Bone Marrow Supplement: Health Benefits and Best Brands

By Liam McAuliffe M.T.S. Updated on

Bone marrow as food has been a staple among cultures across the globe since before recorded history.  Now, in our busy modern lives, beef bone marrow supplement offers a convenient way to get the benefits of this ancient superfood. 

In this article, we’ll explore the nutrition and benefits of beef bone marrow supplement, and take a look at some of the highest quality bone marrow supplements on the market. 

Table of Contents

Historical Importance of Bone Marrow

Bone marrow has been so important to human nutrition that researchers believe it could have been the first animal food in the human diet. Evidence from ancient tools and bone fragments tells us that early humans scavenged bone marrow millenia before they were smart enough to hunt. 

And in fact, it was the nutrients they unlocked from scavenging bone marrow that provided the fuel to grow their brains. Without bone marrow, we wouldn’t be the super intelligent species we are today.

This ancient tradition of eating the whole animal nose-to-tail not only helped us evolve, it also kept us remarkably healthy and essentially free from the most common diseases of the modern world including inflammatory diseases, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer. There’s a reason why these are called the diseases of civilization. 

We see the importance of bone marrow to an ancestral diet in the observation of pioneering dietary researcher Weston A. Price. Back in the early 1900s when Price studied the dietary practices of Native Americans of the Rocky Mountains, he found, 

“Indians putting great emphasis upon the eating of the organs of the animals, including the wall of parts of the digestive tract. Much of the muscle meat of the animals was fed to the dogs. It is important that skeletons are rarely found where large game animals have been slaughtered by the Indians of the North. The skeletal remains are found as piles of finely broken bone chips or splinters that have been cracked up to obtain as much as possible of the marrow and nutritive qualities of the bones. These Indians obtain their fat-soluble vitamins and also most of their minerals from the organs of the animals. An important part of the nutrition of the children consisted in various preparations of bone marrow, both as a substitute for milk and as a special dietary ration.”

Price made it his life’s work to introduce this dietary wisdom to friends, patients, and even orphanages — often with remarkable results. In his reports, numerous people recovered from tooth decay and degenerative diseases.  

Nowadays organ meats including bone marrow is making a comeback, gracing the menus of the hippest restaurants. And bone broth is even served at many coffee shops! 

But if bone marrow proves too expensive or inconvenient for you, bone marrow supplement may be an ideal option. 

Like-Supports-Like

For millennia, traditional cultures across the globe have ascribed to a like-supports-like approach to the nutritional values of organ meats. For instance, if a person has a heart ailment, they eat heart. If a person has an energy issue, they consume animal liver. 

The same goes for bone marrow: Consuming bone marrow, cartilage, and bones themselves provides numerous amino acids and compounds that directly support the health of people’s bones and connective tissues. 

Increasingly, modern research is supporting this ancient dietary wisdom. 

As Ron Schmid ND points out, “”Radioisotope labeling studies in animals have shown conclusively that, when eaten, organs and glands selectively travel to the corresponding organs and glands in high concentrations. This research, done at the University of Scotland in Edinburgh, lends credence to the ancient practice of eating animal organs to help ensure health in one’s corresponding organs…”

What is a Bone Marrow Supplement?

A bone marrow supplement is a dietary supplement that contains dried bovine bone marrow. 

The healthiest bovine bone marrow comes from the healthiest cows. These happen to be grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle from New Zealand–which we’ll explore a bit more later on. 

What are Desiccated Organ Meat Supplements?

Most quality beef bone marrow supplements are “desiccated”– a fancy word for “dried”. 

The highest quality bone marrow supplements are desiccated using a gentle freeze-drying process. 

In this process beef bone marrow is turned into a powder that can be stored and administered in a convenient gel capsule. 

The cheaper, and lower quality process of high-heat drying can degrade important nutrients.  But freeze-drying retains most of the vitamins, minerals, and co-factors of fresh bone marrow.  

Freeze-drying also reduces the water weight, allowing you to consume less, while still receiving the full offering of nutritional benefits. 

Bone Marrow Nutrition 

For an ancient food, it’s interesting to note that the nutrients in bone marrow are only partially known. 

The nutrition in bone marrow likely provides vitamin K2 along with other fat-soluble vitamins, their exact values are still being explored.

Though research is ongoing, available analysis provides the following bone marrow nutrition information. 

Nutrient100g of Bone MarrowRecommended Daily Value (RDV)% RDV
Calories770 calories2,500 calories30%
Protein7 grams50 g (standard diet, not keto)14%
Fat80 grams30 g (standard diet, not keto)266%
Carbohydrates0 mg120 g (standard diet, not keto)0%
Niacin0.4 mg16 mg3%
Selenium20 mcg70 mcg36%
Iron0.8 mg20 mg4%
Magnesium1.8 mg420 mg 0.4%
Zinc0.1 mg11 mg1%
Potassium137 mg4000 mg5%
Phosphorus7 mg700 mg1%

Benefits of Beef Bone Marrow Supplement

In addition to the above nutrients found in bone marrow itself, most high quality bone marrow supplement offers a complex of additional nutrients rendered from processing the entire bovine bone. 

Together the bone marrow and bone extracts in these supplements offer numerous benefits which we’ll look at now. 

Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite (MCHA): Prevents Bone Loss

Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite (MCHA) is a compound derived from processing the whole bovine bone. 

As a natural compound microcrystalline hydroxyapatite comprises the crystalline matrix of bone and teeth. It is the substance that gives these body parts their rigidity. 

MCHA contains highly absorbable calcium and phosphorus, which are the major mineral components of bone.

When part of a bone marrow supplement MCHA offers highly absorbable occurring calcium and phosphorus, along with a potent variety of bone supporting minerals derived from bone tissue. 

These specialized minerals include magnesium, phosphorous, a calcium-binding protein called osteocalcin, collagen, and bone growth factors like as IGF-I and IGF-II.

The body uses these nutrients to maintain and repair our living bones and connective tissues. 

Clinical studies on the effectiveness of supplementing with microcrystalline hydroxyapatite show that it is effective in preventing bone loss, even in people with compromised immune systems and in menopausal women.

Vitamin K2: Promotes Stem Cell Activation

The vitamin K2 provided by bone marrow supplement promotes stem cell activation in bone marrow itself. This function is an example of the like-supports-like property of beef bone marrow supplement.

Calcium: Protects Against Anti-Nutrients

The calcium provided by beef bone marrow supplement has many obvious benefits like promoting bone health and supporting muscle function.

Recent research is also showing that calcium binds with certain plant-toxins and antinutrients like oxalates and phytic acid. In the case of oxalate binding, calcium from dairy sources is protective against kidney stones.

Boron, Strontium and Manganese: 

These trace minerals are vital in the promotion and utilization of important hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D (which is both a vitamin and a hormone). 

Together these minerals and hormones work together to increase bone mineral density, reduce fracture risk, and build healthy cartilage. 

Bovine Activin A: For Bone and Cartilage Formation

Like other organ meat supplements bone marrow supplement contains organ specific bioactive peptides (short chain amino acid), including Bovine Activin A, which may support cartilage formation and bone growth.

Myeloid and Lymphoid Cells: Increased Immunity

Bone marrow provides the same myeloid and lymphoid cells our bodies use to produce white and red blood cells. These cells are crucial to immunity, and they assist in cellular regeneration throughout your body.

Bone marrow also contains alkylglycerols. This special type of lipid (fat) has innate immunomodulating properties.   

Collagen: Skin and Joint Health

Beef bone marrow supplement provides glycine-rich collagen and other ‘relaxant’ proteins. 

Research on supplemental collagen has found that it may improve skin health and reduce aches and pains, while providing antioxidant properties.  

A study of over 60 women found that collagen supplementation improved markers of skin hydration and elasticity i.e. youthfulness.

Studies also show that collagen promotes the health of your joints. A six-month study of athletes found that daily collagen supplementation decreased sports-related pain.

How to Choose A Bone Marrow Supplement

When it comes to choosing the bone marrow supplement that’s right for you, it’s important to know what to look for. 

Here’s a quick rundown of key factors offered by the highest quality brands

Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished 

Research shows that Grass-fed, grass-finished beef offers more nutrients than grain-fed beef.

The superior nutrient profile includes both micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as  fats and amino acids that make up the macronutrients in foods.  

For example, grass-fed meat contains fewer PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids), which can contribute to inflammation.

The organs of grass-fed beef also contain more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid ) than grain-fed cattle organs.  More CLA can help improve weight loss and muscle mass.

Pasture-Raised

For most living organisms the happier they are, the healthier they are, and cows are no different.

Research looking at worms–one of the most basic living organisms– suggests that the stress an animal endures can fundamentally change their biology. [29] 

So the humane choice in choosing pasture-raised bone marrow supplement is also the healthy choice. 

Freeze Dried 

Freeze drying is far more effective in capturing and preserving the nutrients from fresh organs when compared to standard extraction processes that use heat.

Think of freeze-drying as the key to getting the bone marrow supplement benefits listed above.

Bone Marrow Supplement from New Zealand Cattle 

New Zealand cattle are among the world’s happiest and healthiest. 

New Zealand cattle benefit from their pristine climate of mild and wet winters, and sunny summers providing the perfect conditions for year-round outdoor pastured living.

Contrast those vast expanses of bright green grass and fresh water with American ranches where even grass-fed cattle have to be kept indoors during winter months. During this time they are also fed on nutrient-deficient dried hay. 

Unfortunately, to date there is no direct data comparing New Zealand bone marrow with U.S. raised bone marrow. However, we can get a sense of the superior quality of New Zealand beef products by looking at a comparison of key nutrients between New Zealand beef liver and U.S. raised beef liver: 

  • Vitamin B12 – New Zealand beef liver has 43% more than U.S. raised beef liver. 
  • Vitamin B5 – New Zealand beef liver has 44% more than U.S. raised beef liver. 
  • Iron – New Zealand beef liver has 72% more than U.S. raised beef liver. 
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – New Zealand beef liver has 96% more than U.S. raised liver. 
  • Vitamin A – New Zealand beef liver has a staggering 459% more than U.S. raised liver. 

Other Ingredients: Fillers, Additives, Flow Agents 

The healthiest supplements are free of additives, fillers, binders, stearates, and flow agents. Look for bone marrow supplements that offer only pure: 

  • Grass-Fed Bovine Bone Marrow
  • Grass-Fed Bovine Cartilage
  • Grass-Fed Bovine Bone (MCHA)

An important note is to look for bone marrow supplement that is NOT defatted. Defatting bone marrow supplement removed the fat-soluble vitamins at the core of its health benefits. 

Dosage

Most bone marrow supplements call for 3000 milligrams as day. This comes out to ¾ of 1 teaspoon.

Though that might not sound like much, keep in mind that bone marrow supplements are desiccated (dried). 

In their fresh state, the majority of bone marrow is water.  For example 3000g of dried bone marrow is nutritionally equivalent to appx 1 oz (28 g) of fresh bone marrow. 

Price

When considering the quality factors listed above, we’ve found that moderately priced products are often the best choice. 

Coming in a around $40 per bottle, the best bone marrow supplements provide quality nutrition without the unnecessary additions like processed “multi-vitamins” and other compounds that don’t come from whole food sources, have little clinical efficacy, and just drive up the price. 

Best Bone Marrow Supplements

Our three favorite beef liver supplements are all super high quality products and contain 3000 mg, or 3 grams of freeze-dried beef organs. This is the nutritional power of roughly 1 oz or 28g of fresh organs. 

Ancestral Nutrition

Ancestral Nutrition’s “Grassfed Bone Marrow”call there offering “whole bone extract”, due to is sourcing from the femur bone all the way down to the knuckle’s end. This creates a “whole bone matrix” of nutrients including calcium hydroxyapatite, osteocalcium phosphate, collagen, proteoglycans, matrix proteins, cytokines, growth factors, fat soluble activators, stem cells, cartilage and collagen peptides. 

  • 3000 mg of grass-fed and finished beef bone marrow and whole bone extract. Pasture raised in New Zealand
  • Freeze Dried to preserve optimal nutritional profile
  • May have additives like flow agents or binders
  • 6 easy to swallow pills per serving
  • $52
  • Free Shipping with Amazon Prime

One Earth Health

Sourced from grass-fed and finished New Zealand cattle, One Earth Health’s bone marrow supplement offers a complex of bone marrow, MCHA, and cartilage. 

  • 3000 mg of grass-fed and finished beef marrow, bone, and cartilage, pasture raised in New Zealand
  • Freeze Dried to preserve optimal nutritional profile
  • No fillers, additives or flow agents
  • 6 easy to swallow pills per serving
  • $39.99

Antler Farms

If you’re looking for just pure 100% grass fed New Zealand bone marrow, Antler Farms Bone Marrow Supplement may be the way to go. However, it doesn’t offer the other “whole bone” benefits you’d get from MCHA. 

  • 3000 mg of pure grass-fed and finished beef bone marrow from New Zealand
  • Freeze Dried to preserve optimal nutritional profile
  • No fillers, additives or flow agents
  • 6 easy to swallow pills per serving
  • $44.99

Bone Marrow Supplement Brand Comparison

Each of these brands comes in at a similar price point, and they all offer New Zealand raised bone marrow and bone extract. However, they have some key differences with regards to the addition of compounds other than bone marrow. 

 

BrandAncestral Nutrition One Earth Health Antler Farms
Content Per Serving3000 mg freeze dried bone marrow and “whole bone extract” 3000 mg freeze dried  bone marrow. Bovine MCHA, and cartilage3000 mg freeze dried Bone marrow
Servings Per Bottle303030
Cattle Feed and LocationGrass-fed and finished, pasture-raised in New ZealandGrass-fed and finished, pasture-raised in New ZealandGrass-fed and finished, pasture-raised in New Zealand
Other IngredientsThey mention that this is the only supplement that is not additive-free, though it is unclear what is added. No Fillers, Additives or Flow AgentsNo Fillers, Additives or Flow Agents
Capsules per serving6 easy to swallow pills per serving6 easy to swallow pills per serving6 easy to swallow pills per serving
Cost$52$39.99$44.99

Bone Marrow Supplement: The Bottom Line

For millennia humans have relied on bone marrow and the fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and active compounds they provide. 

As important as the nutrient content itself is their bioavailability. This means how the body absorbs and incorporates them into vital roles. 

Bone marrow supplement, like other organ meat supplements offer key nutrients in the most bioavailable forms: a complete package of co-enzymes and peptides and activators. 

Bone marrow supplements are a convenient and effective way to bring ancient nutritional wisdom into our modern lives.

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