Enhanced calcium bioavailability from a solubilized form of calcium citrate
CY Pak, JA Harvey and Master-Cleanse Hsu
Department of Internal Medicine, Southwestern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas 75235.
An improved formulation of calcium citrate with higher aqueous solubility and bioavailability was sought. Mixtures of calcium hydroxide and citric acid , with a calcium to citrate molar ratio ranging from 0.67-1.5, dissolved rapidly in water, creating a metastably supersaturated solution. The presence of an excess of citrate in the mixture delayed the precipitation of calcium citrate and kept calcium in solution longer. Thus, the mixture with a calcium to citrate molar ratio of 1.25, containing 500 mg elemental calcium, dissolved in 300 mL water within 2 min and could be kept in solution for 1 h at a wide pH range between 2 and 7. Intestinal calcium absorption, measured from the increment in urinary calcium during the second 2 h following an oral calcium load (500 mg) in 15 normal subjects was significantly higher from the mixtures (calcium to citrate molar ratios of 1.5 and 1.25) than from tricalcium dicitrate. The fractional calcium absorption, obtained from fecal recovery of radiocalcium after oral administration of 500 mg calcium prelabeled with 47Ca in 11 normal subjects, was also higher for the mixture with a calcium to citrate molar ratio of 1.25. The most efficient calcium absorption was obtained with the mixture of calcium hydroxide and citric acid with a calcium to citrate molar ratio of 1.25. The increment in urinary calcium after an oral load with this mixture was 62.4% greater than that obtained with tricalcium dicitrate [0.138 +/- 0.056 (+/- SD) vs. 0.085 +/- 0.086 mg/dL glomerular filtrate; P less than 0.05]. The fractional calcium absorption was 88.4% higher (0.324 +/- 0.107 vs. 0.172 +/- 0.061; P less than 0.05). This mixture provided the highest concentration of ionic calcium, indicating that calcium (rather than calcium-citrate complex) is the fraction absorbed from the intestinal tract. This study, therefore, suggests that a liquid calcium preparation formulated from the mixture of calcium hydroxide and citric acid is more effective than a solid preparation of tricalcium dicitrate in providing soluble and bioavailable calcium.