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Bone marrow has long been revered as a nutritional powerhouse. You’ll often find it on the menu of high-end restaurants. However, if you can’t or don’t want to eat bone marrow in that way, there are bone marrow supplements.
- Bone marrow contains nutrients that our bodies need for building, repairing, and maintaining our bones and connective tissues
- Humans have a long history of eating bone marrow
- Bone marrow can help the health of cartilage, skin, tendons, and ligaments
- Helps with overall dental health
- Repairs cellular damage
- Promotes immune health
- Heals the gut
The Best Bone Marrow Supplements of 2020
The following are our selections for the best bone marrow supplements of 2020. Getting the nutrition and healing effects of bone marrow in supplement form can be more convenient than eating the marrow itself.
- Whole bone extract that includes bone, marrow, cartilage, collagen
- Contains stem cells and base cells
- Contains growth factors and substances used by the body to build, repair and maintain tissues
- Includes collagen
- Fat-soluble activators
- From pasture-raised New Zealand cows
- All cows are grass-fed and grass-finished
- GMO and hormone-free
- Freeze-dried and non-defatted
- Third-party tested for purity
- Whole bone bovine extract
- Includes bone matrix, marrow, collagen, and cartilage
- Rich in stem cells and growth factors
- The stem cells in bone marrow can transform into white and red blood cells
- Bioavailable minerals
- Essential fats to nourish the gut
- Freeze-dried so that all the nutrients are left intact and can be absorbed quickly
- Same components as bone broth
- Raw whole bone marrow
- Includes bone matrix and cartilage
- 3000 mg per serving
- Cold-processed bone marrow from Argentinian beef
- Specialized cells, growth factor, collagen, and trace minerals
- No hormones
- Freeze-dried and non-defatted
- Nutrient-dense with collagen, vitamins and minerals
- Supports connective tissues and joints as well as immune health
- Whole bone complex has 2400 mg of bone marrow
- 300 mg of cartilage
- 300 mg of bone matrix
- Comes from 100% grass-fed New Zealand cows
- Free of hormones, fillers, and flow agents
- Doctor-developed by Paul Saladino, MD
- Saladino is the author of “The Carnivore Code”
- 100% grass-fed and finished
- No pesticides, hormones, or GMOs
- 100% freeze-dried to maintain the natural balance of nutrients, enzymes, peptides, and growth factors
- Includes liver for even more nutritional benefits
What Is Bone Marrow?
Bone marrow is the spongy tissue found in the middle of our bones and also the bones of animals. Most bone marrow is concentrated in the hip, thigh bones and spine.
Bone marrow contains stem cells. Those stem cells then go on to turn into platelets, white blood cells, or red blood cells. Our blood cells and their formation is involved in blood clotting, the function of our immune system, and the transport of oxygen.
Bone marrow helps your body maintain a healthy supply of all your types of blood cells, and it’s part of what’s called the hematopoietic system.
Bone marrow from animals like cows and lambs is often consumed in foods, and it can be used to make bone broth, meat dishes, or served with toast as a spread.
Bone marrow is rich in fat and nutrients such as B12 and protein.
Bone marrow contains pantothenic acid, biotin, and thiamine, which are involved in the body’s energy production. Bone marrow also has a lot of collagen, which is the most abundant protein we have in our bodies. Many people supplement with collagen to help alleviate joint pain and to improve the health of their hair, skin and nails.
There’s also something in bone marrow called conjugated linoleic acid or CLA when the marrow is produced from cows, sheep, goats and moose.
This is one of the biggest bone marrow supplement benefits—the CLA these supplements contain.
CLA is a fatty acid in meat and dairy that is also used as a weight-loss supplement.
Researchers have found that CLA could help combat cancer in mice, and research has also shown it may reduce body fat levels.
There are several different mechanisms through which CLA may help you lose weight.
First, it can help reduce food intake. CLA may also increase how much fat you burn, and it may cause fat to breakdown. CLA may also stop the production of fat.
Some studies show CLA can lead to significant fat loss in humans, while also increasing muscle mass.
People who get a lot of CLA in their diet have been found to be at lower risk of diseases, including cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
CLA may reduce inflammation and improve the function of the immune system.
Bone marrow is also thought to contain compounds like chondroitin, glucosamine, and glycine.
Bone Marrow Supplement Benefits
Whether you eat bone marrow or you take it as a supplement, there are tremendous health benefits.
If you’re interested in nose-to-tail nutrition or the carnivore diet, bone marrow is considered foundational in those concepts, whether you eat it or take a bone marrow supplement.
Bone marrow supplement benefits include:
We hear a lot about inflammation and its detrimental effects on our health.
Some of the illnesses linked to chronic inflammation include cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
There’s a specific type of protein in bone marrow—glycine—which is a strong anti-inflammatory protein.
The CLA in bone marrow can also reduce inflammation markers in the blood. There was a study in men that took 5.6 grams of CLA a day. Researchers found it reduced proteins that play a role in inflammation, including C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor.
Bone marrow also has something called adiponectin. This is a protein hormone that regulates immune function and also inflammation.
That hormone can break down fat and improve insulin sensitivity. That can reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer related to obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
There are different compounds found in bone marrow that are believed to help with joint health.
One of the big ones is glucosamine, which is found in cartilage. Glucosamine is often used to help with osteoarthritis because it relieves joint pain and inflammation.
The collagen in bone marrow can also help support joint cartilage production.
There was a study of 147 athletes over six months that found using 10 mg of a collagen supplement per day significantly decreased joint pain.
White Blood Cell Production
A Swedish oncologist did research giving bone marrow soup to leukemia patients. The goal was to see if there were effects of consuming bone marrow on bone marrow function. Some patients did see a significant return of their white blood cell count, and also boosts in energy.
Bone marrow contains something called alkylglycerols or AKGs, which are lipids that can boost the immune system and are found in human breast milk.
Bone marrow has something called myeloid and lymphoid stem cells. These bone marrow stem cells transform into red blood cells and white blood cells.
We’re learning so much about the role our digestive system and our gut have in terms of the rest of our health.
For example, leaky gut is a condition in which there are ways for toxins to escape the digestive tract and make their way to the bloodstream. This can lead to autoimmune disease and other symptoms, including brain fog, pain and fatigue.
Consuming bone marrow or taking a bone marrow supplement may help heal the lining of the digestive tract and improve gut health.
Bone marrow can help with symptoms of gluten intolerance, IBS, and Celiac disease as well.
Bone marrow can help reduce inflammation and close the stomach lining, while also reducing general discomfort.
Bone marrow may improve the appearance of your skin thanks to the collagen it contains.
Collagen has been shown in studies to improve skin hydration and elasticity. Taking a collagen supplement can also protect against aging and skin damage.
How Can You Consume Bone Marrow?
There are different ways to consume bone marrow and get the benefits in your daily life.
You can purchase marrow from an animal and then you can use it as a broth or soup base, or you can find recipes that include marrow. Sources of bone marrow include knuckle marrow bones, neckbones, oxtail and shank marrow bones. Beef bone marrow tends to be a good option if you want to cook with it because these bones are pretty readily available at butcher shops and even some grocers.
When you make bone broth, you simmer the bones for anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to get the nutrients and benefits from within the bone marrow and the bone.
It can be time-consuming to cook with bone marrow, which is why bone marrow supplements are a popular option, like the ones named above. These capsules provide you with all of the nourishing benefits of bone marrow, but they’re convenient.
Are There Any Bone Marrow Supplement Side Effects To Be Aware Of?
Since bone marrow supplements are essentially just a source of vitamins and nutrients coming from food, there are rarely any side effects to be aware of.
However, some people may react to the glutamine in bone broth or bone marrow supplements, or perhaps a reaction to histamine.
If you have a glutamine or histamine reaction to a bone marrow supplement, it may cause symptoms like headaches, increased heart rate and digestive problems. It can also lead to dry mouth or a runny nose, and hot flashes or sweating.
These symptoms in reaction to a bone marrow supplement or bone broth, may indicate your body has too much glutamine or histamine.
Most people will not experience any bone marrow supplement side effects, however. Within a few weeks people often say they feel significantly better and see benefits.
Bone Marrow Supplement FAQs
The following are answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions people have about bone marrow supplements.
What is a bone marrow supplement good for?
Bone marrow supplements can fill the nutritional gaps you may have because of the modern American and western diet so many of us consume. Using a bone marrow supplement is a convenient way to get the nutrients and healthy fats in bone marrow, without having to cook with it.
Benefits of a bone marrow supplement include reduced pain and inflammation, healthier skin and hair, improved energy levels, and improvements in immune system function.
Bone marrow supplements can help your body with its production of both red and white blood cells.
Bone marrow supplements are also good for healing the gut.
Bone marrow has all of the substances used by our body to build and repair our bones and connective tissues.
How should you choose the best bone marrow supplement?
If you’re considering taking a bone marrow supplement, there are a few important factors to keep in mind when you choose the best.
You should look for bone marrow that comes from cows that are pasture-raised somewhere like New Zealand or Argentina. Opt for a supplement using bone marrow from cows that are grass-fed and finished, and are free of pesticides, hormones, and GMOs.
Other things that make a good bone marrow supplement include that the product is freeze-dried and non-defatted, so you get the full benefits, and ideally, a supplement should be third-party tested and additive-free.
Is bone marrow a good supplement for osteoarthritis?
There is evidence taking a bone marrow supplement for osteoarthritis can be a good option. Bone marrow supplements help build and repair joints and connective tissues, and they can reduce pain by lowering inflammation.
Summary—The Value of Bone Marrow Supplements
For anyone who wants to get more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from food sources, bone marrow is an excellent option.
Making your own bone marrow recipes or soups can be time-consuming, so bone marrow supplements are a viable alternative.
Taking a bone marrow supplement will provide you with conjugated linoleic acid, glucosamine, and glycine, as well as collagen.