Can bone broth transform your health and beauty?

  • icon
  •  Bone broth is considered to be one of the most healing foods. It is commonly used by people with:

    • gastrointestinal problems like leaky gut syndrome,

    • joint problems like rheumatoid arthritis,

    • autoimmune disease such as Hasmimotos thyroiditis and Crohn’s disease,

    • allergies and food intolerances,

    • skin problems,

    • osteoporosis and many more.

    In this article we are going to explore the science behind bone broth and identify the key nutrients behind its medicinal powers.

    Bone broth is not something new. It has been used by many different cultures for ages. It can be made from any kind of bones, beef, chicken, pork or even fish. Bones, ribs etc and anything with more cartilage have been used traditionally to create stocks as a base for soups and other recipes. 

    Key nutrients in bone broth:

    • Bone broth is rich in cartilage, collagen and gelatine.

    • It is also very high in proline and glycine, two amino acids that are essential for collagen formation and important for proper functioning of joints and tendons.

    • It is also a great source of phosphorous and magnesium, two important minerals for health.  

     Cartilage:

    inside bone

    Gelatin is great for the gastrointestinal system. It aids digestion, decreases susceptibility to food allergies and helps repairing a leaky gut.

    Collagen

    Collagen is made up of three specific amino acids: glycine, proline, and lysine. Vitamin C is also vital to the synthesis of collagen. Let’s take a deeper look at what the research says on these important amino acids.

    Glycine

    inside bone2

    The amino acid glycine has many functions in the body.  The most important functions are listed below (7):

    • It is necessary for protein synthesis. It accounts for 1/3 of aminoacids in the body’s collagen and elastin

    • It helps to make other amino acids

    • It is a primary ingredient of heme, the part of the blood that carries oxygen throughout the body

    • It is used in the synthesis of creatine which is important for energy production

    • It contributes to the synthesis of bile salts which enable the digestion of fat and the absorption of fatty acids from the body

    • It helps to form DNA

    • It is used for the two main detoxification pathways in the liver.

    • It is an anti-oxidant

    • It has anti-inflammatory properties

    • It helps stabilizing blood glucose as it helps to form glucose from protein sources in times of fasting.

    Research shows that glycine can also help with the following conditions:

    • It’s associated with a reduced risk of asthma

    • It stimulates gastric acid secretion

    • It increases wound healing

    • It helps with liver problems such as jaundice

    • It helps with detoxification processes

    • If taken during a fast, it prevents muscle degeneration

    • It can improve neurological function and quality of sleep

    Proline

    One of proline’s main roles is in the structure of collagen. It is, therefore, an important part of connective tissue. Even though it can be manufactured by the body itself, if not taken from the diet the proline available in the body can be quite low.

    Proline helps by improving memory and preventing depression.

    Lysine

    Lysine is commonly known as the anti-viral protein. It is used for fighting viral infections like herpes simplex.  It is an essential amino acid which means that it is not produced by the body and it must be acquired from the diet. 

    Lysine has many functions. It is used to produce carnitine which is used by the body to burn fat and decrease cholesterol.  It also increases the absorption of calcium and is needed to produce collagen. Lysine therefore is very important for bone, skin, hair, nail and cardiac health. 

    On average, a person needs 12mg of lysine per kilogram of weight per day for good health, so an average person who weighs 70 kilos would need 840 milligrams per day. 

    • 100 grams of bone broth contains 4.4 grams (4400 mg) of lysine. 

    inside bone3

    Minerals found in bone broth:

    Phosphorous and magnesium are two important minerals that are found in bone broth.  They are involved in supporting bone health as well as a healthy metabolism. Magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and research shows magnesium deficiency is very common (8). Some signs of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness and sleep problems.

    Supplementing the diet with bone broth is a great way to add these two important minerals to the diet.

    Take home message:

    So, whether you are looking to make your skin smoother and more radiant, heal your gut and restore a proper gastrointestinal function, restore joint health, detox, build muscle and improve bone health, look no further! Bone broth might be what you are looking for. We typically recommend drinking 1-2 cups of bone broth per day, but advice should be individualized according to the symptoms you want to treat and their severity. You can have it on an empty stomach in the morning and / or in the evening a few hours before bedtime. 

     

    Practical Tips:

    • Make bone broths from organic beef or chicken or from grass-fed animals. 

    • It’s better to roast the meat / bones first and then use the leftovers for making your bone broth.

    • It’s typically better to use bones that have more cartilage like those from the ribs. 

    • In addition to drinking bone broth as mentioned above, you can also use it in soups or other dishes.  

    • Experiment with different recipes until you find the ones you really enjoy!

    • Use filtered water.

    • Some experts recommend initiating the bone broth with adding the bones to cold water rather than starting the process with an already warm / boiling water (8).

    • The feet are supposed to give more collagen and create a thicker broth.

    References:

    1. Prudden, J, The Biological activity of bovine cartilage preparations, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatology, 1974, III, 4, 287-321.

    2. Quillin, P, Beating Cancer with Nutrition, Carlsbad, CA, Nutrition Times Press, 2001.

    3. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/bone-broth-calcium/

    4. Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine, Dr. Gotthoffer

    5. Weston A.Price Foundation. http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/why-broth-is-beautiful-essential-roles-for-proline-glycine-and-gelatin/

    6. Bensky, D, Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Seattle, WA, Eastland Press Inc., 1993, p.332.

    7. Wang, Weiwei, et al. "Glycine metabolism in animals and humans: implications for nutrition and health."Amino Acids45.3 (2013): 463-477.

    8. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/#h5

    9. http://mariamindbodyhealth.com/chicken-dumpling-soup-and-intestinal-health/

    ×

    Subscribe to my nutrilosophy and get your Superfood Guide

    book small