Bone broth has been quite trendy in the alternative medicine circles. If you listen to the “experts,” you may come to the conclusion that it can heal everything from depression to diphtheria. But I am going to say it, the benefits are overstated.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there are some great things going on with bone broth. It is cheap and easy to incorporate into your eating plan. However, it isn’t the miracle superfood that Dr. Kellyanne or Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride tout.
Let’s examine the diets and analyze the factors that may be working or not working.
Dr. Kellyann Petrucci’s Bone Broth Diet
Dr. Kellyann has a whole line of supplements and foods surrounding the idea that bone broth will heal just about anything. Her diet focuses in on having 1-2 cups of bone broth per day. She also recommends intermittent fasting two times per week.
She claims that you will heal within 21 days on this diet. Her claims center around the idea that cells have a 21-day life cycle and you’ll have a whole new gut lining in 21 days. Therefore, you should be healed of your autoimmune conditions or at least see some improvement in three weeks.
I did her bone broth experiment for 21 days and can’t say that my psoriasis was much better at all. It was still there. I neglected to do her intermittent fasting though. I’m not a fan of that, but I did omit common allergens from my diet like wheat, dairy, sugar, nuts and nightshades.
The GAPS Diet and Bone Broth
The GAPS diet is the brain child of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. She claims to have healed her son from autism with it. It centers around the principles of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and incorporates a ton of bone broth.
One of the reasons that she utilizes so much bone broth is that it is unlikely to trigger many autoimmune reactions. It is an animal product and water essentially.
The problem that I find with the GAPS diet is the recommended amount of time required to be on it. She recommends 2 years to heal from a condition. While many people see results within a few weeks or months, that wasn’t the case with me.
It is highly discouraging to be making bone broth and eliminating your favorite foods and not see any improvement in your autoimmune condition. Even worse, when I tried doing the extreme introductory diet, I actually had a seizure. I believe that any extreme diet will trigger a seizure for me now. I have tested it out and that seems to be the case.
The GAPS diet is suppose to heal people from seizures and neurological issues, but I think the stress of quick detoxification that comes with the introductory diet for me is just a seizure trigger that I need to avoid.
Why does her diet work?
Her diet is a long term elimination diet. If you can stick with it for 2 years, you are likely to see improvement. You will eliminate all the common toxins in the beginning and gradually add back in foods and test which ones are okay for you.
Eliminating toxins and beginning to eat nutrient-dense foods will help any body function properly.
Bone broth is the base of the diet because it is considered a “safe” food. It also has a lot of collagen in it, which is supposed to promote healing.
What is Bone Broth Missing?
Bone broth does contain protein and collagen. However, it doesn’t have the wealth of vitamins that organ meat, such as beef liver has. You won’t get a lot of vitamin E, K, D, A and B from bone broth. These fat soluble vitamins are the foundation of our health. They are essential nutrients for every body.
The carnivore dieters will emphasize that there are more nutrients in the organ meats. They downplay the importance of collagen and don’t seem to think that bone broth is all that important unless you like it.
Many carnivore dieters do not include bone broth in their diets and have seen their chronic conditions improve with only meat.
What is in Bone Broth?
Bone broth contains essential amino acids such as arginine, glutamine and cystine. These have shown to boost immunity and reduce inflammation. L-gultamine has been known to specifically reduce gut inflammation, which is why it is so important to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet.
Bone broth does contain some bone-forming minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, and iron. Consistently drinking bone broth can strengthen your bones and teeth.
Bone broth can help to hydrate your body. It is mostly water, but it also has electrolytes (minerals) and carbohydrates. It has been shown that liquids with electrolytes can rehydrate your body better than water alone.
Bone broth is a great addition to your diet, but don’t expect too much from it. The majority of your healing will come from eliminating unhealthy processed foods and incorporating nutrient dense foods, such as organ meats.
As the weather gets cooler, bone broth rich soups are great for preventing colds or helping you heal quickly from them. However, I wouldn’t expect it to heal a long term illness within a few weeks.
Sometimes when we expect too much from a “superfood” it is easy to get discouraged and completely negate everything that we have heard about it.
It should be noted that if you are eating bone broth and still consuming toxic foods, it is likely that you won’t notice any improvement in your health. Half the reason that these diets work is due to other factors like intermittent fasting and eliminating problematic foods.