In my practice as a registered dietitian my patients sometimes ask about bone broth. On Instagram @AndreaHardyRD, I talk all about bone broth and if you should consider taking it for gut health!
🦄 What is bone broth? 🦄 🌟
Bone broth is made by simmering roasted bones and connective tissue of animals like pork, beef and chicken. While the bones themselves are rich in vitamins and minerals, only trace amounts end up in the broth, not making it the ‘vitamin and mineral rich’ broth it’s claimed to be, contrary to popular belief.
Can Collagen Heal the Gut Lining?
What REALLY interests people is the collagen – a type of protein found in bone broth. Collagen gets a ton of praise because it’s been suggested to ‘heal the lining of the gut’. However, there is a LOT wrong with this theory.
😏 When you consume protein, your gut breaks that down to peptides and amino acids. Those amino acids are then used by the body to help repair and rebuild.
Health Benefits of Collagen
Collagen is a source of amino acids called glycine, glutamine and proline. While yes, they help to fuel our epithelial lining (our gut wall), the big assumption is it’s doing something different than any of the other proteins we consume in the diet (which it’s not!) If your diet is adequate in protein, bone broth isn’t adding anything special. 🤷♀️
Should I drink bone broth everyday?
Delicious? Yes. Nourishing? Sure – more so than a stock-type broth with no protein. A ‘must-consume’ every day for gut health? Nope. 😐
The protein you eat can’t be delegated to ‘by wishful thinking to do the things you want it to do, especially when it comes to ‘gut repair’. Even when we look at the most damaged guts (ie. patients with stem cell transplants and completely compromised gut barriers) – things like glutamine don’t make as much of an impact as we would hope.
As always, your body is a finely tuned machine, that will use that protein for whatever it thinks is best – no magic happening there!
Is bone broth a gut health superfood?
At the end of the day, if you’re on the hunt for a gut health superfood, bone broth probably isn’t it. While bone broth is delicious and a source of protein, unlike most broths out there, it’s not doing anything magical 🦄 in your gut.