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VERIFIED CONTENTAuthor: lek. Katarzyna Banaszczyk

A lot has been said about the beneficial effects of gelatin on the bone and joint system. Who among us has not heard about the beneficial effect of "cold feet" on aching joints. What it comes from? How does gelatin affect our joints? Find out what the research is saying.

Gelatin is a natural protein obtained from the breakdown of collagen, which is typically derived from unused products after animal slaughter (such as bones, tendons or animal skin). Collagen is a structural protein found in almost all tissues of an animal organism. This protein gives tissues tensile strength and, what is more, is involved in the processes of tissue healing and repair.

Where is gelatin used?

Thanks to its gelling properties, gelatin is widely used in gastronomy (it dissolves well in water and forms a gel).

It is a kind of thickener, also used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

Gelatin - in what products can we find it?

Gelatin is found primarily in products such as jellies, jellies, but also in a meal known to many of us, which are cold legs, also known as jelly or simply jelly legs. However, it should be remembered that in these products we can find not too much pure gelatin.

It is worth noting that kitchen gelatine, available in almost all stores, should not be consumed by us in large quantities, due to the fact that the animal products from which it is obtained are not always of the highest quality and may contain many artificial chemicals.

Gelatin for joints - what does scientific research say about it?

It is worth taking a look at the results of the available scientific studies that discuss the influence of gelatin (and more precisely in the medical terminology of collagen hydrolyzate) on the course of osteoarticular diseases, especially osteoarthritis.

Gelatin and osteoarthritis

The first of the cited studies concerns the effect of hydrolyzed chicken sternum cartilage extract on the symptoms of osteoarthritis. This disease is the most common disease of the locomotor system, the essence of which is damage to the articular cartilage.

Typical symptoms of thisailments are joint pain and stiffness, a characteristic feature of which is the emergence of after a long period of motionlessness.

In this clinical trial (70 days), patients were divided into two groups. The first of them received a placebo, and the second was given the above-mentioned cartilage extract (in a dose of 2 grams).

As it turned out, the use of cartilage extract allowed to reduce pain and perceived joint stiffness, as well as increase the physical activity of patients, compared to the placebo group.

Based on this study, it can be concluded that cartilage extract, i.e. gelatin, can positively affect the course of osteoarthritis and become an auxiliary substance in the treatment of this disease.

Gelatin for joints and physical activity

Another interesting scientific study concerned the use of supplements containing gelatin by people practicing sports.

This study lasted 24 weeks and covered 147 people who regularly practice sports. These people were divided into two groups, one of them received 10 g of collagen hydrolyzate (i.e. gelatin), and the other group - a placebo.

The results of this study showed that the use of gelatin reduced joint pain associated with exercise.

Of course, it was a study in which a small group of athletes took part, but its results allow the conclusion that collagen hydrolysates can be used as an auxiliary to reduce the pain associated with practicing sports.

Is it worth recommending to patients gelatin or supplements containing collagen derivatives?

A large review of scientific research reports that there are currently no specific indications and strong arguments that would prove the validity of recommending the use of gelatin and collagen derivatives in the form of supplements for patients with joint diseases.

In addition to the above-mentioned studies, there were also scientific reports according to which the use of gelatin and collagen breakdown products did not significantly reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

More research is needed (especially studies with a larger scope, to which more patients will be qualified) to clearly answer the question whether gelatin is able to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Of course, gelatin is not a harmful preparation, so you can try using it in reasonable amounts. However, it should be remembered that this is not a substitute for a visit and treatment at a doctor's office. Joint diseases are typically de alt with by a rheumatologist, but also by a doctororthopedic doctor.

In the case of joint pain, it is worth visiting your family doctor at the beginning, who, after collecting a detailed interview and examining the patient, will decide on the need for additional tests (for example, imaging, i.e. X-ray pictures of the aching joint) and the need for specialist consultation (for rheumatologist or orthopedist)

Your GP can refer you to a specialist appointment. Pain in the joint does not always result from problems related to degeneration, but it can be a symptom of more serious diseases, so it is worth visiting a doctor first.

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