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.
I originally wrote this post in May of 2013. Some posts like this one, continue to generate interest long after they are published. It is now January 2015. There is a very long and fascinating comments section with a wealth of information from readers who have had a wide range of experiences with gelatin. For some, it has been nothing short of miraculous. For others, it caused untoward side effects and needed to be discontinued.
For myself, over time the dose that I recommended in the post seemed much too high for me. It made me tired and caused headaches. I no longer take it as a supplement, but continue to cook with it. I add it to soups and make gummies with it.
One reader commented that she uses 1 teaspoon a day as a supplement. That may be a good recommendation. But each of us needs to find our own way through trial and error on ourselves. What works for one person, may not work for you. It seems that the body’s response to gelatin is highly individualized, so observe yourself carefully in order to figure out what is right for you.
Make your own gelatin! Instead of using a processed brand. I sear oxtail or lamb shanks then boil in salted water for around 3 hours the water becomes white. Refrigerate the white water and you will basically have jello. I put some in drinks!
Dr. Tsafrir says
I love this comment! Wonderful! It must be much more healthful than a processed version. Thank you!
This article report dated May 20/22 reports studies show that The non essential fatty acid “Proline “ found in bone broth, gelatin grass fed beef, wild caught fish and organ meats are very high in proline and that NEAA actually correlated with increased and more depression in humans and mice . Depression and anxiety seem to be commonly found together as comorbid conditions so very confusing how gelatin, bone broth etc that are high in proline could reduce anxiety while at the same time increase depression
Dr. Tsafrir says
If I read the article correctly, it seemed that there were genetic differences in the subjects that predisposed them to be more or less vulnerable to a depressive reaction to proline. Maybe proline-rich gelatin is a helpful food for some people but not others depending upon their genetics. Its definitely not one size fits all. I loved the part of the article where they described the impact of fecal transplant ” “The possibility of transferring the depression phenotype from humans to mice through microbiota transplantation and the demonstration that such transplantation generates alterations in proline transport reveals that this proline may be associated causally to depression,” Fecal transplant has so many potential applications. It’s a potentially very powerful healing modality that is way under explored and used. Thanks again for linking to this interesting article.
Lise Stone says
Love what everyone have to saying am. I going through some of the same things I have a hard sleeping i had tried it all I hope this will help me but I don’t know were to get it. Can some one send me a link to sote
Cee Cee James says
I found your site as I have been trying to find the link between my sudden awful sinus type headaches and pressure in my hose and behind my eyes. Awful! So I thought “well what has changed?” I started adding Gelatin powder to foods and making jello and also started increasing the amount of Yerba Mate I drink. So I quit the yerba mate and it seemed the headache went away until today after lunch when I had a small serving of jello I had made from grass fed beef gelatin powder. I had also had a small serving of jello pudding I made early in the day. After lunch that awful sinus headache came on!!! So I’m trying to put two and two together here. I don’t have drainage or clogged sinuses but the headache. From what I’m reading here, I may have a histamine intolerance to Gelatin. Also another thread suggested starting out with Gelatin very slowly and then ramping up over time. So I’m going to try that. Because of the benefits and the fact that I just love it, I want to keep using it! So sad I can’t just use as much as I want right away!!! Thanks for this topic and your update was very helpful as well. I will be visiting your page often. Blessings…
Dr. Tsafrir says
Hi Cee Cee, I love it when I figure out the connection between symptoms and something that I have eaten or drunk. Sometimes it’s so clear and can be so helpful going forward in terms of sustaining well-being. I know what you mean about feeling disappointed that the gelatin is not agreeing with you. YOu can try going slowly and see if there is a threshold that causes symptoms, but you may find that it’s just not for you. Each of us is so unique in terms of our physiology. There is often no way to answer a question besides self-experimentation.
Joann Wheeler says
I have joint pain as a side effect of aromatase inhibitors post-breast cancer. I experimented with 1-2 T gelatine/day in September and experienced very quick relief but after about a month, I realized that my feet and ankles were swelling. I stopped for a week, the swelling corrected itself, and I proceeded with 1-2 t/day. That was also too much — same side effects, though less dramatic. I didn’t want to give it up entirely because the pain was gone, my hair and skin were better, and acid reflux and insomnia were gone. Also, the cancer medications cause bone loss and gelatine can help correct that. I took another week off, then reduced the dosage to 1-2 ice cube sized portions of gelled chicken broth only whenever the pain returns. One T is enough to gel two ice cube trays, so it is a tiny dose but it is working. Maybe once your body has made up for a deficit, it just needs a tiny amount to maintain. The comments on this post were so helpful, I wanted to add mine! Thank you!
Dr. Tsafrir says
So glad its been helpful to you!
Hi – I’ve been using Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate off and on, and I have definitely noticed a lot of fatigue and headaches. Although it does help with anxiety. Do you have any idea what specifically would cause these side effects? Is it due to glycine?
Dr. Tsafrir says
Not sure. It may be causing increased release of histamine. It may not be the right thing for you.
Glutamate content of gelatin can be a problem for some. I think glutamates can alter the GABA neurotransmitter activity, negatively for some depending on one’s genetics.
Dr. Tsafrir says
Thanks for writing. I am also under this impression.
Dennis Argall says
Dear Dr Tsafrir
I am very pleased to find your essay and interesting discussion and your great diligence in supporting the discussion.
I have dealt for decades with chronic fatigue by dealing with it as a deficit of mitochondrial performance, with interruptions when doctors have been unsupportive.
Pleased in a bittersweet way at age 76 to find that the scientific research is catching up.
My approach enabled by mentoring by Ray Peat, see this valuable paper of his on gelatin.
Ray began in anthropology and linguistics, masters on William Blake not as dizzying romantic poet but writing as a natural scientist avoiding being hung drawn and quartered in England at the time. In that research he had insight that brains have been different at different times in history. So he did PhD in brain physiology and realised the importance of sex hormones in the brain, notably progesterone and pregnenolone.
I have used modest amounts of gelatin for a long time in cooking, displacing flour etc as thickener. Aware of its general value. But only recently began buying in bulk.
One of my medical issues of long standing is an irritable bladder. Which cranberry helps. So I have begun now making a jelly or jello as you say in the US, as follows:
A dessert spoon /US tablespoon of gelatin.
Add 250ml of boiling water and stir with a whisk (very strong sticky solution)
Add 250ml of cranberry juice.
Refrigerate and enjoy.
Two of these prepared at one time in Asian-type food bowls makes say four serves over whatever period. Delicious and beneficial.
I used to have a web page with some writing from 1999 on my approach. I think I need to build a new blog with information. Too big to dump here. Meanwhile, enjoy that recipe.
…. reading through the difficulties some have, I wonder about the history of animals from which the gelatin is derived. I’m conscious that here in Australia less strange animal feed.
Also with reported problems with coconut oil… odd. But sometimes I see alleged coconut oil in bottles. That means likely adulterated with say canola oil, because coconut oil is solid below 76F/23C. We use lots of coconut oil. But people with chronic illness using coconut oil for the first time may experience a warm or hot transient hyperthyroidism event as the coconut oil relieves mitochondria from the stifling presence of excess unsaturated oils donated by heart foundation.
Dr. Tsafrir says
Thank you for this generous and fascinating comment. When a patient comes to see me with Chronic Fatigue, I am always interested in finding out the root cause. Do they have mold toxicity? Or electro hypersensitivity? There is some reason that they are having a chronic inflammatory response. I am also newly exploring the role of progesterone and pregnenolone in brain health.
Dennis Argall says
Judy, I’ve managed to put my papers from 1998 in a blog.
and will write more there about my present regime soon.
I think there are many causes. To copy and paste a bit from that blog to here:
“1: Every organism, including each human, is subject to a myriad stressors (I use the word stress in the broadest sense) and when such stressors strike, the individual’s response reflects preexisting qualities and history of exposure to other stressors (bacteria, viruses, nutrition, air and water quality, chemical exposure, family health, mother’s health around time of birth (perinatal health), genetic inheritance, family, work and social environment, trauma and accident, etc.) and there is a compounding effect, with health consequences. The critical issue should surely be in assessing the basic health state of the individual, but instead we work hard to classify the reactions instead into categories (notably the separation between psychological and somatic). This seems to me to serve cultural-intellectual preoccupations rather than aiding understanding of illness.
2: In each individual organisms, the response to stressors has impacts of basic kinds on reproductive, immune and nervous systems.
3: These impacts and stresses on basic functional systems gives rise to a myriad different patterns of development, adaptation, degeneration, and often illness and eventual decline.
Dr. Tsafrir says
Thank you for so generously posting and sharing these resources. I am sure that they will be useful to many.
You mentioned that the one study on glycine and sleep was because it helped drop body temperature. I think that is more of a stressfull drop in glucose because of the increase in metabolism. I myself enjoy the warming sensation I get from gelatin when I drink it with sufficient sugar. I switched from collagen pills to gelatin for this exact stress response.
The headache that many of you are complaining about in my opinion is this same drop in blood sugar when gelatin is taken without enough glucose reserves. This effect would be compounded if the gelatin is added to coffee or taken with other metabolism boosting supplements that make the body use up glucose quicker and cause a stress.
Thanks for this informative post Sarah and also the very insightful comments – both helped me in pre-empting the side-effects and monitoring my dosage! I happened to accidentally find the sleep benefit of gelatin 32 days ago. And being a sleep deprived, 32 yr old mom of a toddler boy, I started taking Dr. Oetker’s leaf gelatin, which worked great for me. I took 1 leaf (1.625 g) a day for a month. Immediate Effects: I have 7-8 hours of very deep sleep every night which feels as refreshing as the 12 hour sleep I had during my vacations as a student and which I had lost hope of recapturing. The still subtly lingering post pregnancy joint pain vanished gradually over a week. My strength training results started showing up more prominently in terms of muscle soreness and recovery and visually too (I of course consume other rich sources of protein to ensure that but gelatin seemed to aid it even if it won’t be enough of a protein source on its own). Improved bowel movements.
Long term effects (a month after): my hair is thicker, skin is plumper, softer, well hydrated.
Because of your post, I was forewarned of the probable side-effects and hence I spotted it immediately, before it got worse – a very, very subtle headache. I took that as the cue to reduce the dosage to half leaf a day and it’s working brilliantly again. I believe the dosage is extremely subjective because it depends on how much “healing” each individual’s body needs. Once the gelatin is done running through its healing checklist for the time-being, it gradually starts showing the side-effects and that is a cue for lowering your dosage further?
So sorry about getting the name wrong Judy!
Dr. Tsafrir says
No worries. Thank you for writing and I am so glad that the post was useful to you.
l.c. taylor says
I wanted to make some more comments about histamine intolerance ( see my other comments further up the page.) I have had the worst case of histamine intolerance you can have. I can trace it back to when I was a small child, got sick and never got better. The doctor put me on penicillin injections for months. Most cases are believed to start with antibiotics but they may also be associated with undiagnosed food intolerances, like gluten. I also have the defects associated with difficulty processing out histamine from foods. These all contribute to continued gut dysfunction, destruction of the gut lining that produces DAO which handles the histamine. As the gut deteriorates, one may develop additional food intolerances and these get worse over time. There is a strong association between this and methylation defects, as such defects affect your ability to deal with toxins. Therefore as we age these defects deteriorate further resulting in intolerances to things previously tolerated. I’ve had this deterioration going on for 60 years, along with additional other significant genetic problems. I’ve always had health issues that got progressively worse and I was constantly told that I was fine. At 32 I went on disability and it was my own notes and charts that convinced the judge as not on y doctor would back me up. I kept getting worse then at 62 I had really severe food intolerances with repeated visits to the ER and a hospitalization. The problem is that once the gut erodes enough that larger food particles go direct into the blood stream causing chaos. Oh and this can be associated with ibs and yeast. Gelatin and other fermented/ long cooked things help the gut to heal but not if you are reacting to them. You can only eliminate stuff for so long so I’m doing a modified version of the scd diet which eliminates the yeast/ all bad bacteria, however I have a huge number of food intolerances so the only probiotic I can take is align or bifida species. Lactose and many other species are histaminic. So I will likely be taking a minute amount (like 1/2 tsp) of yogurt or sauerkraut once every three days. This should work as it eliminates the bad bugs, an underlying cause/ consequence of all that came before. Also I am taking collagen, just the cheapest one that Wal-Mart had because it has glycine in it to help replace the gelatin and feemented stuff I cannot take. Now I’m telling you this because I believe that most of the problematic gelatin comments I’ve seen here fit the hit profile. Histamine causes swelling and inflammation and mucus and can affect any and every organ system of your body. Wherever you already have a weakness it may show up there first. Anti-inflammatorys are problematic because they used up what little dao you may have. The American Society for Clinical Nutritionists did an abstract on it which you can look up as it has a flow chart. I cannot fully express to you the extent and variety of symptoms I had but it was massively diverse and severe. It can affect your heart, lungs, endocrine system, skin, muscles, kidneys, gall bladder, brain etc etc etc. I even had multiple symptoms not listed anywhere. At the height of it I developed neurological symptoms not dissimilar to those of my mother who died of non Alzheimer’s dementia. One night I ate a barely pink tomato thinking it was safe. Fortunately I realized I was having an attack and knew that it would eventually end. I went into a stupor then left my body and found myself in this totally dark Hell like environment. I could sense myself being flanked by two entities who telepathically told me that, “You are not supposed to be here,” and to start walking and not stop. Finally it ended and I returned to my body, so yeah if similar things happen to you, it’s the histamine. So yeah, insomnia, mouth sores, cysts, mucus, acting crazy, mood swings, and you name it can all happen. Just do as I’m telling you and get better now, not later.
Harold Powell says
I am thankful to find your information and comments. I begac using beef gelatin, now brand. I am using 4 tablespoons per day. I have had amazing results in my symptoms of schizoaffective bipolar issues. I do take drugs, I have to. When I began with the gelatin, I noticed, to my surprize, that My focus was better, brain fog began to disappear, and many of my symtoms gradually lessened. I have used it for 10 days, and am really excited to share my experience. There is a Dr Javitt, who has used 60grams of Glycine per day for inpatient treatment of mental illnesses. Gelatin is 1/3 Glycine! Bingo, I said to myself! I am eating less( presently 270pound, 65 year old man) today I had a smoothie: two tablespoons gelatin, two table spoons sunflower lecithin two tablespoons organic coconut oil, One teaspoon sodium ascorbatw, raw honey, two tabs butter. I found out that as long as I keep my blood sugar level up, it works better. I had a problem that in 5 days, the gelatin seemed to stop working! B u t, I realized that my bllod sugar was getting low. I added 2 table spoons honey with each tbs of gelatin. Bingo, the gelTin was working again. I take supplements of herbs etc. But I have never in 45 years if suffering had results any thing close to Beef Gelatin. A Godsend to me! Harold
What a fascinating comment. Thank you for writing. That is an interesting discovery about combining the gelatin with honey.
Fascinating comments. I started taking the green Great Lakes just over two weeks ago. First I noticed my skin – it looked plumped and the colour was better and more even. I was amazed at the effect in so short a time.
My nails are getting better. They are why I started the Gelatin. I don’t have joint pain anyway so no change. It made a big difference to my sleep. Staying asleep all night and sleeping heavily was delicious, if slightly spooky as it was such a strong effect.
I increased my dose to 4 tablespoons split pre bed and first thing in the morning. A few days later I fell over walking a familiar route. I was surprised and confused about what happened but happy to have the gelatin, which should aid healing.
After another two days at full dose and fuller tablespoons I couldn’t ignore how sleepy I was all day and I started getting headaches. I never get headaches. I had the odd bout of heart palpitations too. I also had puffy hands, which I put down the to elbow and wrist sprain from the fall. But a lot going on that was all new. Only one thing changed and that was the gelatin.
So I started Googling. Glycine is a neurotransmitter inhibitor, like heroin. Hence the sound sleep and the daytime drowsiness. My guess is that I was a bit too relaxed on my walk ! Hence the fall.
As for the headaches, puffy hands and the palpitations I was also getting, they would seem to be histamine related. I am pretty sure of this because of another side effect that I have not seen mentioned- huge upswing in libido. Histamine has that effect.
It also acts as an appetite suppressant, as does glycine. By the end of my gelatine experiement I was going all day on two slices of bread and simply not hungry. Normally I need three square meals a day.
So Yesterday I stopped. The swelling in my hands went down and I peed all day. I finally ‘woke up ‘ about midday.
I think I will try just one spoonful this bedtime and see how I do. If it wasn’t for the zonkedness and the headache, palpitations and puffy hands Gelatin seems to be a dream come true. Fabulous skin nails and hair, effortless weight loss and a raging libido. They say a lot of models take this stuff. Perhaps thatbis why they seem so out of it. Nothing to do with cocaine
Definitly taking this before a 13 hour overnight flight in June, best sleep aid ever.
I understand gelatin has 22 amino acids in its makeup all necessary for human health. It is also made up of collagen, and apparently small amounts of chondritin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate which are the three necessary items said to be the basic building blocks of the cartilage, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue and bone matrix. I also understand that without this bone matrix calcium cannot be retained within the bones to keep them strong.
As you say one of these amino acids is glycine.
I got to thinking that perhaps your reaction to the glycine in the gelatine may be due to the types of food you are also eating, which may also contain glycine. The foods that contain glycine are quite a few of the high protein foods and quite a number of different types of vegetables.
Perhaps if you check on the internet for foods containing glycine and see if you could be eating a lot of these, this may help for you to get the right dosage so you don’t miss out on all the nutrients that gelatine has and you don’t take too much and have a side effect that you don’t want.
I think you were really wise to question the side effect you may have been getting.
Look at chocolate for instance, it will give some people a migraine, but chocolate is very high in copper and these people could have high copper levels. Many vegans are said to have high copper levels from the vegetarian diet eaten, vegetables are also high in copper. So hypothetically is it the chocolate or is it the copper in the chocolate that produces the migraine for some people, same as you with the glycine perhaps. If you get my drift.
I had been on a gelatin (Jello) regimen and had noticed the immediate growth rate acceleration in my nails and hair. That was 25 years ago. So in the past couple of months I started back on it, making it like hot koolaid sorry for the brand names but really I would only use generic products … anyhow I have noticed weight loss, lowered ldl and lower sugar readings. I’m 56 and had a binge of eating like a teenager, drinking three or four soda pops a day, and my doctor after looking at my numbers said I had the preconditions for diabetes and was ready to start medications. So I did a drastic turnaround. My numbers are all good. I got to your blog looking to see if there was a downside, like ketosis.Apparently most of the people o your site and similar ones are reporting pretty much what I have.
l.c. taylor says
This sounds like a histamine reaction which can cause fluid retention and brain fog/confusion. When I have it my veins will also engorge (likely why bP tends to fall with a histamine reaction). In my case one of my genetic methylation defects can cause inflammation of the blood vessels making one more susceptible to heart and blood vessel problems, like stroke…both of which run in my family so I try very hard to avoid hit. When it wears off one can pee like a race horse. You might try collagen or just plain glycine instead…see if that is any better. Also GABA -a chemical normally made by the brain – can also help turn off over active neurons. It may be lacking due to a neurotoxic reaction known as excitotoxins …which I think is related to a switch off reaction from a single component in a single vaccine….I believe it’s made worse by hit. If you get stuck check out Amy Yaskos’ book on methylation defects associated with autism. You do not need to be autistic to have the same/similar defects which occur in numerous so called “mental” disorders…anxiety, ocd, adhd, depression…and I do believe others too. For some there is a definite connection with histamine intolerance and schizophrenia, ms and Parkinson’s. The low histamine diet can be found online.
Jon Dunn says
Sue, This is exactly what I’ve been experiencing the past week. I’m so glad I found your account, which seems unusual. I discovered sugar-free jello, and have been partaking liberally. I’ve been enjoying wonderful appetite reduction & blood sugar reduction. But also, more and more tiredness & some dizziness. I am one of the 1% or so of people who have histamine intolerance – normally itching after pickles and certain other foods. I’m going to have to cut way down on gelatin – particularly on days when I’m planning on leaving the house.
Daniel A Wills says
This is a great article with many very helpful comments!
One trend that strikes me is that many people seem to have trouble with headaches. I had that headachy experience after day one, so I decided to cut back to about a half teaspoon of gelatin per day for a couple of days then slowly ramp up. During the ramp-up time I found the desired measurement that helps me sleep and I have no headaches! My feelings are that one full tablespoon may be much more than some people need or can tolerate.
Sleep has been a very serious problem for me now for several years. This article and the comments have been so very helpful, since starting on gelatin I sleep well most nights. Thank you.
I decided to try gelatin after researching what discs are made from. Mostly collagen 2 from my research and Gelatin is mostly collagen 2. My occupation for years included a lot of heavy lifting. When I was around 35 I had my first episode of a bulging disc. Several weeks on my back and it got better, but not properly. I continued in my occupation but had to minimise the lifting. I had other discs episodes during the next 25 years. I finally ended up not being able to work any more due to 2 bulging discs in my lower back. In the 12 months before starting the gelatin my back was getting so bad I could not bend down to pick anything up, put my socks on, etc., and had to be very careful how I moved. No one could seem to help, doctors, chiropractors, massage etc. It was like being listed as a lost cause. I was 66 at the time and could see an old peoples home looming. I felt there had to be an answer somewhere, life had to be better than this. After my research, I began with 1 dessertspoon of gelatin a day (I purchased the orange container of Great Lakes Gelatin). I made up as a jelly with half a glass of orange juice. I also began to strengthen my hamstring muscles in my upper legs by marching in one spot. This I started at about 25 marches to begin with and gradually built this to 100 each day. I also made sure my lower body was not twisted forward on one hip and my hips on my back were level. I found out this had been partly the cause of my disc problems plus the tight hamstrings. I found it extremely important to have my back correct because when I wasn’t level, I could feel the strain in my back. I researched more and found that I should bend from my behind and not the middle of my back, as this had a weakening effect on the discs as well. I have kept this up for four months and the results have been next to amazing. It was gradual, I must admit. After a month the pain problems began to subside, I rechecked my research and found out that gelatin also contains amino acids that reduce inflammation. Over the next three months my back began to feel stronger and less fragile. I am now at a stage I can pick things up off the floor again, put my own socks on, and do many other things I had given up. I still have to be careful and sensible with the weights I lift and not twist when bending and make sure I sit in a firm chair. I have reduced the dose rate now to 1 teaspoon as I began to feel full after eating the gelatin jelly and doing so has reduced this effect. Lets say I am being a guinea pig for myself, and I may have to adjust again or increase again. The old saying listen to your body and what it is trying to tell you is very true. At least the old people’s home seems to be some distance off now. As the doctor says what works for one may not work for another.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this thoughtful e-mail about your experience with gelatin and movement/strength training which was so healing to your back. I am quite sure that it will serve as a guide and an inspiration to others who are suffering in a similar way.
Can it be taken dry? I know that sounds off but late night liquids is not good for my Aunt.
Also on full stomach vs empty.
I think it could be taken any time of the day if it suits. I just take it of an evening because it suits me. I think it may be a little ‘gluey’ taken dry but that would be an individual choice. Maybe watch it doesn’t stick in the throat. I have read it can be added to tea, coffee or other drinks. I think just suit yourself as to how you want to consume it. Experiment as I did perhaps.
On another note I re increased the gelatine back to four teaspoons. After about two weeks I began to feel my back a little. Once I restarted and after about a week this went away. I have read since that it may also help with the pain associated with arthritis. I don’t have any arthritis so I can’t say if this works for sure or not. If I had arthritis I would probably give it a go to see if it helped or not. Please remember for me it did take time, perhaps it was healing and strengthening the damaged area in may back. I can honestly say life has gotten better since using it. Not perfect, but much better. 🙂
Sue Barham says
I take mine in the morning in my coffee with breakfast… or dinner time.
You can make jello with it. Jello is gelatine with flavor and sugar. It doesn’t have to be sweet you can make a “tomatoe astect”, I’m trying that next.
Margaret Dixon says
I have been reading all of these posts and no one has said they are using it for IBS. That is what I would take the Great Lakes in the green can, for. What is your opinion on using the Great Lakes Collagen to prevent or help IBS?
I don’t know the answer but intuitively, as IBS is related to gut health, and collagen protein is a healthful source of good protein, I think it would be supportive to the immune system. I know of no specific effect, which does not mean that there isn’t one, I just don’t know.
I started using this for colitis issues and it’s been a godsend! I don’t take it all in “one dose” (if I take it all at once, it seems to be too hard on my gut). I sprinkle the gelatin on my food as I cook it, and over the course of a day, I eat approx 1 tablespoon each day. I’ve noticed that taking L-Lysine with the gelatin has help my overall gut health even more. One tip re: cooking with gelatin – it’s great to use when cooking meat/ vegs in skillet – sprinkle it on near the end of the cooking process (the same way you’d use salt/ spices) and let it mix with the natural juices of the meat/vegs and oil BEFORE you turn or mix it (so the gelatin can “dissolve” a bit). You’ll notice that the food will get a nice “carmelized crust”. If it sticks to the pan, add a small amount of water or wine and let the stuck on, carmelized flavors “bubble up” – then serve those juices (full of gelatin) over the food.
What a great comment! A creative way to incorporate gelatin. How do you take the L-Lysine? You wrote that it is hard on your gut when you take it all at once. What happens exactly? Thanks
Hello, I have taken the great lakes collagen hydrolysate in the past. I decided to give it a try again. I had read that a woman said that it made her tired and gave her headaches, and I also read that another woman had MYHFR gene Defect as I do, and she could not take it but she did not say the reason. I took a tablespoon last night and I woke up more exhausted than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I got the kids off to school , As well as my fiancé and I went back to bed for two and half hours and I woke up with a headache. Another thing I noticed was a slight pinching on the inside of my arm where it bends kind of where they put the needle when they take your blood. I noticed that in the past but I did not link it to the collagen. I do know people with MTHFR defect have problems with their veins etc., so I’m afraid to take it anymore
Well, it sounds like it totally is not for you! You are having multiple adverse reactions. Every one is so different. Thanks for writing and sharing your experience.
i just bought knox gelatin at the grocery store for severe arthritis in joints especiallly knees. no cartilage. i added one package of knox to msm water about 25% solution. warmed up the mixture in hot water and held a heating pad over my knee then rubbed the mixture over and around my knee and leg. much less pain and more flexibility in my knee after about 15 minutes. also held about a tsp under my tongue for 5 minutes. then applied to my other knee and less pain after a few minutes. i am all for transdermal method to avoid upset stomache and gerd. worth a try. i am 91 so if it works for me think what it might do for you young ones. len
I’ve taken GL gelatin (the orange container) before and noticed it made me really sleepy. Just last week I made Kelly Brogan MD’s breakfast smoothie and put this in it (because I didn’t have any collagen on hand), and it sort of made me sleepy but not as bad. Then last night, I had a sore throat and heard that gelatin will get rid of it, so I had a hot cup of 1 T GL gelatin and some heavy cream and honey. MAN! I went right to sleep and slept hard! I was hung over this morning too. (I haven’t been sleeping well recently.) I still woke up at around 3 as usual but I went back to sleep and slept fairly well even though I had dreams. Oh and by the way, it got rid of my sore throat!
Great Lakes gelatin is not the very best option for people with health issues. It is not organic and it’s highly processed. A better option is organic gelatin from GoBIO. I have tried both and GoBIO organic gelatn doesn’t give me the side effects I had with Great Lakes gelatin. They are in Canada so all prices are in Canadian dollars.
Niki Nichols says
I just got on their website and this is porcine…pork…Great Lakes has porcine and also the beef A and B ond bone broth..I think the beef is grass fed and I know it is Kosher. I like they tell me how much methyl is in it..et al. I have not tried any as of today just started on my search. One thing I do..is lots of research on amino acids, vitamins, acids et al. I know what I cannot take and surely do not want to order something and perhaps react to it. Also, medical and scientific research can be different. That is why a lot of Drs. know nothing about what the body needs…
Sophie Reason says
Unfortunately its porcine not beef.
If it’s pastured pork it should be ok. Look up Joel Salatin and his pastured pork operation. He’s getting more farmers interested in the pastured system.
I have a MTHFR C677T mutation and have low collagen as evidenced by varicose veins and dry thin skin. This effect is shown to be related to the MTHFR gene mutation, which is surprisingly common. Collagen production is related to the methylation cycle, which mine is obviously out of whack.
I am a 44 year old male.
I bought the green can Great Lakes gelatin and using it for the last month, and I have noticed that my skin is worse!! I took this as a possible treatment for my varicose veins and dry skin. Not working so far!
Will it take more time? Will it even work? I am about to research the the mechanisms of the methylation cycle and collagen production and see if I can find something else that may work..
I have the same mutation and came across your comment and was wondering what you discovered and if you continued or discontinued the use of collagen?
Dose? I have noticed with the author and multiple comments dose is real important. And very individual.
Paul Swanson says
Lots of talk re, sleep issues on this thread, but no mention of anything related to RF (radio frequency) technology. Wifi, Cellphones, DECT (cordless) phones (Baby monitors too) are having a major impact on sleep quality and eliminating these should be anyone’s first angle of attack to improve their sleep. Perhaps a blog entry on this subject?
You are right! We are constantly bathed in radio frequencies these days. Its a big experiment, in terms of our health. That is a good idea for a post. Thanks for suggesting it.
I was referred to this article from Great Lakes, my daughter is histamine sensitive on the GAPS diet, and Im looking for an alternative to gelatin. Do histamines occur only with cooking and is that why the powder does not have nay?
I too would love to know the answer to this question
Niki Nichols says
I just read a comment of I believe judytssafir sorry, I sent it to my keep file and did not get all the information. She is a child psychiatrist and commented as she has Histamine Intolerance as I do, she stopped taking the collagen…because of Histamine…really do thorough research on everything. I noticed that on Great Lakes…they have all that..and I have not taken it as yet, but I noticed I definitely cannot take collagen and may try the gelatin…too pricy to have to throw away.
Kelly Gaitten says
I have taken this before and started again with tiny 1/4 teaspoon dose. I have headhaches, rapid heartbeat and my asthma is aggrivated by something in this product so I will have to stop. Even a tiny dose bothers me. FYI
Thanks for taking the time and letting other readers know about your reaction. It definitely is not for everyone. Its important to pay attention to your own individual reaction and to honor that.
I had the same issue. I had the weirdest head burning headache and rapid heart beat. My back pain did subside but the side effects are just too scary to try again.
Amanda and Kelly, you took the hydrolysed collagen or the simple gelatin powder?
I read that Iodine is an antihistamine. So plan on taking this (lugols iodine in milk) to counter any potential histamine in the gelatin.
Someone else can try this who experienced headaches or histamine symptoms and report back ?
I have come across more information motivating regular heating over microwave heating for gelatin. This may also be why some report of headaches and illness.
“Whatever form of gelatin is used, it should never be cooked or reheated in the microwave. According to a letter published in The Lancet, the common practice of microwaving converts l-proline to d-proline. They write, “The conversion of trans to cis forms could be hazardous because when cis-amino acids are incorporated into peptides and proteins instead of their trans isomers, this can lead to structural, functional and immunological changes.” They further note that “d-proline is neurotoxic and we have reported nephrotoxic and heptatotoxic effects of this compound.”55 In other words, the gelatin in homemade broth confers wonderous benefits, but if you heat it in the microwave, it becomes toxic to the liver, kidneys and nervous system. […]There is no reason to think that proline is the only amino subject to this kind of destruction, and it is likely that other aminos would be similarly affected. The studies, however, were done on proline.”
Read this current study article from May 20/22
Dr. Tsafrir says
Absolutely fascinating! Thank you for posting.
After being vegetarian for 2 years, I noticed my hair started to fall out at the front. I tried so many products to regrow my hair, but nothing worked. Not until I decided to add gelatin to my diet and now my hair as started to grow back. I am so happy!
Grate Lakes gelatin is NOT from grass fed cows. NO where on their can you’d see this claim. And their very careful with how they word their sentences regarding this issue. Contact them and ask them to provide the statement that their gelatin is 100% from grass fed cows. They won’t give it to you.
After trying different brands of gelatin, the best gelatin so far I’ve found is ZINT, from grass fed cows AND BONE derived, not HIDE derived like Grate Lakes. Hides collect all the toxins. I buy Zint gelatin on Amazon.
Zint gelatin is very easy to dissolve, unlike Grate Lakes gelatin that always clumps (in my experience).
I dissolve 1 tablespoon on gelatin in a cup of hot water, bloom it for about 1-2 min, sprinkle Ceylon cinnamon, add half and half, and sometimes instant coffee or a tea bag — DELICIOUS. Can add a teaspoon of coconut oil or butter from grass fed animals.
Taking gelatin in the morning before food activates the production of human growth hormone.
So please don’t advise people to buy Grate Lakes gelatin, it is not so great, HIDES COLLECT TOXINS, their gelatin is derived from hides not bones and cartilage.
I want to correct my typo in my previous statement — I meant THEY ARE very careful, I accidentally wrote their.
This is interesting information. I had no idea. Thanks for writing.
I guess it would make sense why gelatin causes headaches and allergic reaction in some people, toxins from hides are doing damaging stuff. But it is very difficult to find gelatin that is derived from bones and cartilage of healthy animals; many brands, including Grate Lakes, selling gelatin that is derived from toxic hides.
However, some people are probably sensitive to any kind of gelatin…
Blessings to all 🙂
Lisa Dickinson says
I have been using Great Lakes Gelatin for a number of weeks now and I believe my wrinkles have got a lot worse. Maybe its down to bad toxins if their gelatin is derived from animal hide and not bones. I have not got a clue anymore. I felt by taking a gelatin supplement would help with bones and muscles as well as wrinkles as I am on the menopause which has hit me hard and fast and my body has had many side effects as I am only 44.
That is very unfortunate. Gelatin is certainly not for everyone.
When u mention you eat less have you lost weight? Cause i am a over weight women and i am really trying hard to watch what i eat thanks
I just looked up the ZINT brand on Amazon. Following is a copy & paste of what their product is derived from: “ZINT Collagen Peptides: Is derived from 100% Pure, Non-GMO, Kosher Certified, Grass Fed on Organic Grassland bovine hides, connective tissue and/or bones. These natural, raw materials are then purified and extracted with state of the art technology ensuring preservation of vital amino acid profiles such as Arginine, Glutamine, Glycine and Proline.”
Notice that is does in fact contain bovine hides. It is not solely bone derived as you stated.
Thank you for your information I did not know Great Lakes was toxin I’ve been drinking it for about 3 weeks now usually once a day every once in awhile once or twice a day I think I’ve only done that 2 times so I will be checking into getting the giant gelatin actually comes from the bones and grass-fed cows hope I’m going to be ok
yes it is. here is proof great lakes is not made from hide . It is Kosher
It actually says in the certification letter that it is made from bones OR hides. Although it sounds like it is “purified” of any toxins.
Did anyone realize that eating the skin of chicken and fish is healthy for collagen?
Collagen supplements use fish skin for a vegen alternative which I tried and couldn’t because of histamine issues. The green can of Great Lakes is perfect for me. I take one teaspoon twice a day in the morning and lunch. I put it in a homemade iced vanilla coffee…😋 yummy! I’m 47 going through menopause and has helped with itchy skin and allergy issues. I don’t have a problem taking it so far. It does make me regular that’s for sure where before I was constipated. I don’t crave junk food and I’m not as hungry. Although I must have this every morning to help me get through the morning with energy. I can focus on work and less anxiety.
If it works for you …good…if it doesn’t then DONT take it, simple.
Martha Ray says
Zint web site does say…”Zint™ gelatin is driven from 100% pure animal tissue and bones, purified and extracted with state of the art technology to preserve the amount of the amino acids naturally contained in animal proteins – to give you high quality, full rich collagen.”
I called today to confirm and they did call me back promptly after I left a message. They told me that their product is made from Hides NOT Bones and Cartilage. At that time I had not carefully read the description above and I did not specifically ask them about the discrepancy then but I did call back to let them know that web site indicates incorrect information.
Tried to research Vital Proteins brand and found this Whole 30 Forum thread interesting http://forum.whole30.com/topic/34459-vital-proteins-pwo/
I have respect for Whole 30 advice.
I also had a very good conversation directly with Great Lakes Brand re their unflavored Beef Gelatin and they gave me some very reassuring information about their product quality and sources etc.
Personally I am heading to use Great Lakes Beef Gelatin again and or to Make my Own. DIY may actually be easier than being a private investigator trying to sort out truth from marketing.
Zint says right on their ad on Amazon that it is made from HIDES.
I started taking the green can of great lakes and after 2 weeks started to develop horrid headaches and rappid heard beat. I played with it a lil to really make sure that is what was going on and it for sure was and is the gelatin. Now could it be that I built it up enough in my system and that maybe just take it once a week instead of everyday? The pros are my skin looks amazing and my knee and hip give me little to no trouble. I wish it did not cause the headaches and rappid heart beat.
That is unfortunate that you are experiencing side effects with gelatin. I also eventually got a headache from the dose I was taking and was able to tolerate it at a much decreased dose. It’s surprisingly powerful, both in terms of the good it can do and adverse effects. I typically advocate experimenting with yourself and see what works. It’s a trial and error situation.
I have been getting anxiety attacks and heart palpitations.
I have been taking the green powder for about a year. I ran out for a couple days and the palps and rapid heart beat mostly stopped.
Is this a real side effect?
I so want to take it ☹️
Its not one that I have heard of, but each of us is unique, and if this is your reaction, I would trust your own body rather than what is a known side effect. You might reintroduce after a month and see what happens.
The headaches and rapid heart beat people are reporting sounds like a histamine reaction.
Dona Turgeon says
Lissa: I just started 1TB Great Lakes Red (bovine) powder on 5/20 and seem to notice rapid heartbeat/slightly anxious……
I really would hate to have to stop, I actually believe my skin has already (really, it’s only 5 days), tightened up (had a fairly large weight loss and some loose skin issues).
Have you continued at lesser dose and gotten any better?
Thank you for your reply.
Virginia, did you tried the red can(its the simple non-hydrolysed gelatin powder), the simple gelatin powder? I take a hydroslysed collagen product(like the green can) and it I believe its causing me heart problems and pressure in my head, balance issues/nausea, pressure in chest… Im curious if the simple gelatin powder would cause the any issues….
Just curious has anyone suffered with coldsores after taking Gelatin? I’m taking a spoonful morning and evening.
I’m also taking Coconut oil 1 spoonful three times a day.
Anyone have a happy medium dose between the two??
Please and thanks.
I have not heard of that. I am curious if other readers have come across that reaction.
Jennifer Camirand says
I have not heard of cold sores and Gelatin consumption, however, I have read some articles that an abundance of amino acid intake can lead to, for specific AAs, and based on biochemical individuality, to the same symptoms as a deficiency in same AA.
Now, the reading that I had done, was in reference to mood and mental illness, but one can’t help but wonder would the same apply to Lysine?
That’s fascinating. I had not heard that. Thanks for sharing.
Hi, I had reported here that I took GLC (green cannister) for probably a year and ended up with horrid mucous issues..I put 2 and 2 together and came to the conclusion that the histidine in the GLC was doing harm. I’ve have NOT had a cold sore in probably 50 yrs….
I have been taking grape seed ex for 21 yrs this year and NEVER get sick…no colds, no sore throat, no allergies/sinus issues and boy did I have them before 1995.
When I got my mom who at the time was 85, on grape seed ex, she did not get anymore cold sores….she was the cold sore queen. She did pass at 91 but took grape seed ex for a couple yrs….and had good results….
For collagen help I am now taking UCII by Now Foods and dosing up on high quality Vit C which also builds collagen…
i have noted it is very high in copper, copper detox can cause a cold sore. i think in balance with meat gelatin would be good.
That is fascinating about copper detox and cold sores. I had not heard that.
yes, if you are familiar with Dr Wilson’s work and others like him. copper imbalances are often why – according to them – infections like that do not heal, or are recurrent.. According to their system, this would be a healing reaction. A flair up of an infection when copper is displaced. Reading through this thread, I would say many of the symptoms people had in using the collagen was copper detox. Collagen is very high in copper, from my research.
Its good to know. Thanks for writing.
I would def say the rashes on people’s face is copper detox also. it often exits on the face in form of rash.
l.c. taylor says
Copper and zinc should always be taken together to prevent iron abnormalities. There’s a specific ratio between the two so be sure and look it up. The only exception I know of is with some cases of autism you can take zinc alone.
Many of the protocols that I learned from Dr. Walsh to treat elevated copper, methylation disorders and pyroluria call for treatment with zinc alone.
I have had problems with coconut oil causing gum irritation and canker sores, I have to drink something after I eat coconut oil. I don’t oil pull, but friends who do all recommend rinsing well afterward.
I have not started on gelatin yet, I’m still researching it. it would certainly be easier to supplement than the 24 hour + bone broth experience…..was not good! 🙂
thanks for the column, I had read in the Amazon reviews that collagen was a serotonin suppresser and someone had major panic attacks after taking it. I don’t want to start that again, so I was happy to see this column. Pax
You are probably having an allergic reaction to the coconut oil, not the gelatin.
I used it as a face wash a few years ago and had the same thing happen to me. My skin split at the corners of my lips– it wasn’t a cold sore but it did look like one. I stopped using coconut oil on my face and as a chapstick and the problem stopped.
I have from Vital Proteins and had to discontinue. I believe it’s the ratio of argenine and lysine. Too much argenine can trigger them I believe. I recently started taking Vital Proteins liver and the same thing has happened.
The cold sores are probably from the arginine in the gelatin. I learned the hard way that arginine feeds Epstein-Barr Virus, which I did not now I had, until I was on a high arginine intake for several weeks and I broke out in a cold sore the size of a compact car. I was unaware that my arginine was high through foods and did not even know it was a thing. They say you can balance it by taking L-Lysine, but mine was so bad I had to take valcyclovir to calm things.
I was planning on making a batch of fruit gelatin gummies with the GL gelatin so I can eat a gummy with breakfast each morning. Will the gummies build up histamine if they sit in the fridge for a few days? (Ingredients will be pureed peeled pears, water, citric acid, maple syrup, and gelatin)
I am not sure about the answer that question, but I doubt it. Let me know.
I was just about to order Great Lakes when I found this article. Now I’m wondering if it’s what I need.
My issues have been mostly with hair loss. Reading that it helps with connective tissue made me think it might hold the hairs in. My hair doesn’t break off, it falls out.
Any ideas or recommendations after your using this product?
I don’t know the answer, but if you decide to try it, I would be interested to hear about your results.
My first thought is thyroid. Even with “normal” labs many need thyroid support and don’t get it from their MD’s…I was in that spot for 10 long years 1991-2002….
I have an article about going back to Symptoms vs numbers…doctors in the past before labs, gave thyroid support to patients with symptoms. I truly believe many go mis dx’d and under treated…
Dr. Derry has comments about the going back to symptoms.
Hair loss is not a product of nutrients, but of physiology. The hair on top reacts to testosterone. Research “hair loss testosterone “, you may be surprised.
I have pretty much stopped the GLC as after a lot of months on it, I was having SO MUCH mucous in the mornings. Thick clear mucous and some days it would run out of my nose.
So I’m into my 90th day with UCII collagen and I use the Now Foods. Here is a link on results from Scripps San Diego.
The mucous issue is NO MORE.
That is interesting. Do you have any idea why that is the case?
I believe it was here that the histidine/histimine issue was discussed. Then I put it together, the GLC with all the amino acids including histidine are causing this horrific mucous.
I HAD a history of allergy/sinus issues all my life before getting on grape seed ex in 1995 and since that time I have NOT had to use a drug or see an allergist for allergy/sinus issues.
So this mucous thing was mind blowing in more ways than just blowing away.
((Histidine is important to normal sexual functioning, because it gets converted into histamine, a chemical needed to stimulate sexual arousal. When taken together with vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), histidine can increase sexual pleasure by boosting histamine levels in the body. Histamine is also needed to help the immune system know when the body is experiencing an allergic reaction, and for the production of gastric juices needed for normal digestion. ))
Super fascinating. Thank you. I guess for those with histamine intolerance boosting histamine would not be a good plan. I was very interested in what you described with the grape seed extract. It sounds like it really calmed an inflammatory response.
My history is that I attended a lecture on Pycnogenol in 1995, it was just arriving in the U.S. from France…at that lecture we were told it MAY prevent cancer(s)….that was shear MUSIC….so a month later I got on Pycnogenol and about 5 days later a long history of allergies was about GONE.
Then after a year on P, I found grape seed ex and it’s been mostly grape seed for heading into 21 yrs. NO DRUGS anymore.
I’m doing research on the value of Muscadine grape seed and will be taking this type “Grape” more often. Muscadine is higher in resveratrol.
My misery is OA and a hip replacement MESS. And advancing years in my life….but I work to keep vital.
Thank you for sharing. Its so helpful to others to learn what works.
What brand of grape seed extract do you use? Thanks! My one son has so much sinus phlegm
I take the Great Lakes in the green container. I take it for tendonitis from old sports injuries and because I do intense workouts so I want to protect my joints. After taking it for about a couple weeks I’ve noticed much faster recovery times but if I take it in the morning, I feel like I want to crash several hours later. The feeling will wear off after another several hours. I also noticed the effect is much faster and stronger when taken without food. So the perfect time for me to take it is with supper. Also I gotta say that this stuff turns me off like a light switch and I fall almost immediately to sleep when my head hits the pillow. Also been having really vivid dreams that I really remember when I get up. Not sure why that is.
Thanks for writing. Gelatin also really put me to sleep and eventually I stopped taking it because it made me feel tired during the day. I think its probably necessary to figure out the right dosage and when to take it, and maybe even to take holidays from it for some people. Its interesting about your faster recovery time from workouts. But it is a great and natural sleep aid.
Christy Canale says
I’m wondering what your symptoms were in realizing the original dosage you were taking was too much. I have a lot going on with health issues, am on many supplements , & am curious to know of others’ experiences with “side effects” since I’m not sure I could clearly sort out what could be attributed to what. That said, I realize it’s completely individual. I’d love to increase my daily 1 tsp day dose, but would like to know of some things to possibly watch out for. Thank you!
I felt strangely tired and headachy. There may have been some other symptoms, but that is what I remember. If you read through the comments, some people have adverse reactions to it. I think some mentioned bloating. Read through them. Its for everyone, but for some, it really helps.
For me, going to 2T two times per day I felt itchy all over. And more mucous in the mornings. So now I’m back down to 1 tsp two times per day. And waiting for my Twin Labs MaxiLife II collagen to arrive. It’s from chicken sterum and I took it probably 10 yrs ago and stopped for many years….. Type II collagen is best for OA issues and cartlidge repair. Cartlidge repair for my OA is my main focus.
I found this site on a search to see if others found gelatin made them extremely sleepy during the day. I’m using the Collagen Hydrosylate version from Great Lakes (it dissolves much more easily in water without turning to ‘glue’). In perhaps 4 days time it helped my achiness, my moods and sleep, which is so welcomed. Yet in perhaps 2 weeks time I am far too tired and too relaxed during the day, so naturally I need to stop taking it for a few days and then reincorporate it a lower consumption. I do think it’s trial and error, and my guess is that in less than 30 days you’d know how your system is responding. I also take vitamin c when I consume it with the notion that perhaps it helps with collagen production. Take your time and simply observe and trust your body will tell you. – best regards
I had a brain injury and knee difficulties at 15 was told I wouldn’t heal. After that, I developed huge cystic acne and nothing would cure it (antibiotics and the best doctors couldnt help!) I was a runner and ran my first marathon a year later. I hurt my leg in the race.
after that marathon i was left home alone with a housekeeper that only liked to cook gelatin in the fridge (jello type) which I always hated but was my food for 3-4 weeks.
On day 18 after having mostly jello to eat with an occasional chocolate bar or something else… my acne on my face became scabby and i thought it was worse but it wasn’t painful.
On day 21 the scabs seemed to have fallen off and nothing new surfaced. I was shocked. went through my book (where i wrote all my calories and tracked my food etc). I hadn’t even realized that all i was eating was jello everyday!
Told my doctor and he said it was ridiculous so i dropped my idea of jello-cure… and got the acne back. A few months I developed cancer and had to go through treatment (surgeries) and for the year my cancer cells stayed present.
About two years later… My mother encouraged me to try jello and I did tracking the days again and learned the magic day for me was 21st day.
Then I went back to my doctor and he said all the cancer had left. I felt the gelatin played a role in this but I am not sure.
Since then I have been taking 30 tablets a night on an empty stomach no milk within 8 hours. My skin is completely clear (a decade later!) and when I forget to take my dose for more than a few days, acne resumes.
I buy at walmart for $3 a bottle and find that is the best price to stay acne-free. Some people can’t even imagine I had acne at one time as i have no scars or anything other than pictures to show.
I havent had any bad side effects. at one time someone told me to be careful and i said i’d rather live 5 years without acne than 20 years with it, it was very bad for me being in and around entertainment industry. Mentally and physically.
Thank you so much for generously sharing your journey. It is really fascinating medically, and I am sure will be of use to someone.
Any new info or updates on GLH. I realized for a long time I probably was not taking enough..not measuring out the 2T two times per day. Now, I am and taking 2T two times per day in liquids….
I’m doing this MOSTLY for my knee arthritis….not feeling enough relief as yet….sleep is better overall .. but I still have the morning mucous that I blow out and then rest of day I’m fine.
Any new comments from anyone?
Hi Hazel, My daughter has severe acne. Was that a miss type when you said you take 30 tablets a night? What brand do you buy at Walmart?
What 30 tablets do you take? My son has acne and your story is so amazing! Thanks 30 tablets of what?
I wonder if all the negative effects are due to high glutamate?
Anyone have experience with PRP or Prolozone Injections for OA knee or other OA areas of body. I’ve been reading about this work for some time, and did have Prolo (dextrose) in shoulder over 5 yrs ago and got 3 yrs of relief…..now everything else is advancing and most since hip replacement in 2010…..I could SCREAM.
There is a lot of info out there. getprolo.com talks primarily about PRP and Stem Cells.
jointrehab.com is a site of an MD here in LA area who does both these….
Prolozone is basically oxygen/ozone with some dextrose added to this protocol.
Dextrose Prolo is lowest price.
STem Cells highest cost.
None are insurance covered….and they can work and save us from surgery.
Anyone have any experience with any. joy
Oh I still take green can great lakes daily
If you want to really know if gelatin will be beneficial for you, instead of guessing, you can test your amino acid levels. Some neurotransmitter test panels also include glycine because it is inhiitory.
I recently had a client who had very high levels of glycine on her neurotransmitter test. She had been taking gelatin daily.
Those who are having negative reactions may already have high levels of the amino acids that are in gelatin, or they may be missing the co-nutrients that help the body to utilize all the goodness in gelatin.
In addition, I’ve seen some of my clients overdose on glycine simply because they are taking several supplements that all have ‘glycinate’ (e.g. magnesium glycinate). You must consider the sum of everything that goes in your body.
Thanks for taking the time to write. All important considerations.
Hi there just wanted to see if it is as effective using the gelatine to make jellies for my kids as it is drinking the gelatine in liquid form. My kids and I all suffer from allergies and sleep disturbance and they LOVE jellies so wanted to see if that is a possibility?
Yes, as far as I know, there would be no difference.
Thanks Judy much appreciated, just wanted to find out if the histamine content of the gelatin will still be a problem with a histamine intolerance? Thanks so much for your help!
I have just started to go through the many comments here and I thought I would give some information that might help some here.
I have been taking the Green can of GreatLakes gelatin for about a month and love it. I usually take it in the morning but I want to start taking it at night as I have had issues sleeping almost all of my 50+ yrs. I want to give you and your readers some info that I hope has not already been posted that may help.
1. If you have been taking and and problems pop up, do what some of call Cycling. Like peddling a bike, take GLG for a while and then coast/stop it for a week or two and then go back. I find that if you take it all the time your body can get used to it. I am taking Maca and read recently to take it 4 weeks, then stop for a week and then go back. Try it that way.
2. I can’t say for certain but maybe some of your readers who have had issues need to detox. That may be a reason for people with issues.
3. For those who have had issues sleeping, I would Highly recommend going to Jigsawhealth.com and trying their sustained-released magnesium. Seriously I’m not sure if I could have made it in life this far without it. We are all pretty much magnesium deficient and it greatly helps stop non-stop thinking and relaxes your body.
Finally Thank you fellow commentators for sharing. You and many others on different web-sites have made getting older so much easier. God Bless You ALL.
Its so wonderful to hear these kinds of testimonials from people who Dr. Walsh has helped. Its very encouraging. I am just at the beginning of my journey working with his protocols. I have gotten myself and my kids and many patients tested, and prescribed protocols, but its too early to say if it will be helpful or not. Reports like yours are so hopeful and exciting to me. Thank you for writing.
Hi, I am new here and I would like to now the difference between green and orange can as an more beneficial supplement. The only difference on analysis list is that geen one has no ‘bloom’ while on the Orange one has ( significant difference?! )
Thank you !
There is no difference in nutritional value, as far as I know, but the orange is used in hot liquids and and the green in cold.
There is a big difference as I’ve read, the orange can gelatin thickens very fast and used mostly for baking and cooking..
Green can product dissolves in both hot and cold and does not thicken. I’ve used ONLY green can product.
Pamela Baines says
Last night was the first time I used Gl Gelatine, I slept for the first time in years! I didn’t even know that it might aid sleep! I have trained as a homeopath and I believe that a large dose, may indeed create/exacerbate problems. Initially, it will probably help if you take a large dose but after a while the same dose will be too much; in effect it becomes a poison. Take a break and after a while if the symptoms disappear take small doses, putting into food.
That is remarkable. Thanks for taking the time to write and share your experience. Gelatin seems like one of those foods that has such a variety of effects to upon people. E pertinent atone and close observation are needed.
Pamela Baines says
Just to clarify, everything taken in too large a dose becomes poisonous! The most obvious is alcohol but even water can be “over dosed”.
You are so right!
A tablespoon of gelatine is a very heavy dose to take. I think thats why people are having negative reactions. I never use more than a TEASPOON at any one time. I sometimes do that a couple of times a day, but I would NEVER take a tablespoon in one go. Also it seems to digest much easier if it is in Panncotta (Italian desert of cream set with gelatine) or dissolved in a soup.
I dont believe the body can deal with a tablespoon in one go. Thats a LOT of collagen. Take it easy. A little goes a long way. Ease into the therapy. Just start with a teaspoon a day…
I agree with you. My original post suggesting 3 Tablespoons a day rapidly came to feel like much too much. It may be that, as you say, people will tolerate a much smaller dose much better.
I’m conflicted now after over 12 months on GLH (green can)…taking most days 2T, usually no more.
I have not had allergy/sinus/mucous issues in MANY yrs as grape seed extract has cleaned these up for the last 19 yrs…..I had a history of allergies/sinus before the grape seed ex in 1995.
About 3-4 months ago the mucous congestion is AWFUL, white mucous pouring out of my noise and from throat too…
Could I be having this problem from the GLH? I’m taking it for joint issues and now maybe I need to get off it since I’m having the other issues…..don’t know how much it’s helped joints as I take a lot of other joint supports too.
I’d love to hear if others relate to this. J
granny gibson says
Hi, Joy! I was okay with one tbs a day, but when I went to one tbs twice a day I started developing symptoms that fit with a histamine reaction. Now I only take a tablespoon if I’ve been sleeping poorly and it still works.
I understand that many foods contain histamine triggers and we get a reaction if/when we simply consume enough of them to develop an overload. Judy, is that too simplistic?
It’s not too simplistic at all. We all consume histamine in foods. It’s not something that can be avoided like gluten or dairy. It is a matter of reaching a threshold that overwhelms your own system’s capacity to metabolize it, and then symptoms occur.
As I’ve said here before, I’ve done very very well with grape seed extract since 1995, off all drugs and allergist for allergy/sinus issues…the allergist did NOTHING for me, but take money and no healing whatsoever…
So for like 19 yrs I’ve been great then all this mucous cwap, and whether my body system is just changing with age (76) or whether the GLH is influencing this, I know I’ve read here about the histimine issue…. I’m taking less these days of the GLH.
Going to work with hylauronic acid in bulk and take 100mg 3 times per day….my issues are chronic joint stuff from OA.
hi i have just started taking great lakes green tin gelatin but i notice that i get irritated every soon and am angry at the drop of a hat can this be a beginner side effect?
I believe that it is very possible that this is how you respond to the gelatin, and it may not just be a beginner side effect. Its not something that agrees with everyone.
Hi, I am feeling tired and have painful movment of leg after night sleep. I started taking gelatin once a day. How much is safe without side effect for a person of 115 lb woman?
It really is such an individual matter and there is a need for experimentation with your own unique system. You might want to start with a teaspoon and work your way up.
thank you. I will i spoon. I do not overdue with overprotein in my body for healthy kidney and liver system
Just wanted to add that I tried adding a modest amount of plain gelatin to my diet about 2 months ago, and after a few days I began to have unpleasant side effects, such as digestive upset, headache, and a rash on my face. After a couple of further days, after I put 2 and 2 together, I stopped consuming the gelatin, and the side effects ceased.
I do wonder, though, about the gelatin capsules that a lot of my daily nutritional supplements come in — though they are small, I do take a number of vitamins, minerals, a couple of herbs, etc., so I must be getting a fair amount of gelatin from them in total, and I wonder if it’s putting a stress on my system (just not enough to result in an obvious facial rash, etc.)
I have not eaten enough bone broth on a consistent basis to know if that affects me in any particular way.
Dr. Tsafrir, I see in the comments section a post written by you about 10 months ago saying that you developed some unwelcome reactions to the gelatin and eventually stopped taking it. It would be great if you could update your main blog article on this page with that information, because it would be helpful for the readers to know how you fared with the gelatin, after giving it a good go, and not everyone skims through the comments sections under articles.
Thank you for your informative site!
I wanted to add to my original post that one of the other side effects I experienced at the time that I was experimenting with taking some plain gelatin every day was bad acid reflux, which I had never had before in my life (I’m in my late 40’s).
I had the reflux particularly bad for a few weeks, daily, to the point that my teeth always felt coated with acid, the way one’s teeth feel right after one has thrown up. I had a constant sore throat, a lump in my throat, burning behind my sternum, heart palpitations, fullness after only a few bites of food, a huge amount of post-nasal drip (with no sinus congestion or anything, just mucus flooding down the back of the throat).
I had my annual physical around that time, and mentioned the symptoms to my mainstream GP, who diagnosed me with GERD and told me to take an over-the-counter PPI, which I didn’t want to do, so I have sought on my own to find non-drug ways to recover (if possible). I’m doing a lot of things that are said to help GERD, and it is better now (2 months on), but I’m not yet back to “normal”, and I wonder if I ever will be.
I did some searching online, and found a few mentions of gelatin causing acid reflux for some people.
Gelatin may not have had anything to do with my sudden experience of acid reflux, or maybe it combined with unknown factors in my life at that particular time to create the GERD, but I have decided to give gelatin a wide berth in the future.
I can see why, and I would do the same if I were you!
Thank you for writing and sharing your experience. You are right, I do need to write a post script to that piece. For some people gelatin is really helpful, and for others absolutely not. And for some like me, initially it seemed great, and then it became problematic. The comments section is very rich. I will encourage readers to look through, because there is a wealth of experiences shared there that are quite varied.
What an amazing web site,so balanced and informative.I have been on a 2 year journey to better health after been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, I started with juicing, raw vegan food ,coffee enemas supplements ect. My journey has been complex and there were many under lying causes,I have a mutated parasite called rope worm that is very hard to get rid of ,unlike the cancer which is now dormant. I have started the green tin gellatin last week after fasting ,I am just on soups and smoothies ,I have been tweaking my diet constantly and have implemented the gaps protocol for over a year but I am really starting to understand why these cure all protocols don’t work for everyone and how they can work for a while then don’t.Are bodys are so complex and change all the time ,we have to know our selfs intimately and educate our selfs,I came on here to look to see if there were any side effects as I have experienced extreme bloating and got a hunch it could be related and it seems it is ,thankyou so much to everyone who shares there experiences and does anyone know how symptoms to FODMAP foods may cause similar side effects ?
Antoinette, have you tried food grade diatomaceous earth? It is an ancient natural mineral(powder) you add to drinks etc. It’s a natural detox for the body and known to remove toxins, parasites, metals etc from the body. The testimonials are amazing. Here’s the website I ordered from. I just started taking it myself. GOD bless!
This looks interesting. Please write again after you have used it for awhile and let us know your experience.
Please know DE can also detox you and start small like a teaspoon a day.
Hi. I decided to try this for hair growth. I took 1 tbsp in my tea 2 evenings ago and woke up the next morning with some kind of itchy hives or ezcema all over my arms. They are mostly gone now. I guess I have an allergy to this. 🙁
Yes, it does sound like that. It certainly is not for everyone.
Dosing- I’ve found its better (for me) to have lots of small doses rather than 1 big daily dose.
Im concerned that people are taking the gelatine in 1 large dose.
Also it does seem easier if its present in food. I ALWAYS take mine in soup / broth/ jelly / milo / pannacotta.
I don’t think the body assimilates large quantities of gelatine at one time without other fibre and food elements present.
Im writing from Australia so Im using a different gelatine.
Thanks for writing and sharing your experience. It seems like its effects are very individual, as is the dosing. And that also sometimes seems to change over time in one individual. Each of us is our own experiment.
Keith and Michelle Alford says
How do you swallow the dry gelatin powder? It sticks to my teeth and almost gags me! Does it come in pill form?
You must take the dry gelatin and mix it with a few tablespoons of cool water and make a gel with it. After you made the gel, pour hot liquid on top of it and mix it together thoroughly. It is important to start with the cool water step first, or otherwise you will create something really unpalatable. If you prepare it properly, the gelatin powder is barely perceptible. It must adds a bit of body to the liquid.
I don’t use the Orange can GL gelatin, I use the green can hydrosylate and have been going on a year soon….it dissolves in everything, no lumps, no bumps, etc…..cold, hot, soups, everything.
A friend on another health board takes close to 6 T per day now….I do 3-4T it seems.
There are many reveiws on the green can..I thought more used the orange can for cooking more etc….
I wish u could take gelatin and have tried and tried but react badly to it. My eyes get heavy and I get sleep about 20 min after having it. I am severe allergic to MSG which is naturally occurring in gelatin but only a small amount. Thus still must be enough to effect me. I’m wondering whether it is more a histamine intolerance but don’t have a problem with bone broth. Do you gavesng other suggestions as I know the health benefits are superb if you can take it.
I don’t know the answer, but you are not alone in being unable to tolerate. It’s great for some people, but not for others. I don’t know what the issue is. For me, it was great in the beginning, but then I really needed to decrease the dose quite a bit, and ultimately I stopped taking it, because I felt it was giving me a headache. I may try it again at a reduced dose.
I have recently begun taking Great Lakes Gelatin Powder as a sleep aid and it’s proven successful. However, my skin has begun to break out on my face, back and chest. Is this a common effect? Does gelatin detox the liver and if so will this pass eventually? Curing insomnia but having terrible skin doesn’t seem like a fair trade-off!
I never heard of gelatin causing skin to break out. That is unfair! I just googled it and found someone else in the comments section of a blog called Empowered Sustenance who reported the same thing! http://empoweredsustenance.com/collagen-hydrolysate-gelatin-hormones/ I don’t know.
I still take the green can GL product but didn’t start with for sleep….I’ve never dealt with insomnia, but for whatever it’s worth I’ll post my Sleep Cure here….. I was hit with Fibro in 1999 and a lifetime battle with OA and I’m 76….so as I’ve gotten older and with all this stuff I worked long and hard to get good sleep and I do, good and dreamy, 8-10 hrs per night with a bathroom run at 3-4AM or so…
7:30PM I take 1/2 to 3/4mg Melatonin (source naturals) is my favorite and I break up a 1mg tablet.
500 mg combo of choline/inositol with this
The above gets my body ready for sleep.
10;30PM or so
1 calms forte homeopathic tablet (I chew it) but can be swallowed…I usually lay my head down at 11PM or so and in 15 min or so I’m out.
Often I add 1 Lemon Balm cap to the above…..I’ve learned to adjust accordingly on what works.
When I wake up for bathroom at 3 or so, and if I can’t get back to sleep, take another 500mg Inositol and if I feel like it another calms tablet and I’m out for 4-5 more hours.
Some days thru the day I take a Gaba cap or Inositol to keep my body calm as FM is a nerve issue and keeping calm is vital.
I take about 1000mg magnesium citrate or glycinate thru the day in 500mg doses….for more calming and also keeps me nice and regular….Many with FM need the mag, and many do for that matter….
This may help someone and one can adjust the above as best for them, I’ve learned for some yrs to work with this all….joy
What a wonderful informative comment! Thank you for sharing. I am sure that it will be of help to many.
I have been using 2-4 tlbs per day of custom collagen brand hydrolyzed gelatin and Great Lakes as well. I will never stop! The results have been amazing. Moods better, skin smoother, hair and nails longer and stronger. I have actually watched the skin on the back of my hands get smoother. Less aches and pains. I have also lost weight with out trying at all. Slowly …but effortlessly. No more sweets cravings and reduced appetite. Satisfied on less food! I am preaching it to all my friends. I put it in my Bullet Proof coffee along with raw cacao and cinnamon. Full until early afternoon!
Gelatin is part of my life now. It’s a miracle.i feel like a new person. Will certainly encourage my sons and grandchildren to take gelatin for a better lifestyle .
Wow, what sort of differences have you noticed? Thanks for writing.
If glycine is good for anxiety and sleep why not just supplement with the specific amino acid directly? Then there’s no other competing amino acids along with it. It seems to me that people experience issues with gelatin after prolonged use, perhaps it starts disrupting neurotransmitter balance over time?
I’ve been taking Great Lakes (Green cannister) for close to a year soon…..thinking of going off it, as I’ve had MORE mucous than I have had in a LONG time…..
I was taking it to help with cartlidge and don’t know if it’s doing much at this point…..maybe I’ll take less.
I’m getting some pretty good help with Ligaplex II by standard process for ligament/tendon support…..
Working to save my KNEE from any surgery…..dealing with a mess from hip replacement in 2010….now understand that my OA back issues didn’t improve with the replacement….but no groin pain……Joy
That is interesting about the mucous you mentioned. I was not aware of a connection with gelatin. I wish you all the best with your health.
I started taking gelatine a week ago. I felt like making fresh raspberry jelly and researched gelatine to find out what I was eating.
I had a major compound fracture of four metatarsals ( the bones and joints that lead to the toes. Since that injury it had felt like I have a big knot of bone in the ball of my foot, like always walking on a rock.
This week I noticed that the knot of bone was becoming separate bones, as if I had grown cartilage to keep the metatarsals apart and acting properly. This has progressed every day. I’ve been taking a mixture of grass fed sheets ( 3 or 4 , in hot chicken soup, pannacotta ( cream set with gelatine) and a teaspoon of powdered gelatine in juice once or twice a day. I stated off having a couple of grams a day and am now (day 7 ) taking 20 to 30 grams.
I have also noticed that my very dry papery skin now looks normal, and the bruising under my eyes is clearing.
I’had a very stressful couple of years including the smashed foot (I’m a circus artist and was told I would never perform again) and the death of my mother, etc. Im finding that I feel suddenly quite strong. My mood is very improved and Im sleeping much better.
Thank you for taking the time to write and to share your experience. It sounds like you are having a great response. I just wanted to caution you to pay attention to how you feel over time. I was also initially so amazed by the improvement in my sleep, the decrease in my anxiety and appetite, but over time the dose that I was taking became much too much and I really needed to scale it way back. This may not apply to you, but keep tuned in to how you are feeling and there may be some dosage adjustment required over time.
thank you, Im a circus artist so Im very body aware, Its great to see such quick noticeable improvement.
It feels a bit like the body is like one of those 3 d printing machines. And I ve just poured in the ‘ink’ to fulfil the original blueprint.
I feel like I’ll use it intensely therapeutically till I feel ‘full’ which might take a few weeks, and then I’ ll lower the dose, and probably just use it in food. Except when Im under lots of stress. It seems like skin tone and bruising are good indicators (for me).
personally I find that taking supplements in the form of pills and tablets doesn’t work at all for me.
I ended up on this thread because I was googling what possible ‘overdose’ symptoms may be.
thank you everyone for contributing your experiences.
It is totally great that you have had such a quick and marked response. I love your analogy with the ink! And I think that your approach is very sound. You seem very tuned into yourself, so I am sure that you will navigate it skillfully. Please continue to share. Its really a valuable way for us to learn from each other.
Granny Gibson says
I was going to wait a bit to post, but I’ve been taking two tbs of the orange can for several months and also suspect some things. First, it did not improve my osteoarthritis, that I have noticed. It did help me sleep longer and dream alot, but after awhile I noticed my energy level and my contration were slipping. That may have been from stress, but I’ll be watching.
I only recently noticed morning headaches, but an antihistamine tablet makes them disappear. Over the last five days they’ve backed way down! I often have sinus headaches with the weather, but they don’t respond to antihistamines.
Anecdotally, our weather was terrible yesterday, but I had much more energy and got alot done!
If anything new happens, I’ll report back.
Thank you for writing and sharing your experience. It sounds like you are having mixed results with the gelatin. I think its important to find the right dose which may vary over time.
granny gibson says
While investigating gelatin I came across an article (http://calories proper.com/protein-dilemma-sleepy-or-smart-gelatin/) that may explain my brain fog. My anxiety level is also higher, but it may be because of the fog. I’ve decided against glycine right now because I get enough protein in my diet. I want my brain back!
Granny do yourself a Huge favor and if you are eating wheat or corn, stop them right now and never eat them again. Read Dr. William Davis’s book “Wheat Belly” and if you can’t just know that the wheat that you are eating now is not the wheat of 5o+ years ago. They call it FrankenWheat as it has been modified. Give yourself a few weeks off of it and you will be rith thinking again.
Granny Gibson says
Thom, thanks for the thought. I already don’t eat grains and very little sugar, and I’m with you there! I have my brain back now and have cut back on the gelatin, taking teaspoon doses instead of double tablespoons and not daily any more.
I took Great Lakes Green can for over a month and initially had really good result, so doubled my dose and multiple problems started. i suspected that I might be histamine intolerant before and the higher dose of gelatin triggered all symptoms of intolerance. I felt horrendous, both physically an psychologically, including a bad bout of anxiety and depression, and outbreak of eczema, nausea, dizziness and a completely confused menstrual cycle. It all stopped when I stopped taking gelatin. I also did some research and found quite a few studies that state gelatin and hydrolyzed collagen are very high in histamine. And while certain levels can be tolerated, histamine accumulates in the system and can only have negative effects when the system is saturated. I would be very careful recommending gelatin supplements to anyone with histamine intolerance as the side effects can be really difficult to deal with and debilitating. I do want to try and balance my enzyme and go back to taking it in small doses as it really helped with my varicose veins and general energy levels, but I will take it with caution and probably using DOA supplements at the same time.
Thank you LUCJAM for what you shared.
I am looking a all my supplements and beauty products in relation to Histamine and I am suspicious of many ‘other’ ingredients like Magnesium Stearates (even if vegetable sourced), sesame seed oil, gelatin, etc..
I also took Great Lakes the Orange can for a while for skin, sleep and healing leaky gut but it along with my limited diet due to sensitivities may have helped push me over the lip of my Histamine bucket.
Hello, I know this is an old thread, but I haven’t been able to find any research or studies that back up your claim that hydrolyzed collagen is high in histamines.
Can you please provide them, or other articles which show this is the case?
I am sorry, I have no idea where that came from, but perhaps someone else might be able to help.
Yes, thank you. Am hoping to hear from LUCJAM, who made the claim about reading ‘many’ studies that showed that hydrolyzed collagen increased histamine levels.
I can’t find a single one, but hopefully he’ll reply. 🙂
Kristin Bock says
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!
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.
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.
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 [email protected],
(((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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
🙂 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.
Thanks for sharing. Its amazing what a difference omitting gluten makes for some people. Its truly profound.
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.
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
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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……
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…..
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.
I was wondering about the affect of gelatin on blood sugar levels.
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.
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.
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 says
No changes that I have noticed. As Judy said, it’s protein and a small amount at that. No carbs per Fitday.
Lynn D says
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?
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
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.
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…
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 …
In my case , I began taking it 4 days ago , 2 tps per day at night , I got horrible bloating , back pain and my face skin becamr so bad with pimples and pores as if it is getting rid of all bad things inside ! What do you think , should I stop it , or continue ? Is there hope that after using it longer time I can see better results ?
If it were me, I would not continue. It may not be the right probiotic for you. I would try and find one that you do not have such a severe reaction to. Its interesting. I am now hearing from more and more people who do not tolerate Prescript Assist.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 says
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.
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…..
granny gibson says
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.
Its interesting. Seems like there may be benefits and costs. Thanks for taking the time to write.
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……
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.
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.”
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….
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.
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.
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
Thanks so much for writing. What doses do you take of the grape seed extract and pycnogenol?
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….
So interesting. Thank you for sharing. Your concoctions sound amazing!
Not sure if you’ll see this, but I’m concerned that the Advil you take may be causing leaky gut (or intestinal permeability) which could be causing your joint problems?
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.
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.
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
That is interesting to have the input from Marcia about 9 T. Terrific.
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.
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.
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!)
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….
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.
Felicia Libo says
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.
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.
Thank you for your time and research in writing these articles. It is refreshing to see a MD that isn’t constantly pushing meds!
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.
Very impressive. Thanks for writing and sharing.
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.
Thank you so much for sharing. That sounds very alarming! Yes, I would also stop it, if I were you. Yikes!
Nermin Kura says
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. https://www.judytsafrirmd.com/the-power-of-bio-identical-progesterone/
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I notice that when I take it that my nails do not peel and break.
Jim E says
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?
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.
Jim E says
A year ago I reported negative effects after using gelatin to try to aid sleep. I also had the same problem, unpleasant vivid dreams with green tea. For those having problems after consuming Great Lakes gelatin I may have found an explanation. I had genetic testing trying to find out why I was B12 deficient. I have MTHFR mutation that slows down the utilization of B12. The methylethyl cycle also contributes to high histamine. A genetic mutation also makes it difficult for me to properly metabolize sulfur. BINGO — sulfur is used in the process of making gelatin. Interestingly, Nutrihacker analysis of my, “23 and Me,” report told me to avoid green tea, MSM, MSG and other foods and compounds due to mutations.
I have to assume from your post that you also have the CBS gene mutation. This mutation does create a problem for people when it comes to sulphur (thiols). However, if one has the MTHFR mutation(s) in addition to the CBS mutation, that person may actually be deficient in sulphur and need the sulphur–they just cannot handle it. For these people, the CBS mutation has to be addressed first before addressing the MTHFR gene(s). It may interest you to know that people with histamine intolerance are inherently low in sulphur. But whether one can supplement with sulphur and/or tolerate thiol foods is going to largely depend on your methylation cycle and your gene mutations. Cysteine levels also come into play here and heavy metals need to be looked as a cause of methylation blockages. I have spent a lot of time studying genetics/epigenetics I have added 23andme and Yasko interpretations/protocols to my health coaching practice because thereis such a need for it but not enough people are educated on it. Happy to talk with you more, if you’re interested. You can reach me at HopeMCross @ aol.com (no spaces).
Jim E says
A big Thank You to you. I am still trying to unravel the mess my genetic mutations have caused my health and eating patterns. You were right on, both CBS and MTHFR mutation. I am upside-down on many symptoms related to food consumption. The genetic exploration has provided explanations. I do not have a problem with histamine sensitivity, but I am curious as to the linkage of mutations in the methyl cycle.
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
I am sorry to hear that it stopped working. I don’t know why that would be.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I’m curious if you noticed a difference in your hair/nails since taking only one tablespoon per day.
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 says
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.
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
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??
I take MSM daily, but not before bed. My doctor says it’s rare, but it keeps me from relaxing and falling asleep.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lara Briden says
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Christina Merlino, CN CGP says
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!
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.
gaye mack says
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
Trina, I also suffered from sleeplessness after a lowcarb diet! It’s been a year and a half now since I stopped the diet, and I have mostly managed my sleep issues, but I still miss my old self. I used to be able to nap on a dime and now I can’t anymore, and my average nightly sleep was 8-9, now it’s 6-7. I’ve discovered gelatin and it has been working really well for a few nights now. I’ve been sleeping up to 8 hours. I’m womdering if the diet caused some imbalance in our system and the gelatin is helping to bring it back? Are you still using gelatin today?
Thanks for another great post.
So kind of you to write to say thanks!
Diana Darcy says
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.
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.