Health Benefits of Calcium Bicarbonate
Calcium bicarbonate is not a naturally occurring solid, but it does form in water when calcium, carbonate and bicarbonate ions are dissolved with carbon dioxide.
This commonly happens within rivers, streams, lakes and well water because of the water’s exposure to the air and its contact with rocks and sediment that contain minerals and metals. Water with calcium bicarbonate is healthy to drink because of the mineral content and alkalizing effect.
Water with high calcium bicarbonate content is often called “hard water” because of the scale it leaves in pipes and sinks. A reverse osmosis water filter system will filter out minerals and dramatically reduce the calcium bicarbonate content in water. This may be convenient for a clean bathroom, but minerals are essential to your body and they have vital alkalizing properties.
Calcium bicarbonate is sometimes confused with sodium bicarbonate, which is an antacid used for short-term relief of heartburn, indigestion and various stomach problems. Calcium bicarbonate should also be differentiated from calcium carbonate, which is commonly used as a calcium supplement because of its high percentage of elemental calcium. Calcium carbonate is the primary ingredient in antacid tablets because of its alkalizing effect on excessive stomach acidity. Calcium carbonate is not as well absorbed as other supplemental types, such as calcium citrate.
Calcium bicarbonate is also the primary source of minerals for the formation of stalactites, stalagmites and columns seen within caves. As water containing carbon dioxide passes through limestone, it dissolves some of the calcium carbonate over time and becomes richer in bicarbonate composition. When groundwater enters a cave, the excess carbon dioxide is released from the solution of bicarbonate, causing the less soluble calcium carbonate to be deposited. The deposits often make interesting “icicle-like” shapes.