Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, making up around 2% of an adult’s total body weight (1). It plays an important role in many bodily functions including the maintenance and formation of strong teeth and bones. It is also necessary for the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and cells and helps regulate blood pressure, heart rate and blood clotting processes (2). Almost all calcium (99%) is stored in the bones with just 1% found in muscles, blood, and other tissue (3). It is absorbed in the small intestine and requires vitamin D to help regulate calcium levels in the blood (2).
Calcium can be obtained through diet or supplements. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt are all good sources of calcium and other sources include green leafy vegetables, nuts, and fish with edible bones (2).
Calcium citrate is the calcium salt of citric acid and is commonly used as a dietary supplement to help maintain bone health. It is more easily absorbed by the body making it ideal for those who have difficulty absorbing other forms of calcium (2). It is often used to help treat conditions such as osteoporosis, hypocalcemia, and hyperparathyroidism.
In the UK, the recommended nutrient intake (RNI) for Calcium is 700mg/day for both men and women. While the levels vary depending on age, the British Nutrition Foundation suggestions can be found in table 1 (4).
Table 1. Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Calcium (4)
*The RNI during pregnancy may vary, please consult your healthcare practitioner
A deficiency in calcium can lead to weakened bones and teeth, muscle cramps, and increased risk of fractures. Initial symptoms may include numbness or tingling in fingers, abnormal heart rate and poor appetite (3). If left untreated, osteopenia may occur, and severe deficiency may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Those most at risk of developing a deficiency are postmenopausal women and individuals who avoid dairy products e.g., vegans and people with lactose intolerance (2).
Those on certain medications such as corticosteroids, or diets high in oxalates, sodium, alcohol, and phosphoric acids may need supplementation as these can lower absorption rates and increase calcium excretion.
If pregnant or breast-feeding, taking Dolutegravir, Levothyroxine, Lithium or Quinolone antibiotics, please consult your health care practitioner before using this product.
Epigenetics Calcium Citrate is produced in a convenient, vegan friendly capsule. Recommended daily dose is 1 serving per day taken with a meal, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner. This product is not intended to be used as an alternative to a varied diet.
||Amount per serving
|Calcium (from Calcium citrate)
* Percent Daily Reference Intakes (RI) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
INGREDIENTS: Calcium citrate, Vegetable capsule (Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose).
Suitable for vegans
Calcium is an essential mineral in the human body, playing a vital role in many physiological processes. It is the most abundant mineral in the body with 99% of it stored in the bones and teeth. Calcium is necessary for muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. It also helps in cell signalling, enzyme activity, blood pressure and heart rate. It is well known for its important role in maintaining healthy teeth and bones and helps aid in the proper absorption of other nutrients such as vitamin D (5).
Bones are constantly being remodelled and if calcium status drops too low in the blood, parathyroid hormone activates the bones to release more calcium into the bloodstream (3). In healthy individual who have adequate calcium levels, the body regenerates new bone faster than bone destruction. After the age of 30, bone density naturally declines (6) and leads to “negative calcium balance” and bone loss (3). Studies suggest that whilst ensuring sufficient calcium intake may help to reduce bone loss (7) it will not completely prevent it. Those at a higher risk such as postmenopausal women are more likely to need calcium supplements due to hormonal changes. It’s estimated that women can lose up to 10% of their bone mass in the first 5 years after menopause (8) and studies into calcium intake and bone density in postmenopausal women suggest that the use of calcium supplements can slow down the rate of bone loss (9). Likewise, a high calcium intake improved bone density and reduced the risk of hip fractures (3). It is therefore important to ensure calcium levels are maintained especially after the age of 30 because if calcium gets drawn from the bones and levels are not high enough, it weakens them and increases the risk of fractures.
Calcium may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system and can potentially reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as it helps reduce lipid absorption, decrease blood pressure, and improve glycaemic control (10). Several studies have shown a correlation between hypertension, stroke and atherosclerosis and low calcium intake; however, findings are mixed, and more research is needed (2).
Research suggests that calcium may be beneficial in colon and rectal cancer and may play an important role in the prevention of colorectal cancer or adenomas (2). It has been suggested that calcium may help reduce the risk by binding to bile acids and fatty acids in the intestines to form calcium soaps, reducing cellular damage and promoting cell proliferation (11). Several studies have found a link between calcium intake and a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. A study in 77,712 adults found that those with a high dietary and supplement intake of calcium had a 26% lower chance of developing colon cancer (12). Another study found that individuals who consumed more than 700mg of calcium per day had a 35-45% lower risk of colon cancer compared to those that had less than 500mg per day (13). Additionally, a study of over 293,000 men and 198,000 women found that those who consumed the most calcium through either dietary sources or supplementation had a 20% lower risk in men and 30% lower risk in women of colorectal cancer compared to those who consumed the least (14).
Preeclampsia is a condition during pregnancy characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, leading to serious complications for both mother and baby. Low calcium levels in the mother have been linked to an increased risk of preeclampsia and the World Health Organisation have recommended pregnant women take calcium supplements to prevent preeclampsia (15). Research has found that calcium supplementation may be beneficial to those at an increased risk for example one study suggests that supplementation of 1500-2000mg/d of calcium can help reduce the risk of preeclampsia by 38% and by 58% in those at an increased risk of hypertensive disorders (16). Similarly, a meta-analysis published in the Lancet found a 55% reduction in preeclampsia in women during mid pregnancy taking at least 1g/d of calcium supplements (17). Together, this suggests that calcium supplementation may be beneficial during pregnancy to reduce the risk of preeclampsia in women.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (2). Studies have shown that calcium can help reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome by lowering abdominal fat levels, lowering blood pressure, and improving insulin sensitivity (18). An analysis of the 2001-2010 NHANES data found that women consuming at least 1172mg/d of calcium had a 27% decreased risk of developing metabolic syndrome (19). Similarly, a systematic review and meta-analysis into calcium intake and metabolic syndrome found that a high calcium intake was directly associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, particularly among women (20). Additionally, calcium can help reduce the risk of obesity, which is a major risk factor for metabolic syndrome (2).
Calcium deficiency may result in a variety of different symptoms including muscle cramps, numbness and tingling in the hands, feet and face, fatigue and tiredness, brittle nails and weakened bones and teeth. Severe calcium deficiency can lead to hypocalcemia and may develop in those with kidney failure, people with gastric bypass or those on certain medications that reduce absorption such as diuretics (3). If calcium deficiency is left untreated for a long period of time, renal calcification or injury, brain calcification and neurologic symptoms may occur (2).
Those most at risk of deficiency-
Postmenopausal women may be at an increased risk of calcium deficiency as menopause lowers the amount of oestrogen in the body which helps increase calcium absorption. Similarly, women with amenorrhea are likely to have lower oestrogen levels. In these individuals, calcium may be taken from the bones to maintain normal levels, thus increasing the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Those with lactose intolerance, milk allergies or vegans may also be more likely to develop a deficiency as calcium is often found in a wide variety of dairy products (3).
Certain medications may interact with the absorption of calcium supplements. Dolutegravir, a HIV integrase inhibitor, should be taken 2 hours before or 6 hours after taking calcium supplements. Those taking the thyroid hormone Levothyroxine should avoid taking calcium supplements with their medication within at least 4 hours. Lithium, a treatment for bipolar, may cause hypercalcemia if taken for a long time and taken together with a calcium supplement may increase the risk. Combining calcium supplements with quinolone antibiotics may reduce the absorption of the antibiotics so we suggest taking the antibiotic 2 hours before or 2 hours after calcium supplements (2).
Packaging: 60 capsules
Recommended daily dose, 1 serving taken with a meal.
Serving size: 1 capsule, Servings per container: 60
Store in a cool dry place out of reach and sight of children. Once opened, consume within 6 months.
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