What Makes Bone Broth so Healthy?

If you haven’t noticed, bone broth is the new thing. Well, actually it’s kind of an old thing. But it’s somehow a resurfacing, kind of trendy thing. With that said, what is bone broth and why should I check it out? These are all questions I asked. So, I did some digging and decided to share what I found.

In this blog, you’ll learn about…

  • Collagen
  • Proline
  • Glycine
  • Glutamine

First off, bone broth is made by roasting, and then simmering the bones of the same animals we consume on a normal basis. Through this simmering process the bones from beef, poultry, or other animal sources, are given a chance to release valuable nutrients from the remaining meat, ligaments and even the bones themselves. Think of it as a highly enhanced version of the broth in chicken soup.

From inside to out, our bodies use the same nutrients found in bone broth. These nutrients give our skin its elasticity, act as a powerful booster to our immune system, and form the building blocks to our joints and ligaments.

Still, I wanted to know more, like ‘what were these nutrients that were supposedly so essential?’. I discovered that bone broth contains collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine. Here is where I got a little nerdy, because I really wanted to get down to brass tax.

What is Collagen?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Collagen is any group of proteins that are components of whitish, rather inelastic fibers of great tensile strength present in tendons and ligaments and in the connective tissue layer of the skin” [1].

So, quite literally collagen, a prime nutrient found in bone broth, is like the glue that binds our bodies together. Science is so cool!

What is Proline?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Proline is an amino acid… [synthesized] from glutamic acid…[and] is one of several so-called nonessential amino acids for mammals” [2].

And while our bodies naturally produce proline, we may be able to harness increased benefits by supplementing our levels of this essential amino acid.

Leon Chaitow, a world-renowned naturopathic and osteopathic doctor, was referenced in an article about proline out of livestrong.com. The article stated, “Leon Chaitow, in the book “Amino Acids for Therapy,” examined the role of proline… He suggests that supplements might help with soft tissue strain, wound healing, hypermobile joints and the sagging skin associated with aging.” [3]

What is Glycine?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “The simplest amino acid… [and] is one of several so-called nonessential amino acids for mammals” [4].

Similar to proline, glycine is synthesized naturally in mammals. However, the introduction of higher levels of glycine may offer many benefits.

Dr. Josh Axe is a wellness physician who practices out of Nashville, Tennessee. An article published on his website lists the benefits of glycine. Some of the more notable benefits include aiding in the building of lean muscle and preventing muscle loss, helping to prevent strokes and seizures, reducing joint pain and increasing flexibility, boosting energy levels, protecting our skin from the effects of aging, and even reducing the risk of certain cancers! [5].

What is Glutamine?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, glutamine is “…the only amino acid capable of readily crossing the barrier between blood and brain… thought to account for about 80 percent of the amino nitrogen of brain tissue” [6].

This all sounds like the nutrients from bone broth are the nutrients that our bodies utilize for crucial functions. But what do the professionals have to say about bone broth and its benefits?

An article out of NPR, Wisconsin Public Radio’s website, noted how professional athletes had used bone broth as a supplement during, and after intense training sessions. The article referenced, “…bone broth’s use as a sports recovery drink, which Kobe Bryant and members of the Los Angeles Lakers have been hyping…” [7]

A study published in 2000 in the medical journal Chest, the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians, suggests that traditional chicken soup (similar to bone broth) could offer medicinal properties. The study stated, “chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity” [8].

In particular, the study suggested that chicken soup may actually decrease inflammation!

While some in the medical and fitness fields may attribute only trivial benefits to bone broth, certain medical professionals absolutely rave about bone broth’s healing properties.

In an article titled, “Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite”, Dr. Josh Axe explained the process of bone broth and its benefits, by stating that “…simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health” [9].

In the same article, Dr. Axe listed the benefits of bone broth. These benefits included treating leaky gut syndrome, overcoming food intolerances and allergies, improving joint health and easing arthritis, reducing cellulite and overall helping to strengthen the immune system.

To summarize all of this stuff, bone broth offers health benefits. While some benefits are more profound than others, experts agree that bone broth is a great way to introduce essential nutrients into your diet. And because its broth there are zero drawbacks or unpleasant side effects. It’s just healthy!

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