collagen in gelatin gets broken down when you eat it. It wouldn't travel directly to your joints.

Nonetheless, there is some evidence that gelatin could help ease joint pain in people with osteoarthritis.

In animal studies, gelatin supplements also reduced swelling caused by rheumatoid arthritis. However, we need more research to know if gelatin is effective in either of these cases.

There's no standard dose for gelatin. Ask your health care provider for advice.

Can you get gelatin naturally from foods?

Gelatin is a common ingredient in foods and medications.

See Also
Gelatin

What are the risks?

Side effects. Gelatin supplements can cause side effects such as:

Some people have allergic reactions to gelatin.

Risks. When eaten in foods, gelatin is considered safe by the FDA. We don't know how safe it is to take high doses of gelatin supplements.

Some experts worry that gelatin has a risk of being contaminated with certain animal diseases. So far there have been no reported cases of people getting sick in this way.

We also don't know if gelatin supplements are safe in children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Interactions. If you take any medicines regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using gelatin supplements.

In general, you should tell your doctor about any supplements you're taking, even if they're natural. That way, your doctor can check on any potential side effects or interactions with medications.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate dietary supplements; however, it treats them differently from foods and drugs. The manufacturer is responsible to assure the safety and correct labeling of their products.

Gelatin: Uses and Risks (2024)

FAQs

Gelatin: Uses and Risks? ›

When taken by mouth: Gelatin is commonly consumed in foods. It is possibly safe when used in larger amounts as medicine, short-term. But taking high doses of 15 grams daily might increase the risk for side effects, including sore throat, swollen gums, and mouth sores. Gelatin comes from animals.

Who should avoid gelatin? ›

Gelatin is an animal product and so is not suitable for people with vegetarian or vegan diets.

What does gelatin do to your body? ›

In addition to improving the elasticity of the skin, gelatin can also strengthen connective tissues. Studies have shown that collagen supplements like gelatin can reduce joint pain. They have also found that it can strengthen joints by increasing the density of the cartilage.

How much gelatin is safe per day? ›

There's some evidence that gelatin in doses up to 10 grams daily can be safely used for up to 6 months. Gelatin can cause an unpleasant taste, sensation of heaviness in the stomach, bloating, heartburn, and belching. Gelatin can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Is gelatin hard on liver? ›

Protects the digestive tract: Gelatin has been shown to help protect the intestinal wall from damage, minimizing common intestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Reduce liver damage: Helps protect and enhance liver function, minimize damage caused by factors that are detrimental to the liver.

What are the negative health effects of gelatin? ›

When taken by mouth: Gelatin is commonly consumed in foods. It is possibly safe when used in larger amounts as medicine, short-term. But taking high doses of 15 grams daily might increase the risk for side effects, including sore throat, swollen gums, and mouth sores. Gelatin comes from animals.

Is gelatin hard on kidneys? ›

Gelatin contains a lot of protein. If you aren't careful, too much protein for a long time can cause several health problems, including: Bone disorders. Kidney problems.

What is the healthiest form of gelatin? ›

Source: When it comes to our food and food supplements it is important to consider not only what we eat, but what our food eats. Opt for gelatin sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals.

Does gelatin raise blood pressure? ›

As a volume expander, gelatin remains in the vascular space. When used in the treatment of hypovolaemia gelatin can produce a significant increase in blood volume, cardiac output, stroke volume, blood pressure, urinary output and oxygen delivery, increasing volume and pressure 18.

Is gelatin healthier than collagen? ›

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, and gelatin is a degraded form of collagen. Therefore, they have virtually identical nutritional profiles and may both improve joint, skin, gut, hair, and bone health.

Is gelatin an inflammatory? ›

Gelatin is an anti‐inflammatory dietary component, and its predominant metabolites entering circulation are prolyl‐hydroxyproline (Pro‐Hyp) and glycine.

Is gelatin the same as jello? ›

Jello is primarily made up of gelatin, a protein extracted from the skins and bones of certain animals. The gelatin is dissolved in boiling water and then cooled to form a gelatinous, semi-solid substance.

Does gelatin help arthritis? ›

The collagen in gelatin gets broken down when you eat it. It wouldn't travel directly to your joints. Nonetheless, there is some evidence that gelatin could help ease joint pain in people with osteoarthritis. In animal studies, gelatin supplements also reduced swelling caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Is gelatin bad for your heart? ›

Gelatin can also help protect joints and lower joint pain, improve sleep quality, lift mood and improve cognitive abilities, support skin elasticity, maintain heart function, maintain skeletal strength, and help you feel full.

Can gelatin cause weight gain? ›

One study gave 23 healthy people either gelatin or casein, a protein found in milk, as the only protein in their diet for 36 hours. The researchers found that gelatin reduced hunger 44% more than casein ( 23 ). Summary: Gelatin may help with weight loss.

Why can't some people eat gelatin? ›

So why don't vegans eat gelatin? Because it's made from ground up animal skin, bones, tendons and ligaments. Usually, that means pigs or cows, but most kosher gelatin is made from fish parts. To make gelatin, producers cut up animal parts into tiny pieces.

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