Healing Benefits of Bone Broth for Arthritis, Inflammation, and Leaky Gut

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Your Grandmother (and her grandmother, and her grandmother’s grandmother) was certainly onto something when she stood on her soap box all of those years and swore to you that chicken soup heals the soul.  Specifically, broth helps to heal and detoxify the body systems, which we would like to say heals the soul. The modern day health world has been applauding the fantastic detox and healing benefits of bone broth to the body systems, a topic our grandparents have been encouraging for eons.

Mineral and nutrient dense bone broth is comprised of nose to tail animal bones, which boil for several hours (8-24) in order to create a rich, thick broth that has many medicinal capacities.  It nourishes the digestive system, detoxification mechanisms of the body, fills the stomach without weight gain, heals the gut, and is an anti-inflammatory—we could go on and on! The ways of the caveman are back, as modern day health experts are advocating the great benefit of bone broth in one’s diet.

Quite simply, the bones and ligaments within the broth provide us with unbelievable vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as glycine, proline, glutamine, collagen, magnesium, calcium, silicon and more that couldn’t be found in such a way elsewhere.  Bone broth drinkers have reported considerable change in their health because of easy absorption of such mighty minerals and nutrients.

Most notable is the extreme benefit of gelatin and collagen on joint health, detoxification of the digestive system and gut nourishment.  Broth users claim the collagen and gelatin over time make a lasting and noticeable difference on their overall health.

The History of Bone Broth

Bone broth is something of new age health nuts and kale eaters, right? Think again. Beef broth and the healing methods of broth made their way into the world long before we arrived here. The first appearance of bone broth as a medicinal remedy was in 1760 with “beef tea.”(1) Most recipes for such teas called for “rump meats” to be boiled down for several hours and salt to be added. Beef tea was treated as a miracle cure for sicknesses from the common cold to gut health, and thus, began the bone broth trend.

So, is bone broth a fad trend we’ve picked up from the tea drinking ways of old, or is it a staple health tool that could aid us in healing several disorders and creating balance? Let’s look at the facts.

Markets, hip restauranteurs and the like are bringing back the broth as its gained momentum due to its known healing proficiencies.  Health, fitness and clean lifestyle advocates drink bone broth to maximize their well being, but do they know of the benefits? Although bone broth has been blowing up as a “fad” as of late, the age-old healing remedy contains endless health benefits. (2)

Bone-afied Benefits in the Broth

Digestion – Bone broth is nourishing and contains collagen, which is vital to the health and lining of the digestive tract. Collagen soothes the digestive walls and aids in repairing disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s or other digestive sensitivities. (3)

Arthritis – Minerals like silicon, calcium and magnesium, and of course, glycosaminoglycans (GAC) found in bone broth increase the health of your joints and ligaments and decrease the affects of arthritis. Individuals who have used bone broth as a consistent health method claim to notice overall joint health increase and symptoms of arthritis decrease. (4)

Leaky Gut – Gelatin, found in the mighty broth, helps to break down proteins, as well as settles and soothes the lining of the digestive tract.  Those who experience constipation, diarrhea, gas and the like have found relief from bone broth as a result of gut restorative from the gelatins healing properties. Specifically, the broth aids significantly for individuals who have leaky gut. (5)

Cellulite – Because cellulite stems from a lack of connective tissue, and collagen (a fundamental ingredient in bone broth) helps to create healthy connective tissue along with lively, youthful looking skin, the broth aids in reducing cellulite and building beautiful connective tissue back. (6)

Food Intolerance – Gelatin, one of the broth’s integral healing properties, contains the amino acid glycine, which helps support the detoxifying processes of the liver and in turn heal (as well as aid) food intolerances. Specifically, gelatin has been known to help individuals with cow’s milk and gluten intolerances tolerate such foods.

Immune System Boost – Much of the immune system operates within the gut, and as the broth’s main benefit happens to be healing gut health, one’s immune system is boosted as a result. Essentially, the immune system stays healthy through a properly functioning (7), happy gut, and bone broth has the tools to keep the gut very robust and vital.

Anti-Inflammatory – Bone broth contains proline, glycine, and arginine – each a main player in the anti-inflammatory game.  Because these elements are so highly concentrated, people who suffer from inflammation will benefit greatly, consuming the broth. (8)

Detoxification – Bone broth contains amino acids, which play a big role in the process of detoxification. Most prevalent in bone broth are glycine and proline, which aid the liver in removing toxins and create maximizing health and longevity.

Weight Control – Bone broth is low in carbohydrates, high in good fats, high in vitamins and minerals, very low in calories and very satiating.  It is the perfect meal or snack if you’re on a fast, however it’s also a wise choice during day-to-day healthy living.  The broth will keep you feeling full, provide you with the vitamins nutrients and minerals your body needs, and rid your system of any unwanted toxins.

The Secret Ingredient in Bone Broth: Gelatin and Collagen

Collagen: it’s the element that comes to mind when we think of elasticity in the skin and connective tissues that allows us to look youthful.  However, did you know that it is an essential ingredient in bone broth?  This pliable, thick ingredient is a key factor in the healing features of bone broth.  Not only does collagen reduce cellulite and wrinkles, which is its commonly known benefit, it also calms the lining of the digestive tract, helps to heal IBS and acid reflux as well as reduce the negative affects of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. (9) The healing properties associated with collagen are vast.

Gelatin: Though gelatin can appear to be a fatty or uneven layer of atop your soup that would likely be unhealthy, it’s actually the greatest harvest of the broth.  It provides minerals that will help to build (and rebuild) healthy bones.  Gelatin promotes probiotic growth and balance, keeping your gut on track.  Similarly, it’s been found that gelatin lines the gut and provides aid to leaky gut syndrome as well as other autoimmune disorders that consort it. (10)

The Real Deal with Broth: Is it truly beneficial?

Although people have been sipping on bone bouillons, meat teas and slow cooked soups for centuries to reap the nutritive and medicinal reward, extensive research around all breadths of the topic has yet to be done.  We’ve seen some nutritionists praising the modern day rendition of the broth, namely because of it’s non-essential amino acid content and dense composition of vitamins and minerals. This however, has been countered with other nutritional professionals who believe the hype around bone broth is overblown, because of a lack of long withstanding research. Though large-scale research around the science of bone broth is still in its infancy, we do know that the broth is densely packed with amino acids that have been scientifically proven to help heal the body.

The Healing Powers of Amino Acids

Bone Broth is solidly packed with over 19 non-essential, conditional amino acids, which are the foundation to the nourishing, healing proteins we eat. Conditional amino acids can be a cornerstone to healing. Because these amino acids are not naturally easily produced if the body is stressed, ill, or under severe fatigue, their absorption from other sources for individuals who are under these types of conditions is essential.

In Western culture, our grocery stores are overloaded with highly processed foods devoid of nutritional content, specifically deficient in important amino acids, which are essential to one’s health.  Considering many westerners dine on highly processed foods daily, it’s vital to receive amino acids from some type of source. Scientifically, we know that amino acids help the body to heal, but let’s talk about some of the specific amino acids found in bone broth and what they do.

Arginine: This non-essential amino acid regenerates liver cells, is necessary for immune system functioning and helps to produce sperm. It heals the body by naturally cleansing its primary detox organ and creates proper immune system functioning. (11)

Proline: Proline helps to repair joint health, as it regenerates cartilage and soothes the joints. Additionally, proline diminishes cellulite, creating supple, soft and healthy skin. It also helps to repair leaky gut, as it lines the stomach coating and repairs it. (12)

Glutamine: This amino acid serves as ignition for the cells in the small intestine, therefore enhancing one’s metabolism. It protects the lining of the gut, assisting with healthy digestion and leaky gut. (13)

These are just three of the 19 powerful non-essential amino acids that bone broth bodes in its contents. Sip on the soup to enjoy all of the nutritious and healing aspects.

Your Best Bet is Broth, One Bowl at a Time!

The soothing and restorative affect that bone broth has on one’s health is significant, and this is why I recommend it being included in a diet for those suffering from arthritis, leaky gut, digestive issues, and other health conditions. Many have found fast-acting benefit from just short-term consumption of the broth, and of course standing significant aid over time as they adding the broth in to their health routines.  If you’re looking to increase your joint health, find a new way to detoxify the body, soothe the stomach and satisfy your taste buds, click here to enjoy a bowl of my recipe for bone broth and improve your health today.

Have you tried bone broth?  I’d love to know in the comment section how bone broth has supported your health!

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Dr. B.J. Hardick

About Dr. B.J. Hardick

Raised in a holistic family, Dr. B.J. Hardick is the co-author of the best-selling Maximized Living Nutrition Plans, used in natural health clinics worldwide, and a contributing author for its follow-up publication, The Cancer Killers. Dr. Hardick shares his own journey dealing with heavy metal toxicity in Real Detox, his e-Book available on DrHardick.com. An organic food fanatic and green living aficionado, all Dr. Hardick’s passions are anchored in helping others achieve ecologically sound, healthy, and balanced lives. Learn More

  • shirtour

    I am a great believer in bone broth and eat some daily. I have heard that chicken is even preferable to beef bones. Is this true?
    Thank you for this extremely informative article.
    My question is: How can my two adult vegetarian daughters get these benefits when neither will eat anything made with a flesh food or animal product?

  • Cameron

    Thank you for providing us this information. I should say that there really are benefits in drinking bone broth. My health has improved once I started drinking Au Bon Broth. I felt much more energetic than before.