Adventures in Holistic Adult and Child Psychiatry

"One only sees what one looks for, one only looks for what one knows." - Goethe

Gelatin for Anxiety, Sleep and Appetite Suppression

Gelatin

In this post I would like to share my surprising experience since recently introducing gelatin powder as a supplement into my diet. Supplementation with gelatin became of interest to me, as I was no longer able to eat the nutritious long simmered gelatin rich bone broths and stews that are so healing to the digestive tract, and which are a mainstay of the GAPS Healing Protocol. The long simmering of meat and bones that produces gelatin, also creates histamine, which can result in a variety of adverse symptoms in those individuals who are sensitive to histamine. Please see my previous posts about Histamine Intolerance.

Meat and bone broths were a staple of traditional diets, as were foods like oxtails, head cheese, pig’s feet, all foods high in gelatin content. Our ancestors ate every bit of the animal, including organ meats and the gelatin rich bony and cartilaginous parts. These days the average American prefers to eat only the muscle meat, such as a boneless skinless chicken breast, or a beef steak, and thus most of the highly nutritious gelatin has disappeared from our diet.

I have to confess, that even before I suspected that I was histamine intolerant, it was a struggle to get myself to eat more than one meal of soup or stew a day. Thus the introduction of gelatin powder into my diet has meant that I have begun to consume much more gelatin than ever before.

I have been drinking 1 tablespoon of high quality powdered gelatin mixed into a hot beverage three times a day. The brand I recommend is Great Lakes Unflavored Beef Gelatin, which is very neutral in flavor. It is made from cattle which are humanely raised and grass fed. Proper technique for making a hot drink with gelatin powder is important, otherwise it will not dissolve and the texture will be unpalatable. I put 1 tablespoon into a large mug, add a few tablespoons of room temperature water to the powder, and stir to create a soft gel. Then I pour hot coffee or tea on top of the gel and mix it well. The gelatin is barely noticeable, with the exception of perhaps slightly more body to the drink.

The first thing I noticed after doing this for only a couple days, was that I felt calmer, my sleep quality was markedly improved and I was not hungry. I was surprised to learn that gelatin contains a high percentage of glycine, a non-essential amino acid and inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is known to decrease anxiety and to promote restorative sleep. I also found reports linking gelatin with appetite suppression, but not to glycine per se. Glycine is, however, reported to curb cravings for sugar.

Japanese  scientists have been on the forefront of glycine research, and have discovered that glycine is very useful for those individuals who have trouble staying asleep. They have developed a lemon flavored glycine supplement Glysom which is prescribed for maintaining sleep.

“Glysom does not induce sleep like Ambien or benzodiazepines, nor does it induce daytime sleepiness as does melatonin. Rather it reduces core body temperature, which reduces fragmentation of sleep architecture, and promotes longer periods spent in deep slow-wave sleep during the early parts of the sleep curve.

When someone is hot, he or she tends to run through sleep cycles more rapidly and more frequently than when someone is cool (There’s wisdom in the old folklore that it’s wise to sleep with the windows open!). Glycine reliably produces this core temperature change in a way that promotes better sleep quality. It won’t necessarily get someone to sleep faster, but it will enable him to enter into and stay in the restorative deep sleep phases for longer periods.

Ajinomoto’s Dr. Bannai, who has been involved in several glycine studies, said that this amino acid has an affinity for the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is the brain’s master circadian switchboard. “By maintaining the low core body temperature during sleep, glycine increases sleep stability, and improves sleep quality. The sleep-restorative effects appear as a tertiary benefit.”

Glycine is also well known to have anti-anxiety properties.

“Glycine is a nonessential (or neutral) amino acid that has profound anti-anxiety properties. Receptors for glycine are found in the vertebrate CNS, spinal cord and brain stem areas, and are equally distributed throughout mammalian tissues. The most unique aspect of glycine’s mechanism of action has to do with its presumed antagonism of norepinephrine (NE). When an individual experiences anxiety or panic, NE is released and creates feelings of anxiety and panic. Glycine antagonizes the release of NE, thus mitigating anxiety and panic and feelings of over-arousal.”

There are numerous five star reviews of Great Lakes Gelatin on Amazon, with most raving about the reduction in joint pain, which is not one of my issues. One person reported that their chronic plantar fascitis resolved within days.

Gelatin has many other healing properties and I plan to write more about it.  So stay tuned.

I would be very interested and grateful to learn about the experiences of my readers who try this supplement.

 

 

 

 

 

, , , ,

Related Posts

137 Comments


  1. Kristin Bock, 4 months ago Reply

    Hello,

    Thank you for your article! I’ve recently been diagnosed with high histamine levels because of overall itchy skin, hair loss, insomnia, and mysterious rashes. I’ve been following a Paleo diet for about two years now, which is high in histamine, especially, as you know, the bone broth, which I consumed daily to heal my gut. Now, I’ve been following a low histamine and Paleo Diet for about three weeks now. My symptoms are starting to improve, but my hair loss and insomnia are still acute. I’ve heard high histamine levels kill collagen production so thought if taking a collagen supplement, however, when I called the companies, they said (as you do here) that they are made from bovine parts. My question is this: isn’t the production the same as making bone broth at home– a long, slow cooking process that causes high histamine? I mean, just because it’s in a powdered form doesn’t mean it wasn’t manufactured the same way. Or, am I missing something here? Does the Great Lakes company say HOW they make the gelatin? If it’s slow cooked, then it must be high in histamine. If anyone has any advice on this, it would be much appreciated!


    • admin, 4 months ago Reply

      I would contact them for that information. Some people find this product very helpful, others do not. I believe that the response is very individual, and there is no way to know but to experiment.


    • joy, 4 months ago Reply

      On the histime issue, I don’t know if you read my previous comments on grape seed extract and it’s being a great anti histime supp, I’ve been taking it since 1995 and NOT bought a allergy/sinus anti histime drug in 19 yrs soon.


    • joy, 1 month ago Reply

      On Saturday, June 7, there will be a very helpful presentation by Dr Horowitz (a well known Lyme Literate MD), called, “Could You Have Lyme Disease and Don’t Know It?” on the Thyroid Summit. It will only be available to watch for FREE from Sat at 10 am Eastern until Sunday June 8 at 10 am Eastern time. You can still sign up now, then you will receive an email link each day to watch the offered presentations.

      Dr Horowitz wrote a book recently called “Why Can’t I Get Better” and follows the MSIDS model. He says that people don’t just have Lyme, they have Multi-Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome. I’m sure his talk will be packed with lots of great information, so don’t miss it!

      You can sign up here: http://thethyroidsummit.com/

      A gal from the Iodine group I’m a member of has been listening to this and reported on what Dr. Horowitz says about Collagen:

      Today at 1:25 PMToIodineOT@yahoogroups.com,

      (((I’m just going to toss this out there.

      Have been listening to the thyroid summit and Dr. Hotze’s talk touched on hardening of arteries from a lack of collagen. We’ve discussed collagen at length here with the GL gelatin.

      He gave the example of his father who had a stent put in and the artery blew out from increased pressure. He likened it to an old pipe that was stiff and hard. When you increase the pressure, it blows out. The treatment for hardened arteries was more collagen. So you might think about getting the GL gelatin – the green can Joy recommends.)))

      This is more reinforcement to keep with GLH, and I’m in my 4th month of taking it. j


      • Hope, 1 month ago Reply

        It may interest everyone to know that studies show an excess of histamine in the skin activates the enzyme collagenase and the enzyme elastase which break down collagen and elastin respectively. Hyaluronic acid, which is found in skin tissue and is a natural hydrator, is also lost during a histamine reaction. The loss of collagen, elastin and the supporting fluids such as hyaluronic acid compromise our skin’s firmness, leaving it less toned and prone to wrinkling. I would have to assume that if this is happening in the skin, it’s happening elsewhere in the body as well. Gelatin is a catch-22 for many (lots of things are catch-22s when you have histamine intolerance): it’s needed to replace things in the body that have been lost due to high histamine, but it is often not tolerated because it is inherently high in histamine itself.


  2. Amy, 4 months ago Reply

    I have also supspted I have a histamine intolerance. I was cooking bone broths and eating all those restorative foods for digestive repair for IBS, but was having some reactions. Once I took those high histamine foods out of my diet, I have felt better. I was wondering about this product, and I am so glad I found your article. Thanks!


  3. Melanie, 4 months ago Reply

    I used some in the green can last night in a smoothie before bed and I slept soundly. I usually have to take Zquil to sleep but the gelatin made me sleepy pretty quickly and I didn’t need it. I slept soundly and do remember vivid dreams so I know I was getting some good REM sleep. Feel well rested today and excited to try again tonight. I don’t know how people take this during the daytime because it knocks me out!


    • joy, 4 months ago Reply

      Glad the GLakes helped with sleep, I think it’s a lot safer than ZZyquil…which I’ve never used, I have found over the last 3+ yrs a low dose melatonin and 500mg Inositol taken at 7:30PM gets my body ready for sleep at 11PM or earlier….now with GLH I seem to sleep even deeper and vivid dreams too, I take it during the day and it does not make me sleep.

      I’ve recently added Glycine caps before bed as with many sleep patterns can change with age, etc….and the extra Glycine puts me out more, Glycine is in the GL collagen.

      Are you fairly thin and maybe a lot isn’t needed for your body. I take 2-3T per day most days……

      A friend who was much older and did have a heart condition, took ZZyquil for sleep last year and she never woke up…..

      Not trying to scare you but she did take heart meds and this med did her in with the med she took for her heart.


    • Angel, 1 week ago Reply

      Melanie & Admin,
      Have you tried to take it during the day? Does it make you sleepy?

      I just started to take great lakes hydrolyzed collagen two days ago. I bought it for joint pain. I’m starting a paleo diet to address joint pain and other health and bowel problems (anemia, hypoglycemia, etc.,) and the gelatin seemed like it would replace nutrients missing in my diet.

      Last night I took two teaspoons with hot tea and wow… it knocked me out. I slept well for eight hours (a minor miracle) and then stayed in bed another 4!!! I’m going to be very careful about taking it during the day.

      Right now, I’m pretty thrilled. I had problems sleeping for years. I have tried ambien, anti-anxiety medications, etc, but even at the lowest dosages they would put me into a deep sleep for 24 hours. Today, after I finally got out of bed!, I have felt more refreshed in a way I cannot even remember. It could be a combination of the paleo diet as well (I am on week two.) Whatever the case, I am happy.

      I’m 5’4″, 125 lbs and in my late 30s. I’ve struggled with sleep issues for decades.


      • admin, 6 days ago Reply

        What a blessing to get a good night’s sleep! My own experience was that gelatin initially helped me sleep, as well as decreased my appetite and anxiety. But over time I came to feel like it was making me tired during the day and giving me an odd headachey feeling, even after I reduced my dose. I was taking much more than you. I recommend continuing to monitor your response, and make dosage adjustments accordingly. Everyone’s needs and response is so different. Tune into yourself, and good luck with all the great changes you are making for your health!


        • Angel, 1 day ago Reply

          :) I have reduced the dosage to 1/2 tsp at night with warm coconut milk, cinnamon and honey. I am still sleeping in during the day, but I think that is because I am taking it very late at night (around 1 am) after I get home from work.

          I do feel better than I have felt in years. My rough guess is that I am celiac. I had several health issues (gallbladder disease) as a teen that indicate celiac disease. as well as the issues as an adult that I mentioned in my previous post. Unfortunately, I do not have insurance so I will not be able to get the tests.

          In addition to feeling better physically, removing gluten and changing my diet has profoundly changed my mood as well as my ability to think and focus. So, even if I cannot afford the biopsy or the tests I am going to continue with a gluten free paleo diet.

          Thank you for your site. It is a great forum–thoughtful, balanced and helpful.


          • admin, 1 day ago

            Thanks for sharing. Its amazing what a difference omitting gluten makes for some people. Its truly profound.


  4. joy, 4 months ago Reply

    I’m finding this Lack of Collagen in our bodies fasciating but rather tragic too…..This health friend from Israel posted this info on Collagen Depletion With Age….thinking about all the joint problems and replacements and MAYBE if collagen was optimal in our bodies, this might be avoided…..wear and tear is major but keeping our joints “Lubricated” with collagen/gelatin could make this so much easier….. We never hear this kind of info from the MD’s out there….

    Our bones, skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles are made of collagen. Babies produce the most amount of collagen for their weight. This phenomena can be seen by observing how easily they can thumb through books without even licking their fingertips. They have sticky fingers! And their fingers are sticky even when they haven’t indulged in ice cream.

    Collagen is defined as insoluble fibrous protein. Thus, it does not dissolve in liquids, it is fibrous, like plant stems, and is a protein comprised of many amino acids. Most people experience collagen depletion with age, usually after the age of 40.
    Types of Collagen
    Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, making up between 25% – 35% of the whole-body protein content. The most predominant collagen type found in the human body is type I, making up 90% of all collagen in the body.

    Collagen makes up the essential structure of the body, such as endomysium. Endomysium are delicate bands of connective tissue interspersed among muscular fibers.

    Fibrils are tiny fibers that comprise the structure outside of a cell wall, not unlike plant root fibers. These fibers join together to form collagen. A simplified list of major collagen types found in the body is shown below.

    Fibril-forming
    Collagen type I Skin, bone, teeth, tendons, ligaments, interstitial tissue
    Collagen type II Elastic cartilage, eyeball fluid
    Collagen type III Skin, muscle, blood vessels, liver, lungs
    Fibril-associated
    Collagen type IX Cartilage
    Collagen type XII Tendon, ligaments

    Collagen for the Skin
    Collagen molecules are much too large to be absorbed through the skin, so skin creams containing collagen are useless. Instead, collagen should be ingested orally. From the above table, it can be seen that types I and III collagen are the ones associated with the skin. There are collagen type I & III pills available on the market. Taking such pills will make skin more flexible and line-free. Both marine and bovine sources of collagen are suitable for the skin.

    Collagen for Athletic Performance
    Bovine (cow) skin is the common source for type I collagen. On an equivalent weight basis, collagen type I is stronger than steel! It is type I collagen that keeps bones, teeth, and, and tendons strong. As we age, the body substitutes the inferior strength type III collagen where type I is preferred. So for joints, collagen type I alone is preferred. If possible, a supplement containing type XII collagen in addition to type I collagen would be ideal.

    Collagen for Flexible Cartilage
    Chicken sternum is the common source for type II collagen. For those having problems with osteoarthritis, type II collagen is the right type to ingest. Athletes who are engaged in repetitious activity such as marathons will benefit from ingesting type II collagen because it will replace worn cartilage. In the past, glucosamine was the recommended supplement for joints, but it was later discovered to be almost useless. Since glucosamine only makes up 1% of cartilage, it is clear why it is not worth the money. By contrast, type II collagen comprises two-thirds of the cartilage.

    Type IX collagen is an ideal compliment to type II collagen, if you can find such a supplement.

    Increasing Collagen Production in Your Body
    The amino acid L-Lysine is largely responsible for the production of collagen, and is therefore a useful supplement. This amino acid is naturally found in eggs and red meat. Also essential for collagen production is adequate amounts of vitamin C.

    Recently, it has been discovered that the lubricating fluid found in joints, hyaluronic acid, is also helpful in collagen production.

    Hydrolyzed collagen is available on the market as a supplement to regenerate joints and other connective tissue. Hydrolyzed collagen is prepared by using acids, such as hydrochloric acid, to break down protein. The more the protein is broken down, the better, as it is easier for the body to assimilate smaller pieces. The measure of protein size is the dalton. When purchasing hydrolyzed collagen, look for particle size below 20,000 daltons.

    A supplement that reduces the natural process of collagen breakdown is Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). General purpose amino acid supplements containing L-proline, L-glycine, and L-lysine are recommended as these amino acids are the fundamental building blocks of collagen.

    Hyaluronic Acid: the Catalyst for All Collagen Types
    Hyaluronic acid is a viscous fluid carbohydrate found in connective tissue, synovial fluid, and in the eye. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricant and a structural element. In the illustration, you can see a cross section of a typical joint. The synovial fluid and membrane prevent bones from grinding together.

    ***For those who have had hip replacement surgery, it is a good idea to ingest hyaluronic acid to keep the artificial joint(s) well lubricated.***

    Hyaluronic acid consumption is believed to enhance the production of all types of collagen in the body. For example, Hyaluronic acid is used to bind collagen with skin fibers called elastin. So no matter which type of collagen you take, you should also include hyaluronic acid in your regimen.

    Collagen versus glucosamine illustration from:http://www.1234yourhealth.com/glucosamine.php

    Cross section of a healthy joint illustration from:http://benjimester.hubpages.com/hub/Types-of-Collagen-Amino-Fish-Rooster

    Out of the Box Remedies offers a Tendon & Ligament Formula for tendonitis. Click on the photo to order on the shop website.

    Anyway, I continue into my 2nd month on Great Lakes Hydorsylate (green can)…..and more friends are getting on it, one with severe OA and the other with advanced RA.


    • np, 4 months ago Reply

      A blanket statement that glucosamine is almost useless is ridiculous as well as irritating. I have been using gluco since the early 90′s after major knee reconstruction years before. No question I would be adjusting to a plastic knee had it not been for gluco, 3x a day every day. And how is it that I don’t have bone rubbing on bone when all cartilage was removed.

      This snippet is from mark’s daily apple and explains why most pundits have no clue.

      Let’s talk about humans, though. The main study cited in meta-analyses that conclude neither glucosamine nor chondroitin sulfate do anything for human osteoarthritis is the GAIT trial, a multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Overall, the GAIT trial found that neither supplement, whether alone or in concert, performed better than placebo. However, in the “moderate-to-severe pain subgroup” of patients, a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate was far more effective than placebo at reducing osteoarthritis-related pain. But because the subgroup was relatively small, its results weren’t enough to affect the overall conclusion.

      If glucosamine works, how does it work? The popular conception is that it, being a raw building block of bone, gets directly incorporated into damaged connective tissue. You eat the stuff and it somehow magically makes it to the afflicted areas. That’s how detractors eager to combat a strawman put it, but the funny thing is that the “strawman” might actually have some merit. A study found that 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate crystalline powder taken orally appeared in the synovial fluid (a fluid found in joints that has a yolk-like consistency; scrambled synovia, anyone?) of osteoarthritic patients. Since synovial fluid provides lubrication and nutrients to and removes waste from articular cartilage, having higher levels of glucosamine (a precursor for the glycosaminoglycans which make up cartilage) could prove useful and even increase glycosaminoglycan production. Another interesting piece is that a later study found that glucosamine sulfate was more effective than glucosamine hydrochloride at showing up in synovial fluid after oral dosing. Perhaps if the GAIT trial had used glucosamine sulfate instead of glucosamine hydrochloride, the effects would been


    • HC, 4 months ago Reply

      Before anyone runs out and buys the ALA suggested by Joy to help prevent collagen breakdown, please read up on how ALA is a powerful heavy metal chelator. ALA can do substantial and irreversible damage if 1) you still have “silver” amalgam fillings in your teeth (full of mercury) and 2) you don’t take into account the half-life of ALA when using it. Princeton-trained biochemist, Dr. Andrew Cutler, has studied this issue extensively and is a leading authority on the subject (www.noamalgam.com).


  5. Maria, 4 months ago Reply

    I decided to try GLs after my nutritionist friend suggested it for my left knee which has been annoying me with this awfully cold winter we have been having. I Ballroom Dance, so I wanted to make sure this issue doesn’t affect the ‘sport’.

    After using GL for 4 days, I started feeling funny – bloated; constipated, edgy, bad headache, anxious, disturbed sleep (3 hours a night), wild dreams – all the symptoms of menopause, which have been eliminated with homeopathy and cell salts, came flying back. I stopped the Gelatin (I have to add that I am a very sensitive person, so where someone can take high doses of something, I cannot, I only used 2 tsps of gelatin). I started to feel myself again, until last night, when I there 3 tbsps. of GL into a large pot of soup and had a bowl. Last night, I could not sleep until 2am, and awoke with that anxious feeling again, constipated, and with stomach issues. This first time I used it, I had stomaches and pains.

    For now, I don’t plan on using this again. I’ll just have to make more stock.


    • admin, 4 months ago Reply

      Thanks for writing. This product really is wonderful for some and does not suit others at all. I myself have stopped taking it in the last week as I felt that it was making me tired during the day and giving me a headache as well. Sometimes things work for awhile, and then stop working. Its not like you can just set your regimen on cruise control. There is a constant need for adjustment and refining.


    • joy, 4 months ago Reply

      I think this blog is directed to the orange can of great lakes, I take the hydrolysate (green can) and feel a bit of bloating but sleeping better overall…..I take 3-4T per day and do add it to soups etc…..

      Even with some bloat, I am in with the hydrolysate for the long run……HOPE it helps my OA knee and ankle and back and sho shoulders and and and……


      • joy, 4 months ago Reply

        I need to add, I make sure I take plenty of quality magnesium thru the day, I’ve had a history of constipation anyway, so for me higher doses of magnesium is critical to keep things moving….

        Magnesium Deficiency is talked a lot out in the alternative world too. Many take to bowel tolerance…..


    • joy, 4 months ago Reply

      I really want this collagen/gelatin to work and help my advanced OA and joint pain/inflammation.

      I too get some bloating, but I’ve had more bloating anyway as I’ve aged….I take stomach supports and I’ve eliminated carb intake huge….bring no bread into my house….and I live very well without breads which to me are useless foods, they bloat more….I look at bread like sponges in our stomaches….

      I call the customer service person at GL often and did today and she is aware of the bloat comments, but many do not comment with any bloating issues….

      She agrees to take it with warmer liquids, make sure it’s stirred up really good, I even add it to my soups….

      And in time things like the bloat could settle down as the body gets accustomed to the gelatin/collagen going into our bodies…

      I’m not giving up and even going to updose as I take about 3T now thru the day and I want to add more….I want the best relief I can get….again we all have varying and degrees of issues and mine are advanced very chronic and worse with the aging and worse since hip replacement mess, body alignment is all messed up with taking out our parts and putting in artificial parts….

      Anyway, don’t give up, hang in and give it time, go slower if you need to. And again I feel using warmer liquids, etc. vs colder is better.


  6. Christine, 5 months ago Reply

    I was wondering about the affect of gelatin on blood sugar levels.
    Any thoughts?


    • admin, 5 months ago Reply

      I don’t know the answer. My guess would be that since it protein and typically a small amount, that it would not have a big impact. Maybe one of the readers has some thoughts.


    • joy, 5 months ago Reply

      Call the C/S people at Great Lakes…the 800# is on the canister..they are very helpful and could help you with your blood sugar question.


      • joy, 5 months ago Reply

        If and when you call the C/S people, could you report back here as I’d like to hear what they say….thanks.


    • granny gibson, 5 months ago Reply

      No changes that I have noticed. As Judy said, it’s protein and a small amount at that. No carbs per Fitday.


  7. Lynn D, 5 months ago Reply

    Had woken up last night and though usually able to get back to sleep, in last month, thats been changing. Had looked up glycine level in peanut butter and found this site and also – http://autoimmunethyroid.wordpress.com/category/food-chemical-intolerance-syndrome/dont-do-this/ (talked of glycine intolerance and related to oxalates ). So tried the gelatine had in fridge, didnt really help as seemed to take hours to sleep.(Would be so nice to wake up feeling like had slept!!). will try again tonight, does there seem to be any conutrients that are helpful with this? Many sites reccamend vite b’s,B6, magnesium…to utilize amino acids and enzymes.
    Isnt there a high amount of arginine in geletin?
    thank you


  8. Scott, 5 months ago Reply

    Just read everyones comments and was very amused to say the least. Ive been taking the Bernard Jensons brand everyday for 2 months. 3 tablespoons a day. morning afternoon and before bed. You must take it each time on an empty stomach for the best collagen production. Ray Peat is a genius. As for everyone getting headaches etc they will eventually get over them. You are just detoxing in a very big way. Lots of great things will start happening to you. For me it healed all my sports injuries that Ive had for years. tendons, connective tissues and joints problems. Gelatin can really knock you out (zonk you) I sleep every night like a baby and slept most of the day too as it heals every part of you. Remember you heal when you sleep!!!! I think that when you are amost all healed your sleep patterns will get back to normal…So dont give up on the stuff it will keep you young for years to come and what nice skin hair and nails you will have…..Scott from Toronto


    • admin, 5 months ago Reply

      I don’t agree with what you have written. It sounds from your comment that you believe that gelatin is good for everyone at the same dose, and that just does not feel right to me. I do believe that each person’s needs are different, and may also change over time. I have rarely experienced when it comes to matters of health, that one size fits all, or even most.


    • joy, 5 months ago Reply

      Scott, do you take Great Lakes or Jenson’s gelatin?

      Here is what Dr. David Williams says about Gelatin in his Sept. 2012 newsletter, I didn’t listen to him back then.

      Here is David Williams on gelatin and his Sept 2012 newsletter which I have….I could not open this link…

      http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/…/drdavidwilliams/…/c8490528-e9df-4fdd-9…‎
      •Cached
      •Similar
      Sep 2, 2012 – volume 15 • No 9 • september 2012. What You’re …. Gelatin was a way to provide a great deal of nourishment in a form that took up little space …


  9. np, 5 months ago Reply

    Some people have success with gelatin but develop health problems after taking it for a while. The ill health is often blamed on taking too much and then feel better when lightening the dosage.

    Many time the ill effect may be due to what is called herxheimer reaction (google for def). What happens is that the gelatin may be causing detox of liver for example and your body is overwhelmed with toxins released into blood stream.

    In effect gelatin is good for what ails you. Just be careful of the detox. This may or may not apply to you just sayin.


    • Julie, 5 months ago Reply

      Oh my, I know I have a clogged liver so that makes perfect sense for me. Do you know if it is actually cleansing the liver? I am hoping to be able to take more at some point. Thank you thank you thank you! …so much for sharing this info.


      • np, 5 months ago Reply

        I don’t know if the glycine in gelatin actually cleans the liver as much as it assists the liver in detox of the body. The link below is good start to understand the process.

        I had elevated liver enzymes and moderated them to almost normal by taking milk thistle featuring siliphos. More expensive than just plain old milk thistle but worked for me. I take 300mg daily.

        http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-crucial-reason-you-need-more-gelatin-in-your-diet/


  10. Jasmin, 5 months ago Reply

    Hi there! I’ve been using Great Lakes Gelatin Hydrolysate for a few months now (green can). The good thing about this one is that it dissolves completely and is easier to mix, unlike the red can.

    I use one rounded tablespoon every morning and have noticed that I eat less. Although the way it seems to happens with me is that I’ll still get hungry but then be able to eat only half of what I used to before I start to feel really full. And yes sugar cravings have gone WAY down.

    I haven’t noticed any difference in my sleep, but maybe I should start taking it at night instead (or as well).

    I’ve also noticed that I’m colder during the day, and attributed that to poor circulation, but perhaps this might be another reason to start taking the collagen at night instead.

    Thank you for the informative post!


    • admin, 5 months ago Reply

      Thanks for writing in about your experience. In the beginning I was taking 3 Tablespoons a day and I was amazed by how it decreased my appetite, but then it started to feel like it was too much, and I got headachy and felt tired. But maybe I will try it again with a Tablespoon in the AM and again before bed. I have never tried the green can. That will be my next experiment. If you notice any thing else over time, I would appreciate if you would share it. I learn so much from my readers.


      • Jasmin Eldib, 4 months ago Reply

        So I tried to take the collagen twice a day, one tablespoon in the am plus one in the pm. And I have to say I was extremely bloated. My stomach was painfully distended. Also my complete lack of appetite was confusing. Having a decreased appetite if fine but having no appetite isn’t normal. I don’t know when to eat and when to stop because I’m just not hungry. While this may sound great to some, I’m a very active person and not eating means that at some point I’m going to run out of energy.

        I had to stop taking it just to get my stomach feeling somewhat normal again. And while the health benefits of collagen are great, the fact that it messes so much with my hunger cues is far too confusing for me. I may start taking it again when my stomach is completely back to normal, but for now I’ve stopped completely.


        • joy, 4 months ago Reply

          I feel some bloating also, so backed down, and not very hungry, but I know I need to eat, so I eat when I feel I should…..I have not been real hungry for a long time as I kinda snack all day anyway…..


  11. granny gibson, 5 months ago Reply

    I started taking Great Lakes gelatin, orange can, a couple of months ago and immediately noticed deeper, longer sleep. My first doses were teaspoon size and I have worked up to a tablespoon a day. More dreams, usually pleasant, but a couple of nightmares that may or may not be related to the gelatin. Sometimes, eating late at night and not digesting well will cause bad dreams. My nails and hair are looking better. I haven’t noticed any big changes in osteoporosis symptoms, but I take some other supplements for that as well.

    Interesting idea about water retention, though. I have gained ten pounds that are not likely to be holiday-related. I don’t notice bloating and my clothes fit as usual. Last month I endured two rounds of antibiotics. I don’t know if that had any effect. My diet is 90% whole foods and low carb. I have Met Syndrome, but the diet helps with that.

    I may take a couple of weeks off the gelatin, just to see what changes.


    • admin, 5 months ago Reply

      Its interesting. Seems like there may be benefits and costs. Thanks for taking the time to write.


    • joy, 5 months ago Reply

      I’m into my 2nd month soon on the “Green” can and I’m 75 with OA and Fibro and a hip replacement mess…..I do notice some joint change…. I’m taking up to 3T per day spread out….

      I do have better sleep and vivid very interesting dreams, but this is good as I see it. Dreams are indication of good sleep.

      I’m still waiting to hear about this so called MSG claim from a poster here…..I can’t believe there is MSG in this “health” product……\

      Two other friends take the “green” can product and reporting joint changes too…..and one said she notices better sleep patterns….. The gal who put me onto the “green” can product bought 6 cans and plans to “give” a can to some friends who need HELP with joints……she’s a caring good friend…….

      Still want to hear about the MSG issues, please……


      • admin, 5 months ago Reply

        It seems like many readers with joint pain are reporting improvement with gelatin. It’s really great. The gelatin in the green cannister can go into cold liquids, right? It does not cause you to feel tired, or headachy? Does it have any impact on your appetite?
        Thanks for taking the time to write. It so helpful for everyone to learn about all the individual experiences.


      • np, 5 months ago Reply

        Don’t want to keep a lady waiting too long so here is the info requested taken from the gl website. Note that the free glutamic acid is higher in the green can than red.

        “Please note the glutamic acid in gelatin at 11% are bound in the protien chain. It is only the free (not bound) amino acid that is a cause for concern. Free glutamic acid results with gelatin is at 0.01% and collagen hydrolysate is at 0.09%. We typically find more free glutamic acid in human blood than in our gelatins.”


  12. joy, 5 months ago Reply

    I just read a comment from a Julie about MSG in the Great Lakes (green canister gelatin)….there is NO MSG added to the gelatin….rarely rarely would a health supplier add MSG to their products for one t hing….. Chinese food makers are even NOT adding it to their foods….

    I hope they stop saying this gelatin has MSG, it does not….contact the company and talk to them directrly….

    I use the product now a month, sleep better and finding some help with my joints….


  13. Ward, 6 months ago Reply

    I just recently found your site – very nicely done. My experience was much like yours. I am quite intolerant of carbohydrates and decided to try a ketogenic diet. Worked very well for a while (several months) until I was bitten by a spider and developed cellulitis and took the prescribed antibiotic. The result was the constellation of symptoms you described i.e. flushing, itching, disrupted sleep… So I went to the doctor who checked me out, pronounced me fit as a fiddle, and assured me that the outbreak of the symptoms had nothing to do with the antibiotics and there was really nothing to do.

    So, I’ve got to figure this out for myself? Luckily several good sites, including yours, were incredibly helpful for me. Now, following adoption of a low histamine diet, I am recovering rapidly. Like you my diet was very high histamine (bone broth, bacon, liver, tomatoes, spinach,…) and I believe the antibiotic suppressed the action of DAO resulting in sudden histamine toxicity (this is a known side effect of the antibiotic I took). My guess is that I have had low level histamine issues for years which effected my sleep.

    As to gelatin, I also began using it at night (1 tbsp with 1/2 tsp honey, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3 tsp coconut milk) and I sleep better than I have for several years (literally).

    Great website, thanks for your work.


    • admin, 6 months ago Reply

      Thanks so much for writing and sharing your experience. Its a jungle out there in the conventional medical world and there is a real need to take ownership of your health or be left with no solution. That is great that the gelatin is helping your sleep. I like the sound of your concoction. It’s a balancing act between the low histamine and low carb. Sometimes a hard one to strike. The histamine issue is also extremely related to stress and mind/body/spirit piece, and is very fluctuating in my experience. Its something that shifts and changes, waxes and wanes, and foods that seemed OK are suddenly not, and others that you thought were problematic are no longer so. There is so much to learn about all of this. Lots of trial and error, patience and perseverance are necessary qualities to manage it and maybe even some day to heal.


    • joy, 6 months ago Reply

      Hi all, it’s about a month now on the GL (green cannister) gelatin and I’m pretty impressed….my knees are still stiff but at 75 I don’t expect miracles in just a month…..but I do feel noticable results….better sleep and I’ve been sleeping pretty good, thanks to my sleep combo, fibro pain not waking me up like it was up to a week ago…..sleeping even longer and not taking my first advil until later in the morning hours…

      And yes, not eating as much, just not very hungry….I’m taking close to 4T per day spread thru the day…..

      On the histime issue, I was the sinus/allergy queen until Pycnogenol came into my life in 1995, I was about 57, took “P” for a year and then switched to grape seed extract, same great results….for starters this antioxidant reduces histimes in the body….I have NOT purchased an OTC allergy/sinus drug in over 18 yrs……

      I do not get colds nor flu, never take flu vaccine and it is 18 yrs on pycnogenol and or grape seed ex…..

      Good to hear from others here….jm


      • admin, 6 months ago Reply

        Thanks so much for writing. What doses do you take of the grape seed extract and pycnogenol?


        • joy, 6 months ago Reply

          I have “played” with dosing for years but find 200mg two times per day of grape seed extract is working for me, I’m no skinny minnie, but not obese either…one has to take enough for their bodyweight.

          I know when I had 2 episodes of edema; one from BP med and the other from the hip replacement surgery, I upped Grape seed ex to like 600mg per day and GONE….both times.

          I buy Pycnogenol from time to time (swansons) brand and buy the 100mg cap. I use Pycnogenol when I make up my jar of moisturizer….use a 4 oz jar, 1/2 of Vit E cream, 1/2 aloe vera cream and pour in a couple caps of Pycnogenol and recently adding some of the GL gelatin. What a wonderful moizturizer…when I think of it I even add a tsp of coconut oil….I love CO for so much….

          Pycnogenol for the most part is much more expensive than grape seed ex, but swansons sells a P for a very nice price….

          My apt looks like a chemistry lab. But I LOVE to make my own stuff and this is all my retirement life…I even make jars for some friends for $10 jar….


          • admin, 6 months ago

            So interesting. Thank you for sharing. Your concoctions sound amazing!


  14. Raquel1002, 6 months ago Reply

    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, malcio aka, arthritis on the knee), it CURED it so that I can run non-stop with absolutely no knee pain.

    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. I started this about 2 weeks ago and do notice I’m sleeping much more soundly which is really nice, 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 tired and worn out, thus the circles) have brightened significantly and my facial skin overall looks healthier and brighter.

    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. I will print this page and give it to them!! Great hope for those with anxiety disorders!

    One more thing: you write above that gelatin curbs sugar cravings and decreases appetite. I’m telling you, I’ve noticed urges to use sugar to sooth emotional distress (habit!), but really don’t ‘want’ the sugar…it’s much easier to refrain. And, I notice that I’m not nearly as hungry during the day whereas my food plan hasn’t changed at all. Interesting!!

    Thanks for your research.


    • admin, 6 months ago Reply

      Thank you for your fascinating comment. I know for myself, that originally it seemed like 3 tablespoons was great and I felt less anxious and had less appetite and was sleeping better. But over time this proved to be too much, and I felt a bit strange and also tired. I think this is very much a case where one size does not fit all, and that each person needs to experiment and find the optimal dose for him/herself. I don’t think its possible to overdose on it, but as I mentioned, in my case, less was preferable. Since reducing my dose I no longer have the benefit of the appetite suppression nor the calming effect, but it does help me stay asleep. Please write again with your experience with your clients. I will be very interested to learn if it helps with anxiety in people who are struggling with addiction.


    • joy, 6 months ago Reply

      I did talk to C/S person at Great Lakes, Marcia, and she said some take up to 9T of the “green can” gelatin SPREAD OUT thru the day.

      I had a really good day yesterday including sleep the night before, and last night it was a fitful pained night as I deal with Fibro and a lot of joint damage from years of wear and tear and a messy hip replacement…..

      I take 2T in the morning now, some during the mid day, and 2T at night before bed….that is what I’m doing for now…… jm


      • admin, 6 months ago Reply

        That is interesting to have the input from Marcia about 9 T. Terrific.


      • Raquel1002, 6 months ago Reply

        Thanks so much for the info about the 9 Tablespoons spread out throughout the day. I might call them myself; I bought a bunch of the green Great Lakes per recommendation Naturopath I’m seeing.

        Interesting what Judy said too; that 3 Tbsp before bed was too much. I must admit that the past few nights I felt a bit bloated and my tummy was unsettled as I’m tried to get off to sleep; but I also have a mild cold/nausea condition that I keep getting that’s been going on before I introduced Gelatin, so I thought the stomach being unsettled wasn’t related to the Gelatin.

        Hmmm…experimentation, yes; individual, yes. I wish there was a one size fits all but then again, doing the experimentation calls me to get better attuned to my own body and my own body’s needs, which I need to get better at.

        I’ll keep you posted on how it goes w/myself and the clients with whom I work.

        Thanks again.


        • admin, 6 months ago Reply

          I believe that others linked gelatin with bloating. If you read through the comments, there are some people for whom it was totally great, and others for whom it was not helpful. Many of us would just love it if someone could just tell us what to do, and to be able to simply trust that it was good advice. But that really is wishful thinking, at this point. There is so much contradictory information and so much individual variability. It all adds up to be quite confusing and demands a great deal of personal responsibility for figuring out what works best for you.


          • Raquel1002, 6 months ago

            That really makes sense. I think I’ll go back to 1 Tbsp am and 1 Tbsp pm before bed. I had no problem at that dosage level and only increased it at the behest of someone trying to help me w/the other illness I have. And maybe I’ll see how adding 1 Tbsp mid-day works.

            So glad I googled ‘gelatin and insomnia’ today, otherwise I might continue taking the 3 heaping Tbsp at night, not associating my belly aches/bloating, with the gelatin (though over time I might’ve figured it out!)

            Thanks again.


  15. joy, 6 months ago Reply

    I’m into my 4th week with Great Lakes (green can) Hydrolysate and finding it’s the best gelatin I’ve tried in my 75 yrs…I was left with a mess from hip replacement 3+ yrs ago and deal with OA and Fibro anyway…..

    My joints are feeling pain reduction, lower back, knee and foot/ankle (all worse since replacement)….and I’m upping dosing since I talked to C/S at Great Lakes….

    Adding some gelatin to my shampoo and also the moisturizer I make up using Pycnogenol and aloe vera and Vit E…..

    I’m a happy user of this Green can Gelatin from Great Lakes….


    • admin, 6 months ago Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write. It’s great to hear that gelatin has been so helpful to you. My experience with gelatin was that a tablespoon at night was the right dose for me, and more made me tired. But everyone is different, and each of us needs to experiment on ourselves to find out what works best.


  16. Felicia Libo, 7 months ago Reply

    I loved what the gelatin did for my sleep, and appreciated the research and suggestion, but I had to stop due to headaches. I have recently learned that I might have challenges processing sulphur and sulfites, are you familiar with this condition? I am waiting for test results, but it makes sense given my symptoms — is gelatin higher in sulphur? I would love to hear your feedback on that if it’s something you have come across.


    • admin, 7 months ago Reply

      I don’t know the answer about sulphur and gelatin. Thanks for taking the time to share. I have heard that some people do better with a low sulphur diet, but do not know much about it.


  17. Kelvin, 8 months ago Reply

    Thank you for your time and research in writing these articles. It is refreshing to see a MD that isn’t constantly pushing meds!


  18. HopeC, 9 months ago Reply

    The Zyrtec, Zantac, Singulair works for my high histamine issues. I also take Dr. Theo’s Neuroprotek. I was going into anaphylaxis just upon waking as histamine is fired off to help us wake up. I also had intolerances to all foods. Now I can at least eat again (doing a low histamine version of SCD) and I feel like I have my life back. I had no idea how chronic, high histamine was affecting almost every system in my body.


    • admin, 9 months ago Reply

      Very impressive. Thanks for writing and sharing.


  19. EI, 9 months ago Reply

    I tried the gelatin in freshly grated ginger tea and thought it was hard to drink, but I thought it was bc of my aversion to so many foods these days. So I carried on for a couple more days. Last night, I took one tablespoon in my zucchini leek soup w fresh wings. I made sure not to simmer the broth for longer than 1 and 1/2 hour to avoid histamine because I’ve just been miserable with my itchy skin, tight throat, palpitations, dizziness, etc. I woke up at 4:30 am to nurse my baby and couldn’t fall back asleep. At 5:30 I woke my husband bc I was in full cardiac anaphylaxis. I don’t know what it was, but my meal the day before was pretty reliable. Just thought I would share. Again, not sure what it was, but think I’ll stop the gelatin for now. But will look into collagen as a substitute.


    • admin, 9 months ago Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing. That sounds very alarming! Yes, I would also stop it, if I were you. Yikes!


      • Nermin Kura, 8 months ago Reply

        For all who are thinking of consuming gelatin, something to consider is the presence of MSG in it. That is probably why some people are getting head aches and edema when ingesting it. I am copying this paragraph I took from Dr. Mercola’s website for the record: “We also know that any hydrolyzed protein, such as the hydrolyzed gelatin will contain some processed free glutamic acid (MSG), some aspartic acid, and some L-cysteine, all considered to be neurotoxic by neuroscientists. Even without hydrolyzing gelatin, gelatin contains over 11% processed free glutamic acid (MSG) and some aspartic acid and L-cysteine. It is present as a result of the manufacturing process that results in gelatin.We also know that any hydrolyzed protein, such as the hydrolyzed gelatin will contain some processed free glutamic acid (MSG), some aspartic acid, and some L-cysteine, all considered to be neurotoxic by neuroscientists. Even without hydrolyzing gelatin, gelatin contains over 11% processed free glutamic acid (MSG) and some aspartic acid and L-cysteine. It is present as a result of the manufacturing process that results in gelatin.”


        • admin, 7 months ago Reply

          Thank you for taking the time for writing and providing this information. Gelatin is definitely not for everyone, and the appropriate dosage is also very individualized.


        • Ward, 6 months ago Reply

          About the MSG – I checked the Great Lakes Gelatin website and they claim that their gelatin is pretty low in glutamic acid – low compared to many foods that are regularly consumed.


  20. Felicia, 9 months ago Reply

    I came across this post coincidentally today, and went out and found the gelatin at Vitamin Cottage, so am going to try it tonight (just 1 T at night like you suggest after experimenting). Bone broths don’t work for me (unless it’s chicken broth and isn’t around long) for similar reasons you write about, so I’m hoping this might work for sleep and other things. I will let you know, and thanks for bringing this all to light!


    • admin, 9 months ago Reply

      I will be very interested to hear about your experience. Make sure you prepare it properly or else it will not be palatable. Mix a tablespoon of gelatin powder with 3 Tablespoons cold water and then add hot tea or other hot beverage.


      • Felicia, 9 months ago Reply

        Thanks for the kind reply, and the suggestion about how to take the gelatin (I did as you suggested). I tried it last night and maybe this was a fluke, but I fell asleep easily and slept all night, plus had a vivid dream about something I am working through in my waking life, so that was very different for me. I am going into menopause and normally don’t fall asleep easily at all, and almost always wake up at 2 or 4 am, or super early with anxiety. So will be very interested to see what happens with this. I also take melatonin (3-6 mg) and magnesium glycinate at night.

        Will keep you posted, and thanks again for writing about this and your experience, and for readers’ responses too, since that helps give us a bigger picture on things.


        • admin, 9 months ago Reply

          Everyone is different. My personal experience and from my reading as well, is that gelatin is helpful for many people for sustaining sleep as opposed to helping one to fall asleep. But it may have both effects upon you. Remembering a dream is a real bonus! Please keep me posted. I learn so much from these comments.


          • Felicia, 9 months ago

            Thanks so much for the interest and the information. Second night in a row I slept for 8+ hours without getting up, so we shall see! Really makes a difference to prepare it the way you suggest. Makes sense about it sustaining sleep, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens over the next few weeks. Is it still helping you? You mentioned headaches earlier on, is that still a factor? I get those in the morning, but it could be because of other things, time will tell.


          • admin, 9 months ago

            Thanks for letting me know about your response. When I take only 1 Tablespoon a day I do not get a headache. It does help me sustain sleep, and when I neglect to take it my sleep is more disrupted.


          • Felicia, 9 months ago

            Good to know about the 1 tablespoon, that is what I am starting with. I think the headache is from other things, as I’m still working out what aggravates and what doesn’t. Your website and responsiveness is a Godsend, thank you so much for being there!


          • Felicia, 9 months ago

            Thought I’d let you know that while this seemed great at first (definitely improved my sleep for three nights), there is no doubt that I get a headache from it, even with one tablespoon at night, so it might be a trigger for some people in that way. I read about gelatin and headaches and there can sometimes be a correlation, but I’m sure it’s an individual thing. Going to try awhile without and see what happens. Definitely worth a try though.


          • admin, 9 months ago

            I am really sorry to hear about the headaches. Thank you for taking the time to write and to let me know your experience. This is how we learn.
            In another e-mail you mentioned that you are nearing menopause. I take bio-identical progesterone, also because of disrupted sleep. Between the gelatin and the bio identical progesterone, if I do not eat something that I react to, I am sleeping well these days. I wrote a post about bio-identical progesterone some time ago. I will include the link in case you are interested. http://www.judytsafrirmd.com/the-power-of-bio-identical-progesterone/


          • Felicia, 9 months ago

            Thanks for the response, and I’m glad I tried the gelatin. I am prone to headaches anyway (and sensitive to high histamine foods), and I have read that gelatin can trigger migraines in some people, but it is well worth a try for the improved sleep.

            And thanks for the information about progesterone, I will read that. I did do the bio-identical progesterone for awhile with a naturopath, and I know it can be very effective, and in my case, important to have my hormone levels tested too.


  21. AnnB, 9 months ago Reply

    Regarding edema being a side effect notice when starting gelatin. Perhaps it is only a side effect of healing now that you are providing your body with something it’s been missing?

    See youretopia do com and “Why is there so much pain?” and “Phases of Recovery from a Restrictive Eating Disorder.”
    Now you may be saying, I don’t restrict food. Maybe.

    Not eating particular foods as we would naturally eat if we had no processed foods as competition could mean we unknowingly have restricted.

    AND regarding bone broths. If you have ever fried, baked or boiled meats with bone in or not, you will get some gelatin. Watch how the liquid surrounding that meat congeals if not scooped or drained away as though it was just fat….that some people are terrified to eat.
    Drain, let it cool and the fat will rise to the top to allow for skimming if desired.


  22. Lisa, 10 months ago Reply

    I just tried the gelatin last night before bed and this morning in my shake just 1/2 table sp each time.It did feel like I was sleepy at first but was wide awake in two hours. This morning however it bloated me very much and my one hip and leg was extremely achy. Does this mean it is not for me or too big of a dose?


    • admin, 10 months ago Reply

      I don’t really know. I would say that it seems like its not agreeing with you. There are many people who have written to me about bloating with it, so that is not a unique experience that you are having. I might just forget about the gelatin.


  23. Solveg, 10 months ago Reply

    Thanks so much for the information on this page. I’m an extremely histamine-sensitive person and would love a safe source of gelatin in my diet since giving up bone broths. The experiences regarding a gelatin supplement seem so vast on this page, and I’m not sure if this is a safe addition to my diet. I’m wondering if you have updated info regarding your own histamine level with GL gelatin? Also, if you or anyone has had a good experience with the Collagen Hydrolysate? Thanks!


    • admin, 10 months ago Reply

      You are right that there is so much variability in response to Gelatin. For some it is just great and has all sorts of benefits, from improved sleep and decreased joint pain, to decreased anxiety and appetite suppression, to improved wound healing. Then for others they get really bloated and it does not work at all. I have heard good things about the collagen hydrolysate. The Healthy Home Economist had a recent post about it.
      http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/gelatin-and-collagen-hydrolysate-whats-the-difference/
      I have never tried it myself, but would be curious to. Sometimes I do not feel like having a hot drink before bed, but am obliged to if I want the benefit from gelatin for my sleep. My histamine level seems much lower than previously. I tolerate many high histamine foods now. I am not sure why that is. I really don’t know what the answer is, or if it has anything whatsoever to do with gelatin. I think the only way to know is to try it, and I would suggest starting at a small dose and see what you notice. Its not for everyone.


  24. wendy, 10 months ago Reply

    i have been using gelatin for a few months now. i immediately noticed a relief of achy joints (im 41 and very fit, but with terribly sensitive knees.) i noticed differences in the wY my skin looked and felt- tighter somehow. The bone broths contain a good amount of gelatin, and the broths do assist with my ability to sleep.
    My son and i are beginning the full GAPS protocol today. so far, so good. he is 11 and is homeschooled; i chose to give this a try because he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (i am unconvinced this is his issue.) he is not medicated, because i refused to put more chemicals in his body. i am doing this diet with him, so he doesnt feel like such an oddball. as it is, what the rest of my family eats will obviously change too. i am grateful to have the time to teach him and to monitor what goes into his body. i feel sometimes like i am all he has, and so if i do not try every approach, i wont be doing my job. if it doesnt help him maintain control, at least i will have one more approach that i know doesnt work.
    the good thing is- he really likes my bone broth:)


    • admin, 10 months ago Reply

      How lucky he is to have a mom like you. I am glad that the gelatin is making a difference for you. Thanks for writing about it. It seems to be so helpful to some people, and others simply cannot tolerate it.
      You are really wise to be skeptical about the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. It is extremely over diagnosed in everyone and particularly children. Then there is a whole consequence that stems from that diagnosis involving powerful medications that sometimes do quite a bit of harm.
      The full GAPS diet can be really delicious, so there will be no need to feel deprived. I think it is the most healthful diet for anyone, regardless of their state of health.


  25. barb, 10 months ago Reply

    Hi – I discovered gelatin for my sleep a few months ago – its been a complete godsend during my perimenopause, helps me not wake up at 3 am ready to bolt. Its also been great for my gut health too’

    I ve found adding a small amount of natural sweetner – 1/2 t. a small amount of fat – 1T half and half to the coffee or tea with 1 T of gelatin and eating a small amount of sea salt 1/4 t. before I drink it to be even more effective for a sound night’s sleep. The balance of the sugar, salt, fat and gelatin is just what my hormones and hypothalamus needs.


    • admin, 10 months ago Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write and share your experience so that others may benefit. I really appreciate it. I also have some fat in the form of cream in my hot drink in which I mix the gelatin powder before bed. It’s interesting though about the salt and sugar as well. I will be glad to hear from any readers who try this to learn if it has wider applicability. I know that I learn the most through my own experience and experiments on myself, but then it’s always interesting to see if others share the response.


  26. Linda, 10 months ago Reply

    I’ve been using gelatine now for 2 weeks as I heard it helps in improving wound healing. I suffers from a pressure ulcer and I’m so excited to confirm – IT REALLY WORKS, Will recommend it to anyone.


    • admin, 10 months ago Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I notice that when I take it that my nails do not peel and break.


  27. Jim E, 11 months ago Reply

    Enjoy your blog. I ordered Great Lakes Gelatin and started drinking it. Had to stop as it was interfering with my sleep. It was causing vivid and stressful dreams. I tried drinking green tea to improve my sleep, but it did the same thing. I react badly to MSG (raises my pulse rate). At the time I tried these products I was vitamin B12 deficient. Now that my B12 level is higher I will try them again and see if I have a different reaction. Since the symptoms are the same, I am wondering if they are related in any way?


    • admin, 11 months ago Reply

      Thanks for writing and sharing your experience. I am surprised about your paradoxical reaction to Gelatin. Insomnia with green tea does not surprise me as it contains caffeine. I also react to MSG with sleeplessness. I have no idea if there is an effect related to B12 levels. I would be interested to hear about your experience. Thanks again for writing.


    • Stacy, 11 months ago Reply

      I have been taking the gelatin faithfully 3 times a day and it was really helping my sleep….We went on vacation and since I’ve been back into my routine my sleep has just been awful. Not sure what is different now….has this happened to anyone else? Thanks


      • admin, 11 months ago Reply

        I am sorry to hear that it stopped working. I don’t know why that would be.


    • Julie, 5 months ago Reply

      Thank you very much for this post. I am having horrible symptoms since I started taking this gelatin- (headaches and insomnia, among others) and could not understand why until your post. I know I am very sensitive to MSG but did not know it was in this gelatin. Why does this Great Lakes company claim NO msg when clearly it does. Grrr…
      Wondering if you tried it again, I am interested if the Bernard Jensen gelatin would work for me.


      • admin, 5 months ago Reply

        Thanks for taking the time to write. I take Gelatin every night, but only one Tablespoon. It seems like more makes me feel tired and headachey. I am not sure why. I read somewhere that this brand of gelatin claims to have very little MSG, but maybe any is too much for your system. When I forget to take gelatin, my sleep is noticeably less sound. I don’t know about Bernard Jensen gelatin.


        • Julie, 5 months ago Reply

          Thank you for your reply regarding the 1/2 dose. I’ve been doing just that and feeling/sleeping so much better! I am taking gelatin for plantar fasciitis and hair loss (due to very low carb diet– I’m at a low weight and a runner so that was a big mistake!) My concern now is whether I will see the benefits of hair growth/volume with only a half dose. Thank you again!


          • admin, 5 months ago

            I don’t know. You will have to see. It’s great that it is helping your plantar fasciitis. I used to also suffer from that, and its no longer an issue.


        • Julie, 5 months ago Reply

          I’m curious if you noticed a difference in your hair/nails since taking only one tablespoon per day.


          • admin, 5 months ago

            I am less tuned into differences with my hair. My nails are very sensitive to my diet. If I eat something that I have a sensitivity to, they begin to peel and break. But if my diet agrees with me, one Tablespoon a day of gelatin makes my nails really strong.


          • granny gibson, 5 months ago

            Julie, I have seen an improvement in my weak, peeling nails with one tablespoon a day, but it takes weeks. However long it takes your new growth to go from the nail bed to your fingertips. Probably the same with hair. Mine is shinier and seems thicker; maybe not new strands, but a heavier hair shaft.


      • joy, 5 months ago Reply

        Where is it “clearly” stated that MSG is added to GL gelatin….the company definitely says NO, there is a couple lines on the cannister, no preservatives, etc…

        Where is it “clear”…..j


  28. susie153, 1 year ago Reply

    Hi there I have been taking MSM for a couple of months now it has grteatly improved my arthritic symptoms but just in the last few weeks I have had major problems with sleeping. I think this may be the cause. I do not want to stop taking this as it is so beneficial with the arthritis. I am wondering if adding gelatin may help. Anyone with similar situation??


    • gibson, 7 months ago Reply

      I take MSM daily, but not before bed. My doctor says it’s rare, but it keeps me from relaxing and falling asleep.


      • admin, 7 months ago Reply

        We are each so different. No recommendations work for everyone. We have to know what works for us. Thanks for taking the time to write.


  29. Daniel, 1 year ago Reply

    I read this article with great interest as I had just gotten myself a jar of the green Great Lakes gelatin. After reading alot of the Weston Price literature I have been tweeking my diet so that it falls more into the ‘Nourishing Traditions’ suggestions.

    It’s only been a few days now but I’ve been taking 1 tablespoon in the morning and 1 in the evening and have felt a definate reduction in stress and increase in wellbeing. The only downer is today I notice alot of fluid retention on one ankle – something I haven’t had before and as this is the only ‘new’ thing I’ve added to my diet I wonder if it something to do with the gelatin intake. Have you heard of this as a side effect?


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      Thank you for writing. I have not heard of fluid retention with gelatin. I originally was taking 1 Tablespoons of gelatin three times a day, but found that I could not tolerate more than one Tablespoon before bed. Each of us is unique, and it could be that your reaction is specific to you, and that is what counts. Perhaps try stopping the gelatin for a week and see what happens to the fluid retention, and then restarting it and see what happens. I would be interested in hearing back about what you discover.


    • Susan, 11 months ago Reply

      This is also happening to me…the edema. I’ve only been taking great lakes gelatin for a short time and only a tablespoon per day and my legs are swelling with fluid.

      Like Daniel, it’s the only new thing I’ve added to my diet.

      With all the great reviews over the web from people using gelatin I was so eager to try it…but the stress of ending up with edema and aching legs each time I use it feels like it would negate any positives from gelatin.


  30. HopeC, 1 year ago Reply

    Thanks for the great site. Perhaps this is mentioned somewhere else but what are you eating if not the bone broths? I thought these were early stage GAPS and SCD foods and that people’s mast cell/histamine issues were supposed to get better, not worse? I have just come out of a week long stay at Shand’s where I was dx with Eosinophilic Esophagitus and mast cell infiltration of the small bowel. I also have a hiatus hernia. My body attacks everything I eat, even if I am not allergic/sensitive to it per se. I have been able to get chicken broth down with the help of steroids, proton pump inhibitors, Zantec, Zyrtec, and Singulair. I was wanting to switch to bone broths, hoping my gut would be getting more tolerant, not less, but hearing your experience, I am not sure. Mast cells are at the heart of histamine intolerance issues. Dr. Theo is the expert on that.


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      There is a difference in meat broth and bone broth. Bone broth is much higher in histamine than meat broth. If an individual is having a problem with histamine intolerance than meat broths which are cooked for a much shorter period of time are better tolerated. It will be a matter of trial and error for you, but in general I believe bone broths are a more challenging food than meat broth. I wish you all the best and speedy healing.


  31. Lara Briden, 1 year ago Reply

    Interesting about glycine content of gelatin. Thanks for sharing that. I regularly prescribe magnesium glycinate supplements for my patients, and find that there is nothing better for sleep and anxiety. I believe that a large part of the benefit is from the glycine component because other magnesium chelates do not give the same effect.


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      Yes, that is the chelate that I also recommend. I think you are right…the glycine is key. I don’t know if you read through the comments. But 3 Tablespoons a day of Gelatin turned out to be too much for me. I was getting tired and headachey from it. Now I am taking only 1 Tablespoon before bed. When I forget, my sleep is much more disrupted.


  32. Linda, 1 year ago Reply

    This is really interesting. I found this article by googling “gelatin appetite suppressant” because I started taking gelatin (1 tbsp.) 4-5 days a week in a morning smoothie. This was about 2-3 months ago and my appetite over this period has gradually declined to what seems to me to be a more reasonable level. I haven’t really changed anything else in my diet, so I thought I would do a little online research to find out if the gelatin could be the reason. Anyway, I am glad to hear that may be the case. Another good reason to continue taking it.


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I am very interested to learn about your experience. I originally was taking one tablespoon gelatin 3 times a day, and noted a marked decrease in my appetite. Over time I felt like that much gelatin was making me feel oddly tired, and some what headachy, and so I backed off and am now only taking one tablespoon before bed. At this dosage it does not seem to have an appetite suppressant effect for me, but it seems that for you, it does. Everyone is different. Now when I forget to take gelatin before bed, I often wake during the night and have trouble falling back to sleep. Its effect on me is quite powerful. Thanks again for taking the time to write. If anything changes over time with your experience, please write again. I would like to learn as much as I can about this.


  33. Stacy, 1 year ago Reply

    Christina Merlino sent me your link and I started taking the GL gelatin. I’ve had sleep problems since peri menopause began A year ago.It’s only been 4-5 days, but what a difference in my sleep! I was taking 1 tbsp 3 times a day. The last 2 nights I only took it am and afternoon time. I still slept well! I am sleeping deeper, and am even remembering my dreams. I hope the gelatin continues to positively affect my sleep! Thank you!!! Stacy


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write and to tell me about this. I am really glad to hear that you are having a good result.

      I decreased my own dose to just one Tablespoon at night because I wondered if it was giving me a headache and a certain tiredness. With only one tablespoon, it is still helping with my sleep but it no longer has the appetite suppressant effect and I do not feel as calm as I originally did on the 3 Tablespoons a day. Please write again after a few weeks to let me know how you are doing. At least for me there is still something that I need to sort out about dose; how much and when. One night I forgot to take it and my capacity to fall back asleep was definitely adversely impacted. It has had a sustained positive impact on my capacity to fall back asleep quickly when I wake up in the middle of the night.


    • Stacy, 1 year ago Reply

      I have increased the gelatin to 3 times a day and it works much better as far as my sleep and appetite suppression….I also have an 8 year old son with PDD and ADHD. he doesn’t sleep great and is full of energy. Would putting the gelatin into his regular jello benefit him at all? He is on GuanfacineIntunive for his ADHD, and I wouldn’t want the gelatin to interact with the Guanfacine. Sorry, one more thought. I would make small cups of jello and I’m not sure how much gelatin I should add? Thanks a lot! I just thought how well it’s working for me, maybe it would also help my son. Stacy


      • admin, 1 year ago Reply

        Hi Stacy. I don’t know the answer to your question. Guanfacine can cause sedation in some people. I don’t know if Gelatin would make that more likely. You could try it and see how he tolerates it. Maybe start with a teaspoon in a cup of jello and observe.

        Here is an interesting post about amino acid therapy for ADHD. They make mention of glycine, which is a prominent component of Gelatin.
        http://adhdhomeopath.com/amino-acids-and-adhd-5htp/


  34. Jason, 1 year ago Reply

    I thought a lot about this post over the weekend, partly because I purchased some of the Great Lake gelatin to try. I was wondering if the calmness, better sleep, etc is a result of the gelatin or if it more a result of your focus on a low histamine diet. I know on days when my allergies are really bad, I feel angry and aggressive. I also see this in my son. He gets super agitated and grumpy. I imagine focusing on limiting histamine encounters would lessen these symptoms.

    I don’t remember if I saw it here or, maybe, on Chris Kresser’s sight, but there was an article recently about the increase in allergies due to longer growing seasons and other exposures. I theorize that this might be contributing to the overall social mood (grumpy, violent).


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      Thanks for writing. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about higher pollen levels in the atmosphere due to longer growing season and climate change. That is a fascinating speculation that you made about a worsening mood in society due to increased histamine levels.

      No, I don’t think that the effect of the Gelatin has to do with lowered histamine levels in my diet. The Gelatin has its own big independent effect. It effects me quite powerfully. In fact, I have decreased my dose because I felt like it was perhaps giving me a headache and at times a sort of tiredness. Now I am just taking it before bed. I think the lower dose is working better at the moment, but all of this is very provisional. I am experimenting on myself, and noting what I observe. We can learn from each other, but there will be a need to individualize and modify. I have read that Gelatin does have anti-inflammatory properties, but I don’t know how that is mediated. It may be via the histamine system. In the reviews of the Great Lakes Gelatin on Amazon there are many reports of people with decreased joint pain. So its doing something to decrease inflammation.

      Let me know how it works for you. One reader wrote that she tried it in the past and felt “zonked” from it. So its definitely not for everyone.


      • Jason, 1 year ago Reply

        I completely agree with the need to individualize and to experiment. I think the “one size fits all” approach is one of my biggest pet peeves. I also think it is a big source of suffereing for a lot of people.

        Everything I have read about histamine intolerance makes sense to my situation. For example, I ate a steak last night (not exactly low histamine) and almost immediately got stuffy. Sugar does the same thing to me.

        Thank you for your willingness to share your wisdom and explorations.


        • admin, 1 year ago Reply

          Thank you for sharing your experience as well. There is so much to learn from each other. Its great that you are able to identify your triggers.


  35. Syd, 1 year ago Reply

    Hi Judy.

    I tried this exact product a while back, very excited about it after reading some of what Ray Peat and others wrote.

    Very disappointingly, it zonked my brain so bad I had to stop. The only thing I can think of is the glycine.

    (My symptoms are autonomic – postural hypotension, low BP, positive tilt table after 3 minutes) and manifest as severe brain impairment like spaciness, derealization, anterograde amnesia, working memory issues, etc.)

    I guess since it zonks my brain, it would help me sleep! But, because of my low BP, I’m guessing it zonks me too much during the day. And I mean ZONK. Can’t read, drive, track a conversation,e tc.

    I would NOT want to discourage folks from trying it. I hear it works wonders for some, so that is very hopeful for folks out there!


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      Thanks so much for writing about your experience. One size definitely does not fit all. I understand that a very small bit of MSG is created in the process of making it, so that for some people who are very MSG sensitive, it could not be appropriate. I have been having some headaches recently, and am wondering if it could be related. I am definitely not zonked. We’ll see, its a recent addition to my supplementation program, and sometimes something that seems terrific in the beginning does not wear well over time.


  36. Deborah, 1 year ago Reply

    I’m not clear about something – are you saying you should drink the gelatin tea at night before bed? Or drinking it anytime during the day still aids in sleep? Or does it make you sleepy during the day? I have had insomnia issues for years and anything I can do to aid in sleep, I’m all for trying.

    Also the information about lowering the body temperature is confusing to me. It’s my understanding that lowering your body temp means lowering your metabolic rate. Any thoughts on this?

    Thank you so much for the great article. I’m very interested in trying this and seeing if it helps my sleep!


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      Well, I am taking it 3 times a day. I don’t know if that is what is helping with my sleep, or if just taking it before bed would be sufficient. Maybe a higher dose before bed. I am not sure. This is all experimental with the big n of 1, if you know what I mean.

      I definitely feel more relaxed and calmer than usual, throughout the day, and I also like the fact that it is suppressing my appetite. I have gained 10 pounds since menopause, and it would be nice to shed that. So I like the way it is making me feel. It could be that taking a larger dose at bedtime would do the same thing. I do not know. I am not feeling sleepy during the day, in fact I feel like my energy level is very good. Last night I woke up at 2 AM and had trouble falling back asleep. I think I had possibly not had enough to eat, because I skipped dinner, as I was not hungry. Its important to keep blood sugar steady to maintain sleep, otherwise cortisol kicks in and disrupts sleep. I am going to make an effort to eat enough in the evening going forward to not create this problem.

      In terms of lowering the body temperature, my understanding is that induces a feeling of sleepiness. Like when you take a hot bath and then cool off, it makes you sleepy. I do not know how it relates to metabolic rate.

      Let me know how it goes for you. I am really interested in learning if my personal experience is generalizable. Thanks for writing.


  37. Christina Merlino, CN CGP, 1 year ago Reply

    Another great post Dr. Tsafrir! I request all of my GAPS client to add 1-3 teaspoons of this very same gelatin into every bowl of soup or cup of stock that they consume. It just seems like a sensible thing to do and I believe that it may speed up the healing of the gut lining. I didn’t realize that it may be one of the primary reasons that we all sleep much better now! Thanks for this info. You may recall that Dr. Natasha talked a little bit about Quniton Isotonics at our GAPS Practitioner training. She mentioned that it would be suitable for someone once they have healed to a certain extent. I started taking it several months ago and WOW!!! talk about a nice sound sleep! In addition, I am much more inspired to get things done these days. I have not had any clients take it yet but I am definitely getting a lot of benefit from it. You may want to look into it for yourself as the next thing you do. Enjoy this beautiful weather!


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      Thanks for writing, Christina, I will investigate the product you mentioned. I am always up for new discoveries.
      As I mentioned in my post, I had trouble getting myself to consistently consume soup more than once a day, so adding a tablespoon of gelatin 3 times a day represents a big increase for me.
      Its all new, so I will have to see how my experience unfolds over time. But it was so interesting for me to subjectively notice the difference in how calm I felt and how my sleep was better, and then to do some research and see that it was a known phenomena.
      The appetite suppression piece is also impressive. I think its important to remember to eat enough in the evening, even if you are not feeling very hungry, because low blood sugar can also interfere with sleep.


  38. gaye mack, 1 year ago Reply

    This is a GREAT post, Judy…my mother used to take gelatin for her nails, but I love the added information here and will be getting this. Also am passing on to a friend who has the issues you mention!….At the moment wishing you were with us here in San Diego!


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      I know, Gaye, wish I was too.

      Glad you liked the post.

      Let me know if your friend tries it, how it goes. I am trying to get a sense of how effective this is for people.


  39. Trina, 1 year ago Reply

    Ray Peat wrote about this http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/gelatin.shtml. I developed anxiety/insomnia after 1 year of very low carb and recently started using gelatin at night before bed. I’ve had 3 nights of improved sleep – sure hope it’s not a coincidence :) Cannot get Great Lakes in Canada so I recently ordered Bernard Jensen’s and hope it arrives.


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      Thanks, Trina, for writing. I hope that the Jensen brand of gelatin is palatable. I have heard some brands taste terrible. That is one of the things that I like about the Great Lakes brand. It’s essentially neutral. If the Jensen brand tastes bad, maybe you can find someone in the States to help you get the GL variety. I would be curious to hear how it goes for you with your insomnia over time. Please write again and let me know. I am wondering if there is merit in using it though out the day and not just at bedtime? It seems to me that I feel more relaxed than usual since taking it. I also seem to have lots of energy. Its hard for me to sort out placebo effect, because I am that sort of person, but time will tell.


      • Trina, 1 year ago Reply

        My Bernard Jensen’s arrived today. It has no discernable smell or taste. I had heard it was equal to Great Lakes in quality. I read this today and thought I’d pass it on to you, “This gelatin is produced from the highest quality cows tested for mad cow disease. The cows are both grass and grain fed. This gelatin is processed in a way that virtually eliminates formation of glutamic acid/MSG by-products. Recommended by Sally Fallon.” Now if only it continues to help with anxiety/insomnia :)


        • admin, 1 year ago Reply

          That is great news. I really hope that it is helpful to you. I have been using the Gelatin only a short amount of time, and I am hoping that it continues to be effective for me. It’s not something that I have a great deal of experience with personally or clinically, so I will have to see how it affects me over time. It may also be dose dependent, and the appropriate dose may not be the same for everyone. So I imagine some trial and error will be necessary. Please let me know how it goes for you and what you discover. I am really interested. All the best.


        • Sheena, 6 months ago Reply

          Trina, May I ask you where you ordered from? I also live in Canada and it is difficult to find either jensens or great lakes. Thanks.


  40. Inasy, 1 year ago Reply

    Thanks for another great post.


    • admin, 1 year ago Reply

      So kind of you to write to say thanks!


      • Diana Darcy, 3 months ago Reply

        I’ve been using Great Lakes Gelatin (green can) now for three months. At the start I was using 2 tbs in my kale shake in the morning. After a few weeks I noticed my hair and nails were growing ALOT and a few small aches and pains were gone. About 2 weeks ago, I started putting one tablespoon in chamomile tea at night. The first night I didn’t notice anything. After that I have been sleeping better than I have in my entire life! Last night I didn’t wake up once, which never happens. I can even nap during the day if I want to and before I was lucky if I could nap 5 minutes.I have been an insomniac on and off for years. At 3 months I am starting to notice that the arthritis in my hands is better and also my knee tendinitis. I have exercised all my life and put a lot of demands on my body so do suffer from tendinitis periodically and an occasional injury. My only complaint with the powder is I have several mini headaches during the day that last about a minute or so. I think I will lower my dosage in my shake in the morning and see how it goes.


        • admin, 3 months ago Reply

          Thank you for writing and sharing your experience. I believe that there really is a sweet spot with this product in terms of dosing. It can be so effective that there can be a seduction into thinking more will be better, but that is definitely not the case. And that sweet spot will be very unique to you, and may vary over time.


Leave a Reply