A model system for assessing physicochemical factors affecting calcium absorbability from the intestinal tract

C. Y C Pak, J. Poindexter, B. Finlayson

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36 Scopus citations


An in vitro model system was utilized to critically examine physicochemical factors that could play a role in determining the amount of potentially absorbable ionic calcium as well as soluble complexes in the proximal jejunum following ingestion of tricalcium dicitrate, calcium carbonate, or tricalcium diphosphate. The solubility of calcium salts (500 mg calcium each) was tested in 300 ml water containing varying amounts of hydrochloric acid (0, 0.72, 2.4, 7.26, and 24.2 mEq) intended to mimic achlorhydric to peak acid secretory states. Whereas 20% of calcium citrate dissolved in the absence of hydrochloric acid, a negligible amount of calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate underwent dissolution. In solutions containing 0.72–7.26 mEq hydrochloric acid, calcium citrate was more than twofold soluble than calcium carbonate, and calcium phosphate had intermediate solubility. At simulated peak acid secretion, all three salts were completely soluble, or nearly so. To simulate pancreatic bicarbonate secretion, the filtrates obtained from solubility studies were titrated to pH 5, 6, and 7 with sodium hydroxide. Reprecipitation of calcium citrate and calcium carbonate did not occur. However, substantial calcium phosphate reprecipitation took place especially at high pH and in filtrates derived from high hydrochloric acid content. In filtrates derived from reprecipitation experiments (at pH 6 and 7), anionic complexation of calcium was calculated in order to estimate the amount of ionic and complexed calcium. Considerable amount of calcium from dissolved calcium citrate was complexed (60–65%), principally as soluble CaCit, whereas calcium complexation was negligible in the calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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