Bone broth (or stock) is a potable liquid (water with optional added flavors) in which animal bones have been simmered. Rich broths are an integral part of culinary traditions across the globe and are served as expensive beverages for brainless hipsters in New York City and in soups and stews for everyone else.
Though not very nutritious by itself, bone broth is the subject of a diet cult with a sizeable and soup-er wacky (sorry) following, particularly with the "paleo" crowd. Accomplished doctors in hucksterology like Dr. Oz, "Dr." Mercola, and "Dr." Axe are all big fans. Other believers include the late Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers, as well as noted nutrition expert Alex Jones, seen to the right "enjoying" a chocolate bone broth shake.
Bone broth is really nothing more than liquid Jell-O. Collagen (now hydrolyzed as gelatin in bone broth) is a decent protein source, but it has little flavor. Any flavor present in a particular broth recipe is almost entirely due to added ingredients (primarily salt and spices). When collagen is ingested, most of it is just broken down in the stomach into amino acids, as are many other proteins.
Most of the more cuckoo claims for bone broth focus on its only real ingredient, collagen, the main protein in connective tissues like bones. For example, the authors of Nourishing Traditions, an extremely popular series of cookbooks and lifestyle guides, are the source of many commonly-asserted health claims for bone broth, compiled in their follow-up book, Nourishing Broth. Despite their claims, there is no evidence bone broth is beneficial for joint health, wound healing, bone fractures, or immune health. The authors' PhDs are in nutrition science and neither are researchers or clinicians. Both are affiliated with the Weston A. Price Foundation and have a long history of spewing alt-med nonsense. Research into the effects of collagen on joint, bone and skin health are mixed and inconclusive. In other words, drinking bone broth will probably not improve the appearance of skin, nails or hair.
With the supposed health benefits aside, broth is one of many dubious folk remedies for the common cold, mostly tongue-in-cheek, but persistent despite a lack of evidence. It just feels nice if not nostalgic to drink soup when you're down. Inhaling the vapor from hot liquids like soup does relieve upper respiratory symptoms. And why pass up an excuse for chicken soup? Just watch the salt (see above).
There are some even more crazy ideas on broth. Many proponents also spout other alt-med and nutrition woo, such as bone broth's supposed effects on "leaky gut" syndrome, a bogus condition. In traditional Chinese medicine, bone broth is used to increase the qi of body organs, including the kidney, whatever that means, as details on how this works is never really explained.
Collagen still has numerous non-woo medical applications in wound care and cosmetic surgery.[please explain]
- Souder, Amy (April 10, 2016). "What's the Difference Between Chicken Stock and Chicken Broth?". Chowhound.
- Brodo Broth Co. - now opening its fourth (!?) location!
- Knibbs, Kate (Feb. 1, 2018). "Why Do We Still Believe in “Bone Broth”?". The Ringer. "...less a superfood and more of barely a food."
- The Dr. Oz Show: Feb. 8, 2017
- "Bone Broth—A Most Nourishing Food for Virtually Any Ailment". November 23, 2014.
- Axe, Josh (July 26, 2018). "Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite".
- Peter, Holley (January 25, 2015). "How bone broth became Kobe Bryant’s secret Stone Age weapon". Washington Post.
- Ultimate Bone Broth - Infowars Store
- Blaszyk, Amy (February 10, 2015). "Taking Stock of Bone Broth". NPR.
- Amazon: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats
- Daniel, Kaayla. Be Souper! 7 Ways to Boost Your Health and Energy with Bone Broth. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
- Guillerminet, Fanny; Beaupied, Hélène; Fabien-Soulé, Véronique; Tomé, Daniel; Benhamou, Claude-Laurent; Roux, Christian; Blais, Anne (2010-03-01). "Hydrolyzed collagen improves bone metabolism and biomechanical parameters in ovariectomized mice: An in vitro and in vivo study" (in English). Bone 46 (3): 827–834. ISSN 8756-3282. PMID 19895915.
- Guillerminet, F.; Fabien-Soulé, V.; Even, P. C.; Tomé, D.; Benhamou, C.-L.; Roux, C.; Blais, A. (2012-07-01). "Hydrolyzed collagen improves bone status and prevents bone loss in ovariectomized C3H/HeN mice" (in en). Osteoporosis International 23 (7): 1909–1919. ISSN 0937-941X. PMID 21927918.
- Daneault, A. (2014-04-01). "Hydrolyzed collagen contributes to osteoblast differentiation in vitro and subsequent bone health in vivo" (in English). Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 22: S131. ISSN 1063-4584.
- Jiang, J.X. (2014). "Collagen peptides improve knee osteoarthritis in elderly women: A 6-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study". Agro FOOD Indusrty Hi Tech 25: 19–23. Archived from the original on 2017-09-13.
- Dar, Qurratul-Ain; Schott, Eric M.; Catheline, Sarah E.; Maynard, Robert D.; Liu, Zhaoyang; Kamal, Fadia; Farnsworth, Christopher W.; Ketz, John P. et al. (2017-04-06). "Daily oral consumption of hydrolyzed type 1 collagen is chondroprotective and anti-inflammatory in murine posttraumatic osteoarthritis". PLOS ONE 12 (4): e0174705. Bibcode 2017PLoSO..1274705D. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 5383229. PMID 28384173.
- Asserin, Jérome; Lati, Elian; Shioya, Toshiaki; Prawitt, Janne (2015-12-01). "The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo‐controlled clinical trials" (in en). Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 14 (4): 291–301. ISSN 1473-2165. PMID 26362110.
- Butler, Kiera (Nov 9, 2015). "Enough Already With the Bone Broth Hype". Mother Jones.
- Beef bone broth Traditional Chinese Medicine Foundation