Health Benefits of Bone Broth

Bone broth is one of the most recent health food trends sweeping the world of wellness. It is sometimes referred to as “liquid gold” due to it’s supposed healing properties and benefits. Does this seemingly simple drink live up to the hype? Let’s discuss the potential benefits of bone broth and how to incorporate this nutrient-dense stock into your healthy gut diet plan.

Brief History of Bone Broth

You might have just started hearing about the benefits of bone broth. However, this nutritious liquid has been around for thousands of years. In fact, it’s been a staple in the human diet since the dawn of humankind [1].

benefits of bone broth
Our indigenous ancestors made
sure to use as much of their food sources
as possible, resulting in the
discovery of bone broth

Hunter-gatherers would try to use as much of killed animals as possible.

They couldn’t chew knuckles and hooves of their prey. Also, these body parts suffice in creating shelter and clothing.

With time, hunter-gatherers use hot rocks to smother inedible bones.

Our ancestors realized that this would break down the structure of these body parts, secreting a nutritious gel-like substance.

Over time, hunter-gatherers learned how to create pots for cooking. They would throw the bones into pot water above a flame. Eventually, vegetables and tubers made their way into the brew. It was then that bone broth was born.

Benefits of Bone Broth: Nutritional Value

One of the vital benefits of bone broth is that this drink is packed with vitamins and minerals essential for optimal function [2].

This low-calorie healthy gut food choice contains the following percentages of daily recommended values:

benefits of bone broth
Bone broth benefits: Nutritious and delicious
  • Protein – 20%
  • Vitamin A – 23%
  • Iron – 23%
  • Vitamin C – 22%
  • Roboflavin – 27%
  • Niacin – 27%
  • Folate – 21%
  • Vitamin B12 – 21%
  • Vitamin B6- 19%
  • Selenium – 17%
  • Manganese – 17%
  • Copper – 17%

While bone broth has more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s, there’s still a sufficient amount of 3s to offset an omega-rich diet. If you’re looking to cut down on omega-6s, opt for a chicken or fish bone broth instead of beef.

Benefits of Bone Broth: Collagen and Elastin

One of the primary benefits of bone broth is how it can help repair your gut lining. This positive effect is made possible thanks to collagen and elastin.

Collagen helps give structure to your bones. This nutrient is also useful in rebuilding the integrity of the cells that form your tight junctions.

“Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) is a key proinflammatory cytokine regulating the function and structure of tight junctions. With their immunomodulatory actions, collagens and their derived bioactive peptides may protect against TNFα-induced dysfunction in tight junctions [3].”

FAESB Journal

When tight junctions become weakened by inflammation, it can lead to a number of GI conditions.

People with compromised tight junctions may develop: 

collagen skin benefits of bone broth
Collagen is more than just an additive to cosmetic creams

Collagen is useful in helping clog the leaks. However, it can’t do all the work on its own. Another element within bones that aid to the benefits of bone broth is elastin.

Elastin is what gives our bones (and skin) its stretchiness. It gives slack on your joints when you come down on them running. You can also count on elastin to help fill the void of wrinkles.

Collagen and elastin are key components to the benefits of bone broth. However, they’d never come to be if it were amino acids.

The amino acids that make collagen and elastin are also what makes bone broth such a powerful addition to any healthy gut diet plan.

Benefits of Bone Broth: Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of life. They’re also the building blocks behind the benefits of bone broth. In particular, bone broth houses three crucial amino acids in improving gut health.

Glutamine

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream and is a component of collagen. [4] While that goes a long way in boosting gut health, collagen production isn’t the only benefit of glutamine. This amino acid plays a critical role in maintaining the health of probiotic bacteria

Research shows that glutamine downregulates the ability of pathogenic intestinal flora from usurping precious nutrients our probiotics need. The presence of glutamine alters the way stomach bacteria use other amino acids [5].

One study found that in the presence of glutamine, Streptococcus sp., Escherichia coli (E.coli) decreased intake of:

stomach bacteria under microscope
Glutamine can save other amino acids from opportunistic intestinal flora
  • Lysine
  • Leucine
  • Valine
  • Ornithine
  • Serine

Another study followed 20 patients admitted to the hospital for total parenteral nutrition. Half of the group were given a standard parenteral nutrition diet, while the other group followed a glutamine-rich diet [6].

Results found that those who followed the standard parenteral nutrition had an increase in gut motility, leading to pathogens in their urine. Those who were administered glutamine had more controlled gut movements.

Furthermore, their villi (membranes surrounding the gut barrier that soak up nutrients) remained unchanged for those who followed a glutamine nutrition protocol.

Glycine

Another important compound found in bone broth (and collagen) is glycine. In fact, 33% of collagen is this amino acid. Its ability to boost the production of this protein is what makes glycine an excellent supplement for gut and skin health.

One study looked at how lysine, proline, and glycine facilitated the production of collagen [7]. They found that all three are vital and our body burns through them pretty quickly. However, glycine is the most crucial.

The study concluded,

“Addition of the three amino acids to the medium to reach 1.5 mM produces an increase in the (collagen) synthesis, but the profile effects of proline and lysine are similar to the control, while the effect of glycine is greater than all of them and does not decay at the end of the culture.”

Amino Acids.

Additionally, glycine is an anti-inflammatory molecule. It assists in regulating the immune system. Once the immune system is working properly; unnecessary inflammation is stopped in its tracks [8].

Sleep well with bone broth!

Also, glycine can improve your sleep. Studies show that glycine supplementation before bed allowed participants to fall asleep quicker, enhance the quality of sleep, and feel more rested in the morning [9]. Hey, sleep even better by having a turkey bone broth. Making bone broth is an awesome way to use Thanksgiving leftovers in a sustainable and gut-friendly way!

Lastly, one of the most essential benefits of bone broth is that glycine improves your cardio health.

Research shows that this amino acid increases blood flow through the arteries. This assistance helps prevent the accumulation of fatty lipids and compounds that lead to atherosclerosis [10].

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a crucial compound in bone broth that has a long list of health benefits. This amino sugar activates transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) [11]. These proteins are vital for the formation of cartilage and connective tissues in the body.

Some studies show that glucosamine may help with autoimmune disorders. In particular, one analysis noted that glucosamine inhibited responses for immune cells, T-helper 1 and T-help17 [12]. In particular, T-helper 17 is abundant in people with an autoimmune disease.

Other inflammatory conditions that glucosamine may alleviate symptoms of is Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). It achieves this feat by inhibiting phosphate from reacting with nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) in gut mucus [13]. NF-κB is a protein that activates cells along the gut lining. So, overstimulation of this protein can lead to pathogenic stomach bacteria causing ulcerative colitis.

How to Get Benefits of Bone Broth in Your Life

Next time you’re looking for a warm and nutritious drink, look no further than a nice cup of bone broth. This seemingly simple soup base or beverage has some potent gut healing compounds in it. While the list of vitamins in minerals is already impressive, other compounds found in the collagen and elastin make the benefits of bone broth unique.

Use broth as a marinade for your dinner. Mix and match spices, veggies, and herbs to craft on-the-go beverages. Make bone broth your soup base for other faves, such as chicken noodle or sweet potato and leek.

Adding bone broth to your routine can lead to healthier joints, decreased inflammation, improved sleep, and better gut health. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the Thryve Inside Gut Health Program for achieving optimal wellness.

Thryve Probiotics Gut Health

Resources

[1] Siebecker, Allison. “Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease.” Gale Academic Onefile, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients(Issue 259-260), 1 Feb. 2005, go.gale.com/ps/anonymous?id=GALE%7CA129020533&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=15254283&p=AONE&sw=w.

[2] “Bone Broth Nutrition Facts & Calories.” Nutrition Data Know What You Eat., 24 Jan. 2020, nutritiondata.self.com/facts/recipe/2768812/2.

[3] Chen, Qianru, et al. “Collagen Peptides Derived from Alaska Pollock Skin Protect against TNFα-Induced Dysfunction of Tight Junctions in Caco-2 Cells.” The FASEB Journal, 1 Apr. 2016, www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.30.1_supplement.125.5.

[4] The role of glutamine in maintaining a healthy gut and supporting the metabolic response to injury and infection. Souba, Wiley W. et al.
Journal of Surgical Research, Volume 48, Issue 4, 383 – 391

[5] Almaas, E., et al. “l -Glutamine Regulates Amino Acid Utilization by Intestinal Bacteria.” Amino Acids, Springer Vienna, 1 Jan. 1970, link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00726-012-1264-4.

[6] Hulst, R.R.W.J. van der, et al. “Glutamine and the Preservation of Gut Integrity.” The Lancet, Elsevier, 23 Sept. 2003, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/014067369390939E.

[7] de Paz-Lugo, P., Lupiáñez, J. A., & Meléndez-Hevia, E. (2018). High glycine concentration increases collagen synthesis by articular chondrocytes in vitro: acute glycine deficiency could be an important cause of osteoarthritis. Amino acids50(10), 1357–1365. doi:10.1007/s00726-018-2611-x

[8] Zhong, Zhi, et al. “L-Glycine: a Novel Antiinflammatory, Immunomodulatory, and Cytoprotective Agent.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12589194.

[9] Yamadera, W., Inagawa, K., Chiba, S. et al. Glycine ingestion improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes. Sleep Biol. Rhythms5, 126–131 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1479-8425.2007.00262.x

[10] Martínez-Uña, Maite, et al. “S-Adenosylmethionine Increases Circulating Very-Low Density Lipoprotein Clearance in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” Journal of Hepatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25457203.

[11] Ali, Akhtar A, et al. “Oral Glucosamine Increases Expression of Transforming Growth Factor β1 (TGFβ1) and Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF) MRNA in Rat Cartilage and Kidney: Implications for Human Efficacy and Toxicity.” Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 June 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21466783.

[12] Grigorian, Ani, et al. “N-acetylglucosamine inhibits T-helper 1 (Th1) / T-helper 17 (Th17) responses and treats experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.” Journal of Biological Chemistry, www.jbc.org/content/early/2011/09/29/jbc.M111.277814.abstract.

[13] Yomogida, S., Kojima, Y., Tsutsumi-Ishii, Y., Hua, J., Sakamoto, K., & Nagaoka, I. (2008). Glucosamine, a naturally occurring amino monosaccharide, suppresses dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in rats. International Journal of Molecular Medicine, 22, 317-323. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm_00000025