Tag Archives: gut health

The Magic Elixir: Bone Broth


Smokey Bone Broth | smoked bone broth with galangal, Chinese celery

To heal and restore your gut consider making bone broth. You say, “What is bone broth?” Well it used to be a staple in our food system and in our homes as the base of soups, gravies and stew before processed foods became vogue.

Bone broth has multiple health benefits like being loaded with minerals; it supports the immune system, improves digestion and improves all body parts that have to do with collagen (tendons, ligaments, joints, skin, mucous membranes and bone). This magic elixir has multiple benefits but I want to focus on the gut benefits.

The gut lining has a unique ability of being permeable or open to certain nutrients and closed to others.  An example is the gut barrier is closed to foreign antigens like viruses and parasites.  When the gut lining becomes too permeable or holes in the lining remain open, trouble begins.

It is a lot like the screens on the windows on your house, if they were to develop big holes gnats, flies and mosquitoes come in. They are not welcome in my home.  These unwanted pests create havoc.

But there is an answer to this problem.  Bone broth contains gelatin.  Gelatin repairs or patches the holes in the gut lining so surveillance and protection occurs or the holes in the screens are patched and unwanted invaders do not come into your home. Now your body can heal and repair itself.

Besides gelatin, bone broth has a protein molecule called collagen.  The protein in collagen contains two critical amino acids, proline and glycine.  Proline assists in the production of collagen. Collagen has been shown to heal the gut, repair gastric ulcers and stop the inflammation at the gut lining.  Glycine improves digestion by increasing your body’s output of gastric secretions.

Glutamine is also in bone broth. Glutamine, another amino acid, is the gasoline or fuel for the cells that line the small intestines. I need mine working and I am sure you do too.

So start making your own bone broth. Remember any bone is fine as long it is from animals that are organic, grass-fed or pastured and free-range. How that animal lived and ate is factored into the health of the broth you make.

So here are your cooking suggestions:

  1. Put the bones in a large stock pot and cover with water.
  2. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or wine to the water prior to cooking. This will help to extract the nutrients from the bones.
  3. Fill the stock pot with reverse osmosis water or filtered water.  Leave enough room for the water to boil.
  4. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for a minimum of 6 hours. Periodically remove the scum that rises to the top.
  5. Cook long and slow. Chicken bones can cook 6-48 hours .Beef bones can cook for 12-72 hours. A long and slow cooking time is required to extract all of the nutrients in and around the bone.

After cooking, the broth will develop a layer of fat that will harden on top once it cools. This layer protects the broth below. Once you are ready to enjoy your broth spoon off this layer.

Once you make your broth it is available for you to sip on at your leisure.  How cool, you have the tool here to restore cell function, repair the damage that may have occurred at the gut lining, recharge the intestinal cells’ batteries and enhance intestinal absorption.  In short you can add zest to your step and add quality to your day with a little planning and creativity. Have fun in the kitchen!

To your health,

Dr. Dana

Remnant Health Center





The Ecosystem That Thrives Inside

Small intestinal bacteria, Source: wikipedia.org

The human gut is home to over 100 trillion microbes which constitutes the ecosystem of the digestive tract.  An ecosystem is the balance of organisms that exist in an environment; in this instance we are talking about the ecosystem of the gut.  The gut or the digestive system is much like a pond. This ecosystem has an intrinsic balance of bacteria and flora that is mandatory for its existence and health. The healthy human gut has bacteria, viruses and fungus. These organisms can either help us or infect us depending on the balance in the ecosystem at any given time.  Biomedical research has shown that imbalances in gut flora can result in type 1 diabetes, allergies, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disorders and obesity.

The gut is the root of health and the key to well being which Hippocrates told us 2000 years ago.  The human gut is a lush vegetative environment carrying species that break down our food in ways that we cannot, processing certain vitamins and other nutrients beyond the bounds of our bodies.  These microbes are cooperative with one another to obtain the food they need and are critical for creating the conditions in which they can flourish.

The down side of these microbes is when they do not cooperate, instead competing for themselves and not for the good of the community. They can hijack our entire immune system and undermine our health in ways that you may not even be aware of. Rogue organisms occur when the digestive system is out of balance.  Bad gut bugs create havoc in your immune system and can spiral one’s health down fast.

Elie Metchnikoff, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in his work on the intestinal barrier, said “Death begins in the colon,” which is true. A variety of organisms in the mucous layer of your gut’s first defense is both benign and potentially pathogenic. Research has validated that failure to maintain the balance between an individual’s gut microorganisms has negative consequences for your gut health and your overall body.

The gut has a sensitive teeter-totter balance that is dynamic at any given time. For example, the small intestine replaces itself every 3 to 5 days.  This high tissue turnover is rich in protection as long as the right building blocks are provided to nourish and to repair.

Tune in next week to learn how to nourish and repair your gut.

To your health

Dr. Dana