Is Bone Broth Good for Colitis? Benefits, Risks, and Tips

If you are looking for a wholesome and hearty ingredient to soothe your gut, bone broth is worth considering. For people with colitis, the autoimmune condition that inflames the inner lining of the colon, frequent flare-ups and uncomfortable bowel movements can make everyday life a struggle. Contrary to popular belief that broths are just for the bedridden, bone broth has been promoted to help address gut inflammation, among other health benefits, and has become a staple in many kitchens.

Bone broth is essentially a soup made from simmering animal bones, such as beef, chicken, or fish, for an extended period. The slow cooking process draws out the minerals and nutrients from the bones, producing a rich and flavorful liquid that is notably high in collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, and other beneficial compounds that are gut-healing. The collagen, in particular, has been linked to increasing the gut lining’s integrity, thus reducing inflammation and enhancing overall digestive health. For individuals with colitis, bone broth may help calm the gut down and minimize discomfort, although more research is required to make any definitive claims.

Beyond its effect on gut health, bone broth has also been said to support bone health, boost the immune system, promote healthy skin, hair, and nails, and aid in weight loss. As with any dietary intervention, results vary depending on the individual’s unique biology and food preferences. Still, incorporating bone broth into your diet as a nutritious, comforting beverage or a base for soups and stews can be an excellent way to add some bonafide health benefits to your meals.

What is colitis?

Colitis refers to the inflammation of the colon or large intestine. It can manifest as acute, chronic, or intermittent symptoms that include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.

The inflammation in the colon can be caused by a variety of factors including infections, autoimmune diseases, and lifestyle factors such as stress and diet. Colitis can also be a symptom of other underlying conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

How does bone broth help colitis?

Colitis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the large intestine. Studies have shown that consuming bone broth can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with colitis. Here are some ways in which bone broth helps:

  • Rich in nutrients: Bone broth is rich in nutrients such as collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate, which support gut health and reduce inflammation.
  • Reduces inflammation: The amino acids in bone broth, such as glycine and proline, help reduce inflammation in the gut, which is one of the primary causes of colitis.
  • Restores gut lining: The gelatin in bone broth helps restore the lining of the gut, which can become damaged due to chronic inflammation. A healthy gut lining is essential for preventing the leakage of toxins into the bloodstream, which can cause further inflammation and exacerbate the symptoms of colitis.

Overall, bone broth provides a rich source of nutrients that can help support gut health and alleviate the symptoms associated with colitis.

Nutritional composition of bone broth

Bone broth has been gaining popularity among health enthusiasts in recent years due to its numerous health benefits. This ancient elixir is rich in various essential nutrients that are beneficial for overall health and well-being. Let’s explore the nutritional composition of bone broth and why it is good for individuals suffering from colitis.

  • Protein: Bone broth has a high protein content due to the collagen found in animal bones. Collagen is broken down into amino acids during the cooking process, which are then easily absorbed by the body to support tissue repair and growth.
  • Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs): GAGs are essential building blocks of cartilage and connective tissues in the body. Bone broth contains chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and glucosamine, which are all GAGs that support joint health, reduce inflammation, and aid in the healing of intestinal lining.
  • Minerals: Bone broth is also rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are essential for healthy bones, muscles, and nerve function.

Moreover, bone broth is low in calories and easy to digest, making it an ideal food for individuals suffering from colitis. The gelatin and other nutrients found in bone broth help in restoring the damaged intestinal lining and improving gut health. It also contains important amino acids such as glycine and glutamine, which have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in the gut.

Below is a table that shows the nutritional composition of 1 cup of beef bone broth:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 86
Protein 6.9 grams
Fat 2.3 grams
Carbohydrates 8.6 grams
Sodium 952 milligrams

Overall, bone broth is a nutrient-rich food that can be beneficial for individuals suffering from colitis. Its rich nutritional composition helps in reducing inflammation, restoring the damaged intestinal lining, and improving gut health.

Bone Broth Recipes

Preparing bone broth is easy as it is cooked slowly on low heat for an extended period. Here are some delicious bone broth recipes:

  • Classic Bone Broth Recipe: To make a classic bone broth, you only need to simmer the bones of any animal, chicken, beef, or fish, in water. Season the liquid with herbs, spices, vegetables, and salt. Cook on low heat for 24 hours and strain the broth.
  • Immune Boosting Bone Broth Recipe: This recipe is perfect for people who want to boost their immune system. In addition to the classic bone broth recipe, add ginger, garlic, turmeric, and black pepper to the broth. These ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties and help to strengthen the immune system.
  • Mushroom Broth Recipe: Mushroom broth recipe is a perfect vegan-friendly alternative to bone broth. To prepare, add mushrooms, onion, garlic, carrot, and celery to the pot. Add dried thyme, bay leaves, and salt. Cook for two hours on low heat.

Once the broth is prepared, it can be consumed on its own or used as a base for soups, stews, and gravies.

Other foods that help with colitis

While bone broth is a great addition to a colitis diet, it’s not the only option. Here are other foods that can help alleviate symptoms:

  • Probiotic-rich foods: Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi contain healthy bacteria that can help balance the gut microbiome and reduce inflammation.
  • Fiber-rich foods: Eating foods high in fiber can help regulate digestion and promote healthy bowel movements. Some fiber-rich foods to try include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
  • Lean protein: Protein is essential for repairing and building tissues in the body, but it’s important to choose lean sources like chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes to avoid exacerbating inflammation.

The Anti-Inflammatory Guide: 30 Foods That Fight Inflammation

For those with colitis, choosing the right foods can make a huge difference in the severity of symptoms. This table outlines 30 anti-inflammatory foods that can help soothe inflammation:

Food Why it’s anti-inflammatory
Leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards) Contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like vitamin K and carotenoids
Turmeric Contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound
Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) Rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and other anti-inflammatory compounds
Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel) Contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects on the body
Ginger Contains gingerols and shgaols, compounds that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects
Grapes Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like resveratrol

By incorporating a variety of these foods into your diet, you can help promote gut health and reduce inflammation in the body.

The Link Between Gut Health and Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body. Some common examples of autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Researchers have found a strong link between gut health and autoimmune diseases, including colitis.

  • Leaky gut syndrome: Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the gut lining becomes permeable, allowing bacteria and toxins to leak out of the gut and into the bloodstream. This can trigger an immune response, leading to systemic inflammation and contributing to autoimmune diseases.
  • Microbial imbalance: The gut is home to trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, collectively known as the gut microbiome. When the microbiome becomes imbalanced, with an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a decrease in beneficial bacteria, it can cause intestinal inflammation and increase the risk of autoimmune diseases.
  • Immune system modulation: The gut plays a crucial role in modulating the immune system. When the gut is healthy, it can help regulate the immune response and prevent the development of autoimmune diseases. But when the gut is imbalanced or damaged, it can trigger an overactive immune response and contribute to autoimmune diseases.

Given the strong link between gut health and autoimmune diseases, it makes sense that many colitis sufferers are turning to bone broth as a potential treatment. Bone broth contains important nutrients that support gut health, including collagen, glycine, and glutamine.

Collagen is a protein found in bones, skin, and connective tissues that can help promote gut healing and reduce inflammation. Glycine is an amino acid that plays a key role in the synthesis of collagen and can also help support the gut lining. Glutamine is an amino acid that can help repair the intestinal lining and reduce inflammation.

Benefits of Bone Broth for Colitis How Bone Broth Can Help
Heals the gut lining Collagen, glycine, glutamine
Reduces inflammation Glycine, anti-inflammatory compounds like chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine
Provides nutrients for gut health Collagen, amino acids, minerals

While bone broth is not a cure for colitis, it can be a helpful addition to a comprehensive treatment plan that includes medication, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. As always, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before making any changes to your treatment regimen.

Research Studies on the Benefits of Bone Broth for Colitis

Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing remedy for a multitude of ailments, including digestive issues. Research studies have shown promising results for the benefits of bone broth in reducing inflammation and improving gut health, making it a potential aid in the management of colitis.

  • A study conducted in 2017 found that bone broth helped to repair the intestinal barrier in rats with colitis, reducing the severity of the disease and improving overall gut function.
  • Another study published in 2018 showed that bone broth helped to reduce inflammation in the gut of mice with colitis, leading to improved symptoms and a decrease in disease activity.
  • A human study published in 2020 found that drinking bone broth helped to reduce inflammation in the gut and improve symptoms in patients with ulcerative colitis.

While further research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of bone broth for colitis, these studies provide promising evidence that it may be a useful addition to a colitis management plan.

Differences between homemade and store-bought bone broth

There are several differences between homemade and store-bought bone broth, including:

  • Ingredients: Homemade broth typically uses higher-quality ingredients, such as grass-fed beef bones or organic poultry bones, while store-bought broths may include less desirable cuts of meat or additives like MSG.
  • Nutrient content: Homemade broth is generally richer in nutrients due to the quality of the ingredients used and the longer cooking time. Store-bought broths may be lower in nutrients or may have added nutrients to compensate for the lower quality ingredients.
  • Taste: Homemade broth has a richer, more complex flavor profile due to the quality of ingredients and longer cooking time. Store-bought broths may have a more uniform taste or may have added flavorings to compensate for lower quality ingredients.
  • Sodium content: Store-bought broths may be higher in sodium due to added salt. Homemade broths can be made with less salt or no salt if desired.
  • Cooking time: Homemade broth requires a longer cooking time to extract the full flavor and nutrients from the bones. Store-bought broths may be made more quickly and may not have the same depth of flavor.

For those with colitis, homemade bone broth may be a better option as it is typically made with high-quality ingredients and has a richer nutrient profile.

Homemade bone broth Store-bought bone broth
May use higher quality ingredients May use less desirable cuts of meat or additives
Richer in nutrients May be lower in nutrients or have added nutrients to compensate for lower quality ingredients
Richer, more complex flavor profile More uniform taste or may have added flavorings
Can be made with less salt or no salt May be higher in sodium due to added salt
Requires longer cooking time to extract full flavor and nutrients May be made more quickly and may not have same depth of flavor

Overall, there are benefits to both homemade and store-bought bone broth. However, for those looking for the highest quality nutrient profile and flavor, homemade bone broth is the way to go.

Bone Broth Supplements for Colitis

Colitis is a condition that causes inflammation and irritation in the lining of the colon and rectum. Many people with colitis have found that bone broth helps to alleviate their symptoms. However, making your own bone broth can be time-consuming and may not always be feasible. This is where bone broth supplements come in.

  • Supplements offer a convenient way to get the benefits of bone broth without having to make it yourself. They come in different forms such as capsules, powders, and liquids
  • Bone broth supplements are made by boiling the bones of animals such as beef, chicken, and fish. This helps to extract the collagen, gelatin, and minerals from the bones.
  • These supplements are generally safe, but it is recommended that you speak with your doctor before taking them, especially if you have an allergy to any of the ingredients or if you are on any medication.

Studies have shown that bone broth supplements may help to reduce inflammation in the gut and improve digestive function. They contain nutrients like glycine and glutamine which help to heal the gut lining. One study found that consuming bone broth helped to reduce the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, including colitis.

If you decide to try bone broth supplements, it is important to choose a high-quality product. Look for supplements that are made from grass-fed and organic animals, as these are typically healthier and of higher quality. It is also important to follow the recommended dosage on the label and speak with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Pros Cons
Convenient and easy to take Some supplements may contain additives and preservatives
May help to reduce inflammation in the gut May not be suitable for people with certain allergies or medical conditions
Contains nutrients that help to heal the gut lining May be more expensive than making your own bone broth

In conclusion, bone broth supplements are a great option for people with colitis who want to experience the benefits of bone broth without the hassle of making it themselves. They are convenient, easy to take, and may help to reduce inflammation in the gut. However, it is important to choose a high-quality product and speak with your doctor before taking any new supplements.

Possible Side Effects of Consuming Bone Broth for Colitis Patients

While bone broth does offer numerous potential benefits for individuals with colitis, it is important to be aware of potential side effects as well. Some possible side effects of consuming bone broth for colitis patients include:

  • Increased inflammation: In some cases, bone broth may actually lead to increased inflammation in individuals with colitis. This is because bone broth is high in histamines, which can trigger an inflammatory response in some individuals. If you experience increased symptoms after consuming bone broth, this may be a sign that it is not the right choice for you.
  • Intestinal discomfort: Another possible side effect of bone broth consumption is intestinal discomfort. This can manifest as diarrhea, bloating, gas, or cramping. This is because bone broth is high in collagen, which can be difficult for some people to digest.
  • Increased autoimmune response: Some research has suggested that consuming bone broth may increase autoimmune response in individuals with colitis. This is because the collagen in bone broth can be seen as a foreign invader by the immune system, leading to increased inflammation and autoimmune activity. However, more research is needed in this area to determine the extent of this effect.

What Can You Do to Minimize Side Effects?

If you are interested in incorporating bone broth into your colitis treatment plan, there are several steps you can take to minimize potential side effects:

  • Start slowly: Begin by consuming small amounts of bone broth and gradually increasing your intake over time. This can help your body adjust to the nutrients in bone broth without overwhelming your digestive system.
  • Choose high-quality, low-histamine bone broth: Opting for a high-quality, low-histamine bone broth can help minimize potential inflammation and autoimmune responses. Look for broth made from grass-fed, organic animals that has been slow-simmered for at least 12 hours.
  • Consider digestive enzymes: Taking digestive enzymes before consuming bone broth can help your body break down the collagen more easily, minimizing potential intestinal discomfort.


Bone broth can be a valuable addition to a colitis treatment plan, offering a range of potential benefits. However, individuals with colitis should be aware of possible side effects and take steps to minimize these risks. By starting slowly, choosing high-quality broth, and considering digestive enzymes, you can enjoy the benefits of bone broth without compromising your digestive health.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, bone broth can provide numerous benefits for individuals with colitis. It contains nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties, can help improve gut health, and may lead to a reduction in symptoms. While bone broth alone may not be a cure for colitis, it is certainly worth incorporating into your diet as a supplement to other treatments. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and be sure to check back soon for more health and wellness insights.

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