More About Gelatin

As those of you who have been reading since at least last summer know, I started taking gelatin as a supplement back in September, and was dazzled by the results. I've been taking it ever since; I just bought another 5 pound box of plain gelatin powder. I take a couple of teaspoons first thing in the morning, and 2-3 teaspoons before bed every night. Plan to continue forever, or until I die, which ever comes first.

But I got a question recently from a reader -- he said he'd started taking gelatin, with good results, but had heard rumors it had MSG in it. It seemed unlikely to me; I couldn't figure out why a company would put a flavor enhancer in a flavorless product. However, in the interests of my readers, I called NOW Foods, the company whose bulk gelatin I've been buying. I asked if their plain beef gelatin contained any MSG, and they stated flat out that it did not. I am inclined to believe them. Companies that lie when asked if their consumable products contain a specific ingredient open themselves up to very major lawsuits, especially if they lie to someone who has openly identified herself as a blogger/author who is going to pass their information on to thousands of people. Too, I have used a fair number of NOW's supplements over the years, and always thought well of them. And again, I can't figure out what the purpose would be of putting a flavor enhancer in a flavorless product.

Just so you know, what I have been buying is the 5-pound bulk box of beef gelatin. I special order it through my local health food store (for locals -- I got it slightly cheaper through Sahara Mart than through Bloomingfoods); it takes about a week to come in. It's a cardboard box (that word wanted to come out "carbboard") about the size of a toaster, with a big plastic sack inside full of powder. That's all. Ran me $32 plus tax.

But I learned something else interesting about gelatin just today: It's a good source of the ultra-trace mineral vanadium. Vanadium has a reputation for improving insulin sensitivity and glucose control in diabetics. It is, as I say, an ultra-trace mineral; you only want teeny quantities, but those teeny quantities are apparently important. Looks like this could be another of those nutrients that have been depleted from our diet as we moved away from eating the whole animal to eating only the lean muscle meats.

Just thought it was interesting.

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Grass fed or grain fed

The person who turned me on to gelatin highly recommended I get it from Great Lakes because theirs comes from grass fed animals. I still have a bunch from a pantry I ordered from down South somewhere (really inexpensive!) and read somewhere from Dana that so long it stays dry, Gelatin lasts forever.

So safe to say that once I'm out of the Great Lakes, I can go ahead and finish off the grain fed gelatin I have bulk in my cupboard? I almost threw it out. But really, how much of a difference is there between grass and non grass fed gelatin?? I hate to waste; have a ton of it in the cupboard.

Look forward to hearing back.

Physical and emtional benefits of Gelatin

Taking 2 tsp of Gelatin daily in the am with 2 tsp Vinegar (not required for the benefits of gelatin I don't think; I just took it cuz it was part of the prescription from my friend) not only improved the "Runner's Knee" (aka,chondro malacio aka, arthritis on the knee), it CURED it so that I can run non-stop with absolutely no knee pain. It also helped the arthritis in my fingers.

I continue to take the 2 tsp in the am at breakfast, and - at the recommendation of a someone well versed in nutritional supplementation - have begun to take 3 heaping tablespoons at night right before bed. (Not always empty; sometimes I get home late so eat dinner late; is that a problem when comes to getting full benefit of the gelatin?) I started this (3 Tbsp q nightly) about 2 weeks ago and do notice I'm sleeping much more soundly which is really nice, resulting in feeling much more rested during the day. I've also noticed that the deep, dark circles (I have one of those 'mystery' illnesses no one can figure out, but I basically feel chronic, low-grade flu-like symptoms that make me look/feel tired and worn out, thus the circles) have brightened significantly and my facial skin overall looks healthier and brighter. Really excited about this as I have big-time insecurity about the circles!

Do you think you can 'overdose' on gelatin? The person who recommended I take the 3 Tablespoons (he based it on the recommended daily amount of glysine), isn't a doctor. But I think it's ok.

I work in the addictions field and many of my clients have co-occurring substance use disorder and anxiety/panic. Not sure if it was one of your posts on gelatin or someone else's, but somewhere I read gelatin helps with anxiety. Great hope for those with anxiety disorders!

One more thing: somewhere I read that gelatin curbs sugar cravings and decreases appetite. I'm telling you, I've noticed urges to use sugar to soothe emotional distress (habit!), but really don't 'want' the's much easier to refrain. And, I notice that I'm not nearly as hungry during the day. Do you think the large amount I take at night, coupled with the 2 tsp in the morning, carry over throughout the day, impacting my hunger level? It's really quite striking!

Look forward to hearing back, and thanks for all your research!

Good way to get this stuff into you

I discovered a good way to take this stuff (along with getting a bit of fiber as well). I took a tablespoon of gelatin, tablespoon of psylium husks, and two packets of Splenda and mixed them in a little 8oz glass. Then I poured in about 5 1/2 to 6 oz of hot decaf coffee (be careful, the contents will expand) while stirring. I let it sit for a few minutes and then ate it like a hot moist pudding.

Gelatine in Bovril

My gelatine granules arrived yesterday, so I followed Dana and swallowed a couple of spoonfuls washed down with water, slept like a log and woke up full of beans at 5.30 and repeated the gelatine. It's now 22.30 and I'm still wide awake. However, swallowing dry gelatine seems a bit heroic for me, so I'm now drinking it in Bovril, and very nice it is too - though you have to take into account that I often enjoy a tin of tuna for breakfast (apart from its obvious virtues, tuna is the ideal diet food for me: open tin of tuna, share with my one-year old grandson and any number of my seven cats who are hanging around the kitchen, then I eat what is left, ensuring I leave some in the bowl for my dog, who is gazing longingly up at me and begrudging me each mouthful).

Gelatin and Tuna

See? Told you gelatin was da bomb. Glad it's working for you, too.

Your tuna story made me think of my long-deceased cat, Billion. He was the first pet who was *mine*, rather than a family pet; I found him on the streets of Chicago back in '85, when I was in massage school. I always shared my tuna salad with him.

Then, after we moved to Bloomington, he developed horrible allergies. To rule out a food allergy, I had to put him on hypoallergenic cat food -- duck-and-potato kitty cookies -- for 6 weeks, and couldn't give him anything else. I had to quit eating tuna salad for the duration. It was just too sad to have him sit there, looking at me with big yellow-green eyes that said "Mom? Don't you love me anymore, Mom?"

(Turned out to be inhalants, BTW. I'd thought I was doing him a big favor, moving him from the city down to Bloomington, with a big yard and all. Turned out he was allergic to every plant in Southern Indiana -- maple trees, grass, ragweed, goldenrod, plantain (not the banana kind, this is a broad-leaf weed), etc, etc, etc. Massive cortisone shots helped, and he lived to 18 regardless.) (I still miss him.)

Gelatin Source

I have ordered all my health products from for many years. They are located in CA and are very efficient and very fast. They offer Now Foods Beef Gelatin in 5 pound bags for $39.12 and Now Foods 1 pound bottle for $13.55. They give extra discounts the more you order and the shipping is free with over $40 purchase or $4.00 flat rate for under $40. Believe me it is very easy to order over $40, they have so much to choose from, I have always found what I was looking for on their site!
I think you will be very happy ordering from them!

Gelatin capsules - cheap at Walmart

I started taking gelatin when I read your first post - it makes good sense to me. I found a VERY CHEAP source of gelatin in 1300 mg capsules at Walmart. It is the Spring Valley brand and costs only around $3 for a 100 capsule bottle. I take 3-5 of them a day.

MSG vs glutamic acid

From reading the work of Russell L. Blaylock, MD, a neurosurgeon who has extensively studied MSG and its "hidden" counterparts (eg, hydrolyzed protein, soy protein isolate, "spices", etc), it is my understanding that naturally occurring glutamic acid, when ingested as part of the whole amino acid complex, is broken down in the liver differently and does not have the same detrimental effect as MSG isolate.

His book is called "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills" and may be available through your local library. That's where I got my hands on it...

L-Arginine in gelatin

Dana - My doc has put me on L-Arginine for increasing nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is an anti-inflammatory that is mostly produced inside your arteries. Prevents athersclerosis, heart disease, stroke. Supposedly gelatin contains a good bit of L-Arginine. Book about nitric oxide has been written by Dr. Ignarro.

Have you found that since you started taking Met that you can handle a lot more carbs? That's my experience with it.


Gelatin and Metformin

Huh, so gelatin may be good for blood pressure, too. I should read that book.

Dunno if I can handle more carbs -- I haven't tried. Not really tempted, you know? I've been eating this way a long, long time; I don't miss the carbs.

But if I drop another 10-15 pounds, color me happy.

Gelatine in the UK - addendum

Woah! Typical, after days of searching, I've just found 500g gelatine on eBay and bought it, but... once I'd paid for it, eBay suggested related items: carpet cleaning products. Oh dear, what have I purchased?

Gelatine in the UK

Does anyone know where I can buy gelatine (as we spell it here) in the UK - preferably a 1lb pack? American sites don't seem to ship to the UK, and even then I'm not sure I want to buy (and pay for shipping of) a 5lb pack of something that I might not like.

So far, all I've found available in shops here is 20g packs of gelatine, which works out to be horribly expensive.

Am I doomed to drink vast quantities of home-made broth? My poor bladder!


Do you know of a place I could order a five pound box? My health food store told me that Now had discontinued it and I was only able to get one pound jars that cost more for three pounds than the five pound box cost and are not as easy to measure from. The five pound box fortunately fit perfectly into an old one gallon pickle jar with a big lid. Thanks for your help.

5 pound box

Your health food store is misinformed; I bought a five pound box of NOW beef gelatin two weeks ago or so. I did have to specify beef gelatin before they found it in the catalog; maybe that would help?

It's available through Amazon, though it's a little more than I paid, and of course there's shipping. This store says they have it in stock.

Of course, any bulk gelatin should do, doesn't have to be beef. I've heard rumors that fish gelatin is especially beneficial, but don't know where to get it.

MSG vs Glutamic Acid

If you look on Wikipedia you can see that there is only a minor difference between MSG and glutamic acid. I can't believe that once either one gets to your digestive system that your body can tell any difference.

However, there is a caveat. It may be that natural glutamic acid is only right-handed whereas MSG may be made by a process that produces a mixture of the left- and right-handed forms. This is too complex to sort out without a trustworthy nutrition scientist.

right vs. left-handed

It has been many years since I took organic chemistry, but I seem to recall that most chiral compounds (compounds that exhibit "right vs. left-handedness) are generall RIGHT handed when naturally occurring. Most (perhaps all?) left-oriented compounds are synthetic. Again, I could be mistaken because it has been almost 2 decades since I studied this, but I am fairly certain that you are correct. For those who are unfamiliar with this, I just would like to point out two examples that most low-carbers will recognize--dextrose and levulose. Those are two sugars with the same chemical formula but they have opposite orientations. As the names imply, dextrose is right-handed and levulose is left-handed. Anyone out there care to correct me or validate me? I am curious about this. Perhaps I need to do some research...

Comment and then a question

I sprinkle the powder in a small amount of water, stir it with a fork, and let it sit for 2 minutes. I also consume small bits at a time in order to avoid having it get stuck in my throat. I discovered that the grocery store brand is tasteless while the more well-known brand has an off taste.

I do have a question. You had mentioned in an earlier post that you were going to take Metformin because of the possibility that your liver overproduces glucose from protein. So isn't consuming extra protein counter-productive?


Do you mix the gelatin with water before you take it or do you just take it dry from the spoon?

Do I mix my gelatin with water?

I take it dry -- just put a teaspoon of the powder on my tongue and wash it down with water, then repeat.

No reason not to dissolve it, though, if you prefer. That Nice Boy I Married has taken to lacing his coffee with gelatin, about 2 teaspoons of powder to a 12-cup pot. (Don't worry about his caffeine intake, he combines about 3/4 decaf with 1/4 regular.) You can dissolve your gelatin in any hot liquid; broth would be pretty obvious.

I think it may have been my

I think it may have been my question you were responding to; this is why I wondered (and I've seen gelatin avoidance mentioned on other sites about MSG sensitivity as well):

Thankfully, though, I don't think it was actually MSG I was having trouble with at the time I asked, which is good, because the gelatin has been doing me wonders as well. :)


Over at Facebook, one poster has pointed out that gelatin does contain glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is a naturally-occurring amino acid. It is present in generous quantities in eggs, meat, poultry, and fish, among other foods (also in wheat) -- if you're eating plenty of protein, you're getting glutamic acid.

I remain unalarmed.

Gelatin and sleep

Are you still waking up earlier than usual? What about your bedtime? I know you've said you have a sleep phase delay disorder and I wonder how the gelatin has affected that. Thanks!


I do, for the very most part, still wake up earlier than I did before I started taking gelatin. I've come to rather like it. Makes my day longer. :-D

Waking up earlier

I was up at 7:30 today. On a Saturday.