Bone Broth Won’t Boost Your Immunity (but It Still Makes Great Soup)

If you see someone walking down the street with a coffee cup in hand that smells more like a bowl of chicken noodle soup than a pumpkin spice latté, don’t be alarmed. It’s just part of the newest food craze: drinking bone broth.

Source: Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You’ve Heard About Bone Broth

The broth does contain a few important nutrients, but you can get them in far greater quantities from other types of food (like, for example, the meat you ate off the bones before you started boiling them). The claims that the broth is “nourishing” or that it contains any meaningful amount of collagen protein are pretty much dead in the water—and we’ve known that since 1934.

Couple of related reads:

Chicken Broth Comes Out Better on the Stovetop or Pressure Cooker, Not the Slow Cooker

…there are also times when I’m in a hurry and I want that great chicken stock NOW. Likewise, there are days when I need to step out for a while and I don’t want to leave an unattended pot simmering on the stovetop. This is when I think about pulling out the pressure cooker or the slow cooker. But how do the results compare?

Source: Ask the Food Lab: Can I Make Stock in a Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker?

Don’t forget that you can alter the body by adding gelatin.

  1. The author set his slow cooker on low. He should have made a fourth batch with it set on high.
  2. Different slow cookers reach different temperatures. Mine reaches a good simmer on low and a boil on high.
  3. He doesn’t say whether he started with cooked or raw chicken scraps. A couple of the best batches of stock I’ve ever made were from the carcass of my Thanksgiving turkey done in a slow cooker which I started right after the meal an let simmer all night. I wonder if using cooked bones makes a difference.

Make Chicken Stock in Just 45 Minutes with an Ounce of Gelatin

The most flavorful, full-bodied chicken stock takes hours to make on the stove—usually. Here’s a shortcut that doesn’t compromise on quality: add packets of unflavored gelatin to your stock ingredients and have stock in less than an hour.

Source: Make Chicken Stock in Just 45 Minutes with an Ounce of Gelatin

If you want good flavour – roast the bones, some carrot and some onion @ 450F for a half hour or so, transfer to pot and add the water. Makes it ten times better.  The gelatin is just for the body. The flavour comes from the bones/meat, and pulverizing them extracts the flavor more quickly.

3D Tissue Engineering May One Day Solve Both Impotence And Miscarriage

A study published last week in the journal Biofabrication describes a new technique to build replacements for damaged three dimensional human tissues. The researchers running the study are trying to make an eardrum. But their technique, if successful, might also one day create replacements for complex reproductive tissues.

Source: 3D Tissue Engineering May One Day Solve Both Impotence And Miscarriage

No mention about epidermis, as skin grafts are generally “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.  Oh, the fun of grafting skin from an untanned patch to a tanned one… 😉

Tissue engineering could mean enhancement as well.  Current breast implants are good for 10 years?  And that’s besides the physical impact of what is removed to place and anchor an implant.  Think how weird it’ll be to have seniors with perfect breasts…  Guys are increasingly getting cosmetic surgery too – butt, pec, abs, calf implants…  Tissue engineering is likely to drive down the price on the current augmentation approach.

The Difference Between Sugar and Sugar Alcohols

For many decades, sugar alcohols have been popular alternatives to sugar.  They look and taste like sugar, but have fewer calories and fewer negative health effects.  In fact, many studies show that sugar alcohols can actually lead to health improvements.  This article takes a detailed look at sugar alcohols and their health effects.

Source: Sugar Alcohols: Good or Bad?

The article didn’t mention that most of them, with the exception of erythritol, have a laxative effect.  Lest we forget the gummy bears of doom

Study: Cannabinoid CBD “Enhances Bone Fracture Healing” in Rat Model

Cannabinoid ligands regulate bone mass, but skeletal effects of cannabis (marijuana and hashish) have not been reported. Bone fractures are highly prevalent, involving prolonged immobilization and discomfort. Here we report that the major non-psychoactive cannabis constituent, cannabidiol (CBD), enhances the biomechanical properties of healing rat mid-femoral fractures.

Source: Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotrophic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts.

Bone Fracture Healing 101

Basically, after a fracture you get an initial cartilaginous callus that forms across the gap. That callus then mineralizes, and is replaced by a bony callus, which is remodeled into mature bone. It is fairly well known that there are cannabinoid receptors that are involved in picking up the endocannibinoids (the cannabinoid molecules that your body produces) and have an effect in bone fracture healing.

CBD 101

  1. Cannabidiol/CBD is a key component in cannabis
  2. CBD is non-psychoactive, and the active compound in medical marijuana
  3. CBD reduces the negative effects of THC
  4. CBD is illegal, classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States and a Schedule II drug in Canada

What this Paper Did

They performed three experiments.

The first experiment was testing the effects of administering:

  • just THC
  • just CBD
  • or a control

…on structural and mechanical properties of the fracture healing. These rats received femoral fractures following having a pin put in place to stabilize the fracture. They then began receiving 5 mg/kg/day doses of THC, CBD, or just the delivery solution. They then sacrificed the rats at various time points (2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks), and examined the fracture using microcomputed tomography and mechanical testing. At 4 weeks, it looks like this: figure, caption, where you can see callus formation. They found that the callus size in rats administered either THC or CBD was ~26% smaller than the control rats at the 4 week time point, but this was not present in the 6 or 8 week time points. This can be seen in this figure, caption. They then performed mechanical testing on the bone and found an enhancement of ~35% maximal force and ~50% work to failure in the CBD treated bones at the 8 week time point, but not in THC or control bones. The ultimate displacement at failure was not increased (how much the bone bends before it breaks), which indicates that the improvement in work to failure (basically, how tough the bone is) was due to strength improvements.

In the second experiment, they were testing the effect of delivery a mixture of equal amounts of THC and CBD on the mechanical properties of the callus because that is about the ratio recommended in most therapeutic cannabis. In this experiment, they only looked at the mechanical properties. The results can be seen here: figure, caption, but basically they found that the addition of THC slightly improved the maximal force, but eliminated the increased work to failure at 8 weeks. There were improvements at 6 weeks. I personally have problems with this comparison, because they were comparing the results from this 2nd experiment directly to the prior experiment, rather than adding additional groups to the 2nd experiment. It may be valid, but if there were odd changes they didn’t realize between experiments it could have an effect here.

Next, they wanted to assess the effects of THC and CBD on bone material properties so they could figure out what the mechanism of action of the CBD fracture healing effect. They analyzed the material density of the mineralized matrix, and found no differences between the treatment groups (see figure, caption), and found that there was no change in the actual mineralization. That means the effects of the CBD were coming from changes to the organic component of bone.

To show this, they cultured osteoblasts (the cells that produce bone), and administered CBD to the osteoblasts. They looked at the expression of PLOD1, which is an gene that creates an enzyme that plays a role in collagen crosslinking. The results are here: figure, caption. Basically, they found that there was an increase in expression for CBD at moderate levels, but decreased at higher concentrations (fairly expected). THC showed an increase at high levels of the PLOD2 gene, but didn’t show an effect on PLOD1.

They then performed spectroscopy on the callus tissue of the specimens from the first 2 experiments, and found the degree of collagen crosslinking was greater in samples that had been treated with CBD alone, but did not see any increase in either THC, or CBD+THC. I can’t post the figures with the data, because they appear to have forgotten to include them (I assume the publishers will catch this prior to full publication).

Summary

They found that delivery of CBD alone promoted improvement in some of the mechanical properties in fracture healing. The actual amount is a bit hard to tell, but it was enough to be statistically significant (P<0.05) using a very nonconservative test (Fisher’s LSD, which is commonly used, and in my opinion, overused). Their results also indicated that the impact comes during the late stages of bone healing (I would be curious to see a test with injections starting at 5 weeks or so), and they believe it may be due to increased collagen crosslinking. Further research is needed because this is very preliminary. There was no evidence that smoking cannabis (or vaping, or eating) would provide the benefits that they saw here, because they were testing using injections under the skin.

TLDR

Cannabinoid, but not THC provides some improvement in mechanical properties during fracture healing, maybe due to increased collagen crosslinking. More research is necessary. This does not recommend smoking cannabis.

Supposition

Maybe this could be used to stave off osteoporosis?

The Genetics of Being Injury-Prone

Injury is a fact of life for most athletes, but some professionals—and some weekend warriors, for that matter—just seem more injury-prone than others. But what is it about their bodies that makes the bones, tendons, and ligaments so much more likely to tear or strain—bad luck, or just poor preparation?

A growing body of research suggests another answer: that genetic makeup may play an important role in injury risk.

…the largest market for sports-injury genetic testing may be the general public. A growing number of companies like 23andMe, Pathway Genomics, DNAFit, and Stanford Sports Genetics offer genetic tests that can tell the average consumer about his or her risk for sports injuries, including ACL ruptures, stress fractures, osteoarthritis, and spinal-disc degeneration.

Source: The Genetics of Being Injury-Prone

On some levels, it’s no different than testing your VO2 max.  But there’s also the potential that genetic testing can be used against, like medical/health insurance.

At the end of the day, should the knowledge that your ligaments and tendons are more susceptible to injury than others?  I think not.

Vitamin C helps the body produce and repair collagen.  Oranges are high in vitamin C, and low in vitamin K.  Grapefruit is not recommended for medications in general – the “grapefruit effect” is well known.

Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

…in mice.  This could be huge. On the other hand, let’s see the peer reviewed articles. Remember “resveratrol”?

Scientists at the University of B.C. searching for ways to slow the deterioration of blood vessels may have stumbled on to the key to youthful skin.

While exploring the effects of the protein-degrading enzyme Granzyme B on blood vessels during heart attacks, professor David Granville couldn’t help noticing that mice engineered to lack the enzyme had beautiful skin at the end of the experiment, while normal mice showed signs of age.

Source: UBC researchers may have stumbled upon the secret to youthful skin

I believe it’s already known that avoiding sunlight helps prevent this enzyme from being released, and in turn keeps skin looking younger. This is just artificially lowering it even further in an attempt to to create immortal, sunlight-fearing vampires.  But it could really help burn victims…

Usually most aging-preventing discoveries cause cancer. Tumour cells (for solid tumours) normally have defects in extra-cellular matrix related genes (genes in the collagen family are sometimes mutated in advanced gastric cancer) that help the tumour invade and spread through tissues.  For example, the p21 knockout mice that gained almost salamander-like regeneration also gained a high tumor rate. The idea that processes in your body involving the stopping of growth and areas dying off are things that help prevent cancer from forming or growing makes sense…