Like Supports Like
This is definitely the case with cartilage-rich bone broth. Bones contain minerals, amino acids, collagen and other properties. When simmered slowly for a period of time, these properties are transferred to the broth, and when consumed, they provide many healthful benefits.
Here’s an in-depth look at some of the ‘like supports like’ benefits of the gelatin effect.
Classified as connective tissue and composed of protein fibers, the function of cartilage is to support and strengthen the body. Cartilage also provides a cushion and shock absorber for the joints in our bones. Cartilage is made up of a complex matrix that includes elastin, collagen and a ground substance of glycoaminoglycans (GAGs).
Elastin, Collagen and Gelatin
Cartilage provides a protein called elastin, which improves strength and stretch properties, as in your ears and your nose. To test this, just try wiggling your nose and pulling on your ear.
One fourth of the protein in the body is collagen. With its glue-like property it functions to hold the body together. Although collagen is the scientific term for a protein in the body, the word gelatin is the food term for extracted collagen, such as the powdered gelatin in Jell-O. But they are often used interchangeably when referring to broth.
Collagen is present in both cartilage and bone. So you can see why broth made with cartilage-rich bones, such as knuckles and chicken feet, would naturally produce a higher quality broth. Since ‘like supports like’, quality bone broth is said to be helpful for arthritis and joint diseases.
Another property of gelatin in broth is that the body absorbs the liquid with very little effort, providing a calming and soothing effect. It’s traditionally thought that broth aids in the healing process of the intestinal lining.
The protein in collagen is composed of a higher than average concentration of 3 amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Both glycine and proline are non-essential amino acids, and can be made by the body, but supplementing with broth adds an additional food source.
- Aids in synthesis of heme, the vital part of our blood that carries oxygen
- Contributes to the synthesis of bile salts which helps digest fats
- Aids in detoxification as a liver tonic
- Helps reduce inflammation in auto-immune diseases
- Stabilizes blood glucose levels during times of fasting
- Limits breakdown of protein during a fast
- Pregnancy demand of glycine is 10 times greater than normal
- Helps in the process of reversing atherosclerotic deposits
- Has been shown to help prevent depression
- Shown to have beneficial effects for memory
- Helps to create new cell formation
- Can contribute to maintaining younger looking skin
- Helps to stabilize the blood vessels and other organs in the body
- May prevent outbreaks of cold sores and herpes
- Helps the body absorb calcium
Attached to a core protein of the ground substance of cartilage is glycoaminoglycans or GAGs. The jellylike structure gives cartilage its resilience. GAGs consist of hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate and to a lesser degree keratin sulfate.
- Hyaluronic acid
- Aids in digestion by attracting digestive juices to the surface area of our food
- Lubricates joints
- Helps in wound healing
- Helps with joint pain associated with osteoarthritis
- Lines blood vessels
- Helps in lowering cholesterol, atherosclerosis and heart attacks
- Keratin is generally thought to play a role in corneal hydration. The cornea of the eye has 10 times more keratin than in cartilage.
Marrow is located in the center cavity of bone and consists of two types, red and yellow.
- Red bone marrow begins the manufacturing of blood cells, and also contains collagen. Mature blood cells are converted outside bone marrow.
- Myeloid stem cells produce red blood cells that deliver oxygen to other cells
- Lymphoid stem cells produce white blood cells and are part of the immune system
- Platelets allow for proper clotting
- Yellow bone marrow stores energy in the form of fats or lipids, and also contains collagen.
Typically less chicken bones are needed to create a stronger tasting broth than beef bones. It’s possible that the higher concentration of red marrow in chicken bones enhances the flavor.
Many people consume bone broth (also known as stock) for its unique concentration of health benefits, and the savory taste also makes bone broth a delicious beverage. Good bone broth is vital to the home cook since real chicken stock and beef bone broth provide that essential depth of flavor to many meals, soups and sauces. You can increase these health benefits even more by using Great Lakes Gelatin.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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