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Bone Marrow: Nutrition, Benefits, and Food Sources

Bone Marrow
Bone Marrow

Bone Marrow: Nutrition, Benefits, and Food Sources

In the middle of bones, there is a type of spongy tissue called bone marrow. Animal bone marrow from cows, lambs, and moose may have advantages like reducing inflammation and enhancing joint health.
For thousands of years, people have enjoyed foods made with bone marrow.
It has recently gained popularity as a delicacy in both upscale restaurants and hip eateries.
Due to its outstanding nutrient profile and a plethora of advantages, it has also begun to gain popularity in the health and fitness communities.
This article explains how to incorporate bone marrow into your diet as well as its nutrition and advantages.

What is bone marrow?

In the middle of bones, there is a type of spongy tissue called bone marrow. The spine, hip, and thigh bones hold the bulk of it.
It has stem cells that mature into red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets, which are responsible for carrying oxygen, regulating the immune system, and clotting blood.
Numerous cuisines frequently use the bone marrow of animals like cows, lambs, caribou, and moose.
It often goes with toast or is used as a soup base because of its smooth texture and rich, slightly sweet flavour.
Additionally, bone marrow can be used to flavour meat dishes, roasted vegetables, bread, and bone broth.


 A type of tissue found in bones is called bone marrow. Animal bone marrow is frequently served with toast, used as a soup base, or spread on a variety of foods.

Bone marrow nutrition facts

A healthy amount of calories and fat, as well as trace amounts of protein and vitamin B12, can be found in the bone marrow.
One tablespoon (14 grams) of raw caribou bone marrow, for instance, offers
  • Calories: 110
  • Total fat: 12 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Vitamin B12: 7% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Phosphorus: 1% of the RDI
  • Thiamine: 1% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 1% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 6% of the RDI
  • Iron: 4% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 2% of the RDI
The B vitamins pantothenic acid, thiamine, and biotin, which are essential for vital bodily functions like energy production, are only found in trace amounts in the bone marrow.
The most prevalent protein in your body, collagen, is also abundant in it. Collagen is thought to improve joint comfort and skin health when added to your diet.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fat that may reduce inflammation and improve immune function, is also present in bone marrow from cows, goats, sheep, and moose.
Bone marrow is also thought to contain several additional vital substances, such as glycine, glucosamine, and chondroitin, though more research is required.


Bone marrow contains a lot of fat and calories. Protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin, collagen, and conjugated linoleic acid are also present.

Health benefits of bone marrow

There is a ton of research on the health advantages of bone marrow's constituent parts, although no studies specifically evaluate the effects of bone marrow consumption.
For their potential effects on health, collagen, glycine, glucosamine, and conjugated linoleic acid have all received considerable attention.

Supports joint function.

It's believed that several substances in bone marrow promote joint health.
For instance, glucosamine, a substance found in cartilage, is frequently used as a natural treatment for osteoarthritis because it can ease joint pain and inflammation.
To maintain joint function, collagen can support the synthesis of joint cartilage.
Supplementing with 10 grams of collagen per day significantly reduced activity-related joint pain in 147 athletes throughout a 6-month study.

Decreases inflammation

Chronic inflammation is thought to play a role in diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, although short-term inflammation is an essential component of your body's defence mechanism.
Multiple test-tube studies have demonstrated the potent anti-inflammatory properties of glycine, a type of protein present in bone marrow, suggesting that it may help lessen inflammation in your body.
Another substance found in the bone marrow called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has also been found to lessen several blood-based indicators of inflammation.
5.6 grams of CLA per day effectively reduced levels of specific proteins involved in inflammation, such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha and C-reactive protein, according to a two-week study involving 23 men.
Adiponectin is another protein hormone found in the bone marrow that is crucial in controlling inflammation and the immune response.

Promotes skin health

Your body contains a type of protein called collagen, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin.
Supplementing with 2.5–5 grams of collagen per day helped to increase skin elasticity and hydration, according to an 8-week study involving 69 women.
Similar to this, a mouse study found that an 8-week collagen treatment increased collagen content and antioxidant activity in the skin, potentially preventing skin damage and ageing.

Limited studies on bone marrow consumption

It should be noted that the supplements used in the aforementioned studies all contained concentrated amounts of the various substances found in the bone marrow.
If eating bone marrow directly results in similar health advantages, more investigation is required.


Although there is little information on the health effects of bone marrow itself, research indicates that many of its constituents may help joints function, reduce inflammation, and improve skin health.

Food sources and how to add them to your diet

Farmer's markets, butcher shops, and health food stores all sell bone marrow.
You can use bones from almost any animal, but because of the size and accessibility of beef bone marrow, it's a great option for beginners.
The following are some of the most popular sources of bone marrow:
  • shank marrow bones
  • Neck marrow bones
  • oxtail
  • knuckle marrow bones
You can use the entire bone in your recipe rather than extracting the marrow separately if you intend to use your bone marrow as the foundation for bone broth or soups.
If you intend to eat the meat straight from the bone after roasting, you can also ask the butcher to split the bones for you, which will save you a lot of time and work.
Marrow bones should be baked for about 15 minutes at 450°F (232°C) to prepare the bone marrow. After cooking, bone marrow can be removed with a spoon.
It frequently comes with toast and jam. You can also spread it on top of your preferred foods, such as roasted vegetables, bread, meats, and more.
It's also common to consume bone broth, which is created by simmering bones for 24 to 48 hours to draw out the healthy nutrients and compounds present in the bone and bone marrow.
In addition, bone broth supplements are available in liquid, powder, and capsule forms for an easy and quick substitute for eating bone marrow directly from the bone. These goods are accessible both locally and online.


Roasted marrow bones can be used to extract bone marrow, which is widely available. Supplements made from bone broth are a quick and practical replacement for bone marrow.

The bottom line

Collagen, conjugated linoleic acid, glycine, and glucosamine are some of the health-promoting substances found in bone marrow.
Even though there is little information on the health advantages of bone marrow, these substances have been associated with reduced inflammation, better skin health, and improved joint function.
The best part is that bone marrow is widely accessible, delectable, and simple to use in a variety of recipes.


What are the food sources of bone marrow?

Cows, lambs, caribou, and moose

Is bone marrow good for protein?

Its rich nutritional profile, which includes proteins

What is a good source of bone marrow?

Beef marrow

What is the benefit of eating bone marrow?

Improves the health and strength of bones and skin.

Who eats bone marrow?

Some Native Alaskans eat the bone marrow of caribou and moose.

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