Arthritis is a debilitating disease characterized by pain and inflammation in your joints. The two most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. There is no cure for these diseases that can cause chronic pain and disrupt daily activities. According to research compiled by Cole in 2000, many have found relief from complementary food therapies including the use of gelatin to reduce symptoms from arthritis.
Many of the traditional therapies associated with arthritis have unpleasant side effects. Some medications, such as anti-inflammatory medications, can lead to ulcers and bowel problems. Gelatin has no known side effects if taken as directed. According to the National Institutes of Health, gelatin has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a safe dietary supplement for healthy adults. Gelatin can be found in pill form, powder form, and the viscous gelatin form. According to a mega-analysis by the National Institutes of Health, ingested gelatin has been found to increase joint cartilage in mice.
Manufactured gelatin is made from animal collagen through varying scientific processes. Vegetarians and certain religious groups may not be able to use gelatin for this reason. The form, type and strength of gelatin to use is a personal preference based on your time and availability. Most find taking a pill once daily much easier than mixing products such as Gelatine, which must be carefully mixed before ingestion. According to the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration has not identified gelatin as a treatment for any disease. Therefore, it's prudent to start with very low levels of gelatin and see how your body responds.
According to Cole, gelatin is a protein used by your entire body. Specifically, when you eat gelatin, your body turns this substance into collagen. Collagen is one of the main components of your joints; collagen reduces friction and may assist with lubrication. Using gelatin for arthritis is referred to as a complementary therapy. This means that using gelatin in conjunction with your medical regimen can produce positive effects. When we eat or ingest gelatin, portions of that go back to the joints to lubricate them and provide arthritis relief.
Gelatin comes in many forms. If a gelatin pill is your choice, it can be purchased inexpensively over the counter. Most over-the-counter gelatin supplements range from $5 to $15 a bottle and can be bought at the drug store. The gelatin pill works in the same fashion as eating gelatin; your body breaks down the gelatin into collagen that's absorbed and used by many different parts of your body.
Pure gelatin can be ingested once or twice daily, including the use of Jello brand gelatin. It's best to buy the sugar-free kind, as weight gain is not advised in those suffering arthritis. Weight gain puts more stress on your inflamed joints. This form of gelatin can be bought at the grocery store, and is more time consuming than the pill form but maintains the same arthritis relief benefits.
- Cole, C.G.B. Gelatin. (2000). Encyclopedia of food science and technology, 2nd ed (4). New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2000. 1183-1188. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- National Institute of Health. Osteoarthritis and nutrition. From nutraceuticals to functional foods: A systematic review of the scientific evidence.
- National Institute of Health. (2006) Arthritis research and therapy table.