What Is Calcium Pyruvate?
Calcium pyruvate (CP) is a naturally occurring compound found in many foods such as: milk, cheese, eggs, meat, fish and vegetables. It’s also produced synthetically. CP is used in the production of plastics and pharmaceuticals. CPs are very useful because they are easy to obtain from nature and have high biological activity. They are also considered safe when taken orally. However, their use in food products is not without risk.
The main concern with CP is its potential toxicity when consumed by humans or animals. There have been no documented cases of human death due to CP ingestion, but there have been several case reports of animal deaths caused by consuming CP. These include dogs, cats and pigs which were fed large amounts of CP over a long period of time causing kidney failure and even death. Other species of animals including horses, cattle and goats have also died after ingesting CP.
In addition to these cases of animal deaths, there have been reports of neurological disorders in humans following CP consumption. Symptoms included seizures, hallucinations and coma. Some people experience symptoms only on low doses while others may develop them at higher doses. The most common signs reported by those affected are dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting.
There have also been a few cases of non-lethal food poisoning in people using milk that was contaminated with relatively high amounts of CP. So far, no cases of cancer have been linked to this compound.
The tolerable daily intake (TDI) is the amount of a substance that can be ingested daily over a lifetime without any appreciable risk to health. This value is determined by several factors, which include the substance’s toxicity, the length of time it can be detected in the body and the amount normally eaten in a day. For people who consume a normal diet, moderate daily alcohol intake and a balanced lifestyle, the TDI for calcium is set at 2,000 mg per day. This is around the amount found in one and a half glasses of milk and about five 100mg tablets.
The acceptable weekly intake (AWI) is the estimated amount of a specific substance that can be ingested over the course of a week without any appreciable risk to health. For calcium, the AWI is set at 7,000 mg per week. The upper limit (UL) is the maximum daily amount of a substance that can be safely consumed in a day. For calcium, the UL is set at 2,500 mg per day.
The tolerable upper limit (TUL) is the highest daily intake unlikely to cause any adverse effects in almost all individuals. For calcium, the TUL is set at 3,000 mg per day. The maximum risk level (MRL) is the highest exposure level likely to cause harm in a large proportion of the population. For most substances, the MRL is set at a thousand times lower than the TUL.
For calcium, the MRL is set at 3 g per day, which means that even if you have a really bad day and eat your body weight in calcium carbonate, you probably still won’t suffer any adverse effects.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of calcium pyruvate supplementation during training on body composition, exercise capacity, and metabolic responses to exercise by PK Koh-Banerjee, MP Ferreira, M Greenwood… – Nutrition, 2005 – Elsevier
Effects of in-season (5 weeks) creatine and pyruvate supplementation on anaerobic performance and body composition in American football players by MH Stone, K Sanborn, LL Smith… – … Journal of Sport …, 1999 – journals.humankinetics.com
Intestinal anti-inflammatory activity of calcium pyruvate in the TNBS model of rat colitis: Comparison with ethyl pyruvate by F Algieri, A Rodriguez-Nogales, J Garrido-Mesa… – Biochemical …, 2016 – Elsevier
Calcium pyruvate exerts beneficial effects in an experimental model of irritable bowel disease induced by DCA in rats by A Rodríguez-Nogales, F Algieri, T Vezza… – Nutrients, 2019 – mdpi.com
A comparative study of the metabolism and toxicity of isoniazid and isoniazone calcium pyruvate by EI Short – Tubercle, 1962 – Elsevier
Hemodynamic effects of intravenous pyruvate in the intact, anesthetized dog. by J Yanos, MJ Patti, RT Stanko – Critical care medicine, 1994 – europepmc.org
Effects of dietary calcium pyruvate on gastrointestinal tract development, intestinal health and growth performance of newly weaned piglets fed low‐protein diets by K Wan, Y Li, W Sun, R An, Z Tang, L Wu… – Journal of Applied …, 2020 – Wiley Online Library
Effects of calcium and sucrose on pyruvate carboxylase activity in intact rat liver mitochondria by S Mörikofer-Zwez, AS Kunin, P Walter – Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1973 – ASBMB
Study of synthesis of calcium pyruvate [J] by QIU Fang-li – Applied Science and Technology, 2004 – en.cnki.com.cn