Calcium phosphate is a compound that contains both calcium and phosphorus. It is a naturally occurring mineral that is a large component of bones and teeth. The compound has a variety of roles in the body, and some people may benefit from supplementation. However, too much calcium phosphate can also cause some health risks.

Both calcium and phosphorus are minerals that the body requires to perform a range of essential functions. Namely, they both play important roles in keeping bones strong and healthy. Many people get sufficient calcium and phosphorus from their diet. In some cases of deficiency, people may consider supplements. However, they should discuss this with their doctor, as while they can provide health benefits, they may also cause some side effects.

This article discusses the potential benefits and risks of calcium phosphate and whether a person should consider taking them.

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Calcium phosphate, also known as tricalcium phosphate, is a type of mineral. It is a compound containing calcium and phosphorus, or phosphoric acid.

It is available as an option for calcium supplements, along with calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. There are also many different types of calcium phosphate. The largest calcium phosphate source in the body exists as hydroxyapatite (HAP), which is an important structural component of bones and teeth.

Calcium is also present in the circulatory system and tissues, while phosphorus is also an important component of DNA and protein. These minerals have essential roles in bone, muscle, blood, and nerve health.

Calcium phosphate also has many uses outside the body, as it is a component in many products, including:

A person may benefit from calcium phosphate supplementation, particularly if they are experiencing a deficiency in these minerals. The recommended daily intake of calcium is about 1,000 milligrams (mg) and roughly 1,250 mg for phosphorus.

As such, supplementation may be useful for people who have certain health conditions, including:

  • Hypocalcemia: A deficiency of calcium in the blood.
  • Osteoporosis: This condition develops due to a decrease in bone mineral density and bone mass. It can increase the risk of a bone fracture.
  • Hypoparathyroidism: This rare condition results from the body not producing or releasing adequate parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH is responsible for maintaining normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.
  • Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D helps absorb calcium in the gut. If a person is vitamin D deficient, they may also be calcium deficient.

Supplementation may also be useful for certain people that require additional calcium. This may include postmenopausal people and those with dietary restrictions. Individuals experiencing menopause may have weaker bones due to a decrease in the production of the hormone estrogen. Additionally, people who are lactose intolerant or avoid dairy products may be at a higher risk of being calcium deficient.

Calcium phosphate supplementation may also help with other conditions. A 2018 literature review notes that supplements could decrease total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration. High levels of these cholesterols may contribute to health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. The review also adds that the supplements may help with gut health.

Calcium phosphate supplementation may also carry some risk. Potential side effects can include:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • weakness
  • headaches
  • bone and muscle pain
  • kidney problems

Disturbances in calcium and phosphate balance can affect many parts of the body. As many people may use calcium phosphate to supplement their calcium intake, they may take too much and develop hypercalcemia. This excessive amount of calcium can result in several complications, which people may refer to as:

  • Groans: Hypercalcemia may result in discomfort and cause people to experience painful gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Bones: People may experience bone pain and are at risk of bone issues.
  • Stones: Excessive calcium may cause kidney problems, such as kidney stones.
  • Moans: This refers to the general feeling of fatigue and malaise people may experience.
  • Thrones: This refers to the amount of time people may need to use the restroom due to increased urination and changes to bowel habits.
  • Psychic overtones: This describes possible changes to mental state, such as lethargy, confusion, depression, and memory loss.

While more research is necessary, some evidence also notes that high calcium and phosphate intake may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer.

Additionally, calcium supplements may interact with certain medications. This can diminish the effect of the medication and lead to unwanted side effects. These medications may include:

As with any supplement, it is highly advisable for a person to discuss it with their doctor. A medical professional will be able to suggest the suitability of calcium supplements and may also provide alternative options. This is particularly important if a person is taking certain medications or at a higher risk of complications, such as kidney stones.

A person should take the calcium phosphate supplement as the packaging or their pharmacist directs. Different types of calcium supplements are available, so people should ensure they take the correct type.

A person typically takes calcium phosphate by mouth and it is available in liquid, chewable tablet, and capsule forms. A person should not exceed the daily dose recommended by the manufacturer and should carefully measure the correct dose. Calcium supplements absorb better when taken in smaller quantities of 500 mg or less. Therefore, people may divide their dose and space it throughout the day

Calcium supplements also absorb better with food. Therefore, a person may consider taking the supplement with a meal. Additionally, vitamin D can help calcium absorb better in the gut. As such, people may want to include dietary sources or a calcium phosphate supplement that already contains vitamin D.

If a person is also taking an iron supplement, it is advisable to take the calcium supplement 2 hours before or 2 hours after to maximize absorption.

People can obtain sufficient amounts of calcium from dietary sources. Foods rich in calcium include:

  • dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • fish, such as sardines and salmon
  • green leafy vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and watercress
  • calcium-fortified foods, such as cereals, juices, and milk alternatives
  • tofu
  • nuts and seeds, such as almonds, sesame, and chia

Click here to learn more about calcium-rich vegan foods.

Calcium phosphate is a compound containing calcium and phosphorus. It is naturally present in the body, and some people may take it as a supplement to increase their calcium intake. Both calcium and phosphorus have a wide variety of functions in the body, including aiding in blood clotting, muscle function, bone regeneration, and cell signaling.

Supplements may benefit a person who has a health condition that requires extra calcium, including hypocalcemia, osteoporosis, and vitamin D deficiency. However, it is also possible for a person to experience side effects and complications from having too much calcium. This can include gastrointestinal distress, bone pain, and kidney problems.

As with any supplement, it is advisable for a person to consult their doctor. They can discuss whether supplements are suitable and suggest dietary sources of calcium, such as dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and fortified foods.