Gelatin may shorten recovery from exercise and sports injury.

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. Use of gelatin is pervasive. Check the ingredients in those marshmallows, or cream cheese, yogurt or margarine, commercially baked cakes and desserts, and ice creams. In fact, if you see the word "stabilisers" on a package, it probably contains gelatin. Gelatin is also found in many non-edible products also, like glue, bone china, photographic chemicals, because it smooths glossy printing papers like on playing cards and maintains the wrinkles in crepe paper. Gelatin is also used by synchronised swimmers to hold their hair in place during their routines, it won't dissolve in the cold water of the pool. 

It's also used for ballistic gelatin simulate muscle tissue as a standardized medium for testing firearms ammunition. A new major application for gelatin is in the paintball industry. Gelatin binds together the chemicals that form the match head, gelatin is the binder between the paper and the abrasive particles in sandpaper, Gelatin is used in a lot of medications, like gelcaps, throat lozenges, and many vitamins, and there's always room for Jell-O. The production of gelatin begins with the boiling of hooves, bones, and hides of pigs, and cattle. This process releases protein rich collagen from the animal tissues. Because the collagen is processed so extensively it's not really classified as an animal or meat product by the FDA. So that's how it's made, how about some history. Gelatine was first used in Egyptian times. Traces of gelatine were found in the pharaohs grave in the form of glue. The word "gelatine" comes originally from Latin word "gelatus" and means "jellied, froze." Gelatin was once considered a sign of wealth, before the advent of prepared gelatin, only members of the elite classes could afford it. It took hours to render gelatin, clarify it. 1682 was history's first references to gelatine. A Frenchman named Denis Papin (1647-1712) recorded his research experiments on the subject. In 1845 unflavored dried gelatin became available from the J and G Company of Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1889 Plymouth Rock Gelatin Company of Boston patented its Phosphated Gelatin. In 1894
Charles Knox developed the world's first pre-granulated gelatine. He hired salesmen to travel door-to-door to show women how to add liquid to it and use it to make molds, and desserts. In 1896, Rose Knox published "Dainty Desserts", a book of recipes using Knox gelatin. At this point gelatin was still clear and flavorless, except for the fruits that were added to the desserts. In 1895 Pearl B. Wait, experimented with adding fruit syrups to gelatin, drying it and making into a powder. The powder was 88% sugar. They named the dessert "Jell-O." However, they were unsuccessful in selling the product. Unfortunately for Mr. Wait, he lacked the funds and knowledge to properly market his product, so he ended up selling the Jello-O formula to his neighbor, Orator Francis Woodward. 

In 1899 Orator Francis Woodward, purchased the Jello-O name and the business for $450. During the early years, Orator Francis Woodward had no luck getting Jell-O to take-off in popularity either and he reportedly tried to sell-off the Jell-O business for only $35 to his Plant Superintendent, Andrew Samuel Nico. Eventually, Woodward's advertising efforts started paying off when he sent out well-groomed salesmen, out on beautiful horse-drawn carriages into communities, fairs, country gatherings, and church socials to evangelize and provide Jell-o samples. These efforts, along with new technologies like refrigeration, and packaging helped Jell-O get discovered and became fashionable to serve at banquets and fancy dinners. In 1923 Woodward's Genesee Pure Food Company was renamed JELL-O Company, and in 1925 merged with Postum Cereal, Inc, that would eventually become General Foods Corporation. Today Jell-O is owned and manufactured by Kraft/General Foods. Knox Gelatine tried to discourage the rush toward Jell-O with ads warning shoppers to spurn "sissy-sweets" that were 85% sugar. While Knox stressed the purity of their odorless, tasteless, sugarless gelatin, Jell-O highlighted their product's versatility, to compete. In 1993, technicians at St. Jerome Hospital in Batavia, New York, tested a bowl of JELL-O with an EEG machine and confirmed the earlier testing by Dr. Adrian Upton, that a bowl of wiggly gelatin has waves identical to brain waves of adult men and women. Today you'd be hard pressed to find a restaurant, school cafeteria or hospital meal without some type of gelatin desert.

A 1998 study at Ball State University, which was funded by Knox/Nabisco, found that gelatin supplements helped keep the joints of athletes more flexible and lessened pain for some. A German research study also found gelatin to be helpful for joint pain and arthritis. Gelatin provides the building blocks for healthy joints and people with arthritis, joint injuries or joint pain might notice a substantial difference from incorporating Gelatin rich foods and supplements. Even WebMD talks about the joint uses of Gelatin, "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." Gelatin's high concentration of glycoprotein and proline amino acids make it a great protector for the body's bones. A deficiency in both these amino acids can cause joint pain. It is one of the best sources of the amino acids (protein building blocks) that comprise collagen. These are glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, lysine and hydroxylysine. Hydrolyzed gelatin is therefore believed to be an excellent source of concentrated nourishment for bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and skin. It has been widely used in Europe as a treatment for arthritis and osteoporosis. Studies conducted in Germany and the Czech Republic support the use of hydrolyzed gelatin to treat these conditions. Nutritionists at the University of Maastricht write about their discovery in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Two hours after eating a hefty portion of gelatine your body has a surge in growth hormone production.  Gelatine raises GH better than soya protein, the whey protein alpha-lactalbumin and milk protein. Many of the traditional therapies associated with arthritis and joint injuries have unpleasant side effects. I'm talking about medications, like anti-inflammatory medications, that 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. As I mentioned earlier Gelatin contains proteins like Arginine and Glycine. This is important as it is one of the few protein sources to contain large amounts of these amino acids. Arginine can have a metabolism boosting effect, more importantly though is the benefit of Glycine which has two main functions, firstly it helps build muscle and secondly it converts glucose to energy rather than fat. This is key as the more things in our diet that prevent lipolysis and promote fat oxidation the better. Glycine is especially good at soothing and rebuilding the digestive tract therefore it seems plausible to recommend it to anyone with problems like ulcers or a leaky gut. It even helps absorb calcium in the gut and has been shown to have a calming effect soon after ingestion.
Gelatin also promotes soft skin, hard nails and healthy hair and no side effects have ever been reported. So while there there isn't a lot of large study based data to review, holistic medicine practitioners swear by it and it seems relatively safe to experiment with. It's prudent to start with low levels of gelatin and see how your body responds first. Now nothing can replace a good organic healthy diet with all the essential amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins to aid in injury recovery. However, adding some gelatin to a breakfast smoothie or protein shake, or making a sugar free gelatine desert, most likely wont hurt either, and could hasten your recovery and aid in pain relief. If you are taking any prescription medications always consult your physician first. Good Luck...

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