Gelatin: Could It Be a Cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Could This Natural Remedy Work Even Better than Prescription Medications?

According to several sources, gelatin may help to heal the mucous membranes in the intestines and soothe the digestive tract. It is credited with improving disorders such as IBS, Crohn's disease, leaky gut syndrome, celiac disease, peptic ulcers, and heartburn. Could this be the miracle cure we have been seeking?

(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann

Gelatin has been part of our traditional diet since man learned how to cook meat and produce broth. Meat stocks are rich in several important nutrients, including gelatin, collagen, cartilage, minerals, and electrolytes.

The ancient Chinese utilized gelatin as a therapeutic agent to stem bleeding and hemorrhage. The French fed gelatin to their armies and to the homeless to help augment meager food supplies. When combined with other nutrients, it provided Parisians with nourishment that helped them survive the Siege of Paris.

Cooked fruits and vegetables do not attract and hold liquids as well as their raw counterparts. Unfortunately, many people with IBS cannot tolerate raw vegetables. Gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid that aids digestion by attracting digestive juices to the food in the digestive tract. While performing this important function, it prevents bad bacteria from sticking to the wall of the gut, thereby preventing and mitigating bacterial infections. It also neutralizes toxins created during intestinal bugs or the flu.

Gelatin is reported to seal and heal any damage it finds by lining the gastrointestinal tract and nourishing the rapidly-growing mucous membranes. Numerous sources claim that ingesting gelatin also helps to prevent wrinkles, improve joint function, and maintain beautiful hair.

Knox isn't your only choice. Various grades of commercial gelatin are available. Some products are hydrolyzed for faster digestion and easier mixing in liquids. They may be made from beef or pork sources. Manufacturers like Great Lakes or Bernard Jensen provide gelatin that is gluten- and MSG-free, produced from top-quality animals. The best gelatin comes from grass-fed cattle or from pigs that are fed high-quality, natural diets.

Broth that is prepared at home will contain the highest concentration of healing properties. Thousands of websites offer recipes. The main ingredients are bones/discards from beef, pork, chicken, and fish. Everything is placed in a water/vinegar solution and simmered for hours to draw out the minerals and nutrients. Some cooks add vegetables and spices to produce a delicious consommé that may be served hot or jellied.

You can also purchase bone soup powder from Chinese, Japanese, or Taiwanese specialty shops, and in some health food stores.

It is easy to incorporate gelatin in your diet by mixing it into warm drinks, adding it to soups, sprinkling it over food, or by making homemade jelly desserts.

Here is a quick and easy recipe for gelatin lemonade.

Gelatin Lemonade

Ingredients:

• Boiling water
• 1 Tbs. gelatin powder
• Pinch of pure stevia powder
• 1 tsp. lemon juice
• Cold water

Directions:

• Place gelatin and stevia powder in the bottom of a large mug or heavy glass that can tolerate boiling water.

• Add about 1/2 cup freshly-boiled water.

• Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.

• Add lemon juice.

• Top up with just enough cold water to cool the mixture slightly.

• Drink while warm. If you allow the liquid to cool, it will start to set.

Notes:

You can omit the stevia and sweeten to taste with honey or sugar if you are able to tolerate it.

More Information

Are you looking for more IBS information and recipes? Kathy has written two helpful books:

The IBS Compass: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tips, Information, Fiber Charts, and Recipes. Fix your sights on better health by selecting a course that works best for you.

IBS-IBD Fiber Charts: Soluble & Insoluble Fibre Data for over 450 Items, Including Links to Internet Resources. Load a copy onto your smartphone, tablet, eReader, and computer. Keep track of your fiber intake, no matter where you are.

Disclaimer

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Comments 9 comments

ExpectGreatThings profile image

ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

I'm sold on gelatin! My son has been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for most of this year and gelatin is a big part of that. His gut issues are completely healed now. I hope many will read your hub.


Kathy Steinemann profile image

Kathy Steinemann 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

@ExpectGreatThings - How long did it take after adding gelatin before your son noticed an improvement?


ExpectGreatThings profile image

ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

We changed his entire diet at the same time, so I probably shouldn't give all the credit to gelatin. But his gas stopped in a few days and his cramping and bloody stools were gone in about 3 weeks.


Kathy Steinemann profile image

Kathy Steinemann 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

@ExpectGreatThings - It is nice to hear a success story. Good luck!


Tom Cal 3 years ago

Expect great things - What type of Gelatin did you use Hydrolyzed or regular hot water type

Thank you !


Kathy Steinemann profile image

Kathy Steinemann 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

I use regular, garden variety Knox gelatin, twice daily. I contacted Knox directly, and they affirmed that they don't use beef products.


Sherri Hunt 8 months ago

I had suffered with IBS for years with NO RELIEF! I was prescribed several different things that never worked! My Mom talked me into trying gelatin for my nails and joint health and I realized after about a month that I was having NO stomach trouble! Fast forward eight months and my IBS has disappeared! I will take it for the rest of my life! I love being able to eat what I want and not having to worry about finding the nearest restroom! I've talked two other people into trying it and their stomachs have gotten 100% better too!! I'm a firm believer and would recommend it to anyone suffering from stomach issues!!


Roz 4 weeks ago

How much gelatin, how often and how did you take it? Did you use Knox? Thanks Sherri- so glad you are pain free


Kathy Steinemann profile image

Kathy Steinemann 4 weeks ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Hi, Roz.

Everything you do for IBS is a personalized, symptom-based approach. I have at times used four packets of Knox daily. I don't have problems with lactose, so I mix two packets in a glass of milk, microwave until it's hot, and stir well to dissolve it. If you're sensitive to warm beverages, you might feel a need to have a bowel movement shortly thereafter.

As a maintenance dose, I stick with two packets daily. Needless to say, I buy the large boxes and watch for sales. I have also used gelatin from the health food store, which is available in bulk and considerably cheaper.

As an aside, when putting my luggage through a security check, my carry-on was flagged. Turns out the glass jar filled with packets of Knox aroused suspicion. If you plan to travel and can't get gelatin at your destination, it's probably best to leave it in the original box. Mine got through the check, because each packet was still intact. However, I can see bulk gelatin creating an uproar.

Good luck with your IBS!

Kathy

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