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Calcium glycerophosphate is a mineral composed of equal amounts of calcium and phosphorous. Its precursor, calcium phosphate, represents a group of calcium salts and minerals that are important for healthy bones and teeth. In fact, bone and teeth are largely comprised of calcium phosphate and its derivatives. However, the bioavailability of calcium salts and other calcium-based compounds has presented a challenge in the past. Calcium glycerophosphate is a relatively new dietary supplement that appears to offer the same health benefits, but is more readily absorbed.
One of the best known and best documented health benefits associated with calcium glycerophosphate is checking interstitial cystitis, a condition that leads to frequent urination and poor bladder control due to chronic inflammation of the bladder. While the specific cause of this condition is unknown, it is suspected that a diet high in acidic foods, such as tomatoes, fruit juices, coffee, tea, etc., may be a contributing factor. Since complete elimination of these foods is difficult for many people, researchers turned to calcium glycerophosphate to see if it could bring relief of symptoms.
As a supplement, calcium glycerophosphate is available as Prelief®, in which the mineral is the primary active ingredient. Studies have found that this can significantly reduce the urge to urinate, as well as minimize discomfort experienced after consuming highly acidic foods and beverages. However, the studies also found that this substance appears to alter the foods ingested, and not result in a biochemical process on the body itself. Otherwise, the latter scenario could lead to diminished levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach necessary for proper digestion. In terms of direct action on foods, calcium glycerophosphate demonstrated an ability to reduce the acid content of jarred tomato sauce by 60 percent and coffee by 95 percent.
However, while these results sound promising, it’s important to note that most of the studies on calcium glycerophosphate conducted so far have been performed by the manufacturer and not an independent third party. It should also be noted that long-term supplementation may still carry the potential to decrease normal levels of stomach hydrochloric acid. Therefore, the manufacturer of Prelief® recommends limiting supplementation to only those times when one expects to eat acidic foods.
Since calcium is critical for the healthy teeth, calcium glycerophosphate has also been examined to see if it could help prevent the loss of tooth enamel. A recent Brazilian study found that supplementation with this mineral significantly increased the phosphorus content of dental biofilm, which in turn enhanced its pH. The final results showed reduced demineralization, as well as a reduction in cavities among the study subjects.