ATC Group: A12A Calcium
Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
Calcium plays a vital role in the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of organisms and of the cell, particularly in signal transduction pathways. The skeleton acts as a major mineral storage site for the element and releases Ca2+ ions into the bloodstream under controlled conditions. Circulating calcium is either in the free, ionized form or bound to blood proteins such as serum albumin. Although calcium flow to and from the bone is neutral, about 5 mmol is turned over a day. Bone serves as an important storage point for calcium, as it contains 99% of the total body calcium.
Calcium carbonate releases, in a pH-dependent manner, calcium ions in the stomach. Calcium carbonate is widely used as antacid and extensively used as a dietary supplement.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and is an essential body electrolyte. Homeostasis is mainly regulated by the parathyroid hormone, by calcitonin, and by the activated form of vitamin D. Calcium is a structural component of bones and teeth. It is also required for blood clotting, neurotransmitter release, muscle contraction and normal heartbeat.
Calcium gluconate is the gluconate salt of calcium. An element or mineral necessary for normal nerve, muscle, and cardiac function, calcium as the gluconate salt helps to maintain calcium balance and prevent bone loss when taken orally.