T Nation

Gelatin... Good for You?


was wondering if Jello or gelatin has any positive benefits on skin and/or joints.
did a internet search and received varying opinions. what say you?


When I realized the way gelatin is made it really lost its appeal to me. I think there's probably better alternatives to healthy joints.



That's the only thing I could think of.


Collagen from animal bones and skins?

Don't you eat meat? Why is that worse than hamburger or livers or pork rinds?


So you're saying eating gelatin is better than fish oil, and other healthy fats, glucosamine, etc?

Since when did hamburger and pork rinds become health food?


Steely was clearly asking why you think one animal product is acceptable to you and another is not. He didn't say anything about gelatin being better than any of those things you mentioned.


Well, my apologies. Being on this site I tend to think everybody is just attacking one another. I see his point now. I guess eating a cow's thigh muscle isn't really that different than eating it's hoof.




My point is that you made the implication that because of how gelatin is produced or sourced that it's not appealing to you.

Gelatin is made from collagen that comes from the same animals (pigs and cows, not horses) that are used for any number of other foods and edible products.

Commercial production of gelatin doesn't use hooves as they are not really the best source where bones and hydes are. Simple economics here.

Hamburger meat is ground beef, which is steak in a different form. In and of itself, hamburger is whole food and in the context of building muscle and a reasonably cheap form of protein, it is certainly a 'healthy' food like any other whole source of protein.

Pork rinds are fried skins. For some who choose a low/zero carb lifestyle, they are certainly within reason to eat as a snack and source of fat. No, someone would not make them a staple of any diet, but they're not the horror folks make them out to be in the right context or in the right diet.

There are liquid amino acid products available made from 'gelatin' (I won't name the product that I use out of respect for Biotest). It even smells like gelatin. It delivers a shitton of protein.

You can't just assume 'fish oil' in and of itself is 'healthy'. Too much of it is not good for some people. Unless certified, there is the chance of heavy metal contamination. Ever see a fish processing plant? Not too much different than any other 'meat' processing plant, and they use every part of the fish for 'stuff' as well.


Again, I didn't see your viewpoint in your first post - my fault

Your last post is well written and duly noted.


The collagen used for Jello, Knox gelatin, etc., is usually not the highest grade out there, and so might lead to diminished results.

All the same, high quality hydrolyzed collagen products show promise...from what I understand, more and more medical facilities use products like this:
to fight muscle wasting in sick and elderly patients.

This study:

found better nitrogen balance and bodyweight retention in the group that used hydrolyzed collagen...the study may not be entirely applicable to bodybuilders but I think it still has merit (namely the the improved nitrogen balance) and hopefully we'll have more studies done on this in the future.

Edit: this study looks at it as well, but I'm unable to access it. Anybody with a subscription willing to read and summarize?


Well fuck me sideways. Looks like this ^^^^^^^ shows some promise.


Yeah, the thinking is that collagen serves as a "nitrogen-retainer" meaning that it helps your body make more effective use of other proteins like beef, whey, etc. for lean tissue repair...I'm not sure of the details or the exact mechanism by which it works, but these links talk about the benefits of consuming connective tissue, although they recommend using stock:

I've been a little wary just because it seems so "out there", but I really want to try it for myself some time.


Jello is good stuff, and you always have room for (sugar free) Jello.

Some time ago a researcher had the hairbrained idea to go to a fried chicken joint and gather up chicken bones. He kept the joints and ground them up. On his own he did an experiment on a group of non suspecting patients, giving some the ground up chicken joints in capsules, the others a zero pill. After some months a number of the people who received the ground up chicken joints were reporting relief from arthritis. When he wrote a private letter to some doctor friends. they responded proud of the fact that the DRUG worked. It was so easy for them to go from crushed up chicken joints to DRUG. Needless to say it was impossible to take to the FDA as it is a natural substance and the idea fizzled.

Jello is good for you, and is not fast acting.

Wanna lift heavy, go to the grocery and get a large can of Knox Joint formula.


The same way all animal parts are health food.


Very good post.

Half of the fat in pork rinds is monounsaturated.


I am starting to blend in protein shakes grass fed organic beef gelatin and gelatin peptides. Small amounts I have noticed a difference.