Bone Broth

An Old Fashioned Secret to Fight Osteoarthritis

There was a time when soup broth was made fresh, with vegetables, herbs, meat, and the bones from the animal, be it fish, poultry, or steer. As soup became a canned convenience food, bones were often left out of preparation. Today, bone broth has made a resurgence for important health reasons, including supporting the structures of the musculoskeletal system.

While it’s not possible to acquire exact measurements of each nutrient contained in bone broth (every batch is different depending on ingredients), we do know it contains a wide variety of nutrients. In preparing bone broth, you are simmering animal bones and connective tissue, which are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and other trace minerals that our own bones rely on to maintain strength and contractility. During cooking, the collagen found in bone and connective tissue transforms into a gelatin and releases amino acids into the broth. Amino acids (AA) are the building blocks for proteins that help form muscles, other tissues, and facilitate cellular activity in the body. For example, the AA glycine is used by the body to form tendons and ligaments, which support joints. Another AA, arginine, reduces inflammation. Bone broth also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which are associated with healthy bones and joints.

You can use bone broth as a base for soups and entrées, as a marinade, or depending, on how it’s seasoned, you might like drinking it. There isn’t a specific recommendation for drinking bone broth. Because bone broth is not necessarily good for everyone, check with your holistic health practitioner about adding it to your ongoing health-building strategies.


Lugo, J.P., Saiyed, Z.M. & Lane, N.E. “Efficacy and tolerability of an undenatured type II collagen supplement in modulating knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Nutr J (2015) 15:14. Accessed 3 Aug 2020:

Heaton, Lisa E et al. “Selected In-Season Nutritional Strategies to Enhance Recovery for Team Sport Athletes: A Practical Overview.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) (2017) 47:11, 2201-2218. doi:10.1007/s40279-017-0759-2 Accessed 3 August 2020: “Bone Broth: A Secret Weapon for Arthritis?” Accessed 3 August 2020:


“Osteoarthritis, known as OA, is the most common musculoskeletal disease in the world “

Natural Approaches to



October 2020 Edition

What’s New

Pumpkins are fruits, not vegetables. Fruits are considered to be the part of the plant that has seeds on the inside. By this definition, a pumpkin is definitely a fruit. They’re a member of the gourd family, which includes other fruits like watermelon and winter squash.


Oh, my aching joints!

There’s good reason why we hear this so often. Osteoarthritis, known as OA, is the most common musculoskeletal disease in the world and a prevalent factor in work absences, temporary or permanent disability, hospital admissions, and use of pain-management drugs. While OA can develop in any joint, the knee is most typically affected.

Causes & Symptoms of OA:

OA develops in response to a chronic inflammatory response in which there is progressive deterioration of the cartilage and narrowing of the joint space. The mechanical function of the entire joint, including adjacent bone and soft tissue (ligaments, muscles, and tendons), can become impaired. Factors that cause OA include:

  • joint injury
  • overuse related to sport, physical activity, or job conditions
  • obesity
  • age (over age 50)
  • smoking
  • lack of exercise or excessive exercise
  • diabetes
  • hormonal changes related to menopause

Symptoms of OA include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joint. There may also be stiffness or cramping in the adjacent muscles.

Treating OA:

The main objective of treatment is symptom management – reducing pain and underlying inflammation – and preventing further deterioration of the joint. It has been commonly thought that OA is irreversible; however, advances in orthopedic treatments, regenerative medicine, nutritional science, physical therapy and related fields indicate that people can improve joint function and experience a reduction in pain. Treatments vary by individual and often a combination of treatments are used; here are a few:

Contrast Therapy: Alternating hot and cold-pack treatment or alternating soaking in warm and cool-water baths can reduce stiffness, inflammation, and pain level. Soaking can also be done in mineral-infused water (aka, balneotherapy). Another form of contrast therapy involves applying a warm compress to the joint for five minutes and then covering it with a thin, cold towel for ten minutes.

Aquatic Therapy: Exercising in the water, including swimming and water aerobics, enhancing pain management, mobility, and increased sense of wellbeing.

Muscle Strengthening: Strengthening the muscles and connective tissue around the affected joint helps improve strength and range of motion, reduces pain and swelling, and can prevent further breakdown of the cartilage. An exercise program may include yoga, tai chi, or strength training and should be designed by a physician or physical therapist who is knowledgeable about OA and your personal lifestyle goals.

Lifestyle Support: If you smoke, focus on reducing and ultimately quitting to help reduce the inflammatory load in your body. Eat a healthy diet consisting of whole grains, healthy fats, lean meat, poultry and fish, and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Cut down on sugar as it contributes to inflammation.

Nutritional Supplements: Glucosamine, a compound found in certain marine animals (there is also a vegan form), is one of the most frequently used supplements worldwide due to its chondroprotective properties (ability to delay joint deterioration and narrowing). Always check with a holistic physician before taking nutritional supplements.

Conventional Medicine for OA: Orthopedic interventions can include the use of anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant, and pain medicine, some of which may cause unwanted side effects (drowsiness, upset stomach). Joint lubrication injections of cortisone are common. Knee and hip joint replacement surgery can be life-changing for people who have tried other approaches, including holistic, and are still suffering.

It’s important to work with your holistic practitioner to determine the best approach for you.


Guiding Principles

The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.