The calcium concentration of public drinking waters and bottled mineral waters in Spain and its contribution to satisfying nutritional needs

Authors: Vitoria I (1) , Maraver F (2) , Ferreira-Pêgo C (3,4) , Armijo F (2) , Moreno Aznar L (5) , Salas-Salvadó J (2)
(1) Nutrition and Metabolopathies Unit. Hospital La Fe (2) Professional School of Medical Hydrology, Medicine Faculty, Complutense Un. Madrid (3) Human Nutrition Unit. Sant Joan University Hospital. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. IISPV (Pere Virgili Health Research Institute). Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Rovira i Virgili University (4) CIBERobn (Biomedical Research Centre in Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition). Carlos III Institute of Health (5) GENUD (Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development) Research Group. Faculty of Health Sciences. University of Zaragoza
Source: Nutr Hosp. 2014 Jul 1;30(1):188-99
DOI: 10.3305/nh.2014.30.1.7491 Publication date: 2014 Jul E-Publication date: Not specified Availability: full text Copyright: AULA MEDICA EDICIONES 2014. Published by AULA MEDICA. All rights reserved.
Language: English, Spanish Countries: Spain Location: Not specified Correspondence address:


Article abstract


A sufficient intake of calcium enables correct bone mineralization. The bioavailability of calcium in water is similar to that in milk.


To determine the concentration of calcium in public drinking water and bottled mineral water.


We used ion chromatography to analyse the calcium concentrations of public drinking waters in a representative sample of 108 Spanish municipalities (21,290,707 people) and of 109 natural mineral waters sold in Spain, 97 of which were produced in Spain and 12 of which were imported.


The average calcium concentration of public drinking waters was 38.96 ± 32.44 mg/L (range: 0.40- 159.68 mg/L). In 27 municipalities, the water contained 50-100 mg/L of calcium and in six municipalities it contained over 100 mg/L. The average calcium concentration of the 97 Spanish natural mineral water brands was 39.6 mg/L (range: 0.6-610.1 mg/L). Of these, 34 contained 50-100 mg/L of calcium and six contained over 100 mg/L. Of the 12 imported brands, 10 contained over 50 mg/L. Assuming water consumption is as recommended, water containing 50-100 mg/L of calcium provides 5.4-12.8% of the recommended intake of calcium for children aged one to thirteen, up to 13.6% for adolescents, 5.8-17.6% for adults, and up to 20.8% for lactating mothers. Water with 100-150 mg/L of calcium provides 10-31% of the recommended dietary allowance, depending on the age of the individual.


Public drinking water and natural mineral water consumption in a third of Spanish cities can be considered an important complementary source of calcium.

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