So I've always wondered about something: Most of us here know how rich in calcium bone broth is. Now in most of my reading I've read that calcium inhibits iron absorption. So it would seem that cooking meat in my bone broth and eating them together is a bad idea, as the calcium from the bone broth will inhibit me and my kids from absorbing all that wonderful iron, right? Can anyone shed some light on this?
Anyone have a thought? This concerns me a great deal as I also feel I am low iron. Presumably it lowers the iron absorption - that's what it would seem, right? But that seems so counter-intuitive - I can't cook meat in my rich delicious bone broth??? Doesn't seem fair!!
I think I will consider the bone broth as a calcium meal and save the meat for an iron meal till I learn otherwise or get my son's iron levels up. Right now, we do two iron/vit c meals per day and one calcium meal. We've been struggling with low iron for nearly a year now, so I really have to consider iron absorption for every meal to get those numbers up.
I just remembered that there is heme iron (from meats) and non-heme iron (non-meat). The meat heme iron is absorbed more easily than non-heme. The non-heme iron is difficult to absorb and is inhibited by calcium and phytates, but vitamin c (and meat too I think) can counteract that and can aid the non-heme iron absorption. So I'm not sure, but maybe heme iron isn't affected by calcium?? If so, then the iron in the meat wouldn't be inhibited by the calcium in the bone broth. Gonna need to do some more reading... anybody know?
Oh thanks! Just looked at the study abstract: "The same amount of calcium also significantly reduced heme-iron absorption..."
I'll try to find a moment to read the whole study, but till then it sounds like keeping the calcium bone broth separate from the iron-rich meat isn't a bad idea if iron-absorption is a concern.
I wrote to WAP about my question, just wanted to post Sally's answer for all who were interested:
Bone broth is not particularly rich in iron, and not in calcium either. Since it supports good digestion, it would seem to support the assimilation of both calcium and iron.
This answer is from Sally Fallon Morell. She appreciates your support of our work.
We apologize for delays in responding as we get many questions.
Weston A. Price Foundation
So there you go. And I really thought it was rich in calcium. Shows what I know