The Crucial Reason You Need More Gelatin in Your Diet

by Sarah Healthy LivingComments: 114

I know what you’re thinking.

What’s with the disgusting photo Sarah?  Isn’t this post supposed to be about gelatin? I’m eating for heaven’s sake.  That picture is making me lose my appetite!

Before you click away in haste, hear me out.

I agree.  That is one nasty photo.

I decided to use it to help make a crucial dietary point, believe it or not.

The World Is a Toxic Place Even In Places Where It Should be Pristine

The point is that our world has become a toxic soup and the situation is getting worse by the day.  I say this not to depress you (I am not depressed about it .. I am deeply concerned but not depressed), but to wake you up to reality if you think you are avoiding toxins in your everyday life.

Dioxin, the chemical by-product of numerous industrial processes that is toxic to the human body, is stored in body tissues and considered a persistent environmental pollutant, has been found at the North Pole.  Think your seafood from Northern Waters is clean?

There is a large vortex of garbage roughly twice the size of Texas swirling out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that keeps growing with each passing year.

The grouper in the Gulf of Mexico are so deformed from the BP oil spill I’m told by fishermen friends that I have decided not to eat it anymore even though I just love grouper sandwiches.

Hike off many country roads in small towns or large – doesn’t seem to matter – and you will find garbage and illegally dumped chemicals everywhere that are no doubt seeping into the ground water.

I don’t want to even talk about Fukushima – it just breaks my heart too much having traveled extensively in that beautiful country and having some very dear friends who live not far from Reactor #4.

Get the idea?

How do we deal with the toxic soup we are forced to live in everyday?   You can certainly reduce your exposure by eating organic foods, clean grassfed meats and dairy and avoiding pesticides and other chemicals in and around your home, but there are still numerous other sources that you probably don’t even know about that are assaulting your system on a daily basis.

Now for the Good News

A very simple thing in your diet like lots of gelatin via homemade bone broths goes a long way toward helping your body deal with whatever toxins you are exposed to.

Bone broths help with detoxification?

Yes they do.   Bone broth is not just a boon to the entire digestive process.  It is a huge help to the liver too!

Never heard of bone broth also commonly known as stock?  Click here to see my numerous video lessons on the subject.

Natural Gelatin In Bone Broths Helps the Detoxification Process

The natural gelatin present in bone broths helps detoxify the body because it is loaded with the amino acid glycine which assists the liver with its housecleaning duties.  The simplest of all the amino acids, glycine can be produced by the body and is therefore not considered essential, but the ease of the body in manufacturing the glycine that is needed to keep the detoxification process running effectively is probably highly contingent upon whether a person is in radiantly good health!

Since the ability of the liver to do its job sufficiently is limited by the amount of glycine that is available, it makes sense to provide the body with all the glycine it could possibly need!

Glycine in Gelatin Helps Normalize Liver Function

Gelatin not only helps the liver do its job effectively.  It also helps the liver function normally if it is having problems.

Dr. Reuben Ottenberg in 1935 suggested in the Journal of the American Medical Association that patients with jaundice or other liver problems be administered 5-10 grams of gelatin per day as food or via a powdered gelatin supplement to supply additional glycine to the diet in order to encourage normalized hepatic function.

Consuming Lots of Gelatin is Must in Such a Toxic World

Given the toxicity of our world today and the high level of chemicals in our air, water, and food, a large amount of glycine in the diet is one very crucial and important way to assist the body with the nearly constant detoxification that is required to maintain health.

The best way to get lots of natural gelatin into your diet is to make bone broths and incorporate them into your diet on a frequent basis with sauces and soups.

If you don’t consume bone broths either alone or as part of soups and sauces nearly everyday, however, you may wish to consider a natural gelatin supplement.

Powdered gelatin can be added to smoothies which is a great option in hot weather when the thought of a steaming hot bowl of soup is not very appealing.   While protein powders are not a healthy choice due to the high processing involved to make them, powdered gelatin is a wonderful alternative and it adds protein to a smoothie as well as plenty of glycine for detoxification.

Powdered gelatin can also be added to bone broth that hasn’t gelled very much to ensure that when the bone broth is used in soups and sauces, adequate gelatin is being consumed with each serving.

Be aware that powdered gelatin contains trace amounts of MSG, so if you are super sensitive you may need to avoid it.  I myself am very sensitive to MSG and have not experienced any problems with powdered gelatin provided it is a quality source.

Where to Source Gelatin and Bone Broth 

Be aware that not all gelatin is created equal!  There are quality sources of gelatin and those that are not as desirable.  If you are going to go to the trouble of sourcing gelatin, make sure that the quality is sufficient to truly help you with your detoxification goals.

Please refer to my Resources page for vendors of the highest grade of 100% pure gelatin available that is tested for BSE/mad cow disease.  This is the same brand I have in my own pantry and have used for years.

You can also buy organic bone broth if you prefer actual food to a supplement.  Click here for a list of vendors who will ship frozen organic chicken or beef broth in BPA free packaging right to your front door.

More Information

Gelatin and Collagen Hydrolysate: What’s The Difference?
The Benefits of Gelatin and How to Get More in Your Stock
5 Reasons Your Stock Won’t Gel

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine, N. R. Gotthoffer

Picture Credit

Comments (114)

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  • Bee

    I don’t eat meat… I’ve been vegan for a while and am trying to heal my gut before adding in eggs/fish/poultry…. Since I’m not getting any real protein source from animal products (I’m not doing legumes or grains either) would taking gelatin/collagen help me or would it cause an amino acid imbalance since it is not a complete protein?

    February 3rd, 2014 12:52 am Reply
    • PJ

      If you are a vegan, you can’t consume gelatins of any kind as they are all animal sourced. Beef, pork, fish, etc. You could take veggie gelatin, but that would not serve the purpose you describe. Sorry.

      November 7th, 2014 4:07 pm Reply
    • jessica

      As a vegan yes you can………a lot of vegans benefit from adding the great lakes kosher grass feed beef gelatin. Some vegans become malnurished and quickly feel lethargic and end up with other health issues . I feel very tired when I went vegan and quickly added meat back in . I felt sick tired and my immune system was not as poweful anymore . Everybody is different but if me I would add to diet . It is 2014 we don’t have to stick to the old theory . Your health comes first . Do your research with google and you will see viral post about it and youtube too. I say do it.

      December 2nd, 2014 1:06 pm Reply
    • Dana

      For anyone else coming along: If you’ve been vegan a while and you have gut issues that need healing, best thing you can do is put aside the veganism thing and go straight to animal foods. Best way to consume those animal foods is as soups and stews, properly cooked, preferably in a slow cooker for at least 8 hours. You want the meat nice and soft. If you keep skipping the animal foods and try to heal your gut with plants you are not going to get very far. We simply do not have the ruminant’s GI tract and plant fibers tend to be irritating, especially soluble fiber (this is why it causes food to transit faster through your gut!).

      Look up the GAPS diet for more info. They’ve got a whole plan set out on their website.

      December 16th, 2014 11:42 pm Reply
  • Seana

    Meat stock will be gentler and more soothing to your stomach. I’d start with that rather than bone broth.
    You might want to check out a copy of Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride.

    November 22nd, 2013 1:48 pm Reply
  • Lee Torrence

    I’m healing from Celiac’s disease and have been recommended making bone soups to help heal my intestinal walls by my naturopath. I also happen to have the herpes virus which I see after reading this blog, soups may cause an outbreak. I just started eating the broth two days ago (and 3 times a day because I’m following the intro to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) , so I’ll let you know if I get a herpes outbreak.

    Question: Why is every body buying the powdered form of gelatin instead of making your own stock? I was nauseous after going gluten free due to the leaky gut developed by celiac’s disease. I got off all supplements for two months and my nausea stopped almost immediately. I’ll try making my own broth first. What is the advantage of eating a store bought powdered form??

    Second question, it feels like a real energy sucker cooking the bones on the stove for so many hours. How many hours would you cook chicken bones in a crock pot?

    November 22nd, 2013 1:13 pm Reply
    • Normajean

      You can do bone broth in a fraction of the time using a pressure cooker. I have an electric counter top cooker. My absolute favorite appliance in the kitchen. Though chicken bone stock can be done in about 90 minutes I will reset another 30 to 60 minutes. Beats 8 to 24 hours and gels very very nice. I actually make and consume more by pressure cooking it rather than long drawn out traditional ways of cooking it and an feeling immensely better. Just Google cooking bone broth in the pressure cooker for more info and how to.

      December 19th, 2014 3:32 pm Reply
  • Janetta Vonallmen

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    October 22nd, 2013 8:39 pm Reply
  • Tom

    I submit that gelatin is so processed down to it’s basic component, that source doesn’t matter. At that level gelatin from even a factory farmed animal should be the same as from a more desirable animal. I mean, the fatty acids are gone, and so is everything else, except the gelatin. All this about detox I don’t buy it. Now I realize that the colors and sweeteners in the dessert gelatin are probably not ideal, but from a “getting your gelatin” standpoint, I believe all gelatin is equal. Amino acids are amino acids. If that can be proven wrong, then please do.

    October 17th, 2013 11:58 pm Reply
    • PJ

      Agree, Tom. Amino acids ARE amino acids and you can get the same plus more from just eating meat….which does NOT “detox” anyone. That is what your liver and kidneys do….

      November 7th, 2014 4:09 pm Reply
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  • Maria

    Is this gelatin good?

    I have that but not sure…an it’s like a year old now

    August 27th, 2013 3:50 pm Reply
  • Rachel

    YES, a thousand times, YES! I had to order my Great Lakes gelatin online, but once I got it, I jumped in with both feet. I started taking about 2-3 tablespoons a day. In less than a week, my skin totally changed, no more breakouts, it’s not oily anymore, and it feels like the rest of my skin. But the best thing is that it completely eradicated my PMDD! I used to have an extremely low stress tolerance, and I hated it. It was a thousand times worse the week or so before my monthly. I had been praying for an answer, and the gelatin is it!! I have farm raised beef soup bones in my freezer for broth and I intend to consume gelatin on a regular basis. It’s been nothing short of a miracle cure for me! :) All glory to God!

    August 27th, 2013 1:31 pm Reply
    • Mary

      I’m so glad you wrote about it helping with your monthly stress levels! I am currently struggling with this yet again and would love something to help balance me out! Are you still taking it and is it still helping?

      December 22nd, 2015 7:43 pm Reply
  • Jen

    I hope someone can help me with some concerns I have about Great Lakes gelatin.

    I’ve read about the benefits of gelatin and ‘everyone’ seems to recommend Great Lakes gelatin. I found some GL gelatin locally, but it was porcine gelatin, not the beef variety that is typically recommended. So I went to the Great Lakes site to try to find out about the difference between the porcine and beef gelatin.

    The pigs are (apparently) not pasture-raised or naturally fed. This is what I read on the Great Lakes site:

    …”What are the hogs fed?
    Those hogs raised in farm areas get their daily normal feed (raw corn, pellets, selected waste foods from restaurants, and grocery stores). Cloistered hogs are fed raw corn, selected grain pellets, and a variety of natural foods from various food markets when available.”

    That sounds more like conventional and factory raised pigs to me. The beef is from South America and (apparently) grass-fed, but it’s concerning when the pigs can get “waste foods from restaurants and grocery stores” along with pellets and corn (I’m sure it’s not organic, so -> gmo).

    Here’s what GL says about the cows:

    …”How are the cattle raised?
    Our cattle are grass fed and slaughtered in Argentina and Brazil which is controlled by their respective Department of Agriculture. These countries have the same type of rigourous tests and inspections as the United States. Beef hides are the only product used to manufacture gelatin in these countries.”

    I’d like to try gelatin (I want to try to make gummy treats for one thing), but I feel a little hesitant after reading that info about the GL porcine gelatin!

    Anyone have any information or thoughts?

    August 10th, 2013 9:51 pm Reply
  • Erika

    Hey fellow Foodsters,
    I have a question… I am in the Gulf area (Sarasota, Fl) and just made grouper bone broth. I’ve been doing research tonight and found it to be pretty high in mercury. Did I just breath in a chemical cloud in my house for the past day? Since it is liquid, am I injecting mercury straight to my blood/organs, BRAIN? ARHHHH! Totally obsessed, I’ll relax though. Should I still consume it?
    Thank you, I love you all in advance for taking your time helping out a fellow Fish Eating Monster!

    August 1st, 2013 10:08 pm Reply
  • Christi

    Hi, Sarah.

    Very informative article (like always). I have a question for you though. I accidentally bought some porcine gelatin (Great Lakes brand) a while back and wondered if I can use it as a substitute for the bovine gelatin. Other than the obvious difference, can you tell me why a person would use one or the other?

    Many thanks,

    July 28th, 2013 7:32 pm Reply
  • kelsey


    thank you for this info. I have been on a search to find good gelatin for my family. I live in canada and great lakes will not ship beef gelatin here. Do you think the pork is worthwhile? do you know of any reputable makers of beef gelatin in canada? your help is much appreciated!!!

    June 4th, 2013 1:19 am Reply
  • Rhianna

    The photo of the refuse pile is not pretty, but upon looking more closely, I see that this may be a hopeful sight after all. The pile is made up of old appliances, like washers and dryers. This looks like one big appliance scrap metal recycling pile!!

    So grateful to have encountered the concept of using gelatin in lieu of homemade bone broth when I am traveling and unable to bring nor make broth. I have been on the GAPS diet for six months and I don’t want nor need to forego my vacation while on this diet!

    April 4th, 2013 4:48 pm Reply
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  • Jonathan

    What if you have the herpes virus? Gelatin is very high in arginine. Does this also include chicken broth that you make yourself by boiling chicken? Also, is the skin what’s making the gelatin? And if you eat it right away without freezing it or putting it in the fridge will that prevent gelatin from being produced. I know chicken broth is good for you but main question is is it still good for you when you have hsv because I know the actual chicken is?

    March 13th, 2013 2:40 am Reply
    • Lee Torrence

      Jon, I just started eating bone soup as part of the intro to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I’m drinking it 3 times a day for 3 days. I’ll let you know if I get an outbreak because I have the virus.

      November 22nd, 2013 1:28 pm Reply
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  • Martha Brochu

    The nasty picture on this page became a reality to us after hurricane Sandy destroyed our home on the Barrier Island in NJ…that is exactly how the front yard of home looked after the ocean water flooded our house with over 3 feet of water” ocean water” and the smell was unbelievable…although we love the beach the ocean is truly afloat with many toxins…I’m new to your blog and agree with your thoughts on bone broth, it’s my favorite drink…I even take all the bones from a rotisserie chicken freeze them until I have 3 or 4 to cook down ad make fresh stock…I then freeze the stock and use it frequently…I always have bone broth in my freezer …thanks for the info …I look forward to using your site often…

    February 25th, 2013 10:13 pm Reply
  • Janae

    Thanks, Sarah. I really enjoy your posts! ..big fan of perpetual broth. My question is, regarding your awareness of how polluted ocean waters are, how can we know if our FCLO is toxin free? I have asked so many traditional diet bloggers this question and not ONE will reply. I hate not having my family take it anymore but there are so many reports of extremely toxic products coming from ocean waters. What do you think?

    February 25th, 2013 2:22 am Reply
    • Maria

      I also have that big concern and I would also like someone knowledgeable to answer that with some data.

      The last time I bought 2 bottles of FCLO I could tell they were different from all the others I bought before. Taste, smell, colour and the liquid itself were very different… not for the better. They were fresh but seemed rancid.

      Maybe someone will answer to this.

      November 5th, 2013 3:41 am Reply
  • Maria

    I have this beef gelatin-

    You could take a look see if it contains also bones,collagen and all that good stuff to detox well. Trace MSG is ok.

    February 10th, 2013 5:29 pm Reply
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  • John

    I was just curious. I followed the link in the article where it was supposed to tell us what kind of getatin you bought when you needed some extra to have at home. I never could find it in your resource list. Thanks for all the great info you give us.

    June 10th, 2012 9:30 pm Reply
  • Janet

    I bought the gelatin brand suggested in this blog. the recommendation on the bottle is 1 capsule 4 times throughout the day. This caused me so much gas. I’m cutting back to one per day to see how my body reacts. So is this resulting gas considered a detox reaction? thank you for your suggestions/feedback

    June 10th, 2012 10:39 am Reply
  • maggie

    hi to all, well the other day I make chicken stock and add the vinager as Sarah sugested it( I never made it that way ) but I did not like how it taste.
    Sarah it is true people with herpes 2 tipe can not have gelatine .my husband is suffering from that since about 2 years( genital herpes) he put some stuff there from walgreens, is painful, but go away but in a couples months comeback, any sugestion please,I’m driving crazy with that stuff( hate it )thanks,maggie

    June 10th, 2012 12:29 am Reply
    • Michelle

      I don’t like my broth if I add apple cider vinegar but I have found that I do like it if I use white wine vinegar. Not sure how much this affects the nutrition but I just can’t eat it with the apple cider vinegar. Maybe experiementing with different vinegars would make it taste better to you.

      June 14th, 2012 6:28 am Reply
  • Michaela


    I am new here in comments but I have read your blog over year now. My grandmom would be very happy to reat it. I live in europe, Austria and part of my family in Slovakia. I had period of beiing raw vegan green smoothie girl but glad I am back. My grandmom never ever buy anything from store she had her cow fro milk butter cheese, she made her no yeast breat from her grains(yes she growed her grains she had big garden) she never ate spinach salad in winter only in spring summer when she had it in garden the same with fruit that is why you not like it i winter it is not natural to have fruit in winter cause in nature there is no fruit in winter. She had her own hen for eggs in garden and making her own fermented veggies that is different like you make in us, I am glad she teached me how to make it. In that way it keeps whole autumn winter( 4-5 months) without refrigerator. And finally when I was sick she would made me bone broth not green smoothie!!!! Actually bone broth is very traditional here we make it every sunday and keep it till middle of week. Thanks for many posts

    June 9th, 2012 1:46 pm Reply
  • Kim

    Hi, I make bone broth every day for my family. I want to share an experience we had from reading this post. My husband had his mercury fillings removed (safely) last fall. For a while, he felt great, but then his body started to detox, and recently he has felt drained, from the mercury detox. When Sara posted this about gelatin being good for detox, I wondered whether my broth was making my husband detox too quickly. So he stopped drinking the broth a few days ago, and he has felt great! We are so glad, because this detox has been a struggle for him.

    So, I am getting two things from this experience: 1. Yes, gelatin *is* good for detoxifying! And 2. be aware that bone broth/soup might not make you feel better, especially if you have mercury toxicity problems. I do not have any mercury, and I love drinking the broth — makes me feel great!

    June 8th, 2012 7:43 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    What about Great Lakes’ Collagen Hydrolysate. It’s convenient b/c it doesn’t congeal in smoothies, but is it safe?

    June 7th, 2012 11:01 pm Reply
  • Esther

    So “jello” made with fruit juice or flavored tea is acceptable way to get some gelatin in kids? They love it so I hope so! Thanks for all you do, Sarah!

    June 7th, 2012 9:16 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Esther, have you read the post? I’m not talking about processed jello junk from the store. I’m talking about natural gelatin from bone broths. Please refer to the post for details which has links to videos showing this traditional cooking method if you are not familiar with it.

      June 7th, 2012 9:49 am Reply
      • Esther

        I make “jello” from juice and Great Lakes gelatin quite frequently NOT the stuff in a box:-) I guess I just don’t know of a better word to call it other than “jello”.

        June 7th, 2012 11:07 am Reply
      • john barnhart

        But processed jello junk from the store is pretty much natural gelatin from bone broths. That is how they make it. It certainly isn’t “artificial gelatin” from some sort of strange chemical reaction. It is either bone gelatin or carrageenan. They do process it to get rid of anything other than the gelatin, so it doesn’t taste like meat.

        Sure, Jello adds artificial flavors and lots of sugar, but you can get just plain old gelatin at the store. (

        Of course, bone broths have a lot of OTHER nutrients, like calcium.

        June 7th, 2012 2:44 pm Reply
  • John Barnhart

    Once again, chicken soup is good for you. Didn’t you listen to your grandmother?

    What about marshmallows? I’m all for eating more marshmallows!

    June 7th, 2012 8:27 am Reply
  • lara

    Hi Sarah

    We use alot of broth in soups and cooking but we find it really hard to drink. Do you have any tricks on making it easier to drink if it is not your thing.

    Thank you again

    June 6th, 2012 7:39 pm Reply
    • Teresa

      I was really surprised when I was forced to drink my broth straight when I had a tooth removed surgically. I added some sea salt after I heated it up and put in a.mug and it was delicious. Try adding a little more salt.

      June 6th, 2012 8:08 pm Reply
    • Kim

      Try adding extra fat or oil. I add coconut oil or butter if the bones do not have fat on them. This improves the flavor quite a lot and is a good way to increase the beneficial fats in the diet. Also try adding more salt, as mentioned already.

      June 8th, 2012 7:46 pm Reply
  • larra

    Hi Sarah

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I am just wondering if Gelatine sheets do the same job as powdered gelatine. ie I have a brand pgf bio organic leaf gelatine-which is a german certified product.

    Thank you again

    June 6th, 2012 7:34 pm Reply
  • Lois

    Is it ok to can broth?? We raise our own chickens, so when we butcher I cook all the bone-y pieces and make a rich broth. But it always makes so much, we do a lot of chickens, so it fills my freezer up too much. Thanks for a reply.

    June 6th, 2012 5:37 pm Reply
    • Chaya

      Home-canned broth is my favorite canned thing! After butchering chickens, I boil them. Then I pick off the meat and put it into a quart sized widemouth jar, covering with the broth. There is a LOT of broth left over, and I put that in separate jars and can it too! Follow your manual for the meat times. Remember, you have to PRESSURE CAN non-acidic foods (meats and broths included). I love canned broths to make everything from rices and pilafs to soups, stews, and casseroles. Enjoy!

      June 6th, 2012 7:18 pm Reply
      • Chaya

        Lois…for whatever reason my rss didn’t show up. We’ll be running a pressure canner sale next week at so if you don’t have one, come by and “see” us.

        June 6th, 2012 7:19 pm Reply
        • Lois

          Thanks!! I will have to check it out. I do have a pressure cooker, but an old one and it has quirks about sealing right.:( It gets the job done, but takes a while if it doesn’t seal right away. And yes, I pressure can the broth, but freeze the meat after I pick it off the bones, it is just from the backs, shoulders/necks, after I cut the main cuts of meats off. So it’s not much meat at all. thanks for answering!!

          June 6th, 2012 10:30 pm Reply
  • Merina

    I finally read all the posts and found your brand. Sorry for the redundancy! =)

    June 6th, 2012 4:34 pm Reply
  • Merina

    I clicked on your link for resources of geletin supplement info and I could not find it. Would you be so kind and give me the link and/or name of product?

    June 6th, 2012 4:10 pm Reply
  • Mrs H

    It’s so nice that the best things for you are … the most delicious and wonderful :)

    June 6th, 2012 3:14 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Robin – Sure, pork stock is fine. Just get the bones from pigs out on pasture running around if you possibly can.

    June 6th, 2012 3:12 pm Reply
  • Robin Clark Kuppusamy via Facebook

    I have never made this kind of stock – on purpose. I got a roasted chicken from a local store that was an organic free range chicken. I used the bones to make stock but freaked out when I saw it looked like gelatin. I made a few calls and everyone said to throw it out those chickens used for roasting at the store were not good for making broth. LMAO today! My father in law, from India, would chew on the bones for the marrow and gelatin and touted the benefits…I didn’t believe it but I keep seeing all these kinds of articles. I have am making a pork broth – does it matter what animal it comes from?

    June 6th, 2012 2:08 pm Reply
  • Nancy

    Which brand of gelatin do you recommend? I went to the resources page but couldn’t find a listing for gelatin.

    June 6th, 2012 12:32 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    The testing is a good aspect plus I do prefer to buy things made in this country and shipped as short a distance as possible.

    June 6th, 2012 12:28 pm Reply
  • Agi

    Thanks for this important information. I didn’t realize it was a good liver detox, will start using it a lot more now.

    June 6th, 2012 10:47 am Reply
  • Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    We started making bone broth this winter for the first time. As the weather warmed and I got busier I neglected to make it. I was amazed that I could tell such a difference in my body. With bone broth/soup – I had no inflammation in my elbows, hands, or feet. Working in the yard, I had more energy and no soreness afterward. This week…I roasted my chicken and my bones are cooking in the slow cooker as I write. I can’t wait to have my broth again. I’m a believer.
    Thanks for sharing the gelatin resources.

    June 6th, 2012 10:40 am Reply
  • Carol

    Unless you have the herpes II virus. With that, gelatin is not your friend – it increases outbreaks.

    June 6th, 2012 10:20 am Reply
    • Susan

      Carol, can you point to studies that discuss gelatin causing herpes outbreaks?

      April 11th, 2013 12:05 pm Reply
  • iniQuity

    Does powder gelatin mix well with water? Might be a silly question but does it thicken it? If not, I would love to combine it with some protein powder that I consume post-workout. My protein powder is nothing but whey isolate (unflavored) and I mostly use it post-workout, never as a meal replacement.

    June 6th, 2012 8:55 am Reply
  • April

    I clicked through to the resources page and there’s nothing showing up under the supplements section. I’ve tried viewing it through Firefox and Internet Explorer too.

    June 6th, 2012 7:52 am Reply
    • Teresa

      The resource page says the brand “Bernard Jensen” at Radiant Life – I actually had a hard time finding it on the resource page too but it’s there.

      June 6th, 2012 8:44 am Reply
  • Sahn Lee via Facebook

    Noticed the brand of powdered gelatin you prefer comes from cows that are “primarily grass-fed”. I’ve been using Great Lakes brand which is from Argentinian grass-fed cows. Is the BSE testing the reason you prefer Bernard Jensen brand?

    June 6th, 2012 4:02 am Reply
    • Sara Gordon

      Sarah Lee
      Where did you see this? On the label?

      March 13th, 2013 8:45 pm Reply
  • Marlene

    I’ve been making small batches of bone broths every 2 – 3 days but did not realize that it has a protective and detoxing effect on the liver. Glad I’m doing something good for both my toddler and myself…..and this article reminds me that I need to drink more of it! =)

    June 6th, 2012 2:42 am Reply
  • Barbara LaRosa via Facebook

    very interesting, might try it in the winter until then I will continue sleeping and doing power sessions on my wonderful BIOMAT

    June 6th, 2012 1:37 am Reply
  • butternutrition

    Glycine via gelatin is a powerful detox! Some people might need to start slow at first and ensure the bile is thin and free flowing before starting a powerful detox program!

    I like the Great Lakes Gelatin brand.

    June 6th, 2012 1:04 am Reply
    • Christine

      I have been drinking bone broth every day. I started taking 1/16 tsp of gelatin the other day, & now my stomach feels awful. I am very sensitive to a lot of foods. Should I just try 1/16 tsp maybe every 3rd day or so, & see how I feel?

      November 7th, 2012 12:42 pm Reply
      • butternutrition

        Above all else, listen to your body. If it feels awful (no matter how healthy it is) it may not be best for your body’s current state (and could do more harm than good). When digestion is weak (usually indicated by a slowed metabolism (waking body temp less than 97.8), digestive juices are in a sense “dialed down” and foods are not as easily digested. You may also be using a form a gelatin that is more difficult to digest (regular vs. collagen hydrolysate).

        February 18th, 2013 4:37 pm Reply
  • Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy

    wow! what an eye-opening post! thanks for sharing! i eat a lot of wild-caught fish…this is quite alarming!

    June 6th, 2012 12:31 am Reply
  • Laura Martelossi via Facebook

    For the vegetarians and veganists among us: glycine is also found in wheat germ, peanuts and sesame. Sesame is also a great source for calcium.

    June 5th, 2012 10:56 pm Reply
  • TrishandFrank Neverdatamineme via Facebook

    Logic just hits you right in the face when you read that one…it’s like the biggest “Oh yeah! I know exactly what you are talking about!” Great piece.

    June 5th, 2012 10:17 pm Reply
  • Julia

    I really want to add bone broth to my dog’s food every day, to help with arthritis and an elevated liver enzyme (ALT) count. Is there any reason I shouldn’t?

    June 5th, 2012 9:46 pm Reply
    • Libby

      I give fish oil (salmon) to my dog for arthritis, he doesn’t have any pain. I also give him broth, but not for any particular reason and he loves it. He is a 12+ year old golden retriever and still acts like a puppy. 😉

      I have some bone broth in the crockpot as I type.

      June 5th, 2012 10:02 pm Reply
      • kg

        Will giving your dog home made bone broth help with his teeth? My poor dear dog had to be put to sleep to have his teeth cleaned a couple of times in his life. That was traumatic and expensive. Broth helps with needed minerals and the calcium phosporous ratio. If that is good for people, I assume that it is good for dogs, too. I assume that sometimes their dental problems come from the unnatural food that we humans choose for them. (O…and onions are not supposed to be good for dogs, so I wouldn’t put onions in broth meant for a dog)

        June 6th, 2012 10:42 pm Reply
        • D.

          We give our dog raw meaty bones with the marrow still in them. Good for his teeth and belly, I also open a couple of acidophilus capsules and sprinkle that on his meaty bones as well as I add a little sea salt to his water once per day. When we give bone broth to him, I separate a small portion of it with lots of the fats and we don’t add any veggies to his broths, only to the stuff we humans are going to consume. Sometimes I boil down the broth especially for the dog, so it’s thicker and more gelatinous. He also loves slightly soured raw milk and cream. My brother is a vet and he said he wishes his kids were as healthy as that dog!

          June 7th, 2012 10:48 am Reply
          • Libby

            Prey Model (raw meat, organs, and soft bones) feeding keeps teeth clean – raw chicken with bones. The the very hard soup marrow bones can do damage to their teeth so it is not recommended. I normally scoop the marrow out of the bone then give it as a treat.
            If you are feeding a canned or a kibble with grains this will cause bad teeth.
            Although Prey Model does not allow kefir or broth, I still do it. Just makes sense to me.

            June 7th, 2012 9:49 pm
    • Tara

      Everyday we add either bone broth or kefir to our dogs food.

      June 6th, 2012 11:45 am Reply
  • DavetteB

    My son laughs at my never-ending broth pot; I just boil a set of bones till they are good and used up (take them out) then add more bones, water, and seasonings as needed. Sometimes I drink it straight or use it to make whole wheat couscous or mashed potatoes, or I cook rice or whole wheat pasta in it.

    June 5th, 2012 9:45 pm Reply
  • Susan V

    Great article which I’ve shared on my facebook page: Sarah, I have a question. I had a nutritionist appointment recently and we talked a bit about fats in the diet. My nutritionist highly recommends consuming fats, especially quality butter and olive oil. Because of the reasons that you have sited in this article – the fact that even the most remote places in the world are polluted – she does not recommend eating a lot of animal fat. Toxins, she says, are stored in fat. Since the time of Weston Price our world has become severely polluted. She does recommend eating meat. Dairy fat does not store toxics like meat fat, she says. I was wondering about your opinion on this. Thanks!

    June 5th, 2012 9:35 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      You MUST eat animal fat to be healthy. All 14 of Dr. Price’s traditional societies valued them as sacred foods necessary for health. Trying to avoid toxins by not eating them is a futile task that will lead to ill health. Get the cleanest sources you can and eat up! It’s like saying let’s not drink any water anymore because all the water is so polluted. There is no logic to the “don’t eat animal fats because of toxins” argument. If the only animal fat I could get or afford was SPAM, you can bet I would be eating SPAM.

      June 5th, 2012 10:16 pm Reply
      • Lee Torrence

        I’m healing from Celiac’s disease and have been recommended making bone soups to help heal my intestinal walls by my naturopath. I also happen to have the herpes virus which I see after reading this blog, soups may cause an outbreak. I just started eating the broth two days ago (and 3 times a day because I’m following the intro to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) , so I’ll let you know if I get a herpes outbreak.
        Question: Why is every body buying the powdered form of gelatin instead of making your own stock? I was nauseous after going gluten free due to the leaky gut developed by celiac’s disease. I got off all supplements for two months and my nausea stopped almost immediately. I’ll try making my own broth first. What is the advantage of eating a store bought powdered form??
        Second question, it feels like a real energy sucker cooking the bones on the stove for so many hours. How many hours would you cook chicken bones in a crock pot?

        November 22nd, 2013 1:31 pm Reply
    • Olivia

      So… she recommends butter and meat, so which animal fats is she warning against? Perhaps you misspoke somewhere in there because what you said contradicts itself.

      June 5th, 2012 10:31 pm Reply
      • Susan V

        I apologize. As I said, she says that dairy fat does not store toxins like meat fat, so lots of butter is fine. I also love to eat the fat on meat, not just the meat itself, and that is what she recommends not doing.

        June 5th, 2012 10:37 pm Reply
        • Olivia

          That makes sense since the fat in the meat has been accumulated over the animals’ life. I suppose this would mean tallow and other rendered fats would be higher in toxins. Personally I hate chewing on the gristle in meat, and prefer very lean cuts like sirloin and filet mignon.

          Sarah, do you particularly think it’s important to eat higher fat cuts of meat, or is eating lean cuts of beef, poultry, fish and cultured raw dairy products sufficient nutritionally in your mind?

          I love bacon and sausage too, but have some reservations about eating pork, not only because piggies are so cute (feel the same way about ducks!), but also I don’t think it sits well digestive wise compared to other meats, and it is impossible to find pork that is grass fed. I can get milk and whey fed pork, but they feed the pigs corn too… same issue with poultry… near impossible to find poultry that isn’t fed any grains.

          June 5th, 2012 10:54 pm Reply
          • Selina

   is a website that lists suppliers of grass-fed meat and dairy. it can be pricey, but if you get together a group of people, you can buy a whole animal together and cut costs considerably. It’s called cow-pooling. I always make sure I get some fat from such animals and render it for use in cooking. Fat from grass-fed animals has CLA, vitamins and other important nutrients.

            June 6th, 2012 7:35 am
          • teri

            hi olivia,
            sorry for going off on a tangent here, but i just wanted to reply to something you said in your comment (that not everyone is aware of, so forgive me if you already are)…

            the reason that you can’t find “grass-fed” pork is that pigs are omnivores… they can’t survive on grass… they do need supplementation with other foods, and grains (such as corn) are not bad for them, as long as they are not the main portion of their diet… traditionally, pigs were fed (as you mentioned) excess milk and whey, as well as other excess farm produce (including veggies, nuts, eggs, meat, etc), and yes, some corn and other grains….

            the same goes for chickens… they are omnivores… so no, their entire diet should not be made up of grains… but have you ever seen a chicken jumping up to reach the seeds on a tall stem of grass? they go crazy for them… and that’s what grains are: the seeds of grasses and grass-like plants…

            grains do not have the same digestive effects on pigs and chickens as the do on ruminants… and even for ruminants, grains are not an “unnatural” food in the normal amounts you would find in nature (our goats also go nuts for the grass seed-heads, for example… in the wild, that would be a natural part of their food…)

            where we run into trouble is when they are fed *excessive amounts* of a food like that, where in their natural diet they would never be able to consume that much…

            so, if you feel that you want to be eating pork and/or poultry, that milk and whey-fed pig that is supplemented with corn is probably quite delicious and healthy… same goes for the pastured chickens that are supplemented with grains…

            okay, tangent over… :)

            June 6th, 2012 5:04 pm
          • Olivia

            Selina- thank you, that link was most helpful.

            Teri- yes I am aware of this. I don’t have a problem with milk and whey fed pork and think it is good for pigs and chickens to have supplemental feed. (Though I’m sure they are resourceful and in the wild can live off of what they can find) My problem is that, yes, they’re fed much more grain than they should be, and that the grains they eat are pesticide laden GM corn and soy. I would love to find a farmer that feeds a totally organic, nutritionally dense supplemental feed to their omnivores, like flax, chia, kelp, organic food scraps, etc, and mostly just lets them run free in the woods and pasture.

            Personally, I get my eggs from a farmer who doesn’t feed much grain. I haven’t even asked what grains he feeds or whether it’s organic because his eggs are obviously far superior to even the eggs I get from other local farmers who do feed organic grains. The yolks are deep orange and delicious. When I live in an area where I can have chickens and raise them the way I want… I definitely will.

            June 6th, 2012 6:45 pm
          • Christine

            Since pigs do not sweat they keep many toxins in their body (aside from what they can exhale, urinate, and eliminate). Also, White Oats Pasture is an awesome beef and poultry farm in Georgia. Their products are sold at Whole Foods (among other places) and can be ordered online.

            October 22nd, 2013 10:15 am
  • Martha

    About how much gelatin would you put in a smoothie?

    June 5th, 2012 9:21 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Anywhere from 1-3 tsp.

      June 5th, 2012 10:18 pm Reply
  • Olivia

    Sarah, the brand you recommend is the one from radiant life?

    What about the great lakes gelatin you and your friend used in your pannacotta video?

    June 5th, 2012 9:18 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Great Lakes is fine but it does come from pork which some folks do not like. I do prefer the beef gelatin as I’ve used it for a long time and like it better … I used the Great Lakes in that video just because I was out of the beef gelatin at the time and Great Lakes was the best I could find at the store.

      June 5th, 2012 10:14 pm Reply
      • Seana

        I have a can of Great Lakes Gelatin made from beef. It says:
        Pure Protein
        Beef Gelatin
        Great Lakes
        Unflavored Gelatin
        Collagen Joint Care
        Gelatin Dietary Supplement.

        On the back it says:
        Gelatin is the purified protein derived by the selective hydrolysis of collagen from the skin, the connective tissue and or bones of animals. Great Lakes Gelatin provies you with the highest types of pure unflavored edible gelatins. It is available in type A (porcine), or type B (Bovine or Bone). This consumer package represents a special grade of gelatin that meets the standards set forth by the U.S. Pharmacopeia, regulated by National Formulary. All grades of gelatin are prepared under the most rigid sanitary conditions.

        I bought it at Vitamin Cottage.

        June 5th, 2012 11:33 pm Reply
      • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

        Great Lakes has both beef and pork gelatin available. Just look for the “kosher” version to get the beef one.

        June 6th, 2012 9:26 pm Reply
      • Jenni

        Late in the game here…..But Great Lakes does have a beef gelatin option. It is what we use. But we order on line. I usually find the porcine one in stores.

        April 28th, 2014 3:04 pm Reply
  • Margaret Day via Facebook

    Thank you for this helpful information!

    June 5th, 2012 8:58 pm Reply
  • Angela Lynn Wolfe via Facebook

    Like stock but hard to drink in hot summer weather, maybe I can make aspic.

    June 5th, 2012 8:56 pm Reply
  • Sandie Brown via Facebook

    what about ‘leaf’ gelatine instead of powder?

    June 5th, 2012 8:55 pm Reply
  • Renee

    This is very helpful. I am supposed to go for a colonoscopy next month, and I understand that clear broth is one of the few things I can consume the day before when prepping for the procedure, So, I will definitely be making some high quality broth! Would you believe they also said I could have soda, and that I should have Gatorade or Powerade (to mix with the laxative). Well, I don’t do corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, so I’m going to make homemade electroylyte drink (made with cane sugar, salt and other ingredients) that I’ve made for my hubby for years. If you also have a recipe for Gatorade / Powerade / Pedialyte substitute please share.

    June 5th, 2012 8:44 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, I do have a recipe as a matter of fact! Must post that.

      June 5th, 2012 10:19 pm Reply
  • Mydarlings Forreal via Facebook

    That’s why I love my croc pot stews & pressure cookers!

    June 5th, 2012 8:34 pm Reply
  • Jami @ Eat Nourishing

    Yes! Bone broth heals and detoxifies. Truly one of the most important foods to consume. Simple and inexpensive to make. We put it in sauces, soups (obviously) and cook our veggies, legumes and some grains in it. With our highly toxic environment, bone broth and gelatin are a small investment to make for great health.

    June 5th, 2012 8:33 pm Reply
  • Kelli

    Very interesting. Truly its difficult for anyone to completely escape the toxins present in just about everything.

    June 5th, 2012 6:26 pm Reply
  • Dan

    My favorite way for consuming homemade broth is by cooking white rice in it. Combine it with some grass fed butter and sea salt, yum!

    June 5th, 2012 5:29 pm Reply
  • Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse

    Reading this makes me glad I started today with a giant bowl of soup made from bone broth! I always do that the day after I work my long (13+ hours), hard, emotionally draining, shifts in the NICU. I had some when I got home from work last night too. I try to eat a bowl per day in general. I just plain “feel better,” physically and emotionally, when I eat at least one bowl per day. Bone broth is also the best electrolyte replacer I have found for after a day of hard, sweaty work, and it also settles my stomach when it is upset. Thanks for the article on broth and glycine, Sarah. Thanks also for the wonderful videos that helped me when I was learning to make bone broth!

    June 5th, 2012 4:00 pm Reply

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