Roasted bone marrow and toasted bread on a chopping board with the words "bone marrow benefits".

13 Bone Marrow Benefits: It’s Surprising Health Gains Revealed

Discover the surprising bone marrow benefits that have been a cornerstone of traditional diets but are only now gaining the recognition they deserve.

Eating bone marrow is more than a culinary delight; it’s a powerhouse of nutrition that supports everything from skin health and joint health to immune function.

Rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and essential nutrients, bone marrow offers significant health advantages, including the support of red blood cells and white blood cells production.

This introduction to bone marrow will explore its health benefits, from decreasing inflammation to enhancing bone health and beyond, making a compelling case for incorporating bone marrow into your diet.


  • What It Is: Nutrient-rich tissue in bones, key for blood cell production and immune support.
  • Types: Red marrow makes blood cells; yellow marrow stores fat.
  • Nutritional Highlights: Loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Top Benefits:
    • 1. Boosts Immune System
    • 2. Supports Joint Health and Reduces Inflammation
    • 3. Promotes Healthy Skin
    • 4. Aids Digestive Health
    • 5. Supports Weight Management and Metabolism
    • 6. Enhances Bone Health
    • 7. Improves Heart Health
    • 8. Supports Brain Function
    • 9. Enhances Immune Function
    • 10. Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases
    • 11. Supports Gut Health
    • 12. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
    • 13. Promotes Hematopoietic Function
  • Usage: Enjoy in broths, dishes, or as supplements.
  • Buying Tips: Choose high-quality, grass-fed bones for the best benefits.
  • Considerations: Balance intake with overall diet due to fat and cholesterol content.

What is Bone Marrow?

Bone marrow is the rich, spongy tissue found in the hollow centers of bones. It’s a key component in the body’s health ecosystem, playing a pivotal role in producing blood cells, supporting immune function, and storing essential nutrients.

This nutritional powerhouse is vital for blood clotting and fighting infection and is praised for its health benefits in diets. Eating bone marrow can contribute to improved skin health, joint health, and even heart health.

Being something of a delicacy in the culinary world, the bone marrow taste is sought after making dietary bone marrow not only healthy but also delicious.

Red vs. Yellow Bone Marrow: What’s the Difference?

The two types of bone marrow, red and yellow, serve distinct functions:

Red bone marrow: found in the inner spongy material of certain bones. Specifically, it is found in:

  • Flat bones like the hip bone, sternum, skull, ribs, and vertebrae
  • The ends of long bones like the femur and humerus
  • The pelvis
  • Vertebrae

Red bone marrow produces red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets through a process called hematopoiesis. In adults, red bone marrow is mainly located in the vertebrae, hip and shoulder bones, ribs, breastbone, and skull. The amount of red marrow decreases with age as it converts to yellow marrow, which mainly stores fat cells.

Yellow bone marrow: found in the medullary cavity, the innermost part of the bone. As we age, some of the red bone marrow converts to yellow bone marrow. Here are some more details:

  • In adults, yellow bone marrow is primarily found in the long bones such as the femur, tibia, humerus, radius, and ulna.
  • It is also present in bones like the pelvis, sternum, ribs, vertebrae, and other flat bones.
  • In newborns and children, the bones still contain mostly red marrow. Through the process of ossification, as we age, red marrow gets replaced by yellow marrow.
  • By the age of 25, about half of the bone marrow is yellow.
  • In elderly individuals, as much as 70% of bone marrow may be yellow marrow.
  • The conversion of red to yellow happens from the peripheries of the bones towards the centers. So the long bone ends convert first, followed by shafts.

So in summary, yellow bone marrow is found mainly in the long bones and flat bones of adults, gradually replacing red marrow over time starting from childhood. It has an important role in fat storage and metabolism.

Understanding the differences between them is essential for grasping the full spectrum of bone marrow benefits.

Bone Marrow Transplants

In discussing the wide array of benefits associated with bone marrow, it’s also worth noting the critical medical application of bone marrow in bone marrow transplants.

This procedure, vital for treating certain diseases like leukemia, further underscores the incredible healing and regenerative properties of bone marrow beyond its nutritional value.

Nutritional Profile of Bone Marrow

Bone marrow stands out as a nutritional treasure, offering a wealth of health benefits. Packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, it’s a potent source of nourishment that supports bone health, immune function, and skin health.

Its unique blend of nutrients makes bone marrow an invaluable addition to a balanced diet, particularly for those interested in consuming bone marrow for its health benefits.

Whether used in bone broth or savored directly, bone marrow’s nutritional profile is impressively diverse, offering essential fatty acids, collagen, and fat-soluble vitamins crucial for maintaining health and vitality.

Let’s take a look at the bone marrow nutrition facts.

Key Nutrients Found in Bone Marrow

Here’s a table showcasing the key nutrients found in bone marrow and their quantities per 0.5oz serving, along with the percentage of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI):

NutrientQuantity per 0.5oz serving% of RDI
Calories125.5 kcal
Total Fat14g21%
Saturated Fat5.8g29%
Monounsaturated Fat5.4g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.5g
Vitamin A0.07µg0.01%
Vitamin E0.03mg0.2%
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)Not specified

This table illustrates the nutrient density of bone marrow, highlighting its significant contribution to fat intake, cholesterol, and essential fatty acids. Note that the RDI percentages are approximations, as nutritional needs vary.

Top Health Benefits of Bone Marrow

Let’s dig into the numerous health benefits of bone marrow, from boosting immune function to enhancing bone health. This superfood is a powerhouse of nutrition that supports the body in numerous ways.

1. Boosts Immune System

Bone marrow plays a crucial role in immune system support and white blood cell production, increasing the white blood cell count that fights infection. Its rich nutrient content helps bolster the body’s defenses, making it a key player in maintaining health.

2. Supports Joint Health and Reduces Inflammation

Rich in collagen and conjugated linoleic acid, bone marrow helps not only maintain joint function but also improve joint health and decreases inflammation, offering relief from joint pain and enhancing mobility.

3. Promotes Healthy Skin

The fatty acids and vitamins in bone marrow fat contribute to skin health, improving skin elasticity and hydration. Consuming bone marrow can lead to a healthier, more radiant complexion.

4. Aids Digestive Health

Bone marrow contains collagen, which supports the digestive tract and aids in gut health. Its nutrients help strengthen the gut lining, reducing chronic inflammation and promoting digestive wellness.

5. Supports Weight Management and Metabolism

Bone marrow is a source of healthy fats and conjugated linoleic acid, which can enhance metabolism and support weight management. Animal fat, being satiating, helps curb hunger.

6. Enhances Bone Health

Packed with essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, bone marrow supports bone health, contributing to stronger bones and reducing the risk of bone-related diseases.

7. Improves Heart Health

Bone marrow contains healthy fats that can contribute to heart health. Its polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.

8. Supports Brain Function

The essential fatty acids in bone marrow play a vital role in brain health and function. Eating bone marrow can support brain cells, enhance memory, and improve cognitive function.

9. Enhances Immune Function

Bone marrow is rich in stem cells, and specifically hematopoietic stem cells, that are crucial for producing white blood cells, enhancing the body’s ability to fight infection and improve immune function.

10. Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases

The anti-inflammatory properties of bone marrow help reduce the risk of chronic inflammation, linked to numerous chronic diseases. Its nutrients can play a role in preventing conditions related to inflammation.

11. Supports Gut Health

Bone marrow’s collagen content supports the integrity of the digestive tract, promoting gut health and aiding in the repair of the gut lining. This can lead to improved digestion and nutrient absorption.

12. Improves Insulin Sensitivity

The fatty acids in bone marrow may improve insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. This makes it a valuable food for maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

13. Promotes Hematopoietic Function

Bone marrow is a primary site for hematopoiesis, the process of forming blood cells including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, via hematopoietic stem cells.

Consuming bone marrow can support this vital function, ensuring healthy blood cell production and contributing to overall vitality and disease resistance.

How to Incorporate Bone Marrow into Your Diet

Incorporating bone marrow into your diet is easier than you might think. Whether you’re a culinary expert or a kitchen novice, bone marrow offers versatility and flavor that can enhance any meal.

From bone broth to rich gravies, its nutritional benefits can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

Eating bone marrow doesn’t just boost your health; it also adds depth and richness to your dishes, making every meal an adventure in taste and wellness.

Easy Recipes to Get Started

Starting with bone marrow in your cooking can be simple and delicious. Here are a few easy recipes to help you get started:

  • Bone Marrow Broth: A foundational recipe for many health-conscious cooks, bone marrow broth is rich, nutritious, and perfect for soups or as a sipping broth.
  • Roasted Bone Marrow: A simple, elegant appetizer or side dish that pairs beautifully with crusty bread. This is my favorite; a pinch of salt, scoop and gobble.
  • Bone Marrow Butter: Upgrade your butter by mixing it with roasted bone marrow, perfect for topping steaks or vegetables.
  • Marrow Bone Beef Stew: Make your beef stew richer and more flavorful by adding bone marrow to the pot.

Bone Marrow Supplements: An Alternative Option

For those interested in the health benefits of bone marrow but hesitant about incorporating it directly into meals, bone marrow supplements offer a convenient alternative.

These supplements, available at health food stores and online, provide a concentrated dose of the nutrients found in bone marrow, such as collagen, healthy fats, and essential vitamins.

While they can be a practical option for boosting immune function, joint health, and more, it’s important to choose high-quality products and if you have any concerns, consult with a healthcare provider.

This ensures the supplements align with your health goals and dietary needs, offering a simple way to enjoy bone marrow’s benefits without changing your cooking habits.

If you’re interested take a look at these:

Buying Bone Marrow: A Guide to Quality and Sourcing

When it comes to reaping the significant health benefits of bone marrow, quality matters as much as quantity.

Opting for high-quality grass-fed bones is crucial, as they are likelier to contain higher levels of nutrients and healthy fats compared to their grain-fed counterparts.

Grass-fed animals are often raised in better conditions, which can affect the nutritional content and taste of the marrow.

What to Look For

When shopping for bone marrow, appearance is key. Look for bones that are well-sized, with a visible amount of marrow.

The marrow should appear rich and creamy, which indicates freshness and quality. Not grey and pungent smelling.

Avoid bones with cracks or those that seem dry, as this can affect the marrow’s quality.

Where to Buy

For those looking to incorporate bone marrow into their diets, there are reputable sources where you can find high-quality, grass-fed options:

  • US Wellness Meats offers a wide range of bones perfect for broth or roasting. Their selection is sourced from grass-fed animals, ensuring a high nutrient content. Visit their collection at U.S. Wellness Meat’s Bones.
  • White Oak Pastures is another excellent source for grass-fed beef marrow bones. They pride themselves on sustainable farming practices and offer products that reflect their commitment to animal welfare and nutritional quality. Explore their options at White Oak Pastures’ Grass-fed Beef Marrow Bones.

Potential Drawbacks and Considerations

Critics often point to none marrow’s high fat and cholesterol content as potential health risks, particularly concerning heart disease and weight management.

However, this perspective overlooks the complexity of dietary fats and their role in our health. The debate around animal fats and cholesterol is nuanced, suggesting that what might be deemed unhealthy in excess could be beneficial in moderation.

Managing Fat and Cholesterol Intake

The conversation around fat and cholesterol intake from sources like bone marrow is evolving.

Traditional advice warns against high saturated fats and cholesterol, linking them to heart disease.

Yet, this view is challenged by those who question why Mother Nature would provide such nutrient-rich foods while at the same time making them harmful…

…my common sense radar’s start going crazy when I think about this.

Recent studies suggest the body’s response to dietary cholesterol is more complex than previously thought, and healthy fats can play a crucial role in our diet.

It’s now understood if we don’t consume cholesterol, our body will go and make it anyway – this is a subject I have opinions about but is perhaps a discussion for another day.

Ultimately, including animal bone marrow in you diet has clear health benefits but if you have any health concerns, I urge you to do some research and dig deeper than the first couple of Google search result pages.

Conclusion: Bone Marrow Benefits

The journey through the world of bone marrow reveals a fascinating blend of nutritional wealth and health benefits.

From supporting immune function and joint health to enhancing skin health and digestive wellness, bone marrow stands out as a superfood with ancient roots and modern relevance.

Its rich content of healthy fats, collagen, and essential nutrients makes it a powerful addition to a balanced diet, deserving of the growing interest among health-conscious individuals.

Embracing Bone Marrow for a Healthier You

Incorporating bone marrow into your diet is more than a culinary adventure; it’s a step towards optimizing your health.

Whether through direct consumption, bone broth, or supplements, the benefits of bone marrow are within reach.

Embracing bone marrow means choosing a path of nourishment that supports your body’s natural functions, from blood cell production to fighting inflammation.

As we’ve explored, the key lies in sourcing high-quality, grass-fed bones and being mindful of individual dietary needs. Let bone marrow be a cornerstone in your journey to a healthier you, enriching your diet with its profound benefits.

There you have it. If you’re interested in other animal-based health-boosting foods such as organ meats such beef liver & chicken liver, bone broth, tallow, lard, and even sweetbreads then have a little dig around my other articles. There’s plenty to gorge on.

Have a nutritious day!


How often should you eat bone marrow?

The frequency of eating bone marrow depends on you. If you’re concerned about fat and cholesterol, incorporating bone marrow 1-2 times a week can offer significant health benefits without overloading.

If not, then crack on as much as you want.

Is bone marrow a superfood?

Yes, bone marrow can be considered a superfood due to its dense nutrient profile, including healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and collagen.

Its potential to support immune function, bone health, and joint health makes it a powerful addition to a health-conscious diet.

Is bone marrow good or bad cholesterol?

Bone marrow contains both HDL – considered as good – and LDL – considered as bad – cholesterol.

Consuming bone marrow as part of a varied, nutrient-rich diet can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

What can bone marrow do to your body?

Bone marrow supports the body in numerous ways, including enhancing immune function, promoting joint health, improving skin condition, aiding digestive health, and supporting weight management and metabolism.

Its rich nutritional content plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and wellness.

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