TikTok is awash with health and wellness hacks, products and trends, and one of the biggest this year is the ongoing obsession with bone soup.
Most traditional African homes, midwives and mothers have been in the know for centuries, but the fact that the hashtag garnered over 180 million views on TikTok shows younger people are catching on.
The users testify that it helps their skin glow, promotes gut health, stops bloating and even aids in weight loss, but what do experts say?
The Standard caught up with Mercy Chepkorir, a registered and licensed clinical dietitian and nutritionist who says there is some truth in claims that bone soup is good for the skin.
“It is high in proteins and is believed to be anti-ageing as it contains collagen, a structural protein found in the bone, skin, nails, hair and cartilage,” says Chepkorir.
Clinical studies have found that supplementing with collagen can enhance skin elasticity and hydration, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
“The collagen in the bone soup could also aid in protecting bones and joints from damage brought on by ageing, wear and tear.”
According to research, taking bone soup can decrease appetite due to the high protein content, thus, many people may notice weight loss as a side effect.
Chepkorir, however, cautions against adding too much salt while making bone soup, as it can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and other lifestyle diseases.
Further, some research has suggested that drinking large quantities of bone soup may cause concern because of the high concentrations of lead found in these soups, as animal bones can store heavy metals like lead, which can be released during cooking.
However, Chepkorir says small quantities are safe and healthy. “Throw in loads of vegetables while at it to maximise the health benefits,” she says.