Light microscopic image of calcium crystalsLight microscopic image of calcium crystalsCalcium (chemical symbol Ca) is an alkaline earth metal and the fifth most common element on the planet. It is present as a bivalent cation, usually in the form of inorganic salts such as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) or calcium sulphate (CaSO4). Foods contain calcium, partly in free form, however more commonly in compound form, associated with proteins or in the form of salts. In terms of nutritional physiology, it belongs to the group of bulk elements and within this group makes up the highest share of body mass. The total adult body's store of calcium amounts to between 1000 and 1500 g.


Functions of calcium

In the human body, calcium is present exclusively as a bivalent cation (Ca2+) and fulfils a variety of functions as a nutrient and active ingredient:

  • Bones and masticatory system. Around 99 % of the total body's stores are present as calcium apatite in bones and teeth. This is where calcium serves as a component of the hard tissue and as a physiological calcium store. Calcium is thus required for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. When required, it is released into the blood stream under the influence of parathormone (PTH).
  • Muscle contraction. The ordered contractility of the muscle cells is dependent on calcium, the mineral thus making a contribution to normal muscles function.
  • Clotting. Calcium is an important factor in the coagulation cascade and contributes to normal blood clotting.
  • Enzyme catalysis. Calcium acts as an enzyme activator and in this way contributes to the normal function of the digestive enzymes and a normal energy metabolism.
  • Signalling function. Calcium contributes to a normal transfer of signals between the nerve cells and plays a role in the division and specialisation of cells.


Useful information.

  • The levels of calcium are controlled by vitamin D. Both natural substances work closely together in the metabolism. The most important determining factor on the calcium intake from the gut is vitamin D.
  • Calcium is a physiological opponent (antagonist) of magnesium.


Information on production technology

  • INTERCELL Pharma process various forms of calcium, depending on quantitative and qualitative requirement. Products are galenically converted on the basis of organic (generally higher bio-availability) or inorganic (usually higher elemental content) calcium salts.

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