Gelatin your body's best friend

I know, you are all waiting for the earth shattering post I promised you on Facebook but you will have to wait a few more days as writing it with the triplets deciding this is their day to eat one after the other and be fussy in between writing is just not as easy as it was before they graced us with their lovely presence.

Having said that, I wanted to give you a glimpse into the many health benefits and uses of one of my favorite kitchen staples; gelatin. With all the talk these days about superfoods from the Amazon and other exotic locales, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the real superstars of nutrition that have been right under our noses our whole lives.

Gelatin is one such food with the power to heal damaged intestinal lining, immune systems and boosts hydrochloric acid insufficiency which quells weak digestion. It is hydrophilic which means it is lubricating for joints (handy for arthritis sufferers) and is pro-thyroid.  The combination of being able to heal intestinal lining (good for those with leaky gut, vitamin and mineral malabsorption, and even allergies) and being pro-thyroid can be particularly important for those suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or Grave’s Disease.  Gelatin is a must for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disorder.  That, in my book, makes it the original superfood.

Why gelatin?

Way back when before feedlot cattle and supermarkets endeavored to provide us with pretty cuts of meat lined up in a sea of celophane, our traditional diets were gelatin rich.  We  didn’t have the sophisticated butchers we have today that can cut the muscle meats off the bone rather we cooked the whole joint of meat low and slow usually with connective tissue, bone, skin, you name it, it went into the pot.   This gave us a myriad of minerals and amino acids in one meal which made digestion of the meal a snap and assimilation of nutrients an easy task.

Today we throw away all the “waste” and with it, most of the good parts.  Rarely do we use the bones and most of us cut away any trace of connective tissue.  We turn our noses up at liver, and the tail??  I have had clients exclaim “You want me to boil WHAT????”  and worse, “You want me to drink it????”  at the thought of using the tail.

Proteins are made up of amino acids. Different proteins have different ratios of amino acids and it is these ratios that determine whether a protein is pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory.  (Yes, Virginia, there are anti-inflammatory proteins!)  Cystein, methionine, histadine and tryptophan are all inflammatory in the fact that they inhibit both the thyroid and adrenals (which help the body handle stressful situations), depress immunity and are generally associated with a multitude of degenerative health conditions (including exacerbating many autoimmune symptoms).

Gelatin is rich in glycine, missing in all muscle meats and low in organ meats.  Glycine nutures the thyroid with highly anti-inflammatory properties.  It heals damaged intestinal lining from years of high fiber diets, gluten indulgence, food sensitivities and allergies, and leaky gut.  It is also hydrophilic which helps in hydrating all tissues in the body and restores hydrochloric acid balance which fuels digestion.

Gelatin is also rich in a non-essential amino acid called proline which has been shown to inhibit tumor production.  Both glycine and proline aid in phase 2 liver detoxification and can aid in the protection of the liver.

Incidentally, for those ‘fat phobs’ out there that believe eating bone in “fattier” cuts of meat is a recipe for thunder thighs, it might interest you to know that proper amino acid balance is imperative for regulating fat metabolism (in fact it jump starts it) and preserving both lean muscle mass and bone strength along with keeping joints mobile and maintaining cellular health.

For those who are dealing with estrogen dominance issues, glycine opposes estrogen and helps spare progesterone.  This means that glycine is important for ridding the body of dangerous levels of estrogen and helps preserve progesterone levels. Progesterone levels mean youth and vitality (and fertility).

When eating muscle meats, gelatin can help balance amino acid profiles keeping pro-inflammatory qualities of the muscle meat to a minimum.   Drinking a cup of bone broth or some orange juice with gelatin is the best way to keep this balance.

Gelatin is a great source of protein.  For days when bone broth is not available or when you just can’t face down the taste of something “meaty” (I do have those days), gelatin can be added to a fruit smoothie, hot chocolate, even coffee, or, of course, your morning glass of oj.

What’s the difference between collagen and gelatin?  See our post Collagen vs. Gelatin:: Nutrition Faceoff

Although it is technically not a “whole food” in the traditional sense, because we so rarely, when eating meats, eat whole foods, tossing out bones containing life giving marrow, skin (most would bristle at eating poultry skin yet a lot of gelatin is contained in that skin), and cutting away connective tissue.  Gelatin is a complete protein and is a fantastic alternative to any protein powder on the market.

A few other words about the beauty of gelatin.  Think about how much money women spend to inject collagen into their skin or stimulate collagen growth.  Because cellulite is partly caused by a collagen deficiency, eating gelatin corrects that deficiency and can actually help diminish cellulite, give you strong, ridge free nails, and shiny, split end free hair not to mention glowing (even plumper) firmer skin.

How do I use gelatin?

Gelatin can be found in homemade bone broth  by simmering grass-fed beef, lamb or any other ruminating animal bones , fish bones and shellfish shells or chicken or other poultry bones(you can use free range pastured chickens too but if they are supplemented with grain then they are higher in PUFAs and should be kept to a minimum).

Eating bone in cuts of  gelatin rich meat like lamb shanks, veal shanks, legs of lamb, oxtails, and slow stewing or roasting will provide nourishing meals.

I add gelatin to my morning “orange julius” recipe and enjoy homemade marshmallows, juice sweetened “jello”, panna cotta, ice cream, custards, added into soups; the sky is the limit.  I even make my own homemade gummy candies. (You know I have to share a recipe soon.)

Start with 1 tbsp. of gelatin a day if you are new to using it every day.   When eating muscle meats, drinking a cup of bone broth or fruit juice with added gelatin is enough to make sure the amino acids are all present and ready to enter the blood stream in the right timing and order.

Note:: If you have leaky gut or a damaged intestinal lining or have estrogen dominance, thyroid, or adrenal issues gelatin is incredibly important.  Start with 1 to 3 cups a day of bone broth and add supplemental gelatin to your diet as much as possible.

Dissolve gelatin completely in hot water before drinking or you may end up with gas.

There are two main types of gelatin I recommend.  One is the regular bovine gelatin in powder form (from grass-fed beef of course) that requires hot liquids to dissolve.  This will form a gel (like jello) or thickening agent when added to juices, soups, or other liquids.

The other type I recommend is a collagen hydrolysate (gelatin is just collagen) that dissolves even in cold liquids.

Which gelatin do you recommend?

I recommend Great Lakes Bovine Gelatin (Kosher) and Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate both of which are from grass-fed  pastured beef with no MSG and made using all the best “bits” of the cow, the skin, the connective tissues and bones.

How do you incorporate gelatin into your diet?  Do you have any favorite recipes to share?

78 replies
  1. ace
    ace says:

    Ewww…no thanks. Definitely not vegan nor cruelty-free. But at least if people are going to eat an animal I do think they should use every last scrap.

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I think you will find MANY vegan practices are definitely NOT cruelty free. Figure out how many baby bunnies were killed to harvest all those grains… Gelatin is a LOT safer and healthier than all those “vegan” alternatives which actually prevent the liver from detoxing.

      Reply
      • ali
        ali says:

        Baby deer, too. I live in a farm town where I routinely hear of fawns having been hidden in someone’s grain field while mom forages and when the swather comes by they lose limbs very quickly and die soon thereafter. Very sad.

        Reply
      • Kaz Green
        Kaz Green says:

        Hi there. I take a Collagen supplement every day. Is that sufficient? Am interested in the aspect of getting rid of the extra estrogen, and helping the dwindling prostogen. I am of that age. lol.

        Reply
        • thedetoxdiva
          thedetoxdiva says:

          I don’t believe in collagen supplements. I’d rather you do hydrolyzed collagen IN something. Balancing estrogen and up regulating progesterone definitely helps when you are of that age. 😉

          Reply
  2. Becky Jane
    Becky Jane says:

    I’ve been using your bone broth recipe for several months, the results are marvelous. Also, your posts have made me more aware of selecting bone-in meats that have been grass-fed/free range. Thanks for posting the links to other sources of gelatine.

    HUG your babies for me!

    Reply
  3. momo
    momo says:

    Hi I love all the fabulous.

    I have hypothyroid, not sure if it is Hashimoto’s or not, and I am interested in doing all I can for it.

    However I can’t stomach the thought of eating gelatin. I would call myself a pescetarian (sp?). Is there another option for me?

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      In my view, for you, unless you can figure out a way to wrap your head around at least doing fish broth, then no, there isn’t anything really as a good alternative. If you have ever eaten Jello, you have eaten gelatin. Seriously, there are ways to never even detect you are eating it and get the health benefits.

      Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      What to say? Sometimes our “ideals” get in the way of good health. There are many ways to be socially conscious and though I do respect when people stick to their principles, the alternatives are often as damaging though most don’t acknowledge that fact. (Case in point, carageenan and agar-agar are both products of algae harvested from the sea. While many would think this would be a more eco-conscious choice, few realize that pretty dramatic harvesting methods damage delicate sea life and destroy waterways.) There really are no alternatives to gelatin as agar-agar is destructive to Phase 1 liver detoxification pathways making toxins such as chemicals,(including xenoestrogens) drugs, and endotoxin unable to be rendered less harmful and often causing endotoxins to be recirculated.

      Reply
      • Leon
        Leon says:

        Oh gosh, I know this is bordering on trolling (assuming my comments even pass moderation), but do you realise how stupid your remarks are? You’re insinuating that this person cannot have good health because their ideals prevent them from consuming gelatine. Which is NOT a superfood. You don’t need it under any circumstance, and most healthy people (including those who aren’t vegan or vegetarian) live healthy lives without consuming it.

        It’s just really dumb to insinuate one can’t be healthy if they omit this crap. I hope you stop misleading your poor readers who somehow trust you enough to take your advice.

        Reply
        • thedetoxdiva
          thedetoxdiva says:

          Wow, I would be interested to know what I am triggering in you. Do you realize that I work with people that are NOT healthy??? That I work with people that need to to repair damaged guts?? Yes, if gelatin is tolerated, it is absolutely one of the best foods to heal a damaged gut. If it isn’t tolerated, hopefully, bone broth of some sort is or, at least hydrolyzed collagen. When you come on my website (which I encourage you NOT to do if you are going to spew your bile) and you talk about healthy people, that’s one thing.. you are right. There are a lot of people who are healthy who don’t consume it. There are vegetarians who are healthy. When you call me stupid, you make yourself an even bigger idiot because, 1) there’s really no reason for you to say such things, and 2) you have no idea what you are talking about when dealing with chronically ill people. PLEASE leave this to the professionals who might just know much more than you.

          Reply
          • Leon
            Leon says:

            Hi, you’re right, my comment might have been misinformed. I actually thought you were talking about general well-being, and I didn’t realise you were talking about people with unhealthy guts. I was just triggered by your comment that insinuated that one can’t be healthy without gelatine. (to a person who seemed concerned about animals) But I guess I read it out of context. Either way, I should’ve been nicer. Sorry and have a nice day.

    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Hi Monica! Hydrolyzed collagen dissolves in cold water, doesn’t gel and, in my opinion, for purposes of drinking it, it is a heck of a lot tastier than regular gelatin when adding it to coffee (my favorite) or orange juice. It doesn’t clump and basically is the more “instant” variety of gelatin (simply broken down gelatin with all its goodness). Gelatin is for when you want to thicken soups, make marshmallows, jellies (jell-o for Americans), coffee pops, aspics, and the like. Delicious when gelled, not so great when trying to drink it. Some people can’t tell the difference. I can and I use both but for very different purposes.

      Reply
  4. OKeli
    OKeli says:

    Hi, I have Addison Disease, Hypothyroid, SIADH, over growth of bad bacteria in my small intestines, Hyponatremia. Now I am swelling under my arms, doctor says it’s my Lymphatic system now. I am at a lost ! I eat mostly organic,free-range, grass-fed meat , chicken , eggs.. My Endo has put me on a gluten, soy, corn and dairy free diet. I can do eggs and once in awhile yogurt ( Fage) .. Any suggestions or thoughts at all..

    Also I am going to school for Dietician/ Nutritionist and learning I would also like to get into Holistic..

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I actually am not sure I agree totally with the dairy-free part of the diet if you are eating raw dairy. I don’t see the problem with pastured eggs, and I really do feel you should be adding bone broth and/or gelatin to the mix. Addison’s Disease is not easy to treat, but it isn’t impossible either. An overgrowth of bad bacteria? What test was done to confirm this. Your hypothyroid is do directly to the Addison’s Disease so you really have to work on getting enough sugar (through fruit, honey, and maple syrup), proper salt intake, and making sure your macronutrient profile is in proper balance. If you would like, I do consultations where we look at health issues, lifestyle, goals, etc. and formulate a plan.

      Reply
  5. djshep
    djshep says:

    Is Organic pig skin, grass-fed, msg free, powder gelatin just as good? It is the only one available in my area, Ontario Canada. Great Lakes does not deliver to Canada.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Actually, I dug up the exclusive distributor for you that does deliver in Canada. Pig isn’t a ruminant and though I do use pork gelatin, I like to mix up the types of gelatin and pork gelatin wouldn’t be as good as beef in the long run. Ah but if you are ordering from Great Lakes, you CAN get our order shipped to Canada but you are limited to 6 cans.

      Reply
  6. Amy
    Amy says:

    I recently purchased off Amazon the green can gelatin that you suggest. I am on a journey to ‘heal’ my hypothyroidism, and I started reading about bone broth. I haven’t had the time yet to make some, so instead I take 2 tbsp of the gelatin each day. I have really thin hair and hair loss because of being hypo, and this has helped tremendously in a short amount of time! Today I noticed 1/2 inch long hairs all over my hairline. That is where I have the most hair loss and it can be embarrassing for being a young 24 year old. So many people have mentioned it over the years. I am sooo excited to be growing hair there and hope that it will get thick! I know it is doing a lot of good inside of me also and this is just proof!!! I drink it in tea because I can’t taste or smell it, but would like to try it in the OJ with sea salt like you suggest!!!

    Reply
  7. Veronica
    Veronica says:

    Hi thanks so much Detox Diva. I have had issues with hypothyroidism. I also have low iron levels. I have started doing my own research to try and feel better and look into other alternatives. I have been having achy knees and legs. My hair use to be extremely thick and I am very upset to have thin hair now. I started researching and found out about the Great Lakes Gelatin. I have already purchased and it should arrive today. I am so excited about using it and hoping it works for my knees and hair. I really want my hair thick again like it use to be. I am hoping I see the same results as Amy….

    Thanks

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I think you will find it increases the thickness of your hair but give it a little time. Everyone wants miracles overnight…. It takes time but it works!

      Reply
  8. Susan
    Susan says:

    Why “1 – 3 CUPS” for auto-immune or gut issues….vs 1-2 tbls per day. That’s a HUGE jump…why do you feel SO much is needed?

    Also, do you know how much protein is in each tbl? If it’s anywhere around 10-15 gram…1 -3 cups would be an extreme amount of protein per day.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      We aren’t talking about GELATIN in that respect, we are referring to BONE BROTH and supplementing gelatin. And no, 2-3 cups of bone broth is not too much protein considering leaky gut and autoimmune generally share issues with detoxification pathway issues and protein is needed to correct this.

      Reply
  9. Ally
    Ally says:

    I have recently discovered your website and am intrigued. My troubles started at 14 with Graves Disease and by 21 had to have radioactive iodine. I wish I knew back then what I know now. Struggled to get pregnant with my second child, now knowing I was oestrogen dominant. I spent the next 10 years trying out Mirenas, Implanon and Pills with no great success. I found a great doctor in 2006 who adjusted my thyroid medication, found out I was Ceoliac and tried Progesterone cream. Things never really fell into place. I changed my whole diet with no refined sugars and processed food and eat really clean. I am now in menopause and have had low oestrogen and very high FSH, and am on micronised progesterone and a quarter of an oestrogen patch. I still feel things are fluctuating and have taken your advice on raw carrot. My question is about the gelatin which I am thinking of doing, I also noticed a massive increase in cellulite over the past 6 months and want to get rid of it. I live in Australia and haven’t been able to find anything here only the one online which you advocate. I am a bit concerned about buying beef products from overseas with Mad Cow and all. Do you know for sure if its safe? Meanwhile I will keep reading your fascinating posts. Thanks.

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I have seen no reason to worry about “mad cow” disease because that basically comes from cattle being fed cattle. Grass-fed beef is not fed other cattle so it shouldn’t be a problem. You can find both Great Lakes and Bernard Jensen Gelatin in Australia..

      Reply
  10. carrie
    carrie says:

    Would you recommend taking gelatin for someone who’s menopausal? You say in your article that it contains glycine, which reduces the body’s estrogen levels. Since I’m already low in estrogen due to menopause, would gelatin make my levels even lower and therefore, making menopausal symptoms worse?

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      By they way if you are IN menopause you are not actually low in estrogen necessarily but probably lower in progesterone. Yes, I would still recommend gelatin for menopausal women because you are still exposed to xenoestrogens and these are still negative for your body. No, absolutely it will not make menopause symptoms worse because glycine and proline are protective (and adaptogenic). They don’t deplete stores. They reduce dominance.

      Reply
  11. Christa
    Christa says:

    Thanks for this information! I, too, am from Ontario, Canada. The link above for the exclusive distributor of a gelatin distributor didn’t work for me. Can you help me out with that? I am very interested in acquiring this information. Thanks so much!!!

    Reply
  12. emily
    emily says:

    I have started with 1 tbs of porcine gelatin 2x per day for the last 3 weeks and have since been breaking out with a lot of pimples on my face. Do you think that this could be a die off reaction?
    Thank you for the wonderful article.

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I would switch to a bovine gelatin (the one in my post is the one we use). I don’t think the two are related but it sounds to me like you may have a little bit of a detox pathway issue and you may need some supplementation to help with this reaction. I don’t think it is “die off” though.

      Reply
  13. Kim
    Kim says:

    Hi, I started taking the Great Lakes in the red can about 2 weeks ago. I took 1tbsp in hot tea at night for a couple of nights and noticed a great improvement in my sleep. A couple of days after starting I took 1 tbsp the next morning, and I have been extremely bloated and nauseous since, as well as feeling very tired. I have not taken any for several days but the bloating, nausea and tiredness have continued. I read on another site that this could be from starting out with too high a dose which could cause liver detox. I would love to know your thoughts on that and if you think I will ever be able to tolerate the gelatin. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I would have started you on hydrolyzed collagen which is a lot more tolerable and what I urge you to try. Gelatin in the red can is strong. Hydrolyzed collagen has been broken down and is very absorbable. I really don’t think it is the gelatin itself however it can cause strong detox symptoms when too much is taken. Collagen is much easier to tolerate.

      Reply
  14. Lucjam
    Lucjam says:

    I was wondering if gelatin/collagen hydrolysate can in fact cause hormone imbalance instead of helping balance them. I have been taking green lakes for 1,5 now and I am having the longest PMS in my life, feeling pretty horrendous, and my period is late, although I am definitely not pregnant. Collagen is the only change to my diet and I am starting to think I am experiencing some form of a side effect. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I would really doubt it would CAUSE hormone imbalance. In fact, I have never seen it happen in all my time of recommending it. What it CAN do is increase the liver’s ability to detox so briefly increase symptoms of estrogen dominance as estrogen is released for detox. I wouldn’t think you would be having a major problem that would be a long term side effect. Are you using the Great Lakes in the green or red can? The red can is a little harder to assimilate in the beginning with the green can being easier. Also, if you have gut issues, healing (as gelatin most definitely does) can temporarily release histamine so I would not abandon the taking of gelatin OR I would recommend starting with bone/meat broth and working your way into gelatin if you are worried about it.

      Reply
      • Lucjam
        Lucjam says:

        Thanks so much! That really helps and sounds like it might explain it. I have definitely noticed a big difference in my digestion especially since I increased the amount I have been taking. I stated with 1/2 tablespoon twice a day and recently doubled up to take 1 tablespoon twice a day. Maybe it was a bit too much for my system to manage at one go and I have really been feeling the effects of the detox. I have been taking the green can collagen, but I generally have a very sensitive system, with previous candida history, and food intolerances so what you say makes lots of sense. I might go back to a slightly lower dose and then build it up more gradually.

        Reply
  15. Margaret Lykens
    Margaret Lykens says:

    I juts had to say thank you for tis info. I had bought bougth prodcuts, which I still have thankfully. I tend to discard things I don’t feel is working or that might turn out ot be bad. So will give them a try. I have many health issues surrounding my tyroid and adrenals…hardly sleep and it’s affected other area of my bodya nd life. I didn’t give it long enough of a chance and I am sure I was also taking certai supplements that were affecting my recovery.
    I also can’t wait ot strqat making bone broths again. I feel they were a benift to me big time. So thank you

    Reply
  16. Ashley N
    Ashley N says:

    I’ve been taking collagen (green can) for a couple weeks and have noticed that I’ve had some nasty neck stiffness, and have an old shoulder injury, and that pain has returned along with nasty carpal tunnel in that arm- lots of numb, tingling in my hand, and achiness. Is that going to get better?? I thought it was supposed to have the opposite effect, and make things better.

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I do not believe that collagen is causing this stiffness. I am sure you are looking at maybe the only thing you are doing differently but, it could be worth looking into what you histamine levels are and whether you process them properly.

      Reply
    • MH
      MH says:

      You may never see this as it is over 2yrs since you commented but I’ve had the same experience right neck and shoulders that cause horrible headache and nausea and I can only attribute it to vital Proteins gelatin and collagen. Every time I try to reintroduce these products I get the same awful reactions.

      Reply
      • thedetoxdiva
        thedetoxdiva says:

        Mara, you have to look at the root below the root. If you are having these issues and you are SURE it’s the collagen it can be because you are not processing one or more of the amino acids properly or could be having issues with histamine production. It’s not the product, necessarily, but the components of the problem. Do you get the same issues with bone broth? If not, it could be the denatured versions of these products that are the problems. It’s rare but in the last few years I have heard of more and more people with severe reactions from whey, collagen, and gelatin and, when we probe further, we find histamine issues, amino acid processing issues and a few other things. Sometimes the clients need to go off all meat products for a time. It IS rare but you could be in this group.

        Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I actually do recommend collagen as a low histamine replacement for gelatin which can, unfortunately, be histamine inducing in the early treatment of SIBO, leaky gut or MTFHR methylation issues.

      Reply
  17. Sol
    Sol says:

    Hello Diva,

    I got a little confused here on your 5th paragraph. “Cystein, methionine, histadine and tryptophan are all inflammatory in the fact that they inhibit both the thyroid and adrenals (which help the body handle stressful situations), depress immunity and are generally associated with a multitude of degenerative health conditions (including exacerbating many autoimmune symptoms).” So, Cystein, methionine, histadine and tryptophan are all inflammatory… and they are present in gelatin (although in small amounts – red can, Great Lakes). Are those amounts harmless as far as causing inflammation or dysfunction in the thyroid and adrenals? Is then gelatin still beneficial, even with those amino-acids? Is due to the ratio (here, small amounts) that make gelatin anti-inflammatory, then? I just would like to have this clearer.

    And about estrogen – if I have slightly low level of estrogen or even a normal level, would gelatine decrease it, like it does for people who have estrogen dominance?

    Thank you. I look forward to reading your reply. I’m even bookmarking your page. 🙂

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      These are very good questions. Bear in mind, ALL of these are amino acids so IN BALANCE they are not inflammatory. Your body produced serotonin, your body needs histadine (for neurotransmitter balance), etc. In a perfect world, where ‘nose-to-tail’ eating is employed, these amino acids stay in balance (thus the presence of small amounts of these balancing amino acids). In our world, where we cut off every little bit of bone, of cartilage, or organ, and only eat muscle meat, these inflammatory amino acids are present in very high quantities and not tempered with the a balance of all amino acids. Thus they become inflammatory for the body. Gelatin has the perfect balance of amino acids.
      The answer to your second question is, in this case, it would not lower your estrogen levels, rather acts as an adaptogen of sorts. One caveat. If one has an issue with histamine, hydrolyzed collagen is a better bet as gelatin can be histamine triggering (IF one has an issue, that is.). Hydrolyzed collagen is easily digestible and does not cause such issues.

      Reply
  18. Sol
    Sol says:

    Thank you, Diva! I appreciate your clear explanation. 🙂
    I am taking Vital Proteins – the “green lid” which is labeled Collagen Protein. However, their “blue lid” is labeled Collagen Peptides, so I suppose the latter is the hydrolyzed collagen (short amino-acids chain).

    I have no issues with histamine, although now I am slightly confused about the benefits from the peptides (hydrolyzed c.) versus the benefits of just gelatin. I know the first dissolves completely well in water at any temperature and does not contain the gel characteristic. But, what about the differences they make “in the body”, as far as detox, health in general, and beauty?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Honestly, you will derive benefit from whichever form you take. Of course hydrolyzed collagen is a bit easier to digest if you have impaired digestion but it is pretty much a marketing ploy that peptides are somehow better than gelatin.

      Reply
  19. Barb
    Barb says:

    I have been under an EXTREME amount of stress for over 2 years and it has taken a toll on me. Hair loss. weight gain, digestive issues, and lower immune system. Did my research and decided to try Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate put a tsp in my almond milk berry smoothie. Almost immediately noticed being extremely tired so I started taking it at night. I slept better that is until the headaches started. I stopped adding it to see if it was the cause after a few days returned to normal. Started again and headaches and tiredness are back! Do you have any suggestions on an alternative or better way of consuming it. Thank you

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      If you are experiencing these symptoms, something really dramatic is going on with your GI tract. You are releasing histamines even on the gentler hydrolysate. (this will cause all of the symptoms you are having as well). My advice is to be seen by a nutritionist/health care provider to sort out your GI tract and figure out where you are releasing histamines and why.

      Reply
    • T.T.
      T.T. says:

      I would like to add some input here, if I may. I have also been under a large amount of stress for a few years and am suffering many of the same things. I too was getting headaches when I started the Great Lakes Collagen Hydrosylate, but with my own research, found a way to make it work for me, my mother had the same headache issues also. We found that adding vitamin c, and reducing intake to a half tbsp or full tbsp as opposed to the can suggestion made all the difference, no more headaches! If i am in a rush, I will take a Trace minerals power pak, which is very high in vitamin c, then add the collagen to my coffee and get out the door. Otherwise, I will boil water and after has cooled bit, will add lemon slices and raw local honey (morning and night.) I am on my 3rd can and have been taking full dosage as no longer having headaches or digestive issues from it.

      Reply
      • thedetoxdiva
        thedetoxdiva says:

        It sounded to me, because of the addition of Vitamin C clearing the issue, that you had an issue with a histamine reaction. I’m glad you found a way to make it work for you.

        Reply
  20. Krista
    Krista says:

    I was wondering what your thoughts are on degenerative disc disease, and arthritis. I am very familiar with great lakes and I love making my own broths at home. I was just trying to find some info on IF collagen can help repair, restore damage.

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I believe and have seen degenerative disc disease and arthritis both halted with lifestyle and nutrition. I love Great Lakes but you must be careful about one thing. If the arthritis is from histamine reactions you CAN overdo the gelatin (even the ones you boil at home if you boil your bones for longer than 6 hours). Depending on the type of inflammation you have, you might want to stick to cartilage broths and hydrolyzed collagen which have a tendency to be lighter and less histamine producing.

      Reply
  21. christina wilson
    christina wilson says:

    I stumbled across this article while searching for recipes for gelatin, and very thankful that I did. I began (yesterday) using Great Lakes brand for the purpose of healing my gut because I have been diagnosed with lymphocytic colitis… and from the age of 20 I have suffered from preeclampsia, leaky gut, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, thyroid issues, adrenal issues, hormonal issues and a rather disturbing case of alopecia areata. Needless to say, my lifestyle has changed dramatically over the last few years i.e. gluten-free, dairy-free (occasionally), legume-free and the list goes on. Quite honestly, I have always felt the root of my problems was somehow nutritional in nature but was unable to quantify exactly what was missing. Hopefully, this new addition will bring some healing relief. Thank you for your informative article and best wishes!

    Reply
  22. Dibya
    Dibya says:

    Hey i am 21 and suffering from hair loss since the age of 14. It took me time to realise that my vegetarian diet had a huge role to play in it..I hav thin but long hair. The length grows but the volume reduces.
    I am still keen on finding a way to solve this problem using vegetarian diet…If you could help me witht that!

    Reply
  23. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Hi, I recently purchased collagen hydrosylate and gelatin capsules. I took a serving of both yesterday and woke up feeling very tired and achey. Is this a side-effect I’m experiencing? Thank you for all of the great info!

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Melissa, honestly, I wouldn’t take either of these products in capsule form. They can be high histamine when not in combination with other foods….. Remember, they are amazing gut healers but perhaps you have gut issues that are preventing you from being able to metabolize and/or a methylation issue which can mean that we must address those issues so that you can metabolize amino acids such as methionine.

      Reply
  24. Kelli
    Kelli says:

    In your experience, would gelatin cause cycle length to decrease? I have been pretty consistent since the birth of my son and just started taking gelatin about two months ago and my cycle has come sooner the last two months (about 2-3 days). I know gelatin has an effect on progesterone and wanted to see your thoughts. This is really the only major chance to my diet. Thanks!

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Gelatin usually won’t have that effect unless it is shortening a particularly long cycle. It doesn’t always have to be dietary, by the way. Times of stress, lack of stress, changes in life, (and these can be subtle shifts) will change the cycles.

      Reply
      • Kelli
        Kelli says:

        Thank you! I was just wanting to check since the progesterone effect of the collagen hydrosylate. I’m not taking too much (maybe 1 T. Per day) and trying to drink bone broth when I have access to bones, but, of course there are always subtle changes to other aspects of life. Thanks for pointing that out… Sometimes it is easy to point changes to diet first!

        Reply
  25. Susan
    Susan says:

    The collagen has been great for me, my hair is thickening etc. I started giving it to my 18 year old daughter and she is getting acne . Could this be cause from the collagen?

    Reply
  26. Erum
    Erum says:

    Hey Diva.
    I was wondering if agar agar has same benefits as gelatin. Because of my religious restrictions I can only consume gelatin if it is halal certified. I tried one Rossmorr brand. But it tastes and smell awful. I feel like throwing up. Since agar agar is plant based will it give same amount of collagen as gelatin. I have severe arthritis of knees. Dry skin, falling hair and digestive issues. Also overweight. Anxious for ur reply

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Nope, agar actually isn’t a collagen at all and has absolutely NONE of the healing benefits. In fact it can be detrimental to gut and liver health so if you are eating it and you have digestive issues… it’s not going to help.

      Reply
  27. Virginia
    Virginia says:

    Wonderful website Detox Diva! ❤Something interesting occured after I started 1-3 tablespoons daily of the Great Lakes (green can) hydrosylate gelatin about 2 months ago. Within about 2 weeks I developed a small area of an itchy rash on my abdomen. I also developed bloating if I ingested more than one tablespoon. I didn’t connect the rash to the gelatin at first. The results have otherwise been great: improved skin tone, aiding weight loss, improved sleep, hair growth including eyelashes (which thinned due to Hashimoto’s) and sustained energy for exercise.
    I realized that the more gelatin I ingested, the worse the abdominal rash, and the bloating. I started taking digestive enzymes before consuming the gelatin in the hopes it would prevent bloating. It helped somewhat. Your information here has me now connecting the dots…is it possible that the rash is due to liver detox?! It’s just tiny bumps, which only turn red if I scratch them, on my abdomen only. There are no hives which would indicate allergy.
    I’m going to add a liver detox herbal supplement to my regimen (probably milk thistle) and increase my vitamin c. Your thoughts on this and input would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
    Virginia

    Reply
  28. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    Love your website! I’m wondering if you would be able to shed some light on an issue I’m having with collagen hydrolysate. Every time I’ve tried taking it my acne gets WAY worse and it’s almost rash-like (on my face, neck, back and chest). I’ve had the same issue when trying to take myo-inositol powder as well. So I’m wondering if there’s a correlation there as they are both supposed to help acne, not worsen it. Do you know what could cause this type of reaction? It starts within a couple of days of taking it. I’m so stumped!

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      You could be having a reaction to histamines which can trigger this kind of reaction if you are reactive. It also could mean you aren’t processing your amino acids properly. There could be a correlation in this case which means that we would need to figure out what’s going on in the liver to make these reactions so prevalent.

      Reply

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