Let's Talk Gelatin!
Chelan Wilkins, RHN
Did you say Bovine Gelatin? As in gummies? The stuff marshmallows are made out of? What exactly is Gelatin and why is it getting so much talk in the health industry? Well, let us start with what Gelatin is!
What is Gelatin?Gelatin, very similarly to Collagen, is derived from the bones of the animals used during the simmering process. Gelatin is the cooked form of Collagen, and although they both have similar benefits, Gelatin differs from Collagen due to the processing part – Hydrolysis. It is actually within 24 hours that the nutrients Gelatin and collagen are released from the bones – also an essential step in DIY broths. Organika has created our Bovine Gelatin powder using the same methods as our Collagen. Sourced from grass fed, hormone & antibiotic free bovine (cows’) hide, ensuring it is very high in collagen (almost up to 98%). Collagen and Gelatin have almost the identical amino acid profile, except Gelatin has Tyrosine, they also have different textures. The difference in the textures comes down to how it is processed; while both go through a hydrolyzation process, Gelatin goes through a more aggressive process, making it have that flake-like texture that changes when warm water is added to it. We can often find Gelatin in various recipes as a thickener and soup base, made into gummies, jello, and even in custards. We also notice Gelatin as the fatty toping to our broths as we simmer it. So why is it so beneficial? Well, again, it is the amino acids in the Gelatin that make it so good for our health! Glycine is a potent and versatile amino acid used in our body for various things. Glycine is essential for digestive health as it is the only amino acid that helps seal the intestinal wall (helping repair leaky gut), increases glutathione in our liver (our bodies’ natural antioxidant), as well as promoting a restful and relaxing sleep as it helps increase GABA levels in the brain. Glycine is the amino acid found with the highest amount in both Collagen and Gelatin, making them both excellent for various health benefits in our body. A few other amino acids found in Gelatin that make an impact in our health are Hydroxyproline (known to increases collagen production in the body by up to 50%), as well as Valine (an essential amino acid not produced in the body), which is used in our body to repair tissues, stimulate muscle growth, and boost our central nervous system. Because Valine is not found in our body – we need to obtain it through our food – Gelatin is an excellent source of it. In fact, when compared to Collagen, Gelatin has very similar health benefits, an almost identical amino acid profile and it is made through the same method. When tested and looked at further, Gelatin is structurally a “long chain amino acid”, whereas Collagen is a “short chain amino acid”. This difference plays a role in how our body digests and metabolises the two. Gelatin can only be dissolved in hot water (so it is ideal for cooking – or making gummies), where Collagen can be used hot or cold.
Some of the many health benefits of Gelatin are:
- Improves your skin health
- Improves Digestive Health / Immunity
- Improves Joint / Ligament /Cartilage health
- Excellent source of highly absorbable protein
- Improves sleep quality
- Great for weight management
– Chelan Wilkins, RHN – National Education Trainer