Bone meal is made from defatted, dried animal bones that are ground to a fine powder.
It’s a mineral supplement. It’s high in calcium and phosphorus. There are many safer
and better forms of calcium supplements on the market. Bone meal is used for fertilizer
and animal feed.
Medically valid uses
Bone meal is used as a source of calcium, phosphorus, and trace elements.
Calcium makes up the mineral content of your bones and teeth. You need it for muscle
contraction, nerve transmission, blood clotting, making hormones, and many other reasons.
Calcium also improves the stability of cell membranes. It also helps nutrients and
other substances pass in and out of cells.
You need phosphorus for cell growth. It’s also needed to help bones and teeth form.
It’s also vital for the contraction of the heart muscle.
There are other sources of calcium supplementation that are superior to bone meal.
There is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for bone meal itself. The RDA for
calcium for adults between the ages of 19 and 50 years is 1,000 mg per day. For women
over 50 years and men over 70 years, the RDA is 1,200 mg.
The RDA of calcium for children 4 to 8 years is 1,000 mg. The RDA of calcium is 1,300
mg for children ages 9 to 18 years.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may need extra calcium. However, you should
talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
Side effects, toxicity, and interactions
Some of the trace elements in bone meal can be helpful. However, bone meal is high
in lead. It may also have high mercury levels. This raises concerns about using it
as a supplement.
The lead content in bone meal is much higher than that in refined calcium carbonate.
Calcium carbonate is calcium made in a lab and does not contain lead.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow disease” may also pass through
bone meal. Bone meal and other animal byproducts that have been used as animal feed
or supplements have been shown to transmit BSE. The type of processing determines
if the infectious agent is there. There are no studies that show if bone meal is safe
for human consumption.
There are no known significant food or medicine interactions with bone meal.