Bone broth and gelatine are both highly nutritious and healing foods, rich in the minerals calcium and phosphorus[1] among others. Both are also an excellent source of glycine, an amino acid used by the body for detoxification and also for the production of collagen[2] (a building block of healthy skin).

However both bone broth and gelatine can cause digestive distress for certain people.bone broth


Bone broth can exacerbate Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Bone broth and gelatine made with cartilage bones (such as knuckle bones) are high in FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) which are known to feed SIBO[3][4][5].  This in turn can cause bloating, belching, constipation or diarrhoea and other symptoms of digestive distress.


Bone broth cooked for long periods (see below for indicative cooking times) is likely to be high in histamines[6]. For those intolerant to histamines, consuming this type of bone broth can cause migraines, hives, anxiety, acid reflux, bloating and more[7]. Similarly, some brands of gelatine may be high in histamines and cause a reaction for those who a histamine intolerant.

THE WORKAROUNDS (The good news):

The good news is that you do have SIBO or histamine intolerance you can still have both gelatine and bone broth, meaning you won’t miss out on any of the great nutrition!

  1. For SIBO: If you are making your own bone broth, make sure you avoid the cartilage bones and use only marrow and meaty bones. Similarly with gelatine, ask the manufacturer which parts of the animal they use to make the product, ensuring there are no parts of the animal which contain cartilage.
  2. For Histamines: Do not cook your bone broth for long periods at a time (see below for cooking times per cooking method). If you are consuming gelatine, ask the manufacturer if their product is high in histamines. If they don’t have the answer, you may have to experiment.
  • Low histamine bone broth cooking times (please note that these are indicative times, each person is unique and may be able to tolerate either longer or shorter cooking times):

          Slow cooker: No longer than 12hrs on the medium setting

          Stove-top: No longer than 6hrs on medium heat

          Pressure cooker: No longer than 1hr


As your gut heals your histamine intolerance and FODMAP intolerance should improve, meaning that your tolerance for all forms of bone broth and gelatine should improve too!


[1] “Cooking with Bones.” Marks Daily Apple RSS. N.p., 15 Apr. 2010. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

[2] “5 Reasons Why Even Vegetarians Should Eat Gelatin.” Chris Kresser. N.p., 06 Mar. 2014. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.

[3] “Dr. Allison Siebecker, ND – The Digestion Sessions.” The Digestion Sessions. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

[4] Siebecker, Allison, Dr. SIBO Specific Food Guide. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life, 1979. SIBO Info. Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

[5] Barrett, Jacqueline S., and Peter R. Gibson. “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols (FODMAPs) and Nonallergic Food Intolerance: FODMAPs or Food Chemicals?”Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology. SAGE Publications, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

[6] Tsafrir, Judy. “Histamine Intolerance, GAPS and Low Carb.” Judy Tsafrir, MD. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2015.

[7] Kresser, Chris. “Headaches, Hives, and Heartburn: Could Histamine Be the Cause?” Chris Kresser. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2015.