Dicalcium Phosphate (E341) - Side Effects, Uses, Benefits

Dicalcium Phosphate (DCP), also referred as E341, is a white, odorless powder, with chemical formula – CaHPO4. It’s made up of charged particles of phosphate and calcium.

DCP binding properties are only moderate. It will need to be alongside other excipients. It has a ph of 6.5 to 7. Due to its alkalinity, DCP won’t work with some acidic active ingredients.

Uses

It is used as a dough modifier, leavening agent, buffer, emulsifier, and stabilizer in cakes, biscuits, drinks, milk powder, ice cream, flour, baked goods, and pastry.

In addition, it is found in some types of toothpaste as well as a calcium supplement in some pharmaceutical preparations.

Is It Vegan?

It is an inorganic compound produced through chemical synthesis, however, occasionally, it is manufactured from whey (the liquid remaining after the cow milk has been curdled and strained) and bones. Therefore, if you are vegan, it is recommended to check with the producer to find out precisely the source of DCP.

Side Effects of Dicalcium Phosphate

It is on FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) exemption list, plus, it is broadly accepted and used as a safe food additive and supplement in many countries. Also, there is no limit on the dosage of intake. However, some people may experience the following side effects:

  • increased urination;
  • vomiting;
  • nausea;
  • increased thirst;
  • dry mouth;
  • constipation;
  • decreased appetite.

Furthermore, some people may have an allergic reaction to this food additive with symptoms including:

  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • hives.

Also, individuals with an allergy to DCP could develop contact dermatitis, a type of inflammation of the skin.

Hypercalcemia

It is a condition in which an individual has too much calcium in the blood. This can create kidney stones, weaken the bones, and interfere with how the brain and heart work (like – dangerously low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat).

Moreover, too much calcium in the body would manifest in depression, severe fatigue,  vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Risks of Too Much Phosphorous

Phosphorous can interfere with the human body’s use of other essential minerals, such as – magnesium, iron, and zinc as well as it can cause diarrhea. More importantly, when the human body has very high levels of phosphorous, this mineral can join with calcium in the blood and form deposits in the muscles and other soft tissues, leading to calcification (hardening).

Prostate Cancer

According to research, men who take specific amounts of calcium (either from supplements or dairy products) have an increased risk of prostate cancer. This is essential information since approximately 15 percent of all men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.

Moreover, men who took more than 2,000 mg of calcium per day (from supplements) had 400 percent higher risk of getting prostate cancer than men taking less than 500 mg per day, according to a 1998 study issued in “Cancer Research” medical journal.

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High intake of milk, cheese, low-fat milk, ice cream, and total dairy and dietary calcium, may increase the risk or prostate cancer, according to a 2015 study done at the Faculty of Medicine, Trondheim, Norway.

Benefits

Osteoporosis Prevention

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body – containing approximately 1.2 to 2.5 pounds of calcium. Most of it, about 99%, is found in the bones and teeth.

As you age, bone mineral density also declines, that can put you at increased risk of fracture. Moreover, if bone mineral density decreases enough, an individual can develop a condition known as osteoporosis.

This bone-thinning disease is responsible for fractures which cause many elderly (especially women) to lose their independence.

NoteCalcium absorption and its use within the human body is regulated by a gland which lies close to the thyroid gland in the neck, and it is called the parathyroid gland. There are actually four parathyroid glands, and each gland is about the size of a grain of rice.

Balances Blood Pressure

Calcium is a vital mineral for healthy blood pressure since it helps blood vessels (like – veins, arteries, and capillaries) relax and tighten when they need to. Hypertension affects more than 80 million people in the United States and usually has no signs and symptoms. This is why it’s also called the “silent killer.”

Formation of Bones and Teeth

Calcium is renowned for its important role in bone health. Nevertheless, the human body needs both phosphate and calcium to build and keep your bones healthy and strong.

Phosphorus is an essential macro-mineral and it is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. For instance, it normally makes up approximately 1 percent of total body weight.

Brain Function

Phosphorus is a mineral that is highly needed for proper mental functions. For example, memory and concentration can be improved notably by the consumption of this essential mineral.

It Helps the Body Better Absorb Vitamin B

Phosphorus is an important mineral involved in activating B-complex vitamins, like – niacin (vitamin B3) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) that, in turn, metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Also, phosphorus regulates the fluid levels in the body.

References

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/037851739500077V
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12115754
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbm.10257/abstract

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