Top 10 Bone Broth Benefits Backed by Science

Bone broth is nothing new, simple, and yet packed with health benefits. Maybe that’s why it’s so trendy.

Not only the advocates of the Paleo diet have taken it warmly to their hearts, but also friends of the keto diet and fasting adore it as the Swiss army knife of nutrition.

What Are the Benefits of Bone Broth?

Bone broth provides electrolytes, protein, collagen, and vitamins, improving joints, skin, hair, immune system, gut health, weight loss, and sleep.

Although it may seem like a new fad, bone broth has existed for centuries. Many cultures have used bone broth to make healing elixirs, soups, and stews.

Hunter-gatherers used otherwise inedible parts of the animals they harvested and turned them into broth they could drink. Hence, you can make bone broth with bones from almost any animal. Even feet and connective tissue provide valuable nutrients.

For example, the Jewish community has found chicken broth a popular cold remedy.

Moreover, beef, lamb, fish, or game are among the most popular soup bones.

Bones house a variety of powerful nutrients released when slowly simmered in water for several hours.

Although our ancestors once didn’t know precisely why bone broth was so good for them, today, we can scientifically prove the benefits of bone broth for anybody’s health.

Because drinking or eating bone broth is generally healthy and can improve your well-being, it is sometimes called liquid gold.

Accordingly, bone broth provides many nutrients that are typically difficult to get from other sources – most notably type 2 collagen, found exclusively in bone and cartilage tissue.

But even collagen is responsible for only part of the positive effects. Here are the nine outstanding health benefits of bone broth:

1. Provides Electrolytes

Doctors have always recommended bone broth for a good reason. Firstly, it is liquid, easy to digest, and full of electrolytes. On top of that, it contains healthy fats that help the body better absorb the other nutrients from the broth.

Moreover, the natural fats make it taste excellent.

Since the body loses a lot of water and thus electrolytes during fasting due to the breakdown of stored carbohydrates, bone broth is an excellent food after fasting.

Hence, it is equally popular with the keto diet, as this also aims to break down carbohydrate stores to burn stored fat.

In addition to the essential electrolytes magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium, bone broth also contains numerous other minerals, such as phosphorus (*).

These are necessary to ensure nerve signaling, bone density, muscle contraction, and heart and digestive health (Karpouzos et al. 20171; Shrimanker et al. 20202).

Therefore, bone broth is the best restorative food after fasting and an ideal natural electrolyte supplier after exercise.

Moreover, the bone marrow provides vitamins A1 and K2, which plant foods can hardly supply. Besides, you can find other minerals such as zinc, iron, boron, manganese, and selenium in bone marrow (Hassan et al. 20123).

In short, people from all walks of life can benefit from this enormous nutrient density.

2. Supports Digestion

Not only is broth easily digestible as a bulking food, but it can also aid in the digestion of other foods and their nutrients.

The gelatin in bone broth can naturally bind fluid in the digestive tract, which helps food move through the intestines more easily.

Moreover, studies suggest that gelatin can protect and heal the digestive tract mucosa (Scaldaferri et al. 20144).

Furthermore, real bone broth contains glutamine, an amino acid that helps maintain intestinal wall function (Achamrah et al. 20175).

3. Offers Collagen

As the most important structural protein, collagen is an essential building block of our body. Besides, it’s the most abundant protein in the human body (Stefanovic 20136).

Therefore, collagen is essential for maintaining teeth, joints, connective tissue, skin, hair, and bones. In short, collagen is the substance that holds the whole body together.

With increasing age, collagen production in the body decreases. Therefore, it is all the more critical to increase collagen protein intake at the latest from the age of about 65.

Hence, bone broth is a welcome natural source of collagen for this purpose.

Increased collagen intake mainly helps to counteract joint tissue breakdown (Dar et al. 20177).

Due to two amino acids in collagen, it can be particularly effective:

  • Proline
  • Glycine

These amino acids are responsible for continuously repairing damaged cell walls, such as in the intestine (Liu et al. 20198).

4. Reduces Inflammation

Because of its high collagen content, consuming bone broth is an excellent way to improve gut health.

The same goes for gelatin, created by cooking connective tissue and contains shorter collagen chains.

Because it is a rich source of outstanding amino acids, collagen is that bone broth component that allows it to reduce inflammation (Liu et al. 20199).

Our bodies use collagen components to heal a leaky gut wall by sealing holes caused by inflammation, lectins, and unhealthy bacteria (Chen et al. 201710).

Bone broth offers various health benefits

5. Supports Skin and Hair

Collagen has long ceased to be an insider’s tip regarding cosmetics and skincare products. After all, animal protein is an essential building block of skin, hair, and nails.

Nevertheless, collagen supplements in beauty products rarely keep their promises. Since intact collagen molecules are comparatively large, the skin cannot adequately absorb them.

In contrast, the human body can absorb collagen well from food such as bone broth.

Collagen consumed through bone broth is broken down and absorbed by your digestive system. In this way, it can improve the texture of skin and nails (Proksch et al. 201311).

In one study, skin elasticity in older women increased significantly after only four weeks of consuming collagen (Hexsel et al. 201712).

Moreover, studies suggest that drinking bone broth may also reduce cellulite. According to one study, eating collagen can lead to a visible reduction in skin rippling from cellulite.

Unlike the external application of creams, collagen in bone broth can increase skin elasticity, firmness, and smoothness (Schunck et al. 201513).

6. Boosts Immune System

There’s a reason for craving warm soup when you’re not feeling well. The body craves nutrients to help it heal.

According to studies, bone broth strengthens the immune system – especially that of the gut (Frasca et al. 201214).

The main difference between bone broth and regular soup is that bone broth is enriched with bioavailable collagen.

Slow simmering makes it possible for abundant collagen to be extracted from bone marrow.

Because collagen is a particular cell-signaling protein transported throughout the body via the bloodstream, it can fight inflammation and fibrosis and help repair cells (Svoboda et al. 200215).

Accordingly, studies show that blood collagen levels are significantly lower in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases (Koutroubakis et al. 200316).

While low collagen levels in blood serum induce a higher risk of disease, higher collagen levels may contribute to overall health.

Therefore, the natural supply of collagen through the consumption of bone broth may be a simple way to maintain blood collagen at a healthy level and thus promote cellular repair processes.

This fact strengthens not only the immune system run but also gut health.

7. Promotes Weight Loss

Its volume and the healthy fats in bone broth can increase satiety.

Accordingly, studies have found that regular soup consumption can increase satiety and reduce weight and abdominal fat (Zhu et al. 201317).

Additionally, collagen and other proteins in bone broth help improve appetite control (Leidy 201418).

Furthermore, collagen has tremendous potential to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat when combined with strength training (Zdzieblik et al. 201519).

8. Relieves Joint Pain and Arthritis

Although this may sound very simple, according to studies, the nutrients absorbed from the bone broth can improve one’s bone and joint health (Clark et al. 200820).

Bone broth contains the essential minerals calcium and magnesium and hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin, which are components of cartilage and connective tissue (Henrotin et al. 201221; Bishnoi et al. 201622).

Also, it contains the essential amino acids glycine and proline, which have been clinically shown to accumulate in cartilage and relieve arthritis (de Paz-Lugo et al. 201823).

Providing your body with all these essential building blocks through bone broth can help it maintain and rebuild bones, joints, and connective tissue.

Moreover, high levels of glycine and proline in cartilage can reduce pain and inflammation and improve joint mobility (Porfirio et al. 201624).

In addition to the general public, even competitive athletes can benefit from consuming bone broth.

In one study, joint pain caused by running, walking, or weight lifting was relieved by consuming collagen-rich foods and supplements. Furthermore, collagen consumption significantly reduced pain even during the recovery phase (Dar et al. 201725).

Besides, studies show that collagen intake can significantly increase bone mineral density.

Also, especially women after childbirth and menopause can profit from the health benefits of bone broth.

Because these times are more likely to produce lower estrogen levels, it can be more challenging to maintain necessary bone and joint health (Elam et al. 201426).

9. Improves Sleep Quality

In bone broth, glycine, magnesium, and calcium can improve sleep quality (Kawai et al. 201527).

Moreover, glycine may improve not only sleep quality in general but also the following details (Yamadera et al. 201628; Bannai et al. 201229):

  • Times of falling asleep
  • Sleep duration
  • Depth of sleep
  • Performance on memory recognition tasks
  • Alertness during the day

For these reasons, bone broth can be a welcome home remedy for sleep problems without resorting to harsh medications immediately.

10. Provides More Protein

Compared to stock, bone broth contains significantly more protein.

In contrast to conventional broths, bone broths cook for many hours. The long cooking time allows more proteins and other bone nutrients to seep into the cooking liquid.

Chicken broth may only contain one gram of protein, but a beef bone broth can provide up to 25 grams of protein.

On average, bone broths contain 10 grams of protein per cup.

The amount of nutrients depends on how long the bone broth is cooked. The longer the bones are cooked, the healthier the bone broth is.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re young or old, exercise regularly, do intermittent fasting, keto, paleo, or don’t follow any specific diet, bone broth is an easy way to add more essential nutrients to your daily routine.

Many people have also discovered a hot cup of bone broth in the morning as a breakfast or coffee replacement. This statement is especially true for strict advocates of the Carnivore Diet who want to avoid plant-based products like coffee.

Hence, they use bone broth to fuel them with energy. But regardless of your diet, bone broth can help you improve your satiety, get essential electrolytes, and burn fat more efficiently.

Furthermore, the benefits of bone broth may boost digestion, sleep, your immune system, and joint, muscle, and gut health. Try my bone broth recipe and reap all these health benefits today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it good to drink bone broth everyday?

You may consume bone broth daily after no side effects are known for healthy people. In this regard, 1-2 cups per day may maximize the health benefits.

What does bone broth do for your body?

Bone broth is exceptionally healthy since it boosts weight loss, digestion, sleep, skin, hair, and the immune system.

Does bone broth really work?

Due to essential electrolytes and other minerals, bone broth offers many health benefits. Also, bone broth provides collagen and vitamins A1 and K2, which plant sources cannot.

How long does it take to see benefits of bone broth?

Although bone broth is treated like a panacea, it will take weeks to see benefits, even on a low-carb diet.

What is the downside of bone broth?

If the bones are not healthy or stored correctly, the quality of the broth can be affected.



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Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

Stephan is a true man of science, having earned multiple diplomas and master's degrees in various fields. He has made it his mission to bridge the gap between conventional wisdom and scientific knowledge. He precisely reviews the content and sources of this blog for currency and accuracy.

Click on the links above to visit his author and about me pages.

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