URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1051.html

Gelatin

What is it?

Gelatin is a protein made from animal products.

Gelatin is used for weight loss and for treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and brittle bones (osteoporosis). Some people also use it for strengthening bones, joints, and fingernails. Gelatin is also used for improving hair quality and to shorten recovery after exercise and sports-related injury.

In manufacturing, gelatin is used for preparation of foods, cosmetics, and medicines.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for GELATIN are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...

  • A kind of arthritis called osteoarthritis. There is some clinical evidence that gelatin might relieve pain and improve joint function in patients with osteoarthritis.
  • Brittle bones (osteoporosis).
  • Strengthening bones and joints.
  • Strengthening fingernails.
  • Improving hair quality.
  • Weight loss.
  • Shortening recovery after exercise and sports-related injury.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of gelatin for these uses.

How does it work?

Gelatin contains collagen, which is one of the materials that make up cartilage and bone. This is why some people think gelatin might help for arthritis and other joint conditions.

Are there safety concerns?

Gelatin is LIKELY SAFE for most people in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE in the larger amounts used as medicine. There's some evidence that gelatin in doses up to 10 grams daily can be safely used for up to 6 months.

Gelatin can cause an unpleasant taste, sensation of heaviness in the stomach, bloating, heartburn, and belching. Gelatin can cause allergic reactions in some people.

There is some concern about the safety of gelatin because it comes from animal sources. Some people are worried that unsafe manufacturing practices might lead to contamination of gelatin products with diseased animal tissues including those that might transmit mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). Although this risk seems to be low, many experts advise against using animal-derived supplements like gelatin.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of gelatin in medicinal amounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Are there interactions with medications?

It is not known if this product interacts with any medicines.

Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

The appropriate dose of gelatin depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for gelatin. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Other names

Collagen Hydrolysate, Collagène Dénaturé, Collagène Hydrolysé, Collagène Marin Hydrolysé, Denatured Collagen, Gelatina, Gelatine, Gélatine, Gélatine Hydrolysée, Hydrolised Collagen, Hydrolysed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein, Hydrolyzed Gelatin, Marine Collagen Hydrolysate, Protéine de Collagène Hydrolysé.

Methodology

To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.

References

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  4. Unknown author. Clinical trial finds Knox NutraJoint has benefits in mild osteoarthritis. 10-1-2000.
  5. Morganti P, Randazzo S Bruno C. Effect of gelatin/cystine diet on human hair growth. J Soc Cosmetic Chem (England) 1982;33:95-96.
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  10. No authors listed. A randomized trial comparing the effect of prophylactic intravenous fresh frozen plasma, gelatin or glucose on early mortality and morbidity in preterm babies. The Northern Neonatal Nursing Initiative [NNNI] Trial Group. Eur J Pediatr. 1996;155:580-588. View abstract.
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  14. van Eerd, J. E., Vegt, E., Wetzels, J. F., Russel, F. G., Masereeuw, R., Corstens, F. H., Oyen, W. J., and Boerman, O. C. Gelatin-based plasma expander effectively reduces renal uptake of 111In-octreotide in mice and rats. J Nucl.Med. 2006;47:528-533. View abstract.
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Last reviewed - 02/14/2015