Calcium Assays: What It Is, Purpose & Procedure

Calcium plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy heart and building strong bones. During childhood, your body makes up most of your bone mass. As you age, your bone density and quality begin to diminish. Increasing your calcium intake during these crucial years is important to prevent this from happening. Moreover, if you do not eat enough calcium, you may suffer from a condition known as osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone density and poor bone quality.

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What Are Calcium Assays And How Are They Used?

A calcium assay kit measures calcium concentrations in biological samples directly and without pretreatment. It uses a dye called phenolsulphonphthalein, which forms a stable blue complex with free calcium. The intensity of the colour is directly proportional to the concentration of calcium in the sample. Its design minimizes interference from lipids, proteins, and magnesium. The reagent is also optimized for optimal cell permeability.

The purpose of a calcium assay is to measure the calcium concentration within the physiological range. Calcium ions influence virtually every aspect of cellular life, including intracellular calcium mobilization. The cell-based Calcium assay is used to measure calcium mobilization in different compartments of the cell. Fluo-8 NW is cleaved by a non-specific cell esterase, resulting in a fluorescent dye with a negative charge. The dye is easily measurable which makes this type of calcium assay a good option for monitoring calcium in cells in real-time.

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Why is Calcium Important For Our Body?

Measuring calcium retention in the body is a good indicator of mitochondrial function. Abnormal mitochondrial function is linked to a whole host of diseases. Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell. They help turn the energy we take from food into energy that the cell can use. Ensuring the normal range of calcium retention is paramount for the good overall functioning of the body.

Women’s bones are especially susceptible to calcium loss as they age. After menopause, women’s bones are thinner and more prone to fracture. Inadequate intake of calcium is associated with osteoporosis, a disease that causes brittle bones. Osteoporosis sufferers are at increased risk of broken bones, resulting in chronic pain, decreased quality of life, and decreased independence.

As calcium is required by the body, it needs to be taken in small amounts throughout the day. One eight-ounce glass of milk contains approximately 300 mg of calcium, while an orange contains 50 mg of calcium. Calcium can also be absorbed better if we eat food that contains vitamin D. In addition to milk, we can also get vitamin D from cod liver oil, mushrooms and the sun. Calcium is a crucial mineral for the human body, so we must ensure we get plenty of both.