I think the question is very broad and cannot find precise mechanisms. I am not sure about the precise mechanisms of the regulation.

I think they are at least Vitamin D, diffusion and specific calcium channels: calbindins. More specifically, calbindin-D9K and the basolateral calcium pump transport calcium from cell interior to extracellular space.

The calcium gradient should also be free, -2-6 mmol/l, in the lumen to allow diffusional calcium absorption from the interstitial space. Similarly, free calcium concentration in the extracellular fluid of the lamina propria.

I think that the most important mechanism for this absorption is the electrochemical gradient of sodium across the epithelial cell boundary of the lumen, similarly as for carbohydrates. To keep the extracellular space free from calcium, the NA/K-ATPase i.e. sodium pump has to work.

I did not find any hormones that affect the intestinal calcium absorption. Which factors affect calcium absorption and its regulation?


1 Answer 1


Parathyroid hormone increases intestinal calcium absorption by increasing production of vitamin D, which in turn uses calbindin. It also enhances calcium reabsorption from the kidney and the release of calcium from bone.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there any other hormones or factors that affect the calcium absorption in the small intestine? $\endgroup$ Jun 9, 2013 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ The only other hormone involved in calcium homeostasis that I know of is calcitonin and that not only plays a minor role but doesn't have intestinal involvement. If there are any other they would be very minor. $\endgroup$ Jun 9, 2013 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ As @AndroidPenguin said Vit D3, calcitonin and parathyroid hormone are main hormone regulators. You can check this review. It talks about Sex hormones having indirect roles. $\endgroup$
    Jun 10, 2013 at 7:23

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