So, what’s this craze with bone broth? Over the past few years, the diet trend surrounding bone broth has been growing. There have been many claims made about the powers of this dish from boosting your immune system to improving joint function to detoxing your liver. But is there any validity behind these claims?
First of all, what is bone broth? Short answer: it’s just stock! And therefore, there are many ways to prepare it; some ways are healthier than others. Generally speaking, it involves boiling bones of chicken, beef, pork, turkey or fish for a specific amount of time—usually 45 minutes to 2 hours. Most recipes also call for mirepoix or chopped celery, onions and carrots. All the other ingredients vary depending on what recipe you are following but may include salt, vegetables and seasonings or herbs and spices.
Registered dietitians are adamant on providing evidenced-based nutritional information to their patients and clients. In terms of bone broth, there isn’t much reputable research supporting claims that drinking this concoction will increase immunity, help you lose weight or improve joint functions.
Including bone broth as part as a well-balanced diet isn’t necessarily harmful to one’s health, especially if you are keeping a close eye on sodium content. However, drinking it three times a day or replacing meals for bone broth is considered unwarranted and potentially unhealthy. Furthermore, study published in 2013 in the journal Medical Hypotheses stated that “bones are known to sequester heavy metals, and bone broth may carry a risk of lead contamination” (Amidor). This can especially be of concern in children and pregnant women.
On the other hand, a study published in 2000 found that there may be some mild anti-inflammatory effects that may alleviate upper respiratory infections by consuming chicken soup made from chicken meat and vegetables (Rennard BO).
The bottom line is if you choose to consume bone broth, that is absolutely fine in moderation. Save your money and make your own! Don't get suckered into one of those "too good to be true" deals! If something is advertising a "cure-all" and asking for a lot of money, chances are very good that it is a scam.
Also, make sure you are watching the sodium content and looking out for excessive added fats such as cream, butter or oils-- even in your homemade recipes. Also be sure to include it in addition to your well-balanced diet that includes whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. If you are using this as a meal replacement, you may be lacking in vital nutrients which could lead to serious deficiencies and low energy levels. And, as always, if you have any desire to start on a new diet trend, reach out to one of our nutrition experts and dietitians to help you learn more: 610-229-9060
Yours in Health and Wellbeing,
Amidor, Toby, MS, RD, CDN. “Ask the Expert: What’s the Deal with Bone Broth?” Today’s Dietitian. Vol. 18 No.5 P. 10
Rennard BO, Ertl RF, Gossman GL, Robbins RA, Rennard SI. Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Chest. 2000;118(4):1150-1157.