calcium (Ca) [kal´se-um]
a chemical element, atomic number 20, atomic weight 40.08. (See Appendix 6.) Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. In combination with phosphorus it forms calcium phosphate, the dense, hard material of the bones and teeth. It is an important cation in intracellular and extracellular fluid and is essential to the normal clotting of blood, the maintenance of a normal heartbeat, and the initiation of neuromuscular and metabolic activities.
Within the body fluids calcium exists in three forms. Protein-bound calcium accounts for about 47 per cent of the calcium in plasma; most of it in this form is bound to albumin. Another 47 per cent of plasma calcium is ionized. About 6 per cent is complexed with phosphate, citrate, and other anions.
Ionized calcium is physiologically active. One of its most important physiological functions is control of the permeability of cell membranes. Parathyroid hormone, which causes transfer of exchangeable calcium from bone into the blood stream, maintains calcium homeostasis by preventing either calcium deficit or excess.Hypercalcemia:
This is when the level of serum calcium rises above normal; neuromuscular activity begins to diminish. Symptoms include lethargy, muscle weakness (which, as the level of calcium increases, can progress to depressed reflexes and hypotonic muscles), constipation, mental confusion, and coma. The heartbeat also slows, which potentiates the effects of digitalis.Hypocalcemia:
This is a serum level of calcium that is below normal; it is manifested by increased neuromuscular irritability. When there is a deficit of ionized calcium, the nerve cells become more permeable, allowing leakage of sodium and potassium from the cells. This produces excitation of the nerve fibers and triggers uncontrollable activity of the skeletal muscles. Hence, as the calcium level continues to drop, the patient begins to experience muscle twitching and cramping, grimacing, and carpopedal spasm, which can quickly progress to tetany, laryngospasm, convulsions, cardiac arrhythmias, and eventually to respiratory and cardiac arrest. Relatively early signs of hypocalcemia are a positive trousseau's sign
and a positive chvostek's sign
Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products (such as milk and cheese), soybeans, fortified orange juice, dark green leafy vegetables (such as mustard greens and broccoli), sardines, clams, and oysters. The recommended dietary allowance
of calcium for children aged 4 to 8 is 800 mg, and that for women aged 50 to 70 is 1200 mg. (See tables in the Appendices for recommended dietary allowances
across the life span.) It is difficult to meet these requirements without including milk or milk products in the daily diet. The most familiar calcium deficiency disease is rickets
, in which the bones and teeth soften. However, it is believed that a large number of people suffer from subclinical calcium deficiency because of poor eating habits. Since calcium is essential to the formation and maintenance of strong bones, an adequate intake is important in the prevention of osteoporosis
the calcium salt of acetic acid; administered orally as a source of calcium and as a phosphate binder
, such as in patients with end-stage renal disease
. Also used as a pharmaceutical buffering agent.
an insoluble salt occurring naturally in bone, shells, and chalk; used as an antacid
, calcium supplement, and phosphate binder
, and for treatment of osteoporosis
calcium channel blocker
(calcium channel blocking agent
) a drug such as nifedipine
, or verapamil
that selectively blocks the influx of calcium ions through a calcium channel
of cardiac muscle and smooth muscle cells; used in the treatment of Prinzmetal's angina
, chronic stable angina
, and cardiac arrhythmias
. Calcium channel blocking agents act to control arrhythmias by slowing the rate of sinoatrial node discharge and the conduction velocity through the atrioventricular node. They act in vasospastic angina to relax and prevent coronary artery spasm. The mechanism of action in classical angina is a lowering of myocardial oxygen utilization by dilating peripheral arteries and thereby reducing total peripheral resistance and the work of the heart.
Physiologic activity of calcium channel blockers. (Data from Hardman J. and Limbird L., editors: Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacologic Basis of Therapeutics, 9th ed., New York, McGraw-Hill, 1996; and the National Institutes of Health: The Sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, NIH Pub. No. 98-4080, Washington, DC, GPO, 1998.) From Edmunds and Mayhew, 2000.
a salt used in solution to restore electrolyte balance, treat hypocalcemia
, and act as a treatment adjunct in cardiac arrest and in magnesium
a salt used as a calcium replenisher; also used in the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in renal osteodystrophy
a calcium replenisher, used as a nutritional supplement and for the treatment of hypocalcemia
; administered orally.
a calcium salt administered intramuscularly or intravenously in the prevention and treatment of hypocalcemia
and as an electrolyte replenisher.
a calcium salt administered intravenously or orally in the treatment and prevention of hypercalcemia
and as a nutritional supplement. It is also administered by injection as a treatment adjunct in cardiac arrest and in the treatment of hyperkalemia
calcium hydroxide an astringent compound used topically in solution or lotions.
a calcium replenisher, administered orally in the treatment and prevention of hypocalcemia
and as a nutritional supplement.
a salt of oxalic acid, which in excess in the urine may lead to formation of oxalate urinary calculi
calcium oxide lime
a calcium salt of the dextrorotatory isomer of the B vitamin pantothenic acid
; used as a nutritional supplement. It is also available as racemic calcium pantothenate,
which is a mixture of the dextrorotatory and levorotatory isomeric forms.
calcium phosphate a salt containing calcium and the phosphate radical; dibasic and tribasic calcium phosphate are used as sources of calcium.
a hydrophilic agent used as a bulk laxative
a salt used as an antifungal
preservative in foods and as a topical antifungal agent
calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease
an acute or chronic inflammatory arthropathy
caused by deposition of crystals of calcium pyrophosphate
dihydrate in the joints and synovial fluid and chondrocalcinosis
. Clinically, it may resemble numerous other connective tissue diseases such as arthritis
, or it may be asymptomatic. Acute attacks are sometimes called pseudogout
cal·ci·um (Ca), , gen.
cal·'ci·i (kal'sē-ŭm, -sē-ī),
A metallic bivalent element; atomic no. 20, atomic wt. 40.078, density 1.55, melting point 842°C. The oxide of calcium is an alkaline earth, CaO, quicklime, which on the addition of water becomes calcium hydrate, Ca(OH)2, slaked lime. For some organic calcium salts not listed below, see the name of the organic acid portion. Many calcium salts have crucial uses in metabolism and in medicine. Calcium salts are responsible for the radiopacity of bone, calcified cartilage, and arteriosclerotic plaques in arteries.
[Mod. L. fr. L. calx, lime]
calcium /cal·ci·um/ (Ca) (kal´se-um) a chemical element, at. no. 20. Calcium phosphate salts form the dense hard material of teeth and bones. The calcium 2+ ion is involved in many physiologic processes. A normal blood calcium level is essential for normal function of the heart, nerves, and muscles. It is involved in blood coagulation (in which connection it is called coagulation factor IV ). Various calcium salts, including the acetate, carbonate, chloride, glubionate, gluceptate, gluconate, lactate, lactobionate, and phosphate salts, are used as calcium replenishers and supplements.
calcium carbonate an insoluble salt, CaCO3, occurring naturally in shells, limestone, and chalk and also used in more purified forms; used as an antacid and calcium replenisher and in the treatment of osteoporosis.
calcium chloride a salt, CaCl22H2O, used in the treatment of hypocalcemia, electrolyte depletion, and hyperkalemia, and as a treatment adjunct in cardiac arrest and in magnesium poisoning.
a calcium replenisher also used in the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in renal osteodystrophy
a calcium replenisher, used as a nutritional supplement and for the treatment of hypocalcemia
a calcium salt used in the treatment and prophylaxis of hypocalcemia
and as an electrolyte replenisher.
a calcium salt used to treat or prevent hypercalcemia
, nutritional deficiency, and hyperkalemia
; also used as a treatment adjunct in cardiac arrest.
calcium hydroxide a salt, Ca(OH)2, used in solution as a topical astringent.
a salt of oxalic acid, which in excess in the urine may lead to formation of oxalate calculi
calcium phosphate a salt containing calcium and the phosphate radical: dibasic and tribasic c. phosphate are used as sources of calcium.
a calcium salt of a hydrophilic resin of the polycarboxylic type; a bulk laxative
the sulfate salt of calcium, CaSO4, occurring in the anhydrous form and in a hydrated form (gypsum,
q.v.), which upon being calcined forms plaster of Paris.
Etymology: L, calx, lime
an alkaline earth metal element. Its atomic number is 20; its atomic mass is 40.08. Its metallic form is a white flammable solid, brittle and somewhat harder than lead. Calcium is commonly produced by the electrolysis or thermal dissociation of calcium chloride. Calcium carbonate is the most common calcium compound. Calcium also occurs as a component of the natural compound gypsum, which forms plaster of paris when heated. It is also a component of calcium cyanamid, a fertilizer and progenitor of other nitrogen compounds. Calcium is the fifth most abundant element in the human body and is mainly present in the bone. The body requires calcium ions for the transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, blood coagulation, cardiac functions, and other processes. It is a component of extracellular fluid and of soft tissue cells. The average daily human intake of calcium varies from 200 to 2500 mg. In the United States, dairy products are the major dietary sources of this element. The daily dietary allowances recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board vary from 360 mg for infants to 1200 mg for women 15 to 18 years of age. More than 90% of the calcium in the body is stored in the skeleton, which constantly exchanges its supplies with the calcium of the interstitial fluids. The endocrine system controls the concentration of ionized calcium in the plasma. Only a fraction of this amount is ionized and diffusible; the rest is bound to proteins, especially albumin. It is the ionized, diffusible portion of calcium that participates in the physiological changes associated with hypocalcemia. About one third of the calcium ingested by humans is absorbed, primarily in the small bowel. Vitamin D, calcitonin, and parathyroid hormone are essential in the metabolism of calcium. The degree of cell permeability varies inversely with calcium ion concentration. Abnormally high levels of ionized calcium in the extracellular fluid can produce muscle weakness, lethargy, and coma. A relatively small decrease from the normal level of this element can produce tetanic seizures. Normal adult blood levels of calcium are 9 to 10.5 mg/dL or 2.25 to 2.75 nmol/L.
calcium A bivalent metallic element (atomic number 20; atomic weight 40.08) that is critical for bone and tooth formation and intimately linked to many metabolic processes, including muscle contraction, neural transmission, coagulation and inhibition of cell destruction. Calcium levels in the blood are controlled by the balanced action of parathyroid hormone and calcitonin. It is present in dairy products, almonds, leafy greens, sardines and salmon; proper absorption of calcium hinges on appropriate acidity of the stomach, presence of vitamin D and a balance of other minerals, including phosphorus and mangesium.
calcium A metal, atomic number 20, atomic weight 40.08, which is a divalent cation abundant in the body, especially in bone and teeth Calcium metabolism Ca2+ is the most critical mineral in bone–added by osteoblasts; removed by osteoclasts, Ca2+ maintains metabolic processes–eg, muscle contraction, neural transmission, cardiac activity, coagulation and inhibition of cell destruction; serum Ca2+ levels are controlled by a balance between PTH and calcitonin–produced by the thyroid's C or parafollicular cells; proper absorption of Ca2+ hinges on appropriate gastric acidity, presence of vitamin D, and a balance of other minerals–eg, phosphorus and mangesium; PTH ↑ serum Ca2+ levels by ↑ bone resorption via osteoclasts and mobilizing Ca2+, and indirectly ↑ GI absorption of Ca2+ by ↑ vitamin D production; PTH also ↑ phosphate excretion in the urine; calcitonin ↓ serum Ca2+ and phosphate levels by inhibiting bone resorption Daily requirement ± 400–1000 mg/day Ref range Infant to 1 month: 7.0-11.5 mg/dL; 1 month to 1 yr: 8.6-11.2 mg/dL >1 yr: 8.2-10.2 mg/dL; chronic abuse of laxatives, excess transfusions and various drugs can ↓ Ca2+ levels; Ca2+ is ↑ in hyperparathyroidism, parathyroid tumors, Paget's disease, myeloma, metastatic CA, multiple Fx, prolonged immobilization, renal disease, adrenal insufficiency, ↑ Ca2+ ingestion, antacid abuse; Ca2+ is ↓ in Cushing syndrome, hypoparathyroidism, malabsorption, acute pancreatitis, renal failure, peritonitis. See Hypercalcemia, Hypocalcemia, Ionized calcium.
cal·ci·um (Ca) (kal'sē-ŭm)
A metallic bivalent element; atomic no. 20, atomic wt. 40.078, density 1.55, melting point 842°C. Many calcium salts have crucial uses in metabolism and in medicine. Calcium salts are responsible for the radiopacity of bone, calcified cartilage, and arteriosclerotic plaques in arteries.
[Mod. L. fr. L. calx, lime]
calcium (kal'se-um) [ calci- + -ium] Ca
A silver-white metallic chemical element, atomic number 20, atomic weight (mass) 40.08. Lime (calcium oxide), CaO, is its oxide. Calcium is a major component of limestone. Hydroxylapatite, a calcium phosphate, makes up about 75% of body ash and about 85% of mineral matter in bones.
Calcium is important for blood clotting, enzyme activation, and acid-base balance. It gives firmness and rigidity to bones and teeth. It is essential for lactation, the function of nerves and muscles (including heart muscle), and maintenance of membrane permeability. Most absorption of calcium occurs in the duodenum and is dependent on the presence of calcitriol. Dietary factors affecting calcium absorption include phytic acid, consumption of too much phosphorus, and polyphenols found in tea. Approximately 40% of the calcium consumed is absorbed. Blood levels of calcium are regulated by parathyroid hormone; deficiency of this hormone produces hypocalcemia. The serum level of calcium is normally about 8.5 to 10.5 mg/dl. Low blood calcium causes tetany. Blood deprived of its calcium will not clot. Calcium is deposited in the bones but can be mobilized from them to keep the blood level constant when dietary intake is inadequate. At any given time, the body of an adult contains about 700 g of calcium phosphate; of this, 120 g is the element calcium. Adults should consume at least 1 g of calcium daily. Pregnant, lactating, and postmenopausal women should consume 1.2–1.5 g of calcium per day.
Excellent sources of calcium include milk and milk products (but not cottage cheese), and calcium-fortified orange juice. Good sources include canned salmon and sardines, broccoli, tofu, rhubarb, almonds, figs, and turnip greens.
1. Laboratory error and variation may sometimes cause inaccurate or inconsistent values in evaluating calcium levels.
2. Excessive calcium supplementation has been associated with a small increased risk of vascular calcification and heart attack.
A radioactive isotope of calcium, half-life 164 days.
O, a salt used to raise the calcium content of the blood in disorders such as hypocalcemic tetany or overdose of calcium channel blocker or beta blocker. It is used in solution and administered intravenously. It is incompatible with epinephrine.
C6H12NNaO3S, an artificial sweetening agent. See: cyclamate
calcium disodium edetate
A substance used to bind metallic ions, such as lead or zinc. It is used to treat poisoning caused by those metals.
, a granular, white, odorless, and flavorless powder used to treat hypocalcemia, or overdose by calcium channel blocker or by beta blocker.
P, the calcium salt of glycerophosphoric acid. It is used as a dietary supplement, in drug formulation, and to prevent dental caries.
, a white powder used as an astringent applied to the skin and mucous membranes and in dentistry as cavity liner or a pulp-capping material under a layer of zinc phosphate. It induces tertiary dentin formation for bridging or root closure, but it may be related to a chronic pulpitis and pulp necrosis after pulp capping.
CLASSIC DIHYDRATE CALCIUM OXALATE CRYSTALS: (Orig. mag. ×400)
CALCIUM OXALATE CRYSTALS IN URINE: (Orig. mag. ×400)
, a compound containing calcium, present in urine in crystalline form. It is a constituent of some kidney stones. See: illustration
A salt of pantothenic acid, commonly used in vitamin supplements. Biochemically, it transfers acetyl groups from one compound to another. Egg yolks, liver, and yeasts are nutritional sources.
An artificial sweetening agent. See: saccharin
total serum calcium
The sum of the soluble and protein-bound calcium in the blood.
CaWO4, a fluorescent material formerly used for radiologic imaging. It was used in intensifying screens to amplify the image, thereby reducing the radiation exposure to the patient.
calcium A mineral present in large quantity in the body, mainly in the form of calcium phosphate in the bones and the teeth. Electrically charged calcium atoms (ions) are present in the blood and body fluids and are essential for many physiological processes including cell membrane permeability, cell excitability, the initiation and transmission of electrical impulses, muscle contraction, cell shape and cell motility. Calcium is necessary for blood coagulation, the production of ATP, and enzyme actions. Calcium levels in the blood are kept withing narrow limits by feedback mechanisms. Brand names of preparations containing calcium used to treat OSTEOPOROSIS are Ostram and Sandocal.
calcium (Ca) an essential element to all animals and plants and a constituent of shells, bones and teeth.
A silvery-yellow metal that is the basic element of lime and makes up about 3% of the earth's crust. It is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Calcium and phosphorous combine as calcium phosphate, the hard material of bones and teeth.
n an element/mineral that is essential for bone development and maintenance, nerve impulse conduction, and general cellular function. Calcium supplementation is useful for preventing osteoporosis and perhaps colon cancer. It is also used for treating PMS, colon polyps, and may be useful in lowering high blood pressure. Calcium supplements may interfere with the absorption of chromium, magnesium, manganese, iron, and zinc.
cal·ci·um (Ca) (kal'sē-ŭm)
A metallic bivalent element; salts useful in metabolism and in medicine; responsible for radiopacity of bone, calcified cartilage, and arteriosclerotic arterial plaques in arteries.
[Mod. L. fr. L. calx, lime]
a chemical element, atomic number 20, atomic weight 40.08, symbol Ca. See Table 6. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. In combination with phosphorus it forms calcium phosphate, the dense, hard material of the bones and teeth. It is an important cation in intra- and extracellular fluid and is essential to the normal clotting of blood, the maintenance of a normal heartbeat, and the initiation of neuromuscular and metabolic activities.
Within the body fluids calcium exists in three forms. Protein-bound calcium accounts for about 47% of the calcium in plasma; most of it in this form is bound to albumin. Another 47% of plasma calcium is ionized. About 6% is complexed with phosphate, citrate and other anions.
Ionized calcium is physiologically active. One of its most important physiological functions is control of the permeability of cell membranes. Parathyroid hormone, which causes transfer of exchangeable calcium from bone into the bloodstream, and calcitriol maintain calcium homeostasis by preventing either calcium deficit or excess.
used extensively as a spray in orchards, constituting a poison hazard for livestock.
avian calcium poisoning
excess calcium in the avian diet, especially in diets low in phosphorus causes nephrosis, visceral gout and urolithiasis.
the balance between calcium intake and losses in feces and urine.
an insoluble salt occurring naturally in bone, shells and chalk. A common form of supplementary calcium in dogs and cats on meat-based diets, used because of its high concentration of calcium (40%) and absence of phosphorus.
calcium challenge test
an intravenous infusion of calcium will cause increased levels of gastrin in dogs with a gastrinoma. Often used in combination with a secretin test.
a salt used in solution to restore electrolyte balance, to treat hypocalcemia and as an antidote to magnesium poisoning. Is highly irritant and has been discarded generally in favor of less irritating substances, e.g. calcium borogluconate.
agricultural fertilizer capable of being toxic.
see calcium (above).
calcium edetate (Ca-EDTA)
calcium ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid; the disodium and dipotassium salts are commonly used as anticoagulants in the preservation of blood samples for hematology. A chelating agent, used parenterally in the treatment of lead poisoning. See also edetate
in all species may cause hypercalcitonism
with decreased osteoclastic activity and skeletal remodeling. In dogs, disorders of enchondral ossification with curved radius and osteochondrosis have been demonstrated; secondary iron deficiency anemia occurs in piglets.
naturally occurring mineral. Called also fluorspar, fluorite.
contains high levels of calcium; given to cows as a drench or in the feed as a prophylaxis against milk fever.
a calcium replenisher and antidote to fluoride or oxalate poisoning.
maintenance of normal calcium metabolism by the combined effects of adequate alimentary intake, renal excretion, parathyroid hormone involvement, 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol (or calcitriol) and calcitonin, plasma protein binding and deposition in tissues.
an astringent compound used topically in solution or lotions; in dentistry used to encourage deposition of secondary dentine. Called also slaked lime. In solution, called lime water.
idiopathic calcium phosphate deposition
thought to be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait in Great Danes commencing in puppies about 5 weeks old, characterized by incoordination with deformity and displacement of the 7th cervical vertebra and mineral deposits in the intervertebral joints, in serous and synovial membranes and mineralization in most other tissues.
used for supplementing the diet with calcium; contains 18% calcium. As calcium sodium lactate, containing 8% calcium, it is more soluble and can be used in drinking water.
a calcium compound used parenterally in the treatment of hypocalcemia; contains 14.8% calcium.
administered orally and used as a urinary antiseptic.
used as an additive during cheese making to control fermentation. Whey from this cheese may cause nitrate poisoning in pigs.
protein-bound fractions of plasma calcium.
calcium nutritional deficiency
nutritional deficiency of calcium is rarely primary except in carnivores on an all-meat diet. Secondary deficiency is usually the result of diets having too high a content of phosphorus. The outcome of either deficiency may be nutritional hyperparathyroidism
in horse and pigs, and degenerative arthropathy
of cattle, depending on the species, age of the animal and availability of vitamin D. Hypocalcemia may not occur because of the activity of parathyroid hormone, but classical tetany and recumbency can occur if the deficiency is prolonged or if they are precipitated by some other factor.
a compound occurring in the urine in crystals and in certain calculi. See also oxalate urolith
alkaline and capable of causing gastroenteritis. There is a high concentration in basic
slag and this may contribute to that poisoning.
a calcium salt of the dextrorotatory isomer of pantothenic acid; used as a growth-promoting vitamin.
one of three salts containing calcium and the phosphate radical: dibasic and tribasic calcium phosphate are used as sources of calcium; monobasic calcium phosphate is used in fertilizer and as a calcium and phosphorus supplement. An important constituent of uroliths.
calcium : phosphorus ratio
the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the diet, 1 : 1 to 1 : 2 is usually considered to be adequate for proper calcium nutritional status in most animal species. Diets outside this range are likely to cause osteodystrophies. Animals grazing phosphorus-deficient pasture, and those being intensively fed on grain rations which have an abnormally high phosphorus content, are the principal subjects. Horses on heavy grain diets and dogs and cats on meat diets without calcium supplementation are also targets for the disease.
a hydrophilic agent used as a bulk laxative in the treatment of constipation and diarrhea.
protein bound calcium
biologically inert fraction of plasma calcium; most is bound to albumin and globulins with a small fraction complexed to organic and inorganic acids.
crystals of this mineral are thought to contribute physically to the gastroenteritis caused by basic
the main component of plaster of Paris; also used as a dietary source of calcium and inorganic sulfate sulfur.
calcium sulfide, calcium polysulfide
include calcium carbonate, gluconate, lactate and phosphate; bone flour, bone meal, ground limestone, chalk.
calcium tungstate screens
cards coated with calcium tungstate crystals are used to sandwich film in a light-tight cassette. They fluoresce when exposed to x-rays and, together with the beam, affect the film emulsion. They reduce the exposure factor required.
Patient discussion about calcium
Q. It will be fine for my dad to take calcium as extra supplement; It will be fine for my dad to take calcium as extra supplement; as his bones are getting weak…. How much calcium intake is necessary for him?
A. Older men need more calcium, because, as they age, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing calcium and other nutrients. Intake amount can’t be judged without age and weight and other body conditions are known. Please don’t give supplements without doctor’s prescription as the chances of overdose are more problematic.
Q. My sister has been having major allergy problems.How could she get her desired calcium? My sister has been having major allergy problems. Now she has developed an allergy and cannot tolerate milk in any form. None of our family members had allergic reactions to milk and my sister very recently developed this symptom. Is there any possibility of this symptom linked with any other illness? How could she get her desired calcium intake required by the body? Can you make any suggestions please?
A. calcium is a very important part of our diet. lack of it will have a damaging effect. so it's good that you are aware!
many good sources of calcium exist. These include seaweeds such as kelp, wakame . nuts and seeds (like almonds and sesame). blackstrap molasses, beans, oranges, figs, quinoa , broccoli...
and another thing that you may do is crush an egg shell into powder and just mix a bit with her food. it's an excellent source.
Q. I'm concerned that my calcium supplements are contaminated w seashells or cow bones. Which brands are best
A. there should be labeled as "from animal source".More discussions about calcium
here is something that helped me choose: