Making bone broth is an age-old practice.
It involves simmering beef, chicken or fish bones and connective tissue in water for as long as 48 hours. To enhance the flavor as well as increase nutritional value, some herbs and vegetables are also thrown in the mix.
And viola! A perfect meal is ready.
But can your bones and joints benefit from a hot cup of bone broth alone?
Let’s find out together.
Bone broths are indeed nutrient-rich.
The immensely slow cooking process allows nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and collagen to gradually release into the water which you can then consume however you like.
But they might not work as well for bone and joint health.
First and foremost, there is little scientific evidence to suggest that bone broths may act as bone builders or relieve joint pain in conditions such as arthritis.
Our joints start hurting when we lose the protective cushion of collagen around them. And while bone broth does contain collagen, consuming it doesn’t mean that your knees, hips or other joints will actually getthat collagen.
In fact, the collagen we consume is broken down into amino acids which are then taken to different parts of the body.
And there’s no surefire way to specify which of these amino acids go where. Meaning your sore knee joint mightn’t be getting the collagen it needs to heal.
Same is the case for bones.
Approximately 90% of the organic component of the bone matrix is composed of collagen (mainly Type I). Although this implies that consuming collagen in bone broth may help in improving bone health, the problem remains the same.
Bone broths don’t contain high amounts of collagen. Even the limited collagen they have may absorb into other parts of the body and not your bones. Also, these have very little calcium despite being cooked for several hours.
Secondly, it’s quite difficult to determine the nutritional value of a bone broth or to know the exact amount of each nutrient it contains.
This is primarily because the quality and quantity of ingredients varies from bone broth to bone broth, making every batch considerably different from the other.
The benefits of consuming dietary collagen is still something that is being researched which is why it is hard for experts to draw definite conclusions. Still, some studies suggest that commonly consumed preparations of bone broth fail to provide consistently reliable sources of protein.
But that’s not all.
Bone broths are also high in histamine and oxalates.
Wondering what that means?
Histamines are protective chemicals produced by our immune system to fight allergies. Unfortunately, some people are intolerant to histamines which means that bone broths are a no-no for them.
Oxalates, on the other hand, are waste materials produced by our bodies. Oxalates have a high tendency to bind with minerals such as calcium as they leave our body. This implies that they can increase the risk of forming kidney stones in some people.
Which makes bone broths a little bit too risky for people who have a high tendency for kidney stones.
If you want to improve bone-mineral density or need help with painful joints, then collagen peptide supplements may be a better choice than bone broths.
But not without a reason.
While bone broths are very nutritious, they lack high concentrations of collagen that can be effective against joint pain or help improve bone-mineral density.
A collagen supplement such as Sash Vitality Marine Collage , on the other hand, contains a combination of amino acids such as glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. These supplements therefore stand a better chance of helping with bone and joint health because no other dietary source of protein contains the above combination of amino acids in such high concentrations.
Collagen peptide supplements also have excellent absorption. This is because these contain small chain peptides that are more readily absorbed by the body than natural sources of collagen.
And finally, collagen peptide supplements are preferred by some folks because they’re easy to use. Preparing their own bone broths can be extremely time consuming for some people. There are quite a few ready-made options available in the market but these are usually more expensive per serving.
While bone broths pack great nutritional value, collagen peptide supplements are a much better option if you want targeted results for joint support and bone health.
This is mainly because of the composition, ease of use and absorption of collagen peptide supplements.
Do you prefer bone broth or collagen supplements? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Alcock RD, Shaw GC, Burke LM. Bone Broth Unlikely to Provide Reliable Concentrations of Collagen Precursors Compared With Supplemental Sources of Collagen Used in Collagen Research. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2019 May 1;29(3):265-272. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2018-0139. Epub 2018 Sep 26. PMID: 29893587.
Publishing, H., 2015. What's the scoop on bone soup? - Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health Publishing. Available at:
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