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Calcium phosphate is a family of ions containing calcium ions combined with orthophosphates, pyrophosphates, hydrogen, or hydroxide. It is the primary “ingredient” in forming bones and tooth enamel and in the calcium found in milk which helps strengthen the bones and teeth when consumed. It also has many practical uses, such as in cooking and creating fertilizers.
One use for calcium phosphate is as a baking agent. When added to baking ingredients, it encourages breads and other items to rise. It is also added to some cheeses and dairy products in order to boost their nutritional value and calcium content.
Milk contains calcium phosphate naturally, making it essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth and for preventing osteoporosis. Many people do not get the recommended daily value of calcium, while others may have difficulties digesting dairy products. This substance comes in supplement form to help those who do not get adequate calcium in their diet to receive its benefits. Some foods like cereals, breads, and drink mixes may also come with added calcium phosphate to increase their nutritional value. Various mixtures of calcium with phosphates are used, so it is important for users to read labels and find out how to take individual supplements safely and effectively.
In some cases, calcium phosphate is used in the production of fertilizers, although their overuse can cause adverse effects. These can include nutrient-containing runoff, which can cause problems in soils and plants. Buyers should be sure not to overuse calcium containing fertilizers.
Dental offices also use this substance for demineralization on teeth that do not contain enough calcium. This can help rebuild or strengthen tooth enamel in some patients and prevent further damage in others. This is generally done by putting the substance directly on the teeth rather than ingesting it. Some dental products bought over the counter may also contain some types of calcium phosphates.
Occasionally, calcium phosphate may be used as a diluting agent in certain medications. This causes pills to take on a grayish color when no added dyes are used. Calcium provides a harmless way to dilute the strength of other chemical compounds within the medication without the use of more synthetic or allergy-producing substances.