Skip to main content
take the reality check diet analysis take the reality check diet analysis

Health Tips

From tips on how to lose weight effectively to ways to combat boredom eating, this collection of informative articles covers a wide range of health topics that matter to real people, like you.

Add Bone Broth to Your Diet for Healthy Digestions and a Healthy Gut

Bone broth has risen in popularity based on health claims, including digestive and gut health, including 'leaky gut.' But what is this "leaky gut" everyone keeps bringing up and how can bone broth create healthy digestion?

Add Bone Broth to Your Diet for Healthy Digestions and a Healthy Gut

Bone broth has risen in popularity based on health claims, including digestive and gut health. And with increased curiosity of a "leaky gut," linking bone broth as a potential influencer is worth looking into and mentioning. But what is this "leaky gut" everyone keeps bringing up and how can bone broth create healthy digestion?

What Is Leaky Gut?

From a physiological standpoint, defining the concept of "leaky gut" is a continued grey area. At this point, not much is known about the gut-related condition. Health experts suspect probable causes of leaky gut are associated to the intestinal epithelium and mucosal surface, acting as the body's strongest barrier from the external environment. Simply put, this epithelial "wall" additionally features tight junctions or "doors" to regulate the movement of fluid and nutrients between the gut and bloodstream and further protection against harmful microorganisms. What can be thought of as a "key," a protein known as zonulin can break apart the tight junctions. That being said, leaky gut is thought to arise when the "wall" and "doors" are compromised, subsequently allowing substances to "leak" into the bloodstream.

Though the exact cause of leaky gut is blurry, research suggests a wide variety of medical conditions are associated with high zonulin levels, including Celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis (MS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). When treated, such as the elimination of gluten to manage Celiac disease, zonulin levels are shown to decrease and the damaged intestine starts to heal.

Unfortunately, the concept of the unknown can be frustrating to those experiencing associated gastrointestinal (GI) signs and symptoms, including gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Additionally, related to lacking evidence and support, clinicians are not equipped with the knowledge to manage leaky gut, but rather try to identify an underlying cause such as Celiac disease. Until more treatment options are known, individuals are seeking out alternative and complimentary management and embracing "food as medicine."

Bone Broth Digestive Benefits

Perhaps bone broth became familiarized as a gut restorative when the creation of the GAPS Diet ( surfaced. Further derived from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), created by Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas, it was promoted to naturally treat chronic inflammatory conditions. Once a mother claimed she treated her children of Ulcerative Colitis, an inflammatory disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract, the diet grew in popularity and was adopted by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride. She then adjusted her protocol to manage both intestinal and neurological conditions, largely rebalancing the bacterial ecosystem within the GI tracts of her patients.

The GAPS Diet focuses on removing hard-to-digest foods thought to damage healthy gut bacteria, ultimately restoring the intestinal lining with nutrient-dense foods. Within the introductory stages of the diet, meat stock is encouraged related to its gelatin and amino acid content, promoted to heal and strengthen the connective tissue found in the gut. After the initial stages and GI healing, bone broth is incorporated, as individuals claim introducing bone broth too early may compromise GI restoration.

Can Bone Broth Actually Restore the Gut?

So what does this mean for you? Though its collagen and amino acid content hold large roles in building and strengthening bones, muscles, and skin, and tendons, the contents of bone broth do not necessarily direct straight to the intestinal lining, as the body will dictate its route depending on its foreseeable needs at the time. Although health experts remain skeptical, they do believe the totality of bone broth is nonetheless nutritious. Swapping out innutritious, processed and packaged convenience foods with a bowl full of bone broth is certainly much more advantageous and may display helpful properties to the intestinal lining.

But along with managing the underlying cause, such as eliminating gluten to manage Celiac disease, more solidified and evidence-based guidelines have shown to improve digestion. Such tips and suggestions include increasing fiber and water intake, eating probiotic sources such as yogurt, chewing foods thoroughly, getting active, and managing stress. Find a more detailed guide for healthy digestion here.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on December 14, 2016. Updated on May 09, 2019.


Follow @bistroMD

Theme picker

as seen on...
Dr Phil
Lifetime Network
The Biggest Loser
The Doctors