Bone broth is having is a kale moment. It is in fashion, just like acai berry, pomegranate, cauliflower and so many other super foods were. Among the claims: healthier bones, teeth and nails. At 50 years of age, that sounds really good. We all need help with our bones, skin, hair, etc.
Are the bone broth claims real?
Is bone broth full of absorbable or bio-available calcium? Absorbable or bio-available being the key attributes here. Calcium, as you know, is a very important mineral, and although we take supplements, it is a difficult mineral to get, to get it in the right places and to avoid it in the wrong places. There are many reasons for this:
There are many types of calcium and if we take the wrong type it can go to the wrong places and instead of helping us, it can cause problems.
In addition, calcium is not easy to absorb, and other nutrients can take it out of the body. The calcium from bone broth is supposed to be easy to absorb. The claim is that bone broth is not the only good source of calcium, but it is a very good one. Everything sounds good but … one recent study says that bone broth does not have much calcium, but wait, there is another reason it can make you younger.
Why does bone broth make you look younger?
One word: collagen. Bone broth may lack in calcium, but it has great collagen. Although there is controversy about the role of ingested collagen, many people (including myself) think it has helped us and there is some promising science behind the claims, but not everyone believes this. In my case I feel it has helped me to eliminate a funny pain I was having in my lower back. Many people in the natural medicine community think that collagen is good for bone, skin, hair, nails, teeth, and cartilage health.
We have been putting collagen on our skin and hair for years. However, it is believed that it does not help to use collagen externally, the molecules do not penetrate the skin. Most doctors think that eating collagen is also not effective, but there are not many studies to prove if collagen can help or not.
Should you take collagen or have bone broth?
Collagen is a connective tissue, abundant in our bodies. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner told Self magazine that, “Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin, giving it strength and shape….
Collagen is like the frame of your mattress, while elastin is the springs and hyaluronic acid is the padding.
Like most things in the skin, collagen diminishes as we age, which is why skin can start to sag. Around 30, natural collagen production starts to slow down. Many people take collagen supplements to help the skin and hair. But we have to remember that in most cases beauty supplements do not live up to the hype.
Our face and body get smaller as we age. This is one of the reasons for wrinkles and flaccidity, we lose volume in muscle mass as well as in bone mass. If we keep the right level of calcium, our teeth and face bones will retain their original shape and size for longer time. This is very important, and it is something that no surgery or cosmetic product can give you, it has to come from your food and supplements.
However, our bodies do not absorb collagen as collagen, either from bone broth or in any another form. Collagen is broken down in the stomach and the body absorbs the components, in this case amino acids.
Those amino acids can come from a great variety of food not necessarily from collagen or bone broth. If you eat a diet rich in nutrients you will get the necessary amino acids and you do not need to eat collagen. Some people say that bone broth provides amino acids that meat does not, and due to this it helps to balance our intake of amino acids, the medical community mostly disagree with this claim.
Bone broth supporters say that it has many other minerals. The studies have found that it is not the case. The minerals in bone broth come mostly from the vegetables added to it.
My own experience with collagen and bone broth
I take collagen, and sometimes I drink bone broth. I love broths, but somehow I do not like bone broth. However, I have concluded that if I am going to have bone broth I have to make it myself. Commercials broths do not specify the collagen contents and it is easy to add more water and dilute the nutrients. If you want to buy already made bone broth you need to buy a respected brand.
To make bone broth at home is not difficult. But the whole house will smell of the broth, because you need to cook it for several hours especially if you make it from large bones. If you do not have a problem with this, I think it is a good idea to make it yourself. Natural gelatin is another good source of collagen and you can buy it online.
Bone broth is a good thing, but I prefer the powdered collagen, because it is easier to use. I put it in pancakes and other recipes. I take it only once or twice a week.
With or without bone broth?
There are no guidelines on how much bone broth you may need. Bone broth sadly does not live up to the hype. The calcium content is not there, but the collagen components are good for you. But remember that you can get the same nutrients from your regular meals. However collagen is good, and after 50 it is something worth trying. You can pick if you want collagen from bone broth or from another source. I am not sure if bone broth is worth the effort, it is not bad for you if it made from the bones of healthy animals, it may have nutrients, but it is not a wonder food.
Do you take collagen supplements or bone broth? Do you think it is helping you?
Photo by Laura Olsen on Unsplash