1. Radiocalcium absorption was measured in duplicate in 10 subjects by the double-isotope method, with calcium as the oral carrier (2.5 mmol). Analysis of variance gave 95% confidence limits for a single measurement of fractional absorption and maximum absorption rate in a given individual of ±16.5% of administered dose and ±18.2% of dose/h respectively.
2. The size of these within individual variations suggests that alterations in the rate of calcium absorption-5-contribute to the week-to-week stabilization of some other controlled variable, such as plasma concentration of calcium.
3. In six of the subjects, calcium absorption was also measured with calcium loads at concentrations of 0.5, 5.0 and 20 mmol. Significant falls in fractional absorption, maximum absorption rate and mean transfer rate occurred as the load increased, together with a rise in mean transit time. Although between-individual differences at a given load were considerable, given a single-test result with a known carrier load, it is possible to predict quite accurately the results which would be obtained if a different carrier load were to be given.