Gelatin (the cooked form of collagen) makes up about 50% of the protein in an animal, but a much smaller percentage in the more active tissues, such as the brain, muscle, and liver. 35% of the amino acids in gelatin are glycine, 11% alanine, and 21% proline and hydroxyproline. The consumption of gelatin has decreased in the industrialized societies, relative to the foods that contain an inappropriately high proportion of the antimetabolic amino acids, especially tryptophan and cysteine. Foods that create a stressful effect, in turn slowing the metabolism include muscle meats, beans/legumes, egg whites, and plant proteins. In excess or when out of balance in the body, tryptophan and cysteine can become highly excitatory, increasing inflammatory responses and decreasing cellular respiration and energy production.
Throughout thousands of years, we have practiced hunting an animal and eating it in its entirety. This provided high levels of nutrients and a balance of antiinflammatory amino acids glycine, proline, alanine, & hydroxyproline. Glycine is recognized as an “inhibitory” neurotransmitter and promotes natural sleep. Glycine has been used in supplemental form for individuals recovering from strokes and seizures, and also to improve learning and memory. In every single cell throughout our body, glycine has the same kind of quieting, protective antistress action. Using gelatin as a major dietary protein source is an easy way to restrict the amino acids that are associated with many of the problems of aging.
Benefits of Gelatin
- Clive McKay’s studies on life extension showed restricting tryptophan and cysteine produced a greater extension of the life span than achieved in most of the studies of caloric restriction.
- Gelatin reduces inflammation of the mucous membranes.
- Gelatin aids in detoxification and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- Gelatin promotes wound healing, tumor inhibition, and reduction in systemic inflammation.
- Gelatin has a sparing effect on proteins, meaning the body is less likely to catabolize muscle tissue protein during fasting.
- Gelatin can prevent or alleviate injuries produced from excess tryptophan and serotonin from fibrosis, free radical damage, inflammation, cell death, calcium overload, mitochondrial damage, and diabetes.
- Recent research shows that progesterone and its metabolites also act on the “glycine receptor” increasing inhibition, and that the “phytoestrogen,” feinstein, antagonizes the inhibitory effect of glycine.
- Gelatin is peptogenic and aids in gastric secretion, thus promoting digestion.
- Gelatin can increase blood levels of calcium, thus down regulating bone catabolism.
- Glycine in broth and gelatin is used in the synthesis of glutathione, bile salts, hemoglobin, nucleotides DNA and RNA.
- Bone broth contains high amounts of immune-globulins (IgG).
- According to N.R. Gotthoffer in, “Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine”, “…gelatin can aid in the digestion of milk and dairy products.”
- Glycine’s inhibitory effects appear to oppose estrogen’s actions generally, in sensory and motor nerves, regulating angiogenesis, and in modulating the cytokines that are involved in so many inflammatory and degenerative diseases.
- Gelatin has been used successfully to treat diabetes for over 100 years (A. Guerard, Ann Hygiene 36, 5, 1871; H. Brat, Deut. Med. Wochenschrift 28 (No. 2), 21, 1902).
- Glycine’s antispastic activity has been used to alleviate the muscle spasms of multiple sclerosis as well as moderate some of the symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Glycine has shown to alleviate colitis and bone broth for ulcers, celiac disease, and other diseases of the digestive system.
If you are someone who has never tried gelatin or making bone broth we recommend starting slow and lower dose. Using chicken feet, head, neck, and oxtails can reduce histamine responses so individuals can get from normal beef bone broth. Click here to check out our easy made broth recipe.
Gelatin should always be consumed in combination with carbohydrates and fat. When consuming muscle meat, include a tablespoon of gelatin or a cup of bone broth. This will help balance the rations of stress causing amino acids to anti-stressful amino acids.
Although the prepared powdered gelatin does not require any cooking, dissolving it in hot water makes it digest a little more quickly. It can be incorporated in ice cream, jello, pies, soups, custards, sauces or mixed in fruit juices. Feel free to check out our tools section or click here to source the gelatin brand we recommend.
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