Calcium Carbonate vs. Calcium Citrate

Difference Between Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Citrate

Calcium Carbonate and Calcium Citrate are two important calcium compounds. Calcium is a naturally occurring element with an atomic number of 20. It is represented by the symbol Ca. It is found in plenty in earth’s crust and is fifth most abundant by mass. It is also found profusely in seawater as its ion is easily dissolved in water. Calcium is an element that is considered to be essential for living things, especially human beings. Many cellular processes are dependent upon calcium. Two of its compounds, calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are of particular value for us having lots of benefits for human beings. Just what the difference between calcium carbonate and calcium citrate is and how they profit us is what this article proposes to enlighten.

To appreciate the value of these two compounds of calcium, we need to understand the significance of calcium for human beings. It is indispensable for us as our bones and teeth enlarge only when body gets sufficient calcium. With advanced age, calcium deficiency can make bones weak and delicate which is why doctor’s advice taking calcium supplements. 99% of calcium in our body is contained in our bones and teeth. When there is deficiency of calcium, we tend to develop osteoporosis, rickets and poor blood clotting ability. When there is deficiency of calcium in blood, body uses calcium in bones and teeth, thereby weakening them.

Calcium carbonate

It is a composite of calcium that is generally found in rocks all over the globe. Its chemical formula is CaHCO3 and it is the principal ingredient of shells of sea animals, egg shells, pearls and snails. Calcium found in this composite is used as a health supplement as calcium dearth in human beings can lead to many ailments. It reacts with acids to liberate carbon dioxide. When heated strongly, it discharges carbon dioxide to form another oxide of calcium know as calcium oxide, or quicklime. This quicklime, when added to water forms a base that is broadly used all over the world in the chemical industry. Marble and limestone, both of which are used for flooring, are actually different forms of calcium carbonate only. When water percolates through carbonate rocks, it partially dissolves these rocks and causes formations of stalactites and stalagmites.

Calcium Citrate

Calcium citrate is a composite of calcium and citric acid. It is mostly used as a food preservative, additive and sometimes also to enhance the flavor of food. It is also used to mitigate hard water. Doctor advices, taking it as calcium supplement to sustain healthy levels of calcium in our bodies. In calcium citrate, calcium is present by 21% of its mass. It is a white powder that is water soluble. Since it comes from citric acid, it has a sour taste, while it is a salt.


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