Calcium plays an essential role in blood clotting and bone health. Now, researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, have announced that an easily absorbed and retained form of calcium is available from a rather unexpected placecrustacean shells.
In an article published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, the team reported finding that amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC), a calcium derivative found in nature, may be stable enough to be digested by humans if it has first been absorbed into the exoskeletons of crayfish and other hard-shelled crustaceans.
Unlike a traditional crystallized form of calcium carbonate, which is found in many calcium supplements, ACC appears to have a 30 percent higher bone-absorption rate and a 40 percent higher blood-absorption rate, researchers said.
They added that the use of ACC in calcium pills may allow the dose of supplementation to be lower, since more of the mineral would be taken up by the body.
Calcium is critical for healthy bone mass. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends consuming dairy products, leafy greens, nuts and calcium-fortified foods. The agency says that adults should consume roughly 1,000 milligrams (mg) per day.