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What Is Calcium Malate?

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  • Written By: Paul Scott
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2014
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Calcium malate is a chemical compound derived from malic acid. It is a strong source of calcium, an essential mineral responsible for many important biological functions in the human body. Calcium malate is extensively used as a base in a wide range of dietary calcium supplement products. These products are believed to posses some of the best bioavailibity values of all calcium supplements due to their malate content. Although adequate dietary calcium intake is essential for good health, excessive calcium intake can be dangerous; supplements should used with caution and preferably under the supervision of a qualified health care professional.

Sporting the rather intimidating chemical formula of Ca(C2H4O(COO)2), calcium malate is a calcium salt of malic acid, an organic acid which occurs naturally in animals and plants. Also known as fruit acid, malic acid plays an important role in the Krebs cycle in humans. This is the biochemical process of energy production, and malic acid is an important intermediate through its anion, malate. When calcium malate is synthesized from malic acid, the resultant salt combines the benefits of calcium with easy absorption, or bioavailibity, courtesy of the malate component. Supplements based on calcium malate are thus believed to feature excellent bioavailibity values with optimal calcium absorption.

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Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body and accounting for approximately 2% of body weight. A large proportion of this calcium is stored in the teeth and bones with only about 1% being present in the bloodstream, muscles, and soft tissues. Calcium plays an essential role in strengthening and hardening bones, nerve impulse transmission, blood clotting, healing of wounds, and muscle contraction control, particularly the heart muscles. Deficiencies in calcium intakes can lead to serious negative health conditions because less than 30% of the body's required calcium content is typically acquired through dietary sources.

As important as calcium is, excessive intakes can also lead to the development of serious health issues. The most notable of these is malabsorption syndrome in which the uptake of other essential elements is negatively affected by excess calcium levels. This may lead to anemia and even malnutrition even when diets are adequate. Signs of calcium overdosage and allergic reactions include thirst, muscular cramps, headaches, fatigue, and gastrointestinal disorders. As is the case with all medications and supplements, calcium malate-based products should always be considered and used subject to a doctor's advice and supervision.

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