The Health Benefits of Bone Broth

March 8, 2012 in Categories: , by

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Bone broth is a flavorful liquid made by boiling the bones of just about any vertebrate you can think of (typically poultry, beef, bison, lamb, or fish) in water for an extended period of time (typically anywhere from 4 hours to 40 hours!).  Often vegetables and herbs are added (typically carrots, onion, celery, garlic and I like to add bay leaves too).  The bones from mammals need to be sawed open, whereas fowl and fish bones don’t. The used bones and vegetables are strained from the liquid and typically discarded.  The resulting liquid is called “broth” or “stock” and is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (especially calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, which are essential for bone health) .  Most importantly, bone broth is also particularly rich in two very special amino acids:  proline and glycine.

Glycine and proline are two key components of connective tissue, the biological “glue” that holds our bodies together.  There are many types of connective tissue and these two amino acids feature prominently in most of them, from the cartilage that forms our joints to the extracellular matrix that acts as a scaffold for the cells in our individual organs, muscles, arteries etc.  Without these two amino acids, we would literally fall apart.  So, it is no surprise that we need these two amino acids to heal, not only gaping wounds, but also the microscopic damage done to blood vessels and other tissues in our body caused by inflammation and infection. In fact, glycine is known to inhibit the immune system and reduce activation of inflammatory cells in your body.  Whether you are trying to heal from an infection, address an auto-immune disease, or reduce inflammation caused by neolithic foods or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, high levels of dietary glycine are critical.

In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body.  As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing.  Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.  It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.  Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver).  Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.  This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system.  In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect.  Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.

Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits.  It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels.  Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.

Now, let’s be clear:  proline and glycine are not technically essential amino acids.  Your body can actually make them if it needs more than is supplied by your diet.  But building our own amino acids is much less efficient than consuming them from foods, and scientists believe that we probably can’t make proline or glycine efficiently enough to keep up with our body’s demand in the absence of dietary sources.  And while meat of all kinds does supply both of these amino acids, you just can’t beat the quantity or absorbability of proline and glycine in bone broth, hence bone broth’s superfood status.

See my recipe for chicken bone broth.


I can’t tell you how timely this post is for me, as I have been thinking about bone broth all week. My sister has been suffering from a prolonged bout of gastro-intestinal trouble (suspected ulcerative colitis), and her food choices have been less than ideal. I’ve wanted to swoop in and whip a batch of broth for her in hopes of getting something nutritious into her system. Thank you for reminding me, at least, of the power of this food!

I aim for a few slow cooker meals a week… and you inevitably end up with some sort of bone broth in the end (after everyone has mined out the meat and veggies). I like to warm up the remains and throw a handful of spinach in for lunch/breakfast.

I made my first batch of pressure cooker bone broth (via Nom Nom Paleo) and now enjoy a quick warming and nourishing bowl of broth at breakfast. Thank you for sharing this information! I even give spoonfuls to my 10-month old who loves it.

This is awesome! I had been speculating home-made stock would have better results for my clicking knee than some chondroiton; thanks for the science behind the lifestyle!

Hi, I was just wondering – does it need to be made fresh? I often order meat in large amounts and freeze it. I currently have a few bag of bones in the freezer and I was going to make stock with them… but will they still have the benefits? Alternatively, if I made stock the day my large meat order arrives I will have a large amount of stock – which I would probably be freezing into portions. Do you think this would still be beneficial?

No, it doesn’t need to be made from fresh bones. I almost always make mine from frozen bones. I also almost always freeze individual portions as well. You will lose very little in the freezing and thawing process. 🙂

[…] This mineral rich liquid is made by boiling the bones of healthy animals and adding vegetables, herbs and spices. Broth is a staple in many countries as it is cheap and nutrient-dense. It is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system (hence, why you eat chicken soup when you are sick) and improve digestion. Due to the high collagen content (because of the bones) it is known to support joints, hair, skin and nails.  Broth is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are vital in healthy connective tissue (joints and ligaments). For a more in depth look into these two amino acids and their beneficial properties to our bodies check out the paleo mom. […]

[…] Bone Broth.  Glycine and proline are two key components of connective tissue, the biological “glue” that holds our bodies together.  There are many types of connective tissue and these two amino acids feature prominently in most of them, from the cartilage that forms our joints to the extracellular matrix that acts as a scaffold for the cells in our individual organs, muscles, arteries etc.  Without these two amino acids, we would literally fall apart.  So, it is no surprise that we need these two amino acids to heal, not only gaping wounds, but also the microscopic damage done to blood vessels and other tissues in our body caused by inflammation and infection. In fact, glycine is known to inhibit the immune system and reduce activation of inflammatory cells in your body.  Whether you are trying to heal from an infection, address an auto-immune disease, or reduce inflammation caused by neolithic foods or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, high levels of dietary glycine are critical. […]

[…] lifestyle. Homemade Bone Broth from Healthy Guts. Bone broth is so good for you. Check out what The Paleo Mom says about it. We like to just warm ours up and drink it, but even better is using it as your base for soups and […]

[…] Saturday night I was feeling a little achy like I could be coming down with a cold.  There was Zumba to do the next day, so I couldn’t let it get the best of me.  I decided to make some good ol’ chicken broth and chicken soup.  Everyone knows that Chicken Soup is the cure for everyone’s cold, (go ahead and quote me on that one, even though I can’t give you the science behind it.  My grandma told me so.  She also told me Spinach Dip would help my anemia, and maybe she called the National Enquirer “the paper” when relaying  the latest news scandals she had read.  I know she is right on about Chicken Soup) and if you want to read about some other benefits, PaleoMom wrote a great blog you can find by clicking here. […]

I’ve been drinking bone broth daily in an effort to heal some ongoing problems with GERD. Things are definitely improving, but I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on how much is the right amount. My goal is to be able to drink coffee again without ruining the rest of my day.

GAPS diet would have you drinking a cup of broth with every meal, which I think is very effective in promoting healing. I drink 1 cup a day, not every day (although I should be better and drinking it daily). I think anywhere in there is a good goal.

I understand that it’s BEST to use grassfed bones but do you still reap health benefits from using conventional bones? Would it be more harmful than good to use conventional? I want to use grassfed but don’t have access to it now.

You absolutely benefit from broth made with conventional bones. I skim the fat off broth I make with poultry bones or conventional bones and keep the fat if I make broth with grass-fed bones. All the other good stuff is still there.

I find your blog educational and interesting enough to be reading for second time. I wonder though about your comment on conventional bones. It’s my understanding that so called factory sedentary raised animals don’t have same collagen content as cows or chickens that have moved around looking for food during their lifetimes. What I would be afraid of is that conventional raised animals would be holding antibiotic residue in their bones as well as pesticides and other such frowned upon stuff like man made hormones that would be held in most elemental cells of the bones. Doesn’t all that wind up in the bone broth that is eaten by the family? I am asking not stating?

Well, clearly pasture-raised is better than conventional, but I still think it’s worth making broth from bones from conventionally-raised animals if that’s all that’ affordable for someone. Pesticides are more likely stored in fat, but heavy metals might be stored in bones and this can be released into the broth. However, studies that evaluate the amount in broth show that it’s very low (about the same as what is found in tap water). I think the benefits to bone broth far outweigh the risks.

Our dog was hit by a car and severely dislocated his elbow and fractured his ‘wrist’ in two places. He had surfery to insert a plate and two screws. I’m pouring bone broth over his food (which he’s loving) and he is already having an amazing recovery just 2 1/2 wks later! Thx for post!!!! So very very beneficial 🙂

I have recently started making and eating bone broth. I add the bones to the pot and boil for 2 hours and then take a batch of juicer pulp (which I have frozen) and add that to it for the last two hours. At the end, I strain out everything and have a bone broth that’s a little thicker and tastes good. It also uses good stuff that would otherwise be discarded.

Hi Sarah,
I have been making beef bone broth for several months now, and am curious as to how much broth you render from a pot of bones. I have a 5-qt crockpot which i fill with about 4-5 large bones, then fill with water and 1 Tbsp ACV. Bottom line, after cooling and removing the disc of fat, what remains is about 48 oz of gelatin. That is only 6 cups. If I have one cup at each meal, that’s only 2 days worth of broth. The idea of keeping myself supplied with bone broth and a constant crockpot going, is daunting.

What do most folks do, dilute it, and if so, by how much? Thank you! 🙂

I usually throw some bones in the pot, add 1-2 tbsp ACV, and water to about 2 inches over the bones. In my pressure cooker, I get about 8 cups of broth for 1.5-2 chicken carcases, or about the same number of bones you’re doing (I just throw bones into bags in my freezer and when I need broth, just pour some out into the pot, so it’s not an exact science!). I started using my pressure cooker (I have this one ) because even though it holds about half the volume of my big stock pot, the broth is awesome after about 8 hours (it maxes out at 2 hours, but I just set it for another 2 hours immediately after its done, it has a warming feature so if I leave the house and don’t get to it for a few hours, I just set it back up when I get in). I usually make broth once per week, but I also only have about 1 cup per day typically.

i am surprised that you cook the broth for up to 8 hours. I have read many reviews as I am in the market for a pc and most all claim excellent results in less than an hour. Does it take your pc longer to cook the stock down because it operates at only 11 psi vs 15 in others. Thanks

Hi Sarah,
I am very sensitive to glutamates (or at least I am in MSG form..) and am wondering your thoughts on bone broth and the high concentration of glutamates present in it. I would love to try it but am crippled with migraines when exposed to glutamates.
Anything I can do to get the benefits without the reaction?

There is some controversy over whether the glutamic acid in broth or collagen products can be converted into free glutamates in the body or whether this is more likely to occur with broth versus a collage supplement. Unfortunately, I don’t think you know until you try.

Glycine inhibits excitatory effect of glutamic acid and glutamate and glutamic acid is present in any protein food in big amounts, but bone broth’s glycine/glutamic acid ratio is probably the highest among foods. If I were you, I would not hesitate to try it. In my opinion it may even be beneficial for your migraines but since I do not consider myself to have all the knowledge about it, I won’t suggest you to try it with a big amount all of a sudden, ThePaleoMom’s answer challenges my mind a bit. It may be good for people like you to read how it makes you feel, if you try, so you may leave it here in reply, I wonder also.

Can I reserve the carcass of a roasted chicken and make stock from those bones or are the benefits lost because it’s been roasted?

When is the best time to drink bone broth? I’ve been trying to drink a cup a day but have read in various places that it’s best before a meal. I have been drinking a cup around 8-9pm, so more so before bed. Any thoughts? Thanks!!

Thank you for reminding me about the essence of bone broth. When I was younger, and my grandma was still living she usually would make broths out of beef bones or chicken bones. But when she was gone, this practice also was out of our regular family recipes. Thank you for this post and sharing the benefits of bone broth. My kids will surely love to have bone broth for lunch or dinner.

I’m unsure why you want to crack large bones open?

I do beef and ham bones regularly. If they are not leftover from cooking, i.e. I bought them AS bones, I roast them prior to broth making (especially shank bones to get the marrow drippings out). And they take a good bit longer than a chicken or turkey carcass. But I’ve never broken them open, just added the vinegar and water and go.

I’m making my first bone broth using bones I bought frozen at Trader Joes. The label says “femur” bones. I just put them in the crock pot and filled it with water. So I didn’t crack them or add ACV. They’ve been in the crock 17 hours now.
It smells terrible, by the way…almost like rotten eggs. Is that normal? Will it be of any benefit since I didn’t crack them or add the ACV?
Thanks for any help!

There will still be benefit. The bad smell usually means that you should have skimmed the broth the first few hours. It probably won’t taste that great, but it will still have minerals and good proteins.

I just read about the benefits of bone broth but was concerned about the time for cooking – up to 40 hours. I am a work man and don’t have time to watch over a batch of bones for 40 hours. I thought to myself “What about a pressure cooker”. I am not much of a cook but to me that was a reasonable idea. How do you adjust cooking time for a pressure cooker? I suspect it will take much less. Are nutrients lost in pressure cooking?

Hi Sarah. I have been pouring through your website for about the past week or so. I have so many questions, so I will just post them on each topic as I think of them. I am doing the AIP with FODMAPs elimination as well. I started monday. It is quite frustrating to say the least, but I am powering through. I started a batch of bone broth this morning in my slow cooker. It is quite fatty. After I let it cool, should I skim the fat off? I tried some when I got home, and although it was quite tasty, it felt kind of like I was drinking fat! I know the fat is important, but I am thinking it should not be in the broth? I bought the bones from whole foods and although they are not conventional, I was told they are only a “level 1”. I am going to bed and leaving the broth on warm until I get up. It will have then been cooking for just under 24 hours. It seems ready now but I don’t want to put it so hot in the fridge. I saw you mentioned to someone else about skimming earlier on? I hope I didn’t mess it up. I was at work for most of the cooking process, which was why I decided to do it on the crock pot. I also hope I didn’t mess myself up by drinking the fatty broth! Yikes!!

I usually skim the fat off my broth, simply because I usually drink broth straight and don’t like it (if I’m going to use the broth to cook vegetables or make stews etc, I leave the fat on). If you don’t like it, just skim it.

Do you have an idea why I cannot tolerate broth?
I tried it several times, with beef and chicken, also completely without veggies and I get bad symptoms consuming it (also longer cooked meat like boiled fillet, while I can eat steak without problems). So far, I could not find an explanation for that… maybe proteins are altered in long cooking times?
I really miss soups in my diet!
Really looking forward to reading your book soon!

Broth is usually labeled as a high histamine food (even though I can’t find any scientific articles to support this)… have a look at my post on histamine intolerance and see if that fits your symptoms…

Thanks for your feedback!
Thanks for your feedback!
Yes I am histamine intolerant, one of the few things, I could get diagnosed by a doctor…
Now it would be interesting, if it is the cooking process and how to make it more tolerable.
I had that suspicion already for a while though.

Thanks a lot for that! just discovered your blog and i’m sure i’ll spend a lot of time reading and exploring healthy ideas.

I have an important question on bone broth. Hope it’s not addressed above but i just can’t read all comments now, apologies if so.

You talk about simmering for hours and days actually. Now, that can be very demanding and is certainly a huge electricity consumption/loss (I’m quite green in general). Is it possible/good idea to use a pressure cooker and, if so, how long would it have to cook? I mean ‘good idea’ – is it possible to extract all the good stuff out of the bones, that’s the most important?
I tried once (still new in this adventure) and cooked in the pressure cooker for about 1h. The broth became tasty and rich (fairly fat as well) and the links between the bones were falling apart, the bones themselves remained still hard though.
Would you have any views on that? i really want to make it work this way but also do something sensible and get the benefits out of it. Thanks!

To those who think it’s work to watch over bone broth, two words: slow cooker. We do lots of meals overnight in the slow cooker on low. Start the broth with veinegar the night before, add some veggies in the morning, remove the bones at dinnertime and enjoy. Very little trouble.

Hi Sarah, We are buying half a pig in February from a local farmer, and I’m wondering about the bones. For some reason I have in my head that pork bones are not as good as beef bones, yet I did make pea soup once with a ham bone. I don’t eat peas anymore. So, do you make bone broth from pork bones? If so, all of them or only certain ones? Which bones, in your opinion, make the best tasting broth? Thanks a bunch!

One of my new year’s resolutions is to make bone broth at least once a week! My mom used to make it but since moving out I’ve not made it for myself 🙁 I normally get bones from the farmer’s market – I think they think I’m mad, because I never want the expensive cuts just the leftovers – and let it sit in the slow cooker for 4-12 hours (obviously depending on whether I have it on high or low). I’ve been experimenting with traditional Chinese medicine herbs and things as well – bak kut teh is my favourite! Thanks for your scientific breakdown of it – it’s easy to find out why bone broth is good for us, but nobody really spells it out.

Hello PaleoMom,

I have lots of questions. New to Paleo. I have been a vegan bc my DO&MD said so to help with inflammatin bc was told meats r inflammatory. iI am acidic, I have systemic candidiasi & taking CandElims, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, leaky gut with mx food sensitivities, adrenal insufficiency with high cortisols, low thyroid, low sex hormones & supplementing with DHEA & progesterone.

I have been green juicing to heal my leaky gut , once done with that my muscle had wasted. I feel I need protein was eating beans, legumes, mung beans pasta that has protein & fiber & nuts & seeds for snacks. Carbs like sweet potato make me feel horrible! ;(
Now I feel horrible!! More fatigue & adrenals are flared & hurting!! ;( I sleep a lot & feel depressed & do not know which way to turn!

Will Paleo really help me?
Do I eat grass fed meat at every meal?
Will this diet heal my leaky gut, adrenal issues & hormone balance?
Should I continue with my candidiasis treatment?
Will Paleo diet help my candidiasis ?
I have mx food sensitivities like onion, basil, barley, gluten, eggs, carrots, yeast, peas, pinto beans, corn
Will this Paleo for leaky gut get rid of these? I was told to never consume the foods I am sensitive to bc it will start inflammatory response… Do you agree?

In regards to all of this stated above… Where do I start? Is there a particular Paleo diet I do? Do I still reframe from any & ALL sugars?!

What type of coconut oil do I use? Cold pressed unrefined?

I really need help & guidance! I am wanting to feel alive again!

I would really appreciate your help!
I have not been able to work since Sept 2013 bc of my poor health.
Thank you,

Sharon, struggling in Ohio

Yes, I believe a paleo diet will help you. You have autoimmune and immune diseases, so I would recommend reading up about the autoimmune protocol. You don’t need to go so strict at first (but if you’ve done juice fasts, you might be good and jumping in with both feet to a really strict diet). Yes, you can eat meat or fish at every meal. Because of your vegetarian history, I would definitely recommend taking digestive support supplements when you first start eating more meat (fish is easier to digest, so that might be a better place to start too). I’m not familiar with your candida treatment, but generally the paleo diet (and especially the autoimmune protocol) is really good at healing the gut and supporting the growth of a healthy diversity and number of gut bacteria (which is all to say, I think you can stop, but again, I’m not familiar with that treatment). Many people find food sensitivities go away with time on paleo (allergies are less likely to go away). You’ll also want to work on getting more sleep, managing stress, and getting mild to moderate intensity activity.

Some good books to recommend for you: Practical Paleo, Personal Paleo Code and my book The Paleo Approach.

Have you read Sarah’s book? It’s packed with information for people with your issues. She’s providing the tools but you need to do the work. I have multiple health issues too and I know it’s hard, but this is her blog and I’m afraid she’s going to quit answering ANY questions when I see this kind of thing. If you don’t have a local doctor to help (I don’t) educate yourself with Sarah’s book and then find a doctor or nutritionist who will work long distance with you.
I know you must be in a bad place right now, but you have to take responsibility as Sarah did, as we all do. Even if Sarah starts taking paying clients, she can only provide the information…(which she did in her book) then you have “to take up your spade”. Our bodies all are different so only you can know how yours is responding and keep “tweaking”.
It took along time to get sick, it will take a while to get better. Best of wishes.

hello PaleoMom

I have a question regarding the broth. I make mine with pasture raised beef bones and organic vegetable. I cook it slowly for 2 days then what should I do with the fat that emerge on the top. When in the past I did it with conventional bone, I was removing the fat with a separator but what about pasture raised bones? Can I drink it or is it too much fat to ingest.

Thank you


I love you and your podcasts. You keep me company while I cook! 😉

I went to Whole Foods today (in Mason, Ohio pop 30,000) and ordered the soup bones from pastured fed cow. I asked the butcher, “How many times a week do you get an order like mine?” He said less than 4 times per week! Am I a lunatic? Don’t answer that, just kidding around! 😉 I think you and I are ahead of the learning curve. Thanks for all you do. Many, many hugs!

I’ve been making bone broth, but would it be as beneficial to dissolve a pack of gelatin in cold water and drink it when in a pinch?

Homemade bone broth bothers me. I think it’s the glutamates. Will the high-quality packaged gelatin you recommend be a better choice or will I still react the same? Shorter cooking time perhaps?

I have made beef broth in the pressure cooker several times, it tastes lovely but it’s not jelling. My recipe is similar to yours nice mix of marrow bones, what do you think I’m doing wrong?

I have a question that isn’t answered (as far as I can see!) in Sarah’s brilliant new book. I have Limited Scleroderma, autoimmune disease characterised by overproduction of collagen. Will drinking bone broth cause greater accumulation of collagen? Thank you!

I actually don’t know the answer to your question. The problem isn’t having too many of the raw materials, but rather what your body is doing with them. I think that regulating the immune system is still key, but I don’t know whether drinking broth at first could cause a problem (I don’t think so, but I really don’t know).

[…] In addition, bone broth is essential in recovering from micronutrient deficiencies. Importantly, as the Paleo Mom explains, bone broth contains two important amino acids: glycine and proline. Your body can make these two […]

As a person who wants to heal her gut, support her aging skin, and prevent the reoccurrence of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, how can I reap the benefits of bone broth if my digestive system can’t tolerate it? Every time I make it, I get diarrhea. Do you know what I could be reacting to? I understand some people have high histamine, but the only symptoms that could be related to this condition is a rash I get around my eyes and mustache area. I also understand taking a gelatin supplement can also cause digestive problems. Do you think a collagen supplement is somehow easier on the system? If so, is there any particular brand you recommend or type of collagen (1,2 or 3) you’d recommend?

Kristin have you looked into whether or not it’s your liver having trouble processing the fat in the broth? I’m under the care of a naturopath experienced in gut healing and she has advised that I need to take dandelion tea during the day to allow my liver to excrete the bile I need to process the fat. Not sure if this is the answer for you but something worth considering. Good luck!

Hi! I’ve been looking for the answer to this question: how much bone broth should be consumed daily to help with healing the gut? Is there a recommended minimum amount? Is there a max?

Thank you! And thanks for this incredible site you provide us with!

Hi! Thsnks for your reply. I’ve been looking for something concrete or substantial. My doc wants me to drink at least a quart a day and says less won’t do much. I’m looking for a backup for that statement. If rather just drink that 1 cup!

You can certainly try that much and see how you do, or start with a smaller amount and work your way up. In my opinion, any bone broth is better than none! 🙂 – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

[…] First off, bone broth is high in collagen. Collagen is fantastic for your skin, hair, nails and joints. I’m sure you’ve seen all those fancy facial creams that contain collagen and make claims about how they’ll make you look 10 years younger and all that jazz, but the fact of the matter is that the collagen particles are too large to be absorbed by the skin. So don’t waste your money on facial creams and make bone broth (which is practically free) instead. I can personally attest to improvement in the texture and strength of my nails, hair and skin since I started incorporating bone broth into my diet on a semi regular basis. Additionally, Dr. Cate Shanahan, author of Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Foods, explains how collagen also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite because it helps support cell structure. Second, bone broth aids digestion and helps repair the intestinal lining because of its gelatin content (source)- gelatin is a derivative of collagen. With the amount of damage done to the gut lining by modern day “foods,” everyone could use a little (or a lot) of the gut healing effects of bone broth, especially those suffering from autoimmune diseases (like me!). It also contains bio available nutrients (meaning they are easy for our bodies to assimilate) such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and more (source) which are essential for bone (and overall) health. Lastly, bone broth is high in the amino acids proline and glycine which have several critical functions in the body including, but not limited to building connective tissue, synthesizing DNA and RNA,  production of glutathione (an important antioxidant), and aiding in digestion (source). […]

Hi! So, I have made my second batch of bone broth, and this might seem like a silly question, but after it cools in the fridge and the fat separates and solidifies at the top…should I break up that solidified fat and heat it to consume it with the broth? Or is that the scum I’m supposed to discard? Thank you!

If you used grass-fed or pastured bones, you can drink the fat in the broth or srape it off and use it for cooking. If you used conventional bones, most people throw the fat away. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Hello Sarah!
I have been listening to the podcast for a number of months now and it has been an excellent resource for me. I am a health care professional, so I have an understanding of the science, and yet it is hard to find much around without digging into the papers, which I don’t have time for right now. So THANK YOU for being awesome and doing that for us all!
I have been diagnosed with SLE (Lupus), and have been over the last few months working more diligently to heal my gut. I have been paleo for a few years, and that helped, but over the last year (thanks to an increase in stress largely) my symptoms have worsened. In digging further, I found your podcast, as well as Chris Kresser’s, and a few other excellent resources. I started introducing bone broth about 6 weeks ago. Over the last 3 weeks I have introduced coconut kefir and fermented veggies. I am working on my first batch of kombucha!
I have noticed that every time I eat the bone broth, I get quite a lot of rather smelly gas within a few hours. It took me a few weeks, and a break in between, to figure out it was the broth. In doing a bit of digging, it seems that a lot of people are adamant that you not cook your bone broth for more than 4 hours, due to the degradation of amino acids beyond this point. And that this degradation can often give sensitive tummies GAS and/or bloating. I have yet to try my first batch of bone broth at a shorter cooking time, however there seems to be a number of different sources that say this.
I am wondering if you have heard about this, or can confirm this is the case? Maybe a Science with Sarah segment!??! 🙂 Esp since Stacy loves her broth so much! I too have it as a breakfast soup – thanks for the idea!
Thanks so much for your help!

Unfortunately, here in Adelaide (Australia) I am hard pressed to find a doctor or rheumatologist that has any interest or knowledge in this area. I have travelled this road largely alone for the last few years, reading and learning from anywhere I can.
I have tried broth cooked for 5hrs (instead of 50) and so far so good. Just thought Sarah might know something about or be interested in the mechanism behind this. Thanks.

I have an autoimmune disease that specifically targets cartilage and connective tissue. It is called relapsing polychondritis. Many of us use the autoimmune protocol nutrition approach as an adjunct to the treatments we endure.

A fellow sufferer recently asked the question: is there a concern about an immune response to the collagen in bone broth for those of us who have an immune response to cartilage?

I’m curious if there is any science that can answer this question?

I just made my first batch of bone broth and I have a question: when you say to strain it after cooking, do you just strain it through a sieve or do you add cheese cloth or kitchen paper to the sieve to absorb some of the fat. I don’t like the taste of fat and the broth is a bit to fatty for my liking but I don’t want to lose the glycine etc. either.

[…] are several sites that talk about the health benefits of eating bone broth; here’s a great one. I found a crock-pot broth recipe from The Nourished Kitchen that was simple to prepare (took me 20 […]

My biggest issue (and thus my question) is that most of the sites I’ve read about bone broth say you have to drink it within a few days of making it. Is there anything that can be put into it to make it last longer? When I make it, I usually make it in a 6-quart pressure cooker, so I fill up about 4 1 pint jars (or 8 8-oz jars). I’ve ended up throwing out more than I drink, because I don’t get it drank “within a few days”.

If it helps to gauge the timeframe, my fridge is set to between 32 and 38, and the broth is gelled.

I tried putting it in ice cube trays. It stuck to the tray, so now I have bone broth cubes that I have to thaw out to get out of the tray. LOL I ended up freezing five of the 8 oz jars, and used three of them yesterday. I cooked a corned beef, and used the broth as part of the liquid in the slow cooker.

[…] The health benefits we find most convincing come from the collagen that is contained in bones and joints. The collagen in the bones becomes gelatin in your broth. The main amino acids in gelatin are glycine and proline, both of which are incredibly important to your health. Among other uses, glycine is important in healing wounds, building joints and building muscle and proline helps to clear plaque from arteries. The Paleo Mom goes into more detail here. […]

[…] There are no “magic” Paleo foods, but here’s why bone broth is so great: 1. It’s really high in Glycine and Proline.  Glycine and Proline are amino acids that are more things in our bodies that I could name here.  A few functions include (a) being the primary building blocks of cartilage, (b) being critical in the repair of cell damage, and (c) being necessary for synthesis of DNA and RNA.  If you want to know more, read The Paleo Mom’s excellent article. […]

[…] Broth is also helpful to have on hand when anyone in the family gets sick as it can be a soothing and immune boosting drink during illness, even if the person doesn’t feel like eating. Broth is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are vital for healthy connective tissue (ligaments, joints, around organs, etc). The Paleo Mom has a great explanation of the importance of these two amino acids: […]

[…] Without getting into the negatives of the “standard american” shelved broth, lets talk about the positives of homemade bone broth. Bone broth made from healthy animals contains many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, collagen, gelatin and amino acids such as glycine and proline. If you would like to know more about how glycine and proline interact with the body I would highly recommend visiting The Paleo Mom’s blog post titled “The Health Benefits of Bone Broth” […]

Hi! I’m really hoping you can give me some advice. I’ve been a vegan for 9.5 years (since I was 13!) but I’m giving it up to see if I can focus better in school-I’m a math major, and I’m not retaining information, it’s definitely not efficient. Unfortunately meat really grosses me out simply because of the texture, so I was looking into bone broth. How often do you think I should consume bone broth, and how much per serving? And do you possibly have any other tips?

[…] Paleomom har en god forklaring på hva glysin og prolin gjør i denne bloggposten. (Fritt oversatt): «Glysin er også viktig for syntese av DNA, RNA og proteiner i kroppen og gjør den dermed ekstremt viktig for god og riktig fordøyelse, sårheling og riktige nervefunksjoner. Glysin hjelper fordøyelsen ved å regulere syntesen av gallesalt og sekresjon av magesyre (kommentar av meg: Vi trenger faktisk mer magesyre, ikke mindre! Sure oppstøt eller dårlig forøyelse av mat tyder på at du har for lite magesyre). Det hjelper på både avgiftning i kroppen og er nødvendig for produksjon av glutathione, en viktig anitoksidant. Glysin kan også hjelpe til med å regulere blodsukkernivået og forbedre muskelvekst og muskelreparasjonsevne i hele kroppen. Dette skjer fordi nivåene av kreatin økes og regulerer vekst hormon utskillelsen fra hypofysen. I hjernen blir glysin omgjort til neurotransmitteren serin som gir økt mental klarhet, økt minnefunksjon, bedre humør og reduserer stress. Prolin har også en viktig rolle ved at det kan redusere oppbygging av kolesterol i blodårene og kan dermed hindre blodpropp i blodårer og hjerte. Proline hjelper også kroppen med å bryte ned proteiner som brukes til å lage nye, sunne muskelceller.» […]

[…] What are the benefits of bone broth? When you simmer the bones, you release a lot of nutrition into the broth, including: marrow, collagen, gelatin, glycine, proline, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. There’s a reason many of these items are sold in supplement bottles in the health food store. They’re building blocks for your body, and they’re especially beneficial for reducing inflammation and helping our bodies heal. For details, check out this post from Marks Daily Apple and this one from The Paleo Mom. […]

Hey Sarah,

Thanks for sharing this info. It’s something that I’ve been wondering about. I always tell people that broths are super healthy but I didn’t actually know why…

Broth is also awesome because it is super cheap! It is one of the things that is helping my friend run an ultramarathon in South Africa on a food budget of about ZAR30 (about $3) per day!

I’ll be sure to share this info with him and if you would ever like to hear more about the LCHF scene in South Africa please feel welcome to ask me any questions you might have.


please clarify: do you mean stock? (bones and possible aromatics) broth? (meat and/or veggies) or a combination of the two? (lately come to be called “bone broth” by that NYC restaurant popularizing it.) you say bone broth but you describe stock. I wish whoever came up with this term had called it “stock with meant and veg” because it must logically have the nutritional benefits of stock which broth does not. too confusing.

Hi there,

I’ve been making homemade bone broth with grass-fed beef and chicken bones in a stainless steel stovetop pressure cooker, which results in gelatinous broth in just a few hours. I have also made broth the traditional way on the stove in a stock pot for about 6 hours. I skim the fat off the broth, but I don’t strain it so that I can eat the marrow. However, no matter how I prepare it, I get sick every time I drink it. I have massive food intolerance that bloomed exponentially several years ago, and over the years, I have eliminated more and more food and am now down to just plain meat, poultry, non-shellfish fish and a few safe non-FODMAP vegetables. I have read about glutamate and histamine issues with bone broth. Is bone broth not okay for very food intolerant people? Are you aware of scenarios that would make bone broth not a good idea? For example, there is a lot of literature exhorting people to eat fermented foods, but if you have food sensitivities, fermented food is a nightmare.

Thanks in advance for more information on bone broth and food intolerance/hypersensitivity.


[…] organic sources, and only use bones from pasture-raised animals. You can read more about bone broth HERE. If you want to get really crazy, switch it out with your morning coffee! Vibrant Life Army Wife […]

tied making bone broth.. even scooping out the fat it raised my blood sugar way too high. it was the fat in it. anyone have a suggestion?

Your article is very well written. However, I have not found ANY scientific studies about bone broth benefits. Is it possible that none exist? Can you point us to any study done in the past 5 years? Furthermore, there are so many variants of the recipe, it is hard to imagine that my recipe will bring the same benefits as your,.. 🙂

Hi There!
I’ve made bone broth from grass-fed beef bones and have purchased gelatin, both give me a terrible upset stomach and gas for days. Any suggestions?

Hi there
I was wondering, is there any guideline on how
much bone you should drink? I have been trying to heal my gut and how found that I need to drink a lot of bone broth to notice the healing benifits(like 6-7cups a day). Any help would be appreciated

[…] I originally started looking into making bone broth as I was following my friend and nutritionist Tracey’s journey @wholedailylife. “The Wellness Mama” writes about it here and provides detailed instructions for making it. Last week I mentioned that bone broth contains glycine and proline, two amino acids that have special health benefits. Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD (or The Paleo Mom) says this (full post here): […]

Please assure me that glycine will inhabit, not inhibit, my immune system to – reduce activation of inflammatory cells in my body.

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