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Broth And Bouillon Benefit Or Harm For The Body? Myths And Reality

What soups and brothes are useful

1. The Effect Of Soups On The Human Body

The broth, as a tonic and healing agent, has been known to mankind for a long time. Indeed, Even Avicenna referenced it in his works. And in the 12th century, Moses Maimonides, a Jewish rabbi and physician, prescribed chicken broth to patients with colds and asthma, for which chicken broth was later nicknamed “Jewish penicillin.”

It was previously believed that chicken broth not only strengthens the body, but even cures leprosy.

Different types of stocks have different properties.

For example, suckling pig broth was useful for migraines.

Partridge broth, boiled without skin, led to constipation, and in the skin, on the contrary, cured it.

Chicken bouillon and rooster meat was effective in softening the stool.

Finally, the broth on the meat and fat of chickens was considered an excellent remedy for hemorrhoids.

Bone broths are highly valued by Paleo dieters who try to eat like the ancient people of the Paleolithic. In their opinion, bone-in broths were an indispensable element of the menu of hunters and gatherers.

2.The Most Popular Soup Myths

Bouillon fans are ready to attribute the most fantastic properties to their favorite food. In fact, studies have shown that some of the expectations of those who like to be treated with broths are not justified.


#1 The collagen myth

It is believed that if you cook the bones of cows, chickens, for a long time, then the resulting broth with gelatin will be an excellent tool for strengthening human bone tissue. Its ligaments, and even for treating white hernia.

It is assumed that collagen from the bone tissue of the animal enters the broth during the cooking process.

The use of such a broth allows you to saturate the body with collagen, which rushes to disease-affected areas.

However, during digestion, any proteins break down into individual amino acids.

Therefore, collagen, as such, will not reach either damaged ligaments or thinned bones.

Moreover, the body itself decides where to send the received amino acids.

Sometimes, it repairs bone tissue. That is, one cannot count on the fact that the drunk broth will have a therapeutic effect on a given area.

We add that disputes about the effectiveness of gelatin. This is hydrolyzed collagen. Various collagen food supplements have been going on for a long time.

However, studies in recent years have not proven the claimed effectiveness of gelatin and collagen for the health of connective tissues.

And by themselves, these substances contain only a few amino acids that the body can synthesize on its own. And they have nothing that could not be obtained in another way.


#2 The myth of lysozyme and vitamins

Another myth says that when cooking meat broth, the enzyme lysozyme gets into it. And it has a miraculous effect on human health. In reality, things are not so rosy.

Firstly, a person himself knows how to produce this antibacterial substance.

Also lysozyme is a stable compound. But it is destroyed during prolonged cooking.

A similar situation is observed in relation to vitamins. The vast majority of them are destroyed when heated, so you should not rely on fortified broth.

3. Health Benefits Of Soups And Broths

As science developed, scientists began to explore various broths in order to test their healing properties.

In 2000, American pulmonologists demonstrated that chicken broth actually helped patients suffering from colds.

According to scientists, its use limits the spread throughout the body of neutrophils . White blood cells protect a person from infection and activate inflammatory processes in different parts of the body.

The broth can reduce the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection. But the active substance of the broth was not identified.

In another study, drinking chicken broth was shown to improve the movement of mucus in the nose. With the help of the ciliated epithelium it makes it easier to breathe.

It has even been shown to do it better than cold or hot water. But the mechanism of action was not determined. It is provided by sulfur or hydrogen sulfide. One way or another, but the mechanism of action in this case was not disclosed.

Bone broth is recommended for patients suffering from intestinal diseases, as well as a number of mental disorders. They are autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia.

Finally, the broth can be beneficial for athletes because it quickly restores electrolyte balance during hard training. Amino acids are used for muscle recovery and building.

4. Harm Of Eating Broth

By itself, the idea of ​​the broth is certainly good, and the resulting product should benefit the body.

Among the rare negative side effects of the use of the broth, only hypernatremia and anaphylaxis were identified. Due to the stones that fell into the patient’s cup.

Scientists also do not recommend feeding broth to patients who have undergone kidney transplantation. Bouillon has a high concentration of creatinine.

But, speaking of the potential harm of the broth, some environmental factors should also be taken into account.

Lead from bones

So, scientists became interested in lead, which tends to accumulate in the bones of farm animals and birds.

For humans, it is a neurotoxin that is dangerous to health. Lead can be found in feed, in the air, lead white is often used to paint livestock facilities, etc.

The researchers compared 3 versions of chicken broth: boiled with skin and bones, chicken fillet, and skinned chicken bones.

It was found out the lead is in chicken bone broths. Moreover, the concentrations of lead in them were quite high: 9.5 and 7.01 µg/l (for comparison: in tap water, the same figure does not exceed 0.89 µg/l).

In the broth cooked on the fillet, the lead content was significantly lower: 2.3 µg/l.

On the one hand, the amounts are small, on the other hand, we are talking about lead, and it can gradually accumulate in the body over the years. Sooner or later, its amount can become critical for health.

Antibiotics in muscles

Antibiotics are substances usually found in freshly brewed broth.

True, on this point the opinions of experts differ.

Agricultural experts say that antibiotics are rapidly eliminated from the body.

And according to the rules, a week before slaughter, poultry workers stop giving drugs to chickens, that is, the chicken goes to the shelves clean.

However, experienced compatriots believe that there is no guarantee that the poultry farm will comply with such standards, which means that there is no guarantee that the bird does not contain a large amount of antibiotics.

It should be added that the farm origin of chickens also does not guarantee the purity of meat from various drugs.

If the bird is sick, then the private farmer will treat it with the same medicines as a large enterprise.

And with the same success, he may not withstand the prescribed “drug-free” week before slaughter.

Studies have shown that only 20% of these substances are destroyed by boiling.

In chicken, from 5.9% (grisin) to 11.7% (levomycetin) remains. And 70% of drugs pass into the broth.

That’s why it would be better to deplete the main stock in 30 minutes after the beginning of cooking. Then you should add water and set to bubble again. For drinking and soups use the second bullion in 40 minutes after boiling.

5. Types Of Broths, Bouillons And Stocks. Are They Differ?

Depending on the method of preparation, broths are divided into three types.

They could be white, yellow and red.

White broth

It is prepared from raw meat (pritsa) and raw roots. Has a light taste. Served as an independent dish and used in the preparation of dressing soups.

Yellow broth

Prepared from raw meat and roasted roots. Has a rich taste. These are the main meat and bone broths for clear soups and pureed soups.

Red broth

Both meat and roots are fried in red broth. It is only meat, has a pronounced, rich taste. It is used to prepare rich soups or serves as the basis for sauces.

In modern cooking there are a lot of types of soups, bouillons and broths.

Actively used such broths as Mushroom, Meat, Bones, Vegetable and Fish.

It is rare to come across soups cooked with fruit broths and milk. Only rare gourmets give preference to them.

In modern cooking there are a lot of types of soups, bouillons and broths.

Actively used such broths as Mushroom, Meat, Bones, Vegetable and Fish.

It is rare to come across soups cooked with fruit broths and milk. Only rare gourmets give preference to them.

Meat Broths

Meat broths can be made from plain meat, meat with bones, or bone-on skeletons alone.

Depending on the desired concentration of the soup, the bones are first boiled and only then the meat cut into portions is added to the broth.

By the way, if you want to get a rich meaty taste of the broth, put raw meat in cold water and bring the broth to a boil immediately with the meat. If your priority is tasty meat, boil the water first, and only then put the chopped meat into it.

If you want to get a pure meat broth, after boiling, remove the foam formed on the surface. If you carefully catch all parts of the foam with a slotted spoon, your broth will turn out to be transparent and free of impurities.

To get a spicy and fragrant broth, add spices to it: if these are dried herbs, put them right after boiling, they need time to reveal their aroma. If the herbs are fresh, they can be put in 5 minutes before the end of cooking. They need to boil a little so that the soup does not turn sour after cooling.

Bone Broth Or Bone Stock

Bone stock is a strong simmered bone broth.

As a result of prolonged boiling, the connective tissue and bone marrow contained in them turn into a liquid. A good broth with high nutritional value should solidify after cooling due to the natural gelatin found in large quantities in chicken feet and bones, pork legs, and drumsticks.


The chemical composition of the Bones broth or stock

Bones are a depot for minerals.

Mainly is for calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.

Minerals are released during the heating.

Vitamins help their absorption.

Meat on the bones or connective tissue contains collagen.

It is a protein maintaining skin tone, healthy hair, and cartilage that lines joints, etc.

Collagen is converted into gelatin during the heating. It gives the viscosity to broth.

The inclusion of dishes containing gelatin in the diet provides the body with valuable amino acids. And proteins are used to build cells.

Already in the body, gelatin is converted into collagen.

You need to add meat as well as marrow bones, to get more nutritional value.

It contains iodine, minerals, valuable proteins, fatty amino acids, as well as a number of minerals that are involved in metabolic processes.

The introduction of vegetables into the broth will saturate it with additional vitamins, minerals and valuable acid.


Maintain joint health

The cartilage in the joints wears out with age.

As a result, the load on the knees increases.

It may be cause of the development of joint damage diseases.

It is said that additional enrichment of the diet with gelatin increases the amount of collagen in tissues in studies dating back to 2017.

Gelatin allows you to resist aging as well as maintain joint health.

The source of gelatin can just be broth, as well as jelly.


Treatment and prevention of osteoarthritis

It is recommended to include it in the diet for people suffering from osteoarthritis due to the unique chemical composition of bone broth.


It is a chronic progressive joint disease. All elements of joints are affected – cartilage, joint bag, ligaments, muscles, and bone tissue.

A study conducted in 2016 found the effects of type II collagen on people with symptoms of the disease.

Regular intake of bone broth improves the symptoms of the disease and general health.


For Gut Health

Bone broth is indispensable for people suffering from leaky gut syndrome and other inflammatory diseases,

Amino acids have an additional positive effect on the digestive organs.

The composition of the broth includes glutamine.

It normalizes intestinal permeability and reduces the severity of symptoms of the disease.

A study of 2017 study found that people with inflammatory bowel disease had lower levels of certain acids.


Normalization of sleep

The amino acids found in bone broth will also help improve sleep for some people.

The entire effect is attributed to glycine. It is recognized worldwide as a safe therapeutic agent for improving sleep.

People who receive glycine at bedtime report better and deeper sleep. They feel less fatigue and a burst of energy in the morning straight after waking up.


For the heart and blood vessels

Proteins are broken down into smaller chains of amino acids called peptides while digesting. Peptides also affect the functioning of the heart.

It was found that proteins block certain enzymes that play a role in the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Enzymes control the functioning of the cardiovascular system, for example, blood pressure.

Regular inclusion of bone broth in the diet decreases the blood pressure  and prevents type II diabetes, obesity and atherosclerosis.

It is noteworthy that proteins are able to retain their activity even after heating and digestion.


Slimming and maintaining results

The inclusion of broth in the diet reduces weight and maintains the results achieved.

It contains a protein. it provides long-term saturation as well as maintaining a stable blood sugar level.

But it’s important to remember that not all types of broth are equal.

Data show that the composition of chicken bone broth and boneless broth differ significantly.


Bone broth is a source of readily available proteins  and minerals. They support metabolic processes. Bone broth can be further enriched with nutrients by introducing vegetables into its composition.


Fish Broth

Fish broth is usually brewed from processed fish waste: head, fins, bones or skin. It is in these parts of the fish that contains the most gelatin and the soup that is richest in taste is obtained.

To get the most transparent fish broth, after cooking it must be filtered through a fine sieve.

Meat and fish broths can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days in airtight containers. Useful substances are not lost in them, which means that they can be used both for cooking first courses and second courses (for example, risotto).

Vegetable Broth

Unlike fish and meat broths, vegetable broths are best used immediately after preparation, as their shelf life is short. The exception is mushroom broths.

Bouillon And Bouillon Cubes

A bouillon cube is a compressed, concentrated and dehydrated meat or vegetable broth. It is formed into cubes with a side of approximately 15 mm. It is made by dehydrating vegetables or meat broth, adding a portion of solid fat and seasonings, usually salt and monosodium glutamate.

Common types of cubes contain approximately 1.5 grams of monosodium glutamate, which is 65% of the allowable daily intake for a person weighing 60 kg.

Summary About Broths

Scientists said that it is impossible to conduct studies for prove or disprove the effectiveness of the broth for some reasons.

There are too many options for recipes for making broth, it is almost impossible to standardize this process.

To refute the medicinal properties of the broth, they must first be proven. And at the moment, there is no clear explanation of how the broth affects a person.

Finally, as the scientists note, the control group in such studies would have to be left without broth, and this would be so unethical.

Is the broth worth it?

There are some reasons to do it.

First, it is a nutritious product. It helps the body to restore water and electrolyte balance.

Second, this is a delicious product, especially if you add some vegetables there.

This is a product that is prepared in the home kitchen, from scratch, which means that it excludes the presence of any unwanted and unknown additives.

Finally, Dr. Stephen Rennard, who is Professor, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Division in University of Nebraska Medical Center, says that chicken broth plays the role of a TLC factor.

This term combines three important meanings: tenderness (tender), love (love), care (care).

If the cup of broth cooked for a sick person, it is also a sign of care and love. They have in themselves a healing effect.

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