Health hotline in stew over disparaging donkey-hide gelatin post

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/27 17:43:39

An official health organ apologized on Monday for reposting reports on Chinese social media that dismissed the health benefits of donkey-hide gelatin.

The 12320 hotline affiliated with the National Health and Family Planning Commission posted on February 18 on Sina Weibo that donkey-hide gelatin was not worth buying.

"Donkey-hide gelatin has been spoken highly of among health care products… but it is just boiled donkey hide. The main component of donkey skin is collagen, but collagen lacks tryptophane, which humans need," the post read, which has now been deleted.

The 12320 hotline apologized on Monday night, saying the post had not been examined properly.

The China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CATCM) also replied to the post on Monday through China News of Traditional Chinese Medicine. "There are no doubts about the health functions of donkey-hide gelatin. It violates the scientific spirit to deny it without textual research," CATCM said.

Consumers should be wary of products that boast having the functions of traditional Chinese medicine but should also be alert to those who reject their functions just to stir controversy, said Yang Zhongqi, a doctor from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine's first affiliated hospital.

Stewed donkey-hide gelatin is mainly made of donkey skin, and is also processed with yellow wine, sugar and soybean oil. The hides are used to produce a gelatinized traditional Chinese medicine called ejiao that is used to treat health issues such as anemia and other ailments.

According to Fang Shuting, the head of CATCM, the first records of donkey-hide gelatin appeared in the ancient Chinese book Shennong Bencaojing (The Classic of Herbal Medicine). The gelatin has proved to have functions in diagnosing gynaecological ailments, respiratory diseases and for improving immunity, he said.

Additionally, China has lowered the tariff on imported donkey hides to cut costs for companies and support their efforts in promoting donkey breeding in China and abroad.

Global Times

Posted in: SOCIETY

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