Celebrities do strange things in the name of wellness, and Kylie Jenner is the latest famous face to advocate bone broth.

Compared to some other things – like Madonna sharing on Instagram that she drinks her own urine – this is certainly more palatable. After all, it’s essentially the soup part of chicken noodle soup. That being said, it’s still an unusual alternative to kick starting your day with a cup of coffee.

In a video for Harper’s Bazaar recounting what she eats in a day, the 22-year-old beauty mogul said: “The first thing I eat or drink when I wake up is probably my bone broth. It’s mixed with lavender and lemon.” Jenner doesn’t just drink the meaty water first thing, she adds: “I sip on it all day so I’ll go through probably two jars.”

So what is it and can it actually boost your health and wellbeing? We spoke to consultant dietitian Sophie Medlin to find out.

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What is bone broth?

Chicken bone broth in a glass jar
Chicken bone broth in a glass jar

“Bone broth is stock made in the traditional way by boiling animal bones,” Medlin explains. “It has become very popular as a health elixir with proponents claiming it has huge benefits including boosting the immune system; improving joints, skin and hair due to collagen content; and promoting healthy teeth and bones due to calcium, magnesium and phosphorus levels.”

What can bone broth do?

Homemade golden chicken bone
Homemade golden chicken bone

Medlin says there isn’t any medical evidence that bone broth can treat or manage any health issues, but “there are certainly some beneficial nutrients” in it. It’s a good source of “calcium and other minerals that are associated with maintaining good bone health”, she explains, which she says is particularly helpful as more people move away from dairy – although it goes without saying that it isn’t vegan.

‘Collagen’ is a buzzword nowadays in skincare – it’s a protein in your body which helps make your skin elastic and bouncy. A lot of people say they drink bone broth for this ingredient, but Medlin says: “The collagen from bone broth will be broken down like any other protein we consume, and it is very unlikely that ingesting collagen will promote human collagen production.”

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Are there any drawbacks to drinking bone broth?

Chicken bone broth
Chicken bone broth

It seems drinking it is pretty harmless. However, Medlin says: “There is no regulation in how bone broth is produced or what is needs to contain, and any health claims made won’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. Each batch and brand is likely to be completely different in terms of its composition so while it can be a nice addition to the diet, there are no guarantees that it will improve your health or appearance in any way.”

Essentially, if you enjoy bone broth, go for it, but Medlin says: “It should not be relied upon for any nutritional or health benefits”.

Who else drinks bone broth?

Bone broth isn’t exactly a new thing, and in recent years it’s been seized by the exploding wellness community. Jenner isn’t the first famous face to give it a try; Halle Berry once said on Instagram that bone broth “has helped me defy my age and look and feel younger than my years”.

Another celebrity fan is Salma Hayek, who spoke of her love back in 2015. She told People: “It’s full of gelatin and fat and has bone marrow and I think it is very good to keep yourself young. If you do the right fat, I think that is the key.”

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