Bone marrow is a type of spongy tissue found in the center of bones. It has stem cells that develop into white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets. These blood cells are responsible for immune functions, transporting oxygen, and blood clotting. 

The bone marrow from cows, lambs, and moose are widely consumed as a delicacy in different cuisines. It comes with a sweet, rich flavor and a smooth texture and is often served as a base of a soup or with toast.

Bone marrow has become extremely popular worldwide due to its incredible nutrient profile and the health benefits it provides. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential to keep you healthy.

This article looks into some incredible health benefits of bone marrow, its nutrition facts, and food source.

Bone Marrow: Nutrition Facts

Bone marrow is quite nutritious and contains a significant amount of protein and vitamins such as vitamin B12, collagen, linoleic acid, glycine, glucosamine, and chondroitin, among others. [1]

According to the USDA, 14 grams of raw bone marrow contains the following nutrients: [2]

  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Total fat: 12 grams
  • Vitamin A: 1% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B12: 7% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 2% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 6% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 1% of the RDI
  • Iron: 4% of the RDI
  • Thiamine: 1% of the RDI

Health Benefits of Bone Marrow

1. Bone Marrow May Improve Joint Function.

There are various components in the bone marrow that may support your joint health. 

Glucosamine, a compound found in cartilage can decrease inflammation and joint pain. Due to this ability, it is often used to treat osteoarthritis. [3]

Besides, bone marrow contains collagen that can help in the production of joint cartilage, thus maintains the joint health. [4

In a study conducted on 147 athletes, those who received 10 grams of collagen supplements per day experienced a significant reduction in joint pain compared to the placebo group. [5]


2. It Can Reduce Inflammation.

While short term inflammation is an essential part of your body’s defense system, chronic inflammation can lead to conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, and even cancer. [6]

Bone marrow contains a protein called glycine that has potent anti-inflammatory components. Several studies have shown its ability to reduce inflammation in your body. [7, 8, 9]

Conjugated linoleic acid, another compound in bone marrow also has anti-inflammatory effects on the human body. [10]

Studies show that adiponectin, a type of protein hormone in bone marrow, has positive effects on reducing inflammation and improving your immune system. [11, 12]

Benefits of Bone Marrow

3. Bone Marrow Can Improve Your Skin.

Collagen plays a vital role in improving your skin condition and works as an anti-aging agent.

A clinical trial published in the Skin Pharmacology and Physiology shows that 69 women received either 2.5-5 grams of collagen supplements or a placebo. After eight weeks, the collagen group showed improved skin elasticity and hydration. [13

Besides, according to an animal study, treatment with collagen for eight weeks could increase the antioxidant activity in the skin. [14]

Bone Marrow Consumption: What Does The Research Say?

While bone marrow is rich in nutritious components and can provide numerous benefits to your health and skin, research is limited regarding this matter.

Most of the studies have done so far have shown the efficacy of bone marrow supplements on health. However, more studies are needed to find out if consuming bone marrow itself can similarly help you.

Bone Marrow: Food Source and Ways to Consume It

You can buy bone marrow from a butcher shop, farmers’ market, or from your nearest supermarkets.

While beef bone marrow is widely popular, you can consume bone marrows from other animals as well.

Some of the popular sources to get bone marrow:

  • Oxtail
  • Knuckle marrow bones
  • Shank marrow bones
  • Neck marrow bones

Bone marrow can be consumed as a base of bone broth or soup, or by spreading over your favorite dishes.

However, remember to roast it for 15 minutes in a 450℉ (232℃) oven. You can serve the whole bone or extract the bone marrow after cooking.

Bottom Line

Bone marrow contains a significant amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other chemical compounds, which can help your body to work at its best.

Due to lack of research, the benefits of consuming the bone marrow itself are still to uncover. Several studies have shown the benefits of bone marrow supplements in reducing inflammation, joint pain, and improving skin health.

However, rich in nutrients, bone marrow can still be a part of your delicious meal, and you can enjoy it in different recipes.

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