5 Reasons Why Nearly Everyone (Even Vegetarians) Should Eat Gelatin | Chris Kresser

5 Reasons Why Nearly Everyone (Even Vegetarians) Should Eat Gelatin

by Chris Kresser

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Antonio Mu±oz palomares/Hemera/Thinkstock

This is a guest post by Laura Schoenfeld, a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Public Health, and staff nutritionist and content manager for ChrisKresser.com. You can learn more about Laura by checking out her blog or visiting her on Facebook.

There are so many amazing benefits that can come from eating gelatin, including improvements in digestive, skin, and mental health. Plus, gelatin can be used to make a yummy, all-natural dessert that’s actually good for us.

So why aren’t we eating more of it?

Traditional diets are typically much higher in gelatin than our modern diets, because these cultures wisely practiced nose-to-tail eating and consumed parts of the animal that are high in gelatin, such as skin, tendons, and other gelatinous cuts of meat.

We’ve lost the practice of whole-animal eating, and vegetarians typically don’t eat many (or any!) animal products. This means that we’re eating a lot less gelatin than our ancestors, if any at all. The following five reasons will explain why nearly everyone – even vegetarians – should be eating gelatin on a regular basis!

Whether you eat meat or not, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting some gelatin in your diet. Here’s why!

1. Gelatin balances out your meat intake.

Muscle meats and eggs are high in methionine, an amino acid that raises homocysteine levels in the blood and increases our need for homocysteine-neutralizing nutrients like vitamins B6, B12, folate, and choline.

We don’t want high homocysteine in our blood because homocysteine is a significant risk factor for serious diseases like heart disease, stroke, mental illness, and fractures. (This might even explain why researchers sometimes find a correlation between high meat intake and various diseases.)

Those eating lots of animal protein need adequate glycine to balance out the methionine from meat, and you’ll get that from gelatin. For more information, check out Denise Minger’s awesome presentation, where she discusses this very issue.

2. Gelatin heals your gut.

Gelatin can also improve gut integrity and digestive strength by enhancing gastric acid secretion and restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach; low stomach acid and an impaired gut barrier are two common digestive problems in our modern society. Gelatin also absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the digestive tract, promoting good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements.

Gelatin-rich soups and broths are also one of the key components of the GAPS diet, which has been designed to heal the gut and promote healthy digestion. And healthy intestinal cells prevent leaky gut, which is often at the root of many food intolerances, allergies, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases.

3. Gelatin makes your skin healthy and beautiful.

Gelatin is a known promoter of skin health. Gelatin provides glycine and proline, two amino acids that are used in the production of collagen. Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of skin, so providing the building blocks for this important protein can ensure that your body is able to create enough of it.

A diet rich in gelatin may also protect against the aging effects of sunlight, preventing wrinkles in the future. So if you eat gelatin, you’ll feel less guilty about getting regular, unprotected sun exposure to boost your vitamin D, because your skin will be more resilient to damage! (Yay!)

4. Gelatin protects your joints.

Body builders have been using gelatin for decades to help improve joint health and reduce inflammation. And research shows that athletes who took a hydrolyzed collagen supplement experienced less pain in their joints, which could help improve performance for athletes and competitive fitness buffs. If you exercise a lot, eating gelatin can help keep your joints healthy and pain-free.

Also, if you have inflammatory joint or bone diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis, getting adequate gelatin can potentially help you manage inflammation and pain in your joints, and build stronger bones.

5. Gelatin helps you sleep.

Glycine from gelatin has been found to help with sleep. One study found that 3 grams of glycine given to subjects before bedtime produced measurable improvements in sleep quality. Many of my clients swear by gelatin as an effective sleep aid without bothersome side effects, in contrast to medications and even natural sleep aids like melatonin, which can sometimes cause grogginess.

Glycine is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which can decrease anxiety and promote mental calmness. This is because glycine antagonizes norepinephrine, a stress hormone which causes feelings of anxiety and panic. Gelatin can thus help keep you calm and sleeping through the night.

How to Eat More Gelatin

The traditional way to get gelatin is from skin, gelatinous meats, and bone broths. Those who eat a Paleo or ancestral diet can easily include these foods, but vegetarians and vegans will find these health benefits difficult to get from a largely plant-based diet. Gelatin is only found in animal foods that come from the body of the animal itself.

For vegetarians (and even omnivores!) I recommend getting a high-quality gelatin powder to add to food or to create yummy, healthy gelatinous desserts. Gelatin is somewhat more environmentally-friendly than lean meat because it uses parts of the animal that might not be used otherwise. And it’s much easier to digest than normal muscle meat, making it a good gateway food for vegetarians branching out into a more ancestral diet. (And in case you think vegetarians aren’t ever using any parts of the animal, think again.)

My favorite brand of gelatin is Great Lakes, which comes from grass-fed animals. It’s available in both hydrolyzed and whole form; each type has its own health benefits.

Hydrolyzed means the protein is broken into individual amino acids, making them easier to absorb. Use this type to improve skin and joint health or get better sleep. Hydrolyzed gelatin can be mixed into any type of liquid, including cold liquids, so it can be added to cold smoothies or juices easily. It also is great as a real food protein powder.

Whole protein gelatin is better for improving gut health. It helps carry fluid through the intestines, and can even coat the lining of the digestive tract as a soothing and protective layer. This is the type used to make gummies or jello snacks, and must be mixed into warm liquids.

Fish gelatin is available for those who prefer not to consume land animals.

One population who may need to be careful about consuming gelatin or gelatin powders are those with histamine intolerance; some people report a histamine reaction to these foods and thus gelatin may not be appropriate for those with severe intolerances.

Have I convinced you to eat more gelatin? Are you a vegetarian that uses gelatin? Share your story in the comments below!

Note: Chris Kresser has not reviewed this post and is not responsible or liable for any errors in content. This is general nutrition information only and should not be used in the place of medical advice for the prevention or treatment of any diagnosed condition.

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  1. Gelatin is a natural protein that is derived from the partial hydrolysis of collagen, which exists in the skin and bones of animals. Gelatin is intended for human consumption and mainly used as a gelling agent, a clarifying agent (drink), binding agent for light sensitive silver halides and a thickening agent as well. Commercially available Gelatin is a natural foodstuff and chemically, Gelatin is a pure protein. For more info please visit site http://www.halalgelatin.org

  2. Since this is a hydrolyzed product. What about the hydrolyzed glutamate which is a neurotoxin according to Dr. Blaylock? An informed response would be appreciated. i have found that humans constantly make mistakes with supplements.

  3. I am a vegetarian . For over 19 years, I have not had meat. Yet when one is suffering from medically diagnosed insomnia for 13 years even though I am healthy , cook 90% of what I eat, workout, I gave up the ideal of no meat and started taking Kosher beef gelatin ( NOW foods brands) . I am not exhausted during the day when I use to take long afternoon naps after work. I am off my Rozerem which I have used for years and it really was not working. I am sleeping better and deeper at night. I have better skin and hair. I am losing weight because I don’t have those sugar cravings or even carbs cravings!This is week one of taking the product. Believe me, it took weeks to really research and even go through the process of “wow! this is a beef product and I am going to take it? But I don’t eat meat!” I interviewed gelatin companies to see what is best for me. But when your sleep is better with taking gelatin-better than years of doctors trying to help-, I will give that ideal. I don’t eat meat still nor do I plan to. But my live has improved and changed drastically . Each person has different health needs and it may not work for you. Check with your doctor. ( Ironically all physically were excellent and never revealed I needed more protein.)

  4. This article is interesting but there are a lot of conflicting views out there, which some people take as gospel. it’s about trail and error and finding the best diet for ourselves. The holier than thou attitude of some vegetarians and vegans does nothing for their cause. I cannot eat beans and pulses, I end up in agony if I do. The only grains I can eat are buckwheat and sorghum. (Pause whilst the grain police point out that buckwheat isn’t a true grain) so being vegetarian or vegan is not an option for me. I don’t condemn it or think it is right or wrong. I eat fish and organic fowl from which I make bone broth. I think it’s about a balanced diet and balanced mind and perspective. There is no right or wrong, it’s about each one of us finding the healthiest diet for ourselves, without being offended about the opinion of others.

    • Not everyone is identical, and that affects how our body reacts to certain foods, that’s true. Different people will have different optimal diets. But science and facts ≠ people’s opinions and preferences. As much as you can have variations across different people, we’re all still human, therefore we all function in the same way. If people are offended by the fact that gelatin only has true benefits if it comes from animals (as many on the comments around here are), that changes absolutely nothing. You can think all you want about mercury and lead, it’s still bad for you. You can think all you want about water, it’s still gonna be good for you no matter who you are.

    • Be careful with Sorghum grain I read its on a list of foods that often tests HIGH for Mycotoxin Residues. I am GF, but gave it up a couple years ago, after reading that.

  5. Hi,
    As a vegan who has removed all animal products from my life and diet, I read this article hoping to find a vegan gelatin solution.
    Instead, I found a woman telling me that, for the sake of this and that, I should sacrifice the anti-violence and health-based principles that guide my life.
    Your title is misleading. You haven’t suggested a vegatarian solution: you’ve suggested that vegetarians give up.
    Thank you for the almost-helpful content.

    • This article is so backward that it made me laugh out loud! Something I rarely do. This writer hasn’t a clue about what foods contain what ingredients, at least not in this article. It is like kicking dirt in a child’s face. It should have been regarding moving from real gelatin to a substitute and provide facts that explain why. Instead, it appears to be satire. I felt like I was reading an article on The Onion.
      I am a physician and come from a family of doctors. We have all been lifelong vegans, myself over 67 years, and have never eaten anything from an animal. That goes for my sibling’s children, wives, etc. There isn’t any need. There are also plenty of vegan gelatin substitutes available. To Jaonne, Google vegan gelatin to find a listing. Some are prepackaged like Jello, but if you want to make something from scratch that calls for gelatin use agar agar. You can find it on Amazon or just about any health food or grocery store.
      Gelatin is the nastiest slaughterhouse garbage I have ever seen. It is like the sludge at the bottom of a trash can. Would you eat that? If products containing gelatin were required to include a photograph of what gelatin is made from, the package would still be sitting on the shelf. The fact is that most people are clueless as to what they are eating.
      So, for those of you that would like to know what gelatin is made from ‘really,’ have a look here: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/86/09/72/860972676600b4d7a18e0f4c18db5ee5.jpg
      and here:
      http://slmp-550-29.slc.westdc.net/~empamal4/wp-content/uploads/2993932.jpg715

      Vegetarians, nor vegans would NOT eat gelatin. Not if they were real ones. There are plenty of fake fad vegans and vegetarians out there. They’d be the only group that would even consider it.
      However, no real animal lover or true vegetarian/vegan would ever eat anything that came from an animal. No real animal lover would contribute to the suffering of an animal for any reason, period. It is disgraceful and caused by ignorance of the facts. It doesn’t make someone stupid; it just means they are unaware. And that is fine, anyone can learn at any time of their lives. A former 70+year-old patient of mine became a vegan overnight after surviving a heart attack. They began coming to me soon after. I merely provided them with the cold hard facts of what they were facing ahead. That was all the information they needed. They used it to create a new better version of themselves, and now they are in excellent health, lost 52 pounds, cholesterol is perfect, no longer a type 2 diabetic, thyroid levels on par and they no longer take any medications. They no longer require them. They ended up moving across the pond to enjoy the second chance of life they were given.

      But, telling someone to branch out into an animal based diet? Why would anyone tell someone to do that? And secondly, why would anyone listen to this jargon. Animal agriculture/animal based foods are the cause of the problem. Cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, cancer, diabetes, pulmonary, renal failure and No one needs gelatin. The amino acids in gelatin called glycine and proline are found in plant-based foods in high levels. Nothing written here suggests any facts.
      See the facts, from the following medical update, and please stop telling people to consume animal ingredients. It is a liability for you. Something I don’t think was considered here.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

      • “I am a physician and come from a family of doctors. We have all been lifelong vegans, myself over 67 years, and have never eaten anything from an animal.”

        Ahhh, unbiased legacy science at its finest. I understand that this lifestyle has worked for you ‘man and boy’ but surely you don’t think for a second that all bodies are the same? Perhaps you do.

        “That goes for my sibling’s children, wives, etc.”

        Whether they like it or not I’m guessing?

        “Gelatin is the nastiest slaughterhouse garbage I have ever seen. It is like the sludge at the bottom of a trash can. Would you eat that?”

        Honestly, were you going for irony with your comment about The Onion? The sludge at the bottom of my trash can is mostly rotten vegetables (you eat that!?)…I mean…surely anything can be “the sludge at the bottom of a trash can”? Also, using a bi-product to meat production does not make that product ‘garbage’. The production of lab-grade acetonitrile is a bi-product of the acrylonitrile industry. Really…would you put garbage in your HPLC?

        “So, for those of you that would like to know what gelatin is made from ‘really,’ have a look here: link
        and here:
        link”

        No self-righteous comment would be complete, without some shock-image porn. Bravo. Also, while I was an undergrad I worked in an orange-juice factory which had scenes just as horrific. Do you drink orange juice?

        “Vegetarians, nor vegans would NOT eat gelatin. Not if they were real ones.”

        And the money shot. It’s comments like this that makes it so difficult to become a vegetarian / vegan. It is the enemy of incrementalism…you know…dipping your toe in before you jump. Having people tell you that you are not a REAL *label* because x, y or z…it baffles me how people cannot see how counter-productive this is to their cause. Humans get defensive, it’s a thing we do. I mean you’d know if you had worked anywhere that required people-skills, like a doct…oh…right.

        “However, no real animal lover or true vegetarian/vegan would ever eat anything that came from an animal. No real animal lover would contribute to the suffering of an animal for any reason, period.”

        Assuming that ‘animal love’ is their reason. I mean, I was a vegetarian (yes a REAL one) for 12 years. For environmental reasons, not an accumulation of personal guilt, and I stopped because I was bored with eating…I still am but at least I can just eat whatever is convenient.

        “A former 70+year-old patient of mine became a vegan overnight after surviving a heart attack. They began coming to me soon after. I merely provided them with the cold hard facts of what they were facing ahead.”

        Anecdotal evidence, nice. Tell me, are these the “cold hard facts” you speak of?

        “They used it to create a new better version of themselves, and now they are in excellent health, lost 52 pounds, cholesterol is perfect, no longer a type 2 diabetic, thyroid levels on par and they no longer take any medications.”

        Gained superpowers, married a supermodel, won six lotteries….

        “Animal agriculture/animal based foods are the cause of the problem. Cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, cancer, diabetes, pulmonary, renal failure and No one needs gelatin.”

        So I assume you do not use store-bought cosmetics / hygiene products, drive a car or wash your clothes? No…no, of course not…what was I thinking?

        “Nothing written here suggests any facts.”

        Ah whoops, I should have read ahead. I didn’t realise you’d included a disclaimer.

        “See the facts, from the following medical update, and please stop telling people to consume animal ingredients. It is a liability for you. Something I don’t think was considered here.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

        The icing on the cake, a link to a journal with an impact factor of a whopping 0.33! No serious scientist would work based off of a single article from a journal like this. I’m not saying that it is by default wrong…just that linking this one article summarises your entire comment: Smacking of confirmation bias and thoroughly unresearched.

        Now for all of that, I’m not saying one way or the other that your main thesis isn’t correct, that perhaps this article may be a little uninformed…but your comment defines ‘irony’.

        • I am age 80 and been a heavy meat eater all my life, including gelatin. I take no medications whatsoever and never have except for a rare antibiotic. I can easily walk three miles in the same time (55 minutes at a normal pace) that I could forty years ago. I have never been operated on and have never been in the hospital. The most serious ailment I have ever had is the flu, which I have had perhaps five time in my life. I cut my acre of grass with a push lawnmower. (Knock on wood in all this.) I respect the sincere opinions of those who post here. I think all make a contribution, but I would highly recommend the website mercola.com. Dr. Mercola is an experienced expert in nutrition and on living a healthy lifestyle. His is the most visited site on the Internet for alternative medicine. Knowledge is empowerment. Good luck!

  6. I’m confused. How can vegetarians eat gelatin powder? I appreciate you can get vegetarian jelly but this article says that vegetarians can add gelatin powder to their food, but then says it is only available from meat and fish. Does the writer know that vegetarian means not eating dead animals?

    • The writer is recommending that vegetarians branch out and start consuming gelatin, even though it’s from animals. He is aware that vegetarians do not eat many animal products; hence, why he included the description of vegetarians who are interested in “branching out into more ancestral (animal-based) diets.”

      • The writer is an idiot. A vegetarian does not eat meat, end of conversation. She has offered has offered zero science to back up her opinions, and her links only lead to opinion pieces by people who agree with her. Pieces that are also lacking in any science. I’m not even a vegetarian, but this piece is annoying in the extreme, and just screams personal bias/being paid.

      • No vegetarian would be interested in that unless they were not vegetarian in the first place …
        how ignorant is this person ?!?!?

        • Considering a lot of vegetarians, or meat eaters, or any kind of eaters, didn’t always eat that way… It’s safe to assume any current eater of any style of diet may switch to any other.

          Would you have the same complaint if it were an article titled “Why even meat lovers should go vegetarian some days of the week?”

        • A vegetarian WOULD be interested in this or other new solutions if their health were failing. Heck, most Vegetarian/vegan diets are too HIGH In copper for some people, especially those born with over-methylation metabolisms (like myself) and accumulate copper more than average person. So, even if one were “vegetarian in the first place”, it doesn’t mean one can’t alter their diet so they have better cognitive function, less foggy brain, better memory, less anxiety that some get with all vegetarian diets. Afterall, this is not a religion unless you make it one. So, watch your symptoms & moods. Some people have to Limit OR Avoid high copper foods altogether.

          Diet and #Methylation
          https://www.samanthagilbert.com/methylation-diet-tips/

          Video: Dr. Mensah at Mensah Medical, Diet & Methylation & Brain Cognition (Holistic Functional Doc). Whole video is great. @57:07 he discusses too high copper diet & moods, nuts. He even recommends spouses testing their Methylation status before having a child. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_eUypOBrzA

          • Vitamin Store dept. Manager just told me yesterday that many strict vegans she meets often last about 10 years, then SHE starts seeing many in her store ask for help. They often have to turn to Fish collagen as an alternative. They make a vegan collagen formula, but is not as effective per feedback they say.

  7. Hey Laura,

    Great article and once again showing the amazing work and resourcefulness of ruminants to provide nearly everything. I’ve started a dairy company here in Ireland that based around sustainability for food and for ecology and I hope that in 3 years time we will be able to make full use of the animals that are providing us with milk by processing the whole carcass and really explaining to all the benefit of bone broths and the classic Irish stew. We cook a big stew every week in our house for the family using bones from a local butcher.
    If I can recommend that your readers get in contact with local grass based farmers and jump in on cow shares etc. Organic is great but there are some great farmers across America that are also farming without the use of chemicals so definitely worth checking out.

  8. Here is my two cents if anyone is interested. If you want to eat animal products that is fine. You are not an evil person. If you want to be vegan or vegetarian, that is also fine, but you are no holier than someone who eats meat.
    All that aside, and back to the topic, eating collagen containing foods such as gelatin can be beneficial for the body, however, it is also fine not to eat them at all. Being vegan or vegetarian actually still allows your body to get all the collagen it needs by creating it itself. Diets rich in various plants give the body the essential nutrients it needs to create collagen in and for the body.
    Here is a list of foods that help the body produce collagen.

    http://www.healthcentral.com/skin-care/c/742375/55533/increase-eating/

    If I were any of you, I would not consume gelatin as a supplement (except in extreme cases where it helps a disease or injury or is recommended by your health care professional, and even then for only a short period of time) but rather work towards consuming a balanced diet with adequate exercise and low to no alcohol or drug abuse, whether vegan, vegetarian, or not, It can be done and a healthy and happy life can be had by all regardless of the food category we choose to eat.

  9. Thanks Laura Schoenfeld for sharing interesting and informative article. I think gelatin extracted from haram sources such as pig fat or bones because it is common and inexpensive to make.

    • in the UK we have a brand called ‘ HARTLEYS’ and some of the flavours ( straweberry, raspberry and lemon-lime) are vegetarian 🙂 i would recommend the raspberry one because its tastier xD

  10. When i first became a vegetarian, a guy i knew from karaoke who happens to be a meat grilling champion when i told him, went absolutely mad. He said i was going to age, get weak and die early. He said he knew other vegetarians and thats what lay ahead for me. I told him, i would gladly chop a few years off my life, die all weak, looking like a prune because the happiness that i felt inside me was priceless. Im going to die anyway, at least i will die happy, all the pain and suffering, limping around cause my joints are shot and my gut is finished will be well worth it. If you dont have it in your due to lack of empathy or plain weak willed, why dont you just shut up and keep it to yourself.

    • LOL John the righteous position being assumed has forgotten that such a view is possible because civilisation as you know it, including all of modern technology, has arisen due to ONLY animal agriculture being able to support it.

      Without animals being used for human endeavour, even grain farming would never have advanced to sustain the populations and lead the advent of manufacturing and modern society, with supermarkets and time to think of other things besides where the next feed is coming from…. There is no escaping the FACT that your daily existence still depends on the exploitation of animals (whether or not is also both cruel or excessive).

      The pain of being able to just survive the day with a degenerating body is not about being “weak willed” – an unbelievably callous remark. It is delusionary thinking that all such pain will be wiped away by “priceless happiness” of ill considered beliefs. That the empathy for animals is not also extended to human animals shows not only shallowness but arrogance of the holier-than-Thou kind. My advice is to get out into the wilderness and put your own courage on the line; I am certain you will find that the only animal that would share your empathy is the pet you left behind keeping your bed warm.. my guess is that you won’t endure vegetarianism either.

    • you do know that humans have fangs right? and yes, its much smaller than animals, but thats because we use our fingers/hands (be pretty hard to do with paws) to tear away flesh before we put the in our mouth.

      just to let you know, i’m a vegetarian (well, vegetarian most of the time but tbh, i’m a pescatarian), but those are the type of broad statements that make other people think we’re “silly” and “misinformed”

      • Yeah, can you provide a source for that?

        Because I can. http://www.whale.to/a/comp.html
        “whether you look at teeth or digestive tract or just study history”

        An excerpt from the link, since you probably won’t open it:

        Teeth: Incisors
        CARNIVORE: Short and pointed
        OMNIVORE: Short and pointed
        HERBIVORE: Broad, flattened and spade shaped
        HUMAN: Broad, flattened and spade shaped

        Teeth: Canines
        CARNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
        OMNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
        HERBIVORE: Dull and short or long (for defense), or none
        HUMAN: Short and blunted

        Teeth: Molars
        CARNIVORE: Sharp, jagged and blade shaped
        OMNIVORE: Sharp blades and/or flattened
        HERBIVORE: Flattened with cusps vs complex surface
        HUMAN: Flattened with nodular cusps

        Colon
        CARNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
        OMNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
        HERBIVORE: Long, complex; may be sacculated
        HUMAN: Long, sacculated

        Saliva
        CARNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
        OMNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
        HERBIVORE: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes
        HUMAN: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes

        Chewing
        CARNIVORE: None; swallows food whole
        OMNIVORE: Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing
        HERBIVORE: Extensive chewing necessary
        HUMAN: Extensive chewing necessary

  11. I am feeling rather homicidal after reading your suggestion to quit being vegetarian and eat gelatin. I am vegan and there MUST be an alternative to this! I am so angry at people arrogantly telling us there is no other way to get well… What about the poor animals? You have no heart.

  12. As a meat eater (free range organic) I suffered from: Lower back/joint pain, constipation, digestion issues, extremely irregular periods, low iron, and extreme fatigue. It’s awful to recommend that anybody eat animals or animal products. It is awful for our health. Our bodies are meant to be plant based – ie our less acidic stomach acids, flat incisors, masticating jaws, long intestines, etc.

    I have been eating a plant-based diet for 10 years and am a whole new person. I am healthier than I have ever been. I highly recommend it to anybody.

    • Glad you found what works for YOU. But, 1 diet is not right for all. It’s possible you have Gene mutations that make it harder for you to process certain things in the body or collect more uric acid such as in meat or high purine or high oxalate foods. If you get your genes tested by 23andme.com, or by Dr. Amy Yasko and follow #MthfrSupport on Facebook, you could learn the bigger picture of your pathways. Just because foods work for you and your genes, does not mean all of our bodies are meant to eat like you. Also for low stomach acid, there are things that can increase it like taking HCL, which helps control invading bad parasites/bacteria in our body.

      Also some people are over-methylators (Like ME) and some people are under-methylators. If you are an over-methylators, i can’t eat too much meat and i avoid dairy, eggs etc.. because they are high in Methyl and Sulfur, which many people also have trouble metabolizing or accumulating too much in the body, which leads to excess ammonia in the body/brain.

      Also many people are accumulating GLYPHOSATE (main ingredient in Roundup herbicide) in our bodies, which is shutting down certain pathways & messing up our digestion & detox & causing massive food sensitivities. Also, some people with #Pyroluria and some Autoimmune NEED certain nutrients in meat and CANNOT have Grains, beans, nuts, certain seeds which have anti-nutrients like phytic acid etc. and make autoimmune worse. #Dr Walsh has shared a lot about Pyroluria & genetic Nutrient imbalances. Find him on FB. Glad you found what works for YOU.

      • Crosswind, How much is too much meat for you?

        And… if B12 makes you feel ‘wired’ in methyl and hydroxy form those that usually mean you overly methylate? I’m low in B12 – but yet it makes me wired. Makes no sense. What to do?

        • @Raquel, good question. I’m still trying to figure out my diet balance. It’s not easy with toxic overload & faulty detox pathways. Here’s a great video presentation by Dr. Mensah (well respected holistic doc) about methylation & diet. Whole video is great. @57:07 he discusses too high copper diet, copper toxicity & moods, nuts. He even recommends spouses testing their Methylation status before having a child nowadays. Watch for negative side effects on vegan diet, which is often high in copper. Some thrive on it, some don’t. listen to your body. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_eUypOBrzA&t=3592s

          • I recently gave up meat and feel better. I have less anxiety and irritability. So, with me being an over-methylator, i guess the animal foods are too much for me. Too much adrenaline in the meat too and less BO too. I like Dr. Greger’s videos about plant based diet science on youtube and his website. https://nutritionfacts.org/

            For B12, I cannot tolerate methyl-B12 or hydroxyB12 either. I started taking ((Adeno-B12)), a different form and I can tolerate it better. > https://www.seekinghealth.com/adeno-b12-60-lozenges

    • I read an article earlier today that listed quite a few of the products that have gelatin in them. I was so upset to see that even gum has it. What are we to do?

      • Then just avoid products with “gelatin” if that bothers you and find supplements and teas with Silica and Nettles instead. The rest of us who feel benefits from homemade Meat or bone broth will stick with that. Solution solved.

    • Actually, if you study physiology and anatomy, you will find that humans are omnivorous in our design. We clearly have features unlike true vegetarian mammals (herbivores). Additionally, the pH of the stomach should be very low/acidic. This is to accommodate the breakdown of protein and minerals. Those with alkaline stomachs are unable to properly digest protein and the result is “acid reflux” which is the organic acids put off by rotting protein in the stomach. As a former vegan, I highly recommend you read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith (former 25-year vegetarian/vegan). Very well written and science-based. Wishing you the best!

  13. The problem with people stating that “science” proves that eating meat is unhealthy is always based on bias information. I really just follow what my gut tells me and i know when i eat meat and especially bone broth i feel better mentally and physically. I used to suffer from severe mental illness and got so desperate i finally discovered gaps diet after a lot of research. Things like candida overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome is the root of most diseases yet western doctors dont say shit about and billions of people continue to suffer thinking all of their issues are genetic or uncurable. And then u got vegans and vegetarians stating things that supposedly science backs but heres something that is a fact- you cant heal and seal the gut lining without eating animal products. Vegetables cant do that by itself. The gut is the root of most diseases. I dont need an encyclopedia of resources to back this up, human organs and intestinal lining is made up of the same structure and protein an animals. When u eat those proteins and fat from an animal it heals and seals your gut lining. Vegetables cannot do that its really common sense people. I understand why people are vegan its because industry is what makes it cruel. But saying eating meat is unhealthy is just very misguided. There are so many success stories from people who recovered from many diseases following lifestyle choices like gaps and paleo. Many different diseases from autism to ibs.

    • There are vegan sources of healing the gut lining: vegan collagen, drinking aloe vera gel, and many more. The thing is you have to have a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables, in order to keep your gut clean, functioning, and in balance. For overall health too, lots of raw produce is the essential component, among a few other smaller components.

      The medical industry is rigged towards keeping us sick aka industry, so they are not gonna tell us about candida and leaky gut. Doctors are brainwashed to believe what the industry tells them. Resulting in a confused public about their health. However it is correct that eating animal products on a daily basis, even lighter sources such as chicken and fish, are very deteriorating to one’s health. It just is. If you are consuming much less, like 1-2 times a week, and having an otherwise healthy diet, then health issues dont manifest much at all. I can see how some people need the “heaviness” of animal products as it is a different molecular structure and gives you a heavy feeling that you cant get from vegan protein and fat. However if you say that you feel better with a little bone broth, etc have you tried vegan alternatives to see how you feel? Many articles only put the animal version of what they are discussing because they just dint know of the vegan versions of them. I get my glycerin and collagen from vegan sources and have gotten really good results. Even if a person eats meat/ cheese/ dairy yogurt 1-2 times a week it is much healthier than eating it daily BUT you have to realize that with each consumption of animal products you are eating something that is substantially high in fat and cholesterol. Not to mention the hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides that are going directly from the animal’s system into yours. Not a good thing. We do have to account for the role of chemicals/ pesticides/ hormones/ antibiotics, their HUGE role in diseases. Getting organic meat/ cheese helps but its not fully rid of these things. Your meat collagen and meat glycerin and any other supplement that isnt vegan: is more than likely giving you a dose of these every time you take them, unfortunately. Info that the food industry and fda dont want the public to know bc their whole profit is based off of poor quality animal products. Why- bc it is addicting to the system and causes disease at the same time thus making it a perfect thing to fuck people’s lives and health without us ever knowing. Why- because the ones controlling the systems of the world are greedy misguided souls only wanting that money. Too bad for them now bc the public is getting too smart for all this and will un-do every falsity.

      Back to diet tho…. so aside from health issues that animal products bring, its just time to be vegan. If not perfectly, as much as possible. Animals deserve to be completely un-fucked-with in every way, as do humans and nature. It just comes down to: respect for all life. Including yourself and your body. Treat yourself like you matter. Put love into your body every time and you will heal everything. Vegan is so much easier than is made out to be. The food industry has influenced us to be opposite of vegan even tho it is our natural diet. For their benefit. Its time to take the reigns back.

      And yes i say vegan is our natural diet bc there have been studies done that when kids are exposed to a daily buffet of all kinds of food- fresh produce, junk food, meat, dairy, vegan proteins and fats, fast food… youd think theyd pick the junk food and meat. But they saw over time they picked only the healthy stuff- vegan and fresh produce.

      • Perhaps you need to look at the economical consequences of plant only diets…..how much of the forests, wetlands and other natural habitats do you think we will need to destroy to cultivate enough land to feed a population of 7 billion vegetarians/vegans?! Every time you sit down to eat that salad or vegan meal, please know that at least one hundred plants and animals died for the land needed to grow the ingredients of your salad. There is no way to eat on this planet without killing or harming animals in some way. If you are really intent on not harming or killing animals to eat: STOP EATING.

      • “Perhaps you need to look at the economical consequences of plant only diets…..how much of the forests, wetlands and other natural habitats do you think we will need to destroy to cultivate enough land to feed a population of 7 billion vegetarians/vegans?!” Your kidding right? It takes 5-7 times more land and more resources to produce beef and 2-3 times more land and resources to produce chicken, pork and turkey. Seriously, you need to actually read some basic information regarding any subject your want to speak about. Opinions are great things and everyone has a right to have one….but by definition they don’t belong in a science or fact based discussion. The only chance of feeding our over populated planet is by growing crops for people not feed for animals and convert pastures to crop farming. But hey they hide this type of information in books and scientific studies.

        • Wow , those numbers are waaaayyy off, can I recommend some research into soil science and the methods of increasing soil organic matter, soil carbon and soil biodiversity. What you will find is that the ruminants eating grass provide the greatest hope of lowering atmospheric carbon, increasing soil biodiversity and returning life to billions of hectares of crop destroyed soil. The planet evolved these methods that work. What strips life and carbon from soils is monoculture so soy, maize wheat etc, if you are concerned with protecting food then at all costs avoid eating these and for those that eat meat look to animals only raised on grasslands. Ruminants are a lot more than the protein calculation that is normally run, providing a fully usable carcass. I’ve done my homework enough that I’ve raised money and started a dairy company in Ireland, I’m happy to talk soil carbon numbers with any large scale agriculturalist but they have to be in practice.

  14. Hello Vegetarians!
    Animal bone derivative gelatin has so many health benefits
    (vegetarians can get same via their diet too but lets not mention that)
    here are some reasons you should quit being vegetarian!

    LOL FACE PALM

    1) Vegetarian does not eat meat, balancing meat intake is not required.
    Our diets are high in the the nutrients meat eaters lack which cause homocysteine. It’s not about what we ‘are not’ eating but what we ‘are’ eating.

    2) A huge range of our diet heals our gut and keeps it at its healthiest

    3) vegetarianism makes your skin healthy and beautiful… as well as the rest of your body and lifespan…

    4) “…… However, in the larger study (53 participants), the patients followed a vegan diet for three and a half months and experienced significant improvement in tender and swollen joints, pain, duration of morning stiffness and grip strength than the people in a control group who consumed an ordinary diet.”
    http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/anti-inflammatory/vegan-and-vegetarian-diets.php

    5) Do you know how many widely available sources of tryptophan and other sedation-related foods there are in vegetarianism? spirulina? soy? spinach? milk?

    Are you really a dietitian by profession or just a blogger looking for attention through an offensive article with no facts linked, sure to cause debate among offended vegetarians?

    Thanks for the incentive to waste my time writing this post =(

    • “[…] than the people in a control group who consumed an ordinary diet.”

      Ordinary diets today are fucked up. So basically, the research shows vegan diet is less fucked up than the fucked up ordinary diet.

      Paleo and the other diets Mk was referring to are not “ordinary diets”. And they also have those same benefits, and so much more.

    • My dear friend Julia!

      Being a Hindu Brahmin, you can imagine how my family must pride itself for being strictly vegetarian, and having a diet of a huge and fantastic variety of veggies, fruits, legumes and all vegetarian products

      I have to tell you the pros and cons of this –
      My dads family who are hindu’s never have faced issues such as cancer. The risk of cancer is always there in everyone today, with the kind of chemicals in most foods. However, the vegetarian contracts cancer much lesser than the meat eater . Meat eaters have a stronger history of getting cancer

      My grandmother, was around 70 years old, not really finished of sorts. And when she fell sick , the doctor who was a pure vegetarian , actually gave up saying vegetarian food would not give her enough energy to revive her self . We had to put her on a fish stew diet for days , because she refused to touch meat

      luckily fish diet was good for her and she got stronger

      A vegetarian diet is fantastic but people on a strictly veggie diet , are actually smaller and shorter and weaker ( exceptions are always there)

      A meat eater would always be bigger, broader, stronger, and thereby more attractive ( exceptions are always there )

      Vegetarians are more prone to diabetes, meat eaters are more prone to kidney disease because of the amount of meat going in all day – and the kidneys finally wearing out !

      If you moderate your food , with a lot lot more vegetables and say a couple of pieces of ( small pieces ) of meat , with a glass of gelatine soup , you actually have a diet that is unbeatable

      I am a moderate of sorts. Not too much meat, lots of veggies and nuts , moderation on fruits , and you have the most nutritious diet possible

      • Sanmad, thank you for your comment. Can you add further as to why Vegetarians are more prone to diabetes?

        I became a vegetarian in July of 2015. I was healthy and had no issues during my last blood check up a year or 2 before that. When the doctor tested my blood this last year in March, 8 mo post Vegg, not only was my HDL low they said my blood showed signs of pre-diabetes. I would not have made a connection between diabetes and vegetarianism had it not been the fact that my friend who is also Veg had to have his blood retested because he too had signs of pre-diabetes. He is an active man, biked through NYC to Queens to work everyday and only ate the healthiest orgnic foods. He still does currently but he wont eat any carbohydrates (rice, wheat, oats, etc) to prevent the diabetes from occuring. Once I heard my news I reduced my carb intake to small amounts and lost about 6 lbs. I went gluten free as it was causing me to bloat and lost another 6lbs which was not my intention (I don’t what to be too skinny) but its fine. At the very least I have my sugar/carb consumption down until I can implement a weight-lifting routine.

        Still, I figure that the reason why diabetes can happen for Veggs is because we are not weight training which would otherwise drive the sugar that’s in the blood into the muscle for growth, repair and recovery. Instead sugars are running rampant and overworking the liver. At least that’s what I roughly remember from my personal training/Anatomy & Physiology class from waaaay back when before I had kids. Do you have any data you can refer me to? I tried to verify my theory back when I heard the news but could not find anything definitive.

        Again, thank you for your imput! 🙂

    • I know that there are gelatin substitutes but do these contain the substances that are needed to be well?
      My Son has gone Vegan and I’m thinking about it as its helping my weight loss. I have really painful arthritis and have suffered from mental illness most of my life. My Son has Aspergers.
      Is it helpful to have a vegan diet when you have these illnesses?
      I hope I’m replying to the lady who talked about vegetarians.

      • I just read about this. No it’s not vegan “collagen” but it’s ingredients (like Silica and soy) that help your body make it’s own collagen. I have food sensitivities to many foods listed in this link and i AVOID Soy, so l take collagen. I heard that Silica by Biosil is very popular, but i have never used it. I knew a lady who had 5+ knee operations for osteoarthritis, yet still refused to eat meat broth etc.. and insisted on eating vegetarian. So didn’t seem to work for her, but i don’t know her genes.

    • “Paleo and the other diets Mk was referring to are not “ordinary diets”. And they also have those same benefits, and so much more.” No the science does not back up that a Paleo diet is either healthy or provides benefits that come close to a plant based diet. Eating increased amounts of animal protein and animal fat on a Paleo diet is both unsound and unhealthy. Read the scientific literature it is not subject to interpretation or rather misinterpretation. The only thing positive about a Paleo diet is the recognition that cheap carbohydrates, like white bread, are bad.

  15. Bone broth seems to be a very nutritious natural source of gelatin. However the processes used to turn natural gelatin into a powder is downright scary and I won’t be putting it in my body.

    The Manufacturing Process
    Inspection and cutting

    1 When the animal parts arrive at the food processing plant, they are inspected for quality. Rotted parts are discarded. Then, the bones, tissues, and skins are loaded into chopping machines that cut the parts into small pieces of about Sin (12.7cm) in diameter.

    Degreasing and roasting

    2 The animal parts are passed under high-pressure water sprays to wash away debris. They are then degreased by soaking them in hot water to reduce the fat content to about 2%. A conveyer belt moves the degreased bones and skins to an industrial dryer where they are roasted for approximately 30 minutes at about 200° F (100° C).

    Acid and akaline treatment

    3 The animal parts are soaked in vats of lime or some other type of acid or akali for approximately five days. This process removes most of the minerals and bacteria and facilitates the release of collagen. The acid wash is typically a 4% hydrochloric acid with a pH of less than 1.5. The alkaline wash is a potassium or sodium carbonate with a pH above 7.

    Boiling

    4 The pieces of bone, tissue, and skin are loaded into large aluminum extractors and boiled in distilled water. A tube running from the extractor allows workers to draw off the liquid that now contains gelatin. The liquid is sterilized by flash-heating it to about 375° F (140° C) for approximately four seconds.

    Evaporating and grinding

    5 From the extractor, the liquid is piped through filters to separate out bits of bone, tissue or skin that are still attached. From the filters, the liquid is piped into evaporators, machines that separate the liquid from the solid gelatin. The liquid is piped out and discarded. The gelatin is passed through machines that press it into sheets. Depending on its final application, the gelatin sheets are passed through a grinder that reduces them to a fine powder.

    Flavoring and coloring

    6 If the gelatin is to be used by the food industry, sweeteners, flavorings, and colorings may be added at this point. Pre-set amounts of these additives are thoroughly mixed into the powdered gelatin.

  16. There is such conflicting advice out now with all of this. I am in the middle of watching the Global Quest Truth About Cancer Series. Episode 4 – where a ‘renowned neurosurgeon’ and others, speak about Glutamine and it’s derivatives, at length, (Dr Mercola in a number of his articles discusses this subject quite comprehensively as well) about how much of a cancer fueling – even cancer causing substance (the explanations were quite involved and based on much research we are told), it is. This would have been ‘interesting’ to know in itself,, but glossed over by my husband and I were it not for the fact that after going on a total autoimmune protocol for 2mths (one that a couple of the leading Functional Medicine practitioners advocated – and many others – like yourself seem to be aligning themselves with – even endorsing the products), our health actually started declining – to the point where we are now being faced with some very real cancer issues ourselves. Now we’ve all come to understand that cancer takes literally years before it’s seen in the body (eg a 1cm tumor can take 6-8yrs to grow? or to that effect – I’m no dr), but since taking Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate (Green), and L-Glutamine capsules with two meals a day, as directed, we are now BOTH unwell with accelerated cancerous cell growth… I don’t wish to debate this or get into any arguments or slinging matches with anyone please, but for goodness sake, PLEASE everyone, see what the latest research is on this. Alot of damage is being done by well meaning people who haven’t seen the full implications. A substance that naturally occurs in the body, does not always mean it’s ‘safe’ or prudent to add extra into the system without fully understanding the potential repercussions… All that aside, I don’t want to sound critical of Chris nor all the other helpful, insightful blogs he writes. He, among a few other bloggers I respect, will eventually see the truth of this new research re the glutamine receptors in our bodies and how glutamine consumed, is now (apparently) found to be such a major CAUSE of cancer….

  17. As a biological sciences major with a good understanding of health and nutrition I would like to say that this article makes me want to plant my palm firmly into my face.

    You could just as aptly name this article “5 reasons never to listen to anything that a Paleo diet advocate says”.

    This article is full of unscientific quackery.

    • Wow. Zero back up to your bold statement. You’re flat out wrong and doing no one any good here. Shame on you for trolling.

    • “Can you follow up with some specifics? You can’t make a statement like that and not follow through.” He doesn’t have to …what you need to do is actually read the scientific literature and you can start by reading the China Study…the most comprehensive nutritional study ever performed. The Paleo diet is based on a misinformed notion that we should eat the same way our distant ancestors did. The problem though is that they neither ate the same degree of animal protein that Paleo diets suggest and were not necessarily healthy from a nutritional standpoint. The scientific evidence suggests that cultures who foraged more than hunted lived longer and had less disease. But again it is in the scientific literature. The only time an intelligent discussion can be had about any topic is when people check their opinions, beliefs and notions at the door and in fact read the related scientific information beforehand.

      • “The Paleo diet is based on a misinformed notion that we should eat the same way our distant ancestors did.”

        Not really. First, there is no “paleo diet”. It’s just a set of basic principles informed by how humans ate for millennia. In actual practice people who identify as eating paleo are probably eating quite differently from traditional cultures, but with some parallels. It’s mainly about erasing some of the perversions of modern diets, e.g. processed carbs.

        Weston Price showed pretty clearly that traditional diets kept people healthy, and when primitive people adopted modern diets, they got sick. Most of the traditional cultures he studied ate a lot of animal foods. When these people switched to white flours, sugars, canned fruit, etc their dental and bodily health tanked.

  18. Thank you for this great post and informational comments. And for some who are riding on their high horses, if you don’t like this post, just go home. Some of us here have really huge health problems & this post is most helpful. And don’t try to tell everybody how great is your vegetarian diet etc. Every diet has its problems, ie carbon foot print etc. And stop commenting, as this is not a debate. The purpose of this post is other than your own agenda.
    Also, I think that Hyaluronic Acid is different to Gelatine but they have some similar effects, ie on joints and skin

    • So basically you are saying that anybody who disagrees with you is not allowed to comment. Do you have any idea how awful that sounds?

      • Hi Cheap Torque,

        I’m genuinely curious to hear you out. Can you clarify which aspects (if even just a few) are unsound?

        I realize this article has very poor sources (blogs from others of the same community), but you can’t deny standard nutrition is failing people, also.

        Let’s take this up a notch and discuss! I’d love to know what you know. We’re all just trying to feel better, right?

  19. Hi,
    This is a good article about gelatin and glycine. Thank you. Just one note to that. Please use only organic gelatin! It seems to be so that the residues of the most common herbicid glyphosate (derivative of glycine) that is used all over the world to kill weeds, is replacing glycine in our and animals’ protein syntesis. This is then potentially on of the reasons to many common diseases that are rocketing in our society.

  20. I use FORM Hyrdolyzed Collagen Protein from Le-Vel. Uses Bovine. It is a subligual gel and I love it!

  21. What on earth are you smoking? A vegetarian, regardless of these professed ‘health benefits’ *cannot* eat gelatin. If they did, they would not be vegetarian. It really is quite simple.

    I also rather object to the rather oddly blithe tone taken where vegetarians are mentioned in the piece, too. Just… strange.

    • Vegetarians by definition don’t eat meat, but they do sometimes consume eggs and dairy products. Gelatin is not meat, but an animal by-product. Veganism is what you are thinking of..

      • Eggs and dairy are produced by animals without killing them. Gelatin requires that you kill the animal to make this “byproduct.”

      • Actually, like most the nutritional ignorance that plagues most people the terms vegetarian and veganism are more marketing terms than indicative of a sound dietary approach. On the other hand there is a wealth of scientific studies such as the China Study that brush away the myths and silly notions that people put forth in comments. And one is the notion that our bodies are unable to produce any number of necessary nutritional byproducts. For example, do you think our body needed gelatin to produce its own collagen? Perhaps some research time spent on that question would save people a lot of time, effort and money on unnecessary supplements. The only supplements that are possibly necessary on a plant based is a whole food based B12. Most supplements like gelatin place strain on the individuals liver and kidneys, because they must remove any number of nutrients that are taken in excess… and that includes protein. Science shows that adults need about half of the nonsensical 1 gram per pound of body weight. And studies show that populations that take high levels of calcium actually show higher rates of osteoporosis. Folks there has been some really great scientific finding related to diet and nutrition published in the last 5 years. Take the time to research and read them.

        • “Science shows that adults need about half of the nonsensical 1 gram per pound of body weight. ”

          Seems a little straw-manish. I’ve only heard one gram per pound as a rule of thumb for bodybuilders, and for most people trying to build muscle, somewhere between .5 and 1 gram. I don’t think it’s known as a general rule for sedentary people. The vast majority of people aren’t trying to eat 1 gram of protein per pound as that is actually quite a bit and you’d have to *really* try to reach that on a daily basis.

        • Curious.. if vegetarian is the ‘only’ way to go why would you need to ‘supplement’ anything? (B12, etc)

          Let’s end the debate by realizing that different ‘diets’ work for different individuals/cultures/lifestyles.

          • And who cares how our ancestors ‘supposedly’ ate.

            All that matters is what works for YOU now

            Theres is way too much time wasted on irrelevant Bullshit, and debates, while people with real issues have to go digging through it.

          • B12 is produced by bacteria that can be on anything (in the air, in soil, etc). Because we wash so often and cook most of our food, we don’t get much exposure to B12 anymore. Animals raised for meat are routinely given B12 supplements. THAT is the reason why meat has a relatively high amount of the vitamin. It is not because meat “naturally” has more B12, it is because the animals, like us, require supplementation to arrive at an ideal B12 level. Look it up

            The source below is from a vegan nutritionist, but he uses info from several other studies. You can do your own research and see what you find as well. Don’t trust sites that are linked to any food producers. https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/nov/b12.htm

    • And yet vegetarians and vegans will eat cane sugar, even though it contains bone char. So, according to you, they are not vegetarian and yet they say they are vegetarian. Why do they have to label themselves? Everyone picks and chooses what they eat. Time to stop the labelling.

      • Actually not all cane sugar is bleached and refined using bone char. And even if it was, I am sure most vegetarians would stop consuming it the moment that they became informed about the process. There’s no use acting high and mighty because you think you’ve caught out those oh so silly vegetarians accidentally consuming animal products. Personal choices are choices that impact the individual themselves, such as smoking, drinking, free climbing 1000ft rock faces without a harness, punching a concrete wall. It stops becoming a ‘personal’ choice when your decision impacts on the well-being of others. This is why it is fine for you to choose to punch a brick wall but it is not okay for you to choose to punch someone in the face. Time to get a better argument and/or stop abusing animals.

      • Not true. “Historically, bone char was often used in sugar refining as a decolorising and deashing agent. Bone char possesses a low decoloration capacity and must be used in large quantities. It has largely fallen out of use, particularly in the US and Europe, mainly for economic reasons but also due to the concerns of vegetarians and vegans, as well as various religious groups.”

        The main sugar brand in New Zealand is Chelsea Sugar, and their website states:

        “Do we use bone char or any animal products?
        There are no animal products used in the process of sugar production. We use activated carbon sourced from coal, which acts as a filter similar to the filters used in water purifiers.

        Are Chelsea Sugars and Syrups suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
        Nearly all of our sugar and syrups are suitable for vegetarians and vegans – the exception is our Honey Maple Flavoured Syrup which contains honey extract, making this not suitable for vegans. No animal products are used in the production of Chelsea Sugar.”

    • I’m with Jitterbug here. It’s an odd and casually dismissive tone that’s taken towards vegetarians that suggests the author does not understand what vegetarianism is.

      “Have you made a decision to try to cut dead animals out of your diet? How about eating some dead animals instead?”

  22. Have found from research “Vegetarian diet can prevent 70-90% of all heart diseases.” – The Journal of the American Medical Association
    “Vegetarians are characterized by longer life and significantly lower number of cancer cases in comparison with Americans who eat meat.” – The American National Institute of Health
    ..National institutes of health – A new study adds to the evidence that eating red meat on a regular basis may shorten your lifespan. “Our study adds more evidence to the health risks of eating high amounts of red meat, which has been associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers in other studies,” says lead author Dr. An Pan.
    watch in youtube Vegetarianism in Religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Baha’i Faith)

    • What’s your point? Eating the gelatin from an animal based source does not imply that you are eating the muscle tissue with levels of fat and impurities. I do not believe that any of those studies differentiated between the by products of mass produced meat products versus grass fed products.

      • His point seems to be that Chris’s articles are generally unscientific, and I agree. Let’s use your own argument and replace ‘eating meat’ with ‘smoking cigarettes’.

        None of the studies that have demonstrated that cigarette smoking is bad for your health have ever controlled for the way in which the tobacco was grown. Therefore you can just as easily claim that smoking tobacco is perfectly fine for your health, so long as it is grown using, for example, organic fertilizer.

        Not only would such a study never gain ethics approval, but it is also unnecessary. We can safely conclude that smoking tobacco is bad for your health without ever conducting such a study. The reason for this is that the epidemiological evidence which demonstrates cigarette smoking to be bad for your health is not the only type of evidence that supports the said conclusion. There are also a plethora of mechanistic studies (as there are to supplement the meat/health research) that demonstrate the mechanism by which tobacco smoking causes, for example, cancer. It would be ludicrous to claim that using organic fertilizer to grow tobacco could change the concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene produced upon tobacco combustion. And for the same reason it is also ludicrous to claim that grass fed beef could possibly cause any less cancer than grain fed beef when consumed in the same manner.

        New Zealand is a great example. The majority of New Zealand beef is from animals that are grass fed, yet we still have among the highest rate of colorectal cancer in the western world. If the epidemiological data produced in the WCRF report could be explained away by citing differences in cattle food sources, why on Earth wouldn’t New Zealand have a lower rate of these health outcomes compared to countries which eat grain fed beef at the same rate?

        To be quite honest I don’t think Paleo advocates are interested in using logic and good science. I think they behave more like a defense lawyer trying to defend his guilty client. Start with the position that meat consumption is innocent and argue that position until the cows come home regardless of the undeniable evidence put forward by the prosecution.

        You are only lying to yourselves…

        • “New Zealand is a great example. The majority of New Zealand beef is from animals that are grass fed, yet we still have among the highest rate of colorectal cancer in the western world.”

          I think there are multiple logical fallacies at work here, perhaps Hasty Generalization. In order for the association you are making between beef consumption and cancer to have any validity, you’d have to account for all the other variables, name what ELSE are people in NZ eating.

    • Those studies are done by people eating the typical American diet. If you look at any tribe isolated from the industrialized society you will find at least 50% of their diet comes from animal sources, and those people are extrememly healthy (i.e. Sami from Sweeden, Inuit from Alaska, Hiwi from Venezuela, and many more.) Even Dr, Weston A. Price didn’t find a single vegetarian trive on his journeys, and the one that was the closest was the “least hearty”. In case you didn’t know, he was hoping to find a vegetarian tribe. Vegetarianism is a modern day luxury. Those studies you are referring to are not done on people following a strict Paleo diet, closest to their ancestors.

      • Unfortunately, you general statement regarding non-industrialized tribes is both incorrect and misleading. There is more than ample evidence to suggest that most tribes were more gatherers than hunters. And without a mechanism to examine them for relative health status and major factors that contributed to their relative lifespans a statement that they were extremely healthy. Again, it is always dangerous to start with the desired answer and back into the questions and be selective in which scientific findings to site. Read the China Study and then make your case that a Paleo diet is anything more than the Atkins or South Beach diet under a different marketing label. The evidence suggests that a high animal protein and fat diet is neither healthy nor indicated by all ancestors.

        • What about all the evidence that suggests that a high carbohydrate, low animal fat diet is neither healthy nor indicated by ancestors?

          Lucky for paleo dieters, the China study doesn’t prove anything that would suggest they change their dietary habits. The data doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. In fact the researcher is accused of doing exactly what you’re accusing the other poster of – of starting with an opinion and twisting the data until he “validated” it.

          Why would any similarities to the Atkins or South Beach diet be bad for paleo? It would seem that coming to similar conclusions from completely different starting points would only bolster the credibility of all three.

    • What all of your examples conclude is that eating TOO MUCH MEAT is bad for your health with respect to certain disease. Which makes sense, eating too much of mostly anything will be bad as your body will have issues with over nutrition. What the study DOES NOT STATE is that completely removing meat from the diet is healthier than a balanced diet that includes meat. None of the above referenced studies included analysis from healthy volunteers that included meat in their diets, but ate it in moderation. It is sad that you think these studies support vegetarianism. What they show is that too much meat is not good for you.
      There is a lot of evidence that vegetarians have under nutrition issues such as weaker bones, thyroid problems and weaker heart muscles.

      • Actually, there is such a study and it was the largest nutritional study ever conducted. Its called the China Study and you should read it. There are increasingly some well produced documentaries that are presenting the actual scientific evidence surrounding diet and nutrition. And it is becoming rather sad that notions such as milk or dairy being nutritionally sound, let along the promotion of any supplements. What is long since been proven false is the “well balanced” diet that was put forth in the 1950’s to promote the meat industry, dairy industry and white bread industry. Here is a simple test….if milk, white bread and meat were such a good source of nutrition, then why would they need to be fortified and why would a multi-vitamin be recommended? Bottom line you only need to eat what your body needs on any given day and there are healthy and less healthy sources for these nutrients. And the science clearly shows which is which. Its really that simple.

  23. Hi!
    I have been taking Great Lakes Collagen for a few weeks. I have Sibo and Hashimotos. At the beginning I was taking 1 tablespoon twice a day and was wired…. however my bowels started to normalize. I reduced it to one tablespoon a day. What I noticed is that although I am following a specific thyroid diet my body temperature would not normalize. Also ,I was very thirsty and sweating like crazy at night. Eventually I went down to 1 teaspoon and still could not solve the problem…plus the constipation came back so I went off of it completely. This morning my brain fog was terrible. So here’s my question. Is it worth trying the regular gelatin or would knox gelatin be helpful to me?. Also any other recommendations you can make?
    Thanks.
    Cindy

    • Don’t take the regular Knox gelatin! It’s full of terrible stuff that the give the cows. Which means YOU ingest that same stuff! The reason you get the reaction from the Great Lakes gelatin is because there are several excitory amino acids in the gelatin. It means that you aren’t making enough GABA, which is the opposite of excitory. I too got the same reaction that you did and could not take it for a few years until recently I read about the GABA. So I purchased powdered GABA and just took a little lick of it ( slightly wet my pinky finger and dipped in the GABA powder and licked it off). It worked! I took the GABA first, then waited 30 minutes and took 1 teaspoon on the Great Lakes gelatin. I did not have the heartbeat reaction that I would always get. Even at the two hour mark and four hour mark, I did not have any reaction. But, after one week, I had to lick some of the GABA powder again. So once a week GABA has worked for me for the last two months. I will tell you that the GABA DID make me feel a little depressed, but it’s worth it to get the gelatin down to heal my gut!

  24. I have a question: What is the difference between taking Hyaluronic Acid and taking gelatin? I take HA capsules and have noticed my face plumped out (less drawn and wrinkled now) it also got rid of the pain in my knee; both my wrinkles and knee within 2 weeks of taking it. So does gelatin have any MORE benefits than hyaluronic acid would? Just want to make sure I am not missing out on anything good. Would taking both be a good idea or is that not necessary?
    Thank you!

  25. So… this question is going to be a bit weird, but does anyone know if you can get gelatin (or gelatin benefits) from eating… bugs? Crickets, mealworms, etc?

    I know it sounds like an odd question, but I’m trying to expand my diet to include these. Thanks in advance!

  26. Does anyone know if it’s ok to add some hydrolized collagen to my home made bone broth while its simmering on the stove to add some benefit and make it more gelatinous which I prefer.

    • Steve. There is no problem adding hydrolized collagen to broth. Make sure you add 1-2 tbsp. of raw apple cider vinegar to the broth, it leeches out the minerals from the bone. Bone broth is super healthy for people & pets.

  27. I think this is a ridiculous article in the sense that the benefits of gelatin are listed and it is stated that even vegetarians should start eating it. It’s like listing the benefits of lamb or beef and asking vegetarians to eat that one product for it’s benefits.

    It is very possible to find the same benefits in plant sources, you may just have to eat more!

    I respect how anyone wants to eat as long as they know what is possible or not with their current diet choices. There is no need to be unhealthy if you cut out various food groups, you just have to try harder with your diet and educate yourself.

    However, stamping all over someone’s food choices (which are often done for ethical reasons) with titles such as this article holds, is not something I agree with.

    • No, it’s literally not possible. If you are strict vegetarian that eschews gelatin you also give up the health benefits. There are literally no equivocal plant foods for gelatin. You can mimic the texture properties up to a point, but not the nutritional profile.

    • It’s odd how vegetarians and vegans often seem to think even even-handed, unemotional articles are ‘stamping all over someone’s food choices’. It’s as if you ‘need’ to find violence and aggression in everything to justify their victim/martyr status.

      There are different levels of vegetarianism – e.g. All the vegetarians I know eat eggs and dairy and wear leather. Many would see gelatin as a bipeoduct and perhaps no more worriesome than their leather shoes – so for ‘some’ vegetarians, this article may be quite helpful – and no, you can’t get the same nutritional benefits from plant sources, so you need to accept that you’ll be nutritionally deficient.

      When it comes to ethics, environment and less death, a paleo diet of pastured meat and ZERO monocrops wins hands down over vegetarianism and veganism which both include (and are usually heavily reliant on) monocrops such as wheat, soy and seed oils.

      • Very well said Bee. My thoughts exactly. I didn’t feel this article was aggressive in anyway, and somehow, a few vegetarians on here got extremely offended that someone would dare offer them an animal bi-product of any kind. It’s was a bit shocking to me, and quite honestly, very childish. I understand that somone may choose vegetarianism for moral purposes, but if you simply look into human biochemistry, and compare it to the archiological findings of our ancestors, it’s quite easy to understand that vegetarianism is takes a backseat to a true Paleo diet. Vegetarianism is humans overthinking a very simple concept, which we do all the time.

      • Cherry picking one or two publications that support your claim while failing to mention a plethora of publications that have concluded to the contrary certainly is not “even-handed”. Particularly when the current scientific consensus is contradictory to your position.

        The dictionary definition of violence is “behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something” and I am sure that hitting a cow over the head before slicing open its throat meets that criteria. Whether that violence is justified or not is another argument, but to claim that this is not an instance of violence is disingenuous.

        Your claim that removing gelatin from your diet makes you nutritionally deficient is unscientific. In 2011, reviewing the clinical data that had been published to date, the European Food Safety Authority Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies concluded that “a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of collagen hydrolysate and maintenance of joints”. A 2012 review also found insufficient evidence to support its use for osteoarthritis.

        As with anything in science, when two parties are in a discussion and one asserts a claim that the other disputes, the one who asserts has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim.

        Your claims regarding the ethics of vegan versus Paleo food sources are also contradictory to the current consensus among bioethicists. Also, pasture fed cattle associated agriculture has undeniably damaged my countries environment (all of our beef and dairy cows are pasture fed), and there are a plethora of scientific publications that demonstrate this quite clearly.

        So no, I do not need to accept that I am nutritionally deficient due to not consuming gelatin. There is almost no good quality evidence that demonstrates this claim and plenty of good research that has found no relationship between health outcomes and gelatin consumption.

    • “No, it’s literally not possible. If you are strict vegetarian that eschews gelatin you also give up the health benefits. There are literally no equivocal plant foods for gelatin. You can mimic the texture properties up to a point, but not the nutritional profile.” That statement is almost completely false as gelatin is a source of animal proteins and some vitamins. These same amino acids can be obtained by any number of whole plant alternatives and even cooking alternatives like agar has a better vitamin profile than gelatin. One of the most promoted myths regarding plant based diets is that they are deficient in protein. Its about obtaining the complete spectrum of amino acids in your diet and that can be done both easily and healthier way from whole plant sources. It is time to move beyond the food and diet industries hype and myths and start focusing on the wealth of scientific evidence regarding the best sources for our actual nutritional needs. For example, the bogus calcium deficiency myth was made up by the dairy industry to sell more dairy products. It has no basis in science. And guess who promoted the notion that you could not get a complete amino acid profile from plant based foods? Does anyone need a hint.

  28. I just starting using Great Lakes collagen (red cannister). I have been making homemade coconut yogurt, and adding it to that. I have been feeling naceous after eating the yogurt. I am guessing it is from the collagen? (the only other ingredients I add is pure coconut cream, probiotic powder, and honey). I have a lot of digestive issues and am disappointed I am not tolerating this.

    • Have you had problems with coconut cream by itself? Or probiotics by themselves? I now react to coconut cream. I am hoping it is a temporary thing because it is delicious and there are so many recipes that use it. For a while I could not use collagen, or even eat homemade chicken soup because of a histamine reaction. I had to get the histamine issue under control and gradually reintroduce foods back into my diet. I have not tried the Great lakes brand, only the Bulletproof brand and now I have switched to Vital Proteins collagen peptides.

      • Hi Joan.. So glad you mentioned your histamine reaction to eating homemade chicken soup. I just started healing my gut with all the protocols and made chicken soup with all organics and a chicken from a reputable local farm. I have been feeling sick for two days and now I know it’s the soup I made. But can you or anyone tell me how to stop the histamine reaction? I take 3000 mg vitamin c first thing in the morning so I can tolerate 1 tsp of Braggs apple cider vinegar. I self diagnosed my leaky gut syndrome 3 months ago after searching for the past two years trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. I so desperately want to be able to drink a cup of chicken broth 2 times a day but I knew it would probably cause a histamine intolerance like vinegar does and the Great Lakes gelatin. And input from anyone reading this is much appreciated!

        • Linda, Sorry I somehow missed this or I would have gotten back to you sooner! Quecetin is helpful in reducing histamine reactions. Google The Low Histamine Chef for another really good resource on how to reduce histamine. She uses an easy to understand explanation on the “Histamine Bucket” as to why we react sometimes to certain foods, but other times, we can tolerate them. It is a nutrition based approach to healing, and has helped me tremendously. I can now tolerate homemade soup, but if I go overboard, I start reacting and know I need to back off and up the quercetin. Hope this helps!

    • Maybe try Raw honey or Manuka honey. You can switch from Yogurt to plain organic Kefir. Or switch from organic cow to goat milk yogurt.
      You have to experiment to see which particular food you are reacting too.

  29. Most ridiculous thing ive read, having just learned the TRUE process of gelatin in actually alarmed to find this advocation for it not only by kresser,whom i thought was fairly on the ball,but a dietician advocating charred animal by-product? Goes to show the mass convolution is peaking!

    • That’s because you are making your food choices based on your moral code, rather than nutritional benefits. Which is ridiculously flawed, but you are free to undermine your health if you so choose.

      • It seems to me that Paleo advocates are making their health choices based on a very small amount of poor quality evidence. Sure, there are great ethical arguments for not consuming animal products…But there is also a plethora of good scientific evidence that demonstrates pretty clearly the fact that we do not need to consume these products in order to be healthy.

        From what I can see here, one or two publications are being cherry picked because they suit your argument, and hundreds (if not thousands) of publications which conclude contrary to your position have not even been mentioned.

        How scientific is that?

  30. “(And in case you think vegetarians aren’t ever using any parts of the animal, think again.)”

    What a trite comment.

    So the take away is, as a vegan you’ve likely failed so why not just go for it and eat a cow?

    Hmm, as much as I try I can’t avoid all pesticides….therefore….

    Vegans/vegetarians are very aware of the numerous sources of animal products. Less than 100% does not negate their effort re carbon footprint, animal ethics, health benefits …whatever the individuals purpose may be. It is not a religion.

    • It *is* a religion for most as they avoid science and debate and instead approach it with a faith-based dogmatic mindset. My paleo diet (pastured meat and zero monocrops) has less death, less environmental impact and a better carbon footprint than I could achieve on a vegetarian/vegan diet – which is why (alongside the massive health benefits) I, as an ethical environmentalist chose it.

      • Rubbish, health based arguments for vegetarianism are as scientific as they come. There are thousands of peer-reviewed scientific publications that demonstrate the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. The current consensus among the medical science field is that you do not need to consume animal products in order to be healthy. Who is avoiding the science? The majority of the worlds leading health scientists? Really?

        This article has cherry picked one or two articles that suit its position and has failed to even mention any of the thousands of other articles which conclude to the contrary.

        If anything, a faith based dogmatic mindset is descriptive of Paleo advocates.

        • Vitamin B12 is available only by consuming animal products. B12 is rather important (i.e. necessary). A diet without B12 will lead to morbidity and mortality.

          BTW the so called vegetable sources are inactive analogues.

          • Ummm. No.

            it’s weird how you’re coming out of nowhere with literally nothing to back your claim.

            Here’s an article with many peer reviewed sources that might make you think before typing next time about B12 deficiency. Even though you seem like a person that doesn’t take irrefutable science seriously. B12 is a meat eater’s last resort to feel validated about your poor dietary habits. Probably a waste of time for me to be typing all of this.

            https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/nov/b12.htm

            I don’t take supplements, and had my nutrition recently evaluated. Guess what; I’m not B12 deficient. Weird eh?

  31. Thank you for this article. This is very interesting! I have a question, though. I started GAPS about a month ago and immediately developed profuse, watery diarrhea. Through trial and error, I determined it was being caused by gelatin (whether from Great Lakes collagen or gelatin, or the gelatin produced my my soups made with organic chickens and chicken feet). If I ate it with yogurt or lots of meat, it would calm down a bit. If I ate it on its own or with some fat or just an egg yolk, it was really bad. What could be causing this? Should I continue the collagen/gelatin and just deal with the diarrhea until I heal? Or is this a sign that the gelatin is bad for me and try to heal my leaky gut in another way (ie l-glutamine, which does not seem to be producing the same problems.)

    • Hi, I suffered the same symptoms on gaps. I also tried gaps for leaky gut , it only seemed to get make things worse.

    • Problem is that most people that are vegetarian/ vegan do it for ethical reasons. Health benefits are a bonus. Animals still have to suffer for gelatine so that’s still a no for many of us.

      • I was a vegetarian for 4 years, and for what I thought were ethical reasons too, but I realized that I was doing this at the expense of my own health and developed some health problems, gained a lot of weight, and had severe hormonal acne (a clear sign my hormones were way off balance). I went back to eating more balanced and included things like bone broth and probiotic-rich foods etc. and I lost weight, and my other health issues either disappeared or lessened. I actually feel so much healthier and I look much younger at the age of 36 compared to my late 20s as a vegan/vegetarian. I’m not any less compassionate than I was before, I’m just more concious and eat food from healthier sources. Our ancestors had it right and with all of our health issues now, it definitely tells me that we’re experiencing major health deficiencies no matter what our diets consist of.

      • Skin and horns? That is what gelatin is. Who in their right mind would eat that? Stop the murder from meat, egg, dairy, and leather. Dairy and egg industries go to the meat cruelty “industry”. Leather and meat are not the same industry. Gelatin is cruel, disgusting, and is not on my plate!

        • Who in their right mind would eat skin? How about every carnivorous and omnivorous animal on the planet? Perhaps you should question why one would avoid it since it’s a proven part of animal, including human, diets for millions of years.

        • Read ‘The Vegetarian Myth’ and open your eyes to the death, cruelty and environmental devastation you put on your plate everyday. And it’s far moreso than my plate!

  32. I heard about the benefits of gelatin a couple of years ago.
    Last autumn I came across the advice again, and I started eating a small amount of it in foods (sometimes making a homemade jello with a bit of fruit juice and water, sometimes making a pannacotta with organic milk, or just putting it into liquid and drinking it before it gelled), but within a couple of weeks, it began to give me very bad acid reflux, which I’d never had before in my life.
    Nothing else in my diet or activities had changed. I didn’t think the acid reflux was caused by the gelatin at first, so it took me about a week to stop ingesting the gelatin, while I was eliminating things left and right.
    I went to the doctor and was diagnosed as having GERD and told to take proton pump inhibitors (with no discussion of their side effects) for an indeterminate amount of time.
    I researched that idea, and decided not to take my doctor’s advice, so I didn’t fill the prescription.
    I have tried a LOT of things to relieve the acid reflux, every reasonable tip that one can find online.
    The acid reflux still comes and goes, but this spring it has been getting better.
    I have since read online some people’s stories that gelatin can upset the stomach and cause these issues. I am not sure if my adverse reaction to gelatin is a histamine problem, or what.
    Two weeks ago, after I’d been doing pretty well and not having much GERD at all, I made some gelatin dishes for some of my older relatives at their request, and I decided to have a serving of it, to see if it caused me any problems. Well, that half-cup serving caused trouble immediately (I honestly didn’t expect it to be nearly that bad, or I never would have experimented with it), and it erased my progress in healing from the GERD. Two weeks on from that one serving of this horrible substance, even though I’m doing all the right things to calm down the acid reflux, I am still having acid freely coming into my throat each night (during the wee hours, even though I sleep on a good incline to keep my head well above my stomach) and it is also causing me some nausea and intermittent sore throats during the daytimes (last week, I threw up from this experience of nausea, and I typically only throw up about once every 4 years from any cause, so it’s unusual and distressing).
    In summary, gelatin is NOT AT ALL healthy for me personally, and it seems to have caused lasting injury to my digestive system.
    Probably if I had not eaten it frequently (maybe 4 days a week) over a period of a few weeks last autumn, it wouldn’t have affected me so badly. But 6 months without having it at all, plus lots of healing herbs, healing vitamins, healing diet changes, and healing lifestyle changes in the meantime — and still one modest serving 2 weeks ago was enough to take me right back to gastric MAYHEM.
    I am often an outlier when it comes to how things affect me, and I’m sure my experience with gelatin is unusual, but I can’t be the only one, so I would urge people to be cautious with it, and if they start getting acid reflux, not to continue taking the gelatin thinking that it must be universally positive for everyone’s digestive system.

    • I have used fresh pineapple , like a slice of it as a snack before bed, or anytime to prevent Gerd. I have also woke up in the night with acid so bad that I threw it up on my face, but went to the fridge, got out the pineapple, ate a little, went back to sleep,and slept wonderful . Its the enzymes in pineapple. works like a charm.

    • Wow I have also experienced the same. I have been paleo since april last year. In the last 6 weeks I decided to reduce my carb and fruit intake to lose weight. I began taking collagen, twice a day. I couldn’t believe the help it was for reducing appetite. I would hardly eat. I had the great lakes collagen with coconut oil and cacao butter blended with cinamon. yum. but within 2 weeks I noticed I was getting reflux in my voice box. I have had the odd amount but greatly reduced since going paleo (like maybe once every second month). It has now been 4 weeks and this week its getting scary, the only thing I have changed is the collagen. Everytime I have it, the integestion starts. I am asthmatic and it affects my breathing which is scary. today I’ve decided (after reading this) that I won’t be taking it for a few days and see if it clears up. I will be monitoring closely. Thanks everyone.

    • Lydia have you heard about Dr. Axe. He has a very good program for healing leaky gut which could be your root cause to the GERD. I say Stay on those acid blockers until your gut is healed that GERD is very dangerous for your body. That acid is certainly not benign. My mother passed away last year from Pulmonary Fibrosis caused by GERD. She was a healthy woman other than having acid reflux.
      I get acid reflux periodically also and have stumbled upon DR. Axe just recently. I watched his webinar and feel it is a worthy attempt to heal my gut. I hope this helps.

  33. Hi.. I read on the Internet that gelatin can heal your gut. I suffered from constipation since I was 19 and now know it was a combination of antibiotics, eating tons of refined sugar, and having juvenile diabetes that contributed to this problem. I started taking one teaspoon of the Great Lakes hydrolyzed gelatin in a 1/2 cup of water every day. It worked in about two weeks and the constipation finally ended after over 20 years. But 9 months later, all of a sudden , I can’t tolerate the gelatin, no matter how little I take. It’s the same can and I changed nothing else, as far as food , supplements or medicine. The reaction I get is that within 20 minutes of ingesting it, I feel like I overdosed on speed or caffeine or whatever would make you feel super amp’ d out! Please someone help! I was feeling good for the first time in my adult life. Over the last 6 months since this started happening, I have tried it a few times with food, water, juice, etc., but I still get the same reaction. It lasts for the whole day , around 12 hours. I appreciate any feedback from anyone. Thank you

    • I have researched so much information on line, You just need to keep asking questions and look. I don’t know your details but it sounds like you need the GAPS diet since you are so fed up. There is a lot of information about the why. Also check out ask ask a naturopath gastritis on google search. It has a lot of helpful information to do in tandem with GAPS. Keep looking your answers are out there and keep the faith:)

    • Hi Linda

      Sorry to hear you’ve started having trouble with the gelatin. This isn’t necessarily what it is but the first thought that popped into my head is that gelatin is high in glutamate which is an exitory neurotransmitter. This could be a cause of your anxiety and restless symptoms. The other thing to take into consideration is that powdered gelatin is made by soaking animal pieces in an acid and dissolving them down to amino acids. Obviously this isn’t a very natural way to get nutrients. You may want to try making some bone broth- same benefits as gelatin and many many more. Plus you know the source that it’s coming from.
      Hopefully this helps!

    • Linda, it is not inconceivable that your gelatin powder has been tampered with. You might try some Knox gelatin from your local grocery store and see if you have the same reaction.

      Otherwise, if you are relying on gelatin as your main protein source, be aware that it contains no Tryptophan and would lead to imbalance if other complete proteins were not included.

    • Ok thank you to everyone that replied. I recently learned about RESUSTANT STARCHES to feed good bacteria. So I have been making smoothies from a little organic tart cherry juice, organic coconut milk, frozen organic super dark green banana, and organic avocado. It must be feeding the good bacteria because my mood is more up than usual. So apparently the resistant start feed good bacteria and the good bacteria make BUTYRIC acid, which is suppose to heal the mucosal gut lining. I’m going to try this 2-3 times a day and hopefully it will help. Will give it one year and update here periodically. The green banana has definitely helped blood sugar levels stay much lower than normal and they have really helped with inflammation I have in my feet. This one thing alone makes it so worth eating them everyday. I’m hoping they will help me loose a few pounds too. I read they help the mitochondria burn fat for fuel instead of carbs. Oh, and I’m sleeping better too. Oh, lol and they seem to be reducing the severity of my hot flashes.

      • RESISTANT STARCHES- pears, green bananas, White potatoes cooked then cooled, beans- cooked than cooled, potato starch from Bobs red mill, green plantains. Lentil- cooked then cooled.

        • How do you use green bananas? I always see people talking about it, but for me even slightly green bananas are inedible (as in, way too awful to eat).

    • Why do you buy gelatin? We buy lamb shank or beef cartilages and slow boiled them in the slow cooker,
      we add some vegetable at the end and we do not have any problems. The commercial gelatin is highly processed and humans are not created for commercial food.
      Also for constipation if you put a hip spoon of Lin seeds in a glass with hot water (not boiling) and leave it for the night and in the morning you can drink it on the empty stomach you will have the benefit you are looking for and also you will give your body the nourishment it needs for producing Estrogen.

    • Try a different natural Gelatin brand in water and add raw honey or a good quality manuka honey. Sometimes companies change their products to lower costs. You can also try natural baking soda. I use it to alkaline my system and to stay healthy. I take 1/2 tsp. in water during daytime and at nightime. Check out Dr. Sircus website.

  34. I will never understand why people feel it is okay to be nasty just because they are hiding behind a keyboard. I was recently diagnosed with DDD and will give this a try. I’m vegetarian by choice but having been in pain for over a year I am willing to try something else. I have tried inversion, dry needling, accupuncture, massage and yoga to no avail. Hoping this will work. Spread kindness it feels better.

    • Brian, try taking vitamin k2 in the form of MK-7. I buy and use the one on Amazon by a brand called Nutrigold. One capsule a day in the am, with all my other supplements. It has helped with bone ,muscle, and nerve pains tremendously! I fell down twice on my side hip on hard terrazzo floor and found this supplement after going through months of very bad pain, especially when I would wake up in the morning. This stuff took about 80% of the pain away. Here it is three months after my first pill and I feel so much better now.hope it helps you.

    • Hi,
      I have been a vegetarian for over 9 years. I was regularly fasting on water or vegetable juices.
      At the beginning I was ok. After a period I became sick with all sorts of things. I was embarrassed to admit that I was vegetarian. After 9 years my vegetarian diet brought me on my knees so to speak. I start introducing fish and then, when I start feeling better I had some beef and lamb. I am continuing fasting.
      I realized that I can not stick to Vegetarianism or Vegan diet on the expenses of my health. I realized that are many lunatics out there playing with words like “Ethics”
      and “Animal Liberation”. When Noah came out of the ark The Almighty Creator told Noah that they may eat animals. So this Vegetarian and Vegan advocates are saying that The Almighty Creator is without ethics, and they have more ethics then God?!..
      The result: statistics shows that the average age of vegetarians are smaller then meat eaters. Vegans and Fruiterians are even worst.
      In the book of Genesis God said that we may eat meat. He did not say a lot of meat. Also he said not to be glutton.
      I came to the reality and not to trust strangers and lunatics. I came to realize that the Bible give us such a valuable information and principles.
      I hope my experience helps.

      • Everything in moderation, I always remind myself. Follow your GUT as they say in the Bible: “The Holy Spirit” Your body is the temple of GOD……okay now back to the subject.
        I’m half vegan, I can’t eat meat but like chicken. I’m going to try the Collagen Hydrolysate that was also recommended by a TRUE Vegetarian.

      • You’re very critical and really have no right to generalize your OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE to include every other vegetarian on earth. Your body needs meat? Great. Mine doesn’t. And that’s completely okay. But please tell me more about how wrong my “ethics” are and how we should all believe stories about an arc and magicians turning water into wine.

  35. WOW! Live and let live!!!!

    Believing that other people should be allowed to live their lives in the way
    that they want to and to accept other people as they are, although they may have
    a different way of life

    Smile be happy

  36. Thank you for this article. I’m reading in-depth across many sites about the benefits of gelatin, like your and one titled “Balance Hormones with Collagen Hydrolysate and Gelatin”.

    There are so many things that we still do not know about precisely how the body works. So much more to learn coming down the road as the genetic code is completely broken and it’s daily interaction within the body, and the body in the environment – including diet – is studied.

  37. In my opinion, this article lacks the depth of research required to examine the central thesis (that even vegetarians need gelatin) from an unbiased standpoint. The author appears to have come to a conclusion about the vegetarian diet without sufficient evaluation of the diet and analysis of alternate food sources.

    However, Laura does make some good points about the properties of gelatin and she refers to studies that support these points. I’d suggest the article (or a follow-up article) would benefit from a rigorous analysis of alternate food sources, as already highlighted by other commenters.

    For example, with point 3, we know collagen production is aided by both Threonine and Proline amino acids which are found in significant quantities in soy-products, lentils, chickpeas and dark green vegetables. The effects of these amino acids are amplified by the added intake of Vitamin C. It would be useful to discuss the effects of gelatin in comparison with these alternate sources.

    • You are using the expression “In my opinion” and then you made cut remarks as you are above the Author. You have an air of a scientist in your comments. Why don’t you right your books on nutrition. You are against every detail encouraging the consumption of animal products.
      Are you a vegan or vegetarian? Then why these Vegetarians and Vegans wear lather shoes? Then what is that Ethics.
      Pride Before Crush!

  38. Best article I’ve EVER read about gelatin. Really sums it all up. Thanks!

    I’ve been using gelatin for quite a while now. Yes, it really helps with health and good skin.

  39. I am really interested in taking gelatin but after a bit of research I have a few concerns? what are your thoughts on the free glutamates in gelatin that are meant to act like excitoxins? Also apparently they use sulphites and sodium hydroxide in the processing of the gelatin – do you think this is problematic? Thanks heaps.

  40. Curious if these self righteous V’s realize that a greater biomass of living creatures die in the production of vegetables & fruit than in most meat production. Mass harvesting vegetables & fruits results in the destruction of natural habitat as well as the countless small mammals, insects etc that call theses fields their home – they get chewed up in the mass harvset process by the giant machinery. Check yourself if you V’s think that you are holier than thou.

    • Your argument is nonsensical.
      Animals require more input than they output. Cattle requiring 38000 calories in per 1000 calories out.
      With animals eating the majority of our grain crops and and taking up 3/5s of the land mass.
      So environmentally vegan/vegetarian diets are better. Also in net animals killed they are better.

    • Someone’s been reading that stupid article about Australia. Hey, why don’t YOU do some research? The exception they talked about was only valid in that particular spot in Australia, not to mention about 90% of animals are raised in intensive factory farming facilities, NOT in fields.

      Seriously, go troll somebody else.

    • Oh really? And what the animals you eat grow in the forests? They obviously have to clear land to keep the animals too and clear more land to grow crops to feed them.Atleast if people destroy natural habitats to turn them into fields to feed HUMANS they can provide food for 100 times more people than that required to produce the amount of meat to feed one person ( you have to feed the animals for a lifetime) Do your research before you comment about self righteousness because the ‘V’s’ are not being self righteous rather YOU are getting defensive

  41. Well I was glad to find this info because I have IBS and I’m always looking for things that will help me. I’m not a vegetarian, so I can’t really comment on some of the other thoughts.

    • Hi Donna,
      I wanted to reach out to you and tell you about Juice Plus. Juice Plus is a great whole food based “supplemen”. It’s essentially fruits and vegetables in a capsule. Studies have shown that they help with inflammation. My partner in the business had IBS for many years and since taking Juice Plus, she has been free of IBS for a very long time. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have and to help you move past and deal with your IBS. Check out my website at http://www.nashville.juiceplus.com or feel free to email me at [email protected]

  42. The first comment on this thread raised my eyebrows. I don’t think the poster realises that human beings evolved eating meat and I will prove this fact in two words…. COMPLETE PROTEIN. Humans need complete protein for health and the ONLY place to get complete protein is from either animals and animal products OR a combination of grains, beans, peas and legumes (which vegetarians do) Human beings have only been eating the later foods since the introduction of agriculture some 4 to 10,000 years ago. Therefore for the previous millions of years of evolution our ancestors got their complete protein (and vitamin b12) from animals, NOWHERE ELSE. Therefore I would suggest that our guts are very well designed to handle meat and animal produce, and this is our natural diet. I was a vegetarian for five,years and switched to a paleo style,high animal,fat,meat, low carb diet eighteen years ago and have never felt better.

    • Mark,
      How did you get wisdom about evolution?
      So the human body is so complex that Specialist Doctors many times they can not explain reason for sicknesses. So our body is vastly complex. Our Genome if stretched to the Moon and back you multiply it 8,000 times. Your eye one million nerves and each nerve has 400,000 rods. That is the resolution of your eye, Evolution id random chance. How can a highly sophisticated body to be a result of a blind chance? What about animals, insects, birds, bacteria, plants etc.? (food for thoughts)

  43. i do have a couple of things to point out here!!
    1)why do vegeterians need something to help ‘balance their meat intake’? they dont eat meat!
    2) heals the gut – plant based diets do not cause gut damage or inflammation this is caused by eating animal products what our guts are not evolved to digest! massive contradiction
    3) makes skin beautiful? yes collagen is a large part of skin but our bodies, if fed right, is perfectly capable of producing collagen. trying to break down this highly fibrous tissue just to try and make it again just doesnt make sense.
    4)protects joins – no it doesnt. this has been disproven and was only ever based on the fact that collagen is the basis for cartilage. again this is like saying people with heart problems should eat hearts. just doesnt actually make sense
    5) helps you sleep better? dont know about that to be honest but i sleep much better knowing i have not ended a life!!
    the whole article, why people who dont eat meat often for ethical reasons should eat meat is highly offensive to be honest and also just doesnt hold up to any basis of fact. utter rubbish

    • Thanks for the vegan riposte!

      Note, the latest research indicates humans truly have evolved as omnivores. Which is only to say being vegan means we can transcend our evolution just as we choose to wear clothing, ride bicycles and perform innumerable other actions after judicious consideration of our options.

    • yeah, I randomly came across this article looking at something about gelatin and could not believe how he wrote this article. I hope he did not actually write in the parts about vegetarians in a hope to influence vegetarians. The way it’s written is oddly offensive to anyone that made a choice to be vegetarian as he in no way takes into consideration the reasons one have for being vegetarian or vegan. I was a carnivore for 35 years, happily, but made a switch to vegetarian/vegan for ethical/moral reasons. Had nothing to do with health reasons and is more about doing as much good as possible. Although it’s nearly impossible to avoid a “purity” in vegan actions due to how many items are manufactured, that does not mean we should abandon our desire to be better to the planet and to animals. Yeah, I need to order a lot of tape for my company…and maybe there is some cow hooves used in the process for the adhesive, but i don’t have a better alternative at a price that allows me to still be competitive. You just have to make the best decisions available. But, I still believe that we are in a point in Human development where the use of animals can and should be cut down and eliminated where possible. I feel there is a moral imperative to take such action.

      For all the “health concerns” our carnivore friends have for all the vegetarians out there…I have not experiences a glut of funerals for all the vegetarians wasting away due to malnutrition. Evan as a counter argument, there’s a multitude of potential problems presented with meat diets for each potential problem presented about a vegetarian diet. I’ve look at data and reports and doctors comments about a vegetarian diet soooo much (because of my kids health) that I’ve seen nothing that’s definitive related to a problem. And where there are some concerns that seem plausible, they are easily bypassed once you know about it and address it in the diet…still with no animals.

      As a business owner, I fully support any other business that’s taken the steps to use no or lower animal products. I buy their products, even if the dollar cost is a bit more because the moral cost is lower and it puts more good out into the world.

      As for arguments on diet health, it’s been no different than economical and statistical data, you can report on the same data and make an argument for whatever side of a discussion that you want. I used to do it for fun way back in college, arguing both sides of a legal, philosophical, historical topic using the same background data.

      Anyway, back to what got me started, the author made what seems like an offensive article as far as what he pointed to vegetarian/vegans and I’m not sure if he knows, it was intentional, or if he has not even tried to view that part of the topic from outside of his own perspective. Whether I agree with someone or not, I can’t discuss something with them unless I at least understand their perspective. I don’t have to agree, but I need to understand it at least enough to interact effectively.

    • I agree that acting as if all Vegetarians would be okay with adding gelatin into their diet for health reasons is absurd due the the high quantity of people who are vegetarian for ethical reasons.

      However, the idea that plant-based diets can’t possibly damage the gut or create inflammation is very untrue. It may be true for a completely healthy gut, but for the most part I don’t believe many people are walking around with one of those.

      Starchy vegetables and any grain, gluten-free or not, will cause inflammation and damage to a compromised gut. Undigested foods will trigger the immune system, congest the lymphatic system and cause inflammatory stress on the body. Not to mention they will feed pathogenic bacteria and opportunistic yeast, creating a whole host of other issues.

      Heal the gut, then pick your diet. Do I believe animal products are the only way to do so? No, but they sure as hell make it a quicker and more efficient process.

      Everyone is free to eat how they’d like and not be judged, but be informed!

    • Wow “vegan for health” you are completely wrong about number 2. Humans are incapable of digesting or breaking down MOST plant materials! Plant material is broken down by bacteria living in the gut. The bi products of bacterial breakdown are then absorb or excreted by the digestive tract. This is one of the reasons you become gassy after eating vegetables as one of the bi products of bacterial (not human) digestion of plant material is gas. We lack biological capability (such as enzymes) for breakdown of a lot of plant material.
      If you are not convinced take a piece of lettuce and hold it in your mouth for five minutes. After five minutes it will still be intact. If you take eggs or chicken and hold it in your mouth for five minutes it will be broken down by enzymes in your saliva. The human body contains the biological means for break down of most animal material as evolution has moved our digestive tract towards animal material digestion. If humans were meant to be plant eaters or there was no advantage to eating animal material there would have been no evolutionary selection for or towards lineages of animals who eat both or only meat, however there have been entire lineages of animals and changes in animal biology for animal material digestion and consumption.

  44. How rude. As a vegetarian I am offended by you telling us what we should eat!

    We gave up meat and the “benefits” of meat, fully knowing what we might miss out on.

    We find our nutrition from more, eco friendly, cruelty free, natural products and don’t need YOUR help doing so!

    • Curious if these self righteous V’s realize that a greater biomass of living creatures die in the production of vegetables & fruit than in most meat production. Mass harvesting vegetables & fruits results in the destruction of natural habitat as well as the countless small mammals, insects etc that call theses fields their home – they get chewed up in the mass harvest process by the giant machinery. Check yourself if you V’s think that you are holier than thou.

    • “?”, That’s nice you feel better about your choice to negatively impact your health through your binary thinking. If, however, you actually decided to consider a more nuanced view of the world, you may find that you will be healthier for it.
      I could point out that your “eco friendly, cruelty-free, natural products” actually don’t exist and even if they did you would literally have no impact on any of the issues you hold so dear, but I suspect you have an emotional attachment to your choices and won’t listen to reason.

  45. I think these 5 reasons are the way to get gelatin when you have some issues with meat products, and gelatin can cover most of your health parameters. Gelatin can be found in most food products, generally, gelatin is used in the food industry to give products a better form, more stability, improved texture, better mouth feeling or a more appetizing appearance. So we spouse to use it while it can be found in Cream cheese, chocolate milk, yogurt, icings, cream fillings, frozen desserts.

  46. Glycine is present in seaweed and spirulina; likewise proline can be found in bamboo shoots, soy protein isolate, and cabbage.
    I’m a vegan who often reads anti-vegan propaganda to sieve out the meaningful portions of the article. The author surely means well by what s/he has written about the benefits of gelatin. And I very much want to be optimally healthy! 🙂 With a little research you can find an ethical source of anything worthwhile, such as these substances present in gelatin but also present in plants.

    • Ethical source? What is your concept of Ethics? plants are not living? plants deserves more life than animals? don’t be silly please.

      • If you’re saying that plants and animals are on an equal plane as far as living things go, I think it is you that is being silly. Try this experiment: cut into a carrot with a knife. then, cut into a kitten (better to just imagine this one). which action do you think would bring you more moral pain? which would bring the thing being cut more pain? the kitten, with a fully developed nervous system? or the carrot, without one?

        this argument that “plants are living things too” applied by meat eaters seeking to equate the consumption of plants to the taking of animal life is just stupid, and this is coming from a person who eats a lot of meat. you could very well argue that proper animal production can be ethical, or that crop production harms animals, but to suggest that animal and plant consciousness are similar when it comes to their slaughter is laughable

        • Right, because all meat eaters are kitten-killing monsters… please. I believe in eating a HEALTHY and HUMANE diet and mine includes meat products from humanely-raised and slaughtered animals who have been sustainably raised for food. Very few of these animals would exist on this continent if they were not harvested for food. I love cows and heritage pigs and domestic ducks and am happy to have them in my ecosystem. More, my health is more important to me than arbitrary ethics. I know crazy people who won’t eat honey because they think it is exploiting bees and yet drive around in cars with combustion engines. Nothing but hypocrisy. I am very conscientious about the farms I source my meat and dairy from – paying a premium for pasture-raised organically-fed animals – and am just as ethical as those who choose to abstain.

  47. I am a vegetarian and I have no problem with this article. I am not a vegetarian because I find it repulsive to eat something that once was part of a living animal. That is simply childish. I am a vegetarian because the meat industry is barbaric, and if I don’t have to take the life of an animal to sustain my own, I will not do so. Gelatin is a small side product of the animal. If you do not eat gelatin, they will not stop killing the animal. The gelatin will either end up in your stomach or it will end up in the ground. If you don’t want to utilize those precious resources, that’s your decision, but don’t go telling others what they should and shouldn’t do

    • But that’s what the author does right in the title: she tells vegetarians they SHOULD get gelatin. do you not see the contradiction of telling the commenters not to tell people what to eat, while ignoring the author doing the very same thing?

      • Hudson wrote, “…do you not see the contradiction of telling the commenters not to tell people what to eat, while ignoring the author doing the very same thing?”

        Yeah well no. I have listened to countless vegetarians pontificating on the “holier life” that vegetarianism is while they shove products in my face at natural and health stores. You think that with all of that pulpit pounding they would get an infection from the splinters.

        Folks should think twice about turning ANY lifestyle into a cult-like existence. We may be stamping out racism, misogyny, ethnic hatreds, but we are replacing those with “lifestyle” hatreds and really, it’s pointless.

        Talking smack AT someone only makes them shut down and not listen. They say “uh-huh” but they’re looking over your shoulder to try to find a way to get free of you. Consulting their intelligence instead of dictating is a better way to go, and that means without the backhanded insults included.

        Throwing your weight around one way or another only proves you’re a bully.

        If you ARE the better human, prove it.

      • I agree largely with Allan, people are never going to stop killing cattle for burgers nor pigs for bacon or chicken for wings. It is in our nature to hunt and kill or at least crave meat. And if your going to get all animal rights, look closely at the animals being used for food, pigs have a tendency to be aggressive and very lazy. They provide manuer for your plants and bacon for our bellies. Suck it up.

        • I agree that it’s totally impractical to advocate for everyone to give up meat. But your comment misses the point: the issue here is more how the animals are treated while they’re alive than at the time of slaughter. Current factory farming practices essentially amount to needlessly torturing animals for their entire lives. There is no defense for such animal torture. Personally I think the animal welfare movement should be rebranded from “against killing animals” to “against animal torture”. Since some people (perhaps the majority of people) will always eat meat no matter how much advocacy is done for vegetarianism, a real solution would be to abolish factory farming and have real inspections with real consequences to ensure that animals are treated ethically.

          If you have doubts about just how badly animals at factory farms (including the so-called “certified humane” farms) are treated, watch this video:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU4PJCuslD0

          The main problem is that people are not aware of how bad it is. If someone IS aware of how bad it is and still thinks it’s OK to treat animals in this way, IMO they’re a heartless individual.

        • Please speak for yourself. It is definitely not in my nature to “to hunt and kill or at least crave meat.” The thought of eating the flesh of an animal repulses me.

    • I don’t think your comment was written by a vegetarian. Vegetarians who don’t eat meat for ethical reasons would not be all for eating gelatin. That doesn’t make any sense. It sounds as though you’re a meat eater posting as a vegetarian. Vegetarians would not post such a comment. What a bunch of BS!

      • Curious if these self righteous V’s realize that a greater biomass of living creatures die in the production of vegetables & fruit than in most meat production. Mass harvesting vegetables & fruits results in the destruction of natural habitat as well as the countless small mammals, insects etc that call theses fields their home – they get chewed up in the mass harvest process by the giant machinery. Check yourself if you V’s think that you are holier than thou.

        • I agree. It never occurs to vegetarians that the MASSIVE vegetable, grain, nut and fruit pickers/harvesters (machines) are running over and chopping up many small field mice, opossum, rabbits, moles, chipmunks, etc.

          Point is, no one’s hands are free of the blood.

          • “It never occurs to vegetarians” oh I’m glad you know what occurs to us and what doesn’t! Thanks for reading my mind for me, I am now wide awake thanks to your witty remark.

            Except producing meat means feeding plants to animals, which means producing more plants than what would be needed if we directly ate those plants (when I say “more” I mean about 16 times more). So if harvesting plants means killing animals, meat-eaters kill a lot more than vegetarians.

            You seem to have an internet access so why don’t you quit telepathy and start searching actual information?

  48. Based on the high number of ignorant and ridiculous answers people left after reading this article I now suspect reading comprehension and the meaning of words is a real issue for too many people. Learn now and learn it well: vegetarianism is not the same as veganism.
    For your information, all of you who insist vegetarians must not eat gelatin, read the following which is reliable info from reliable sources (cancer.org and Encyclopaedia Britannica): Vegetarianism is the practice of eating a diet consisting mainly or entirely of food that comes from plant sources such as grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Vegetarian diets vary widely. Some people use no animal products at all, while others who describe themselves as vegetarian may eat dairy products, eggs, or even fish. Vegetarianism: Other common name(s): vegan, ovo-vegetarian, lactovegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, fruitarian. (People who eat mainly plant-based foods but include small amounts of certain meats sometimes call themselves semi-vegetarian, partial vegetarian, pesci-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, pescetarian, flexitarian, and other names). Vegetarianism is the theory or practice of living solely upon vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts—with or without the addition of milk products and eggs—generally for ethical, ascetic, environmental, or nutritional reasons.
    So, before you feel the rush of contradiction, get informed and don’t make a fool of yourself by trying to contradict a fact. Citing Wikipedia or any other well known unreliable source or obscure websites in order to support your point of view will also make it worse. You better swallow the bitter truth: you don’t know what vegetarianism is but you try to outsmart those who do.

    • Going by the Encyclopedia Brittanica definition (which I consider to be more accurate than others for defining the historical usage of words), we see that certain vegetarians eat milk and eggs. no other animals products are mentioned, and certainly not ones that are the byproduct of slaughter. no one is trying to muddy the definition of the word. if anything they’re trying to clarify it.

  49. This is a sick article. If you are truly a vegetarian or vegan you would NEVER consider eating gelatin, which is boiled animal skin and bones. NEVER! There are so many ways to stay healthy by just eating vegetables. IMO, it is unconscionable to ingest animals and a misinsformed, most likely NON VEGETARIAN or VEGAN author has published this article with no direct experience with the veggie or vegan lifestyles. If she was a vegetarian or vegan, it would NEVER cross her mind to ingest this disgusting substance. And let me also mention, that gelatin is found in many vitamin supplements, so if you are a new vegetarian or vegan, please check your bottles to make sure you are ingesting a plant-based capsule. Just information I have learned along the way. Best wishes to all veggies and vegans.

    • Curious if these self righteous V’s realize that a greater biomass of living creatures die in the production of vegetables & fruit than in most meat production. Mass harvesting vegetables & fruits results in the destruction of natural habitat as well as the countless small mammals, insects etc that call theses fields their home – they get chewed up in the mass harvest process by the giant machinery. Check yourself if you V’s think that you are holier than thou.

  50. I really wish everyone will stop making “general rules” for what a vegan or vegetarian is supposed to consume. People eat for their own health and/or ethic reasons. Everyones bodies are also different and no “guideline” makes a damned difference to someones individual needs. There are no rules in ones PERSONAL diet choices, so stop this close minded activist crap.

    I eat mostly vegan, but sorry, my health comes first. I go out of my way to do everything right for my health, but I developed issues still. So if eating animal collagen in my smoothies will help me absorb more B12… Ill add it a bit. If I need to eat gizzard/liver/bone broths on occassion (and especially in the winter) to help myself out absorb more non-heme iron, then I will.

    Im all for animal rights, but I like my health too. I dont do anything for one reason. The first reason I became a vegetarian was to avoid unsanitary conditions, hormones, GMOs, antibiotics and be more healthy in general. Second reasons are environmental and political. Third is animal rights. So please dont preach about what vegetarians consume and why.

    This article only aims to inform people about health benefitd, not trample on the beliefs of anyone who is morally glued to one idea of what they need to eat and why.

    • Nope, you’re wrong. It’s not “close-minded activist crap”, it’s the definition of the word– vegetarianism eschews meats and byproducts of animal death. the author’s title (let’s simplify it: Why Vegetarians Should Eat Gelatin) implies that one can eat gelatin and still be vegetarian. one cannot. You are right that a person can choose to put into their own body whatever they wishe, and I agree with you that a strict no-animal-products policy may be detrimental to health. However, you’ll notice you said your diet was “mostly vegan” and not that you ARE vegan. for you to say that you are vegan would be incorrect. Likewise, a vegetarian will not eat gelatin, period, and arguing to a vegetarian that they should eat gelatin, or meat, or bone broth, while still being a vegetarian, as the title implies, is stupid. one cannot be a vegetarian when one eats meat any more one can be a Kosher-observant Jew or a Halal-following Muslim while eating pork. the title is illogical.

      again, no one is “preach[ing] about what vegetarians consume and why”, we are simply using established English-language definitions of words to point out logical errors in the article. For you, animal rights may be a tertiary reason for vegetarianism, but for many vegetarians they are a primary reason. It seems you are the close-minded one for seeking to define vegetarianism based solely on your personal experience, as well as change the established definitions of words so they will more closely fit with your worldview.

        • I agree, I was a vegan at one time, i now look back and see how vegans and vegetarians act, which i did at one time. All we do was criticize everyone as if WE where so perfect. Does anyone know how vegetarianism started and why? Is your ate vegan or vegetarian, what is your history?

      • Curious if these self righteous V’s realize that a greater biomass of living creatures die in the production of vegetables & fruit than in most meat production. Mass harvesting vegetables & fruits results in the destruction of natural habitat as well as the countless small mammals, insects etc that call theses fields their home – they get chewed up in the mass harvest process by the giant machinery. Check yourself if you V’s think that you are holier than thou.

        • You don’t need to keep posting the same thing over and over, I have been a vegetarian since I was five, and I do not think I am “holier” than anyone else.

    • This article isn’t about vegans or vegetarians. If you people weren’t always so B12 deficient you would realize that and stop posting your crazy rants here.

      • I agree with you. Why vegans and vegetarians always pretend to be superior creatures. Wake up! This is just different point of view.
        For going back to the importance of gelatin/collagen, there is also gelatin produced from algae. So if you do not want to consume animal products just use this one to cure joint and skin problems.

        • No, there is no gelatin produced by algae. You are confusing similar physical properties with being the same thing. Nutritionally, it is not equal.

    • Applauds.

      Too many people are making “lifestyle” into cultiic religions (without the spine to declare it a religion) whereby anyone not “in” is dirt.

      Terribly juvenile mindset by those STILL craving to belong.

      If eating this way or that enables you to live in a healthy, active, productive manner – good.

      The fault is NOT in the lifestyle or eating, it’s in the corporate mind that cares not about what it destroys in it’s pursuit of the almighty dollar, euro, whatever.

      Go after the corporate mindset and not the average Joe on the street and you’ll eventually get more traction. Keep attacking everyday people and you’ll keep spinning your wheels senselessly while giving the appearance of being a fanatic.

      • Yes indeed…. All points well received. Whether meat or no meat, plants or no plants…. “ALL” things come from the dust. : )

  51. I found it to be an interesting article but my question is what animal parts are being use to create gelatin and why? with gains being made in the labs on everything else, why use animal left overs if what is needed can be created in the Lab?

  52. This article is truly bizarre. Regardless of her experience working with vegetarians, the author clearly does NOT understand vegetarianism one bit. If this is anything other than apparent, then neither in fact do you.

    • The title is not meant to taken literally as a command for vegetarians & vegans to eat gelatin. It meant just as farcical hyperbole to highlight the importance of taking this nutrient on a regular basis.

      This article isn’t about vegan or vegetarians, so either lighten up or take a hike.

      • It’s difficult for them to lighten up since they’ve chosen the unfortunate mindset that is normally found in cult followers.

        And that is; ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK!

        They really do believe they are doing something good by coming after the article author and do not understand that they make themselves appear crazed and brainwashed.

  53. Hi Laura,

    You said that gelatin could potentially help you build stronger bones. There’s no maybe about it. Gelatin is vital to create collagen. Collagen, in turn, forms the bone latticework upon which the body deposits bone minerals calcium phosphate and magnesium especially. This latticework also provides lateral strength for the bones. Without adequate gelatin in the diet, you can have dense but brittle bones that snap like a twig at the first significant sideways impact.

    • Gelatin is not vital to create collagen. It helps, because gelatin is literally just collagen with some impurities, but the “building blocks” of collagen do NOT need to come from gelatin. They can be obtained from the same sources required to build any other protein-based structure in the body.

      • No, but it’s an ideal nutritional source to efficiently build collagen. The point of the article is that by consuming gelatin you can help optimize your health.

    • Laura spent four years and 1200 hours in clinical rotation before she set foot in the outside world. She’s had a wide range of clients, so yes, she understands vegetarianism.

      What Laura’s not saying, however, is what co-factors gelatin requires to make joint tissue: glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. You get the first two from food only in bone broth, and the hyaluronic acid from a wide variety of other foods. Sure, you can take glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin, but how healthy can a diet be if it needs supplements to augment the food at every turn?

      The big question is what are you, as a committed vegetarian, doing on comment thread oriented towards meat eaters?

      • Actually, I eat what could mostly be described as a Paleo diet, and my first thought was exactly what Rachael articulated– why the title? If the author is truly suggesting that vegetarians eat gelatin, then she really does not understand vegetarianism. If she is trying to “get a rise” or instill some shock value, it would be just as stupid (and almost as disrespectful) if I wrote an article called “Why Jews Should Eat More Pork” or “8 Reasons Seventh Day Adventists Need to Eat Shellfish.” In my article, as in this one, I would be ignoring the underlying value system in favour of an argument that I believed to be valid– but to the vegetarian, or Jew, or SDA, it is disrespectful. If she is merely trying to raise awareness about the benefits of gelatin, why not title it “Why We All Should Eat More Gelatin”?

        As far as your comment about what she’s doing in a meat-oriented thread, well, aren’t we free to read what we want and comment on it when the author makes a logical error? Your comment smacks of the sort of exclusionism and holier-than-thou attitude that a lot of the Paleo crowd exhibit.

        • I’ll concede that the title is linguistically illogical. That you ultimately base your criticism in a value system, though, indirectly validates Laura’s main point. If your values cause self-harm by denying yourself vital nutrition, then your way of eating needs re-thinking.

          • The idea that vegetarianism denies one of vital nutrition has been scientifically disproven and is one that many of us have moved beyond.

    • I”m with you that statement above, “Are you a vegetarian that uses gelatin?” is illogical. All gelatin is animal based there are not other sources except animals. Vegetarians do not consume animal products. If one consumes gelatin they are therefore not Vegetarians.

      • I agree with you with respect to gelatin, but it is not accurate to say that “vegetarians do not consume animal products” – that’s only true of vegans. There are many kinds of vegetarians and many of them eat eggs and/or dairy. There are also people who eat fish but still call themselves vegetarian (pesco-vegetarians), so it’s a bit murky. But yes, the title of this post doesn’t make much sense.

  54. There’s no doubt that gelatin has many health benefits. I’ve been taking gelatin as a supplement for years. It’s really helped with joint pain. I’ve noticed that there’s a bunch of hype over Great Lakes gelatin, but I switched to the Custom Collagen brand because it is more affordable and much better quality. It too is from grass fed beef and it is kosher. I spoke with the ladies there last week and they will also be coming out with a fish version very soon. Something to consider…

  55. Gelatin is not vegetarian. Therefore if a vegetarian begins consuming gelatin they will not longer be a vegetarian. So basically your article is telling vegetarians to stop being vegetarians because you feel there are benefits to consuming gelatin. Ridiculous. I’ve been a vegetarian for 20 years and never consume gelatin… Nor will I give up vegetarianism in order to do so.

    • Why are you even here? If I were a vegetarian I would’nt be reading about gelatin and trying to convert ,”unbelievers”. Please add to the conversation by asking a relevant question, share something of benefit regarding the article or go elsewhere. This isn’t a religious forum as far as i’m aware, though I’m beginning to have my doubts….

      Thank you for a thoughtful and very helpful article Laura!

      • Bravo! Thank you for your thoughts that occurred earlier than mine.

        I am so tired of people of a certain “think” trying to convert others to their “think”.

        Cults do this all the time. Veg’s need to rethink their strategies.

    • You are absolutely correct if one follows logic the author is apparently, at least by the manor of her speech, telling Vegetarians to as you say, “stop being Vegetarians”. Anything illogical just does not compute with me – I’m Paleo by the way.

  56. Vegans and Vegetarians are perfectly aware of the health benefits of meat and gelatin. I think people forget when they’re talking down to (not saying that this article is, but many people do) and patronize vegans and vegetarians that more often than not they’re speaking to someone who was once a meat eater and who are usually more informed of other diets hence becoming vegan and vego in the first place. The idea is that I WANT to be a vegetarian and that if it means I have to try harder to be healthy then so be it because to me it’s worth it and it’s no one else’s business to be judgemental of that. I know the intentions of this article were good, but please think before you write and don’t be superior when people’s personal beliefs are involved. I understand however that some people are vegan and vegetarian not for ethics but for the health BENEFITS of both diets which is where this article might come in handy but just be wary of your audience in future because at the end of the day it’s their choice what they believe in and no ethicly inclined vegan or vegetarian is going to think boiled bone broth is better than eating meat straight off the bone. We do what we do in perfect knowledge of what we’re missing out on. Again, I thank you for your intention, but in future just remember that you’re only the millionth person a day telling us we don’t get enough of this or that or that we’re naive hippies. It’s good reading an article from someone who is actually informed though! Most people making comments about my diet sit around in maccas all day and then turn around and tell me I’m the unhealthy one! ha!

    • Ethics?! Tell me how ethical it is to support Big Agra, which destroys entire ecosystems for profit and poisons the planet with toxic chemicals. Or are the fungi and invertebrates at the base of the system of life beneath a vegetarian’s consideration because they’re not sentient?

      You know what’s not scalable? Organic agriculture. On a planet of over 7 billion people that’s quickly building to 10 billion, there’s not enough arable land to feed everyone with premium produce and grains, assuming the latter produced health to begin with.

      Take your self-righteousness and peddle it elsewhere.

  57. Thanks for this interesting article. Before I consider buying Great Lakes gelatin products on your recommendation, I was wondering:

    Did Great Lakes pay you to write this?

    Do you receive a commission for sales that you generate for them?

    Have you bought shares in their company?

    Do you know them personally?

    Many thanks for your help.

    • I receive about a 6-7% commission from products bought on Amazon, but I only recommend products that I myself use. Great Lakes did not ask me to write this post, and I have no affiliation with the company itself.

    • Sometimes, it’s enlightening to read the comments after a blog post. I suggest you start with the one by a commenter with the screen name of JPZ.

  58. if you have a serious health problem, gelatin will not help you. can it cure cancer? no. infections? no. it cant even cure a bad throat. I have been a vegetarian since I was 7. a real one. I am not saying that vegetarians should be perfect. nobody is. I myself have mistakenly eaten gelatin. MISTAKENLY! when you know its gelatin but you eat it anyway, you are clearly not faithful to vegetarianism. unlike many others, I take vegetarianism seriously. it is like a religion to me. to be honest, I feel quite hurt at this article and these comments. there are so many people who claim to be vegetarian but are not. oh, ps: only female cows can give milk, and they can give it after having one calf, so they are NOT constantly pregnant.

    • Again, this article is about HEALTH. Emotional arguments about your reasons for being vegetarian do not belong here. There are many forums where you can go and have an emotional debate if you would like, but this is not the place. It is also a bit silly to go on about what gelatin CAN’T do because that is not how people who eat for health look at foods – they look at what foods CAN do for your health. And as others have already mentioned, the gelatin is made from parts of the animal that otherwise would have just been disposed of. They don’t kill more animals to create gelatin, they are making use of the whole animal and therefore even from an ethical standpoint eating gelatin is better than just eating meat.

      It’s quite strange that an article focusing on health would hurt anyone – you are choosing to put your emotions in somewhere that they don’t belong. If you can’t handle the subject matter then don’t read it, it’s that simple.

      And yes, obviously only female cows can give milk, hence why the males are killed or raised for beef. And just like humans, cows don’t constantly produce milk so they do have to keep calving in order to keep up production.

  59. this is so stupid. why should any vegetarian eat gelatin?! if you do eat it, you are NOT a vegetarian. eggs, fine. honey fine. milk sure! bottom line: VEGETARIANS DO NOT EAT ANYTHING THAT USED TO BE ALIVE. gelatin is ligaments, cartilage, bone, hoofs, trotters, etc. if you are faithful to vegetarianism and take it seriously, you should not eat gelatin.

    • Why is it ok to eat animal foods like the ones you mentioned but not parts of the animal? Do you think that drinking milk somehow means no animals have to die? Taking milk from an animal means the calf doesn’t get that milk for starters, and if it’s a male it gets killed and sold as veal. If you want to be a vegetarian because you don’t like meat or think meat is unhealthy, fine, but this article is about supplementation for health.

      • The physical realm we live was designed to require that in order for most life forms to survive, other life forms must be sacrificed. There is the idea of the Demiurge and why pain and suffering inflict out physical realm.

        Life doesn’t really die, only the physical vessels that the spiritual life force resides in is gets discarded. Life force also resides in minerals.

        Plants and trees are life also. When we build a house made out of wood, there will be casualties. We kill mosquitos and insects. If one is brought up in a tribe of cannibals, one will eat human meat.

        A rock will also have a life force. That life force limitation will be determined by the characteristics the physical vessel where it resides.

        The issue really comes down to pain and suffering. Its about starting somewhere to do something about it. The livestock are is a prime area to start.

        This planet could be built on a lot less pain and suffering but the political landscape on this planet is entirely dominated by sociopaths. They would have enough advanced technology to obsolete a lot od pain and suffering in life but they won’t. Sociopaths also make up most of the population. Most compassionate people dull their awareness because their bonded to sociopaths.

        The idea that vegetarians need to be PERFECT is absurd. No matter how perfect a vegetarian in trying to avoid killing life, they can’t reach perfection.

        The act of trying should be enough. One has to balance their diet with practicality.

        I think someone who becomes a vegetarian to limit pain and suffering should be commended. It shows a functional conscience. It shows someone wanting to start to somewhere to stem the pain and suffering. People who claim that you must be perfect or your a hypocrite are really just sociopaths playing devils advocate. A truly compassionate person would see things differently

        Anybody expecting perfection is ignoring reality. A vegetarian needs to be practical. You do what you can do but realize there is a limit.

        Not eating gelatin doesn’t prevent the pain and suffering of that animal. It is just the remaining part after the core product was removed.

        If you have a serious health problem, i think that life form that was killed would welcome a vegetarian to their residual body parts.

        • As a life form I don’t want to killed and eaten to fulfill someone else’s needs. No one is welcome to any of me, really important bits or residual bits. Sorry if that sounds selfish but I value my life as do all animals.

  60. Do you know where I can find research that compares amino breakdown of plant-based gelatin vs animal-based gelatin? I keep reading that plant-based does NOT have the same benefits, but don’t see research to back it up. I am not vegan (I eat fish, eggs, and occasionally some chicken, but I don’t eat dairy), but I like to limit my intake of meat where possible because of the high acidity (trying to eat 70 % Alkaline diet).

    If I can find hard evidence showing plant-based gelatin (like in sea vegetables) is inferior, I wouldn’t mind eating fish-based gelatin because I’m convinced of the health benefits of gelatin. Can you point me to some hard research on this topic?
    THANKS!

  61. Hi there,

    I read somewhere that you should take gelatin supplements on an empty stomach to have the health benefits. I don’t know if this is true so I’m hoping you can shed some light. The website (by a naturopathic physician) states that if you take it with a meal your body will simply use it for the calories (and protein) and nothing else, but if you take it on an empty stomach it will be assimilated into the bloodstream and convert back to collagen that the body can use to repair hair skin etc. Although this doesn’t sound right to me (it doesn’t make sense that a supplement would be more beneficial than gelatin consumed from whole foods), I don’t know a huge amount about it so I wanted to get your thoughts. Here’s the page so you can read for yourself: http://naturopathic-physician.com/index.php?page=73

    Many thanks!

  62. Chris said … “We don’t want high homocysteine in our blood because homocysteine is a significant risk factor for serious diseases like heart disease, stroke, mental illness, and fractures.”

    There is a way around this – take fibrinolytic enzymes (FE) on empty stomach like nattokinase. This will clean the plaque out of your arteries over time. Nattokinase is a blot buster and doesn’t have side effects. FE’s have been proven to prevent heart attacks and strokes in China. It takes about 3 to 4 weeks to work. Use at higher dosage if you have heart disease symptoms. You can use both Nattokinase and Serrapeptase at same time.

    Vitamin K2 (ML7) can clean calcium out of arteries and put it into the bones but it should be used with care since it is a blood coagulant. FE is a blood anticoagulant and clot buster. I would use K2 intermittently since it builds up in the blood in 4 days. FE’s don’t build up in the blood. Clean the artery plaque out first with FE’s before addressing calcium and bone issues.

    If you have osteoperosis, herniated disc, spinal compression, you will likely need an animal based cure. Highly absorbed Hyaluronic Acid / Collagen like Biocell’s will cure these when supplement consumed on empty stomach.. It takes about 6 weeks and 150mg of HA. There are situations where one may needs to bend and be practical. Being a vegetarian while your life is crippled with a herniated disc makes no sense.

    • If fibrinolytic enzymes bust clots, as you claim, isn’t it rather dangerous to use them? Clots that travel through the bloodstream and get stuck elsewhere, wreaking havoc where they stop: pulmonary embolisms, brain aneurysms, etc.

    • Also, what diagnostic tests measure the effectiveness of nattokinase? Based on your comments, you shouldn’t take this supplement long-term.

      • First, the FU activity is a substance natural to your body. No side effects.

        Second, there has been only one case reported with serrapeptase so we’re talking an extremely rare event. Who can proven that piece of broken plaque wouldn’t have broken off eventually anyway.

        If one is concerned about that they could just go slower. One way or another, if they don’t remove the plaque build up, they will be dead pretty soon anyway. No matter what you take – even water – there is risk even if infinitesimally small.

        It is well known that Coumadin causes calcification and doesn’t make people live any longer than they would have without it. Nobody is rushing to have that removed.

        Third, if you have symptoms of heart disease, one will know pretty quickly (usually withing one month) whether it is working just by the disappearance of ones symptoms.

        Fourth, China has done thousands of studies on the FU within Lumbrokinase and it prevented heart attacks and strokes.

        The main precaution I would say is don’t take aspirin with it. For heart disease, fibrinolytic enzymes obsoletes aspirin.

      • I have taken it around 9 years. The body will use as much as it needs and no more so practically speaking it is very difficult to take too much. The enzymes are good for biofilms, fungus also.

  63. Laura,
    Thanks for the article. I use the Great Lakes brand as well and have often seen it referred to as being sourced from grass-fed animals. Getting any specific info on this has been hard to find when I’ve looked a little deeper. Have you seen anything more specific about the sourcing of GL?

  64. Laura, my 87 year old mom isn’t going to purchase Great Lakes gelatin, unfortunately. But she has used Knox gelatin. Is there ANY benefit at all in a commercially made and available product like that, or is it completely different?
    Thank you!

  65. We have a very smelly gelatine factory in our town so I have unpleasant associations…however it would be good to get around that. It sounds as though it would be a very beneficial practice. Thanks for your many explanations in both the article and comments. It’s good to see your responsiveness.

  66. With regards to the whole protein gelatine, should that be taken in it’s solid form (i.e. after it has cooled) or can one mix it in a warm drink and consume it immediately?

  67. How much gelatin should one eat every day (from great lakes)?

    Both the ordinary ones and the green hydrolyzed one.

    1 TB of both (want both benefits) or 2 TB of both? Or more? I who ask, also drink 2 cups of broth every day.

    • Harriet,
      I went to your article and read your link because you said that non of the ethical issues of gelatin were addressed. Your article never addressed ethical issues either; it only stated any animal by-product is cruel. I am NOT a vegetarian but wanted a real example of information I overlooked in my decision making process. I wonder whether you vegetarians who carry Coach bags and have leather interiors in your luxury cars consider you benefit from the expended life force of animals whether you eat them or not. Maybe you don’t wear shoes, play football, or brush your hair either?? Sorry but that all seems pretty impractical

  68. Hi Laura
    Just wondering if you knew what level of histamine gelatin has.? Our 3 year old is sensitive to histamines, so can’t do broths unfortunately. Thanks : )

  69. I tried drinking broth for awhile, but my sources for quality bones are not great. So, I starting using powdered gelatin about a year ago. I’ve seen benefits in joint pain, the strength of my nails and hair, and my wrinkles and stretch marks have faded significantly. I’m convinced to eat more gelatin. 🙂

    • Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin are co-factors required to build and maintain joint tissue. They come along naturally with the gelatin in bones. These substances are available as supplements for vegetarians, but I don’t know of any studies addressing the supplements’ effectiveness in maintaining joint tissues.

  70. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for this amazing article. I was discussing it with my wife. She is big advocate of seaweeds and products from them like agar. She use it as a substitute for gelatin. What do you think about it?

    • Seaweed doesn’t have the same amino acid profile as gelatin. While it may create a similar texture in food, I can’t say it would have the same benefits as gelatin would. Dried agar is only about 6% protein, whereas gelatin powder is 86% protein. (These numbers were determined using USDA data on grams of protein per 100 grams of food)

    • As I mentioned above, gelatin is only one of the substances required for maintaining joint tissues. Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, glycosaminoglycans, and hyaluronic acid are also required. Animal bones contain all of these substances except for hyaluronic acid. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are available as supplements, but I don’t know of any clinical trials that have studied their effectiveness.

  71. Are beef ‘sweetbreads’ a good source of gelatin?
    Is the slimy quality of okra due to its content of gelatin?

  72. Hi Laura,

    I have a client who has two autoimmune diseases and has seen tremendous results on the Paleo diet. We have not introduced any kind of supplementation due to budget constraints and after 3 weeks of elimination diet, we introduced bone broth.
    It did not go well. Made my client sick, loose stools, etc.

    What are your thoughts on having her try the gelatin powder?

  73. Laura thank you for your prompt answer. When you say glutamic acid…I’m assuming that it is not an excitotoxin. Is that a naturally occurring substance? Also I was drinking homemade broth if I switch how much would I drink I would switch to drinking mornings only…lol. Could you differentiate between the glutamic acid and free glutamate for those of us lacking brain cells….Thanks again.

    • Sorry I think I didn’t explain that properly. Gelatin has glutamic acid as part of a protein chain, which is different than free glutamic acid or glutamate that is a free amino acid that acts as an excitotoxin. So if you are MSG sensitive, you’ll want to stick with the whole protein gelatin, as that doesn’t have the same free amino acids as the hydrolyzed version.

      Here’s a good article about MSG: http://www.realfoodwholehealth.com/2011/05/excitotoxins-msg-and-hidden-names/

      Usually people who aren’t super MSG sensitive can handle bone broth with no issue, but if you’re sensitive, it’s possible you could have been overly stimulated by the free glutamates in the broth.

      • So other than losing sleep for a night and probably being sensitive to it…I could drink it in the morning only but will I be harmed in any way other than “it excites me” or should I just drink the gelatin from Great Lakes to be on the safe side??Sorry for all the questions. You’re awesome!!

      • Hello, I am a Pesco-vegetarian and I also eat eggs and cheese. I do not eat beef, pork, chicken or turkey. I have been this way for 25 + years. I recently purchased a bottle of Women’s Gelatin to help my hair, skin and nails to continue to be fabulous. I am now 51 and would like to hold on to my skins elasticity and the shine of my hair. I have always had problems with my nails. However, through detoxing and clearing my body of Candida’s bugs (overgrowth of yeast) my nails have begin to grow quickly, but still need strength. I found out I had Candida’s problems because I started having skin rashes. So in my mind I thought it must be time to add collagen to my diet to correct the nail and skin issues (rashes). Because I haven’t had beef, pork, chicken or turkey in my body for such a long time, if I eat anything containing these items, I get really sick. Stomach cramping, vomiting and lots of diarrhea. I had been doing research when I came across your article. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this article it gave me a total look at what gelatin can do for my problems, however I feel that it could make me sick due to the nature of gelatin. Any suggestions?

  74. Hi Laura. I enjoyed reading your post. I have Celiac/Hashimotos and I have been drinking 2 cups of lamb/beef broth a day. Is it possible to drink too much? Also one evening I drank it late and I think it kept me up all night. Somewhere I think I read the issue was glutamates. Would this have done it? Do you have to drink the bone broth with muscle meat to reap benefits or can you drink it alone?Thanks for letting me pick your brain 🙂

  75. I was diagnosed with antibiotic induced colitis that caused leaky gut and severe allergies to many foods.
    Gelatin, in the form of bone broth, as well as the Great Lakes brand made a Huge difference in my recovery. A vegetarian based diet caused me to go deeper into illness for an entire year. I almost died after losing 25% of my already lean body mass. The bone broth, in this extreme case, soothed my intestines on contact and delivered nutrition in an easily absorbable form. It also increased absorption of protein, allowing me to keep my meat portions modest.
    I drink one cup per day for maintenance with a dash of turmeric and black pepper. I am SO grateful for discovering this!
    Tradtional diets always incorporated this wisdom.

  76. Laura, thanks for all the great information. I actually have Great Lakes hydrolized gelatin on my to buy list, after learning of the benefits of gelatin / collagen. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, and eat about 80% primally. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to bones, etc. from grass fed animals (yes, I’ve searched) for bone broth, and organ meats gag me. Would 1 -2 Tbsp a day of this gelatin be a good supplement for those of use who don’t have the luxury of making good quality bone broths?

    • I think 1-2 tablespoons per day is a reasonable amount. I tried finding more specific dosage information, but even WebMD says that dosage depends on factors like age, body size, and purpose of using gelatin. In fact, their exact words are: “At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for gelatin.” But they do say gelatin is generally recognized as safe for the majority of people, barring allergy.

  77. Hi Laura, while this article may be thought provoking – it unsubstantiated by research and other than #1 maybe – a bit to iffy for me. Antidotal evidence does not make me comfortable to recommend to patients (placebos work too). There is not one research paper cited. I don’t know your licensing requirements as an RD but I would worry about mine – recommending supplements with no research to back me up.

    For example you state:
    – Yikes, not sure there’s a real formula…
    – I don’t know of any studies
    – As far as peer reviewed evidence goes, there isn’t a whole lot available.
    – I don’t know of any scientific evidence for a specific dose… sorry!
    etc.

    And just a note (because I am an instructor) you stated: …:”since the whole protein is digested differently than the individual amino acids.” You really meant that – protein is digested to release the amino acids and amino acids are absorbed by the intestines.

    • First of all, gelatin is a food, not a supplement. And just because I don’t know of any studies on specific dosage recommendations doesn’t mean that the general benefits of gelatin are unsupported by science. And yes, whole proteins are digested differently than amino acids, because whole proteins require enzymatic cleavage, whereas amino acids can be absorbed immediately by the intestinal villi and thus are easier to digest for people who have suboptimal digestive capabilities. That’s why elemental enteral formulas were created, after all, and those are used in hospitals regularly. I don’t see how you think I made a mistake in that statement.

      As for “not citing any research”, I suppose you missed the 5 studies that I cited, but here they are for your convenience:
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814609000387
      http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1185/030079908X291967
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049017200568255
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1479-8425.2007.00262.x/abstract
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11396606

      I’m seriously wondering if you even read the article? If you did, you certainly didn’t read it very carefully.

      • I do apologize: I see now that you cited studies via hyperlinks within the text – my bad. I did click on the first several that did not lead to research (wellness mama, balanced bites, the daily lipid, Weil, etc.), so didn’t continue to click on the links. I guess I am used to having research noted.

        The digestion of amino acids vs absorption of amino acids are 2 different things – but no worries – sorry I brought it up.

        Ok your got me there – not a supplement but supplementing…Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin.

        I do apologize if I offended you in some way by your response which is not kind to me but I can take it: “I’m seriously wondering if you even read the article? If you did, you certainly didn’t read it very carefully.”

        Maybe you could say – I cited the articles via hyperlinks – I am sure you must have over looked those by mistake — or something like that. Would make me want to comment again but I will keep quiet now. Thank you for your work.

        • If you’re looking for the same benefits of bone broth without the animal bones, you probably won’t get it. Joints don’t operate on gelatin alone. They require supporting minerals — namely glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, glycosaminoglycans, and hyaluronic acid. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are available as supplements, but I’m not aware of any clinical trials that have studies their effectiveness in maintaining joint tissues.

      • Ok, you don’t accept my apology to Laura. Therefore, I apologize to you personally: Julie I am sorry please reference my comments to Laura.

        Well obviously, I am new to the blogosphere. I am finding that so much misinformation exists I just want to be sure I base my decision on the facts – thus the need to review the research myself. But I think I will just stick to PubMed, Medline, etc. As in the funny words of Stephen Colbert: “The Word” was Wikiality, defined as the concept that “together we can create a reality that we all agree on—the reality we just agreed on.” http://bit.ly/1gbv5G2 Good bye.

  78. Hi, Laura:

    I’m curious about your feelings on the powdered gelatin vs. “real” gelatin in broth. I’m generally not a fan of powdering things, because they oxidize so much more quickly, but I’m really undereducated on the topic of gelatin. Do you have an particular feelings with regard to oxidation in powdered gelatin? If I had a choice and time were no issue, would you still recommend the Great Lakes, or would you rather people only use broths (etc) to get gelatin?

    Thanks!

    • Well unfortunately it’s hard to know if gelatin powder poses any risk of oxidative stress, but as with most things I would recommend the whole food source as often as possible. So eating gelatinous meats or broths is the ideal here. As you mentioned, however, not everyone has the time or resources to eat these foods regularly so I think gelatin is a good 2nd choice.

      Here’s a video of how one company makes their gelatin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bYIow9pc6M

      Sounds like the heat doesn’t get that high, but who knows. This would probably be a good question for Chris Masterjohn!

  79. Is there a difference in effectiveness between powdered gelatin and powdered collagen? Are they different forms of the same substance, and is one generally easier for the body to absorb than another?

  80. Hi Laura,

    Great article!

    You mention that if you eat too much protein you should also eat gelatin to balance it out. Is there a rough amount you should eat for a certain amount of protein?

    Thanks,
    Mikey

    • Yikes, not sure there’s a real formula… an easy way to balance it is to choose meats that have gelatin on them already, like shanks for example. Would have to look into it further though.

  81. So I am fairly new to this “digital rapture” of health, but my own recent ailments have got me clamoring for knowledge. My journey went from Dr. Mercola > Mark Sisson > Dave Asprey > Chris Kresser > Chris Masterjohn > Mat Lalonde… and so on. I find myself always coming back to Chris and Mark for their scientific stance and seemingly non-dogmatic views on everything. Been paleo/primal for 2 months, and have had a sluggish start since I thought red meat was a treat and low fat/whole wheat “everything” were the ticket to the promised land i.e. I’m “American”. Just when I think I’m eating as healthy as it gets I stumble upon this Ray Peat character preaching gelatin and sugar like it’s holy water, and muscle meats are the anti-christ. Forgive my religious analogies but I think it’s rather appropriate while speaking about one’s diet e.g. the first comment by the vegetarian. Naturally, I am confused as all hell, get prematurely full, still burp up protein hours after meals, and tried HCL/ enzymes which led to nausea and pain by my right rib cage (gallbladder/small intestines?) By all other accounts i’m fairly healthy, have a 6 pack (which by no means is deserved) and shed hair like crazy. All this venting to say this: Gelatin will be getting a fair shot in my diet as I am big on broths and stews right now to heal this imaginary leaky gut of mine. Good read!

    • Regarding your stomach issue I would recommend having your stomach acid and enzymes levels tested, so you can be sure what is your problem and what dosage of Betaine HCL and/or pancreatic enzymes to take. This is done through the Hiedelburg test. http://www.phcapsule.com/

      I was able to find right dosage through experimentation for my low acid caused gerd, but this is not a safe way.

      • Thanks pm. I definitely tried the same ramp up process recommended. Start with one, wait for burning, move to two… and so on. I found myself using 5 or 6 with no distress after eating, but the next morning woke up with the mid abdominal side pain/ nausea followed by more distress when eating again. Tried this process twice, and the pain/nausea would go away within a day or two of stopping the supplementation. Strange indeed, and without health insurance self diagnosis is probably a fools endeavor, but then again, being foolish is half my charm.

        • have you read the Perfect Health Diet fm the Jaminets? Instead of browsing around looking for info fm questionable sources (by which I do not this site of course), get that book and read it thoroughly. conscise, well reasoned, scientific, but at the same time written for the layman. one of the best for people looking for solutions to their health issues. among my top favourites.

          • I’ve read the book. While Jaminet has some interesting ideas, the types of studies he cites do not support the certainty of his conclusions. For instance, Jaminet frequently cites observational studies. These exercises in statistics have only two valid uses: (a) disproving an hypothesized association, and (b) generating an hypothesis for future direct experimentation. Observational studies can *never* support causal inferences, as Jaminet frequently does.

            In addition, he makes some facile observations that don’t stand up to scrutiny. For example, he suggests that you pick up a whole salmon to feel how slippery it is and attributes this to the high level of omega-3 fatty acids in its body. This statement ignores two facts:

            — The omega-3 fats in salmon are concentrated behind the eyes, along the belly, and over the gonads. This suggests that only those areas would be extra slippery.

            — Moreover, *all* fish are covered in slime, and the amount is related to the functions of the slime for a particular fish species (http://tinyurl.com/m4kwof5), not the type of fats inside the fish.

            Jaminet’s discussion of the structural and endocrine functions of starch have been valuable in evolving my own thinking on the subject of carbohydrates’ usefulness. But just because someone writes well and cites lot of studies doesn’t automatically mean that the studies fully support his/her thesis.

    • Love this little essay by Cantu about the “digital rapture” of health! Excellent.

      Finding knuckles or other joints to use to make our own broth has proven impossible so far. So I am about to embark on the packaged gelatin experiment for osteoarthritis.

  82. I’m a vegetarian and I tried the Great Lakes gelatin (the orange/red bottle) but it gave me digestive discomfort. I make gummies or marshmallows with it for my daughter and she is ok with it. I was bummed that I can’t take it because I was looking forward to the health benefits.

  83. Hello,
    We eat lots of grass fed beef. Half of what we get is ground beef – we purchase a whole cow once a year. I’d like to know what nutrients are in grass fed ground beef as I understand this is from the “leftovers”. I would assume that this has high amounts of gelatin..?
    Secondly, in Chris’s book he suggests that eating processed meat in moderation. I’d like to know if that applies to meat that we cure (dehydrate) ourselves. I would think not since we only add high quality salt, vinegar and some herbs and it is hung-dried.
    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
    Andy

    • Andy – I doubt very much that ground beef has much gelatin in it. Gelatin is mostly derived from skin and bones and connective tissue. Most of that is removed from ground beef.

    • Most of the gelatin will be in areas around tendons, so oxtail and bone-in shanks are two more common parts that would be gelatinous. You might be able to ask your farmer if he/she sells actual tendons at all. Perhaps they’re not selling those parts for whatever reason, but they might be able to get you some if you’re interested!

    • Andy, I don’t think ground beef is “high” in gelatin, but there is *some.* I say this because I’ve done some experiments — the last two times I made meatloaf (the only ingredients being grassfed ground beef, salt, pepper, onions, and herbs), I made them free-form in a glass baking dish. After it was done, I drained the fat/liquid that had come out of the meat and put it in a small glass bowl in the fridge for a few hours. The fat solidified at the stop, giving me a nice little “disc” of tallow that I could remove easily and store it for cooking with some other time, and the liquid layer below had completely jelled! That tells me that there was a fair bit of gelatin in that ground meat. (And then I used that as a kind of “gravy” for the meatloaf.) Tallow, gelatin, *and* the meat itself — talk about not letting anything go to waste! I could kick myself for all the fat & meat juices I’ve drained and then thrown out in the past!

      It makes sense that there would be at least a little gelatin in ground beef (or pork, turkey, etc) — we can probably assume a little bit of connective tissue ends up in the grinder too. I don’t think ground meat is a *concentrated* source, like the powdered stuff, but my meatloaf experiment shows there’s at least some. (So even if you just brown ground beef in a skillet, son’t assume all the liquid that comes out is fat — it’s not.

    • Animal feet/hooves contain lots of gelatin. Ask the rancher to ask his butcher if s/he’ll sell you these. Some don’t, because they use the gelatin to make other processed meat products. Asian supermarkets in your area might also sell or be able to get animal feet for you.

  84. I have been using the Great Lakes gelatin for about 6 months now. I ordered the double pack of whole protein from Amazon and finished that and now I am trying the hydrolized, which is so much easier to take. I mix a heaping tablespoon each night into about 1/3 cup of cherry or apricot juice. I also mix in a big tablespoon of diatomaceous earth (which is neither here nor there in this conversation). Both dissolve like crazy and the juice is very palatable (to my taste). I am 60 years old, and had knee surgery in Feb 2004, where the ortho wanted to do a replacement… I have been waiting for stem cell work or something else that could be done less invasively than a knee replacement. I have been taking a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement for many years and would like to switch it out for the gelatin. Do you think the gelatin alone (whole food properties, yes!) will be enough for my needs?

  85. Something to add to #3: for pregnant women, gelatin can help prevent stretch marks! I didn’t get a single one and my midwife remarked that my skin must have excellent collagen levels “for some reason”. My secret … add a tbsp of gelatin to my cups of tea. 🙂

  86. Judy-do you have Heberden nodes in your fingers or just generalized pain in your fingers. I have Heberden nodes (the bottom knuckle is getting bigger and bigger and one finger is slightly deformed already). I am looking for a solution!!

  87. I’ve been doing this for several years now and haven’t had to have the usual injections in my knees. I take a can of frozen juice, 2 cans of water, and add, while whisking, 1 heaping cup of Great Lakes gelatin. Warm it gently in a pan, and when dissolved pour into a 9 x 13 cake pan. When it sets up I cut into 3″ x 3″ squares and eat one about four times per week. Seems to have worked for me.

  88. What amount of gelatin per day would you say is good for maintenance and what would be good levels to correct chronic conditions like arthritis?

    Thanks in advance.

    • I would think a couple (1-3) of tablespoons per day should be fine but it might depend on the person’s tolerance and symptoms. I don’t know of any scientific evidence for a specific dose… sorry!

  89. I use the Great Lakes powder in my black coffee and it dissolves wonderfully with barely any trace of taste and I use quite a bit. Smaller amounts wouldn’t taste like anything.

  90. Do you know of or recommend any fish gelatin products? I have clients who do not eat mammals or birds but do eat some fish. Would love to hear your thoughts!

    I also want to recommend using the term “plant-based.” Someone who is vegetarian or vegan would not eat gelatin because it is an animal product that involves the death of the animal. Someone eating a “plant-based eating plan” could be vegetarian or vegan but may also eat small amounts of fish, meat, eggs or dairy as well. Just something to consider!

  91. I’ve had sleep issues for quite some time now, but I’ve never tried taking glycine! Do you know if it’s safe to take while pregnant? Actually, I should also ask, is the extra gelatin safe during pregnancy? Thank you much!

  92. So if you have some stomach issues and joint pain would taking one type in the morning and the other in the evening help?

  93. I’ve upped my gelatin intake recently. I’ve just tried both oxtails and shanks, and really liked both cuts. I’ve tried marrow bones before, and never really liked them, but the marrow in the bones with the shanks is the perfect amount. I’ve also been making more bone broth. On top of that, I’ve been using both the gelatin and hydrolized collagen (which dissolves much better). I’ll use the gelatin as a snack with some unsweetened applesauce and coconut milk. Even reminds me of a few desserts I used to love as a kid.

    • John, do you just mix the applesauce, coconut milk and gelatin together like a pudding? I’m always looking for simple bedtime snack ideas and want to increase my gelatin intake.

      • Yep, that’s what I do. I use light coconut milk from Trader Joes, mainly cause it stays in liquid form much better than regular coconut milk (the fat seems to clump up near the top in regular coconut milk). That said, coconut cream is delicious, and I use it in coffee all the time.

      • cocoa, honey, coconut oil, coconut milk and and gelatin. with nuts and dried berries. that’s my pudding. mighty delicious a snack too!

  94. I’ve got tripe, beef tongue & veal foot slow-cooking right now – how a propos! 🙂

    Could you expand on the histamine point you made? Also, please throw in a few of the studies/links you used to make that point – I’d like to explore them starting from where you did.

    Thanks!

  95. Well written Laura. Dr. Cate Shanahan speaks on the glycosaminoglycans found in traditionally made bone broth pertaining to joint health as well.

    It’s exhausting listening to people with the inability to understand your message.

    Very few have the ability to think for themselves entirely anymore. Everyone wants to be told EXACTLY what to do.

    Vegetarians/Vegans take the supplement form if you dare toe the line in the effort for optimal health while maintaining ethical standards.

    Omnivores: Make your own bone broth, specifically joints and knuckle bones will be highest in collagen

    Glycine is a much needed precursor to Glutathione, our bodies “Master antioxidant”.

    Eating only skeletal muscle cuts is in essence a refined food.

    Much love to all in their own pursuit of health.
    http://www.SubjectiveSustenance.com

  96. You had me sold on needing more gelatin … until I read the paragraph …’except those who are histamine intolerant.” – something I discovered in myself about a month ago. I still like knowing all the good things gelatin can do for the body and maybe I can treat myself if/when the histamine thing is resolved. Great information…Thanks!

  97. “We’ve lost the practice of whole-animal eating”

    Who have? White people? Lots of cultures/people/families still practice whole-animal eating.

      • Brazil is totally following. Lots of lean red meat and hormone fed chicken, little saturated fats, and LOADS of soy oil and margarine. Beef heart, tongue, liver, tail, hooves, breast bones, etc. are sold in most places but the consumption is very low in comparison.

    • allergic to gelatin! poor you! never heard about that condition. you might be the only one having it. how did you find out you were allergic to gelatin if you are vegetarian? just curious.

  98. How much gelatin/glycine is too much? I have adopted this a while back. I take about 6-10 tablespoons of Great Lakes Gelatin. Is this too much? Yes, I end up getting well over 100g of Gelatin at times.

    Personally I don’t see this as a supplement. But your thoughts would be great!

    • It’s really hard to say if that’s too much, though I’d argue that it would be difficult to get that much from eating gelatinous meat on a daily basis, which is the way our ancestors would have eaten it.

        • Depends on where they lived. In Europe, and more so the more north you get, meat was common food.

          In Afrika, I guess they eat more fruit. Man ate what was easiest to get.

          The same with omega3-fish, rarely seen in Afrika, frequently seen in the north.

          Also, people with African genes, seems to age slower, and seems often to be de ones best suited for vegetarian diets. Maybe we have adapted somewhat to where we came from, so that kaucasians are in bigger need of glycine?

          Nothing seems to be simple. So what about an African man living in Finland, or a Norwegian living in Africa? Since both genes and “where one lives” is important in my way of looking at it, the two scenarios is sort of “no good”.

          I really can’t see an easy “diet for all”. I would like that, but it does not seem to be possible.

    • Due to its high glycine content, large amounts of gelatin consumed regularly can cause serious depression. I don’t have time right now to explain it all, but I recommend doing a search on “glycine and depression.” Glycine is, of course, a necessary nutrient, and most of us need more of it, but going overboard with it can cause serious problems, namely depression.

  99. I’m confused. Eggs have high levels of Choline which is supposed to lower homocysteine levels.
    Also, you’re saying that eating red meat is unhealthy?… meanwhile Kresser, Sisson, Wolf, et al, have been defending it forever.

    • She’s not saying that red meat is unhealthy. She’s just saying that you need to eat more than just the muscle meat. We evolved eating the whole animal, including muscle, skin, organs, etc. Other societies tend to do this better than we do, for example, the French.

      Denise Minger has a good lecture on this:

  100. Why are we worried about vegetarians and vegans?

    Akin to ” 5 reasons why even smokers should brush their teeth.

  101. I’m a vegetarian. I took gelatin every day for 6 months and saw absolutely no benefits. I quit rather than gag twice a day every day!

    • Well, benefits that are seen years later (such as slower skin aging), or healing leaky gut (one has to cut down on raw vegetables and fibres too in the beginning) I think can’t be seen in some months with just adding gelatin to a diet rich in fibres and probably rich in raw vegetables.

  102. I have arthritis in my fingers and gelatin has been the only real help for that. It has almost eliminated the pain. I’ve tried many different supplements and changes to my diet and this has been the biggest help. It works quickly, too.

  103. Hi Laura
    Can you please provide any research to back up your claim that gelatin heals a leaky gut, ie. repairs tight junction function?. Also, how does it actually “restore the mucosal barrier”?
    Thank you

  104. I’ve been looking into gelatin, and using it with regard to gut healing from diverticulitis. The Great Lakes works well for making gummie squares. I use diluted Concord grape juice. It feels soothing, and I imagine it is a good thing. But who knows.

    I’ve read recently that collagen is not necessarily a beneficial thing to encourage in our bodies as we age, because of its tendency to accumulate and harden. And too much glycine is problematic. A little Googling makes gelatin a little less appealing.

    So I am putting gelatin under my general category of “now and then,” where most processed foods of even the “healthy?” kind are now. And certainly, gelatin is a processed food. As the Jaminets say, “the dose makes the poison.”

    In fact, I am wary and respectful dose-wise of ANYTHING someone says should be consumed in greater quantities as a “cure” of any sort.

    Everything we do to “correct” one condition can inadvertently cause another one. I had a lot of time in the hospital to think about that fact. So. Balance and good sense must rule the day.

    • Do you have some evidence that consuming gelatin as a food is harmful in reasonable quantities? And gelatin from gelatinous meat isn’t processed so you can always eat that if you’re concerned.

      • I make no claim in my comment that reasonable quantities are harmful. I advocate caution and doing a little research about potential problems with substances gelatin contains.

        We don’t have any idea what harmful or healing doses of gelatin would be. So it seems a little restraint should be advised, especially with the processed product. Far easier, I would think, to get “too much” gelatin from it than from bone broth!

        • or oxtail for that matter, which i just finished a plate and it was yummy 🙂 you’re right. i take the natural form over the processed one anytime. too bad the vegetarians can’t do the same.

        • We have the experience of thousands of generations of hunter-gatherers from all over the world not suffering from joint disorders or gut dysbiosis as testament to the safety of consuming animal gelatin.

    • “Everything we do to “correct” one condition can inadvertently cause another one”

      Hi,

      I can only confirm this view, I started using Great Lakes Gelatine after reading this article and then also a couple of other articles on the subject, also to heal my leaky gut, for joint pain etc, I bought Great Lakes gelatine, and started using the green hydrolyzed one that dissolves in cold liquids, it made me soooo sick, still I was happy that I tried it, because it was the final clue that made me realize that I am sensitive to free glutamic acid, which affects my mental health in extreme ways, makes me depressed and OCD-ish, have avoided yeast for years due to this, but I never knew what was the reason behind, now I know, Great Lakes write on their homepage that their products contain very little free glutamic acid, probably true, I’m just extremely sensitive then, in case this interests you here are the links

      http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/consumer/noMSG.php
      http://www.truthinlabeling.org/SourcesBrochure.pdf
      http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources_printable.pdf
      http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/02/22/vaccines-depression-and-neurodegeneration-after-age-50.aspx
      http://www.msgtruth.org/depress.htm

        • Hi Matt,

          sorry for the late reply!

          So happy to hear from someone else experiencing this problem!

          I did buy both the hydrolyzed and the non-hydrolyzed gelatin from Great Lakes, I have not yet tried the non-hydrolyzed one yet, don’t know, if I dare try it, as it is recommended to avoid gelatin in general, if you’re sensitive to msg, even the smallest of gel caps can make me very sick, so I think I’ll avoid trying it out. Don’t know if gel caps use hydrolyzed or non-hydrolyzed gelatin?

          Found out something else, digestion frees glutamic acid/glutamate, so even if you try to avoid what’s “free” beforehand (almost all foods contain “free glutamate” in different amounts!), you’ll end up “getting it” and I guess we must, cause it’s a neurotransmitter, the problem is getting the right amount.

          How do we end up getting too much? I think leaky gut plays a role and also increased blood-brain barrier permeability (inflammation).

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excitotoxicity

          http://paleohacks.com/questions/32526/if-glutamic-acid-msg-is-natural-why-is-it-bad.html

          What are your symptoms, neurological or allergy-like? As far as I can see, surfing the internet, some people “only” have allergy-like symptoms.

          For me this whole problem started with a Candida yeast infection, and I am certain that it is the Yeast that is the culprit.

          My (conventional) doctor does not belive that Candida has got anything to do with it, but I have had some email contact with a swedish neuroscientist who confirmed to me that studies show that Candida Yeast can drive the synthesis of quinolinic acid (marker for inflammation and neurotoxicity). And as far as I have understood quinolinic acid is a substance that strengthens glutamate signalling in the brain.

          Did you check if you have a Candida yeast problem?

          For me the worst foods are yeast (incl. alcohol) and fermented foods (all milk products except cream and uncultured/sweet cream butter are fermented), how do you do with those foods?

          When reading this comment keep in mind that I do not have any education within medicine or nutrition, this is just how I have understood the subject (or not!) as a layman 😉

          Anne

    • Joints don’t operate on gelatin alone. They require co-factors — namely glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, glycosaminoglycans, and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is available in a wide variety of plant and animals. The other substances, however, are found exclusively in bones.

  105. “Those eating lots of animal protein need adequate glycine to balance out the methionine from meat, and you’ll get that from gelatin.”

    SO – if you’re a vegetarian then why would you need gelatin??

    • You’re right, #1 doesn’t really make sense in an article titled “5 reasons why even vegetarians…” but the other 4 apply.

      • Many more vegetarians are ovo-lacto, rather than vegans. I think the ration is about 7 to 1. So if eggs are your main protein source, #1 could apply.

    • Oh, I don’t know — maybe because animal bones come not only with gelatin, but with 2 of the 3 co-factors for maintaining joint tissue (glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin). Or maybe it’s for the efficiency in obtaining fat-soluble vitamins: A,D, E, and K2, of which A & K2 are found in bio-available form only from animals. Or maybe it’s for the fats that transport these vitamins to their destinations without harming the body from the excessive amounts omega-6 fatty acids found in plants. Or maybe it’s because humans suck at converting the plant form of omega-3 fats, required for cell membrane fluidity, to the bio-available form. Or maybe its because of the many endocrine functions that animal fats perform. Or maybe it’s because they don’t want to graze all day to eat the massive quantities of plant foods required to approach the level of nutrition provided quickly by animal products.

      Do any of those sound plausible?

  106. Eating gelatin may be great for your health, but IMO you have no business calling yourself a vegetarian if you ingest it.

    • I see a whole lot of confusion between vegetarian (eats SOME meat/fish) and vegan (eats NO meat)–vegans are the ones who won’t consume gelatin because of its animal origins, and they substitute with a seaweed-derived product called agar-agar. I’m not familiar with the nutrient profile of agar-agar, and do not know if it affects the joints, cartilage, and so forth, as regular animal-derived gelatin does.

      • Neither vegans nor vegetarians eat any meat. Most vegetarians eat dairy and/or eggs. Vegans try to avoid all animal products, even ones like honey. (I am neither.)

      • Vegetarians, as a general rule, don’t eat any animal products that require the animal to be killed. Many, however, will eat dairy and eggs, as those don’t harm the animal (of course, assuming the animal is treated humanely, which is a whole other issue).

        Vegans, on the other hand, don’t consume any type of foods from animals, including foods that contain dairy or eggs.

        I can’t imagine anyone considering themselves a true vegetarian and eating gelatin.

      • You most certainly have no idea that the word VEGETARIAN comes from the word vegetables.

        Anyone who consumes ANY part of ANY animal has no business calling themselves a VEGEtarian.

        • What difference does it make what you call yourself? Whatever choice we make regarding our personal food intake is just that- a personal choice. Do you think there is an award for Vegetarian (or Vegan) of the Year? Don’t be a hater. Be brave. Balance is a beautiful and healthful thing; try to achieve it!

          • Exactly. who cares about the title, unless that’s the only reason you eat a certain way is to be part of a “club”.

            If you eat for HEALTH reasons, then you will be very interested in the several reasons Chris Kresser listed above for consuming Gelatin & long term health of mind & body & nerves.

            If you want a cleaner & higher quality source, try Great Lakes Gelatin. The company is VERY good answering questions. One day the CEO picked up the phone & answered my questions.

            • Agree. I do not follow any diet 100 %. I basically eat paleo, but rather high carb and include everything that is healthy and I can feel is doing me good.

              I also make exceptions, not with the worst kind of food, but like I do not eat grains, but can occasionally eat white flour. Just to not feel as bound to a diet as I did before, or to not be the one no one wants to invite because “she eats nothing normal” when I do not have to.

              Eating really strict without exceptions must be done if you have gluten intolerance or something of course.

              Following a protocol 100 % strictly, without considering any exceptions due to health, is kind of counter productive.

              I can hear “dairy isn’t paelo” how many times as one possibly could, but will not give up what has done the most for my health (raw milk that is, not sugary fruit yoghurts with no fat). I can also hear people ranting about carbs, but my metabolism is increasing steadily from them, so I will keep it up wether or not they suit the title of my diet.

              Why can’t people just follow their own health and body? Do NOT follow a protocol, follow YOUR protocol (which also is what Kresser talks about).

              I understand that vegans have other things than health in mind, but it certainly doesn’t mean that food with animal origin is not healthy. All of our system is designed for omnivore style of eating, wherre animal should be eaten “nose to tail” not just lean meat and throw the rest.

      • Actually if you eat any meat–which has and will always include both fish and chicken—then you are not a vegetarian. There are lactovegetarians who may consume dairy products; there are ovovegetaians who may consume egg; and then there are lactoovovegetarians who may consume both. Vegans consume neither and also additionally exclude other items that came from animals such as beeswax and honey. None consume animal – based gelatin.

      • It seems you are confused yourself.
        Vegetarians eat no living tissues from animals (including fish). Many will eat nothing that is made using living tissues such as beer and wine being produced with isinglass from fish not in the finished product, but used as part of the process.

        Vegans are vegetarians that also eat nothing that contains anything produced by an animal such as milk, eggs, and honey (though some may make an exception for honey, often due to the bee crisis though that is a whole other kettle of fish).

    • In my opinion, if you use computers and other things made with animal byproducts, you look silly trying to tell others what it means to be an authentic vegetarian.

      • Not to mention how many animals get killed, poisoned and/or abused by modern farming practices. Or that have been exterminated to clear land for various types of PLANTations (where do you think the word originated?). I lived in KS for a while, where the State song is “Home on the Range”. There haven’t been any buffalo roaming or antelope playing there for a long, long time. It’s border-to-border wheat fields and feedlots. As for those who eschew honey because producing it “exploits” the bees, they have no qualms about eating bee-pollinated crops. Compare the exploitation of bees in pollination hives, hauled from pillar to post to pollinate crops in strange fields, with the lifestyle of bees producing honey. I don’t think these folks are being hypocritical. I think it’s an “out of sight, out of mind” malfunction.

        • “Natural” Bee keeping consists of practices that work with the Bees, not Aganst their best interests. Practices such as only removing Honey when the Bees themselves want it gone, in the early spring when the Hive is intent on increasing numerically the number of empty cells for the queen to lay eggs in. Rather then the fall, when the Honey is truly needed for overwintering as fuel. Unlike other insects which sleep (diapause) Bees stay awake in smaller numbers, living longer in a tight ball which like humans prefers to stay at 70 degrees unill spring, consuming Honey as fuel. In spring, the core temp rises to 98.6 (like humans) at which point the queen starts laying fertile eggs. Instead of robbing Honey when needed, and feeding sugar to the Bees Natural Beekeepers take only when the Bees themselves don’t need the Honey.

      • It’s not silly to feel put off eating meat because if the cruelty that animals are treated with and maybe you just think cows are cute and don’t want to consume them. We can’t control the whole world but we definitely can control what and put in our mouth. It’s a start.

        • But it’s worse than silly to ignore the fact that a vegetarian diet can’t supply the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) from food, nor can that diet provide a way to transport those vitamins to their destinations, which get packaged in fats.

          The fats that a vegetarian diet provides, e.g., from tofu, are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. How can creating systemic inflammation in you body possibly be considered kind to yourself?

          It’s worse than silly to ignore that fact that without gelatin and its co-factors glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin, all of which are in bone broth, your joints are living on borrowed time. So are your bones, which depend on the latticework structure made possible by collagen for both tensile and transverse strength. The central component of collagen is gelatin. Without enough gelatin, your bones might be as dense as granite, but they’re much more likely to snap at the first heavy transverse impact.

          But it worse than silly to ignore the fact that a vegetarian diet can’t supply the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) from food, nor can that diet provide a way to transport those vitamins to their destinations, which get packaged in fats.

          The fats that a vegetarian diet provides, e.g., from tofu, are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. How can creating systemic inflammation in you body possibly be considered kind to yourself?

          It’s worse than silly to ignore that fact that without gelatin and its co-factors glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin, all of which are in bone broth, your joints are living on borrowed time. So are your bones, which depend on the latticework structure made possible by collagen for both tensile and transverse strength. The central component of collagen is gelatin. Without enough gelatin, your bones might be as dense as granite, but they’re much more likely to snap at the first heavy transverse impact.

          And as far as the ethics of eating animals, how is it more ethical to implicitly condone the destruction of massive amounts of wild habitat that sustains itself for agriculture and substitute a wildly unnatural and monocultural order on the land? Don’t small, ugly, and vital but non-sentient life, like bees, worms, and especially fungi, deserve the same consideration and compassion as sentient animals? Moreover, most agriculture uses enormous amounts of herbicides and pesticides, which run off and foul the environment. Even organic farms use pesticides, and they have to apply them more often because of their short duration of effectiveness. As the popularity of organic plant food increases, the amount of organic pesticide use increases, too. Do you really think you can feed huge numbers of people that shop at Whole Foods and the organic sections of major grocery stores by using integrated pest management, when customers demand cosmetically perfect produce? The number of organic arms that would be viable without some kind of herbicides and pesticides are small enough that most of the U.S. population would never see a vegetable for most of the year.

          And globally, there’s no way for 7 billion people to tread lightly on the earth, no matter what they eat, unless you insist that they eat only for bare survival.

          So stop arguing for self-harm and putting forth fatally-flawed ethical arguments.

          • I appreciated this article, but a lot of the comments here are remarkably disrespectful to vegetarians – I say this as a meat-eater myself. I think everyone should be conscious of where their food comes from and what the total cost was of producing it. When you consider that, there are arguments both for and against vegetarianism, but I think anyone who cares about ethics AT ALL and is actually *informed* about modern factory farming conditions would be shocked and horrified at how most meat, and especially eggs, are produced. The animals are basically tortured their entire lives – it’s tragic, and the most tragic is that it’s completely unnecessary – in many cases these practices are continued only to save pennies on the dollar. So, eating conventionally raised eggs and meat is far worse from an ethical standpoint than the harm that comes to wild animals due to farming, although both are bad.

            This is an issue that everyone – meat eaters just as much as vegetarians – should be concerned about, and an important part of that is advocating against animal cruelty. Other than avoiding animal products, buying local, pastured eggs and meat, or at least cage-free eggs and free-range meat (and eating more [non-endangered] fish, which is great for your health anyway) is a great way to avoid supporting animal cruelty.

            This article cites Denise Minger, whom I greatly admire. I wish more of the commenters here would take an attitude more like Ms. Minger’s, which is much more respectful to vegetarians. While there are certain healthy foods like gelatin whose benefits can’t be obtained on a vegetarian diet without supplementation, the fact is that with a little more science and a few tweaks, a vegetarian diet can be extremely healthy. The research indicates that the healthiest diets of all do include some meat (or at least fish), but if someone wants to be completely vegetarian for ethical reasons, I respect that and I think others should as well – our own personal health isn’t the only thing that matters. Here’s an article where Denise spoke to this very issue:
            http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/08/13/ancestral-health-symposium/

            In it she mentions that it’s actually possible to follow a paleo approach and still be a vegetarian. She also has a page on her blog dedicated to vegans:
            http://rawfoodsos.com/for-vegans/

            In it, she acknowledges that some people may want to remain vegetarian or vegan for ethical reasons, and helps them to make the most of their diet. I think that’s the right approach – there’s no need to marginalize people (and the same goes for holier-than-thou vegetarians). (Knowing Denise, I’m sure the suggestions on that page are very well-researched, although I’m dubious about whether practices like soaking nuts are actually necessary for all people – but overall there’s some excellent advice there.)

            Finally, with regard to gelatin, I’m convinced that it would be a good addition to my diet, and I’m personally ethically comfortable with it since it’s a byproduct that would just be thrown out otherwise, but I can understand why vegetarians are averse to supporting meat production in any way. Perhaps fish-eating vegetarians would be comfortable with fish gelatin (which I’m considering getting anyway, since Custom Collagen seems to be a good gelatin source as someone mentioned earlier). But I think it’s worth mentioning that with regard to the high methionine issue, another way of addressing it, in addition to nose-to-tail eating, is to simply eat less meat. You’ll miss out on the gelatin and some other goodies, but as I mentioned earlier, a vegetarian diet can still be nutritionally excellent if done right.

            One last note – it’s important to be clear that from a purely nutritional standpoint, vegetarianism that includes eggs and dairy is FAR superior to a vegan diet.

            I *highly* recommend Denise’s book, “Death by Food Pyramid”, to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. It’s the best, and most balanced, nutritional resource I’ve come across in 9 years of nutritional research.

            For more info on the cruelty of factory farming, see http://advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2007/05/the-difficult-lives-and-deaths-of-factory-farmed-chickens/#sthash.pNGhT5hv.dpuf.

            “For people making a gradual switch to vegetarianism out of concern for animals, I therefore believe that the first food to give up should be, not meat, but eggs.”
            – Erik Marcus

      • It’s about what you EAT.

        Key is to minimize suffering of other sentient animals.

        Just because there is killing going on does not mean that we have to adopt a “I am a vegetarian and animal lover, therefore I will renounce society as it is and live in the mountains surviving on only pure air and spring water” neither do we have to go “Oh, since there is killing going on and the road that I drove on may be built by a meat eater who wears a leather belt, let’s go and kill everything in sight and feel attempt to feel good about being a dastardly murderer”!

        • The bigger question is why are you, a committed vegetarian, bothering to comment on a forum aimed at committed animal eaters? Do you actually think that you’ll persuade anyone participating on this site to your POV? Do you think it’s a requirement to declare your righteous indignation at every cyber-opportunity?

          • jake, this article is title – 5 reasons why VEGETARIANS should eat gelatin. so how is this aimed at commited animal eaters? it appears to be aimed at vegetarians dont you think?
            this article is aimed at trying to get people who doent eat animal products to start doing so on the most flimsy psudo-science based information.

            • Stop trying to feel special, the article is named “Why EVEN vegetarians […]”, it’s to emphasize the importance of gelatin, it’s not targeted at vegetarians in particular.

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