A few million years ago, after my diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis, and before paleo was even a glimmer in my eye, I briefly supplemented with Knox gelatin. Gelatin was touted by some as a great supplement for arthritis; as a precursor to cartilage, gelatin could help the body to repair joint damage and also keep damage from occurring in the first place. It was one of many things I tried, used for a while, and mentally filed away with a reaction of, meh.
Years later, as bone broth, with it's healthy dose of gelatin, became touted within the paleosphere, my ears perked up. I went online and bought some traditional (i.e. slow-simmered), grass-fed beef bone broth and gave it a try. Soothing and yummy, but expensive - and storing enough to have just a cup a day for a month at a time in my tiny freezer was a pain. I found myself repeatedly putting off ordering either due to the cost, or because the freezer situation was already at critical mass, so my use of bone broth was intermittent at best. Maybe I'll eventually get over my fear of leaving a crock-pot simmering with the dogs home alone and regularly make my own bone broth. But until then. . . with the possible benefits of gelatin for joint health as well as other possible benefits, I thought maybe I should try gelatin again. I ordered some Great Lakes gelatin (it can be ordered through Amazon); I chose the whole protein gelatin rather than the hydrolyzed gelatin as it 'may' be better for gut health.
And here's were it may get interesting for those in ketosis.
My ketones, as measured by urine test strips, while consistently in the medium and high ranges early on, have been low for a while, sometimes fading away to 'nothing'. While I'm aware that this was likely just normal sign of keto-adaptation, I still kind of responded with grrrrr every morning when I looked at my test strip. A few days after I started supplementing with gelatin, my 'peetones' shot up into the medium/high range again and these levels have persisted for almost three weeks - now my response when I look at my test strip in the morning is, hmmm?
The only thing I could find on a quick google search for 'gelatin ketosis' was this thread on reddit (I know, it's reddit, but still). From the post:
"Gelatin which is made up of collagen and proteins from organ/skin/bone of animals contains glycine. Glycine in turn promotes glucagon to be released from the pancreas. Glucagon is the opposite of insulin, it tells fat cells to release fat (dumbed down version)."
Again, hmmm? In the interest of 'science', I received my Great Lakes gelatin and started taking it (approximately one tablespoon per day) the same week as the local trails finally dried out and I was able to start mountain biking again. Mountain biking, especially with the hilly trails in St. Louis area, can be a pretty high intensity, full body work out. Obviously, exercise can affect ketosis, but I would expect the affect to wax and wane from day to day, as I'm not able to mountain bike every day. The past week has essentially been a bust for mountain biking (ok, let's be honest, for exercise, period), and yet my ketones are still in the medium/high range every morning.
In any event, an interesting observation I wanted to share. . . I'll update regarding this, and any positive affects on those last stubborn five pounds, in the future.