BONE BROTH IS HOT! Ray Peat, Chris Kresser, Matt Stone, Chris Masterjohn, Sean Croxton, Sally Fallon — they're all doing it.
What's the big deal you ask? It depends on whom you're asking. Sally Fallon would say that bone broth is nutrient-dense treat.
Ray Peat would explain that the amino acids methionine, cysteine, and tryptophan that are found in large amounts in muscle meat, have an anti-metabolic effect. Peat suggests that balancing muscle meat with a rich source of gelatin counters the negative effects of methionine, cysteine and tryptophan leading to a more efficient metabolism (healthy thyroid).
Peat and Sally both have some great points, but I'm more interested in bone broth (gelatin) to see if it has any benefits for those with hair loss. So far it appears that the digestive enhancing, anti-stress and gut restoring qualities might make gelatin a worth-wild part of your hair loss regimen.
Here is what I've found so far:
Ray Peat explains that glycine, the main amino acid found in gelatin, may be useful in combating hydrochloric acid deficiency and increasing digestive capabilities:
Glycine also helps digestion by enhancing gastric acid secretion. Research published in 1976 established that only proteins stimulate gastric acid secretion, but apparently not all amino acids do so. Glycine is one of those that do, a fact that was known in 1925. The effects of other amino acids and their related peptides on acid secretion has not been determined, but researchers have proposed that "glycine may have application in the design of chemically defined diets for patients with gastrointestinal disorders."
Chris Kresser notes that gelatin can be a useful tool in repairing the integrity of the gut:
"Homemade bone broth soups are effective in restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach. Bone broth is rich in collagen and gelatin, which have been shown to benefit people with ulcers. It’s also high in proline, a non-essential amino acid that is an important precursor for the formation of collagen."
The anti-stress actions of glycine were first brought to my attention by a very smart premed student that went by the handle of "Trouble." Trouble was ALL ABOUT restoring stress tolerance, bile acid conjugation, and digestion by using a methylated glycine supplement called trimethylglycine (TMG). She literally helped thousands of bodybuilders return to equilibrium with her unorthodox approach.
Ray Peat speaks about the inhibitory (anti-stress) nature of glycine:
"A generous supply of glycine/gelatin, against a balanced background of amino acids, has a great variety of antistress actions. Glycine is recognized as an “inhibitory” neurotransmitter, and promotes natural sleep. Used as a supplement, it has helped to promote recovery from strokes and seizures, and to improve learning and memory. But in every type of cell, it apparently has the same kind of quieting, protective antistress action. The range of injuries produced by an excess of tryptophan and serotonin seems to be prevented or corrected by a generous supply of glycine. Fibrosis, free radical damage, inflammation, cell death from ATP depletion or calcium overload, mitochondrial damage, diabetes, etc., can be prevented or alleviated by glycine."
It should be noted that glutathione is made from cysteine, glutamate and glycine. I've mentioned glutathione a couple of times being the body's natural detoxifying agent. Glutathione is decreased in many disease states including hair loss.
This doesn't make sense to me, but it appears that restricting methionine, cysteine, and tryptophan increase glutathione status in rats. To my understanding sulfur amino acids are used to synthesize glutathione. In their absence, perhaps this process is more efficient, or an increase in thyroid leads to more glutathione.
Bone broth is also loaded with some valuable macro and micronutrients. According to Sally Fallon, stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals.