A Bone Broth Breakthrough: Fluoride-Free, Finally!

This time last year, I was just starting to experiment with making stock in my new slow cooker.  The DeLonghi crock pot was the #1 item on my Christmas list last year because I wanted to put my bone broth theory to the test.

The Bone Broth Theory

My theory on bone broth is that it is the perfect healing food for cellulite.  It is the traditional source of glucosamine, collagen, and the other raw materials the body needs to rebuild connective tissue.

Our investigation indicated it might also be ideal for healing fluoroderma.  After all, bone broths are a traditional source for minerals like boron that are shown to displace fluoride from the body.

The Rub

I started my detox efforts by drinking a bowl of homemade bone broth every day.  I quickly developed breakouts on my skin in addition to headaches, afternoon fatigue, and even some pains in my joints and bones.  I wasn’t able to tell if these symptoms were detox reactions or if they were caused by the presence of fluoride in the bone broth.

As with humans, animal bones can contain high amounts of fluoride if the animal is fed a diet that is high in fluoride.  Animal feed is typically high in fluoride because it is sprayed with fluoride-based pesticides.

Fluoride experts claim all animal bones contain fluoride.  But shouldn’t the fluoride content of animal bones depend on the fluoride content of their diet?  How would the fluoride get there otherwise?  I bought the best quality bones I could find, but I’ve had fluoroderma reactions from “organic” animal products before.   I had no way of knowing if the the stock I was making contained fluoride or not.

Because of this dilemma, I had to put my bone broth experiment on hold.  I started taking prunes to detox fluoride instead, since prunes are naturally high in boron and unlikely to contain fluoride.  I didn’t know when I would continue my bone broth experiment but I knew I wasn’t finished with it yet.

The Revelation

To celebrate Christmas this year, we bought an organic, free-range heritage breed turkey from a small farm in Florida.

Thanks in part to my Bellabaci cups (win a free set here), my face was completely clear at the time.  It was the perfect opportunity to do a little experiment and see how my skin would react to homemade stock from the turkey.  I performed a similar test last Thanksgiving with a free-range bird my mom bought from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania.  My skin didn’t react to the turkey meat, but I had cystic outbreaks on my chin and neck from the bone broth.

I made a point to eat a lot of the turkey skin on Christmas day while it was still hot and crispy.  Fluoride accumulates in the skin but I didn’t experience any breakouts from it.

I made stock the lazy way by throwing the carcass into the crock pot and letting it go overnight.  I didn’t add a thing to it.  To my delight, it gelled beautifully and tasted delicious without even a pinch of salt.  In fact, it was the best stock I ever tasted.

I began by drinking a small cup to see if my skin would react. Nothing but deliciousness.  Usually with poultry stock I can feel the cysts start to form within hours.  I drank a larger portion the next morning, and again, no reaction.  I drank a full jar of stock on the third day and still, not a single breakout.

In fact, I didn’t experience any detox symptoms at all.  Why was that?  Maybe the stock didn’t contain fluoride OR boron.  That is one possibility.  Or maybe it contained boron, but it also contained a full spectrum of other minerals and nutrients that prevented the boron from causing a detox reaction.

I thought of this latter possibility after a recent experience with detox baths.  I used to put epsom salts in my baths.  If I sat in the bath too long (40 minutes or more), I would develop a headache which I contributed to the detox reaction.  Last time I added dead sea salt to my bath instead.  It contains an array of minerals, not just the magnesium sulfate found in epsom salt.  I stayed in the bath for over an hour and didn’t feel the slightest hint of a headache.  Perhaps the extra minerals in the dead sea salts made the difference?

In any case, the next step in testing my bone broth theory is to find a regular source of quality bones for homemade stock.  I was using beef bones before, but I am going to switch back to poultry now that I know it is possible to find poultry bones that don’t contain fluoride.  With poultry, it is easier to get the stock to gel because there is a lot of connective tissue that comes with the carcass.

We’ll get to the bottom of this mystery yet!  Do you have any adventures in bone broth to share?

*This post is part of Fight Back Friday.

Creative Commons License photo credit: jijis


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Skip Savage says:

Funny, we just bought our first Crock-Pot today, the designer series – a far cry from the way they looked when they first came on the market. Yes, I am that old.

Looking forward to slow-cooked broths and stews.

I made it through a gallon of turkey stock after Christmas without incident. It was a regular supermarket bird packed by Lilydale, so I expected some bumps. I sport a few in my hairline, but it could be the carbs I ate with abandon over the holidays and into last week.

I haven’t pursued an active detox program. So far the only changes for me have been eliminating green tea and fluoride toothpaste, but my cystic acne is much reduced, if not in remission.


That just might be enough to do the trick! In the few journal articles about fluoroderma by dermatologists, they are writing about topical sources of fluoride. Many of the cases clear completely when the patient stops using fluoridated toothpaste. I think for some people, they are probably only sensitive to topical applications of fluoride.

Tracy over at The Love Vitamin has an interesting conversation going about fluoroderma, and at least one of the commenters noted that her acne went away completely when she stopped using a fluoridated mouthwash. http://www.thelovevitamin.com/2744/could-fluoride-be-causing-your-acne/

I don’t know if the same applies to detox reaction (like with iodine), but maybe you are lucky enough to only be sensitive to topical fluoride. I hope that is the case because that would be so much easier to deal with!

Bethany says:

I’ve been getting chickens from an organic, free-range farm with no breakouts. BUT I got an hour long Swedish massage and broke out horribly on my neck. A couple days later said my lymphatic system was very congested and I mentioned getting a massage and he said that would do it. I think I was detoxing through my lymphatic system. It is a great test to see whether there is still junk in me or not.


I had some unexplained bumps after I returned from Florida for the holidays and I couldn’t figure out where the heck they were coming from. Then I felt a cold coming on (boo!) and I realized my body must have been fighting a bug I picked up on the plane. I never broke out from that before, but I suppose it is possible.

Now I feel like I need a Swedish massage. Come hither, rumble roller!!

Sarah B. says:

Do you think it makes a difference in the fluoride levels if the bones are cooked longer? In the GAPS diet they mention simmering for three days? Just wondered your thoughts?


Good question, Sarah. I’ve simmered stocks for that long before and I can’t say I noticed any difference between the ones that simmered for 3 days, and the ones that simmered for 12 hours. I only simmered this turkey stock overnight and it gelled like mad, but that is probably because there was more connective tissue in the pot.

Logically, it makes sense that the longer you simmer the broth, the more minerals will end up in the stock. The bones from the broth I simmered for 3 days were literally crumbling like sand in my fingers. If more of the minerals end up in the broth, it is likely that more of the fluoride will, too (if there was fluoride in the bones to begin with). I still don’t know if the presence of other minerals prevents the fluoride from being absorbed.

Sorry for the convoluted answer! That was me trying to think through my answer out loud. What do you think?

Cass Cary says:

Flouride isnt your problem. YOURE ALLERGIC TO BONE BROTH!!!!


If you read the post again, Cass, you’ll see it’s about how I DID NOT have a reaction to this particular batch of bone broth. I believe the difference is because it was made from a free-range, heritage breed turkey that was raised to meticulous organic standards. Most poultry is high in fluoride because the feed is saturated with fluoride-based pesticides. The fluoride bioaccumulates in their bones and skin (just as it does in humans).

Wendy says:

I have one question – Do you have to make the broth yourself? Can you use organic chicken, turkey and beef broths that you purchase in tetra boxes from an organic store?


Nope, you don’t have to make it yourself. If you buy it, be sure to buy broth that is made from organic, pastured animals. U.S. Wellness Meats sells a quality beef stock and their shipping is inexpensive (their meat products are worth ordering, too!). In Florida, we order beef and chicken stock from a local farm.

In my 2009 shopping guide from the Weston Price Foundation (an authority on this subject), they say to avoid soups in “aseptic boxes.” Canned broth is okay as long as it doesn’t contain additives (they mention Amy’s brand, Health Valley, and Shelton’s). The soups rated “best” are made in the traditional way. Besides US Wellness, they also mention http://www.chesapeakegardens.com/. I hope that helps!

Helen says:

I’m curious about the reactions you’ve experienced to bone broths. I’ve just done a week of Gaps intro which consists of nothing but bone broth for breakfast, lunch and dinner, basically. I got a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including headache, bloating, foggy brain, fatique, lethargy and sugar cravings. From what I read, a lot of people experience these kinds of symptoms when going onto Gaps. Gaps calls it “detoxing”, but this is a very unscientific explanation and I want to understand exactly what is happening.

I’m wondering if it isn’t something to do with the bone broth. Your experiments would suggest that the quality and type of bone broth is pretty significant.

Maybe it’s possible that certain bone broths have nutrient profiles which the body struggles to metabolise? As bone broths are not all created equal, perhaps some broth is good for us while other broth isn’t. The headaches and fatigue would seem to be the body telling us it’s unhappy. This prompts me to want to proceed with caution when it comes to bone broth.

On the positive side, after the week on Gaps intro, my cellulite was noticably improved. What a shame that having bone broth every day made me feel so ill!

Thank you for your blog! It really is great.

Helen says:

Bone broths are very high in natural chemicals called amines, and some people are sensitive to these. (There is a diet called Failsafe which eliminates these.) I am sensitive to amines, and so I only cook my bone broths for 3-4 hours, to minimise the formation of amines. This is an area that might be worth looking into for some people who get uncomfortable reactions to bone broths.


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