Bone broth is a popular natural health product that is made by boiling animal bones, and vegetables in water.8 The most common bone broths are beef, chicken, turkey, and pork.
In recent years, recipes for ‘healing bone broth’ have become increasingly popular and are used as a natural treatment for various ailments. With a number of new diets appearing in the last decade, adaptations such as paleo bone broth and organic bone broth have become increasingly common. Using grass-fed bone broth may also be an option for health-conscious readers.
For a modern take on a traditional food, one of the latest trends is to switch the meat source to create varieties such as oxtail bone broth or bone marrow broth, which is said to be even tastier.
Chicken Bone Broth
Today, one of the most common types of bone broth is chicken. This may be due to one of the well-documented benefits of chicken bone broth, which is its high protein content.
In a 1998 study that compared chicken, pork, beef, and other bones, researchers found that chicken bones had a noticeable advantage regarding protein content.1
For example, chicken bones were recorded at 128.8 points of protein, with pork coming in just below at 124 and beef bones measuring at 79.7 points.1
As one might expect, the high protein rates in chicken bones create a higher protein bone broth. In the USDA Branded Food Products Database, chicken bone broth is listed as having 5.49 g of protein per 100 ml serving, while beef and turkey measure at 2.5 g and 3.75 g per 100 ml.2,3,4
Beef Bone Broth
Beef bone broth is another popular broth which can be consumed on its own or used in beef bone marrow soup.
Interestingly, one of the benefits of beef bone broth that was noted in the same 1998 study, was its superior collagen levels when compared to chicken and pork.1
Beef bones measured 31.8 points for collagen markers, while chicken bones came in at 24.8 points and pork bones were recorded at 22.8.1
Turkey and Pork Bone Broth
Turkey and pork bone broth are less common types of broths that may be used to cook with or as a therapeutic health supplement.
One benefit of turkey bone broth is that it can be used to increase protein in your diet. One brand of turkey bone broth offers 3.75 grams of protein per 100 ml serving, and it can easily be consumed on its own or added to other foods.3
Pork bone broth is another variety of broth. Some people choose to use pork bones for making therapeutic bone broth and often leave the bones in because they’re rich in protein and calcium.5
For those still wondering, ‘what is bone broth good for, other than making soup?’ the following section describes the difference between bone broth and stock.
Bone Broth vs Stock
The difference between bone broth and stock may be difficult to recognize at first, but there are important distinctions.
Bone broth is broth made from vegetables and animal bones and is simmered for long periods of time to bring out nutrients, such as gelatin.6 People often consume bone broth as a therapeutic health product, whereas stock has a much different purpose.
Stock is created when vegetables and bones are simmered for a period of a few hours. It’s not normally intended as a health product, but is often used as the base for soups.
Bone Broth Benefits
Popular bone broth benefits include:
1. Assisting Bone Health
2. Increase Collagen
3. Joint Support
4. Weight Loss
Today, many people are choosing to use bone broth as a health supplement because of its healing and collagen-promoting properties.
One of the most discussed health benefits of bone broth is its ability to enhance bone health. Researchers in a 2011 study observed that when animal subjects were fed a regular diet of bone broth, fractured bones healed more effectively than control groups.8
It’s also possible that bone broth may contribute to skin health. Bone broth skin benefits may be linked to the collagen found in the broth.7 Increased levels of collagen have been shown to improve skin elasticity, a factor in skin aging.9
Individuals with joint pain may also use bone broth for its health benefits. Some believe marrow broth may improve joint pain because of its collagen content. Increased levels of collagen have also been shown to lessen joint pain in athletes, according to a 2008 study.10 Consuming bone broth in addition to taking a joint supplement may be a natural approach to managing joint pain.
In searching for other health benefits of bone broth, weight loss stands out as well. While studies on the bone broth diet are ongoing, many people have reported losing weight by consuming bone marrow soup or even doing a bone broth fast.
Bone Broth for Babies
When deciding whether to feed homemade bone broth to their babies, parents should exercise caution. Babies under the age of six months should not be fed bone broth, and parents should consult a healthcare professional before feeding marrow bone broth to infants aged one or under.11
Bone Broth Protein
While real bone broth is an excellent source of protein, bone broth supplement products often contain even more protein. For comparison, one bone broth collagen and protein supplement contains 13 g of protein per 50 g of supplement, while bone broth protein content is approximately 2-5 g of protein per 100 g of broth.2,3,4
Bone Broth Nutrition
While various kinds of bone broth have different nutritional content, looking at beef broth nutrition facts is a good way to get an idea of what’s in a serving of bone broth.
Commercial brands of beef bone broth may contain approximately 240 mg of sodium, 2 g of carbohydrates, and 6 g of protein per 1 cup serving.
Servings may also contain 2-4% of the daily recommended serving of calcium and iron. Per serving, bone broth calories are approximately 30 kcal.
For those wondering ‘How much bone broth should I drink?’ start with one cup a day and increase the amount if desired.
How to Use Bone Broth
After reading about the reported benefits of bone broth, some people may wonder, “What is bone broth good for?” The most common uses for bone broth include:
1. Consuming bone broth by itself
2. Using it as a bone soup base
3. Making gravy from bone broth
4. Using it as flavoring in sauces
For those who can’t help wondering, “Why drink bone broth alone?” Try using bone broth as a base for bone broth soup, or as an ingredient in your next meal. If you prefer homemade to store-bought, be sure to read our article on how to make bone broth.
Where to Buy Bone Broth
Those who don’t wish to make bone broth from scratch may be wondering, “Where can you buy bone broth?”
At health food stores such as Whole Foods, bone broth may be available in limited varieties. For those who don’t live close to health-conscious grocers, or wish to try a more unique variety of bone broth, buying bone broth online from reputable sellers is an easy and convenient option. Online, bone broth can usually be purchased for a reasonable price and is delivered right to your front door.
Anyone who intends to make their own broth needs to know where to buy bones for bone broth recipes. They can easily be found at local health stores, or can be ordered online.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Aerssens, J., Boonen, S., Lowet, G. & Dequeker, J. (1998). Interspecies Differences in Bone Composition, Density, and Quality: Potential Implications for in Vivo Bone Research. Endocrinology, 139(2), 663-670. doi:10.1210/en.139.2.663
- United States Department of Agriculture. (2016, November 9). BEEF BONE BROTH, SLOWLY SIMMERED GRASS-FED BEEF BONES, WITH GARDEN VEGETABLES. Retrieved September 12, 2017, from – View Reference
- United States Department of Agriculture. (2017, June 25). PACIFIC, ORGANIC BONE BROTH, TURKEY. Retrieved September 12, 2017, from – View Reference
- United States Department of Agriculture. (2016, December 15). BARE BONES, BONE BROTH, CHICKEN. Retrieved September 12, 2017, from – View Reference
- Rosen, H. N., Salemme, H., Zeind, A. J., Moses, A. C., Shapiro, A., & Greenspan, S. L. (1994). Chicken soup revisited: Calcium content of soup increases with duration of cooking [Abstract]. Calcified Tissue International, 54(6), 486-488. doi:10.1007/bf00334329
- The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2017, March 07). Gelatin. Retrieved September 12, 2017, from – View Reference
- Cardile, V. (2012). Gelatin tannate reduces the proinflammatory effects of lipopolysaccharide in human intestinal epithelial cells. Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology, 5, 61-67. doi:10.2147/ceg.s28792
- Aljumaily, M. A. (2011). The Effect of Concentrated Bone Broth as a Dietary Supplementation on Bone Healing in Rabbits. Annals of the College of Medicine, 37(1&2), 42-47. Retrieved September 12, 2017, from http://medicinemosul.uomosul.edu.iq/files/pages/page_1988246.pdf#page=48
- Proksch, E., Segger, D., Degwert, J., Schunck, M., Zague, V., & Oesser, S. (2014). Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study [Abstract]. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 27(1), 47-55. doi:10.1159/000351376
- Clark, K., Sebastianelli, W., Flechsenhar, K., Aukermann, D., Meza, F., Millard, R., . . . Albert, A. (2008). 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. [Abstract]. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 24(5), 1485-1496. doi:10.1185/030079908X291967
- Government of Canada. (2014, April 08). Infant nutrition. Retrieved September 12, 2017, from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/infant-care/infant-nutrition.html?_ga=1.12292980.1595174118.1415389343