Is Bone Broth Good for Ulcerative Colitis? Benefits and Recipes

Bone broth – the very name invokes feelings of health and nourishment. Many health enthusiasts around the world have touted this power-packed food as a magic elixir for various ailments. But the question that often arises is – is bone broth good for ulcerative colitis? For those struggling with this inflammatory bowel disease, relief from its painful symptoms can seem elusive. However, recent studies have pointed towards bone broth as a potential solution to this painful ailment. So, let’s dive in and see what makes bone broth beneficial for UC sufferers.

Ulcerative colitis wreaks havoc on the digestive system, causing symptoms like diarrhea, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, and cramps. It can significantly lower one’s quality of life and make day-to-day functioning nearly impossible. Traditional medicine often relies on steroids and immunosuppressants to treat the condition, but natural remedies have also shown promise. Bone broth, a rich and flavorful broth made from slowly simmered bones, has been proven to be a great option for those suffering from UC. By incorporating bone broth into one’s diet, individuals may be able to reduce inflammation and promote gut health.

The health benefits of bone broth are extensive and have been celebrated by various communities for a long time. It is said to support a healthy immune system, promote healthy skin and nails, and boost energy levels. However, for UC patients, it appears that bone broth has specific properties that help in the healing process. The collagen, minerals, and amino acids present in the bones are present in an easily absorbable form in bone broth. It may also help soothe the digestive system lining and provide a source of easily digestible nutrients. All in all, bone broth may just be the panacea that UC patients have been searching for.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract, primarily in the colon and rectum. It is a lifelong condition that can cause a range of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stools, weight loss, and fatigue. UC is caused by an overactive immune system that mistakes the healthy cells in the digestive tract for foreign invaders and attacks them, leading to inflammation, swelling, and ulceration.

The exact cause of UC is unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune condition that is influenced by genetics, environment, and lifestyle factors. UC can affect people of any age, but onset typically occurs between the ages of 15 and 35. Women seem to be more susceptible than men.

Causes of Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the large intestine and rectum. This condition can cause inflammation, ulceration, and bleeding in the affected areas. The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is currently unknown, but researchers believe that a combination of genetic, environmental, and immunological factors may play a role.

  • Genetic Factors: Studies have shown that ulcerative colitis can run in families, suggesting that there may be a genetic component to the disease. Certain genes may make individuals more susceptible to developing the condition, although more research is needed to determine the specific genes involved.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors such as diet, smoking, and stress may also contribute to the development of ulcerative colitis. Some research has suggested that a diet high in refined sugar and saturated fats may increase the risk of developing the condition, whereas a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber may be protective.
  • Immunological Factors: Ulcerative colitis is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the intestine. This may be caused by a breakdown in the normal immune response, leading to chronic inflammation and tissue damage.

Other potential factors that may contribute to the development of ulcerative colitis include a history of infectious diarrhea, a previous episode of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and a previous diagnosis of autoimmune disease. Although the exact cause of ulcerative colitis is still unknown, understanding these potential risk factors may help to inform prevention and treatment strategies for this chronic condition.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine or colon. It is characterized by inflammation and sores or ulcers in the lining of the colon, which can cause a range of symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Rectal pain and bleeding
  • Urgency to have a bowel movement
  • Malaise and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Fever

Ulcerative colitis can range from mild to severe, and the symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people may experience frequent diarrhea and urgency, while others may have more constipation. The severity of the disease can also change over time, with flare-ups of symptoms interspersed with periods of remission.

It is important to note that some people may not experience any symptoms during remission periods, but it is still important to continue monitoring the disease and following a treatment plan to prevent future flare-ups.

Current Treatment Options for Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the colon and rectum. The condition causes inflammation and sores (ulcers) to form in the lining of the large intestine, leading to symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and rectal bleeding. Treatment options for ulcerative colitis aim to reduce inflammation, control symptoms, and prevent complications.

  • Medications: The most commonly used medications to treat ulcerative colitis are aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and biologic therapies. Aminosalicylates are anti-inflammatory drugs that can reduce inflammation in the lining of the colon. Corticosteroids are used for short-term management of severe symptoms, as they can have serious side effects when used long-term. Immunomodulators work by suppressing the immune system and are used to control symptoms and prevent flares. Biologic therapies target specific proteins in the immune system that cause inflammation and have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and promoting healing in the colon.
  • Dietary Changes: In addition to medication, dietary changes may also be recommended to manage symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Some people with the condition may benefit from avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, such as high-fiber foods, spicy foods, and dairy products. Others may benefit from a low-residue diet, which limits the amount of undigested food in the stool and reduces the frequency of bowel movements.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be recommended for people with severe ulcerative colitis who do not respond to medication or have complications such as an increased risk of colon cancer. Surgery involves removal of the colon and rectum, and may be followed by the creation of an ileostomy, in which waste is diverted through an opening in the abdomen and collected in a bag outside the body, or an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, in which a pouch is created from the small intestine and connected to the anus.

It is important for people with ulcerative colitis to work closely with their healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for their individual needs. Some may require a combination of medications, dietary changes, and surgery to manage their symptoms and prevent complications.

What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is a nutrient-dense liquid that is made by simmering the bones, ligaments, and tendons of animals in water for an extended period. The result is a rich, flavorful liquid that is packed with nutrients and minerals.

While it’s often used as a base for soups and stews, many people drink bone broth on its own for its numerous health benefits. It’s rich in collagen, which is an essential protein in the body that helps to build and repair tissues, and it is also an excellent source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

The use of bone broth as a medicinal tonic dates back centuries, with Chinese literature describing the health benefits of drinking broth made from chicken or beef bones. In recent years, bone broth has become increasingly popular as a health food, with numerous studies supporting its health benefits.

Benefits of Bone Broth for Ulcerative Colitis

  • Reduces Inflammation: Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the lining of the colon and rectum. Bone broth contains nutrients like glycine and proline, which have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation in the gut.
  • Heals the Gut Lining: The collagen in bone broth is beneficial for healing and sealing the intestinal lining, which can help to reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
  • Boosts Nutrient Absorption: Bone broth is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are essential for healthy bones and teeth. These minerals are much easier for the body to absorb when consumed in the form of bone broth.

How to Make Bone Broth

Making bone broth is simple and can be done with just a few ingredients. Here’s a quick recipe:


  • 1 pound of bones (chicken, beef, or pork)
  • 2-3 veggies of your choice (onion, carrot, celery)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 8 cups of water


  1. Place the bones, veggies, and apple cider vinegar into a large pot.
  2. Add enough water to cover the bones and vegetables by about 2 inches.
  3. Bring to a simmer and let cook for at least 6 hours for chicken bones (or up to 24 hours for beef or pork bones).
  4. Strain the broth and discard solids.
  5. Store in airtight glass containers in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 5 days.

Bone broth can be enjoyed on its own, used in soups and stews, or even as a base for sauces and gravies. With its many benefits, incorporating bone broth into your diet is a simple yet effective way to support your health and well-being.

Nutritional Benefits of Bone Broth

Bone broth has been gaining popularity among health enthusiasts in recent years due to its numerous nutritional benefits. Here are some of the key benefits of bone broth:

  • Rich in Minerals: Bone broth is loaded with minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are essential for maintaining healthy bones and supporting proper cellular function.
  • High in Collagen and Gelatin: Collagen and gelatin are two key components of bone broth, which help support skin health, joint health, and gut health. Collagen provides structure to your skin while gelatin helps to soothe and repair the lining of the gut.
  • Contains Amino Acids: Bone broth is rich in amino acids like proline, glycine and glutamine, which are important for promoting muscle growth and repair, and supporting healthy immune function.

Bone broth is also a great source of nutrients that are easily digestible, making it ideal for people with digestive issues like ulcerative colitis. With its high mineral and amino acid content, drinking bone broth regularly can help support the body’s natural healing process and improve overall health and well-being.

If you are looking to incorporate bone broth into your diet, it’s important to use high-quality, organic bones and simmer them for a long period of time to extract all the beneficial nutrients. You can also add vegetables, herbs and spices for extra flavor and nutrition.

Nutrient Amount per 1 cup
Calcium 10-20% of Daily Value
Magnesium 10-20% of Daily Value
Phosphorus 10-20% of Daily Value
Collagen Varies
Gelatin Varies

Overall, bone broth is a nutrient-dense food that can provide a variety of health benefits, particularly for those with digestive issues like ulcerative colitis. Incorporating bone broth into your diet can help support healthy bones, skin, joints, and immune function, while also providing easily digestible nutrients that promote overall health and well-being.

How bone broth may benefit those with ulcerative colitis

Bone broth, a protein-rich liquid made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue, has gained popularity in recent years as a health food with potential benefits for digestive issues like ulcerative colitis.

  • Helps reduce inflammation: Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation to the lining of the digestive tract. Bone broth contains anti-inflammatory compounds like collagen and amino acids that may help reduce inflammation in the gut.
  • Promotes gut healing: The gelatin found in bone broth is rich in essential amino acids like glycine and proline, which help support gut healing and regeneration of the lining of the digestive tract. This can be especially beneficial for those experiencing ulcers or damage in the colon due to ulcerative colitis.
  • Aids in nutrient absorption: Bone broth is also a great source of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are essential for maintaining digestive health. These nutrients can also aid in nutrient absorption and support overall gut function, which is important for those with ulcerative colitis.

Overall, incorporating bone broth into a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet may offer benefits for those with ulcerative colitis, especially in reducing inflammation and supporting gut healing. However, it is important to keep in mind that bone broth should not be used as a sole treatment for the condition, and individuals should work with their healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Studies on the effects of bone broth on ulcerative colitis

With the increasing interest in natural remedies for digestive disorders such as ulcerative colitis, bone broth has emerged as one of the most talked-about options. While it has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for various ailments, including gut issues, recent studies have looked into the specific benefits of bone broth for UC patients.

  • A study published in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition found that sipping chicken soup, which is often made with bone broth, helped to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and boost overall immunity.
  • Another study published in the Journal of Medical Food suggested that the collagen in bone broth could help to heal the lining of the intestines, which can become damaged in UC patients.
  • A third study, published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, found that drinking bone broth regularly helped to improve symptoms in UC patients, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.

While these studies show promising results, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of bone broth on UC and other gut disorders. Additionally, not all bone broth is created equal, and it’s important to choose a high-quality, organic broth made from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals.

Despite the need for more research, many UC patients have reported positive effects from incorporating bone broth into their diets. If you’re interested in trying bone broth for UC, it’s best to start slowly and monitor your symptoms carefully. Always talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or treatment plan.

How to Make Bone Broth at Home

If you want to give bone broth a try for the management of ulcerative colitis, you can easily make it at home. Here are the steps:

  • Choose the bones from high-quality grass-fed animals. Beef bones, chicken bones, and fish bones are commonly used for making bone broth.
  • Roast the bones for about 30 minutes to bring out the flavors.
  • Place the bones in a large pot and add enough water to cover them.
  • Add carrots, celery, onions, herbs, and spices of your choice to the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours to extract the nutrients and flavors from the bones.
  • Remove the bones and vegetables from the pot and strain the broth to remove any remaining solids.
  • Let the broth cool down and skim off any fat from the surface.
  • You can store the bone broth in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze it for future use.
  • You can use the bone broth as a base for soups, stews, or sauces. Alternatively, you can drink it as a warm, comforting beverage.

Making bone broth at home is a cost-effective and healthy way to incorporate this nutrient-dense food into your diet for the management of ulcerative colitis. Plus, you can customize the flavors and ingredients to suit your palate and preferences.

If you’re short on time, you can also use a slow cooker or an instant pot to make bone broth with minimal effort. Experiment with different types of bones and vegetables to find the recipe that works best for you.

With a little patience and creativity, you can make delicious and healing bone broth at home for the management of ulcerative colitis.

Other dietary considerations for managing ulcerative colitis

While bone broth has several benefits for those suffering from ulcerative colitis, it is not a cure-all solution. There are several other dietary considerations that can help manage the symptoms of this chronic disease:

  • Fiber: Foods that contain high amounts of insoluble fiber such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables can worsen ulcerative colitis symptoms. Instead, opt for foods with soluble fiber such as oatmeal, apples, and carrots.
  • Dairy: Many people with ulcerative colitis are lactose intolerant and consuming dairy products can worsen symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain. Try lactose-free dairy products or non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk or soy milk.
  • Spicy and acidic foods: These types of foods can irritate the lining of the digestive tract and worsen symptoms. Avoid or reduce the intake of foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, hot peppers, and vinegar.

In addition to these dietary considerations, it is important to pay attention to how your body reacts to different types of food. Keeping a food diary can help identify trigger foods and eliminate them from your diet.

It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids such as water, herbal tea, and coconut water. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages can worsen symptoms, so it is best to limit or avoid them.

Vitamins and supplements

Along with a balanced diet, certain vitamins and supplements can also help improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis:

  • Probiotics: These contain live bacteria that can help restore the balance of gut bacteria and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
  • Vitamin D: Many people with ulcerative colitis have low levels of vitamin D, which can worsen symptoms. Sunlight is a good source of vitamin D, but it can also be obtained through dietary supplements.
  • Iron: Ulcerative colitis can cause anemia due to blood loss. Iron supplements can help replenish iron levels in the body and boost energy levels.


Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that can be managed through dietary changes and supplements. While bone broth can provide several benefits such as reducing inflammation and improving gut health, it is important to also consider other dietary considerations to help manage symptoms. By avoiding trigger foods, staying hydrated, and incorporating supplements such as probiotics and vitamin D, those with ulcerative colitis can better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Bottom Line: Give Bone Broth a Try

So, is bone broth good for ulcerative colitis? The consensus seems to be that it definitely has potential to be beneficial. It contains important nutrients like collagen, gelatin, and amino acids which can promote a healthy gut lining. While there is still more research to be done on specifically how bone broth can help those with UC, many anecdotal stories suggest that it’s worth a shot. As always, talk to your doctor before making any major dietary changes. Thanks for reading, and check back soon for more health and wellness tips!