Lifestyle & Supplements

Bone Broth

Written by Dr. Andrew Neville

Over the past 100 years, we’ve lost some of our ancestors’ wisdom in favor of quick fixes and fast food, and it is to the detriment of us all. Bone broth, stock, or collagen supplementation has been used for healing, virility, and building strong bones and muscles for centuries in traditional cultures. It’s so simple, yet profoundly healthy.

Bone broth is a translucent liquid derived from boiling and then simmering bones and meat scraps of various animals for an extended period of time, normally for a minimum of 18 to 24 hours. Vegetables and herbs can be thrown into the mix as well. This slow process extracts amino acids, vitamins, and minerals from the bones and meat into the water, creating an infusion far superior to vegetable stock or bouillon cubes.

Regular, consistent consumption of bone broth is the simplest, cheapest, yet most effective way to heal the gut over time.

Once the stock or bone broth is complete, you can use it as a base for soups and stews, drink it by itself, make bone broth tea, or use it in place of water for some recipes. Ideally, we recommend switching between two or three different bone broths, instead of consuming the same type all the time. Bone broth can be made from any animal: beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, or even fish.

What does it do for me?

Bone broth supports the health of the hair, skin, nails, teeth, bones, muscles, cartilage, and joints. As if that alone is not enough, it also supports the gut and promotes the health of the stomach lining. This is important in adrenal patients, as the wear and tear over time has compromised this thin yet tough lining of the stomach.

In a healthy gut, the stomach lining is strong and tightly sealed. Irritation does not occur, and there is no inflammation, defect, or opening in the lining. As stress persists or increases and healing and repair is suppressed, our stomach lining begins to show signs of wear. This can manifest as leaky gut, IBS, nausea, stomach discomfort, and food allergies.

To make this clearer, the thin mucin layer acts like Teflon in the body, protecting delicate multifunctional mucosal cells. These glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) are composed partially of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates, as well as glutamine and collagen, which can be purchased in expensive supplements.

Specific to stress related disorders and those with Adrenal Fatigue, the protective mucin lining is damaged by the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. This is the connection between stress and ulcers and gastritis. It’s fairly safe to assume just about every person with Adrenal Fatigue is going to have some damage to their mucosal lining.

How do I use bone broth?

I encourage every one of my patients to increase the consumption of bone broth in their diet. Regular, consistent consumption of bone broth is the simplest, cheapest, yet most effective way to heal the gut over time.

While homemade bone broth is far superior than what you can find in a store, I know many of you do not have the energy to take on making it yourself. If you can find a high quality, organic bone broth at your local store or farmer’s market, then by all means, use it. Organic bone broth may be pricey, but I encourage the purchase of only the best of what’s affordable. Quality makes a difference.

In order of quality, the best way to consume bone broth is homemade from organic protein and bone source. Second best would be locally purchased, fresh, organic broth that is provided by some farms. Third in line would be a high-quality, store-bought organic broth.

Finally, a good quality collagen supplement can be used in addition. Most of my patients will use a mixture of all of these sources.

What is Collagen Hydrolysate?

Collagen Hydrolysate, or a gelatin supplement, can be used as a replacement for bone broth. This is a viable alternative and is commonly used in conjunction with bone broth on days where you simply can’t bear another cup of broth!

Collagen Hydrolysate is a water-soluble form of gelatin protein in the form of amino acids. Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. This product is higher in a handful of certain amino acids commonly deficient in our diets today. These amino acids are the building blocks of all tissue and are needed when the body is ready to repair. They are the lumber, steel, nails, and screws that are needed to build or repair a body.

What does collagen do?

All connective tissue—bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, skin, muscles, arteries, veins, and even our cells—are made up of these amino acids. Also, these are the precursors to making chemical messengers in the body. Chemicals, like neurotransmitters and hormones, and immune chemicals, like interleukins and cytokines, are all made up of this raw material. This raw material will be used to heal your body when the need arises.

What to expect?

Don’t expect anything magical from this product. Over time, it assists in healing. As your body repairs, you will become stronger, have less pain, less bruising and varicosity in veins, healthy skin, and a healthier gut. It’s no quick fix, but it is a long-term solution for health.