Calcium citrate is the calcium salt of citric acid. These compounds contain calcium ions combined with citrate ions to form salts with varying degrees of hydration. Here are some specific types of calcium citrate and their properties:
Calcium citrate (anhydrous):
This is the basic form of calcium citrate without water molecules. It is commonly used as a calcium supplement due to its higher solubility and bioavailability compared to other calcium salts such as calcium carbonate.
Calcium citrate tetrahydrate:
This form of calcium citrate contains four water molecules (tetrahydrate). It is frequently used in the food industry as a calcium fortifier and acidity regulator in a variety of products.
Calcium Citrate Malate:
Calcium citrate malate is a compound of calcium citrate combined with malic acid. This form is often used in calcium supplements because of its good solubility and potential benefits of supporting bone health.
Calcium citrate dihydrate:
Calcium citrate dihydrate contains two water molecules. Due to its solubility, it is commonly used in the food industry and as a source of calcium in certain foods.
Calcium supplement uses
Calcium citrate, especially anhydrous calcium citrate, is widely used as a dietary supplement to address calcium deficiency. They are favored for their higher bioavailability and better absorption, especially for individuals with low stomach acid levels.
Bone Health: Getting enough calcium is essential for maintaining bone health. Calcium citrate is commonly used to support bone density and prevent diseases such as osteoporosis.
Lower elemental calcium content
Calcium citrate has lower levels of elemental calcium than other calcium supplements, such as calcium carbonate. This means a higher dose may be needed to obtain the same amount of absorbable calcium.
Calcium citrate supplements may be more expensive than other forms of calcium supplements, such as calcium carbonate. Cost differences may influence an individual's choice of calcium supplements.
Taste and texture
Calcium citrate supplements, especially chewable tablets or liquid forms, may have a different taste or texture that some people find less appealing than other calcium supplements.
Excessive calcium intake, either through diet or supplements, may increase the risk of kidney stones in susceptible individuals. It is important to adhere to the recommended daily intake and consult a health care professional about supplementing with calcium.
Interactions with drugs:
Calcium supplements (including calcium citrate) may interact with certain medications. It is important to inform your healthcare provider of all supplements and medications you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
Constipation or gastrointestinal problems
Although calcium citrate is generally well tolerated, some people may experience constipation or other gastrointestinal problems. Adjusting your dose or trying a different form of calcium may help relieve these symptoms.
Calcium needs vary from person to person, and factors such as age, gender and health can affect the need for calcium supplements. Healthcare professionals can provide personalized advice.
When choosing a calcium supplement, it is recommended to choose a quality product from a reputable manufacturer to ensure purity and dosage accuracy.
Individuals considering calcium supplementation, including calcium citrate, should consult with a healthcare professional to determine their specific needs and address any potential risks or concerns based on their health status.
Food additive use
Calcium citrate, food additive code E333. Commonly used as food additives for various purposes.
Calcium Citrate (E333(i))
This is the basic form of calcium citrate and is widely used in the food industry. It is used as an acidity regulator to provide a sour flavor to some products.
Calcium Citrate Malate (E333(ii))
This form combines calcium citrate and malic acid. It is often used in the food industry for its potential benefits of supporting bone health and acting as a calcium fortifier.
Acidity Regulator: Calcium citrate is used as an acidity regulator in a variety of food and beverage products. They help control and regulate pH to produce the desired flavor and texture.
- Fortification: In the food industry, calcium citrate is used for fortification purposes, adding calcium to certain products to enhance their nutritional content.
- Gelling Agent: In some applications, calcium citrate acts as a gelling agent, helping to give texture and structure to certain foods.
- Beverages: Calcium citrate can be used in beverages to control acidity and contribute to flavor.
- Dairy products: They can be used in dairy products to fortify calcium and improve texture.
- Baked Goods: Calcium citrate can be added to certain recipes during the baking process to adjust pH and enhance dough properties.
- Confectionery: Calcium citrate is used in the production of confectionery products due to its acidity regulating properties.
Safety and supervision
Calcium citrate is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) when used at approved levels in food and beverage products.
Regulatory agencies such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have established guidelines for the acceptable use of calcium citrate in various food applications.
Foods containing calcium citrate should be listed on the ingredient label with the appropriate additive code (E333).
Although calcium citrate is widely used and considered safe, individuals with specific health concerns or dietary restrictions should check food labels and consult a health care professional if needed. Additionally, it is important to get calcium from a varied diet that includes whole food sources whenever possible.
In pharmaceutical preparations, calcium citrate may be used for its solubility and bioavailability. They can be incorporated into certain medications or supplements.
In addition to its role as a calcium supplement, calcium citrate also acts as an antacid. It can help neutralize excess stomach acid and relieve acid-related conditions.
Before turning to supplements, it's important to consider dietary sources of calcium, such as dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and fortified foods. A balanced diet is essential for overall health.