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What is Calcium L-Threonate?
Calcium is one of the most prevalent and important minerals in the body. Calcium is also one the most well-known minerals for foster strong bones and teeth.
Calcium intake is often most emphasised around childhood while bones and teeth are still developing. However, optimal levels of the mineral are important throughout the life-course, and become especially important in preventing conditions such an osteoporosis in women.
While calcium is an important player in bone health, the mineral has some other vital functions in the central nervous system.
Calcium ions play a critical role in neuronal signalling. Positively charged calcium ions act as a secondary messenger which help to control neurotransmitter release. Calcium ions are also important extracellularly, where the ions help to maintain the electrical membrane potential of neurons. There are also a number of enzymes within the brain which require calcium ions as a cofactor.
Calcium L-threonate is an especially interesting form of calcium supplement due to its high bioavailability.
L-threonate has also been shown to help calcium absorption in bone. The supplement is now recommended for the treatment of osteoporosis and bone loss.
Benefits and Mode of Action
Calcium supplementation has not been shown to have any particular ‘brain benefits’. In fact, supplementing with calcium when you already have adequate levels can be dangerous and toxic to neurons.
However, having a calcium deficit could have a negative effect on memory. This is because calcium has a role in critical aspects of cellular signalling which are responsible for memory retrieval and storage.
Calcium helps to ensure the electrical signals, known as action potentials, are propagated between neurons via axons and dendrites. This type of signalling is at the core of how memories are encoded, consolidated and stored. Axonal and dendritic communication between neurons can also affect alertness, cognition and mood. Hence, it’s vital to have the optimal amount of calcium for brain function.
How to Use
Calcium L-threonate is highly bioavailable and can be taken orally in a variety of forms.
Most people do not require calcium supplementation. So, before deciding to take calcium L-threonate, you should have your calcium levels check by a medical professional. If your levels are low, calcium L-threonate may be the perfect supplement for you.
It’s critical that you do not supplement with calcium if you have adequate levels. This is because high levels of calcium can be toxic to cells, especially neurons. In fact, excessively high levels of calcium have been linked with dementia and memory loss.
If you’re using any calcium supplement it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough magnesium too. These two minerals work together in a number of processes and any imbalance in their levels can cause problems across the body.
Recommended Dose: 200-400mg daily (dependent on individual needs)
The dose of calcium L-threonate you take will be dependent on your individual needs.
The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,000mg for an adult. We get a lot of that calcium from foods and beverages such as milk, cheese, kale, broccoli, grains and tofu.
Since calcium L-threonate is so well-absorbed, there’s no need to take an excessive dose, since you won’t ‘lose’ much of the calcium. We suggest a dose of 200-400mg for anyone with minor calcium deficiencies.
For people already struggling with bone loss, some studies have suggested that much larger doses are able to be tolerated. The safe upper limit for calcium is 2,500mg per day.
You shouldn’t supplement with calcium if you’re already getting enough from your diet, and don’t have any bone-related issues. Ask your doctors to check your calcium levels and discuss the optimal dosage with them.
We’ve classified calcium L-threonate a strength enhancer. Calcium has a powerful effect on bone strength and can prevent bone loss. Calcium also ensures that electrical signalling within the brain remains strong and efficient.
- Michael J. Fay, Anthony J. Verlangieri, (1991) Stimulatory action of calcium L-threonate on ascorbic acid uptake by a human T-lymphoma cell line, Life Sciences,Volume 49, Issue 19, Pages 1377-1381, ISSN 0024-3205, https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-3205(91)90388-R.
- Wang, H., Hu, P. & Jiang, J. Calcium bioavailability of calcium L-threonate in healthy Chinese subjects measured with stable isotopes (44Ca and 42Ca). Eur J Clin Pharmacol 69, 1121–1126 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00228-012-1420-5
- Wang, H. Y., Hu, P., & Jiang, J. (2011). Pharmacokinetics and safety of calcium L-threonate in healthy volunteers after single and multiple oral administrations. Acta pharmacologica Sinica, 32(12), 1555–1560. https://doi.org/10.1038/aps.2011.138