Gelatin vs Collagen

As you have probably heard us say countless times in the office, “Everything begins in the gut!”  Digestion is such a huge factor in your health that we end the testing portion of every appointment by testing your digestive points to ensure that you are properly absorbing and utilizing the nutrients from your food AND the supplements you are taking to heal.  Many patients also ask what they can be doing outside of the supplements and dietary changes to further their health.  Two very simple products to incorporate into your daily routine are Gelatin and Collagen Hydrolysate.  You may have seen them in our office and wondered what they are and how they differ.


In order to understand the differences, we have to start with Gelatin.  The goal of any nutritious meal is to be properly balanced.  When eating a meal that contains animal meat, it’s a great idea to also consume gelatin!  Most of us throw away the parts of meat that naturally contain collagen (skin, bones, etc) and gelatin is simply cooked collagen.  Gelatin also helps to supply us with added glycine that helps balance out some of the nutrients in meat AND aids in better sleep.  Eating animal meat and gelatin together ensures a balance of important amino acids.  The benefits of gelatin are countless!  Gelatin soothes and coats the interior of the small intestine and helps to heal the GI tract by hydrating and rebuilding the mucosal lining. It is great for those with ‘Leaky Gut’-known for causing food intolerances, allergies, and autoimmune disorders. Lastly, gelatin is also especially great for hair, skin, nails, and joint due to the proteins and anti-inflammatory effects!  Given the state of many people’s GI tracts, however, sometimes it is beneficial to start with what is called “collagen hydrolysate.”


Collagen Hydrolysate is gelatin that has been further processed to breakup those proteins and amino acids.  This makes is much easier to digest and is more quickly absorbed for that reason.  Collagen Hydrolysate has all the same benefits of Gelatin and can even be a bit easier to use because you can put it directly in hot OR cold liquids without having to let it ‘bloom’.

As an easy rule of thumb, if your purpose of consuming either of these is more GI-related-reach for the pure Gelatin.  If you are looking for help with skin, nails, joints, or sleep, reach for the Collagen Hydrolysate.  Start incorporating Gelatin into some of your favorite soup recipes or even jello/fruit snack recipes and start adding Collagen Hydrolysate into all of your drinks or smoothies!