Gelatin and Bone Broths (About)

Marrow Bones

Marrow Bones

By Cat, May 2009 (Photo, right, cropped from Wikimedia Commons)

Traditional peoples prize bone broths as a rich source of gelatin and minerals. I make all my own bone broths/stocks for my recipes, including Beef, Chicken, and Fish broth/stock, then freeze them, some in jars, and some as ice cubes (for recipes that only need 1/4 cup or less). I source the bones from local farmers/ranchers, or from wild-caught fish.

It is my belief that it is far healthier to consume gelatin in the form of a natural broth, than isolated in a powder. In fact, the process to isolate and dry the powder produces MSG from the glutamic acid in the protein, and many people (including me) have food sensitivity to MSG. However, it is very important to know the source of the animal before using its bones. The animal should be Organic/grass-fed/pasture raised/wild caught – know your farmer/rancher/fisherman. If buying commercial bone broths, opt for Organic; otherwise the animals likely came from CAFOs (Confinement Animal Feeding Operations). CAFO animal products including bone broth are contaminated with toxins and should be avoided. (8)

While gelatin is rich in protein comprised of many essential amino acids, its protein is not easily digested. Cooking a bone broth, however gets around these issues, providing a rich source of partially-digested protein and amino acids, without the MSG.

NOTE: collagen is present in the raw bones; it becomes gelatin when it is cooked, as in a bone broth.

“Broth is Beautiful”

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock

(Photo, left, from Daily Unadventures blog (5).

Here are a few health benefits of gelatin in bone broth.  See also Why Broth is Beautiful–“Essential” Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin on the Weston A. Price Foundation website (1):

  • Improves digestion and the health of the digestive tract;
  • Alleviates food allergies, perhaps by its positive action on the digestive tract;
  • Is rich in mineral salts, providing essential trace minerals;
  • Contains amino acids essential for the formation of collagen: proline, hydroxyproline, glycine, lysine and hydroxylysine. Collagen strengthens hair, skin, and joint connective tissues, and is especially important for those with arthritis;
  • Glycine must be present in order for the liver to efficiently remove toxins from our systems; and lysine helps our bodies to absorb calcium and develop muscle protein (2,3,4);
  • Increases the utilization of the protein in wheat, oats, and barley, though not of corn.
  • The digestibility of beans is vastly improved with the addition of gelatin; and gelatin helps the digestion of meat protein;
  • Can improve the digestion of milk and milk products;
  • Infants fed gelatin-enriched formulas showed reduced allergic symptoms, vomiting, colic, diarrhea, constipation and respiratory ailments than those on straight cow’s milk;
  • Convalescing adults who have lost weight because of operations, dysentery, cancer and other illnesses fare better if gelatin is added to their diet.

To these I would add that bone broths are very healing to the gut, helping to heal leaky gut. If a leaky gut is left unchecked it leads to inflammation symptoms in other parts of the body as well as the gut, and may also lead to auto-immune disease. Start with drinking 1 cup  of bone broth daily, and slowly increase to 1 quart (4 cups) per day [from Betrayal: The Autoimmune Disease Solution They’re Not Telling You, a series of videos by Dr. Tom O’Brien (6)].


  6. Health Reporter Daily, about ‘Betrayal’ series of health videos by Dr. Tom O’Brien:; see also
  7. Wellness Mamma recipe:
  8. Mercola article:

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