When making bone broth, the bones and connective tissues of various animals are boiled in water with herbs, spices and occasionally even tiny amounts of vegetables. The finished product is known as “bone broth”.
It is common practice to use broth, including bone broth, as a foundation for soups and stews, as a beverage, or as a way to cleanse the palate. Many different kinds of broths are used for flavouring, but advocates of bone broth believe that it gives a wide variety of health benefits that continue to expand over time. These benefits include easing digestive disorders, increasing the immune system, and much more. As part of the gut and psychology syndrome (GAPS) diet, bone broth is frequently advised to treat various conditions, including autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Bone broth is also frequently recommended as part of the paleolithic or paleo diet. We carry a comprehensive selection of the best beef bone broth at Bone Broth.
Is Bone Broth Good for You?
The contents of the broth that are leached from the boiling bones are thought to be responsible for the alleged health benefits of the broth. These components include collagen, bone marrow, amino acids and minerals. Long, slow simmering and, at times, the use of acids like vinegar or wine, which can assist loosen and dissolve harder pieces, is necessary to extract these components.
Ingesting these amino acids and minerals derived from bone broth, as opposed to consuming them from other foods, has not been shown to provide any additional benefits.
The evidence does not support the assertion that the consumption of collagen and bone marrow in bone broth will immediately enhance human bones and joints. Bone broth does include both of these components. When humans digest collagen, the protein is disassembled into its component amino acids, minerals and other elements. After being ingested, these amino acids and minerals could have the same effects as any other amino acid or mineral. However, there is no evidence to suggest that taking the amino acids and minerals included in bone broth has advantages over consuming them from other foods.
It has been known for a long time that bone broth (or soup) benefits one’s health. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until around ten years ago that you scientifically tested the curative impact of bone broth. For example, it is usually considered that the curative benefit of chicken soup against symptomatic upper respiratory tract infection follows from an increase in nasal mucus velocity or from its modest anti-inflammatory action. These findings have been shown to support this belief. More recently, bone broth has been widely recommended as part of the diets for patients suffering from gut and psychology syndrome (GAPS), which includes those with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (ADHD).
Others consider bone broths an important dietary supply of critical minerals such as calcium. This viewpoint is particularly prevalent among lactose intolerant individuals who do not have access to milk products. For instance, in many Asian cultures, the intake of a soup created by soaking chicken or other bones in vinegar has traditionally been advised for calcium or iron enrichment. It is especially common during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Dietitians and the media frequently push Bone broth as a calcium supplement. However, there is either no scientific proof or extremely minimal scientific data about the levels of calcium contained in bone broth and the preparation methods.
In addition to minerals, it is well known that animal bones can also contain minute levels of poisonous metals. For example, calcium supplements manufactured from bone meal (finely crushed bone) have lead levels ranging from a few to 10 g/g; some also contain cadmium (2 g/g). Bone meal is a byproduct of the processing of whole bones. As a consequence, it is reasonable to believe that broths made from simmering animal bones contain hazardous metals and, as a result, that consumption of such broths results in dietary exposure. On the other hand, there hasn’t been much research done on whether or not bone broth contains any harmful metals.
This study investigates the extraction of metals, both essential and toxic, from animal bones into the broth to address some of the public’s concerns about whether or not bone broths are good sources of nutrient elements and the risks that are associated with the consumption of toxic metals in bone broth/soup. This study aims to investigate the extraction of metals from animal bones into the broth.
Research About Bone Broth
Despite its popularity and numerous medical claims, there is very little scientific research about bone broth. After searching through the available scientific literature, I could only locate a few studies pertinent to the topic. The first study dated back to 1934 and was written in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. Elsie Widdowson (a British dietitian) and Professor Robert McCance (a Northern Irish pediatrician) are credited with making many important early contributions to the field of nutrition science. Elsie Widdowson carried out the research. The nutritional make-up of either bone broth or a combination of bone broth and the vegetable broth was investigated in this study. It was discovered that bone broth is not a very rich source of many different nutrients. However, the inclusion of vegetables increased the amount of many significant nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.
When someone is unwell with an infection, it is common practice to consume chicken soup, which is typically prepared to utilize bones. However, compared to bone broth, there is a lack of studies examining the relationship between chicken soup and infection. On the other hand, research conducted in 1978 indicated that chicken soup moved nasal mucus more effectively than either hot or cold water. In a subsequent, more limited study that was carried out by researchers at the Nebraska Medical Center and published in a reputable medical journal in the year 2000 (Chest), the researchers concluded that “chicken soup may contain many substances with beneficial medicinal activity”. In addition, the researchers discovered that participants consuming chicken soup tended to experience a slight reduction in inflammation that helped alleviate symptoms of respiratory illness. However, the actual chicken soup utilized in this study featured a substantial number of vegetables (onion, sweet potato, parsnip, turnip, carrot, celery, and parsley).
An article titled “Science Can’t Explain Why Everyone is Drinking Bone Broth” was published in the January 2016 magazine TIME. This article contains snippets from interviews with prominent researchers. The following is a statement made by William Percy. He is an associate professor at the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota. “The idea that eating collagen can in some way stimulate bone growth is based on wishful thinking because our bodies cannot absorb collagen. It makes no sense to believe that just because bone broth or stock includes collagen, this collagen will somehow be absorbed by the body and used to produce more collagen. The amount of amino acids obtained from collagen is quite low”. In addition, according to food scientist Dr Kantha Shelke, who is also a spokesman for the Institute of Food Technologists and a principal with the food science and research firm Corvus Blue LLC, “It is best to consume a diet that is abundant in vegetables with leafy greens. Plants are a superior supply of the building blocks of collagen, and in addition, they give elements that are either absent or not present in sufficient quantities in meats and broths”.
The boiling time, acidity, kind of bone and animal species are the four elements considered in this article as potential influences on the extraction of metals from animal bones into the broth. In light of this, three separate groups of controlled trials were carried out by the protocol outlined below. Each test (which involved simmering broth) lasted 12 hours, during which time broth samples were taken at 0.5, 2, 4, 8 and 12 hours. In addition, three different animal bone broth-based foods were purchased from nearby supermarkets to analyse the quantities of metals present in the broth and determine whether there are any related health hazards or benefits. Finally, the broths were examined to determine the presence of both necessary (Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, and Cr) and harmful (Pb, Cd, and Al) metals. Please look at our establishment’s award-winning beef bone broth here in Melbourne.
The hind leg (femur) and rib bones of domestic pigs (both white and black), as well as bovine leg (femur) bones, were used in this study. All of these animal bones were acquired from a neighbourhood meat store. The bovine bone was imported from Australia, the most prevalent source of local supplies. The white and black pigs were raised in Taiwan and were typically fed on forage and food waste. The white and black pigs also raise in Taiwan.
It was necessary to cut the leg bones lengthwise to access the bone marrow and expand the surface area of the contact points. First, you need to submerge the bones in boiling water for two minutes, as is the standard procedure for creating bone broths in Taiwan. After that, you remain flesh and fat scraped off the bones as much as possible. Then, after you weigh the treated bone (295–345 grams, with a mean of 303 grams), combine it with ionized water in a ratio of 1:4 by weight to make the broth. Before adding the bone, you must first bring the deionized water to a boil in a glass beaker. After that, you can add the bone. After the water has reached a full boil, you must lower the temperature to a simmer (95–100 degrees Celsius) and use a watch glass to cover the top of the beaker to keep the reflux going until the sample is taken.
At each sampling period, 0.5, 2, 4, 8, and 12 hours, you need to remove 130 g of the liquid sample and weigh the beaker (containing the bone and broth) to assess the water loss. The sampling times were as follows: after that, deionized water that you had previously boiled was added to regain the initial weight and kept the simmering process going until the subsequent sampling. Following the determination of the pH value and the fat removal, the broth samples were placed in acid-washed glass vials and frozen at a temperature of –25 degrees Celsius until further processing.
Effect of acidity
Two leg bones taken from a single white pig corpse were used for the study to eliminate inter-individual variability. In the experimental group known as the “broth acidified” group, the broths were simmered in acidified water that was produced by combining 20 millilitres of standard white vinegar with one litre of deionized (DI) water. Following each round of sampling, this acidic water was put to use to replenish the water that had been lost due to the cooking process. The pH range achieved with this treatment was from 5 to 6. In contrast, non-acidified DI water was utilized in the preparation of the broths in the control group. The resulting broths maintained mean pH levels ranging from 8–8.5 throughout the simmering process. The experiment was carried out three times.
Effect of bone type
To test whether or not the type of bone affects the extraction of metals, bones (both leg and rib) were taken from a single white pig carcass to control for inter-individual variation. In addition, it was done to test whether or not the type of bone has an effect. The leg sample consisted of one piece of the femur that had been cut lengthwise, whereas the rib sample consisted of three separate bone pieces to ensure that the leg sample and the rib sample had comparable test weights. Acidified DI water was used in the preparation process to increase the amount of metal extraction and improve the analytical sensitivity. This water was also utilized to compensate for the water lost when cooking. The experiment was carried out three times.
Effect of animal species/strain
The leg bones of white pigs (a hybrid of Landrace/Yorkshire/Duroc, six months old), black pigs (a hybrid of Taoyuan/Duroc, eight months old), and bovines (Angus, 24 months old) were obtained and tested in the same manner as described above to determine whether or not there is variation in the extraction of metals between and within species. These were easily accessible from the various meat markets, but the genders of the animals used in the tests were unknown. Acidified DI water was utilized throughout the process to prepare the broth and compensate for the water lost from the broths. The experiment was carried out three times.
Is it really good for the planet?
Raising animals for their flesh in a conventional manner harms the environment. When animals are raised for meat on a massive scale, they are fed food deficient in nutrients and prevented from interacting with their natural habitat. In addition, they are frequently given large quantities of antibiotics, and traces of heavy metals are frequently found in the meats sold in our supermarkets. It is not a style of farming that I believe should be supported, and I want to raise awareness that it is not sustainable and is unhealthy for human consumption. Furthermore, if you prepare bone broth using the bones of these animals, you will be getting these harmful poisons instead of the beneficial minerals and amino acids you should be getting from the broth.
Additionally, suppose the animal is given grain rather than grass. In that case, its flesh will have a lower concentration of omega-3 fatty acids (the healthy kind! ) and a higher concentration of omega-6 fatty acids, which, when consumed, cause a significant amount of inflammation. Are you interested in beef bone broth? No need to look any further! You won’t have any problems using Bone Broth.
What’s the solution?
I am sorry that I do not have a foolproof answer to excessive meat consumption. If you want to eat meat for your health, drinking bone broth is a better approach to reducing the amount of meat you consume while maximizing the therapeutic benefits of doing so. Therefore, inquire about grass-fed and free-range beef from the local butchers and farmers in your area. Consuming animal bones that, in other circumstances, would be given to dogs or thrown away is, in particular, one of the ways that you may improve your gut while minimizing the amount of wasted food. But, please, don’t go to the grocery store and buy any old bones simply because someone told you that it’s healthy for your digestive system, and don’t make broth out of them either. Also, there is little point in purchasing pre-made, mass-produced broth from the grocery store because these products lack many nutritional benefits you may obtain from making your broth at home. It is important to remember the conditions in which the food you eat was raised and grown before it arrived on your plate and in your digestive tract. The same principle applies to veggies, but that’s a topic for an entirely different blog post!
Is Bone Broth Harmful?
We can see that there are not many studies done on bone broth, and the research that has been done is not particularly groundbreaking. However, there is a possibility that bone broth contains some ingredients that could be harmful. It is well known that heavy metals, notably lead, can be stored in bones. Lead might be emitted during the cooking process of bone broth. In 2013, researchers from the United Kingdom conducted a limited investigation of the amount of lead in bone broth prepared using chicken bones. The lead content of the broth was over ten times higher than the lead content of the water alone. Interestingly, the chicken bones used in this research came from organic animals, and the skin and cartilage were the sources of the highest lead concentration. In line with the findings of the study conducted in 1934, the research conducted in 2017 and published in the journal Food and Nutrition Research found that bone broth is not a good source of calcium and magnesium. In contrast to a study published in 2013, this more current investigation found that the lead and cadmium levels in bone broth were quite low. On the other hand, the nutritional value and health benefits of bone broth are likely to be significantly impacted by the preparation and the primary components that go into it. Therefore, general assertions concerning bone broth are highly likely to be misleading. Bone Broth is home to some of Melbourne’s most delicious beef bone broth.
Based on the currently available research, the best conclusion you can draw is that traditional bone broth is not a good source of nutrients and may have ingredients damaging to your health. In other words, vegetable soup is an alternative that appears to be created in a way that is more beneficial to one’s health by including vegetables and excluding the bone.
In addition to these comments, you may also hear that the product’s taste and convenience are negative aspects. When individuals tell me they can’t stomach bone broth, I’m usually sceptical of what they’ve tried in the past since I don’t know what they’ve tried. Nevertheless, the recipe significantly impacts (as with any food). Let’s say that I’ve been successful in swaying the opinions of a good number of individuals with the nice stuff. Having stated that, certain people never fully overcome their reluctance. That’s just how they do things around here.
In a similar vein, making your own requires an investment of time. Again, it’s not that difficult. I would venture to say that making a simple bone broth is one of the easiest things to prepare in the kitchen. You need some time, which, as you well know, is not always an option. It’s not always the easiest thing to carry around with you. However, the advantages of collagen for your body’s health are, to put it bluntly, impossible to ignore.