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Question:
Is it true that calcium citrate increases the absorption of aluminum?

Answer:
Yes, the citrate from calcium citrate can increase absorption of aluminum from medications (such as aluminum hydroxide in the antacid Maalox). It can also increase absorption of aluminum from foods but, in individuals with normal kidney function, this does not result in increased retention of aluminum in the body. If you need supplemental calcium and an antacid, consider taking Tums, which contains calcium carbonate rather than calcium citrate. For more details see the Concerns and Cautions section of the Calcium Supplements Review >>

Also see the Encyclopedia article about Antacids.

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Robert14069   May 31, 2017
I'm not clear why the answer says citrate does not appear to increase the absorption of aluminum from foods. Here is one study (among several) that points out that "Oral citrate solubilizes aluminum that is present in food and drinking water, and opens the tight junctions in the intestinal epithelium, thereby increasing aluminum absorption and urinary excretion. In healthy animals drinking tap water, oral citrate administration increased aluminum absorption and, over a 4-week period, increased aluminum deposition in brain and bone by about 2- and 20-fold, respectively."

Gupta A1. Ferric citrate hydrate as a phosphate binder and risk of aluminum toxicity. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2014 Sep 26;7(10):990-8.


ConsumerLab.com   May 31, 2017
We have clarified the answer to indicate that although citrate can increase absorption of aluminum from foods, this is not a problem for people with normal kidney function, as it does not lead to increased retention of aluminum in the body. For details, see the information in the Calcium Supplements Review at https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Bone_Supplements-Calcium_with_%20Vitamin_D_K_magnesium/calcium/#aluminum.

This CL Answer initially posted on 5/24/2017. Last updated 7/25/2017.

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