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What Is Tricalcium Phosphate?


Calcium is an essential mineral you need for many body functions and for the development of bones. It is important to take in a proper amount of calcium regularly. We do generally receive enough calcium through our diets.

However, foods like dairy, boney fish, and some greens — which are all naturally rich in calcium — are not always eaten in large enough quantities to meet our calcium requirements.

There are multiple types of calcium supplements, usually in the form of calcium salts. Each has largely the same effect on the body. Tricalcium phosphate is one of them.

Why Phosphate?

Calcium easily bonds to other minerals, and many different calcium supplements feature calcium bonded with various minerals and vitamins. Tricalcium phosphate is a supplement in which calcium is bound to a phosphate molecule.

Daily Requirements
  • Adults should aim for about 1,000 mg of calcium per day.
  • Women over 50 and men over 71 should aim for 1,200 mg.
  • Kids between ages 9 to 18 need 1,300 mg per day.
  • Though dietary deficiencies of phosphorus are uncommon, phosphorus is an essential structural component of cell membranes and nucleic acids. It also plays a vital role in many biological processes, including energy production, cell signaling, and bone mineralization. Calcium easily bonds with phosphorus, and studies have shown that tricalcium phosphate has a few unique characteristics as compared to other calcium supplements. It is no more effective than calcium citrate or calcium carbonate, however.

    How Is It Used?

    Calcium supplements have been found to have positive effects on preventing bone loss as we age. It is important to know that calcium is best absorbed when combined with Vitamin D.

    Besides medicinal purposes, tricalcium phosphate is used as an anti-caking agent in manufacturing and agricultural applications. Its widespread availability and relatively low cost, combined with its ability to separate materials, has made it popular around the world.

    Is It Bad for You?

    Multiple studies regarding its place in industrial, medical, and agricultural applications have shown that tricalcium phosphate is safe, for both human and animal consumption. It has been concluded that calcium phosphates can aid in bone and mineral regeneration, and future biomedical applications are promising.

    As a nutritional supplement, tricalcium phosphate is comparable to other calcium. Tricalcium phosphate has also found a proven place in industrial and agricultural applications. With widespread availability and low cost, it will likely continue to be used for its current applications while new ones are being explored. 

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