• Traditionally used to help support symptoms of joint pain, bone health, fatigue, metabolism, tendonitis, tissue health and much more.
Gelatin is the common name used for hydrolyzed collagen protein (HCP). Collagen is the chief structural protein that makes up connective tissues in the body (skin, bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments). Hydrolyzed collagen is simply a modified form of the protein that has been broken down into smaller pieces by enzymes - which makes the protein easier to incorporate into dietary products and may ease the digestion and absorption of the amino acids by the intestine. Gelatin is often used as a general protein source in body building products because it is relatively inexpensive. Gelatin has most recently been used to help promote joint health, nourish cartilage and bones and help athletes recover from exercise and sports-related injuries.
Gelatin can be useful as a tonic and diuretic. It has been shown to help support symptoms of joint pain, respiratory tract health concerns, cartilage and bones repair, fast injury recovery, tissue recovery following exercise and protection against over-use injuries (sprains, strains, tendinitis).
As a general protein source, Gelatin is not generally considered a good source of "high-quality" protein like you would find in meat, poultry, fish and in protein powders comprised of soy, egg or milk/whey proteins. On the one hand, Gelatin is a "poor" protein source because it is low in the sulfur containing amino acids such as cystine (cysteine) and methionine. On the other hand, however, Gelatin is the richest dietary source of the primary amino acids that make up the collagen molecule - glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, lysine and hydroxylysine. As a concentrated source of these collagen amino acids, Gelatin is thought to help nourish the collagen-containing tissues throughout the body - tissues such as cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments and skin.
Gelatin has been used in Europe for decades as a dietary supplement and an alternative support for joint pain and osteoporosis. In several German and Czech studies, 7-10 grams of Gelatin per day for 30-90 days has been shown to decrease the pain and stiffness associated with joint pain. In some studies, Gelatin was as effective as oral painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and in others, subjects were able to decrease or discontinue their use of analgesic medications while consuming Gelatin. Although proponents of Gelatin consumption claim that they "rebuild" cartilage, this is merely speculation (though probably correct) based on the body of scientific data showing pain support. At least one small German study has shown a suppression of bone breakdown in osteoporotic women. In addition, athletes recovering from intense exercise training or sports injuries appear to be able to do so faster when consuming Gelatin.
As a joint support supplement, Gelatin is typically much less expensive compared to other popular joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, but the level and quality of the scientific evidence is also not nearly as strong. It may be possible, however, that because Gelatin and glucosamine/chondroitin products target different parts of the cartilage structure (collagen and proteoglycans, respectively), one ingredient or the other may work better for some individuals.
Gelatin also appears to be beneficial to athletes for muscle growth and metabolism, as it contains lysine, which is important for muscle growth and arginine a precursor of creatine, an amino acid important for the energy metabolism of muscle cells.
Gelatin is a vitreous, brittle solid that is faintly yellow to white and nearly tasteless and odourless. It contains 84-90% protein, 1-2% mineral salts and 8-15% water.
While most gelatin is sourced from cattle and pork, Chinese gelatin is sourced from the hides of black donkeys. It is characterized by a mild energy and a sweet, fetid taste in Chinese Medicine. As a tonic for the blood, it affects the lungs, liver, and kidneys.
This is one of the most potent Yin-nourishing substances used in Chinese health. It can be given to anyone suffering from Yin deficiency. It seems to be particularly useful for women as a blood tonic. It comes in hardened black pieces which are dissolved in warm water or wine. It is excellent combined with dong qua and a small amount of ginger as a women's hormonal tonic to be taken on a regular weekly basis for health maintenance, or in small amounts (one or two tablespoons) every morning.
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