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How many minerals are extracted by cooking bones for different amounts of time?

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Updated about 23 hours ago
Created October 14, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Most articles on making bone broth give precise cooking times to extract as many minerals as possible. Is it based on actual studies?? Do you know of any?

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198 · October 14, 2013 at 8:09 PM

No money in that kind of research so nobody is going to do unless it is a curiosity thing. If I had a lab and the knowledge I'd do it for sure. Hmm, I know a biochem professor, maybe I can talk her into it as a class project?

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2353 · October 14, 2013 at 8:01 PM

The BMJ analysis is flawed, because the broth was made from veal bones and cooked for only 7 hours. Veal comes from young cows, which haven't had time to accumulate the minerals in their bones that mature cows have. In addition, it doesn't appear that the cows were traditionally raised, i.e., grass-fed, which also affects the mineral content of bones. I'd want to see an analysis from mature cow bones simmered for 24 hours, which is the traditional way to make bone broth.

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41452 · October 14, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Upwards of 10% of meat is collagen. You don't need to extract it from bones/connective tissue to get it. Though a bone broth is thrifty, waste not, want not!

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15 · October 14, 2013 at 5:09 PM

good point, when I make bone broth with beef marrow bones, etc. I started adding chicken feet to the pot so that when I strained and cooled it, I could get nice broth gel cubes to save and use for cooking in other foods.

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198 · October 14, 2013 at 2:30 PM

It tastes good, but beyond that I agree that little positive information is available. Everyone seems to rely on each others descriptions of how beneficial it is without any real sources. I've got a batch going, not as psyched about it as I was before - thanks

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4292 · October 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

By and large I agree with @Matt 11 about the woo, but in the interests of science I'd urge you also to look at the gelatin/collagen in the bone broth as a benefit entirely separate from the minerals. This is the protein that makes it "gell" (when you've made chicken jell-o, you know there's gelatin in it) That's why I drink it - I don't count it for calcium or anything else, but I want the proteins.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41452 · October 14, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Upwards of 10% of meat is collagen. You don't need to extract it from bones/connective tissue to get it. Though a bone broth is thrifty, waste not, want not!

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3
2353 · October 14, 2013 at 8:01 PM

The BMJ analysis is flawed, because the broth was made from veal bones and cooked for only 7 hours. Veal comes from young cows, which haven't had time to accumulate the minerals in their bones that mature cows have. In addition, it doesn't appear that the cows were traditionally raised, i.e., grass-fed, which also affects the mineral content of bones. I'd want to see an analysis from mature cow bones simmered for 24 hours, which is the traditional way to make bone broth.

9a3e588924139a744a5a77cb43ee6a7f
15 · October 14, 2013 at 5:09 PM

good point, when I make bone broth with beef marrow bones, etc. I started adding chicken feet to the pot so that when I strained and cooled it, I could get nice broth gel cubes to save and use for cooking in other foods.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
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41452 · October 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Analysis of bone broth has rarely been done, and it's naturally going to vary batch to batch, depend on a multitude of factors: water quality, time, amount of bone, type of bone, surface area of bone, quality of animal product, other additives used, etc… Of course, you can read up on it over at the Weston Price Foundation, but you'd get a very skewed, unsupported take on bone broth.

I ran across the article on the anaysis of beef bone broth: http://adc.bmj.com/content/9/52/251 Interesting that they compare in the end to milk of all things. And milk blows away the mineral content of bone broth.

Lead contamination in bone broth may be a concern: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23375414

Chris Kresser had an article a while back discussing lead in broth: http://chriskresser.com/bone-broth-and-lead-toxicity-should-you-be-concerned

Over time, I've come to the conclusion that bone broth isn't what it's cracked up to be. Bone broth has a high 'woo' quotient. Broth is tasty, useful for cooking, is a good use of carcasses. But it is not a magic elixir that's extremely high in nutrition. I'm sure others will disagree, but that's my take based on the science available.

Medium avatar
198 · October 14, 2013 at 2:30 PM

It tastes good, but beyond that I agree that little positive information is available. Everyone seems to rely on each others descriptions of how beneficial it is without any real sources. I've got a batch going, not as psyched about it as I was before - thanks

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0 · October 14, 2013 at 8:36 AM

edit: spam redacted… reported.

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