Calcium citrate without aluminum antacids does not cause aluminum retention in patients with functioning kidneys

K. Sakhaee, C. L. Wabner, J. E. Zerwekh, J. B. Copley, L. Pak, J. R. Poindexter, C. Y C Pak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


It has been suggested that calcium citrate might enhance aluminum absorption from food, posing a threat of aluminum toxicity even in patients with normal renal function. We therefore measured serum and urinary aluminum before and following calcium citrate therapy in patients with moderate renal failure and in normal subjects maintained on constant metabolic diets with known aluminum content (967–1034 µmol/day, or 26.1–27.9 mg/day, in patients and either 834 or 1579 µmol/day, or 22.5 and 42.6 mg/day, in normal subjects). Seven patients with moderate renal failure (endogenous creatinine clearance of 43 ml/ min) took 50 mmol(2 g) calcium/day as effervescent calcium citrate with meals for 17 days. Eight normal women received 25 mmol (1 g) calcium/day as tricalcium dicitrate tablets with meals for 7 days. In patients with moderate renal failure, serum and urinary aluminum were normal before treatment at 489 ± 293 SD nmol/l (13.2 ± 7.9 µg/l) and 767 ± 497 nmol/day (20.7 ± 13.4 µg/day), respectively. They remained within normal limits and did not change significantly during calcium citrate treatment (400 ± 148 nmol/l and 600 ± 441 nmol/day, respectively). Similarly, no significant change in serum and urinary aluminum was detected in normal women during calcium citrate administration (271 ± 59 vs 293 ± 85 nmol/l and 515 ± 138 vs 615 ± 170 nmol/day, respectively). In addition, skeletal bone aluminum content did not change significantly in 14 osteoporotic patients (endogenous creatinine clearance of 68.5 ml/min) treated for 24 months with calcium citrate, 10 mmol calcium twicelday separately from meals (29.3 ± 13.9 ng/mg ash bone to 27.9 ± 10.4, P=0.727). In them, histomorphometric examination did not show any evidence of mineralization defect. Thus, calcium citrate given alone without aluminum-containing drugs does not pose a risk of aluminum toxicity in subjects with normal or functioning kidneys, when it is administered on an empty stomach at a recommended dose of 20 mmol calcium/day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalBone and Mineral
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993


  • Aluminum
  • Aluminum absorption
  • Calcium citrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


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