After looking through recipes for bone broth stock / soup I noticed that it is often claimed that adding apple cider vinegar to the mixture helps extract nutirents / minerals from the bones.

Below is an example of one such claim but there are many others.

Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the cold water to help draw the nutrients from the bones.


Is there any basis to this claim either theoretical or empirical (e.g. tested) or is it just something somebody made up and it just got shared around.

  • When I have calcium carbonate deposits in utensils or pipes from hard water, vinegar gets rid of it by dissolving the calcium carbonate. It seems logical that calcium in bones can also be dissolved that way. Are you asking whether apple cider vinegar is somehow best for this, or would any acid (lemon juice?) also do? – GEdgar Jul 23 '16 at 14:13
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    @GEdgar im asking if there is any real evidence that an acid makes any difference to the amount of any nutrients extracted. Sayings its logical is not evidence. Ideally somebody would have done a number of pots with and without the vinegar then measured the nutrients in the water and compared to see if there was any difference that can be attributed to the vinegar. – user1605665 Jul 24 '16 at 12:07
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    My comment (note: not answer) responds to the "theoretical" part of your question. – GEdgar Jul 24 '16 at 12:11
  • @GEdgar That is a relevant point, saying that it should be as an answer. The comments are really there to clarify the question. It would be the best answer i got so far even though its not the final one i'm after. If a better one comes along yours will just be ranked lower – user1605665 Jul 24 '16 at 23:14
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    FYI I tried to do some research on the basic nutritional composition of homemade beef broth and came up short. Without standardized lab analysis its pretty infeasible to measure the kinds of micro-nutrient you're looking for at home. Also, to be blunt, the Paleo community is generally kind of vague on exactly what "nutrients" mean, or how to measure them. – Graham Jul 26 '16 at 16:26

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