Enriched postbiotic calcium may boost mineral bioavailability: RCT

© danleap / Getty Images
© danleap / Getty Images

Related tags Calcium supplements Calcium Bone health healthy aging Bioavailability Lactobacillus

Calcium enriched in a Lactobacillus-based postbiotic system is associated with higher levels of bioavailability as compared to calcium citrate, while a calcium-enriched yeast-based postbiotic does not influence calcium absorption, according to a new study published in Frontiers in Nutrition.

Scientists from IFF Health, Medistat, and KGK Science compared the bioavailability of a Lactobacillus​ (Ca-LAB as Biogurt calcium) and a yeast (Ca-SC as Re-Natured calcium) calcium supplement, both derived from enriched calcium cultures of Lactobacillus delbrueckii​ subsp. bulgaricus-87​, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae​, respectively, to a commercially available calcium citrate supplement, using pharmacokinetic parameters of serum and urine calcium concentrations. 

The randomized, double-blind, three-phase, crossover study, with a 7-day washout period between phases included a total of 24 healthy postmenopausal women between the ages of 45 and 65 years old.  The study found that Ca-LAB resulted in higher levels of calcium bioavailability demonstrated by significantly higher calcium concentrations in both serum and urine. 

These finding were demonstrated by significantly higher iAUC0-8h for Ca-LAB in comparison to calcium citrate and Ca-SC in the serum, and by its higher calcium AUCT0-10h, AUCT0-24h, and Cmax, and total calcium mass excreted in the urine at 0–10 h and at 0–24 h.

The researchers hypothesized that the reason for this increased bioavailability, was due to the calcium integration into a postbiotic cell system, causing it to behave similarly to food in the gastrointestinal system.


Calcium is the most abundant essential mineral in the body.  We need calcium to build and maintain strong bones.   It’s necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body.  It plays a role in muscle contraction and cardiovascular function.  Calcium is found in foods such as dairy, green leafy vegetables, sardines, salmon, nuts, and seeds. Most people get adequate calcium through their diet, but supplementation may be indicated if dietary intake isn’t sufficient. 

The bioavailability of calcium between dietary and supplemental intake has been attributed to several factors such as interactions of calcium with other food components in the food matrix, and its uptake at targeted sites throughout the gastrointestinal tract. 

In a 2016 article in Science Daily​, Dr Erin Michos, MD, MHS, Associate Director of Preventive Cardiology for the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, explained: “The body can’t process more than 500 milligrams of calcium at a time.  When you get calcium through your diet, you’re taking it in small amounts spread throughout the day along with other food sources, which helps you absorb the nutrient.  If you take a supplement with more than that, your body has to do something with the excess calcium, which could produce unwanted side effects.”

Calcium absorption varies and is highly dependent on its food matrix.  Alternative strategies to circumvent absorption issues using an enriched cell system matrix, creates calcium food complexes which increases bioavailability.

Biogurt and Re-Natured are registered trademarks of Grow Company, Inc.  Grow Company was acquired by Frutarom in 2016. Frutarom was acquired by IFF in 2018. IFF funded the new research.

IFF was contacted for further information, but declined to provide more information about the calcium enriched Lactobacillus​-based postbiotic system at this time.

Source: Frontiers in Nutrition
Volume 10 - 2023 | doi: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1073622
“Bioavailability of calcium in an enriched postbiotic system compared to calcium citrate in healthy postmenopausal females; A randomized, double-blind, comparator-controlled, crossover study”
Authors: M. Friling et al.

Related topics Research

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