October 17, 2022


Minute read

Bone Broth: Is It Another Wellness Guru-Driven Fad, or Does it Live Up To The Gut-Healing Hype?

Have you tried sipping a warm, comforting cup of bone broth? If you’re at all plugged into the “wellness” scene, you are probably aware that bone broth is making quite the grand entrance into the health beverage world. 

But who on earth would have thought drinking bone broth would be so popular? And is it actually as healthy as everyone (from wellness gurus to celebrities) is saying?

While all those influencers may be making like bone broth is something new, it is actually something that has been enjoyed since prehistoric days. 

It makes sense if you think about it. When sources of nourishment were scarce, nose-to-tail, waste-nothing eating was essential. It allowed families to stretch their catch or kill the furthest.

And broth was one of the easiest ways to do that stretching. The skin, bones, cartilage, and fatty parts (rich in gelatin, collagen, electrolytes, minerals, amino acids, and fats), were easily used to make nourishing soup. 

A Long Tradition of Bone Broth Health 

From that simple, utilitarian beginning, bone broth has remained a staple of diets around the world. And for good reason. Simply simmer some bones for 24-48 hours, and, voilà, you have a preservative-free cup of nourishment. 

It’s quite possibly one of my favorite ways to start the day (after a few cups of water that is!). 

But beyond just being warm and nourishing, did you know that bone broth also offers its drinkers a whole host of amazing benefits?

It turns out that all those gurus and celebrities are right on this one. So pour yourself a warm cup of broth, and we’ll go through some of my favorite benefits! 

It Optimizes Your Digestion 

Gut health is the buzzword of the year. The health of our guts is one of the key measures to our metabolic health and our entire body’s ability to function. 

Bone broth can play a critical role in improving your gut health. It is packed with glycine, the simplest form of amino acid. It is a key ingredient to building connective tissue in our gut and serves as a netting, reinforcing the gut lining. You can think of a non-reinforced gut-lining like a sieve – leaking out essential nutrients, so improved gut lining equals less leakage and better digestion.

Additionally, glycine functions as an anti-inflammatory and modulates the immune system by working with macrophages (inflammatory cells) to inhibit free radicals and cytokine formation. 

Under normal circumstances, when we have sufficient levels of serine and choline, we should be able to synthesize adequate levels of glycine. But with our modern diets and food culture, many people struggle with low levels of glycine production. In this case, bone broth may be a helpful supplement while you work on your food relationship!

It Helps Keep Joints and Bones Happy and Healthy  

You may have also heard your favorite athlete or wellness guru raving about how bone broth has been transformational for their joints. They may be on to something.

Bone broth contains all sorts of elements that research has shown to have a positive impact on joint pain and inflammation. Each time you take a sip of bone broth, you’re taking in collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid — all of which have been shown to help manage arthritis and reduce inflammation and joint pain. 

Glucosamine is most commonly found in our bones and the exoskeleton of shellfish. The research is a bit on the fishy side as to whether it does anything on its own, but when combined with chondroitin, there are some significant effects worth noting. 

Chondroitin is found in cartilage. Consuming it helps your cartilage to stay a bit more elastic by drawing more water to the tissue. Combining chondroitin with glucosamine can stimulate cartilage production in joints – important if you move your body at all! There is tons of positive research suggesting this combination can stop the process of cartilage breakdown that causes joint pain.

In addition, bone broth has a very similar amino acid profile to collagen. It follows, therefore, that bone broth will share many health benefits with it.

And because of this, taking collagen has been shown to improve joint pain in athletes both during exercise and at rest — and you can get an effective amount of it in one cup of bone broth per day! 

When combined with vitamin C, it’s also been shown to assist in tendon repair and injury prevention – for all you self-proclaimed athletes, it’s worth a shot, dare I say.

As always, if you suspect you are struggling with joint pain, digestion or gut issues, – or any other health-related issue, you should bring them to your wellness practitioner’s attention to figure out a protocol that works best for you! This information is, of course, not intended to be a substitute for that – but may be a helpful bit of insight to bring to your next visit!  I also will say, if you’re having a rough time swapping out morning coffee for tea, this is a much more flavorful, and in my opinion, comforting alternative. 

Joining the Bone Broth Fan Club

I am happy to report that bone broth is one of the few wellness fads that seems to live up to its hype. It provides a cost-effective and more bio-available (fancy word for absorbable) source of critical nutrients that can demonstrably help with both gut and bone health, so there’s not too much to lose! And it’s a whole lot more fun and nourishing-feeling than taking a bunch of less-than-bioavailable supplements. 

Seriously, can you think of anything better than that? 

If you’re ready to swap our your morning java for bone broth (your gut and adenosine receptors will thank you!) but don’t want to haul out the stockpot, you can check out some of our favorite broths, including Beauty and the Broth (excellent because of its concentration and shelf-stability) and Brodo (best for an on-the-road snack). 


Araujo, Laura. “The Psychoactive Drug Our World Runs On.” Themapsinstitute.com, 16 Sept. 2020, themapsinstitute.com/the-psychoactive-drug-our-world-runs-on/. Accessed 17 Oct. 2022.

Black, C., et al. The Clinical Effectiveness of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Supplements in Slowing or Arresting Progression of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Systematic Review and Economic EvaluationWww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, NIHR Journals Library, 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56877/. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

Bruyere, Olivier, and Jean-Yves Reginster. “Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate as Therapeutic Agents for Knee and Hip Osteoarthritis.” Drugs & Aging, vol. 24, no. 7, 2007, pp. 573–580, 10.2165/00002512-200724070-00005. Accessed 27 May 2019.

Clark, Kristine L., et al. “24-Week Study on the Use of Collagen Hydrolysate as a Dietary Supplement in Athletes with Activity-Related Joint Pain.” Current Medical Research and Opinion, vol. 24, no. 5, 15 Apr. 2008, pp. 1485–1496, 10.1185/030079908×291967.

Shaw, Gregory, et al. “Vitamin C–Enriched Gelatin Supplementation before Intermittent Activity Augments Collagen Synthesis.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 105, no. 1, 16 Nov. 2016, pp. 136–143, academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/105/1/136/4569849, 10.3945/ajcn.116.138594.

W, Wang, et al. “Glycine Metabolism in Animals and Humans: Implications for Nutrition and Health.” Amino Acids, 1 Sept. 2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23615880/.‌

About the Author: Laura Araujo

Passionate about accessible education and evidence-based wellness, Laura founded The MAPS Institute, an educational wellness editorial and platform. Aside from her passion for research and educating, Laura is a classically trained vocalist, sound therapist, and a practitioner and teacher of Ashtanga and Restorative Yoga. She is the creator of the MAPS (Mindfulness, Activation, Purpose, and Surrender) philosophy and is in continual pursuit of helping her students and herself find balance amid the chaos around and within them. When not sifting through Nature Magazine, complaining about their paywalls, she enjoys trying new wine varietals, experimenting in the kitchen, riding her bicycle (sometimes cross-country), and spending time with her husband Charlie, cockapoo Miles, and expected baby girl, Ella.  Click here to follow the MAPS Institute on social media.



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