Written by Dr KellyAnn Petrucci
I call bone broth “liquid gold” because it’s loaded with nutrients that heal your gut, erase your wrinkles, soothe your joints, and make you feel good all over. But it also contains one nutrient that can give a few people some trouble at first. That nutrient is glutamine—and I want to talk about it today.
First, here’s a little background. Glutamine is an amino acid that plays many roles in your body. You need glutamine to keep your immune system healthy, to help you recover from wounds and illnesses, and to build your muscles. It’s also critical for healthy digestion and brain function.
And here’s something else to know: Even if you aren’t drinking bone broth, your diet (if it’s healthy) is high in glutamine. Meat, chicken, and fish are rich in it. So are veggies like spinach and cabbage. (Breast milk is a rich source of glutamine too, showing that Mother Nature wants infants to get plenty of this nutrient as well.)
So glutamine is already a part of your diet—and it’s a good guy.
Some people can’t metabolize glutamine well. This problem can stem from a variety of causes, including a severely sick gut, lead toxicity, a deficiency of vitamin B6, or over-exposure to monosodium glutamate (MSG). People who have issues with glutamine may find that upping their intake of this nutrient upsets their stomach, gives them headaches, or makes them feel tired or “foggy.”
Luckily, if you have this problem, there’s a simple solution. Initially, instead of drinking bone broth, switch to meat broth. This is broth you make by simmering bone-in cuts of beef, lamb, or poultry. (Don’t remove the bones from the meat.) Because you simmer meat broth only for a few hours—two hours or so for poultry, or four hours or so for beef or lamb—it has a much lower glutamine content than long-simmered bone broth.
Once you detoxify your cells, give your body the nutrients it needs, and build a strong gut wall, you’ll be able to benefit from the healing power of glutamine. After a few weeks of drinking meat broth, start adding bone broth back into your diet gradually. At first, try very small amounts—maybe a quarter of a cup—and increase the amount every few days. If you have any problems, go back to drinking meat broth.
And here’s another tip: Remove the fat from your broth after it cools. Some people who think they have an issue with glutamine actually have difficulty digesting the fat in bone broth because they have gall bladder problems or other issues.
Try these two simple tricks—switching temporarily to meat broth, and removing the fat from your broth— and see what happens. Odds are, you and bone broth will be the best of buddies in just a few weeks!
Do you have issues drinking bone broth? Does it make you feel worse? Try eating some dehydrated bone broth in it's powdered form straight off the spoon and the reactions may be lessened.
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