Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral that can be found in foods such as: milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, oranges, kale, pinto beans, and Chinese cabbage.1 The 100% Daily Value for calcium (based on a 2000 kcal diet) is 1,000 mg,but it has been revised to 1,300 mg as of May 27, 2016.15 The 100% Daily Value for pregnant or lactating women is also 1,300 mg, effective as of July 26, 2018.15

Forms

  • Calcium Lactate: Calcium lactate is a bioavailable source of the essential mineral, calcium, made by combining calcium carbonate or calcium hydroxide with the organic acid, lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced by the fermentation of simple carbohydrates found in sugar beets.
  • Dicalcium Phosphate: Dicalcium phosphate is a bioavailable form of the essential minerals, calcium, and phosphorus. It is produced by the reaction of phosphoric acid (made from acidified phosphate rock) and calcium oxide (made from natural limestone), or calcium hydroxide (made from natural limestone that has been hydrated with water). Dicalcium phosphate can serve as a natural means for binding tablet ingredients together.

Major Health Benefits

Calcium is necessary for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.3 Adequate intake of calcium is essential to achieve peak bone density.4 Furthermore, adequate intake of calcium can help to prevent osteoporosis, a disorder in which bone mass and strength decrease.5

Calcium plays an important role in cell signaling, helping to induce normal muscle contraction and conduct of nerve impulses. Calcium also aids in normal blood clotting.6 Adequate consumption of calcium may decrease risk of hypertension.7,8 Adequate consumption of calcium is important in pregnant women because calcium may prevent preeclampsia as well as circulation and intestinal absorption of lead in the mother and thus less exposure of lead to the fetus.9,10 Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption.11

Cautions

The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for calcium consumed in one day is 2,500 mg for adults under 50 years old and 2,000 mg for adults over 50 years old.12

Hypercalcemia, usually caused by a combination of excessive intake of calcium supplements and antacids, can cause symptoms such as: nausea, vomiting, constipation, fatigue, muscle weakness, and hyperparathyroidism.13,14

References

  1. Higdon, J. Calcium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Weaver, CM. in 2014) (Food Sources)
  2. US Food and Drug Administration. Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (14. Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients). US Department of Health and Human Services. 2013 January. http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064928.htm
  3. Higdon, J. Calcium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Weaver, CM. in 2014) (Function)
  4. Higdon, J. Calcium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Weaver, CM. in 2014) (Summary)
  5. Higdon, J. Calcium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Weaver, CM. in 2014) (Disease Prevention)
  6. European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on Calcium Health Benefits. EFSA Journal 2009; 7(9): 1210.
  7. Miller GD, DiRienzo DD, Reusser ME, McCarron DA. Benefits of dairy product consumption on blood pressure in humans: a summary of the biomedical literature. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Apr;19(2 Suppl):147S-164S. PMID: 10759140.
  8. Conlin PR, Chow D, Miller ER 3rd, Svetkey LP, Lin PH, Harsha DW, Moore TJ, Sacks FM, Appel LJ. The effect of dietary patterns on blood pressure control in hypertensive patients: results from the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial. Am J Hypertens. 2000 Sep;13(9):949-55. PMID: 10981543.
  9. Higdon, J. Calcium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Weaver, CM. in 2014) (Hypertensive Disorders During Pregnancy)
  10. Ettinger AS, Lamadrid-Figueroa H, Téllez-Rojo MM, Mercado-García A, Peterson KE, Schwartz J, Hu H, Hernández-Avila M. Effect of calcium supplementation on blood lead levels in pregnancy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Environ Health Perspect. 2009 Jan;117(1):26-31. PMID: 19165383; PMCID: PMC2627861.
  11. Higdon, J. Calcium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Weaver, CM. in 2014) (Nutrient Interactions)
  12. Dietary Reference Intake for Calcium and Vitamin D. Institute of Medicine. November 2010. https://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2010/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-Calcium-and-Vitamin-D/Vitamin%20D%20and%20Calcium%202010%20Report%20Brief.pdf
  13. Moe SM. Disorders Involving Calcium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium. Primary care. 2008;35(2):215-PMCID: PMC2486454
  14. Higdon, J. Calcium. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2001. (Reviewed by Weaver, CM. in 2014) (Safety)
  15. US Food and Drug Administration. Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels. US Department of Health and Human Services. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 103, p. 33982 / May 27, 2016. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-05-27/pdf/2016-11867.pdf