Is Bone Broth Contaminated?

I love bone broth and recommend to all clients especially those with gut health issues. Recently at my husband’s bookshop, I picked up a gorgeous cookbook written by a well known New York food writer. Her book recommends we shouldn’t make bone broth using bones because one study showed it was contaminated with LEAD !?? Yes, you read it right… L E A D. The toxic heavy metal that used to be in lead paints which can make people lose their memories and is a cause of aplastic anaemia among other problems. My mother in law had lead poisoning as a result of using lead paint for many years and she spent the next decade trying to chelate and remove it. Heavy metals in their metallic form are toxic at high enough dosages as opposed to PLANT DERIVED minerals which have a completely different chemical structure. You can read more about plant minerals vs metallic minerals by downloading an article call ‘The Root of All Illnesses’ in my Freebie Library.

However, before we jump to conclusions, lets get some facts straight

Whether you drink bone broth or not, more than likely you have consumed foods made with some form of broth. For example, have you had the famous Vietnamese beef noodle soup call ‘ Pho ‘ ? Pho is made with beef or chicken bones. In fact, many Vietnamese soups and noodles are recipes are made with some kind of bone broth which is what gives them such amazing flavours, along with the herbs we use. Vietnamese people have eaten Pho for as long as I know with no known talks of concerns about lead or heavy metal toxicity.

The claim that bone broths are contaminated derived from one negative study claiming that bone broths contain high amounts of lead. Please note in this study the broth was made from organic chickens and tap water.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal so it should not be surprising that some would be found in food and it has been suggested more of it stores in bone.

The “high” levels in the study were in comparison to tap water which is, of course, very low in mineral and metal content

The recommended levels for tap water should be below 15 ugL per day. The highest amount of the tested bone broths was 9 ugL and that is per litre and generally. Do you consume a litre of broth a day? Most people don’t! One or two bowls perhaps.

Other factors to consider include researchers did not test the presence of other minerals like zinc which can help remove lead. Bone broth also contains amino acids that help the liver detox out lead.

Broth made with chicken meat and bones had the lowest levels of lead which means that there would also be lower amounts of the beneficial nutrients found in bone.

What else can remove lead? Our gut bacteria (probiotics) also can help detox out heavy metals by binding them and preventing them from entering into the body – how much we are uncertain as this is in its early stages of research.

When reading this kind of research is that it’s worth remembering nutrients do not operate in isolation but in synergy. These research on food only analyze one element of the food and fail to mention about the all the nutrients in the food and how they work together. I also read a research a few years ago when I was working as a Pharmacist within a local GP surgery to support doctors with optimal prescribing. I learnt the government (UK) has stopped funding for a nutritional supplement for eye support (iCaps) based on a trial which showed zinc and some other nutrients had little to no benefits for eye health. When Iooked at the research, I noticed they used zinc oxide (little to non-absorbable version of zinc) at tiny doses. Needless to say food state nutrients were not used in this study and far from the optimal doses. I emailed my team leader with what I noticed and heard no replies. Our body cannot absorb minerals made from rocks and clays (metallic minerals), only optimally from ionic or food state forms (plant-derived minerals)

There is a lot of tradition in the making of bone broth in many cultures. Decades ago before we became dependent on drugs, doctors used to send patients home to rest and drink soups/broths. This is certainly still true in cultures who still practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Patients with gastric ulcers were advised to eat cabbage and drink cabbage juice (because it’s high in glutamine which is an amino acid that feeds the enterocytes, cells that line the gut wall) Bone broth soothes & helps repair the gut and supplies valuable nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, collagen, lysine, proline amino acids for the gut and the body.

Just about every naturopathic doctor and nutritionist, food blogger, health summits are promoting bone broth. Even Pret-A-Manger is selling bone broth !! Is there too many hyped claims being bone broth? more than likely YES and that is the case with a number of ‘superfoods’. Bone broth is not a panacea (nothing is!) but it can certainly help you to improve your health alongside a Naturopathic diet and lifestyle. So, don’t believe all the hype and claims of a miracle cure but you should also not be misled by any negative reports about bone broth either. If bone broth is something you enjoy or are interested in trying to see if it benefits you, start making some today. At the very least, your body will love the nutrients and you may experience extra health benefits along.

Sign up to our FREEBIE RESOURCE LIBRARY to receive access my 7 day Gut Repair meal plan which has vegetarian and omnivore bone broth recipes. The 7-Day Hormone Challenge also contains broth recipes too.


  1. The risk of lead contamination in bone broth diets., Monro JA1, Leon R, Puri BK, Med Hypotheses. 2013 Apr;80(4):389-90
  2. The binding characters study of lead removal by Lactobacillus plantarum CCFM8661, Ruijie Yin et al, European Food Research and Technology 242(10) · March 2016
  3. Sequesteration of lead, cadmium and arsenic by Lactobacillus species and detoxication potential, Marc A. Monachese, The University of Western Ontario, 2012

10 signs you might be low on magnesium

10 Signs You Might Be Low On Magnesium & What You Can Do About It

Researches  have shown that magnesium plays an even greater role in health than was previously thought. Second only to potassium in terms of concentration within the individual cells in the body (intracellular concentration), magnesium is required for over 200 hundred biochemical reactions or processes taking place within your body.

Like zinc and other minerals, magnesium’s role revolves primarily around its ability to activate many enzymes.

If you have not been researching on the depletion of minerals in the soils in which we grow our foods in, it might surprise you to learn that somewhere close to 100% of people in the UK are not meeting the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium. According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, average daily intakes of magnesium for adult men and women in the UK are 308mg and 229mg respectively.1With an RDA of 375mg, this means that virtually the entire UK population would be considered magnesium deficient.2

Poor soil, intensive farming, the use of artifical chemicals/fertilizers and  extensive food processing methods now make it very difficult to get enough magnesium in our diets and consequently have contributed to widespread deficiencies in this vital mineral. This significantly increases the need for high strength supplementation to restore optimal levels. Added to this, our fast-paced modern lifestyles and reliance on many refined foods and processed foods  (which tend to have a very low magnesium content) means that most people are not getting anywhere near enough magnesium in their diets.

Key Roles of Magnesium

Essential for energy production

Magnesium is perhaps the most important nutrient involved in the body’s energy production processes. This is not just particularly significant for athletes and sports people but to enable energy production for everyday activities too, hence why general feelings of fatigue and lethargy are common symptoms of a deficiency of this important mineral. Our adrenal glands need Magnesium along with zinc, vitamin B complex & vitamin C to keep up with cortisol and adrenaline production in order to help us cope with extra stress and demand on our adrenals. Low levels of Magnesium can impair this process which reduces your resilience and ability to cope with stress an can predispose you to adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Optimal muscle function

Muscles actually contain about 26% of all magnesium found in the body, with 60% in bone and the rest in soft tissue and body fluids. Muscle cramps, spasms and tremors are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Nature’s tranquilliser

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition3 found that a deficiency of magnesium intensified adverse reactions to stress. Magnesium deficiency can commonly lead to symptoms of mood swings, irritability and depression.
Certainly some of my clients have found supplementing with magnesium has been wonderful to aid sleep and restfullness.

Signs you could be low on Magnesium

Low Energy: physical and mental fatigue, chronic fatigue, lethargy, poor memory and concentration

Poor Mood: depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, stress, insomnia,tension headaches, irritability

Physical Performance: low energy production, poor cardiovascular fitness, muscle cramps and weaknesses

Magnesium rich foods:

• Green leafy vegetables
• Unrefined grains
• Nuts such as almonds & cashew nuts
• Legumes such as beans, pulses & lentils
• Soy products such as tofu, soy milk and yoghurts
• Whole grains such as brown rice and millet

Magnesium Supplements

There are many on the market. Aim for Magnesium bisglycinate or food state magnesium which are the best absorbed with the least adverse effects. Generally there is little to no adverse effects with Mg supplementation other than loose stools if you take too much or in the citrate form. Most of the time, low absorption is more of an issue such as Magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide is often used as a laxative as it acts through an osmosis effect to draw water into the bowel to soften the stools.

My personal favourites are Nutri MegaMag range (, quote IN010 for 10% discount, largest online health food shop for professional quality supplements). There are 4 version to suit individual needs. The second option is Simply Naturals Sizzling Minerals which has 200mg food state plant based Mg + 75 plant minerals ( Magnesium oil and sprays is also another option. Ionic Magnesium is also highly absorbed. You can buy Magnesium oil from your local health food shops. Ionic Magnesium is harder to find in shops but you can buy most supplements from the natural dispensary (UK based, ships worldwide) or check on iherbs is you’re overseas.

A point to remember is that nutrients do not work in isolation so when you are buying supplements, find formulas which suit your individual needs.


1. Henderson et al (2002) National Diet and Nutrition Survey: adults aged 19 to 64 yrs. The Stationery Office, London

2. Commission Directive 2008/100/EC on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs as regards recommended daily allowances, energy conversion factors and definitions. Official Journal of the European Union. 29.10.2008

3. Seelig M.S. Consequences of Magnesium Deficiency on the Enhancement of Stress Reactions: Preventive and Therapeutic Implications (A Review) J Am Coll Nutr 1994; 13(5): 429-446

4. Schuette SA, Lashner BA, Janghorbani M. Bioavailability of magnesium diglycinate versus magnesium oxide in patients with ileal resection. J Parenteral Entral Nutr 1994; 18 (5): 430-435


Let me ask you a question..

Are you suffering with the following condition?

  • Arthritis
  • Eczema & skin problems
  • autoimmune diseases
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Vague symptoms your GP puts down to stress?

Well, regardless of what illnesses you might have, toxins have a role to play.

Detoxing is also excellent to help maintain optimal health.

Join us this Monday by clicking the link above and learn top practical tips and nutrients to support your body’s detox pathways.

I will see you on the other side !