Gelatin (or gelatine)

A protein found in people and animals, gelatin forms the connective tissues that support bones, muscles and skin.

What are its health benefits?

Gelatin contains collagen, which makes up cartilage and bone, and is believed to assist in the management of arthritis and other joint conditions.

Gelatin is a rich source of protein, providing all of the amino acids used to build collagen — glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and hydroproline. Glycine is needed by the liver to efficiently remove toxins from our system. Lysine, which helps us absorb calcium and build muscle, is also easily accessible through gelatin.

It is used in foodstuffs, medicine, cosmetics and manufacturing.

Gelatin supplementation may have the following uses:

  • Aiding in weight loss
  • Supporting hair health
  • Assisting in a shortened recovery period after exercise
  • Supporting bones, joints, and fingernails’ health

Find it in these sources

The best way to eat gelatin is with other foods. It comes in powder and capsule form. It can, for example, be added to cereals, porridge and smoothies and salads.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

While there is no official gelatin dosage, a dosage of up to 10g daily can reportedly be safely used for up to six months.

If you are considering taking gelatin, first talk to your doctor or Clicks pharmacist about whether you should be taking it and the correct dosage if so. 

Possible side effects

If you have an allergy or hypersensitivity to cow or bovine-related gelatin products, try an alternative fish-based or vegetarian form.

Side effects are not common, but they are possible. These may include:

  • Stomach upset to gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Belching

Little is known about the use of gelatin in medicinal amounts during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so avoid using it during this time.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

This medicine has not been evaluated by the Medicines Control Council. This medicine is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in September 2015