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Taking Stock: The Truth About Bone Broth

While it does have some benefits, bone broth is not the cure-all, as fans claim.
While it does have some benefits, bone broth is not the cure-all, as fans claim. Photo Credit: Contributed

Bone broth fans claim strong immune systems, high energy and more.

Don’t believe the hype.

Countless articles, TV segments and wellness celebrities promote bone broth as a cure-all. They credit it with keeping joints limber, strengthening skin, hair and nails and boosting the immune system. Abundant collagen in bone broth is the key to unlocking these benefits and more, proponents say.

Collagen is good. You produce this fibrous protein naturally, and it essentially holds you together. But you can’t absorb collagen by consuming it in bone broth or anything else. Hours of stovetop simmering make it thicker and richer than typical soup stock or consommé. Extended cooking of bones and other parts of chicken, beef or lamb extracts nutrients, including collagen.

Bone broth benefits include:

– High protein content supplies chondroitin and glucosamine — key building blocks of cartilage.

– Chicken bone broth alleviates symptoms of the common cold. It clears mucus and provides anti-inflammatory benefits, according to a 2000 study in the journal Chest.

The best way to boost the body’s production of collagen is to eat a healthy, varied diet. The amino acid proline — found in egg whites, cheese, soy, cabbage and bamboo shoots — is a key building block, along with vitamins A and C. But chances are if you eat a good diet and get enough protein, your body has what it needs. Perhaps more important is to protect the collagen in your skin by using sunblock and limiting sun exposure.

While the research is still new, some studies suggest that collagen hydrolysate, a laboratory-created supplement, may be absorbed and used directly in the tissues.

Bottom line:

Bone broth is not a panacea — nothing is. But it is certainly safe to enjoy!

Ready to jump-start your nutrition? To make an appointment with a Phelps dietitian/nutritionist please call (914) 366-2264 or click here for more information.