Great Lakes Collagen and Gelatin (not intended as medical advice)
Taken primarily from www.GrassFedGirl.com
Gelatin is a translucent, colourless, brittle, flavourless solid substance, derived from collagen found in animal bones and hides. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. It is found in most gummy candies as well as other products such as marshmallows, gelatin desserts, and some ice cream, dips and yogurt. Much of the gelatin bought at the store is from feed lot animals which are not healthy and are unable to pass good nutrition along to us. Another issue is that store bought gelatin products are often full of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup as well as artificial colors. It is better to buy plain gelatin from a company that raises grass fed and humanely raised animals.
What are the difference between the 3 types of gelatin?
Great Lakes Collagen and Gelatin brand in the red canister is pure protein, kosher, unflavored beef gelatin collagen joint care, from grass fed cows. It is useful for cooking in heated recipes that benefit from thickening after cooling. Great Lakes brand Collagen Hydrolysate in the green canister is unflavoured, cold water soluble, pure beef protein, kosher, which is good for dissolving in cool liquids. It will not gel in cooking. You could dissolve it in coffee or a smoothie. Both are from grass fed cows.
A third kind is made from pork (also known as porcine, which is not kosher). It thickens like beef gelatin and makes very clear dessert glazes and food art. No flavour is added to foods, and adds as much pure protein to dishes as the beef version.
Is gelatin gluten free?
Yes, gelatin is made from the skin and bones cows or pigs, not from any sources of gluten such as barley, rye, oats or wheat.
Does gelatin contain MSG?
Gelatin contains glutamic acid, not MSG, which is naturally occurring in animal foods. Wheat is actually higher in glutamic acid than gelatin, to give a reference point. If someone is very sensitive to MSG they may have a reaction after consuming gelatin but it is uncommon. A reaction to gelatin is probably a sign of bigger issue such as leaky gut. Read this article: heal your leaky gut
How much gelatin should someone take?
Gelatin is a food so you can take as much as you want. A good goal would be about 2 -3 tbsp a day. You can start out slow because gelatin is very cleansing for the liver and may cause some detox reactions.
The best and cheapest source of gelatin is from bone broth which should be your main source of gelatin. I try to eat 2-4 cups of gelatin rich broth each day in the form of soups and stews.
How are the cattle raised ?
The cattle are grass fed and processed in Argentina and Brazil which is controlled by their respective Department of Agriculture. These countries have the same type of tests and inspections as the United States. It is more common to feed animals grass rather than corn in South America. Beef hides are the only product used to manufacture gelatin in these countries.
Gelatin from slow simmer bones is less processed and can be found from fresh and local farmers. I recommend having a mix of broth and gelatin in your diet since some people will not be able to ingest bone broth everyday.
Can I use gelatin as a protein powder?
Gelatin has about 6 grams of protein per tablespoon. I think it is great option as a protein powder. It is easy to drink in smoothies before work as a quick option. It is not quite a complete protein but you’re probably not a vegetarian if you are eating gelatin anyway. If you eat meat at other meals you will get plenty of protein for muscle building and maintenance.
There really is no perfect protein powder because whey proteins can usually be highly processed and many people are sensitive unless you use Vital Whey brand of grass-fed whey protein powder (sold at Back To The Land). Soy and pea protein have hard to digest lectins that cause intestinal inflammation. I think that gelatin is the best choice for a protein powder but real food that is not processed is always the best choice for post or pre- workout. Meals and snacks of foods such as grass fed meats, organic vegetables/fruits and healthy fats, nuts and seeds which are actually the perfect workout fuel.
Is gelatin good for arthritic bones and joints?
Yes, yes, yes!! Gelatin is full of collagen that helps to rebuild aching joints.
Top 20 Health Benefits of Great Lakes Collagen and Gelatin:
Skin Health: Gelatin has amazing skin healing properties because it is a rich source of dietary collagen, which is the key protein in the body made up of amino acids. Gelatin makes up 25% to 35% of the total protein content of human body. This protein content is vital for skin elasticity, and tone, plus the continuous renewal of skin cells. Gelatin makes up the connective tissues of the skin that are responsible for giving skin its strength and firmness.
Anti-aging: Collagen depletion usually starts when we are in our late 20′s. It becomes more important to add gelatin to your diet after age 30 to help fight aging. Skin creams that contain collagen are useless because the collagen is too large to be absorbed by the skin. Taking it internally in form of gelatin is a good source of dietary collagen and can do wonders for the skin. Research performed at The University of Michigan shows the effects that collagen depletion has on the aging process. The study showed that collagen- producing cells are key for supporting youthful-looking, resilient skin. This information reinforced the idea that anti-aging treatments should focus on reconstructing and refilling collagen from the inside.
Wrinkles: Proline found in gelatin is a very important amino acid that abundant in gelatin. It is recommended as a supplement by many skin experts to keep up a youthful appearance. Degradation and loss of collagen is the real cause of wrinkles. Research confirms that collagen found in gelatin helped to reduce visible signs of wrinkling and treatments. Gelatin can stimulate and enhance production of new and non-fragmented collagen, which offers significant improvement to the look and health of wrinkled skin. Taking collagen from inside in the form of gelatin helps make skin much less prone to wrinkles.
Teeth, Hair and Nails: Gelatin provides beneficial minerals that are lacking in the overly processed western diet. This super food supplies abundant calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, which builds strong nails, teeth, and hair.
Stretch marks: Gelatin helps prevent stretch marks by improving the skin’s firmness, elasticity and functioning. It helps by boosting collagen production, which is the key to preventing stretch marks.
Cellulite: Cellulite is caused by a breakdown of collagen, which can be exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies. Many people take collagen supplements that cost a fortune. It is much easier and tastier to get collagen in a food form from bone broth and gelatin powder.
Liver Detox: Gelatin is rich in glycine, which can be considered a conditionally essential amino acid. The human body needs a great deal of glycine for detoxification from exposure to chemicals in our toxic environment. People without enough glycine will not produce enough glutathione, which is crucial for Phase II liver detoxification.
Weight loss: Gelatin is full of protein, which makes people full and can help them eat less of lower quality foods. Also gelatin can help with liver detox which will boost fat burning ability.
Digestion: The amino acid glycine in gelatin can help increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach which is needed for digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Levels of these vital digestive juices are lowered by stress and aging. Lowered HCL can contribute to malnutrition including anemia (a reduction in red blood cell production). A well-known researcher, Dr. Gotthoffer, studied gelatin’s role in digestion and he found that it increases the utilization and assimilation protein from muscle meats.
Leaky Gut: Russian researchers found that gelatin healed the gut linings of mice after they had chemically-induced intestinal damage. Doctors in the 1920′s had good results using gelatin to nourish Celiac patients who were malnourished from gluten reactions.
Strong Bones: Bones are actually living structures that can be built up or broken down daily by our nutritional choices.Gelatin contains easy to digest calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals which helps build a healthy bone matrix.
Arthritis Support: Gelatin contains Chondroitin, which has long been used as supplement for helping people with arthritis pain and stiffness.Chondroitin found in gelatin supports joints, cartilage and tendons because it is basically the dissolved connective tissue of animals. It has been discovered that therapeutic doses of cartilage, found in animal bones, (which always contains copious amounts of proline and glycine) dramatically improve rheumatoid arthritis as well as other degenerative joint conditions.
Increase Metabolism: Glycine can be considered a semi-essential amino acid and should be taken as a nutritional supplement to boost metabolism. Amino acids help people build and maintain muscle, which stokes a healthy metabolism. Glycine also helps regulate insulin sensitivity keeping people from storing abdominal fat.
Adrenals: When our bodies are under extreme stress they actually need more minerals and amino acids, which can be provided by gelatin. Dr. Cate Shanahan suggests that the nutritional matrix in bone broths and gelatin may actually help rejuvenate the renal organs (kidney, adrenals, bladder) which help us deal with stress and cortisol.
Hormone balance: Gelatin provides the amino acid glycine, which helps regulate insulin and prevent hypoglycemia. Also glycine helps the body to make glutathione, which is crucial for helping to remove excess estrogen. Excess estrogen comes from several sources such as toxic body care products, environmental pollution, diets high in processed foods and from using hormonal birth control methods. Estrogen dominance has been studied extensively as a risk factor for female cancers.
Wound repair: Glycine and arginine found in gelatin are abundant in the skin and connective tissue. The combination of these two amino acids have been studied by researchers at Rutgers and it was found that injured mice healed much faster when they had supplemental amounts of these two amino acids in their diet.
Allergies: Gelatin can alleviate allergic reactions and sensitivities because it helps seal inflamed and porous gut linings. Many experts believe that a permeable intestinal lining is a core issue in allergies because it is an immune barrier responsible for keeping out pathogens. Read my article on how to help allergies here.
Get more nutrition out of each bite: Broth with gelatin makes small portions of meat very filling, which saves money on groceries. Gelatin draws in digestive juices to help break down meaty protein more thoroughly. This effect has the added benefit of saving money because gelatin will stretch protein portions.
Muscle maintenance: People who are on bed rest lose a lot of muscle mass during an illness. When gelatin is added to their diets it has the benefit of preserving muscle mass while ill. It can also be very restorative for athletes that are over training because it contains many amino acids that speed recovery.
Lowers Inflammation: Because of low fat dogma many people get too much lean protein in their diet. This imbalance can be remedied by adding gelatin (and healthy fats) to meals. Lean protein in excess can be pro-inflammatory but gelatin provides proline and glycine that balance out the tryptophan and Cysteine.
It is ideal to have 2-3 Tbsp of collagen/gelatin per day as well as including soups and stews made with bone rich broth. Work up to this amount to avoid effects of detoxification.