Lead Contamination in Bone Broth

Lead Contamination in Bone Broth
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Popular with paleo diet advocates, organic chicken broth is tested for the presence of the toxic heavy metal lead.

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There are toxicological issues associated with production and processing of meat, issues like the presence of various toxic contaminants, from dioxins and PCBs to the cooked meat carcinogens. Carcinogenesis, the development of cancer, may be the main concern, but there are a number of other toxic responses connected with the consumption of meat products. Lead, for example, can be toxic to the nerves, gastrointestinal tract, bone marrow, and kidneys.

Where is lead found in the food supply? In general terms, the highest levels of lead, as well as arsenic and mercury, are found in fish. Sardines have the most arsenic, but tuna may have sardines beat when it comes to mercury and lead.

The problem is that fish-consumption advisories related to human health protection do not consider the fish by-products fed to farmed animals like farmed fish. If some tilapia are fed tuna by-products, they could bioaccumulate heavy metals and pass them onto us. The highest levels have been found in frozen sole fillets, averaging above the legal limit for lead.

Lead exposure has been shown to have adverse effects on nearly every organ system in the body. Symptoms of chronic exposure range from memory loss and constipation to impotence and depression. This is, all after, pretty hefty exposure, though. But we now know that blood lead levels in the range currently considered acceptable are associated with increased prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia, elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, a blood lead level needs to be less than 25 (micrograms per deciliter) to not be elevated. And so, you’d assume that at all these values under 25, there’d be no relationship with health outcomes, but even throughout this “acceptable” range, lower lead means lower uric acid levels and lower gout risk. So, even blood lead levels 20 times below the acceptable level can be associated with increased prevalence of gout. These data suggest that there is no such thing as a “safe” level of exposure to lead. 

And once it gets in the body, it tends to stay in the body. It builds up in the bones, such that it may take 30 years just to get rid of half; so, the best strategy would be to not get exposed in the first place.

If it builds up in bones, though, what about boiling bones for broth? We know bones sequester lead, and such lead can then leach from the bones; so, they figured that bone broth made from the bones of farmyard animals might carry a risk of being contaminated with lead. Who eats bone broth? Bone broth consumption is encouraged by many advocates of the paleo diet. Online, you can learn all about the benefits of bone broth, but what they don’t mention is the theoretical risk of lead contamination, or at least it was theoretical, until now. Broth made from chicken bones was found to have markedly high lead concentrations, up to a 10-fold increase in lead. In view of the dangers of lead consumption to the human body, they recommend that doctors and nutritionists take the risk of lead contamination into consideration when advising patients about bone broth diets.

But what if you only use bones from organic, free-range chickens? The researchers in the literature cited above did only use bones from organic, free-range chickens.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Jessica & Lon Binder via Flickr.

There are toxicological issues associated with production and processing of meat, issues like the presence of various toxic contaminants, from dioxins and PCBs to the cooked meat carcinogens. Carcinogenesis, the development of cancer, may be the main concern, but there are a number of other toxic responses connected with the consumption of meat products. Lead, for example, can be toxic to the nerves, gastrointestinal tract, bone marrow, and kidneys.

Where is lead found in the food supply? In general terms, the highest levels of lead, as well as arsenic and mercury, are found in fish. Sardines have the most arsenic, but tuna may have sardines beat when it comes to mercury and lead.

The problem is that fish-consumption advisories related to human health protection do not consider the fish by-products fed to farmed animals like farmed fish. If some tilapia are fed tuna by-products, they could bioaccumulate heavy metals and pass them onto us. The highest levels have been found in frozen sole fillets, averaging above the legal limit for lead.

Lead exposure has been shown to have adverse effects on nearly every organ system in the body. Symptoms of chronic exposure range from memory loss and constipation to impotence and depression. This is, all after, pretty hefty exposure, though. But we now know that blood lead levels in the range currently considered acceptable are associated with increased prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia, elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, a blood lead level needs to be less than 25 (micrograms per deciliter) to not be elevated. And so, you’d assume that at all these values under 25, there’d be no relationship with health outcomes, but even throughout this “acceptable” range, lower lead means lower uric acid levels and lower gout risk. So, even blood lead levels 20 times below the acceptable level can be associated with increased prevalence of gout. These data suggest that there is no such thing as a “safe” level of exposure to lead. 

And once it gets in the body, it tends to stay in the body. It builds up in the bones, such that it may take 30 years just to get rid of half; so, the best strategy would be to not get exposed in the first place.

If it builds up in bones, though, what about boiling bones for broth? We know bones sequester lead, and such lead can then leach from the bones; so, they figured that bone broth made from the bones of farmyard animals might carry a risk of being contaminated with lead. Who eats bone broth? Bone broth consumption is encouraged by many advocates of the paleo diet. Online, you can learn all about the benefits of bone broth, but what they don’t mention is the theoretical risk of lead contamination, or at least it was theoretical, until now. Broth made from chicken bones was found to have markedly high lead concentrations, up to a 10-fold increase in lead. In view of the dangers of lead consumption to the human body, they recommend that doctors and nutritionists take the risk of lead contamination into consideration when advising patients about bone broth diets.

But what if you only use bones from organic, free-range chickens? The researchers in the literature cited above did only use bones from organic, free-range chickens.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Jessica & Lon Binder via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

For more on the paleo diet, see:

Other products contaminated with lead include Ayurvedic supplements, protein powders, game shot with lead ammunition, dairy products, and tea from China:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

146 responses to “Lead Contamination in Bone Broth

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  1. Yooooohooooo hello from Greece!!!!!!!!!! Before you Dr Greger I was feeling insecure, lonely in the desert of complicated contradictory information (I passed a severe illness). I didn’t know what was healthy or not. Doctors were saying meat meat and meat (and take a break with an egg)…. I was confused, feeling devastated (and since I had a serious health problem, I was feeling desperate). The lack of information was killing me- and I was only 30 years old (I wouldn’t mind to eat or not to eat anything-I could uncomplainingly live with 1 lettuce leaf a day if I knew this was the healthy thing to do).

    What was healthy??? I didn’t know untiiiiillllll…………………I found you !!!!! (ha ha ha stolen from your videos). AAAAA what a relief!!!!! You saved my health and most importantly my mental calm!!!! -Although you may have transformed me into a health gig, not bad for me-only for other people around me :)- So gig that I think leaving mechanical engineering and becoming a doctor- (and maybe I severely harmed my back or eyes trying to watch your videos all at once :)…Anyway, not only I had the information for being healthy, but how to make it delicious too!!! Every morning I drink your milkshake –erythritol is a savior!!!- and I cheer for yours and your family’s health!! I always say: O “Mihalakis” (that’s how Michaels are called in Greece) said this, said that…..Bottom line: THANK YOU and thank God you exist!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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      1. Please do a video highlighting risk of arsenic in sardines, as well as ill-advised promotion of
        consuming canned salmon with bones and canned sardines with bones. Lots of people are
        being led to believe that sardines are harmless, but the arsenic issue (and some say cadmium as well)
        are a big deal. I’d think those salmon and sardine bones are not a good idea to be eating —-heavy metals.




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        1. I used to eat sardines (and herring), then I saw some of the videos on this site re: dioxins in fish. Since they are small fish, I thought they would be safer. Oh well, so much for that idea.

          I’d like to see something on seaweed. I’ve given that up, too after seeing reports of heavy metal contamination in various types of seaweed (not just hijiki, but kombu, wakame, dulse, etc). There’s Prop 65 warning labels on a lot of the products I used to buy.

          Then there’s rice. I used to eat a lot of brown rice, but brown rice has arsenic contamination issues. I already had some precancerous tissue in my urinary tract, so I don’t need to be eating arsenic. I now eat smaller amounts of basmati rice from India and jasmine rice from Thailand (shown to have less contamination than rice from some US regions).

          And lead in tea. I like black tea with soy milk, it is very soothing; I drink it for comfort, not anti-oxidants. I had been pleased to find that my decaf Twinings Irish Breakfast was sourced from Kenya and Assam, but my newest package says it includes tea from China as well. So I’m now buying another brand that is Assam only. I hope there’s no lead or other toxins in it.




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          1. I share you pain. . .. hard to get away from the now systemic pollution of the earth. But we keep trying don’t we?
            One option for rice – cook it in lots of water like you would pasta. The arsenic releases into the water and you can then pour it off when you drain your rice. If that leaves your rice too wet for comfort, then just spread it on a cookie sheet to dry out . .. it dries fairly quickly.
            :-)




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            1. In the future we will all carry around a miniature mass spectrometer that can attach to our smart phone so we can check our food for contaminants before we eat it. The devices will be made in factories in third world countries that spew out waste from the manufacturing process, thus insuring continuing demand for the devices. Environmental disaster capitalism.

              {tongue in cheek}




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              1. The portable device is an x-ray fluorescence meter, but its detection limit is perhaps 1000 ppm at best.
                Titrimetric test strips for Pb, Hg, As, Cd, etc. are available for testing water, hence bone broth. These would be able to detect heavy metal levels in the ppb range.




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            2. I’ve started making “rice” from cauliflower. You can cut raw cauliflower into florets and pulse in food processor until it looks like rice. Then, I cook it in a skillet with onions and garlic and whatever… Last night, I added pinto beans, cumin, chili powder and fresh cilantro. The kids loved it and so did I. It really felt like eating rice. I’ve also made stir fry with it. You can find recipes online. Cauliflower is much more nutritious than rice, anyway.




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              1. CMD: I don’t know about cauliflower being “much more nutritious than rice” if we are talking about brown rice. NutritionFacts has some great information about the health benefits of whole grains. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/grains/ Dr. Greger considers the evidence so strong that he recommends three servings of whole grains every day in his Daily Dozen.
                .
                But of course, cauliflower is also extremely healthy, and I think riced cauliflower is an awesome way to sneak in the cruciferous veggies. I really appreciate you sharing your tip on how you are using it. Sounds delicious!
                .
                For anyone who doesn’t have a food processor or the interest in “ricing” a head of cauliflower, Trader Joes is now selling riced cauliflower both in their fresh and frozen produce sections. I’ve been enjoying it greatly. Now I’ll have to give CMD’s recipe a try.




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                1. “When you are hungry, you need calories and cauliflower wont give enough of it”

                  However sautee’d “whatever” has tons of calories.




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            3. Why don’t you just cook your rice for 12mins in lots of boiling water, drain in a seive and rinse with boilng water, leave in the seive put on the top of the pan with lid on and leave for 5 mins, this will help it to dry. You can also put into a dish with lid after rinsing and pop into the microwave for 2 mjns which again helps it to dry.




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            1. I don’t feel any ill effects when I eat the foods I’ve mentioned. I don’t know what caused the thing that the urologist cut out of my urinary tract, but I’m going to avoid anything that is known to cause urinary tract cancers, like arsenic, out of basic prudence.




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          2. Hey m8, avoid soy it will contraindicate with the thyroid glands even organic soy. Well actually majority of soy is all GMO no matter the hype. Drink home made nut milks eg: handfull of pre-soaked almonds you can peel shell or leave shell on and wizz in blender YUMO highest calcium there is. OR soak hemp seeds in water overnight then blend the water and seeds bingo you have hemp seed milk too easy and no cancers risks! Now with the sardines i am not convinced please reply with the report where dioxins accumulate in sardines I too read they were too small. With the seaweed there is a brand called POWER SUPERFOODS where they source the seaweeds from untouched unpolluted areas. Cheers:-)




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          1. That’s an interesting link. Some people are saying that the organic arsenic compounds in apricot seeds fight cancer. Who knows?




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      2. Hi Dr. Greger, Bone broth has become very popular. Is it really that great? Since it is from animals, could there be increase risk of cancer? How about lead poisoning? Thank you so much in advance! Puan




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          1. Hi, EA_Sports. I am Christine, a NF volunteer moderator. I am not sure who is giving you this advice, and for what reason. There is little research available on collagen hydrosylate, and this topic has not yet been covered on NF, as far as I can tell. One study was conducted in China on rats whose ovaries had been removed to test the effects on weight gain related to decreasing estrogen levels. The study concluded that, “Collagen hydrolysate supplementation reduced body weight gain and adipocyte enlargement in response to ovariectomy but slightly affected blood lipids, calcium, and glucose in both sham-operated and OVX rats.” http://www.medsci.org/v13p0853.htm It would seem to me that there might be better ways for post-menopausal women to avoid excessive weight gain. I personally have a theory that there is a good reason for women to gain some weight with menopause. Adipose tissue produces estrogen, which could help to replace estrogen no longer produced by ovaries. That’s a long-winded way of saying that I see no good reason to take collagen hydrosylate. I hope that helps!




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        1. Hi, Puan. I am Christine, a NF volunteer moderator. You are right that bone broth has become very popular. In my opinion, it is not really that great. As you point out, it could possibly increase cancer risk, because it is made from animal products. As the video above points out, it could also possibly increase lead exposure. I would stick with a nourishing, homemade vegetable broth! I hope that helps!




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    1. Curious, what made you convert, and what changes did you notice when you did? I never followed a “diet” because I have always been a healthy weight range, but my wife and I did go plant-based a year ago and vegetarian prob about 2 years go. It’s not really a diet though, it is just following science on what is actually healthy. I’m always slightly dumbfounded by the paleo mentality. I mean plants literally only have documented benefits with nearly no adverse effects listed that are not very, very rare. However, every animal product has many opposing sources of literature and speculation about the long-term effects of consumption, and vast amounts of support of adverse impacts on health. I thought since you are a convert, you could possibly enlighten me on this phenomenon of sorts?




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      1. I used the word diet to make it obvious I followed this nutritional idea. I’ve never ever needed to lose weight; in fact I always wanted to gain weight… muscle. And was lead to believe by society and strength coaches and magazines etc that I must eat meat and animal products to do so.

        I attended a week long strength training course that discussed nutrition and the coach was promoting a plant based “diet”. Not vegan mind you. But it all made a lot of sense to me and I immediately changed.

        I stopped eating red meat, eggs and dairy (the latter two were never favourites of mine really anyway) in Jan 2009 and haven’t eaten them since. I began transitioning away from white meat (initially one serving a week) and fish (2 servings a week).

        As time went on I went to one a month with these products, until finally last eating turkey at Xmas 2009.

        I continued to sporadically eat fish. Maybe 25 servings between 2010 and summer 2014. I think I only ate fish 3 times in 2014.

        I initially lost some weight and strength in the gym and. But regained this after a month or so. I also reduced the bloating a used to get and my stomach area looked slimmer and tighter. I felt more alert and slept even better. And since 2010 I’ve had 3 children and have found I’m able to cope well with less and disrupted sleep whilst being plant based. Subjective I know, but that’s how it seems.

        On Jan 15th 2016 I finally made the connection with regards to animals and food. And am now a vegan. Nutritionally there’s been no change, but mind-set wise there certainly has been. Plus I feel more at peace. Although understanding and watching how the human race treats our fellow animals is terribly upsetting and sad. And indeed it took me a while to come to terms with myself not making the connection for so many years and becoming a vegan despite following a very close vegan diet. But at least I’ve saved many animals lives by not eating them over the last 6-7yrs.

        I have plans to try to promote a plant based lifestyle and a vegan one using my experience and being a strength coach / PT. Esp with regards to dispelling the myth that to be muscular and lean and strong we need to eat animals… which is untrue as we know.




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  2. Chicken soup is technically bone broth because much of the flavor in the soup is from the marrow in the bones that are extracted osmotically by adding salt to the water as one simmers the stock. Of course, Vietnamese Pho is based upon bone broth made from leg/knuckle beef bones.

    Interestingly enough, there is a internet trope going around that cilantro acts as a natural chelation agent based upon the observation of a Japanese physician who noticed increased heavy metal excretion in the urine of his patients who ate Vietnamese soup. He is said to have isolated cilantro as the active ingredient causing this behavior, http://www.institutefornaturalhealing.com/2011/06/doctor-accidentally-discovers-natural-chelation-therapy-in-vietnamese-soup/

    There doesn’t seem much support for this observation, and where at least in this study that found it no more effective than placebo in 3-7 year olds, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3654245/

    Is there anything to cilantro as a chelation agent, or is it just the internet echo chamber at work amplifying the same interesting, but unproven data point?




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      1. Hi John:
        N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is known to increase the lead concentration in urine. Like MSM, it’s a sulfur-containing compound. But I don’t know which is more efficient. Since lead is so difficult to remove from the body, every bit of removal counts.




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    1. I have heard that for years about cilantro. But then I heard that it is not efficient because it has a single thiol and can move mercury, say out of your fillings and into your brain for example. At least that’s what I heard, I have no facts to back me up.




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    2. I have heard heard about cilantro (we call it coriander in NZ) too, but haven’t seen any studies on it.

      The bone broth and heavy metals thing was worrying me though.
      I am mostly plant-based, but eat eggs, occasional fish, and use bone broth (organic chicken, duck, grass-fed beef) for soups and stews.
      I had ours tested at the food/chem testing laboratory. Our bone broth has trace (almost zero) heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury) – even less than the ‘acceptable’ levels for fruit and veges – so I am no longer concerned.




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  3. This stance lacks nuance. “Organic chicken” means very little in this context in the same way “organic vegetables” would mean very little.

    Example, the issue of lead contamination can just as easily happen to vegetables: “Recently, Sharma et al., 2008a and Sharma et al., 2008b have reported that atmospheric deposition can significantly elevate the levels of heavy metals contamination in vegetables commonly sold in the markets of Varanasi, India.”

    i.e. what you’re potentially doing here is making an argument against contamination rather than broth per se, but using the contamination argument to beat down broth as unhealthy which seems highly unscientific to my eyes, at least.

    A more insightful consideration would try and ascertain…

    1. What is causing the chicken to become contaminated;
    2. How common contamination is;
    3. Whether non-contaminated chicken broth is healthy or not e.g. mortality studies of broth consumers vs non-broth consumers.
    etc.




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    1. The video shows the reference quote, “A small, blinded, controlled study of lead concentrations in three different types of organic chicken broth showed that such broths do indeed contain several times the lead concentration”. I’m unable to read more than the abstract for the reference to verify that the chickens were also free-range on clean pasture. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23375414




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      1. I’m new to the broth topic. I’ve been making split pea soup and white bean soup using pork bones. I started wondering what Dr. Greger would have to say on the topic. After watching this video, I wondered about the quality of the study. For a thorough review of possible flaws and limitations of the study see: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/bone-broth-and-lead-contamination-a-very-flawed-study-in-medical-hypotheses/ . That article mentions towards the end that “we would like to announce the results of testing performed by The
        National Food Lab on bone broth from grass-fed beef and pastured chicken
        from California.65 These two broths were prepared in
        stainless steel soup pots by the Three Stone Hearth Co-op in Berkeley.
        As tested on February 14, 2013 at a Minimum Detection Level of 10 parts
        per billion and again on March 1, 2013 with an MDL of 5 parts per
        billion, the results were as follows:

        Grassfed beef broth. No lead detected
        Pastured chicken broth: No lead detected
        Reverse osmosis water: No lead detected” Bone broth is said to have many healthful properties in many internet articles. I would like to see more data on the lead topic.




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    2. And if one were to then feed this lead contaminated vegetable matter to livestock, it would preferentially bio-accumulate into their bones where it would be available for extraction when making broth. The operative mechanism is the bio-accumulation of environmental toxins from the environment into animal tissues that are raised for human consumption. This dynamic amplifies the concentration of environmental pollution into the human food supply.

      So what causes chicken to become contaminated in the first place? That’s easy. It is industrialization and the associated despoilment of the commons by manufacturers who are rarely held accountable for their actions. Contamination of the environment is considered an externality. Economic benefits are privatized while the costs of this economic activity is collectivized.




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      1. At some point, we’re going to have so much cancer and heavy metal accumulation that the people left reasonably healthy are going to have to argue for healthier and less polluting economies. Permaculture, anyone?
        John




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      2. Plants have their own defense mechanisms against pollutants in the soil. For example, crops that are watered with fluoridated water uptake a very small proportion of it. This varies from species to species, e.g. tea plants are more susceptible than others.

        This is true of lead as well. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21541849

        The defenses aren’t perfect of course, so your point is still valid to a degree. But the main problem is, once again, with the consumption of animal matter (fish being fed to chickens, in this case).




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    3. Agreed–“organic” has zero meaning when it comes to heavy metals. Crops are contaminated from heavy metals in the air, soil., and water from coal burning plants and other industrial pollutant-pumping factories. Everything I’ve read about lead contamination (until happening upon this vegan page which was cited by someone elsewhere) has cited plants as the most likely source of lead contamination –whether they are organic isn’t relevant. Because you can grow something certified organic in China or Inda (two highly lead contaminated food producing locales) in lead contaminated soil next to chemical companies polluting the air and rainwater the plants use and it’s still certified organic because you didn’t intentionally spray a pesticide on it. Tea from China, herbs from India are frequently mentioned as contaminated –organic or not. That’s not to say animal bones aren’t contaminated –obviously they are because they are eating the food we polluted and heavy metals commonly store in the bones.




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  4. It disappoints me that so many of the farmers who sell at our local farmers market fertilize their fields with large amounts of fish products. Presumably the accompanying toxins get into the vegetables. Ever more toxins each season. The better way is to grow a green “manure” of alfalfa in between crops and then turn that into the fields. But that takes more growing time and more labor. Have you seen any research on these farming practices, and does the mercury, lead etc get into the vegetables?




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    1. If you paid attention you will see that the control in the scientific experiment WAS the water. They treated the tap water just exactly the same as the bone broths. The water was 0.89mg/dL vs 9.5 and 7.01mg/dL for bone brother and/or skin/cartilage broth. See minute # 3.43 to read for yourself.
      Also, per the organic question above – they DID use organically raised animals. Again re-view the video – all the information is there.




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  5. What about having none broth from organic grass fed lambs raised on an organic vegetable farm? Surely this would be safe?
    Is the lead coming from the soil in this video? Or the feed? Or fumes? I don’t quite understand. I’m in australia, does this make a difference I wonder?
    Is all terribly confusing as I have found bone broth to bring me a lot of health benefits.




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    1. I agree Georgia, I have seen a HUGE difference in my dogs and myself (we were all very ill and I was dying) since I’ve included bone broths in our diets (chicken and beef, I would love to try lamb). Broths have such a SPECTRUM of nutrients that we certainly don’t get in our average foods nowadays.

      I’m fortunate to be able to buy my broths from a Chiropractor who uses pastured animals, and bottles in glass. I will be eager to hear her opinion on this information.




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      1. There is so much information here about the DETRIMENTS of eating animals for humans (dogs are carnivores), let alone polluted ones, I find it hard to believe people are doing this! Could you please list or link to exactly what nutrients you think are in this animal broth that you couldn’t get more of from just the vegetables without having to pollute our earth further with animal waste and environmental issues or the sacrifice of life and violent mentality that goes with it?




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        1. “Bone broth and a chiropractor…. that’s a one-two punch of woo right there.”

          Yes it is Daniel, and throw in my homeopathic veterinarian (the person who finally accurately diagnosed me!) and between change in diet (vegetarian for 25 years vegan for 5), homeopathics, nutritional supplementation and spinal realignment, I am the healthiest I’ve been in decades, even back to running again which I hadn’t been able to do for ages!

          For the same reason that allopathic medicine doesn’t work, neither does ANY diet, including vegetarian, that is based on the premise that human bodies are all the same and therefore will react the same way to all foods, toxins, deficiencies and misalignment.

          I am alive today because I finally started giving my body what it needed, not just what my conscience would allow.

          I sincerely hope that everyone here finds what works for their body, and experiences radiant good health and a happy life, with abundant energy to enjoy it all!




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            1. Oh my, me too! And what we’ve learned over the years about nutrition and spinal misalignment, and how the body works, and by giving it what it needs using homeopathics, diet, natural supplementation and chiropractics, we’ve gone on to normalize blood sugar, blood pressure, get off all medications, clear allergies, asthma and thankfully my chronic GI problems! Its been an educational experience that my whole family continues to improve and benefit from by being the healthiest we’ve been in years. In that respect, almost dying was the best thing that happened. We live a healthy energetic life now, because now we know how!




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          1. Hmmm, I wandered onto this page hoping to find some good information, scientific information, to write about. Instead, I found a lot of sarcasm, hostile remarks and even some badgering. I will not be surprised if someone does it to me after this. I may write about that, too.

            Bone both, before it became a recent fad, or before it enjoyed a recent revival, used to be called stock. That’s what Escoffier called it: Beef stock, chicken stock, fish and lamb and duck stock, etc., and it was exceptional in making a finished product like soup or a sauce or even something like a spaghetti sauce. It was concentrated nutrition – providing minerals, protein, vitamins and flavor. What you do with it adds more nutrition. Vegetables are another component that go into each and every classically made stock. It sustained pioneers on the prairie and small children in urban cities who had little else to eat if their parents were struggling. If a chiropractor or a naturopath or a nutritionist points the way to something the person needs, isn’t that a good thing? Since we are all different in any given moment, doesn’t it make sense that what I need today or this week or month might differ from what you need today or this week or month? I think we gravitate, somehow, to what we need most at the moment. Chiropractors have amazing muscle-testing methods that are surprisingly and uncannily accurate, and M.D.s have blood testing, and there are other types of testing or diagnostic techniques that I could go into. Microscopy is another. Even meditation can lead the way if one is sincere, and their mind is open as well as their heart. You can call it woo if you want to – if it helps restore health who cares if it’s different? I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all, but I do believe that shaming and mocking and criticizing a person can not be good for their health, or for yours.




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    2. Interesting question, Georgia. I too wondered where the lead was coming from, in the bone broth of free range organic chickens. As far as I know, organic certification for farms requires several years of transition, where there are no chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used. I don’t know if the soil is actually tested for pre-existing levels of pollutants. Lead has been used so much in gasoline, (and apparently still is in airplane fuel) that the fallout from the air pollution could land anywhere. I also understand that “free range” apparently doesn’t necessarily mean that chickens only eat what they can scratch up in the yard, but they have access to the outdoors. I don’t think it means that they don’t get access to other kinds of feed, and, as Dr Greger mentioned here and in other videos, animals are often fed on the ‘waste’ from other agriculturalised animals. When you think about it, it really is a gruesome business!. However, ultimately all of the beneficial minerals that are in the broth of bones of any animal, come from the soil via plants. In fact I often make broth from vegetables which can serve as a stock or be consumed on its own. Here’s what I often use: fresh turmeric root, fresh garlic, fresh ginger root, the coarse parts of the leeks, outer lettuce leaves that are not pretty, Jerusalem artichokes, tomato skins (left over if I grate tomatoes for sauce), celery, carrots, onions, etc. As you can see, about half of the ingredients are parts of the veg that would have been thrown out. Worth a try. Nice to season with black pepper, dulse flakes etc and use as consommé or soup base.




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      1. LOL,. thanks, I thought I was the only one who did this anymore. My housemate works in a restaurant and started bringing home the vegetable peelings and throwaways for the compost pile. I live on a very tight income and decided since it was all fresh, why not go through it and make broth out of carrot peelings, celery parts, onion ends, etc, then use or freeze the broth for soups and recipes. THEN add the cooked scraps to the compost pile. Works for me!




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        1. It is really so easy, sometimes I even freeze the scraps until I have enough to make broth. I find my soups have moved to another level of flavor since starting to do this. I can even get “normal” non veggie carnivorous people to eat and enjoy these soups, made completely without animal, oil or salt! When they don’t even ask for the salt shaker, I know I have a winner!




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          1. Makes so much sense, especially when you consider that a lot of what normally gets thrown away, like peels, is where the nutrients are concentrated. Because there is no animal products or fat to carry flavors, any dish is dramatically improved by using stock, which is pricey to buy IF I can even find it where I shop. Versatile herbs and spices help too…parsley, dill, and celery seeds get tossed in most times, and good ole turmeric also gives it a nice color!
            A variation for my scraps…I just puree them with some water and salt in the blender and add a bit of rejuvelac or a few spoonfuls of an already made ferment. Sealed and left to ferment for a few days or longer, and strained, it makes a probiotic beverage that I often mix with tomato juice, or add shredded cukes or zucchini for a cold, light soup. I live in FL where the less I have to cook, the better, and when I do, my crockpot is a good friend! :)




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    3. I am not sure why you think bone broth brings you a lot of benefits. It seems like just another dietary fad with very little evidence (but a lot of hype) to back it up. Still, if you eat it in place of burgers, sausages, bacon or fish fingers etc it is probably an improvement.

      However, there was n investigation of the health effects of lead in Australia a year or two ago. You probably know there have been some big problems in Port Pirie, Broken Hill and Mount Isa. I can’t say that I have read all of the papers but the FAQ is probably a good place to start.
      https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-topics/lead-blood-levels

      You are also aware that red meat has been associated with increased cancer risk and other health problems? E.g.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/harvards-meat-and-mortality-studies/




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    4. Hello Georgia,

      I am based in NZ. I have discovered that it is relatively inexpensive to get broth tested for heavy metals at the lab. Might be the same across the ditch?

      I had our bone broth (organic chicken, non-organic duck, non-organic grass-fed beef) tested and it has trace (almost zero) heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury) – even less than the ‘acceptable’ levels for fruit and veges.




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  6. “…there is no such thing as a safe level of exposure to lead.” Really? Well gee, then perhaps we should consider stopping eating. Lead is found in our soil and our oceans and gets into plants. Oops. We’d better not eat sea vegetables, regular vegetables or fruit. Even organic produce isn’t lead-free. It’s been found for example in organic cucumbers, strawberries, plums, oranges , apples,tomatoes, blueberries, grapes, and potatoes ranging from .002 to .040 ppm. Oh, and we’d better stop using porcelain, china or any kind of glazed plates too. Lead is in them and it can and does leach into our food. Lead is also found in the air and water. Perhaps we should stop breathing and drinking anything except 200 proof alcohol- which would kill us instantly. Perhaps we should stop living. The poor Kuna Indians of San Blas Island in Peru! They eat one of the most lead contaminated foods in nature: Cocoa. They have about 5 cups of cocoa a day and just look at how they suffer! High blood pressure is unknown; they have one ninth the rate of heart disease and one fifteenth of the cancer of other Peruvians. Clearly a lifetime of exposure to lead has done them no harm, nor to the majority of us, since we’re exposed to lead everyday. So, there is a tolerable level of lead exposure. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here to discuss the issue- or should I say, in most cases, a non-issue. Excuse me now, I have to go make a lead-contaminated cocoa and greens and fruit smoothie! But perhaps there’s a silver or better, leaden lining: Do you think all that lead will make me radiation-proof?




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    1. Just one point of clarification for those reading your comments. Lead is not permitted in glazes for eating-ware and has not been for decades in this country. Should you get your glazed eating-ware from another country, it is required to disclose if the glaze contains lead and notification that it is not for food use. There are glazes now that are food safe. Glass is safe. Here’s a link to further lead glaze information:
      https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/lead/doc/Porcelain%20and%20Ceramic2.pdf
      Additionally, if one does not know if their eating-ware is safe, . .. then just don’t eat off of it.




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      1. “Today, MOST American manufactures have stopped using lead in products
        like ceramic cooking ware and dishes, but there are no regulated standards for
        lead in other glazed products like sinks and tubs. Unfortunately, lead is still found in
        many foreign imported dishes.The ban on using lead in tubs and sinks is VOLUNTARY;
        therefore lead can still be a problem in newer fixtures as well.”

        Sounds to me like lead is still permitted in dishes, etc.




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        1. In the United States lead is not permitted in any glazing that is used for ceramics used for foodstuff. It is illegal. It is illegal as well for lead to be used in the manufacture of solder that is used for soldering copper water pipes so that it does not leach into one’s home water. Lead is not permitted in glazing for dishes that may be used for food consumption. Lead is permitted in glazing used for decorative items and must be designated as such as must lead-containing imported glazed products. This has been the case for decades now.
          Yes, glazing for tubs and sinks have optional voluntary standards. However, leaching isn’t as much of an issue with these surfaces as they are not used for cooking (high heating which allows the leaching to occur) and one typically does not consume their bath water.

          And of course, anyone can take personal responsibility for their choices by inquiring as to the lead safety of their eating dishes before they purchase them. And, if one is really upset with the status and standards of lead in their eating-ware one can always go the paper plate route. And compost their plates when done with their meal.




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          1. From what I read lead is inherently in clay and even Fiesta ware has a statement on their site that there can be trace amounts in their product. Testing has been done on many high end glazed cookware and found lead. It is under the allowed levels, but it is still there and as cookware gets scratched it is more vulnerable to leaching. No they don’t necessarily put it in the glaze but it is in the clay itself. Scratched up older dishes should also be tested. It seems like clear glass is the safest cookware.




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    2. HI Lead Bottom. The statement that there is no such thing as a safe lead level is similar to the statement that there is no such thing as a safe radiation level (man-made Xrays or natural background radiation). It means that even down to the lowest detectible level there is still some statistical harm. In our heavily polluted world, we can’t avoid all the risks, there is simply nowhere to go and nothing to eat—except maybe distilled water, which I personally might choose over 200 proof alcohol! But cultivating healthy habits is about reducing avoidable risks, and trying to stay sane at the same time. In some sense it is a case of ‘pick your poison’. For example, air travel gives significant radiation exposure—and personally I fly a lot for my work, family etc. So, I know there is risk, but I accept to live with it. If people are drinking bone broth, with the idea that it is a health promoting practice, at least being aware of the lead content might make them think twice. By the way, you might want to check this article: Lead contamination in cocoa and cocoa products: isotopic evidence of global contamination, in Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Octo; 113(10): 1344-1348. The abstract says that the lead concentrations in cocoa beans was in fact low, but in manufactured chocolate, quite high. So maybe if the Kuna people are only using cocoa they could be onto a good thing.




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        1. Thank you! Even if the LNT ( linear no threshold) concept is in question, I think we are bombarded with so many environmental carcinogens nowadays, that, when possible, the less the better. And of course taking into account the risk and potential benefit–for example if a diagnostic test really is necessary, and it includes some radiation, then so be it. But people (patients and doctors) should be mindful and try to limit to what is necessary….




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      1. As Tom Goff points out below, we are capable of dealing with the amounts of radiation naturally found in our environment, and possibly even benefiting from it. In the same way, the small amounts of lead naturally found in our food does not appear to cause us to drop dead or even manifest any symptoms of lead poisoning. This is why I disagree with Dr. Greger’s statement that there is no such thing as a safe level of exposure to lead. Of course, I would discourage munching on bone broth because of the extra and unnecessary exposure to lead, but I find such hyperbolic statements as his concerning lead, to be unhelpful and they obscure the issue, possibly even discrediting his argument.




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        1. This isn’t a hyperbolic statement nor is it merely Dr Greger’s opinion. It is the considered view of the global scientific community eg
          “In a review of the latest scientific evidence, conducted in 2010, the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) estimated that the previously established provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) of 25 µg/kg body weight per week could no longer be considered health protective and withdrew it. As the dose–response analyses did not provide any indication of a threshold for the key adverse effects of lead, the Committee concluded that it was not possible to establish a new PTWI that would be health protective. The dose–response analyses conducted by the Committee should be used as guidance to identify the magnitude of effect associated with identified levels of dietary lead exposure in different populations.9”
          http://www.who.int/ipcs/features/lead..pdf




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    3. Aren’t you missing the distinction between tolerable and optimal? Or even acceptable for that matter? I can tolerate a certain amount of pain. That doesn’t mean that I find pain is acceptable or that I don’t avoid situations or activities that cause me pain. Same with lead.

      According to a major evidence review published in my country last year:
      “Historically, public health regulatory efforts have attempted to identify a “threshold” of lead toxicity in order to set limits of exposure (as measured by blood lead level) below this putative threshold. Now it appears that no threshold can be identified for developmental neurotoxicity, vascular toxicity and other systemic effects, and the emphasis has shifted to understanding the impacts of a gradation of lower blood lead levels.”
      https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/nhmrc_evaluation_of_evidence_related_to_exposure_to_lead_May_2015_0.pdf

      Believe what you want, but the scientific evidence appears to fully support Dr G’s position on this point and to refute your claim.




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  7. Most people say “look how far we’ve advanced in a couple hundred years”. My take is waaaaaaay different. How is it that these pollution issues are getting worse and worse and we are forced to just accept it, some of us change what we put in our mouths but not how we live? There are so many of “us” and so few of “them”…the $$$ industries who don’t care. Imagine if everyone started growing their own food and stopped being rabid consumers of stuff, more like we were before we became so “advanced”? I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I see people complaining about the way things are, but insist on all the amenities they have been brainwashed to “need” to be happy.




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    1. When the pollution starts effecting the lives of those at the top of the industrial / financial food chain, then maybe governments will start to do something. But, by then, it may be to late. Meanwhile, grow your own food to the best of your ability, and try to avoid the obvious contaminated foods such as meat, fish, and packaged process foods.




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    2. No matter how you slice the numbers, things are generally better now than they were 100 years ago, and better then than 100 years before, and so on. With so many things that cause harm in our modern societies, a sense that things are getting worse is understandable, but I think lacks some perspective.

      The world average life expectancy in 1900 was 31. Even in Europe at the time, it was around 40. In 2010 the world average was 67. We are much much less likely to meet with a violent death now than ever before. We die or become incapacitated from previously common diseases at a much much lower rate. Many fewer babies and infants die, so too woman during child birth.

      Then there are the less measurable things. We can create communities with folks from distant lands. We have an abundance of information and entertainment available at our fingertips. The average person, if they really want to, can travel to places not even the richest folks would have been able to achieve a century ago. Most of us have access to food of a quality and variety that nobody had a century ago. We can stay in school longer and learn much more about the world and ourselves, unburdened by the labour that adolescents of the past took as a given.

      All of these sweet things, and many many more, come at some cost. Whether those costs are currently worth it is an ongoing debate that all societies must engage in, but I don’t think the improvements in our well-being are really up for debate – it is clear we have it so much better than our ancestors.




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    3. You might not be preaching to choir as much as you think. We have different problems today and the results of a consumer society are indeed coming to fruition, but by different metrics so many things are better, from medical care to living in a less violent world (yes..it may not seem that way, but the 20th and 21st century have per capita been an unprecedented time of peace in the course of human history, with actual avenues to justice).Growing your own food is a luxury for most people, both in terms of available space, time, and climate. There’s nothing inherently wrong with large scale farming, which allows us to enjoy, frankly…most of the foods touted as healthy and beneficial on this site. Seriously…go through the videos here and you’ll see a lot of foods utterly impractical to grow on your own (nuts, anyone?). We do consume too much stuff and much of it wasteful and unnecessary, so I’ll agree with you there. Arguably, though, it is the consuming of stuff which has funded many of the advancements we enjoy, at least in the Western World. Like the computer on which our messages were composed.




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    1. Hillary, I can see a well-researched video on lead would be so timely in Michigan right now and glad you have this resource to share. Hopefully citizens there will be especially receptive. Thanks for your comment.




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    2. If you are interested in lead-related information, one of the most interesting things I’ve seen on the topic is ‘The Clean Room’ episode of the new Cosmos series (hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson). It explains why it is all over the place now.




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  8. Thank you for your comment, Tamar! it’s great that you’ve discovered the health benefits of a plant-based diet. I couldn’t agree more, the less animal products the better. Hope many young people will hear the message. Best wishes to you.




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  9. I think what we need to look at is the hair analysis of thousands and thousands of Americans for possible heavy metal contamination. Are Americans really getting such levels of heavy metals in their system that makes them sick, unproductive, or mentally debilitated? And what about our pets? It seems that such a massive testing would be pretty easy to do. Our pets seem to function adequately on all kinds of bones, flesh, and “stuff” from rendering plants. How many of you have a pet dog that has kicked the bucket because of contamination of lead in all the “stuff” that they eat.




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    1. There is plenty of evidence out there already. I think the CDC has heavy metal figures from urine samples taken as part of the NHANES surveys, for example. Also, personally, I would refer to function well and not just “adequately”. Most of us would also want that for our pets.

      And unless it was acute lead poisoning, how on earth would anybody know just how much it was that lead contributed to the cause of any particular individual’s death or morbidity? Or a pet’s? The evidence is that lead exposure contributes to neurological and vascular illness. It increases risk. But you can’t prove absolute causation in individual cases.

      It is like arsenic contamination of drinking water in Bangladesh “It is estimated that nearly 80 million people of the country are affected by arsenic and one in ten has the probability of developing cancer from the poisoning.3”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191694/
      But If someone in Bangladesh develops cancer, it is pretty much impossible to definitely ascribe it to low level arsenic poisoning. It is the same with lead




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  10. There’s probably lots of lead residue on our highways and byways – left over from the days of leaded gasoline.

    It’s all because the chicken felt he just had to cross the road…




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  11. Sorry to be so picky, but there is also a difference in “free range” vs. “free pastured.” Were these chickens out on grass/pasture. I grow my own chicken and make my own bone broth. Hmmmm.




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    1. If you raise and slaughter your own chickens, this is probably safer than eating store-bought birds. On the other hand, lead is not the only problem with chickens and chicken bone broth.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/poultry/

      Also, I just can’t see why bone both is claimed to be a health food. Sure it is less bad than burgers, BBQ, hot dogs, pizza etc but less bad isn’t the same as healthy. NPR has a balanced assessment here .
      http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/02/10/384948585/taking-stock-of-bone-broth-sorry-no-cure-all-here




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        1. My understanding is that the body can synthesise glycine and it is contained in soybeans, spinach, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, pumpkin, .banana, kiwi fruit, cucumber and beans. So, I am not sure why you would need to supplement.
          http://aminoacidstudies.org/glycine/
          Similarly, you can get hyaluronic acid from vegetarian sources




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          1. In amounts higher than necessary for basic functioning, glycine does appear to have an number of effects. I would not assume that people who say they benefit from bone broth or gelatin are experiencing a placebo effect. They would likely get the same perceived benefit just as well from vegetarian source supplements, but they probably don’t know that since they don’t know that glycine (perhaps hyaluronic acid) is the active substance.

            Whether supplements in general are safe, or if there are unknown negative effects from glycine supplementation, are other matters for consideration.




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  12. Dear Sirs: I hope some hapless monitor jockey gets a kick out of reading all the absurdly vulgar and obnoxious things I write into your

    FREAKING POPUP SUBSCRIBE WINDOWS!!!

    I love being treated as one who doesn’t understand the first thing about “keeping in contact” with some COMMERCIAL INTERESTS and just simply cannot WAIT to get my email on another SPAMMERS LIST ASAP!

    Oh yes, Dear Sirs who promise to never ever share my information with anyone ever…

    Yeah, go ahead “sign me up”!

    And please sign up all my friends too. We often forget where we spent our last dollar and how to locate another place to get rid of these pesky bills as they pile up like Fall foliage.

    [end rant]




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    1. I downloaded the Adblocker extension to my Chrome internet browser. Other browsers have similar extensions/apps you can use. Now I don’t get any of these annoying “pop-ups”.

      Might be worth a try – if you don’t want to die of apoplexy that is.




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      1. I run Adblocker on everything. I’m not sure how these windows to which I refer get past that. It’s a never ending battle. Thanks.




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  13. I have a general question, and I thought I would be more likely to get an answer if I posted it under the latest video. How do we know which study results presented on this site are genuine and solid, and which ones were fabricated or obtained using unsound methods? One hears frequently about the inability of scientists to reproduce this or that outcome, so what are we to make of the studies featured in these articles and videos?

    I’m scared to death of getting glaucoma, and I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the videos about what foods prevent and treat the condition, but I’m given to despair when I think those studies might have been sloppy or fraudulent.




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    1. We probably can’t tell for sure. However, if you look at the funding source for the study concerned and the history of the researchers’ financial links with the food and drug industries (and organisations like the Atkins Foundation and the Nutrition Science Initiative), you will have a good idea of which studies to be wary of.
      Scientists are not unaware of these problems though. That is why they tend to grade the strength of evidence upon which they base their conclusions. For example, the evidence that consuming significant amounts of saturated fat promotes heart disease and type 2 diabetes has been judged “strong” because it includes observational studies, experimental studies and the identification of specific mechanisms by which saturated fat damages human cardiovascular health.
      Most major expert reports on nutrition and health, therefore, grade the evidence to get over these problems. They basically all conclude that we should be consuming more whole vegetable foods and fruits, and much less processed and high fat foods. This is entirely consistent with the studies discussed on this site.
      http://www.nel.gov/evidence.cfm?evidence_summary_id=250189
      http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/nutrient/en/
      http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/expert_report/index.php
      http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/




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      1. That saturated fat causes heart disease and t2d is established science; we know it’s true because it’s been demonstrated time and again. Studies set up to produce a specific outcome to further someone’s agenda aren’t the only ones we should take a second look at. I’m talking about new studies that determine, for instance, that black currant anthocyanins halt the progression of glaucoma.

        I am sure about this, though: I have thoroughly enjoyed this site. I might just donate.




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    1. I do not find the Weston Price crowd credible on any level.

      However, wasn’t it they who started this whole bone broth craze in the first place? Given that and their overall dietary ideology, their views are on this study are unsurprising. More research would certainly be helpful but we already know that lead accumulates in bones so the results of this study are not unexpected and the WP reservations appear more like quibbles. I’d say prudence is the wisest course here and I don’t see any compensating benefits from bone both that have been demonstrated in credible scientific studies. Apparently the sole argument in favour of bone both is that “it is a traditional healing food”. That is a lot less credible than an actual study




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      1. I was also quite skeptical of Nourishing Traditions when I first read the book. Some people in Weston Price shout slogans like “We are happy because we eat butter!” I don’t find those slogans helpful, scientific, or interesting. They among others have popularized bone broth, but they didn’t start the idea. Many anthropologists have written that bone marrow was what helped humans, with poor speed, strength and eyesight survive to develop into modern humans,and others write about how such nutrition helped the human brain evolve into higher capabilities. Bone soup with sparse weedy vegetables was arguably the most common food of the Middle Ages in Europe and has been quite popular among peasant societies worldwide in many eras. The poor often can’t afford much meat, but they can get bones, necks, backs, knuckles, etc. There is a lot of data about bone broth healing cartilage, joints, and fighting against arthritis and similar afflictions. Neither the previous data nor this small study create a conclusive body of scientific studies on the effects of bone broth. I am still on the fence and looking forward to hearing the results of large, well-designed studies on this topic.
        John S




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        1. Other archaeologists and anthropologists have said that it was starchy tubers that helped humans survive and develop large brains. Still others have said that it was cooking that did it. Or eating fish. Or eating insects. I do not think we will ever know for sure. In any case, that is all all irrelevant if our aim is to know which diet or diets maximise healthy longevity.

          Of course, if our main concern is where the next meal is coming from, and how to get enough calories to survive, it makes evolutionary sense to eat whatever we can even if it impairs long term health. Even bone broth. Or each other.

          However, most of us living in wealthy, advanced societies don’t have that problem of dietary insecurity. We can therefore focus on identifying the diet(s) that will maximise our health and longevity, based on nutritional science. There is this site to help but also major reports on nutrition and health by panels of expert scientists who have reviewed and assessed all the evidence. None of them recommend bone broth and I prefer to err on the side of caution especially since I am not aware of any actual studies that suggest that it promotes healthy longevity.




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          1. First you claim that bone broth was made up by Weston Price. I show that it was not. Then you say that doesn’t matter. Well, why did you say it then?

            “major reports on nutrition and health by panels of expert scientists who have reviewed and assessed all the evidence. None of them recommend bone broth”

            It appears to me that you are not looking very widely if that is your conclusion.

            John S




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            1. You ought to read posts more carefully before making comments on them. I did not claim anything – I asked a question.
              And I wrote it because I was commenting on a post that you made that asked us to take seriously comments by the Weston Price organisation. I am not aware of any credible scientific organisation or health authority that regards their views as worthy of notice.
              Also, I have looked widely at reports on nutrition and health. None of them recommend bone broth. As far as I know, the only people who do are flaky individuals and groups with bizarre ideas on diet and health.
              Perhaps you could provide some references to studies in credible peer reviewed scientific publications to support your claims?




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              1. I was clear that the jury is still not completely out on bone broth. Any reasonable person reading what you wrote would come to the conclusion that you are dismissing it as a possible healthy food. I am shocked that you could be widely read on nutrition and health and find no one who recommends bone broth. I explained that I had a lot of skepticism about Weston Price Foundation. Perhaps you didn’t see that. Weston Price’s book is an outstanding piece of research, but that’s a different question. You are free to state that your beliefs are the authoritative views on a subject, just as I am free to disagree with you. I explained how bone broth and bone marrow soup have been an important part of civilization for millenia, you seem to be ignoring that. Fine. Ignore what you wish. I have no interest in convincing you, but I don’t want you to block others from making their own minds up. I still haven’t made my mind up that it is very healthy. I am considering the possibilities. You asked a question about whether they made it up. I answered the question. You may dismiss the history of civilization as a basis for knowledge. I don’t.
                John

                http://draxe.com/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth-for-digestion-arthritis-and-cellulite/
                http://drkellyann.com/topics/bone-broth
                http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401624/Is-Bone-Broth-Really-Healthy.html




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                1. I stated that I am unaware of any evidence from credible peer-reviewed scientific publications or from genuine health authorities that bone broth consumption offers long term health benefits. You were invited several times to provide references to any such sources. You haven’t done so. Referring to the websites of internet marketers is not the same thing. They have all the credibility of a television infomercial.
                  As for the remark that bone broth and bone marrow soup have been an important part of civilization for millenia, I do not find it convincing. It might even be considered naive. People have been drinking alcohol forever, in some cultures people have been drinking their own urine or consuming opium for millennia, and cannibalism goes back many tens of thousands of years, I do not consider those facts to be evidence that consuming alcohol, urine, opium or people is healthy. Why should we consider the same reasoning to justify bone broth consumption?
                  My point is that there is no credible scientific evidence of health benefits from bone both yet, as Dr Greger’s video shows, there is scientific evidence of potential health risks. Common sense would suggest prudence.
                  Oh, and as for Weston Price, I do not think that he ever endorsed the views of these people who used his name for their organisation.




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                  1. I agree with you that Weston Price didn’t endorse the views of the people who used his name. He was long dead when the organization was founded. I also think that you didn’t read my post very carefully. You are going to have to find someone else to argue with about drinking urine.
                    John




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                    1. It is merely an example. Other examples include sausages and salt preserved foods. They have long held an important place in many cultures and were valuable because they allowed people to survive harsh winters in regions where fresh food was scarce or unavailable at such times. No matter how important they were for short term survival, however, that is not evidence that they are good for our long term health. The same argument applies to to your remarks about bone broth.

                      And I note that despite repeated requests you have still not provided any scientific evidence of health benefits from bone broth consumption..




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      2. Perhaps try reading the article and accessing the arguments stated there instead of dismissing it prematurely based on not liking the people involved. I read the article and found it to be very well reasoned and researched. It’s clear though from your comments that you, like many of the other commentators, have already made up your mind and are unwilling to acknowledge information that contradicts your already held opinions. I don’t personally drink bone broth and I’m fully on board with heeding the advice of scientific studies that have been peer-reviewed and replicated. The study referenced in this article was not, however, peer-reviewed or replicated anywhere. Frankly, I find its presentation in this video misleading and shameful.




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        1. Perhaps you ought to evaluate the Weston Price Foundation a little more rigorously before assuming anything it has to say should be given an equal hearing with the views of credible health authorities and publications.. The organisation is notorious for presenting anti-scientific claims as facts and dressing up its claims in pseudo-scientific language. For example, they promote homeopathy and are anti-vaccine. They also claim that butter is a super food and glandular organ extracts are healthy and healing. it really is unhelpful to suggest people should spend time on websites like WPF when they would be much better advised to spend their time visiting credible health sites. In fact, it is not just unhelpful, it is positively dangerous. As Dr Harriet Hall has commented::
          “Since I started writing for Science-Based Medicine almost 8 years ago, I have visited many, many websites offering questionable information about health. In my opinion, the Weston A. Price Foundation is one of the worst. It is full of misinformation and dangerous advice. It might be useful in reverse: if you read it on WAPF, it is probably wrong.”
          https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/sbm-weston-prices-appalling-legacy/

          This particular article is also a case in point. It consists of a long litany of detailed criticisms of the study, questions the motives of the researchers but concludes they are probably not part of a Big Food conspiracy because the authors are members of the alternative medicine world (even though, the article critically notes of the group to which the authors belong, “Its website indicates it supports vaccination for both children and adults”).
          The article’s conclusion is “The takeaway? Dr. Campbell-McBride sums it up nicely. “As a whole, my position is unchanged: meat stock and bone broth are healing foods and they need to be made from the best quality grass-fed ecologically clean animals. . .”
          So the reason for eating bone broth, is that it is traditional healing food. Is this a useful contribution to anything? Does it demonstrate that consuming bone broth is healthy or even harmless? No. Ultimately, the only useful comment the article made is that more studies are needed. But nobody needs the WPF to tell them that.




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          1. The issue is not if there are health benefits to bone broth; the issue is if there’s dangerous lead contamination. Obviously that article doesn’t go into the supposed benefits of bone broth; that’s not what the article is about… it’s about refuting the study on lead. The two issues are separable. I think the article makes a number of good refutations of the study it discusses. I don’t really care about the background of the authors or if some other scientist finds them to be well-informed or not. Arguments are valid or invalid regardless of who states them.

            Anyway, I was referring to this article: J A MOnro, R Leon, B K Puri. The risk of lead contamination in bone broth diets. Med Hypotheses. 2013 Apr;80(4):389-90. … which is the sole source that frames the basis of the video’s attacking bone broth in terms of lead contamination as opposed to just decrying lead contamination in general.

            I was incorrect in stating Med Hypotheses is not peer reviewed; it used to not be, but that changed in 2010. If we are to go the route of attacking a source or group of people based on the background of that source or group of people tho (as per your claims regarding WPF), Med Hypotheses has a long history of resisting peer review and only adopted peer review after it was forced to do so. It also published articles supporting AIDS denialism, so there’s that. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_Hypotheses#Peer_review_debate ] My point is still true however that the research has not been replicated; I’m unconvinced by one research article in isolation, particularly with so many flaws in the study (as per the WPF article).

            Anyway, this doesn’t interest me anymore. We’re not going to agree and I don’t feel like wasting more time on this.




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            1. Fair enough.

              I am not carrying any particular torch for this research either. However, the WPF is a notorious source of misinformation on so many health issues that I wince every time someone refers to them. That said, I salute them for rejecting processed foods and emphasising fresh, organic whole foods. But, to repeat the obvious, they are not a reliable source of nutrition information.

              As for the study not having been replicated, yes that is true. However, since there is evidence from other sources of lead contamination of chicken meat and eggs, that is not a sufficient reason to assume the study must be completely wrong and should be ignored.

              However, the key point remains that there is no scientific evidence that bone broth is healthy or even harmless. And there is legitimate concern about heavy metal contamination.




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  14. The black currant studies I am aware of do not appear to be financially conflicted. As far as I can tell, hey were funded by the Japanese Government and the researchers declared they had no financial conflict of interest.
    However, you would want to see them replicated by other researchers before fully accepting them. Also they used extracts rather than whole black currants so I do not know how one could effectively operationalise these findings at present.




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  15. Dr. Greger, I was wondering if you have read this book and whether you have any response to it (excerpt and title/author below).

    Veganish: The omnivore’s guide to plant based cooking

    by Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose

    When a dentist prescribed surgery for my two year old daughter’s severe tooth decay, with no promise of actual healing, I had to find a better solution. I discovered that tooth decay is linked to nutritional deficiency, and is somewhat common among vegan children. We began a healing regimen based on the book titled, “Cure Tooth Decay” which restricts grains, beans nuts and seeds and uses plenty of bone broth and marrow, raw dairy and organ meats. My daughter’s condition improved astonishingly quickly. I am now a reluctant omnivore, humbly and gratefully using animal products to heal my family.




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    1. johan003: I personally know several children, vegan since birth (not counting breast feeding, though breast feeding from vegan mothers), who have perfectly healthy teeth. I don’t know what was the problem with your daughter, but I am skeptical that it had anything to do with eating intact grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Those foods are shown again and again to be healthy foods. You have to do what you feel is right for your daughter of course, but there are well known, serious dangers with foods like bone broth and raw dairy (yikes). There are some serious cons to consider with the route you have chosen.
      .
      The ADA says that a well planned vegan diet is appropriate for every stage of life. If you ever decided you want to try a vegan diet again, there are some good resources available for raising healthy children free of the dangers of animal products. Let me know if you are interested and I’ll come up with some links for you.




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  16. First off, Dr Greger I love the knowledge I get from your research. However, I’m a little puzzled. The very same study in the video regarding bone broth can be found reviewed on Weston A Price -> http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/bone-broth-and-lead-contamination-a-very-flawed-study-in-medical-hypotheses/ . Coupled with Dr Angell, former Editor-in-Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine, stating ““It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and
    reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” … makes me wonder about some of the studies themselves. After watching your interview with Dr Mercola, I fully understand the mountain of research to review, let alone analyzing the accuracy.




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  17. What about organic free range lamb on another continent?(scandinavia).. How can one have any idea? Could it not just have been that particular farm? That potentially grew plant foods aswell with the same contamination?
    food for thought. All i know is bone broth has helped my health immensly, while a vegan diet(altho high fruit, even with crazy high greens in the end didnt help) caused me some serious imbalances…




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  18. Hi Dr. Greger,
    I recently had a Paleo patient tell me that the bone broth study you show here was flawed. So I looked it up and also read the Weston Price nutritionist commentary and indeed, it leaves a lot of questions to be answered. Im vegan and Im no fan of bone broth, but I must always be very grounded when advising patients. Any help is appreciated. Tess




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  19. As part of Asian-diet, I make soups or noodle dishes with a small-fish broth — anchovies primarily. As with fish broth, also chicken and beef broth all have zero saturated fat and cholesterol. Should these broth be viewed in the same ways as their respective meat and avoided in general even though they have zero to no saturated fat or cholesterol?




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    1. Hi Hanja, I’m confused as to how you can consider your animal based broths to be zero saturated fat? Most broths made from these animals consist of cooking the pieces of the animals, often with their bones in water for many hours and then straining the solids out. Even if you chill the broth and remove the fat that floats to the top there will still be remnants of the fat dissolved in the broth. All animals have saturated fat and that saturated fat is the repository for any toxins and heavy metals they came in contact with during their lifetime. If you are aiming for a diet that has low or no saturated fat then I would switch to vegetable stock.




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    1. Lauri: I am Christine, a NF volunteer moderator. The Weston A. Price Foundation was formed by a woman with a degree in English, not nutrition or a related area, who read the work of an early 20th century dentist named Weston A. Price, and decided that he had uncovered the secrets of healthy eating. By modern standards, Dr. Price’s work was not very scientific at all. Because the Weston A. Price Foundation heavily promotes the use of bone broth to cure any number of illnesses, it is not surprising that it would refute any claims that bone broth could be harmful. Most of the sources cited in the article to support the author’s claims that lead in bone broth is not a problem are not academic or scientific journals, although the ones supporting a claim for potential harm are. I would encourage you to read the cited works yourself and draw your own conclusions. That said, I tend not to lend a lot of credibility to this sort of article. I hope that helps!




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  20. Dr Gregor you wrote of the study done showing bone broth contaminated with lead, see here
    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/lead-contamination-bone-broth/

    but another article shows that the
    ​bone broth study was flawed, see here..a long read but I agree

    ​http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/soy-alert/bone-broth-and-lead-contamination-a-very-flawed-study-in-medical-hypotheses/

    conclusion some bone broth has NO lead and it has excellent proven health benefits




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  21. Hello, I would like to know whether Dr. Greger is opposed to bone broth for the same reasons that he opposes the consumption of animal products: high methianone and IGF-1? Are these factors to consider, or are bones from animals without these substances that can promote cancer?

    Thank you.




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    1. I’m Joan-NurseEducator a volunteer with NutritionFacts.org and if you are thinking of consuming bone broth, think again! Although methianone is found ore softer animal flesh (meat), you are indeed still taking in animal flesh with bones which will contain IGF-1 and all the other health risks associated with animal protein. See https://nutritionfacts.org/video/protein-intake-and-igf-1-production/ In addition there are concerns about lead contamination https://nutritionfacts.org/video/lead-contamination-bone-broth/ Stick with a healthy whole food PLANT-based diet for optimum health without these risks.




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      1. Thank you very much for your quick response. You confirmed my suspicions. I am a metastatic breast cancer patient, and do follow Dr. G’s recommendations predominantly. However, as you well know, so many well-thought-of health professionals, sing the praises of bone broth for so many issues, and I just wanted to be sure that I was correct in not trying any out.

        Would you happen to know if Dr. G talks about SIBO anywhere? I haven’t found any articles that address this. My GI doc suspects that I have it (super distended stomach), and the FODMAPS diet is highly suggested to help – however it flies in the face of all I do with the plant-based diet to try to defeat my cancer. I am really stumped here. Thank you in advance for any insight you might be able to lend here.

        ck




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  22. I’m having trouble reconciling some of the findings on NutritionFacts.org and the info from Dr. Axe, in regards to ketones, fat/protein/carb ratios, bone broth, coconut oil (pulling), etc.




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  23. One of the things I would recommend if you are interested in comparing “advice” from any source, is to check on the credentials of the person who is providing the “advice”.

    Some questions I ask myself to check credibility of the “advice” are:
    1. Where was the person educated? Is that institution accredited? If so, by whom?
    2. If someone calls themselves a doctor, what kind of doctor do they mean? Is it a PhD? In what discipline? I personally know a guy who calls himself a “Doctor of Yoga” and he has a PhD from a “holistic” nonaccredited university in California. He uses the term Doctor to imply education and knowledge that he does not possess. So, if they call themselves a Doctor (Like Dr. Axe) what kind of doctor is he? Where did he get his degree? Is he licensed to practice medicine?
    3. Is that person selling something? Remember, that Dr. Greger takes NO COMPENSATION from Nutrition Facts and there is no advertising. We are not selling anything here, just promoting science based approaches to nutrition. Not opinions, and not pushing product.

    Good luck with your research. I hope you find the answers you seek on Nutrition Facts.

    Lisa Schmidt, MS, CN, CYT
    Mindful Benefits
    Plant Based Docs




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