Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth Review: Worth the High Cost?

Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth Review: Worth the High Cost?


| |
| |

Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth is one of the most popular bone broth brands in the U.S. The founder is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) named Kellyann Petrucci, and she wrote a best-selling book called the Bone Broth Diet.

But is Dr. Kellyann’s bone broth really better than what you can buy at your local grocery store? Does it contain any questionable ingredients? Is there a difference between “bone broth” and regular broth? And what was our experience trying this product?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not this brand is a healthy choice.

We'll share our experience trying this product, explain why Dr. Kellyann was sued over lead levels in their broth, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells this product for the best price.

Ingredient Analysis

Dr. Kellyann beef bone broth ingredients

The ingredients in Dr. Kellanne's beef bone broth are shown above.

The liquid versions of Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth contain entirely whole food ingredients and we would recommend these from a health (but not a price) perspective.

All of the bone broths are sourced from pastured animals such as grass fed and finished beef, which is a nutritionally superior option to conventional animal products.

A medical review published in the Food Science of Animal Resources journal found that grass-fed meat had an improved omega-3 fatty acid ratio, and less saturated fat than grain-fed meat.

The liquid bone broths are flavored with spices and botanical ingredients such as onion, ginger and thyme.

While we would recommend the liquid versions of these bone broths, we do not recommend the powder or protein versions, because both contain natural flavors.

This is a broad term that fails to reference the specific flavoring agents, and some may be unhealthy.

As we referenced in our review of JUST Egg ingredients, it's challenging to assess the safety of flavoring additives if the specific flavoring additives are not documented.

We Tried Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth – Our Take

Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth UGC

As the author of this article, I wanted to purchase and try Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth myself to share my thoughts on its taste and the overall product experience.

I bought the Thai Lemongrass version, which is a flavored chicken broth, at my local Whole Foods.

I didn't like the taste very much as the lemongrass flavor was overpowering. I like broths to taste like meat and veggies, with herbs and spices to provide subtle undertones rather than dominating the taste profile.

I also found it strange that lemongrass extract was used rather than lemongrass powder. The use of a concentrated extract in a bone broth seems like a weird choice.

I didn't like the plastic packaging and how I had to carefully unseal it over the sink so it wouldn't spill everywhere. I much prefer a simple glass jar (for convenience and health reasons).

I cooked the broth in the microwave along with some kale, and overall the broth was fine, but this is not something I'd ever purchase again.

I'd rate Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth a 3.5/10.

Is a Bone Broth Diet Unsafe?

Dr. Kellyann doesn’t only sell bone broth products, she also recommends a “bone broth diet” which entails consuming primarily bone broth for 21 days.

While bone broth is a nutritionally dense food, this may be unsafe because bone broth can contain high levels of contaminants such as lead.

Bones contain much higher levels of lead than muscle or tissue, and a clinical trial found that bone broth contained “markedly high lead concentrations.”

Many foods contain small amounts of contaminants, such as mercury in fish, but are still considered healthy. We’re not suggesting bone broth is unhealthy overall. We believe the pros outweigh the cons when considering moderate intake.

However, in light of the lead contamination, it may be logical to avoid consuming bone broth daily for 21 days unless the broth brand publishes lead data (which Dr. Kellyann does not).

We would not recommend a “bone broth diet” unless otherwise advised by a doctor.

Is “Bone Broth” Different From Regular Broth?

Consumers are often confused about the term “bone broth” since it’s relatively novel. This term simply refers to the resultant liquid created from boiling animal bones. It’s no different from any broth containing an animal name.

So “chicken bone broth” and “chicken broth” are exactly the same product. We consider the term “bone broth” to simply be a more specific way to market the product.

We haven't come across any evidence that products marketed as "bone broth" are healthier than products regularly marketed as "broth."

Real People Try Dr. Kellyann

A YouTube channel called “Karen’s Crazy Keto Life” reviewed Dr. Kellyann’s bone broth as part of Dr. Kellyann’s “5 Day Cleanse.” The review appears unsponsored, and the creator was not a fan of the bone broth:

A YouTube creator named "Sarahhh Beth" had a better experience, and shares her thoughts after four months of supplementing with Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth:

Questionable Health Claims on Brand's Website

Dr. Kellyann’s website makes a number of uncited health claims that we find to be highly questionable, and that we disagree with.

The brand's website suggests that users can “lose up to 15 pounds…in just 21 days” on a bone broth diet, as shown below:

Dr. Kellyann website questionable health claim 1

There is no link to any medical research proving or suggesting such.

While an individual can lose weight on any diet that provides a significant caloric deficit, we have not seen any clinical research suggesting that bone broth is especially effective for weight loss.

If someone were to eat only carrots for a week, they would also lose weight, but it would be illogical to proclaim that carrots cause weight loss. Eating at a caloric deficit causes weight loss.

The brand's website also makes the unscientific claim that their diet helps people “detoxing from sugar, grains, and other toxins.”

Sugar and grains are not toxins. They are food products. Toxins are defined as substances created by plants or animals that are toxic to humans, such as cholera bacteria.

We recommend that consumers exercise caution when purchasing from brands that make health claims without providing proof to back those health claims.

Why Was Dr. Kellyann Sued?

In 2020, Dr. Kellyann was sued by a non-profit organization in California called the Environmental Research Center.

The lawsuit alleged that several Dr. Kellyann products, including their bone broth, contained lead levels that required a Prop 65 warning.

We can't find any updates on whether the suit was settled or dismissed. We cannot identify the specific lead levels that prompted this lawsuit, but this furthers our concern about a “bone broth diet.”

We believe that such a diet, even for a relatively short period such as 21 days, may expose consumers to unsafe lead levels.

Our Clean Bone Broth Pick

EPIC Bone Broth is our top bone broth brand. 

EPIC Bone Broth is free of any flavoring additives and is sourced from pastured animals. It’s also shipped in glass containers which we consider to be a significantly healthier option than plastic containers for an acidic product like bone broth.

Medical research has shown that harmful plasticizing chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) leach from food containers into food, and this effect is enhanced with higher acidity.

This is why we would never recommend consuming bone broth (or other acidic foods like salsa) from a plastic carton. We recommend limiting plastic use as much as possible, but we consider it especially important for acidic foods.

EPIC Bone Broth currently costs $41.94 for a pack of 6 cartons, or $6.99 per carton. Kellyann’s Beef Bone Broth costs $129 for a 6-pack, or $21.5 per pack.

Interested consumers can check out EPIC Bone Broth at this link to the brand's official Amazon listing.

Real Customers Review Dr. Kellyann

Amazon is a better resource for unbiased customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

The brand's chicken broth packets are their most-reviewed product on Amazon currently, with over 6,000 reviews and an average review rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Kelly” who claims the product is great but expensive:

“Really great product. But very expensive.”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Patricia Lansbery” who claims the product tastes bad:

“The bone broth tastes and smells awful. I used bone broth for 3 days. I had diarrhea for 4 days after. I guess that is how you lose weight. I was eating a healthy diet along with her collagen shake. SERIOUSLY???? I thought it was a healthy supplement…”

Dr. Kellyann currently has an average review rating of 4.27 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, and responds to all customer complaints which is a sign of a high-quality brand.

Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth currently has an average rating of 2.6 out of 5 stars on Facebook.

Where to Buy Dr. Kellyann for the Best Price

Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown at the time of updating this article for two boxes of the chicken broth packets:

Walmart: $112.98 (third-party seller, link)

Amazon: $70 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Brand website: $60 (plus $9 shipping, link)

This product is 1% cheaper on the brand's website than Amazon when factoring in shipping fees.

It's worth noting that the brand's website currently only ships bone broth packets in a minimum of two boxes, so Amazon may be a better choice for a consumer wanting one box only.

Pros and Cons of Dr. Kellyann

Here are the pros and cons of Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Liquid broth has all whole food ingredients
  • Bone broth may reduce inflammation
  • Much more convenient than making it at home
  • Contains health-promoting spices

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Packaged in plastic
  • Brand sued over lead levels
  • Brand doesn't appear to publish lead levels on their website
  • Brand website charges for shipping
  • Taste is mediocre in our opinion
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

From a nutritional perspective, we recommend all liquid versions of Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth. They’re made using bones from grass-fed animals along with herbs and spices, and contain no questionable additive ingredients.

We do not currently recommend Dr. Kellyann Bone Broth products in powder or protein form, which contain flavoring additives.

It's also notable that Dr. Kellyann's liquid bone broth is packaged in plastic, which is a less healthy option in our opinion than glass packaging due to the potential for plasticizing chemicals leaching.

While bone broth is a healthy and nutritionally-dense food, we do not recommend the “bone broth diet,” because bone broth may be high in lead. It seems logical to limit consumption of bone broth to several times per week or less.

Dr. Kellyann’s website makes a number of highly questionable health claims, including referring to grains as toxins. We urge the brand to remove or update these. Grains are not toxins, nor is sugar.

Online customer reviews of this brand are mixed. BBB has highly favorable reviews at the time of updating this article, while Facebook has mediocre reviews (although the Facebook review sample size is smaller).

The brand's website currently has the best price on their most popular product, slightly edging out Amazon on price even when factoring in shipping fees.