Gelatin is a form of hydrolyzed collagen which brings a ready supply of four essential amino acids: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and glutamic acid. Nails and skin benefit from these amino acids. According to a 2004 CBS Money Watch report by Jim Caras, hydrolyzed collagen products may also protect the body's lean muscle mass, benefit arthritis, and help the body to burn fat and enhance weight loss. And while few consumable products seem as safe--let alone as comforting--as gelatin, everything has its downside. Consult a physician before beginning any regular use of hydrolyzed collagen as a nutritive supplement.
Topical Side Effects
Topical use of hydrolyzed collagen has been known to trigger dermatitis or inflammation of the skin. Essentially, a mild rash develops. The exact cause may vary by person--but most often dermatitis is a form of allergic reaction. The best cure for those affected is to cease using hydrolyzed collagen topically.
Gelatin, like any food product, runs the risk of food allergies. Hydrolyzed collagen is made of degraded animal protein, most commonly from cows. People who are allergic to beef and other animal products should be wary of consuming hydrolyzed collagen.
Some hydrolyzed collagen products are now being made from chicken. While there are no studies on side effects of chicken-based hydrolyzed collagen, other chicken-based supplement products have been known to cause nausea, heartburn, diarrhoea, constipation, drowsiness, skin reactions, and headache. People with known allergies to chicken and other meat products should consider avoiding this form of hydrolyzed collagen.