Gelatin supplements, good for your joints?

A new study from Keith Baar’s Functional Molecular Biology Laboratory at the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences and the Australian Institute of Sport suggests that consuming a gelatin supplement, plus a burst of intensive exercise, can help build ligaments, tendons and bones. The study is published in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Connective tissue and bone injuries are common in both athletes and the elderly, and interfere with peoples’ ability (and enthusiasm) for exercise, whether they are an elite athlete or just trying to lose weight and maintain fitness and flexibility. Steps that can prevent injury and enhance recovery are therefore of great interest.

Obviously, it’s difficult to assess the direct effect of a supplement on tissues without opening up someone’s knee. But Baar’s laboratory has been developing techniques to grow artificial ligaments in the laboratory. They used their lab-dish ligaments as a stand-in for the real thing.

Gelatin, Vitamin C and Exercise

Baar, Greg Shaw at the Australian Institute of Sport, and colleagues enrolled eight healthy young men in a trial of a gelatin supplement enhanced with vitamin C. The volunteers drank the supplement and had blood taken, and after one hour performed a short (five minute) bout of high-impact exercise (skipping).

The researchers tested the blood for amino acids that could build up the collagen protein that composes tendons, ligaments, and bones. They also tested blood samples for their effect on Baar’s lab-grown ligaments at UC Davis.

The gelatin supplement increased blood levels of amino acids and markers linked to collagen synthesis, and improved the mechanics of the engineered lab-grown ligaments, they found.

“These data suggest that adding gelatin and vitamin C to an intermittent exercise program could play a beneficial role in injury prevention and tissue repair,” the researchers wrote.

Read the paper here. The work was funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIH) and the Australian Institute of Sport.

9 responses to “Gelatin supplements, good for your joints?

  1. my 80+ father has hip pain.
    Can thios also help elderly.
    He walks every day, but he has to keep shortening how far and long he goes because of the pain.
    His dr thinks it is the side of hip where tendons connect not the joint itself.

    Could the Jello supplements help elderly with movement and pain?
    Will Jello work as well or must it be some special supplement?

  2. Eversince Linus Pauling distributed his reviews, the impacts of vitamin C have been encompassed by conflicting outcomes. This might be on the grounds that its impacts rely on upon various variables, for example, there doxstate of the body, the measurement utilized, and furthermore on the tissue digestion.
    Albeit a few speculations have been proposed,it is as yet obscure how ascorbate exits the cells. One of the speculations holds that epithelial enterocytes and renalproximaltubule cells swell while transporting a few metabolites!
    It must be said that even though the effect has been observed, the protein has not been identified in enterocytes yet.

    kind regards

  3. 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.

  4. This is wonderful news! There are already a lot of supplements out there that provide Vitamin C and Gelatin. If this expedites the bone recovery process, then UC Davis has made a fantastic innovation for us human beings.

  5. Interesting. I have had not one or two but three knee injuries on my right knee. I also include gelatin and vitamin C in my diet, as well as do strength training at the gym. But I had not thought of taking it before exercise. I take whey powder for its protein and cocoa for magnesium and other nutrients. But adding some gelatin to the drink is worth trying. I take 1000 mg of Vitamin C, daily, I wonder if I should also take it before exercise. Thanks.

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