Calcium citrate: from biochemistry and physiology to clinical applications

Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2019 Sep;20(3):353-364. doi: 10.1007/s11154-019-09520-0.


Adequate daily calcium intake should normally be achieved by dietary sources. Since low calcium diets are quite common in subjects that do not reach the recommended intake and particularly those at risk of fractures, calcium supplements may become necessary. Different forms of calcium salts are available, but products containing calcium citrate and calcium carbonate complexes are the most frequently used. Although only limited evidence on the efficacy and long-term safety of calcium citrate is available, these supplements may represent a valuable product for the management of different chronic pathological conditions. The aim of this review was to evaluate the current and potential clinical applications of calcium citrate. In particular, we focused on the use of calcium citrate supplementation in subjects with osteoporosis or in bariatric patients. Other pathological conditions that could benefit calcium citrate supplementation may include achloridria, chronic hypoparathyroidism and hypocitraturic subjects with moderate/high risk of nephrolithiasis. Indeed, citrate salts are widely used in the treatment of nephrolithiasis, since they have shown an inhibitory effect on kidney stone formation and recurrence.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Calcium; Citrate; Fracture; Osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Calcium Citrate / therapeutic use*
  • Fractures, Bone / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Nephrolithiasis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy


  • Calcium Citrate