Talk:Elemental calcium

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Untitled[edit]

The term 'elemental calcium' should be banished from use in the nutritional supplement business. It is just wrong. Any scientist would think it refers to calcium metal.

Confusion[edit]

"Elemental calcium is a term that is in common use in the context of dietary supplements. Calcium is an element and is a metal, so it is reasonable to expect "elemental calcium" to refer to pure calcium metal. In the nutritional supplements business it does not.

In the nutritional supplements business, the term "elemental calcium" refers simply to calcium. If you are told you require 1 gram of elemental calcium per day that means you require 1 gram of calcium per day. This will not be calcium metal, as the name elemental calcium would lead one to think. It will be in the form of a calcium compound, typically calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is 40% calcium by weight, thus a 500 mg pill of calcium carbonate contains 200 mg of calcium and the container will indicate each pill has 200 mg of "elemental calcium"."

If "elemental calcium" is in fact calcium, then the supplement (as described in the last sentence) isn't claiming anything different.
(1) Do you mean to say that the supplement will claim it has 500mg of "elemental calcium" when in fact it has only 200mg of calcium (within 500mg of calcium carbonate)? (2) Or is the daily requirement intended to refer to calcium carbonate rather than calcium?
Either (1) or (2) must be true, else (in the way described in the article) the use of "elemental calcium" to refer to calcium on such a supplement is not wrong, really, it would just be redundant.--24.141.72.177 04:29, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Reply: The problem is that "elemental calcium" means calcium metal. The nutritionists do not seem to understand this, and thus use the term incorrectly. I do not know whether or not anyone has tried ingesting calcium metal as a result if this incorrect use, but would not be surprised if someone had. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DJHuntley (talkcontribs) 03:45, 5 December 2007 (UTC)