Over the past couple of years our Western culture has seen a tremendous increase in bone broth consumption. Articles are written on a daily basis about the health and wellness benefits, a new celebrity seems to endorse it every week, and beverage industry analytics state that educated consumers are demanding more natural and healthy drink options like that of bone broth. While we cannot be more excited for this beverage growth (we did start a bone broth beverage company you know), it is important to recognize that bone broth is not just a food trend: it is a legitimate remedy based on scientific evidence for those suffering from Crohn's disease, Leaky Gut, and IBS.
Never heard of such afflictions? That's okay; while problems such as these have been around for a long time, they are just now starting to be recognized and diagnosed in the modern world. Here's a look into each type of digestive disorder.
IBS (or Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a condition triggered by certain foods causing diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and severe stomach discomfort. You can be diagnosed with IBS when the collection of symptoms have been ongoing for at least 6 months, and has occurred at least 3 times a month in the past 3 months. It can often be related to a number of other health conditions including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and Leaky Gut but it is a much less serious affliction than either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, as it doesn't involve inflammation and can usually be avoided once you have identified the food(s) that cause the adverse reactions.
Leaky gut (often referred to as increased intestinal permeability) is when the “net” in your digestive tract gets damaged, causing large holes that allow things that normally wouldn’t be able to (think bad bacteria and undigested food particles), to pass through and “leak out” in the body. Leaky Gut can be caused by allergies, autoimmune disease, and is a symptom of Crohn’s disease.
- Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Those suffering (NFL Quarterback David Garrard brought this disease front and center) will experience bouts of diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and even rectal bleeding followed by periods of remission and virtually no symptoms. There is an estimated 780,000 Americans who have this, of which the majority are teens and young adults ages 15-35 years. Although data hasn’t pinpointed the exact cause of Crohn’s, it is more common in developed countries, urban settings, northern climates and in those that have direct relations to those suffering from Leaky Gut.
- GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) is a diet that has proven to help to treat issues like “Leaky gut”, IBS, and other digestive issues. It is broken into three parts specifically designed to heal and seal the gut lining, rebalance the immune system, and restore the optimal bacterial ecosystem within the gastrointestinal tract. Bone broth is at the center of this regimen.
To put this into perspective, most of us are able to enjoy all types of food and beverage (with the occasional upset stomach of course), while these groups must adhere to a strict diet in fear of severe consequences like those mentioned above. Bone broth offers a natural remedy for those suffering from these symptoms by restoring amino acids and essential nutrients back into the body that have otherwise been depleted. Here’s how BRU plays an integral role in those suffering from these digestive disorders.
- Gelatin (what is extracted from bones over a long period of time under specific heating methods) is healing for the gut. The slew of amino acids found in gelatin, like proline and glycine, help build the intestinal walls, which is particularly beneficial for those who have damaged such walls through poor diet choices, consumption of certain medications, and pre-existing health conditions like Leaky Gut and Crohn’s. Without a strong intestinal barrier, your intestinal lining is left vulnerable to unhealthy bacteria, which can actually cause Leaky Gut and other stomach ailments if you don’t help it mend itself.
- Glutamine, one of the main amino acids found in bone broth, is the main nutrient used for fuel by small intestinal cells. It has been shown to increase blood flow to the gut, thereby helping the healing process for those suffering from gastritis, and it promotes gut mucosal integrity by acting as an energy source and preventing bacterial translocation. When you are chronically stressed out, glutamine is depleted and the cells of the small intestinal can suffer which can lead to IBS, and even Leaky Gut.
Bone broth is incredibly easy to digest and places no stress on the intestines. When you are sick and having difficulty processing foods, your body needs anti-inflammatory, soothing, and nutrient rich substances that help heal your body while providing the nutrition it relies on to function properly.
Anti-inflammatory added ingredients like seen in our Turmeric and Ginger flavor help calm the intestinal tract and aid in pain relief. Ginger is a digestive superfood great for stimulating healthy digestion and soothing the stomach, while the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can ease symptoms of IBS and keep it in remission (read about some really interesting turmeric studies here).
Calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, silica, all of which are found in bone broth, provide electrolyte balance and high density nutrition. This is especially important when you are losing a lot of water and nutrients during Crohn’s flare ups, and any other stomach sickness for that matter.
Amino acids Proline and Arginine are known to be natural anti-inflammatory agents. These components are able to calm the gut and help it heal, as well as decrease inflammation in other areas of the body like the throat and colon (a really nice thing during periods of vomiting and diarrhea).
All coconut products, like the coconut oil and coconut amigos found in 5 BRU flavors, are especially good for your gut. The MCFA’s (or Medium Chained Fatty Acids) in coconut are easier to digest than other fats making it a great option for those with IBS, Leaky Gut, and Crohn’s.
While fiber rich vegetables can hurt the digestive tract, drinking fresh-pressed greens like in our Hot Greens flavor provides much needed nutrients with a low-stress intestinal impact. Unlike blenders, juicing removes insoluble fibre, allowing the body to more quickly and easily absorb and assimilate the nutrients needed to stay healthy and strong. Note: juicing may still not agree with your stomach depending on your digestive issue. Make sure to speak with your doctor about re-introducing foods back into your diet after diagnosis.
We hope this has shed some light on the importance of maintaining a balanced gut ecosystem and incorporating foods like bone broth to give back to your body what it needs to survive and thrive. If you have been diagnosed with IBS, Leaky Gut, Crohn’s disease, or think you might suffer from such digestive issues, please, consult your doctor before implementing any new form of dietary restrictions.
Happy Brothing and Happy Healing!
The BRU CRU
Note: while we love our Cayenne Zen, we do not recommend this product to those suffering from any symptoms of the above. Have no fear of tastebud dullness, we have 5 other sippable bone broth flavors to choose from.