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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 02, 2017

The Definitive Guide to Bone Broth Benefits

By Mark Sisson
92 Comments

Inline_The_Definitive_Guide_to_Bone_Broth_Benefits_08.02.17I’ve been writing about bone broth for a long time. I’ve been drinking it even longer. I’m not sure you can get anything much more primal than a heap of bones cooked for hours into rich, gelatinous glory. Ritual and taste aside, however, I count quality bone broth as an important supplemental food. The copious health benefits are simply too substantial to pass up.

Some of you, I know, are bone broth fans—a few even connoisseurs. You’ve been making your own for decades, maybe with recipes you learned in your grandparents’ kitchen. But what does the average Primal type need to know about bone broth? What goes into making it? What are the distinct health advantages? Are there risks or downsides? What are the alternatives? Finally, what about some recipes? I’m glad you asked….

What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is simply a broth made by boiling bones (often with meat still on them). Usually vinegar is added as a medium (the thought is to draw out nutrients—more on this later). Sometimes vegetables, herbs, and spices are added for additional flavor and nutrients. Whereas soup is a meal, often containing vegetables, grains, seasonings, and even beans, bone broth stands on its own and is usually more cooked than soup.

Bone broth is an ingredient than can be used to create or flavor all kinds of dishes. It contains parts of the animal we typically like to discard (like cartilage and bone marrow), all nicely broken down so we get the full dose of nutrients.

What You Need to Know about Collagen

Inside the matrix of bones, there are many proteins including collagen, which forms the inside fibrous part of the bone.

Collagen is a group of amino acids making up 25-35% of our body. It’s found in our bones, skin, joints, tendons, and ligaments. As we age, we lose collagen. This contributes to age-related joint issues, not to mention the loss of skin elasticity.

Type I is found in bone, skin, ligaments, tendons and the white of the eye, and makes up 90% of the collagen in the body. Type II is found in the cartilage. Type III is found in bone marrow and lymph, also known as reticulin fiber.

Why Is Collagen So Important?

Glycine is the primary amino acid found in collagen. And it’s a pretty significant amino acid in terms of what it does for the body. Glycine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning our body can synthesize it. However, it’s actually considered “conditionally essential,” as it’s synthesized from the amino acid serine at only about 3 grams per day—not nearly enough for our requirements.

The human body requires at least 10 grams per day for basic metabolic processes, so we have a pretty significant daily deficit that we need to get through dietary or supplement means. Most of us these days aren’t eating ligaments and tendons and rougher cuts of meat containing glycine.

Bone broth contains approximately 27.2 grams of glycine per 100 grams of protein. Therefore, it makes for a great source of this amino acid. Rather than taking an isolated glycine supplement, bone broth contains glycine with other amino acids and minerals, which act synergistically with each other. Here are a few of the benefits glycine offers….

Bone Broth Offers Gut Healing Properties

Glycine improves our digestive health, through inhibiting cytokines, thus decreasing inflammation in the gut lining. Glycine helps with sealing the mucosal layer in the intestines. It aids in liver detoxification, and helps with fructose malabsorption.

It Improves Joint Health

Contrary to what you might have heard, these non-essential proteins are pretty darn useful. A study was done on a hundred women between the ages of 40 and 70 who presented with knee joint pain or discomfort. (PDF) The results suggested that collagen increases the proteoglycan content in knee cartilage after 6 months of treatment. We need at least 10 grams of glycine each day for basic metabolic processes. One of those processes is the maintenance of the collagen in our body (the most abundant protein we carry, in fact).

Collagen concentrates where joints meet and in the connective tissue binding us together. Those 10 grams of glycine is just for maintenance, not repairing tissue after injury, or recovery from intense lifting. If you lift heavy, or are recovering from any sort of joint damage, supplementary collagen will improve your recovery.

It Can Help Keep Skin Supple

Research suggests collagen may act as a biological messenger, triggering the synthesis of new collagen fibers and extracellular matrix recognition by stimulating fibroblasts.

It Restores Glutathione

Glutathione protects against oxidative stress, and helps decrease the impact of bad estrogens that can build up over time, compromising our hormonal health.

It May Improve Cognition

N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play a significant role in learning and memory. Targeting the glycine modulatory site of the NMDA receptor has been suggested as a therapeutic strategy to improve cognition. Glycine is considered an “inhibitory neurotransmitter,” and can act in the brain similarly to an antidepressant, without all the side effects.

It Can Improve Sleep Quality

It does this by decreasing core body temperature and increasing cutaneous blood flow. Cooler body temp means deeper sleep. One of my go-to “sleep hacks” is a big mug of bone broth about an hour before bed. It always knocks me out (in a good, non-narcotic way). And according to research, I’m not making this up or suffering from placebo. Human studies show that 3 grams of glycine taken before bed increases the quality of your sleep and reduces daytime sleepiness following sleep restriction. Sipping bone broth before bed provides a bioavailable source of glycine, helping us achieve deeper, more restorative sleep at night.

Other Key Nutrients in Bone Broth

Cartilage: the Home of Chondroitin and Glucosamine

When is the last time you felt the urge to chew on a juicy piece of cartilage? Probably not so much. We tend to discard those parts of the animal containing cartilage like the nose, ears, and joints. However, joint cartilage is easily broken down in well-cooked bone broth. Cartilage contains collagen protein and elastin. Elastin fibers play a big role in maintaining the integrity, elasticity, and the mechanical properties of cartilage.

Cartilage also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, both well known supplements for arthritic pain, particularly in the knees. In this study, glucosamine–chondroitin combined resulted in a statistically significant reduction in joint space narrowing at two years. Seeing as how those supplements get the chondroitin sulfate directly from animal cartilage, why not just eat the cartilage, or a bone broth made with plenty of cartilaginous substrate? Be sure to use bones with joints, like chicken feet and beef knuckles. Chicken backs are also a great source of chondroitin and glucosamine.

Bone Marrow: Deep in the Inner Matrix of the Bone

Bone marrow, found deep in the center of the bone, is also worth noting. There are two types: red bone marrow and yellow bone marrow. Yellow bone marrow is higher in fat cells, whereas red bone marrow is higher in platelets. Red bone marrow contains reticulin fibers, or type III collagen. Chicken bones have higher red marrow and make for a more flavorful broth. Bone marrow is fatty and gelatinous, and the marrow contains most of the minerals. Cooking bones longer (24-36 hours) will yield more of those minerals into the broth.

Bone Marrow Fat Is More Than Just Fat

A University of Michigan-led study shows that the fat tissue in bone marrow is a significant source of a hormone called adiponectin. These researchers discovered that the adiponectin in bone marrow helps with insulin sensitivity, and has been linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity-associated cancers.

Hyaluronic Acid: slippery synovial lubricant

Sure you can get powdered gelatins, but these do not contain many of the valuable nutrients that work synergistically with gelatin, such as hyaluronic acid. Found in many high end beauty serums, hyaluronic acid is the main component in synovial fluid, acting as a joint lubricant. You can also find hyaluronic acid in the bones and the connective tissue (usually attached to the bones). This study compared hyaluronic acid with NSAIDs for knee osteoarthritis. Both worked about the same, but hyaluronic acid is a safer alternative.

Proline: another noteworthy amino acid in bone broth

Let’s not ignore proline. Proline forms the structure of collagen, and like glycine, is a “conditionally essential” amino acid that we can get through our diet. To the point, it’s found in bone broth. Proline is needed to build collagen, to increase collagen synthesis in human fibroblast cells. As a result, it’s an important amino acid for skin health. Proline is great for healing, especially after intense workouts or straining the body. Animal studies suggest that proline helps with skin wound healing. People recovering from injuries have a higher need for proline. And don’t forget, heavy lifting is a stress to the body that requires recovery.

What about Minerals?

Bone broth can be high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium—with one caveat.

Recent research showed that bones cooked for more than eight hours were found not to exceed low tenths of a milligram per serving, or <5% of the daily recommended levels of calcium and magnesium. Another study highlighted veal bones sliced open to expose the marrow, placed in water with vinegar (more on vinegar later), and boiled for nine hours. The mineral loss from bones into the broth was extremely low—just a few milligrams of calcium and magnesium.

Keep in mind that longer cooking times (24-36 hours), where the meat falls of the bone and the bone really breaks down, tend to yield different results. It takes a long time for bones to break down and to get those interior nutrients. The marrow contains most of the minerals. Therefore, I probably wouldn’t rely on bone broth as a primary source of minerals if cooking under 24 hours, but with a longer cooking time I’d expect decent mineral content.

Are There Any Negatives to Bone Broth?

I’ve discussed many of the nutrients and positive benefits of bone broth, now let’s dive into some potential drawbacks. One concern often brought to my attention is the potential level of heavy metals found in bone broth. Some research says to avoid it because of markedly high lead concentrations, while other research suggests that the risks associated with the ingestion of heavy metals such as Pb and Cd in broth are minimal, since levels were extremely low.

I’m not too worried. That second study had several limitations, which the Weston A. Price Foundation has covered pretty well. The focus should be on sourcing of the bones. What matters is how much lead the animals you’re using to make broth are exposed to throughout their lives. I’d like to see a comparison between chicken broths made from animals from different farms and environments.

The animals’ environments and upbringing are everything. Weston Price describes a follow-up study into two broths made from grass-fed beef bones and pasture-raised chicken bones that was unable to detect any lead in either. This despite the chickens having plenty of access to dirt and all the same dirt-dusting proclivities their kind is known for.

Another concern I often hear about is the glutamate content. Bone broth that cooks for over 48 hours releases more glutamate, which raises concerns for people with neurological issues such as autism, ADHD, and multiple sclerosis. The theory is that excess free glutamate found in long cooked broths may cross the blood brain barrier (for those with “leaky brain”) and may be harmful for these particular folks.

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter and is naturally high in some nutritious foods such as bone broth, soups, and even sauerkraut. This doesn’t condemn the food and make it toxic. Most of us can process it just fine. Glutamate is only an issue if the person is highly sensitive to it. If you’re sensitive to glutamate or have a neurological condition of some kind, you may need to start with shorter cooking times, and gradually building up to see what you can handle. Keep in mind that there are many other foods we consume that are much higher in glutamate than bone broth. In my opinion the health benefits far outreach glutamate concerns for most people.

Beyond these suggestions, downsides you might hear include the taste and convenience. Oftentimes, when people tell me they just can’t stomach bone broth, I’m skeptical of what they’ve tried in the past. Recipe makes a big difference (as with any food). Let’s just say I’ve been able to change quite a few people’s minds with the good stuff. That said, others never quite get over the aversion. It’s just to their thing.

Likewise, it is a time commitment to make your own. It’s not hard. In fact,  I dare say a basic bone broth is one of the simplest things you can cook. You just need time, which I know isn’t always practical. Carrying it around isn’t always easiest either. But the benefits of collagen are frankly too good for your health to pass up.

(Of course, that’s why I created Collagen Fuel and Collagen Bars—because I wanted an alternative for myself and others who desire a more convenient collagen source at times.)

But now let’s get down to the real business….

How to Make an Awesome Bone Broth

Add Vinegar to My Broth? Yes or No?

I used to religiously add a big glug or two of vinegar to every batch of broth, but not anymore. I’ve never actually noticed a difference. The reason being is that the broth would need to be much more acidic to draw out the minerals. A splash of vinegar doesn’t really work, and you don’t want your broth to be pure vinegar. Another option I’ve discussed before is to simmer the bones in red wine first, then add water, or to smash the bones in vinegar before cooking, increasing the surface area exposed to cooking. Both of those methods can draw out more minerals.

Which Bones Will Give Me the Richest, Most Gelatinous Broth?

For the most luxurious, gelatinous flavorful broth, be sure to favor bones with joints. You want those intersections and moving parts! This is where the cartilage, collagen, and synovial fluid are highest, translating into legit bone broth. Include parts like knuckles, feet, tails, necks, backs, wings, and ears! Don’t be afraid to even cook the head of the animal in your broth. Bone broth is a great way to be resourceful, and use the entire animal.

Broth Variations and Recipes

Over the years I’ve shared a variety of recipes and variations for making different broths. Here is a compilation of my bone broth variations: chicken bone broth four ways, and turkey stock. It’s fun to play around with different seasonings, different bones, with and without vegetables, roasting and not roasting the bones, etc.

For those of you who enjoy bone broth but would rather not always cook your own (I’m one), I asked Kettle & Fire (a company, in the interest of full disclosure, that I believe in and even invested in) to offer a deal to MDA readers who wanted to try their product. Depending on the package you order, you’ll get up to 3 FREE cartons when you order their chicken bone broth (excellent flavor in my book). 

That’s it for me, folks. Let me open it up for discussion now. Questions, additional recipes, comments? What’s your unique reason (or favorite way) to enjoy bone broth? Thanks for stopping by, and take care.

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92 Comments on "The Definitive Guide to Bone Broth Benefits"

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Melanie
19 days 6 hours ago

Even though I’m young, I have joint pain often. So bone broth has been on my list for awhile now. But I’m wondering, does making it at home have any nutritional benefits over buying it?
Also, has anyone tried Epic’s broth? I always see it at the store, but I’ve never been brave enough to try it.

Shary
Shary
19 days 5 hours ago

Manufacturers of processed foods take a lot of shortcuts in the interest of saving time, effort, and money. Quality and flavor will almost always be inferior to anything homemade. Bone broth is probably no exception. You would be better off making your own. Just my two cents…

Beth
Beth
19 days 4 hours ago

I’ve actually tried the Kettle and Fire bone broth, and looked into the company. They do the long, slow simmer – 20 hours – and they use organic/grass fed bones.
Compared to some of the other bone broth out there, they rank the best in taste and quality in my book. To boot, I found them in my local Whole Foods, so when I buy a case of 6, I get the 10% discount.

Nancy
Nancy
18 days 23 hours ago

I was not impressed with the taste of Kettle and Fire. For that price, I expected it to taste better than Swansons.

Lenora
Lenora
19 days 4 hours ago

It tends to be a lot cheaper to make it than to buy it. What I do is save my bones in the freezer until I have a full gallon sized bag, then pop them in a pot with water, vinegar, onions, carrots, celery (and anything else I’m interested in throwing in there veggie wise) also spices that I’m feeling (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, salt and pepper etc.)

I’ve had the EPIC broth and its good but REALLY expensive for something you ideally want to have every day.

HelenChicago
HelenChicago
5 days 23 hours ago

That’s what I do too. Save the bones from rotisserie chicken in one freezer bag, and veggie ends and parings in another. Then every couple of weeks I make a potful. I also add 3 or 4 chicken feet (found in any Asian or Hispanic grocery) and it’ll gel up firm as can be.

Liver King
19 days 4 hours ago

I agree with Shary… bone broth requires too much love… too much time… too much wisdom that grows from batch to batch to be mass produced and put into a box without compromise. I am sure that there are quality products out there that offer benefit… just no substitute for the labor of love that goes into making it yourself.

HelenChicago
HelenChicago
5 days 23 hours ago

Agreed. I perused the Kettle & Fire reviews on Amazon, and not a few were quite negative — smelled and tasted bad, carton contained nothing but water, tasteless, way too expensive, etc. Why not just make your own? After you’ve done it 2 or 3 times, it becomes second nature.

PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
19 days 3 hours ago
The store bought stuff is expensive considering it costs almost nothing to make your own except the time it takes to throw the stuff in the pot and let it simmer – crock pots are great for that. The bone broth at Costco is about $20.00 for 4 small containers and even tho it’s touted as “organic” heaven only knows what’s in it. i’d venture to guess it’s not nearly as good quality as your own brew. We save all the chicken bones: legs, thighs, breast bones, back bones, etc. from dinner. Freeze them in a large freezer bag until… Read more »
Jane
Jane
19 days 36 minutes ago

I’ve made my own many times but it’s A LOT of work. I found the Sam’s Club brand at Walmart for $2.28 per 32 oz carton! And I even order it online so it’s delivered to my door! I purchase the Chicken Reduced sodium and add 1/8 tsp of Montreal Steak Seasoning to my one cup serving – because I just love the taste of it on EVERYTHING. (The beef bone broth is NOT grass fed and no reduced sodium so I don’t buy beef broth from them.)

His Dudeness
His Dudeness
19 days 2 hours ago

I’ve tried epic’s beef jalapeño broth. It’s pretty good, but difficult to justify the price.

Nicole
19 days 5 hours ago

Hello – I am wondering if anybody has any opinions on the Pacific Organic Bone Broth one can get at Costco. I’m skeptical it is the “good stuff.” Also, do collagen peptide powders offer the same benefits?

Andrea
Andrea
19 days 4 hours ago
I like to make my own bone broth in the crock pot. However I have also been known to pour some of that Costco Pacific Organic Broth (which I also cook with) into a mug, and add a tablespoon of an organic gelatin powder that I buy off Amazon for extra “oomph”. I heat it and drink it and relish it! Having said that, I would be interested in what others have to say about the relative quality of store bought vs. the “liquid gold” I make in my crock pot, which can become very gelatinous indeed when cold! (yum)!
Liver King
19 days 4 hours ago
To be certain, collagen peptides offer many benefits… however, collagen peptides will not contain bone marrow (nor) bone matrix which is at the heart of whole bone extracts and bone soups… this is because almost all commercial collagen supplements come from the hides, not the bones. There are a few companies that include whole bone extract (with the marrow) and collagen peptides but it is expensive and there are plenty of manufacturing issues here. That said, nothing is better than a well prepared homemade batch of bone soup… if you can’t do it, consider one of the commercial pre-made products.… Read more »
HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
19 days 3 hours ago
From what I’ve read Nicole for a commercial product it’s pretty good, they do simmer for 12 hours. I drink two cups a day and mix in a teaspoon of coconut oil and olive oil. I also drink a protein shake every day that’s half collagen protein powder and half veggie sourced protein. I’ll usually eat half of one of Mark’s collagen bars each day and I also take collagen types I, II and III. I’m simply not going to make my own bone broth, maybe if I retire some day, so that will have to do for me. 🙂
His Dudeness
His Dudeness
19 days 2 hours ago

Tastes great, good base for soup. I always add a little extra gelatin though. Or a lot.

Nicole
19 days 1 hour ago

Awesome, thank you everyone for your insightful comments!

Elissa
Elissa
18 days 23 hours ago

I think Pacific is flavored water, but have not investigated. I want to be able to control the simmer, as low as possible. Low and slow is best. I’ll just bet that commercial boxes are cooked at a high temperature and are fairly dilute. If you put in the bones, you know the ratio of bone weight to water volume. If for some reason you have cooked at too fast a boil and broken the collagen chains, it is still there as well as the the minerals — and you know it.

Susan
Susan
19 days 5 hours ago

The article linked about pain relief from hyaluronic acid involves injecting it into the joints. Not clear from a brief Google search if taking it orally serves the same purpose.

Nocona
Nocona
19 days 5 hours ago

I keep mine going outside for 4-5 days in a slow cooker. Every day I scoop a bunch out for a large cup of broth, then just add a bit more water to top it off. By the 5th day my broth looks almost black. Delicious. This also makes it so I don’t have to keep making more broth all the time.

Liver King
5 days 21 hours ago

I have no idea how these commercial companies are simmering for only 20 hours and calling it bone broth…

I like what you’re doing… It’s hard to get more primal than that! Well played.

Phyllis
Phyllis
19 days 5 hours ago

How does bone broth made in an Instant Pot/pressure cooker stack up against the slow–long cooked method?

Dave
Dave
19 days 3 hours ago

I use an instant pot to do my chicken bone broth. Pressure cooking did the best job at preserving nutrients with a 90-95% retention rate. https://wellnessmama.com/77757/pressure-cooker-nutrients/

Curtis
19 days 2 hours ago

Do you have a recipe/instructions, Dave? I would like to make mine this way also.

mims
19 days 2 hours ago
I have this pressure cooker https://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-12-Quart-Duromatic-Stockpot/dp/B001A0ER4E It makes 8-10 quarts of great broth after straining. I brown my grass fed turkey necks or beef bones in bacon fat. Then deglaze the pan with filtered water. Add back the bones till pot half full. Add 1-2 onions, skins onion, 4-5 stalks celery, handful garlic cloves, 2-3 carrots. all roughly chopped. Then 2 tsp salt, a tablespoon of peppercorns, 8-10 bay leaves, large handful of parsley. Fill the pot with water till you reach the maximun fill line. Lock lid, heat till pressurized. Once up to pressure, let it go for 45… Read more »
Meghan Bronkema
Meghan Bronkema
19 days 1 hour ago

I use my instantpot too- just keep a bag in the freezer for bones and veggie scraps, then add some good marrow bones, garlic, ginger and a sheet of nori seaweed. Add water and cook! I think it’s ~90 minutes compared to several days in a crock pot.

Gary
Gary
18 days 20 hours ago

I used to make large batches in my crock pot but the chicken broth rarely gelled. Then I began making it in a pressure cooker, and what a difference! Also faster (3 hrs) and less carbon to make a nice, thick broth, loaded with collagen.

framistat
framistat
19 days 1 hour ago

Much prefer the ease and flavor of the Instant Pot version over crock pot. I collect bones in the freezer, keep a bag of onion skins and other veggie pieces in the freezer to throw in, some red wine and half an organic bullion cube. Seems chicken and beef bones are best by themselves, but lamb and pork go together well.

Carl
19 days 1 hour ago

I make all my broth in a pressure cooker. It produces a gelatinous product much faster than boiling in an open pot and tastes better.

Jeff
Jeff
18 days 21 hours ago

I’ve used Nom Nom’s Paleo’s recipe for the instant pot weekly for about a year. Does the high temp/pressure make the fats, etc more dangerous vs a slow cooker?

Kristin
Kristin
18 days 19 hours ago

I used to cook my bone broth in a crock pot for 24 hours to get that dark rich broth. Now I use the InstantPot and make the same rich broth in 3 hours. Get the bones from a chicken and add to the InstantPot with 2-3 carrots, 2 celery stalks, one large onion quartered with skin on, 2 garlic cloves smashed with skin on, a couple of bay leaves and 1 tsp. salt. Cover with water and cook for 3 hours.

Leah
Leah
19 days 4 hours ago

Great article thank you Mark And timely, I have a pot of boiled chicken carcass in the fridge right now that I’m going to finish up with spices and veggies. I hadn’t heard about the broth before bed so I’m going to give that a shot tonight.. it’s hot and smoky here so hopefully that will cool things down..in the bedroom at least 😀

Liver King
19 days 4 hours ago
— “In the Chinese paradigm, bone marrow is considered the deepest tissue of the body and contains the essence of the being. It?s an interesting correlation to consider that modern science has shown that within bone marrow are high concentrations of stem cells, the very organizing influences, and genetic material, for the being. It is these essential nutrients that help our bodies continue to build healthy, vital constitutions and repair cellular damage.” Source — “Healing Powers of Chicken Bone Broth!” The Whole Journey A few weeks ago we had the awesome post about bone health… I put so much effort… Read more »
Chris
Chris
19 days 4 hours ago

Using a pressure cooker reduces cooking time to 4 – 7 hours, depending on how much you want to break down the bones/connective tissue.

Chuck37
Chuck37
19 days 4 hours ago

How does bone broth compare to buying collagen powder and putting it in smoothies?
Very convenient compared to boiling bones.

Liver King
19 days 4 hours ago

I answered this for Nicole above… most commercially available collagen peptides will not contain bone marrow (nor) bone matrix which is at the heart of whole bone extracts and bone soups… this is because almost all commercial collagen supplements come from the hides, not the bones.

Bone soups provide bone matrix, bone marrow, cartilage and collagen peptides.

Chris Fasoldt
Chris Fasoldt
19 days 4 hours ago

When is the last time you felt the urge to chew on a juicy piece of cartilage?
About two seconds after i read the lede.
I was a collagen junky…nothing better as a kid was the bone and its accoutrement from a lamb/pork chop…especially that little button of spinal column in the notch.

Joshua Hansen
Joshua Hansen
19 days 4 hours ago
I have never been much of a “soup guy.” For most of my life it was a filler food that came out of a can when nothing else was available or something I ate when sick and couldn’t stomach much else. Then… then I started making my own broth. It really began when I processed my own whole chickens: keep the spine and save the bones from the other bits when the chicken is consumed. Easy, peasy. A pressure cooker makes it absurdly convenient too. Toss bones, veggie trimmings, onion skins in particular, and peppercorns into a pot, add a… Read more »
Joshua Hansen
Joshua Hansen
19 days 4 hours ago

As an aside, smoked bones make for the best tasting stuff. Either stripped from the carcass of a smoked turkey or, sometimes, I’ll toss things like chicken spines in the drip pan while smoking some other meat. It’s awesome.

2Rae
2Rae
19 days 3 hours ago

Hopefully the pressure cooker will also cut down on the fragrance? I love to make my own broth except in my little place it makes me tired of it after about one day, then it takes a LONG time before I want to make it again. Sigh.

Joshua Hansen
Joshua Hansen
19 days 3 hours ago
It does. You basically get a jolt of the smell when you release pressure (which you can avoid by not doing a quick release). The other thing about pressure cookers versus slower methods is that all that stuff you smell all day… is flavor going into the air. It’s gone. It’s why slow cooker meals smell so good all day and often end up bland. I’ve expanded my cooking techniques a lot lately and use my pressure cooker way less than I used to (sous-vide has, in many ways, taken that role) but owning a pressure cooker purely to do… Read more »
RTi
RTi
19 days 4 hours ago

After I make my bone broth, I typically freeze the left overs that I do not eat, after a week or so. Does that harm any of the beneficial aspects of it, and does simply reheating suffice?

Joe Bristor
19 days 4 hours ago

I’m already buying 20 containers a month. Love it, especially the chicken; it tastes like chicken noodle soup without the noodle. Yum.
Best feature is it curbs my appetite big time. One little sip and hunger goes away for an hour or two so it’s a great way to get through a daily fast, just take another sip.
I just wish it would heal my sore thumbs and wrists. 61 years of turning wrenches has taken its toll. Maybe in time it will.

Asia
19 days 4 hours ago

I grew up on home made broths.. I am Polish. Love them!! Now drink them at work instead of tea or coffee. My latest is the pork broth. I made ribs for dinner and before I bake them, I give them a good boil till they are soft. I added to the water: salt, whole pepper, lots of garlic and bay leaves. The broth is fantastic!!

sue nelson
sue nelson
19 days 4 hours ago

Important question: I understand that the outer covering of spinal discs is made of collagen. If someone has “bulging discs,” (which are causing pain, in this case sciatica), and this person has spent decades on a low-fat high carb diet, wouldn’t bone broth (or gelatin) be good for disc recovery? In discussions about bone broth and gelatin I see references to joint, tendon and skin health, also gut health, but I have not seen this point covered anywhere. Thought from the community?

Liver King
5 days 21 hours ago
WHOLE BONE EXTRACT (REAL BONE BROTH) CONTAINS… Bone Matrix, Bone Marrow And Cartilage * Nutrients Exclusively Found And Expressed In Whole Bone Extract * High Concentrations Of Stem Cells And Base Cells * Collagen, Growth Factors And Fat Soluble Activators * Glycosaminoglycans Naturally Present in Bone Matrix * NOTE: There are two types of bone marrow: red marrow (also known as myeloid tissue) and yellow marrow. Red blood cells, platelets and most white blood cells arise in red marrow; some white blood cells develop in yellow marrow.* WHOLE BONE EXTRACT SUPPORTS… Bone Health (think bones, marrow and teeth)… Based On… Read more »
Nicole Chauvet
19 days 3 hours ago

Mark, opinions on dried/instant Bone Broths, like Jarrow Brands?

eatsleepswim
eatsleepswim
19 days 3 hours ago

I have the Jarrow you mentioned. Taste is good however there is only 1700mg of collagen in a serving so I wouldn’t rely on it as your only source.

Time Traveler
Time Traveler
19 days 3 hours ago
Every none and then, my butcher will hand me a few pieces of bony cartilage that has a little meat attached to eat. When cooked, the meat curls to the sides and the bone turns snow white and very crunchy. According to him there’s very little of it so he has to be frugal because everyone want’s it. The closest photo that exemplify it, was under dog bones ]. I wish I knew which section of the cow it came from. By the way, I added a little fish sauce to my mug of bone broth per your recommendation and… Read more »
Naomi
Naomi
19 days 3 hours ago

A number of months a year, the fishmonger at our local farmer’s market has gorgeous, wild caught shrimp from Baja California, which I get every week, when available. As I clean the shrimp, I save the legs, shells, and tails (the heads, alas, are already gone), and add them to the weekly chicken carcass broth. It is stunningly good: just a little fishy, in a marvelous way. A serendipitous discovery from my inability to throw anything away. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Resnick
19 days 3 hours ago

Great post! I’m a big believer in bone broth and do make it from time to time. I’ll save bones from roasted chicken in zip loc bags in the freezer until I have time to make it. I use Kettle & Fire as well…taste is excellent! I posted a recipe a few months ago for kale cooked with broth that has a great flavor. But no matter what I do, I never get around to using broth every day, so I totally rely on collagen products!

Star
Star
19 days 2 hours ago
I would love to know if anyone has had any success with making bone broth with wild game, and if there are any health concerns. I am new to making broth. My husband is an avid hunter so I have access to bones of game mammals and birds (deer, squirrel, rabbit, turkey, goose, duck, dove, pheasant, quail, etc.). I assume they mostly forage on natural food sources, but we live in a highly agricultural area, so I know (and based on the contents of their stomach or gizzard) that they also eat corn and soybeans (GMO I am sure). I… Read more »
Suji
19 days 1 hour ago

I was just thinking I needed to start making bone broth. I take collagen in my morning coffee daily but there’s just something about a hot cup of broth… thanks Mark 🙂

Yvonne
Yvonne
19 days 1 hour ago

It isn’t the time involved that is the struggle for me, but where to find free range/grass fed bones? I am a single person, so I buy single cuts of both meats, but I don’t get enough bones together.

Kristin
Kristin
18 days 19 hours ago

Just go to your butcher and ask if you can have the bones. At my farmer’s market they will charge you a bit. At my local little butcher they will just give me the bones.

Meghan Bronkema
Meghan Bronkema
19 days 1 hour ago

My instantpot has made it even easier to keep up on bone broth, using pressure mode. I also add a sheet of seaweed into mine for added minerals and umami- it does not add a seafood element, just tastiness!

Denise
Denise
19 days 1 hour ago

I dont hear much about using a pressure cooker for making bone broth. Two hours is a whole lot better than 24 – 48! And what about reusing the bones again for another batch?

Spatzcat
Spatzcat
18 days 5 hours ago

I make the first batch for us humans, the second batch from the same bones for our dogs. In the pressure cooker, the second batch generally gels just as well.

Susan
Susan
17 days 21 hours ago

That is the only thing that frustrates me about using my instant pot for broth–it seems to make less than my (also 6 qt) slow cooker did. So I make a batch, strain it, put the bones back in and add more bones if there’s room, then make a second batch–but not for the dogs! I mix both batches so the flavor is equally good.

Stefan M
Stefan M
19 days 3 minutes ago
Hello, Mark! I have a question. I’m a fan of the IF protocol, but I like to eat a tablespoon of honey, of coconut oil, and drink a big mug of bone broth 30 m – 1 hr before sleep. It knocks me out good. I’m following your suggestions for sleep!! The problem is that my schedule is most compatible with a eating window from 8 AM to 12 PM, so say I drink the bone broth at 9 PM; I fear it could affect the autophagy effects of fasting. Are the quantities mentioned going to break fasting-induced autophagy? If… Read more »
Gary
Gary
18 days 20 hours ago

Excellent question! I was wondering the same thing as I try to avoid eating 3hrs before bed. Will a cup of rich broth disrupt the program? Hope not, it really does improves my sleep like nothing else.

Ellie
18 days 23 hours ago

Oh yeah! So great to see this post! As a holistic nutritionist with a paleo/WAP focus I advise all of my clients to make and drink high quality bone broth every day. This is completely anecdotal, but when I started drinking bone broth on a regular basis I noticed that the occasional eyebrow that was coming in grey started to turn brown again! Grey at the tip and brown at the BASE! I’ve been a convert ever since…lol. Even holistic nutritionist’s aren’t immune to the powers of anti-aging food.

Elissa
Elissa
18 days 23 hours ago
I get pork bones from the farmer’s market. Spines and necks, joints and feet. They make a fabulous broth. I never roast the bones, just toss ~10 lbs. in my 12 qt. stock pot and simmer at barely a bubble for 36-48 hours, taking the meat bits off after a few hours. Broth always is gelled thick. I add only ginger and turmeric root while cooking, and Celtic salt at the end, adding veggies when I make a broth bowl or soup. My question is about roasting the bones. Some people say absolutely you must do it. I don’t, and… Read more »
Jenna
Jenna
18 days 23 hours ago

I don’t see any reason to pay for expensive bone broth when it’s so easy to make. Just throw it in the slow cooker and you don’t have to babysit it. We cook a roaster chicken in the slow cooker (with an onion, an apple, and herb rub) and then throw the bones and skin back into the slow cooker. Fill it with water, 24 hours on low and we have a great and super cheap broth.

HelenChicago
HelenChicago
17 days 3 hours ago

If you live near an Asian neighborhood, you can buy chicken feet very cheeply. Add 3 or 4 to the pot and the resulting broth will gel up very firm. Hispanic markets sometimes also stock chicken feet.

Pippa
Pippa
18 days 23 hours ago

I have a question- my butcher sells bag of bones for $2. They would be perfect for broth making, however they are labeled “dog bones” and are not stored cold (they just sit in a trolley in the middle of the shop). Would they be safe to use for broth making?

John Schiffel
John Schiffel
18 days 22 hours ago

Excellent guide. Alveolar bone forms the ridges in which the teeth are embedded. These ridges often atrophy both vertically and horizontally with age. Anyone know of research studies connecting regular bone broth consumption with strong teeth / healthy jawbones in older adults?

Mick
Mick
18 days 19 hours ago

I don’t want to get bogged down in semantics but isn’t broth made with meat and stock made with bone?

Shary
Shary
18 days 2 hours ago

Yep. Bone broth is just a newer name for stock that has been simmered for many hours. Personally, I’ve found that bones and water, with nothing else added, has very little flavor. The addition of fresh meat and vegetables will produce a nicely jelled broth when refrigerated and will taste much better.

Liver King
16 days 3 hours ago

Totally agree… which is why I refer to this topic as “bone soups.”

Bobby Walker
Bobby Walker
18 days 18 hours ago

Any pork bone broth recipes out there? I have about 12lbs of pork bones but haven’t had a clue on what to do with them.

Thanks in advance.

jacob
jacob
18 days 13 hours ago
I bought an Instant pot just for bone broth as I was bored of slow cooking for 48 hours and the whole house smelled of it. I’ve done broth loads of times and never got it to gel. With Instant Pot, I set the setting to “Soup” then cook it under high pressure for 6 hours. What came out was amazing ( and no smell in the house! ). Amber-dark-brown and crystal clear. Put it in the fridge an had a beautiful yellow-ish disk of fat on top in the morning ( looking like white chocolate ) that I broke… Read more »
Halkatla
Halkatla
18 days 12 hours ago

I’d be interested in a breakdown of pressure cooker broth vs slow cooker broth. I stopped using my slow cooker when I got a pressure cooker since I found the latter to produce a lot tastier broth as well as making the broth way thicker. It turns into super thick jelly after a short while in the fridge. (Not to mention the pressure cooker does the job in under an hour). Are there any benefits to using a slow cooker instead of a pressure cooker though?

Halkatla
Halkatla
18 days 12 hours ago

I mean, I found the PRESSURE cooker to produce a tastier and thicker broth. 🙂 The stuff my slow cooker made would sometimes have a really bad taste/smell!

Troels Rasmussen
Troels Rasmussen
18 days 8 hours ago

How much less good is it to use store-bought gelatine and eat that as is or dissolved in water? For when you can’t see yourself going through a kitchen process involving pots and bones.

Liver King
16 days 3 hours ago

I answered this for Nicole above… commercially available collagen (or store-bought gelatin) will not contain the nourishment in bone soups… i.e. the bone marrow (nor) bone matrix which is at the heart of bone soups. This is because commercial collagen supplements come from the hides, not the bones.

Bone soups provide bone matrix, bone marrow, cartilage and collagen peptides. Hope this helps!

David Hance
David Hance
18 days 7 hours ago

That’s literally the only study I’ve ever heard of that supports the use of Glucosamine/chondroitin. Furthermore, “statistical significance” is not the same as clinical significance.

Chris W
Chris W
18 days 3 hours ago

Do you still get the major benefits (i.e. collagen/bone marrow and all their benefits) if you don’t have access to/can’t afford grass-fed or pastured bones?

Liver King
16 days 3 hours ago

Don’t do it!! In concentrated feed lots, unhealthy animals accumulate toxins in fat tissues and the CNS… lots of fat tissues here (especially in the marrow)… for anyone that has made bone soup before, you know what I’m talking about.

Try a bit harder to find bones from healthy animals… reach out to butchers, farmers, meat markets… I bet you can find them on the cheap.

Paul
Paul
18 days 10 minutes ago
Don’t be intimidated by this! If you have a crock pot, it’s easier than falling off a log. Many of our meals include some kind of meat on the bone – roasts, ribs, neck bones, etc. After that “first meal” we take the bones and leftover meat and tough parts and cover them with water in the crock pot, set to low, and walk away for about 12 hours or so. At this point, I like to drain everything off but the actual bones (meat, broth, fat, etc). I find that if I leave the meat and fat in much… Read more »
Riya Bansuri
17 days 15 hours ago

I Like Bone broth, but i did not know so much about it!
I am agree lenora in the comment “It tends to be a lot cheaper to make it than to buy it.” I do it too.

Thanks Mark for this post! 🙂

el marquisio
el marquisio
17 days 13 hours ago

anyone know how this is called in France?

FrenchMargaret
FrenchMargaret
17 days 5 hours ago

It’s called bouillon, and here’s a recipe on a French site – http://paleo-regime.fr/recette/bouillon-de-poulet/#

el marquisio
el marquisio
16 days 10 hours ago

Thank you Margaret!!

One Mean Pho Cooker
One Mean Pho Cooker
17 days 5 hours ago

Protip: I like to use cow feet in my beef bone broth. I do a 1:1 ration feet to knuckle bones. Beef feet, or any large animal feet can give the broth a funky taste (smelly feet?). To avoid this I boil the feet for ten minutes, then remove them from the water and put them with the other bones and pour fresh water over.

Ghee
17 days 4 hours ago

Can it help heal a torn meniscus?

Liver King
16 days 3 hours ago
Nothing provides targeted support to build and repair like the stem cells found in the marrow. Bone soups are the best for preventing and healing injuries. — “In the Chinese paradigm, bone marrow is considered the deepest tissue of the body and contains the essence of the being. It?s an interesting correlation to consider that modern science has shown that within bone marrow are high concentrations of stem cells, the very organizing influences, and genetic material, for the being. It is these essential nutrients that help our bodies continue to build healthy, vital constitutions and repair cellular damage.” * [1]… Read more »
Lora
16 days 6 hours ago

Can anyone comment on fish broth benefits? I catch fresh gulf fish and wondering if making fish broth with the bones, heads, tail, etc has similar benefits? I hate to waste most of the fish after eating the meat.

Have Jerky Will Travel
Have Jerky Will Travel
14 days 5 hours ago

Sally Fallon says that fish broth is very healthy if you have thyroid problems, as the fish’s thyroid is located in it’s head. And it takes a fraction of time to make, compared to land-based animals. Just avoid using oily fishes, such as salmon, in your broth as boiling will oxidize the fats.

Jack Lea Mason
15 days 22 hours ago

I’m late to this and did not read all the comments. I wanted to shout out for fish bones fins and heads. Most fishermen and fish mongers discard these when filleting their catch. Halibut is my favorite with lemon rind, thyme and shalots.

Linda
Linda
15 days 13 hours ago

I have a lot of beef broth in the freezer made from grass-fed bones. I got a beautiful layer of yellow fat after boiling which I skimmed off, but it still tastes very fatty and almost gamey, a bit too strong for me. I only use it for strongly-flavored stews and soups (during wintertime), but would like to be able to just drink it. Any suggestions of what kind of flavorings could I add to cut through the fatty taste?

Andrew H
Andrew H
13 days 6 hours ago

I’m more inclined to just eat the bones and gristly bits. Whenever I roast a whole bird for the family I get dibs on the back and other bony bits. That way they are not wasted and everybody is happy.

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