Q: I am reading about bone broth and its touted benefits for people with celiac disease. Do you recommend it and how should I take it?
There has been a lot of hype about bone broth in recent years. However, at this time there is very limited research available on bone broth, so it is hard to say if it would benefit people with celiac disease or not. Bone broth contains collagen, amino acids and minerals that are released from bones and connective tissue when cooked for an extended period. However, there is no evidence that consuming these amino acids from other foods would be any different (such as meats and dairy). Bone broth has also been touted as having high calcium and magnesium content, however studies have found that it provides less than 5% of daily requirements per serving of both minerals.
There is also some evidence that bone broth can contain high amounts of lead. In a British study bone broth was found to have 10 times higher lead than water, so that is one thing to keep in mind about bone broth.
So, the jury is still out on bone broth and its potential benefits, hopefully more research will become available in the future. However, you can still enjoy bone broth, it makes a great base for soups and sauces - just make sure it is gluten-free.
Here is a great article on bone broth by the Center for Nutrition Studies:
1: Monro JA, Leon R, Puri BK. The risk of lead contamination in bone broth diets. Med Hypotheses. 2013 Apr;80(4):389-90. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.12.026. Epub 2013 Jan 31. PubMed PMID: 23375414. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23375414
2: Hsu DJ, Lee CW, Tsai WC, Chien YC. Essential and toxic metals in animal bone broths. Food Nutr Res. 2017 Jul 18;61(1):1347478. doi: 10.1080/16546628.2017.1347478. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28804437; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5533136. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28804437
Reviewed and updated, October 11, 2022.
Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.