Answer:

Bone broth protein supplements are produced by dehydrating bone broth (typically from chicken or beef bones) and can be a good source of protein and, in particular, collagen — the main protein found in bone. There is some evidence, that, like other types of protein, collagen may help to build muscle, and additionally, may help reduce joint pain and improve skin elasticity and wrinkles. However, most of the evidence for these uses are based on studies using collagen supplements, not bone broth. (See the Bone Broth Review for more information and our tests of products).

To learn more about how bone broth compares to other types of protein, such as whey, casein, soy, rice, pea and hemp, see the What to Consider When Buying section of the Protein Powders and Drinks Review.

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16 Comments

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martha 13930
April 21, 2017

The Chicken Bone Broth that I make comes from Costco Certified Organic Chickens and I am comfortable with the idea that not only is the chicken meat healthy, but that the bone broth that I make is also as healthy as I expect. I had a heavy metals blood test done a couple months ago and the results were negative, not only for lead but also for mercury. These were my main concerns inasmuch as I still have old mercury fillings in my teeth. Also I live in an old house that was most probably originally painted with lead paint which has since been repainted with multiple layers of new paint but which can flake off in places right down to what I assume was the original paint. Also I grew up in an era where homes, etc were undoubtedly painted with lead paint and mercury fillings in teeth were the norm.
Martha

Larry11402
November 16, 2016

True bone broths (not supplements) have been getting more attention lately & as such there are more companies bringing products to market. However none allay concerns about potential contamination with heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides, etc. As indicated earlier by CL, there's a potential for concern about lead in some cases. I'm curious to know if there's a way we can become more informed about contaminant levels in the industry's predominant products, such as: Epigenetics (powder), Bare Bones Broth, OssoGoodBones, Stock Options, the Brothery, and possibly others?

ConsumerLab.com
November 30, 2016

Hi Larry - Thank you for your question. ConsumerLab will be testing bone broth products in 2017 -- so be sure to look for more about this in the CL newsletter in the upcoming year.

michelle11332
October 12, 2016

I use Vital Proteins grass fed collagen to supplement my homemade broth. It is actually from the inner layer of hides from organic grass fed cows. The amino acid profile is labeled and I can use it when I'm too busy to make my own. I also make gelatin for my husband and my son with it since it is unflavored.

oxsana11224
August 31, 2016

what about bone broth from grass fed beef?

ConsumerLab.com
August 31, 2016

Hi Oxsana – We did find one supplement containing grass-fed beef bone broth, but, unfortunately, it does not appear to list its amino acid profile or other nutrition information. Like chicken bones, beef bones contain all of the essential amino acids, including BCAAs (Gerrits, J Nutr 1997 -- http://jn.nutrition.org/content/127/6/1229.full) – although it’s not clear to what extent these will exist in broth or supplements made from a broth. There also do not appear to be any published clinical studies on the use grass-fed beef bone broth, or beef bone broth in general.

Jeanne11221
August 31, 2016

I do not consider the protein per se to be the benefit of bone broth, be it chicken, beef or fish. I consider the collagen and glycine to be the stars of broth. Great for the skin, joints and immune system.

ConsumerLab.com
August 31, 2016

Unfortunately, amounts of collagen and amino acids, such as glycine, are generally not assured with bone broth supplements, as discussed in the Review.

Jeanne11226
August 31, 2016

Ah yes, I was speaking of actual bone broth. I have never heard of the supplements, and they don't sound like something I would promote to my patients.

Sandi11216
August 31, 2016

Is the lead in the chicken broth in homemade broth

Tracey11219
August 31, 2016

If the soil is not contaminated with lead then the chance of lead in the chicken or eggs is small. The concern is chickens near houses or barns that were painted with lead paint that could be flaking off or in highly urban areas contaminated by lead in exhaust from vehicles. Even in those areas if the chickens don't have access to soil then the levels will be low. Otherwise, in this instance, commercial birds might be a better choice for broth.

ConsumerLab.com
August 31, 2016

As noted in the section of our Protein Supplements Review which discusses this issue (linked to above), the study cited which found lead in chicken bone broth had used "organic" chicken. It does not discuss how lead "got in" the chicken, but this would likely include the feed, water, and other things in the environment which could be ingested. The study was conducted in England. It is quite posssible that there would be lead in homemade broth made with chicken bones. The study noted that there was only about 1/3 as much lead in broth made from just chicken "meat" and that the water used to make the broth had little lead.

Cristina11231
September 4, 2016

i think the source of the feed the chicken receive during their lifetime is crucial to the effects of chicken bone broth. It will make a huge difference if the broth is made from commercial chickens that are feed who knows what and I am certain the feed could contain led. But if you use the bones of birds that are pasture raised out in the open with out any feed like in the good old days it will be very healthy for you on all levels. That is the difference with all the foods we eat. As for bone broth supplements I think that is a crock and an other money making scheme. No wonder they found lead in the product.
I make or buy my broth from a organic farm were the chickens are pasture raised. Look on line and you will find them. They come to you frozen so you can freeze it and use it later as well.

Marianne14071
June 1, 2017

After reading the reports and comments on bone broth, I think it's best to employ moderation in using all the varieties and brands and to mix them up. As usual.

Catherine16326
December 31, 2017

Agreed. That's my hedge for a lot of foods!

Pamela16411
February 3, 2018

I agree on this. Unfortunately we consume what the food source is consuming and we cant ever be 100% sure. It becomes exhausting to research the research to ensure healthy results....Unless one can raise it themselves from a. to b. to dinner table.

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