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What Are the Best Sources of Calcium Pyruvate?

Marlene Garcia
Marlene Garcia

Calcium pyruvate is sold as a nutritional supplement marketed as a weight-loss aid that builds muscle mass and decreases the percentage of body fat. Pyruvate represents a salt form of pyruvic acid in its unstable form. Calcium is added to the compound to stabilize the acid for absorption by the body.

Pyruvate exists in red apples, red wine, cheese, and dark beer in small amounts. Some fruits, vegetables, and cheese are also rich in this nutrient, which helps the body produce energy. The body naturally produces pyruvate in minute amounts, which health experts consider sufficient to digest carbohydrates and regulate metabolism. For example, a person would have to eat 70 apples a day to attain the levels of calcium pyruvate used in weight-loss studies.

Calcium pyruvate supplements.
Calcium pyruvate supplements.

The recommended daily intake is 5 grams a day, or 5,000 micrograms daily. In weight-loss studies, participants ingested 30 grams, or 30,000 micrograms, a day, which might be considered an expensive supplement as a weight-loss aid. Most supplements sold in health-food stores contain 750 micrograms per capsule.

Athletes, especially those who compete in endurance sports, commonly use calcium pyruvate to increase their level of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which might provide energy needed to sustain physical activity over a long period of time. ATP is produced in the human body by calcium pyruvate and is responsible for transporting glucose and proteins to the muscles. Supplements are also popular with body-builders.

Red wine contains pyruvate.
Red wine contains pyruvate.

Studies of the substance in rats showed it raised the resting metabolism rate, but the research was not repeated using humans. Another research project involved obese women who took 30 grams of calcium pyruvate daily. They lost 50 percent more weight than women given a placebo, but some health experts credit the weight loss to a healthy diet and exercise.

Red apples contain a small amount of calcium pyruvate.
Red apples contain a small amount of calcium pyruvate.

Another study administered 22 to 44 grams of the supplement each day to overweight women. After six weeks, average weight loss was 1.5 pounds (0.68 kg). Statistically, the benefits of this supplement for losing weight are usually rejected by the medical community.

Side effects of the compound in high doses include more frequent bowel movements that might develop into diarrhea. Bloating and excess gas have also been reported. Some people who use the supplement notice an increase in appetite because energy is burned more rapidly.

Broccoli and green leafy vegetables are high in calcium pyruvate.
Broccoli and green leafy vegetables are high in calcium pyruvate.

Some people ingest the supplement as an anti-aging aid. As an antioxidant, it is marketed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Pyruvate has also been injected into the coronary arteries to treat heart failure and cardiac shock with some success.

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Discussion Comments


The article should be talking 'milligrams', not micrograms. 5 grams = 5000 milligrams, not micrograms. Calcium pyruvate is usually sold in milligram doages.


Not all calcium pyruvate supplements are the same. Since pyruvic acid is the most important ingredient, there should be a breakdown that lists the amount of pyruvic acid is supplied in the supplement. Otherwise, it may as well be just a plain calcium tablet with a minuscule amount of pyruvic acid and the supplier is trying to rip you off.


@burcidi-- I read that most of us get about 2 grams of calcium pyruvate daily just from our regular diet. That's not too far off from the daily recommended dose of 5 grams per day. I agree with @ysmina that eating foods rich in calcium pyruvate would be beneficial. As long as we don't go overboard with the amounts that is.

I think it's best not to have too many expectations or to think that this is definitely going to cause an increase in metabolism or weight loss though. I mean, science and medicine is improving every day and we are constantly learning something new.

When doctors recommended wine for heart health, some people started having wine every day. I hear that this has been proven wrong now. This is kind of the same thing, we don't know enough about it to jump to any conclusions about calcium pyruvate and weight loss.

But I don't disagree with the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away!"


@burcidi-- I think most calcium pyruvate supplements are all natural, meaning it's food based. Although I wouldn't be surprised if there are many synthetic ones out there considering that it's much cheaper to make it synthetically.

Like the article said, nothing is proven about the effects of calcium pyruvate on weight loss yet. But it's probably important to note that our body makes and uses calcium pyruvate when it needs to digest sugar and starch. Considering that sugar and starch contribute greatly to fat storage, I think that calcium pyruvate can help us lose weight or at least maintain our weight by preventing fat storage.

When we eat sugar and starch, most of it is stored as fat because it generally contains too many calories for us to be able to use right away. More calcium pyruvate would mean more sugar and starch usage and less fat storage.

Maybe eating some apples and cheese and having beer won't make a considerable difference in this process, but I still think that it will be beneficial. Or you could eat some of these foods and also buy and take calcium pyruvate regularly to support it.


If the amount of calcium pyruvate naturally found in foods like cheeses, apples and beer don't even come close to the calcium pyruvate dosage used in weight-loss studies, it's kind of a waste to eat more of these foods isn't it? I mean we'll never be able to get the same results that we get from supplements because no one can eat 70 apples a day. And if you did, you would gain weight rather than lose it.

So where does the calcium pyruvate in supplements come from? Is it food based or synthetic?

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    • Calcium pyruvate supplements.
      By: tln
      Calcium pyruvate supplements.
    • Red wine contains pyruvate.
      By: albphoto
      Red wine contains pyruvate.
    • Red apples contain a small amount of calcium pyruvate.
      By: Glamy
      Red apples contain a small amount of calcium pyruvate.
    • Broccoli and green leafy vegetables are high in calcium pyruvate.
      By: Serghei Velusceac
      Broccoli and green leafy vegetables are high in calcium pyruvate.
    • Studies of calcium pyruvate in rats showed it raised the resting metabolism rate.
      By: lculig
      Studies of calcium pyruvate in rats showed it raised the resting metabolism rate.
    • Cheese is rich in calcium pyruvate.
      By: yellowj
      Cheese is rich in calcium pyruvate.