What Are the Benefits of Gelatin?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 20 February 2020
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Many potential benefits of gelatin remain unproven, including relief of joint pain, growing stronger finger nails, and making one’s hair healthier. Generally, however, researchers agree that gelatin is safe for most people to consume. Side effects of heavy consumption may include heartburn, bloating, and gas. Some people are allergic to gelatin and therefore should not attempt to use it as a supplement. It is generally recommended that a person see a doctor before starting a new diet or supplement.

While not among the proven benefits of gelatin, some doctors report that gelatin is effective for improving joint health. Athletes who took gelatin supplements found noticeable relief in their knee pain and stiffness, though it is unclear whether the pain relief was actual relief brought on by gelatin, coincidence, or a placebo effect. Gelatin supplements can be found in drug and vitamin stores or purchased online, and does not require a doctor’s prescription.

Other unproven benefits of gelatin include strengthening of the hair and nails, weight loss, and the treatment of brittle bones. As of early 2012, these benefits lack sufficient evidence to conclude whether or not they can be brought on by consuming gelatin. With guidance from a doctor, it might not be harmful to attempt treatment with gelatin supplements.


Some side effects of gelatin include heartburn, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, and bloating of the stomach area. Most experts consider gelatin likely safe in food amounts, but possibly less safe when heavily consumed as a remedy; however, gelatin is derived from the tissue of dead animals, and there is a small chance of the final product being contaminated by disease. Generally, however, this chance is so insignificant that gelatin is consumed without worry in many countries.

Most people with gelatin allergies experience mild symptoms, such as hives, while severe reactions are becoming increasingly common, especially in Asian countries. Low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and anaphylaxis are severe reactions to gelatin that require immediate treatment. Gelatin is used in a wide variety of products and medicines, like vaccines, gel tablets and gelatin desserts, so it can be difficult to avoid the substance.

It is important to explore the disadvantages and benefits of gelatin with a doctor before starting treatment. The benefits may not be enough to outweigh its disadvantages, especially if a person has a gelatin allergy. There may also be other, more effective methods of treatment depending on the ailment.


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Post 5

Some products (like certain granola bars) list vegetable gelatin in ingredients. This would mean they use the form of gelatin that is not from animal products (wish more foods used this instead of animal gelatin).

Post 4

I want to consume gelatin for all the benefits listed here. But the problem is that I follow a pork-free diet for religious reasons and I never know the source of the gelatin found in stores. It's usually not listed. If I knew where the gelatin was coming from, then I could consume it.

I also have a cholesterol problem and I'm afraid that gelatin might increase my cholesterol. Does anyone know what the affect of gelatin is on cholesterol levels?

Post 3

@turkay1-- That's a good question. The reason that gelatin is good for the joints is because it contains collagen. Collagen is a substance that's found around our joints as well as in our skin, hair, nails, etc.

As we get older, we lose more and more collagen which results in joint problems, aging skin and wrinkles. So the idea behind consuming gelatin to improve these is by restoring the collagen in our body.

However, not all collagen is equally effective. I don't think that the gelatin in jello has high benefit for restoring lost collagen. Collagen supplements or fresh gelatin from bovine is more beneficial.

Post 2

How does gelatin improve joint health? I eat a lot of jello but I had no idea that it had any benefits. In fact, I've always thought about jello as a junk food.

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