A friend encouraged me to read Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World (2014) by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel. She (my friend) said that over the last year, since she started making bone broth at home, and taking bone broth supplements, she no longer needs to take her allergy medicine (Claritin), among other health improvements she attributes to bone broth.
Sample Websites with Health Claims about Bone Broth Products
WARNING: Autoplay videos, pop-up ads
Some of the benefits of such broth are:
- quick recovery from illness and surgery
- the healing of pain and inflammation
- increased energy from better digestion
- lessening of allergies
- recovery from Crohn's disease
- a lessening of eating disorders because the fully balanced nutritional program >lessens the cravings which make most diets fail.
I have found bone broth to be the No. 1 thing you can consume to:
Treat leaky gut syndrome [see the DrAxe.com website for his definition of this alleged syndrome]
Overcome food intolerances and allergies
Improve joint health
Boost immune system
My Search for Scientific Evidence
I searched PubMed (U.S. National Library of Medicine) for research articles about bone broth, using seven different query configurations. (I saved them on a spreadsheet if you are interested. I do not know the best way to make that spreadsheet available here.)
I found one article (when I did a PubMed basic search for "bone broth") that directly addresses the health benefits (or detriments) of bone broth:
Monro, J. A., Leon, R., & Puri, B. K. (2013). The risk of lead contamination in bone broth diets. Medical Hypotheses, 80(4), 389–390. PMID:23375414 doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2012.12.026
The preparation and consumption of bone broth is being increasingly recommended to patients, for example as part of the gut and psychology syndrome (GAPS) diet for autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression and schizophrenia, and as part of the paleolithic diet. However, bones are known to sequester the heavy metal lead, contamination with which is widespread throughout the modern environment. Such sequestered lead can then be mobilised from the bones. We therefore hypothesised that bone broth might carry a risk of being contaminated with lead. A small, blinded, controlled study of lead concentrations in three different types of organic chicken broth showed that such broths do indeed contain several times the lead concentration of the water with which the broth is made. In particular, broth made from skin and cartilage taken off the bone once the chicken had been cooked with the bones in situ, and chicken-bone broth, were both found to have markedly high lead concentrations, of 9.5 and 7.01 μg L(-1), respectively (compared with a control value for tap water treated in the same way of 0.89 μg L(-1)). In view of the dangers of lead consumption to the human body, we recommend that doctors and nutritionists take the risk of lead contamination into consideration when advising patients about bone broth diets.
I searched Google Scholar for "bone broth" (with the quotes). There are some articles analyzing nutritional content of beef broth, e.g., minerals, fats, protein, etc., but they are all in Korean journals - there are English abstracts, but the articles are in Korean. None of them seemed to address purported health benefits such as those advertised in the United States. They were in food science journals.
Thank you. - Mark
EDIT (22 Jun 2018): It appears there is not a lot of scientific research on this question yet. Please see the (very helpful) comments below.