This Common Food from Your Childhood Can Improve Sleep and Get Rid of Wrinkles

Did you grow up eating Jell-O? How about soup made with leftover chicken scraps? Both of these foods have one thing in common — gelatin. And they’re known to get rid of wrinkles, too.


The Body Ecology Guide to Growing Younger audio series uncovers the truth about aging in our modern world. Natural anti-aging remedies can help you look as young as you feel.

Research shows that collagen peptides build up in the skin for up to four days after supplementation.

Gelatin is a group of proteins that can be dissolved in water. You get gelatin by breaking apart the sturdy collagen that you find in animal bones, cartilage, and skin.

Manufacturers usually “wash” collagen-rich skin and joint tissue with an extremely acidic or alkaline solution. They then heat it up to break apart the collagen and create gelatin. This is similar to homemade chicken soup, which begins with a pot of water, chicken bones, and a few tablespoons of an acidic medium — like vinegar.

Eventually, the collagen in the bones and joint tissue breaks down, and you’re left with a rich, restorative broth.

Immediately Feel the Benefits of Hydrolyzed Collagen

Once you have gelatin, you can further process it with enzymes — similar to digestion. You’re left with hydrolyzed collagen, or enzyme-treated collagen.1, 2 

Hydrolyzed collagen contains bioactive peptides. A peptide is a string of amino acids that is too small to be called a protein. In the body, peptides are often signaling molecules. They play an important role in the hormonal system.

The peptides in hydrolyzed collagen are easy to digest and immediately affect your health.3

For example, the skin of pigs, cattle, and fish contain peptides that have been found to support healthy blood pressure. These same peptides (also found in fish cartilage, squid, and sea cucumbers) have even been isolated and used as an alternative to medications that control blood pressure.Because hydrolyzed collagen naturally supports healthy blood pressure, it also improves sleep. Indeed, insomnia and poor sleep have been linked to high blood pressure.5

Depending on where the collagen comes from and which enzymes are used to break the collagen bonds, enzyme-treated collagen has been found to: 

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Act as an antioxidant
  • Control the growth of harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning and skin infections6

All thanks to the bioactive peptides in hydrolyzed collagen.

Get Rid of Wrinkles: How Collagen Improves Aging Skin

Hydrolyzed collagen is easy to digest. The small peptides quickly move into the bloodstream and accumulate in the skin. Research shows that collagen peptides build up in the skin for up to four days after supplementation.7

Hydrolyzed collagen helps the skin out in a couple of ways.

First, it gives your skin the raw materials that it needs to regain elasticity. When your skin loses elasticity, it begins to droop and hang. Wrinkles form.

But what about age spots and damage caused by UV light? The peptides in hydrolyzed collagen also act as an antioxidant protecting the skin against oxidative damage and stress.

Body Ecology’s ‘Age-Proof’ Recipe to Support Sleep (and Your Skin)

We have a simple, revitalizing recipe that can help you sleep better at night and get rid of wrinkles:

  • 1–2 tablespoons hydrolyzed collagen
  • 8 ounces room temperature water
  • 1 capsule (500 mg) tryptophan

Stir ingredients together until fully dissolved before drinking. As a note: For those struggling to control Candida, hydrolyzed collagen is not recommended. Hydrolyzed collagen can bind with Candida yeast and form a buildup of oxalates in the body, which can be dangerous. If you have Candida, we recommend drinking meat broths instead of using hydrolyzed collagen as a supplement. And if you suspect you have symptoms of Candida overgrowth, you can gain insight into your health by taking our personalized Candida questionnaire.

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Favorite childhood foods like Jell-O and homemade chicken soup may have more benefits than we first thought. Both foods contain gelatin, made when collagen in animal bones, cartilage, and skin is broken apart.

Gelatin can be further processed with enzymes to create hydrolyzed collagen. Hydrolyzed collagen contains bioactive peptides. These peptides are easy to digest and can immediately benefit your health.

Depending on the collagen and the enzymes, hydrolyzed collagen can help to lower blood pressure and improve sleep, provide antioxidant protection, and control harmful bacterial overgrowth that can cause skin infection and food poisoning. Hydrolyzed collagen also supports aging skin by increasing elasticity.

If you would like to improve your sleep and your skin, try this simple recipe:

  • 1–2 tablespoons hydrolyzed collagen
  • 8 ounces room temperature water
  • 1 capsule (500 mg) tryptophan

Stir ingredients together and let rest for ½ hour before drinking.


  1. Djagny, K. B., Wang, Z., & Xu, S. (2001). Gelatin: a valuable protein for food and pharmaceutical industries: review. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 41(6), 481-492.
  2. Nemati, M., Oveisi, M. R., Abdollahi, H., & Sabzevari, O. (2004). Differentiation of bovine and porcine gelatins using principal component analysis. Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis, 34(3), 485-492.
  3. Gómez-Guillén, M. C., Giménez, B., López-Caballero, M. A., & Montero, M. P. (2011). Functional and bioactive properties of collagen and gelatin from alternative sources: A review. Food Hydrocolloids, 25(8), 1813-1827.
  4. Mahmoodani, F., Ghassem, M., Babji, A. S., Yusop, S. M., & Khosrokhavar, R. (2012). ACE inhibitory activity of pangasius catfish (Pangasius sutchi) skin and bone gelatin hydrolysate. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 1-10.
  5. Palagini, L., Maria Bruno, R., Gemignani, A., Baglioni, C., Ghiadoni, L., & Riemann, D. (2013). Sleep loss and hypertension: a systematic review. Current pharmaceutical design, 19(13), 2409-2419.
  6. Lima, C. A., Campos, J. F., Lima Filho, J. L., Converti, A., da Cunha, M. G. C., & Porto, A. L. (2014). Antimicrobial and radical scavenging properties of bovine collagen hydrolysates produced by Penicillium aurantiogriseum URM 4622 collagenase. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 1-8.
  7. Oesser, S., Adam, M., Babel, W., & Seifert, J. (1999). Oral administration of 14C labeled gelatin hydrolysate leads to an accumulation of radioactivity in cartilage of mice (C57/BL). The Journal of nutrition, 129(10), 1891-1895.
  8. Proksch, E., Segger, D., Degwert, J., Schunck, M., Zague, V., & Oesser, S. (2013). Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin pharmacology and physiology, 27(1), 47-55.
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