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Chicken Essence Research

July 26, 2013 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

Chicken broth has long been considered a healing and nurturing food in many cultures throughout the world. But, as with many traditionally revered foods, scientists rarely devote much time investigating the medicinal or therapeutic potential of such “old wives’ remedies”. Thankfully, an exception to this rule can be found in China, Japan and Malaysia. There, a variation of chicken broth known as chicken essence has been subjected to numerous animal, human and test tube studies.

What sets chicken essence (CE) apart from other forms of chicken broth is how it’s prepared. At its core, chicken essence is a double boiled extract that is derived from skinless chicken meat and bones. Various online sites offer instructions and recipes for preparing CE at home. Here is one of the better examples (link). There are also several commercially available CE products which are sold in small glass bottles. Brand’s Essence of Chicken is the best researched and most popular in this category. However, there are other, arguably better, CE products on the market, such as Healthee Organic Chicken Essence which is more natural and pure.

Thus far, there have been several, peer-reviewed human studies published about chicken essence. The results have been uniformly impressive and attest that CE: 1) boosts cognitive performance and reduces mental fatigue in stressed, but otherwise, healthy adolescents and adults; 2) increases brain activity in the prefrontal cortex region of older adults; 3) reduces post-exercise exhaustion and supports athletic recovery by decreasing levels of ammonia and lactate; 4) raises resting metabolic rate (calorie burning) in acute and chronic users. In addition, many animals trials involving CE have reported a variety of health benefits ranging from the amelioration of jet lag to statistically meaningful improvements in blood pressure and sugar.

Part of the beauty and elegance of natural remedies, such as chicken essence, is that they’re surprisingly difficult to define. For instance, scientists have taken an in depth look at the composition of CE and discovered that it contains a wide array of bioactive substances, including carnosine, threonine and trace minerals. However, they have yet to pinpoint a so-called “active” ingredient that likely explains the health benefits noted in the research. What’s more, according to the modern medical paradigm, over-the-counter and prescription drugs alone should be considered “medicine”. Allopathic doctors acknowledge that wholesome food is essential to general health, but that it isn’t expressly therapeutic. In fact, the FDA (US Food and Drug Association) strictly prohibits any medical claims for dietary supplements and/or foods. Nevertheless, chicken essence seems to fly in the face of this notion. Instead, it backs up the philosophy of Hippocrates, a famed physician from a bygone era who once proclaimed: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Effects of Chicken Essence on Recovery from Mental Fatigue in Healthy (link)

Study 2 – Effect of Taking Chicken Essence on Stress and Cognition of Human (link)

Study 3 – Effects of Chicken Extract on the Recovery from Fatigue Caused by(link)

Study 4 – Effects of Essence of Chicken on Cognitive Brain Function: A Near (link)

Study 5 – Effects of Postexercise Supplementation of Chicken Essence on the (link)

Study 6 – Effects of Chicken Essence Tablets on Resting Metabolic Rate (link)

Study 7 – Effect of BRAND’s Essence of Chicken on the Resetting Process (link)

Study 8 – Hypoglycemic Action of Chicken Meat Extract in Type-2 Diabetic KKAy (link)

Study 9 – Preventive Effect of a Chicken Extract on the Development of (link)

Study 10 – Journal of Food Science: Bioactivities of Chicken Essence (link)

Brand’s Essence of Chicken May Reduce Mental Fatigue

Source: Med Sci Monit. 2013 Jul 8;19:540-7. (link)

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition

6 Comments & Updates to “Chicken Essence Research”

  1. Iggy Dalrymple Says:

    My favorite is onion skin tea(preferably red onion) flavored with chicken broth. Someone on one of the old forums posted this as a Romanian folk remedy. I can’t vouch for its therapeutic value but it sure is tasty.

  2. JP Says:

    Sounds good, Iggy! Organic onions always go into our broth recipes – beef, chicken, fish, any type. And, like you, I prefer the purple/red variety. 🙂

    Be well!


  3. JP Says:

    Update: Chicken essence, a type of traditional chicken broth, may benefit mood …


    Nutrients. 2015 Jan 29;7(2):887-904.

    The effect of chicken extract on mood, cognition and heart rate variability.

    Chicken extract, which is rich in anserine and carnosine, has been widely taken in Asian countries as a traditional remedy with various aims, including attenuation of psychological fatigue. The effects of consuming BRAND’S Essence of Chicken (EOC) or a placebo on 46 young adults’ responses to a standard psychological “stressor” were considered. Heart rate variability (HRV), cortisol responses, mood and cognition were measured at baseline and after ten days supplementation. EOC resulted in feeling less anxious, depressed and confused and more agreeable and clearheaded. A decrease in HRV was observed after EOC but only in females. Cognition and cortisol levels were not influenced by EOC. Findings suggest that EOC may be a promising supplement to improve mood in a healthy population.

    Be well!


  4. JP Says:

    Updated 02/22/16:


    Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2015 Dec;66(8):931-5.

    Co-ingestion of essence of chicken to moderate glycaemic response of bread.

    Essence of chicken (EOC) beverage is a chicken meat extract, widely consumed in Asian countries for health benefits. EOC is a rich source of peptides and amino acids. White bread has become a popular staple food in all regions of Southeast Asia. A randomized controlled, crossover, non-blind trial was performed to investigate the role of EOC on glycaemic response (GR) of white bread. Ten healthy young subjects returned on five separate days for three glucose and two bread sessions. Subjects consumed bread or bread with EOC. The 120 min incremental area under the curve was significantly lower after consuming two bottles of EOC with bread than white bread alone. The glycaemic index (GI) of white bread was 83 and white bread with EOC 57. The co-ingestion of EOC may be a practical and simple way to reduce the GR of bread and other starch-based staples.

    Be well!


  5. JP Says:

    Updated 06/17/16:


    Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 May;95(19):e3640.

    Effectiveness of Essence of Chicken in Improving Cognitive Function in Young People Under Work-Related Stress: A Randomized Double-Blind Trial.

    Work-related stress (WS) can result in considerable and extensive changes in physiological and psychological performance. WS beyond the optimal levels induces anxiety, confusion, exhaustion, and burnout. Chronic WS affects neurocognitive performance, particularly attention and visuospatial memory. Essence of chicken (EC) has been reported to improve neurocognitive function after mental stress.To investigate the beneficial effects of EC in improving neurocognitive performance under WS, we conducted a randomized, double blind trial. Total 102 young workers in New Taipei City with high WS, evaluated using the Individual Subjective Perception Job Stress Scale scores (>36 for job leaders and 33 for nonleaders) were recruited. Fifty-one participants received 70 mL of EC and 51 received a placebo daily for 2 weeks. Blood tests and neurocognitive assessment were performed before treatment, at the end of treatment, and 2 weeks after treatment.EC improved the performance of participants with high depression scores in the form-color associative memory test, used for assessing short-term memory. Although creatinine and glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT) levels increased in week 2, but the levels returned to the baseline in week 4. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels decreased in week 4.EC significantly improved short-term memory in participants with high WS and concomitant depressive mood, although it slightly increased GPT and creatinine levels and reduced BUN levels. The long-term treatment effects of EC warrant further investigation.

    Be well!


  6. JP Says:

    Updated 06/29/18:


    Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 845

    Effectiveness of Essence of Chicken on Cognitive Function Improvement: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

    High-quality, adequately-powered clinical trials investigating the effect of Essence of Chicken (EC) on cognitive function are lacking. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on healthy adult volunteers to determine the effect of EC on short-term memory, working memory, and selective and sustained attention. As a secondary objective, we evaluated baseline stress as a modifying factor by including treatment, stress and visit as main effects in a three-way ANOVA model. Cognitive function was evaluated at baseline, and Days 7 and 14. Data from 235 participants were analyzed on a per-protocol basis. The three-way interaction effect was significant (p = 0.020) in Digit Span Forward and further analyses showed EC improved test performance in moderate (p = 0.041) and severe stress (p = 0.065) but not in normal and mild stress subgroups. In Digit Span Backward, EC group showed greater improvement compared to placebo (p = 0.028), with 0.60 digits (8.50% improvement from baseline) more recalled on Day 7. No treatment or interaction effects were statistically significant in selective and sustained attention tests. Our findings support EC’s effect in improving mental processes used in working memory among healthy adults and short-term memory among healthy adults experiencing stress in daily life.

    Be well!


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