Bone broth is going viral for anti-aging and weight loss benefits. Does it work? Experts explain (2024)

Bone broth is not new, but it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Many swear by drinking the thick, savory liquid because of the health benefits. But is bone broth really that good for you?

Usually marketed to be sipped on its own, bone broth has evolved into a trendy addition to meals and even smoothies (aka, brothies) for extra protein and nutrients. It now comes in liquid, concentrate or powder forms, and you can even find bone broth capsules sold as supplements.

What are the benefits of bone broth, is it OK to drink every day, and which type is the healthiest? We spoke to experts to find out.

What is bone broth?

Bone broth is a liquid made from simmering animal bones, joints and connective tissue, such as beef, chicken, turkey and pork, per the Cleveland Clinic,

It's similar to stock, but a wider variety of bones are used, including large, marrow-rich bones, Dr. Denise Millstine, director of integrative medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona,tells TODAY.com.

These are typically roasted, she adds, and simmered over a long period of time, up to 24 to 48 hours, to draw out the vitamins, minerals and collagen. (Stock usually cooks much faster.)

Bone broth is also made with vinegar, seasonings and aromatics to give it a full flavor. You can drink it on its own or add it to soups or stews.

Types of bone broth

Popular types of bone broth include:

  • Beef. Beef bone broth has a more full-bodied flavor than other types of bone broths and is higher in collagen. It may also take longer to cook.
  • Chicken. Chicken bone broth has a milder flavor than beef. Add chicken feet to boost its protein and collagen content.
  • Turkey. Turkey bone broth may be a more nutrient-dense option than chicken depending on how it's prepared.
  • Pork. Pork bone broth is a popular base for many soup dishes, like ramen. Using pig feet can boost the collagen and protein in the broth.

Bone broth can also be store-bought or homemade. Typically, homemade bone broth will have less sodium and fewer added ingredients.

Bone broth nutrition

The nutritional content of bone broth will vary depending on the type of bones used, added ingredients, preparation and the brand.

“There’s a huge variation among products, as well as among what each person might make (at home),” says Millstine.

According to theU.S. Department of Agriculture's database, one serving of the typical store-bought beef bone broth provides about:

  • 40 calories
  • 0 gram of carbohydrates
  • 10 grams of protein
  • 0.5 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of fiber
  • 0 grams of sugar
  • 200-400 or more milligrams of sodium

A single serving of bone broth is generally one standard cup, or 240 milliliters, however some people may drink more or less than that, especially if the broth is added to another meal. Certain types and brands will contain much more sodium than others, Millstine notes.

What are the benefits of bone broth?

The benefits of bone broth can vary depending on the type and added ingredients, but generally it's rich in vitamins and minerals, JuliaZumpano,a registered dietitian with the Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease Institute, tells TODAY.com.

“It can provide calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulfur,” says Zumpano. Bone broth is also a good source of potassium, Millstine notes.

Hydrating

Because bone broth is made with a lot of water, it helps your body stay hydrated. The average male needs to drink 3.7 liters of water a day to stay hydrated, and the average female needs 2.7 liters, according to Mayo Clinic.

High in protein

Bone broth is a great natural source of protein, says Millstine. Just one cup can pack 10 grams or more depending on the brand. The average person weighing 150 pounds needs 54 grams of protein a day. Protein helps keep you full for longer and builds muscle, among other benefits.

Reducing inflammation and joint pain

"(Bone broth) can also contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which are often sold as supplements, and most of us know those to help reduce inflammation and joint pain,” says Zumpano.

Boosting digestion

Drinking a warm cup of bone broth can help soothe the stomach and promote digestion, and it’s more satiating than regular broth.

What about bone broth and collagen?

The majority of the protein in bone broth consists of collagen, says Millstine, and beef bones contain slightly more compared to other types.

Recently, bone broth supplements and powders with collagen have become increasingly popular, but the experts caution that consuming collagen may not have the benefits advertised (though it's not generally harmful, either).

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, found in the bones, skin, muscles and tendons, per the Cleveland Clinic. It provides strength and structure throughout the body, helping repair joints, blood vessels, eyes and the digestive tract.

The body produces less collagen as we age, which affects the joints and skin most noticeably, says Zumpano.

But collagen in its whole, unprocessed form cannot be absorbed by the body, so consuming more of it won't raise your collagen levels, per the Cleveland Clinic.

“There’s no downside to ingesting collagen, but there’s also no clear benefit,” says Millstine.

Is bone broth good for weight loss?

Yes, because bone broth is naturally high in protein and low in calories, it can help with weight management or loss, depending on the person, says Millstine.

Sipping on it before or between meals is a quick way to get extra nutrients, especially if you're practicing time-restricted eating.

The experts recommend adding bone broth to a balanced diet instead of using it as a substitute for whole foods. “I think that it’s a great drink, especially in the morning, but I’m not sure it's filling enough to replace a meal,” says Zumpano.

“If you want to have it as a meal, I’d recommend making it into a soup and adding other nutrient-packed ingredients like garlic, vegetables, greens, chicken, tofu or beans,” she adds.

Is it OK to drink bone broth every day?

Bone broth is generally safe to drink every day if consumed in moderation and as part of a nutritious, omnivorous diet, says Millstine. If you have any food allergies, always check the label.

Bone broth side effects and risks

"Depending on how it's made or what's in it, (bone broth) could have large amounts of sodium. That's the only downside," says Zumpano.

Some types of bone broth can pack up to 500 milligrams of sodium per cup, which can add up quickly. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend adults limit sodium intake toless than 2,300 milligrams per day, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The sodium in bone broth may not be an issue for the average healthy person, Zumpano says, but it could be risky for people who have high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease. Always talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Fortunately, there are low-sodium and unsalted varieties of bone broth available.

What is the healthiest type of bone broth?

The healthiest type of bone broth is homemade, the experts note. Although it's time consuming, making your own broth can allow you to control the salt content and other ingredients.

If you are buying bone broth at the store, Zumpano recommends comparing nutrition labels and avoiding those with higher amounts of sodium and added ingredients.

Whether you opt for bone broth made from beef, chicken, turkey or pork bones boils down to personal preference.

How to make bone broth

Check out this bone broth recipe from TODAY Food.

Meena Duerson / TODAY

Get The Recipe

Brodo Chef Marco Canora's Chicken and Beef Bone Broth

Marco Canora

Caroline Kee

Caroline Kee is a health reporter at TODAY based in New York City.

Bone broth is going viral for anti-aging and weight loss benefits. Does it work? Experts explain (2024)

FAQs

Bone broth is going viral for anti-aging and weight loss benefits. Does it work? Experts explain? ›

Yes, because bone broth is naturally high in protein and low in calories, it can help with weight management or loss, depending on the person, says Millstine. Sipping on it before or between meals is a quick way to get extra nutrients, especially if you're practicing time-restricted eating.

Does bone broth reverse aging? ›

May be anti-ageing

Consuming 300ml of bone broth has been shown to increase plasma levels of the precursor amino acids glycine and proline that are required to form collagen. In clinical trials, collagen, taken as a supplement, was able to improve the hydration, elasticity and appearance of wrinkles in human skin.

What does the Mayo Clinic say about bone broth? ›

Bone broth is a good choice to include in your diet along with all the other foods that fight inflammation. Organic chicken or beef bone broths (or make your own) have many beneficial nutrients that will help improve bones and joints, along with all the other benefits.

Is bone broth scientifically proven? ›

All of this sounds great, but is there scientific proof to back it up? "There's no evidence that bone broth has greater health benefits than any other broths," says L.J. Amaral, a clinical dietitian in the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute Patient and Family Support Program.

Does bone broth really help you lose weight? ›

Bone broth can be a part of a healthy weight loss regime. It is loaded with protein—about 10 grams per serving—that can help you feel full for longer. This extra protein can also assist in building lean muscle mass, which in turn enables your body to burn more calories throughout the day.

What is the downside of bone broth? ›

Therefore, there is a danger of lead contamination in several varieties of bone broth, as well as a risk of lead poisoning. Lead is stored in the bones and may leach into the bone broth.

How long does it take to see results from bone broth? ›

For most benefits, it takes about a week to see results from bone broth. You may start noticing energy differences very quickly, during your first day of drinking. Immediately you will notice that it is helping to keep you full and reduce food cravings.

Why do I feel bad after drinking bone broth? ›

If your body cannot clear histamine well and you eat histamine-rich foods frequently, then, voila, you have an explanation histamine rich bone broth makes you feel bloated, constipated, gassy or other side effects—like brain fog and fatigue.

What do doctors think of bone broth? ›

Are There Any Health Benefits in Bone Broth? Experts say many of the claims are overblown. “There is no research to support the use of bone broth on its own as a health panacea or to promote health benefits in general,” Amaral says. Still, many nutrients found in bone broth can contribute to overall health.

What is the healthiest bone broth to buy? ›

The healthiest bone broth on the market is the Organic bone broth made by Bluebird Provisions because it is the highest protein with 12 grams with 300 mg potassium and no added filler ingredients. It is also low in sodium and tastes absolutely delicious.

What is healthier than bone broth? ›

Vegetable Broth: Vitamins and Energy

And with all those vitamins yet 0.0 grams of fat and only 55 calories, Freja vegan broth is perfect for a diet focused on nutrient-dense foods. While vegetable broth isn't high in carbs by any means, it does have a few more carbohydrates than bone broth, which is very low in carbs.

How to drink bone broth for weight loss? ›

The basic idea is that you:
  1. Eat Paleo for 21 days.
  2. Drink one to three cups of bone broth on your eating days.
  3. Only drink bone broth two days per week (between three to six cups), as well as plenty of fluids.
  4. Substitute snacks for bone broth on eating days.
  5. Don't eat any sweets or desserts (even Paleo-friendly ones).

Does bone broth help wrinkles? ›

As we age, our body naturally produces less collagen. Taking collagen supplements or consuming bone broth with high collagen content may be helpful in replenishing lost collagen levels, potentially leading to improved skin elasticity, fewer wrinkles, and a bit more confidence when we look in the mirror.

How much weight can you lose in a month with bone broth? ›

The Bone Broth Diet blends a low-carb, paleo diet with intermittent fasting. It claims to help you “lose up to 15 pounds, 4 inches, and your wrinkles — in just 21 days.” However, these results are based on unpublished research.

Is Dr. Kellyann Petrucci a real doctor? ›

A weight-loss and natural anti-aging transformation expert, Dr. Petrucci has a private practice in the Birmingham, Michigan area and is a concierge doctor for celebrities in New York City and Los Angeles. She is a board-certified naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition consultant. Dr.

What happens to your body if you drink bone broth everyday? ›

The Bottom Line. Consider incorporating bone broth into your regular routine for its many benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved bone health, better joint support and a healthier gut.

Does drinking bone broth help Crepey skin? ›

What is the best home remedy for crepey skin? Try these strategies: Protein and collagen-boosting foods: Eating foods that are high in protein and collagen-rich foods, such as bone broth, eggs and fish, can help to support the skin's natural collagen production.

Does bone broth help sagging skin? ›

As we age, our collagen levels naturally decrease which leads to wrinkles and sagging skin. Consuming broth that is high in collagen can help replenish our collagen levels and keep us looking younger for longer. If you're looking to reduce inflammation, bone broth is the answer.

How do you reverse bone aging? ›

Regular exercise and vitamin and mineral supplements can reduce and even reverse loss of bone density. Flexibility exercise in its simplest form stretches and elongates muscles. Disciplines which incorporate stretching with breath control and meditation include yoga and tai chi.

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