Chicken eggshell powder (ESP) might be an attractive source of Ca for human nutrition. To study its nutritional value, we analyzed minerals, amino acids, and hormones in commercially available Slovakian ESP. The mineral composition was compared with three Dutch ESP samples that differed in feed and housing, a Japanese ESP, refined CaCO3, and an oyster shell supplement. Chicken eggshell powder contains high levels of Ca (mean +/- SD/g EPS: 401+/-7.2 mg) and Sr (372+/-161 microg) when compared with recommended or estimated daily intakes for humans 51 to 70 yr of age. Levels of potentially toxic Pb, Al, Cd, and Hg were very low as were levels of V, B, Fe, Zn, P, Mg, N, F, Se, Cu, and Cr. Large differences in the levels of F, Se, Cu, Cr, and Sr in the Dutch and Slovakian ESP indicated a strong influence of feed and environment. The small protein fraction of ESP contains high levels of Gly and Arg. Furthermore, small amounts of transforming growth factor-beta1 (0.75 to 7.28 ng/g ESP), calcitonin (10 to 25 ng/g ESP), and progesterone (0.30 to 0.33 ng/g ESP) were detected. Estradiol-17beta and calcitriol were below the detection limit of the methods used. Compared with ESP, refined CaCO3 was found to contain increased levels of Cd, and the oyster shell supplement showed increased levels of Al and Cd. Therefore, ESP seems to have a beneficial composition with about 39% of elemental Ca, relevant amounts of Sr, and low levels of Al, Pb, Cd and Hg. It may be used as a Ca source in human nutrition.