Bone Meal is produced from defatted, dried animal bones that are ground to a fine powder. It is used as a mineral supplement and is high in calcium and phosphorus.
Bone meal is used supplementally as a source of calcium, phosphorus and trace elements.
Calcium makes up the mineral content of bones and teeth. It is necessary for muscle contraction, nerve transmission, blood clotting, hormone synthesis and a host of other functions. Calcium also improves the stability of cell membranes and aids in the passage of nutrients and other substances in and out of cells.
Phosphorus, the other major component of bone meal, is necessary for cell growth, as well as bone and tooth formation. It is also necessary for heart muscle contraction and proper kidney function.
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Bone meal may also help with osteoporosis, insomnia and heartbeat irregularities. It has been used to relieve growing pains in children when administered with vitamins A and D, and to help prevent osteomalacia (rickets).
The recommended dietary allowance of calcium for adults under 50 is 1,000 mg; for adults over 50 it is 1,200 mg.
The recommended daily intake of calcium for children ages 6 to 8 is 800 mg, and 1,300 mg for children ages 9 to 18 years of age.
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding may be prescribed additional calcium but should consult a physician before taking any dietary supplements.
Some of the trace elements contained in bone meal can also be beneficial. However, concerns about bone meal's high lead content and possible elevated mercury levels raise questions about using bone meal as a supplement. Typical lead content in bone meal is significantly higher than that in refined calcium carbonate, which is a laboratory-processed calcium.
An additional concern is the possible transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or "mad cow disease." 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 whether the infectious agent is present. No studies are currently available that determine the safety of bone meal for human consumption.
There are no known significant food or drug interactions associated with bone meal.
The mineral content of steamed bone meal by percentage is calcium, 30.71 percent; phosphorus, 12.86 percent; sodium, 5.69 percent; magnesium, 0.33 percent; potassium, 0.19 percent; and sulfur, 2.51 percent. Other microminerals include copper, iodine, iron, manganese and zinc.
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