Bone Broth for Health

By: Tom Cameron, DVM

Bone broths are hot items these days. These clear soups, made from animal bones, vegetables and other ingredients have been used for centuries around the world to treat sick and weak patients. Long considered the best treatment for colds and flu (think “grandma’s chicken soup”), bone broths boast a long list of health benefits. “A goodbroth will resurrect the dead,” says Sally Fallon, co-author of Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World, quoting a South American proverb.  Grandmothers and healers have long used bone broths to treat illnesses like sore throats, arthritis, and digestive complaints.

Why all the fuss over bone broths?  What makes them so special?  Why the renewed interest by so many people?

Virtually every culture in the world has long eaten bone broths, and many drink it daily. A common practice is to keep a pot bubbling on the stove, regularly adding food scraps and bones. This broth is consumed at mealtimes, added to other dishes, and used as a base for soups. Traditional hunters didn’t waste any part of an animal killed in a hunt-the skin, feet and bones were all utilized. Heating these in water for hours gently pulls valuable nutrients into the water, which can then be easily absorbed by the body.

Bone broth is an excellent food; rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins that repair and maintain connective tissues.

Most of the health claims made for bone broth originate from traditional users such as grandmothers, healers and midwives. Although these claims were not scientifically based, modern science is proving the healers to be spot on. All bodies are made up of connective tissues like bones, cartilage, ligaments and skin.  Bone broths are loaded with small compounds called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs are vital to all connective tissues and are major components of supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, which help keep our bones and joints healthy. Common conditions like arthritis, slipped discs and skin problems indicate a breakdown in structure. Bone broth is an excellent food; rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins that repair and maintain connective tissues. Research has proven that glucosamine can cause the growth of new cartilage and heal joints. It can reduce inflammation in the lungs, while gelatin and collagen in broths help heal inflamed intestines. Gelatin and collagen also nourish bones, cartilage and joints, helping to maintain strength and flexibility.  Hair, skin and nails (all connective tissues) can all benefit from regular intake of bone broths.

Some nutrients contained in bone broths include:

  • Amino acids – important building blocks for proteins to repair tissues, making antibodies, and supporting immune function

  • Vitamins – C, D, K, Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

  • Minerals – calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica, sulfur, trace minerals.  Minerals are essential for every metabolic reaction in the body, including digestion, healing and the immune response

  • Connective tissue nutrients for bone and joint support

    • Glucosamine sulfate

    • Chondroitin sulfate

    • Gelatin

Many health practitioners are now recommending bone broth as a regular part of the daily diet. Easy to digest, easily absorbed, and chock-full of healing ingredients, broths are ideal for senior or sick animals (and their owners!).

Is bone broth good for my pet/dog/cat?

Yes, yes, yes!  With a rich combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and nutrients for joint and bone health, bone broths are good for all living beings. Bone broths provide a host of building blocks for the body to build and repair tissues, like skin, cartilage, and red blood cells.  When consumed regularly, these broths are excellent preventive medicine.  In sick, injured or recovering patients, broths can assist healing, circulationand recovery.

Broths can be fed alone, added to the drinking water, or mixed with any food.

Where do I get bone broth?

Broths can be made at home – these are generally best (homemade, of course!).  Slow cookers are fantastic for making broths, and you don’t need to be home. Broths can also be purchased at some health food grocers and typical grocery stores.

For your convenience, Nature’s Logic has just released a new line of excellent dehydrated bone broth products, adding to their impressive line of pet foods and supplements. Easily mixed with water and added to your pet’s food, Nature’s Logic Dehydrated Bone Broth products provide a valuable addition to your pet’s daily nutrition and health.