Bone broth is probably one of the most overlooked yet beneficial ‘foods’ we need to get back into
our health building diets. Here’s why:
- Collagen and gelatin Collagen is the main structural protein found in ligaments, tendons and cartilage making it an essential protein for joint strength and integrity. Gelatin is the product yielded when collagen is boiled. Gelatin may even reduce joint pain in athletes, as one (admittedly small) study appeared to show. Another showed benefits for ulcer patients.
- Glycine Although our bodies already produce plenty of glycine, rendering it a non-essential amino acid, there’s some evidence that supplementation can help mitigate free-radical oxidative damage in rats with alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity. Bone broth is rich in glycine. It probably doesn’t mean much, but it can’t hurt. And check out this study that shows it may even improve sleep quality . Consider the value of drinking a warm cup of broth before bed.
- Proline Proline is another non-essential amino acid found in bone stock, but supplementation has shown promise in patients suffering from vision loss due to gyrate atrophy. It’s also an important precursor for the formation of collagen, though it’s not clear whether eating proline has any affect on the body’s ability to make collagen.
- Hyaluronic acid Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is one of cartilage’s three glycosaminoglycans. Recent studies on oral administration have been promising, though, meaning oral administration of quality bone stock might help us with our joint issues, too. According to Wikipedia, human studies are underway and showing promise. Here’s one small study. The potential benefits of consuming bone broth are compelling.
- Chondroitin sulfate Chondroitin sulfate is another glycosaminoglycan present in bone stock. It’s also a popular supplement for the treatment of osteoarthritis where the efficacy of which has come under question. One recent review concludes that chondroitin sulfate may interfere with progression of osteoarthritis.
- Calcium It’s the raw material for bone production and fortification, and bone stock might be one of the best sources of calcium around, especially for those who avoid dairy and don’t eat enough leafy greens.
- Phosphorus There’s also a good amount of phosphorus in bone stock. Though, If you eat meats you are probably not lacking in this mineral. Still, it’s a nice buffer.
- Magnesium Magnesium is pretty lacking in the modern diet. Fatty fish like mackerel offer good amounts, as do leafy greens, nuts and seeds. But most of us could stand to take in a bit more magnesium. Dr. Michael Eades says if he had to recommend just one supplement, it would be magnesium; Dr. Stephan Guyenet over at Whole Health Source recently posted a couple great pieces, one on magnesium and insulin sensitivity (short version: the former improves the latter) and another on magnesium and vitamin D metabolism (short version: the former affects the latter). Bone broth is just another way to obtain this valuable mineral.
- Sulfur, potassium, and sodium Bone broth has these minerals in mostly trace amounts, but they’re all important for health. Ample sodium intake may not be a real issue for most people, but potassium is undoubtedly important and often lacking. Both are crucial electrolytes (bone broth…a new sports drink?). Sulfur is the ‘S’ in MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, the popular joint supplement that has shown some promising results in humans.
Finally…A quick thought about bone broth from Dr. Josh Axe, Founder of Ancient Nutrition (Bone Broth Protein™)