Introducing our new Calcium & Magnesium Marine Mineral Complex with Vitamin D3, K2 and Boron
We are excited to launch our latest product – a carefully formulated, nature-inspired combination of 5 key nutrients essential for bone health. Pristine Icelandic and Irish oceans provide algae and seawater rich in highly bioavailable calcium and magnesium, along with trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium. Blended with natural vitamin D3 from lichen, all-trans MK-7 vitamin K2 and boron in optimal doses and ratios, our product offers outstanding, science-led quality alongside purity and environmental sustainability. It’s ideal for women, men and children aged 8 years and over looking to maintain or improve bone, teeth and muscle health.
supporting bone health
Protecting bone health deserves more attention than it currently gets. With no routine bone mineral density screening in place in the UK, most cases of osteoporosis are only diagnosed after a fracture has occurred. The condition is surprisingly common, affecting over 3 million people in the UK, with an osteoporotic fracture occurring every 3 seconds worldwide. The lifetime risk for a wrist, hip or vertebral fracture is ~35% in developed countries, similar to the risk for coronary heart disease. Intake of key nutrients is vital for bone health, yet modern diets are frequently deficient in magnesium and vitamin K2, while a lack of sunshine in the UK contributes to vitamin D insufficiency. Dairy-free diets may also lack the essential mineral calcium, unless extra care is taken to include alternative sources.
A steady supply of important vitamins and minerals involved in bone health is necessary as the 206 bones in our bodies are constantly being remodelled. Cells known as osteoblasts build new bone, while osteoclasts break down bone. Until the age of ~30, when we reach peak bone mass, osteoblast activity predominates; thereafter, we slowly but steadily lose about 1% of bone mass each year, with accelerated loss during women’s post-menopausal years.
Not only does the body require calcium and magnesium for strengthening bones and teeth, but also for more than 300 biochemical processes, including blood clotting, muscle, nerve & psychological function, cell division & specialisation, and electrolyte balance. Bones act as storage for calcium and magnesium, allowing the body to make withdrawals as needed to keep blood calcium and magnesium levels steady. Making regular deposits by consuming sufficient amounts of minerals in the diet (and supplements if necessary) is, therefore, important to keep a healthy ‘bone bank balance’.
Bone health is complex, with key nutrients acting together in a beautifully orchestrated synergy
Calcium and Vitamin D3: Vitamin D promotes gut calcium absorption, enabling greater osteogenesis in combination than calcium alone. (1) Vitamin D also prevents the risk of falling in the elderly, helping those with osteoporosis avoid fractures.
Vitamins D3 and K2: While Vitamin D increases calcium absorption from the gut, K2 distributes it efficiently into bones. This keeps calcium out of soft tissues, preventing any contribution to atherosclerosis, which leads to cardiovascular disease (2), as well as arthritis and kidney stones.
Calcium and magnesium: Since dietary magnesium deficiency is more common than a lack of calcium, a supplemental ratio of not more than 2:1 calcium:magnesium is optimal for bone health. Magnesium maintains solubility of calcium and assists its transport across cell membranes, as well as ensuring it gets deposited in bones, not soft tissue. The pair also collaborate in regulating heartbeat, muscle tone and contraction, and nerve conduction.
Magnesium and vitamin D3: Working hand in hand, vitamin D enhances magnesium absorption in the gut and reabsorption by the kidneys, while magnesium is essential for absorption and metabolism of vitamin D to its active form. This is why a low vitamin D level, if unresponsive to treatment, may indicate an underlying magnesium deficiency.
Boron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3: Boron, a vital trace mineral, enhances the absorption of calcium and magnesium, while decreasing their excretion in urine. (3) It increases vitamin D absorption and utilisation, and directly enhances osteoblast function.
Protecting against osteoporosis and osteopenia
If bone mineral density decreases to a certain level below normal, a diagnosis of osteoporosis, meaning ‘porous bone’, is made. Osteopenia is a milder form of the same condition, rendering bones brittle and fragile. Apart from when fractures occur, osteoporosis is often completely asymptomatic; however, a hunched-over appearance in the elderly can be caused by narrowing of osteoporotic vertebrae. Risk factors for the development of osteoporosis include female gender, post-menopausal age, early menopause, a family history of osteoporosis, long-term corticosteroid use, a low BMI, smoking, excess alcohol, caffeine, soft drink and salt consumption, and a diet low in bone-supporting nutrients or reduced absorption, e.g. due to coeliac disease or Crohn’s.
There is no cure for osteoporosis; complications, such as hip fractures, often herald a long, slow healing process commonly including loss of independence and even death from other causes, such as pneumonia. Standard medical treatment is fairly ineffective, expensive and comes with unpleasant side effects. Prevention truly is the best option, yet is not often considered unless you have a family history of the condition or you follow a dairy-free diet and may, therefore, be more aware of calcium requirements. While calcium is the most common supplement considered for bone health, mega-dosing in isolation may not achieve the desired effect, with some studies showing an increase in soft tissue calcification. Thus, calcium-only supplementation may even promote the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, kidney stones and arthritis.
As a result, supplements targeting bone health often combine synergistic nutrients. In terms of formulation, however, many have skeletons in the closet. The most commonly used form of calcium is calcium carbonate derived from limestone rock – cheap, but, unsurprisingly, difficult to digest and absorb. Similarly, magnesium in the form of magnesium oxide is often included, even though sometimes not declared on the ingredient label. This common ingredient is extremely insoluble, with a dismal 4% absorption rate. In addition, watch out for supplements providing the less biologically active vitamin D2 (instead of D3) and the MK-4 form of vitamin K2, which, while useful for blood clotting, won’t be as useful for bone health. Boron is sometimes added at a suboptimal dose.
Careful thought and rigorous evaluation of the science has gone into choosing the optimal blend of bone-building nutrients for our supplement
- Our all-natural, whole food, algae-derived calcium is sourced from pristine Icelandic water and harvested using an organic, environmentally friendly, chemical-free process. The hardy algae from which it is derived resemble corals and accumulate calcium, magnesium and trace minerals in their tough cytoskeleton. With its unique honeycomb, porous structure, this plant-based calcium’s increased surface area makes it easier to digest and absorb than its rock-derived counterpart
- To achieve an optimal magnesium:calcium ratio, ideally greater than 1:2, we add a purified Irish seawater extract, high in elemental magnesium and gut soluble
- Sourced from lichen, our vegan vitamin D comes in the more effective D3 form
- We use all-trans MK-7 K2 – nature-identical, biologically active and soya free – in an extremely favourable D3:K2 ratio to ensure that calcium is directed into bones rather than soft tissue
- Boron completes the quintet in a high-strength 3mg dose
- Additional trace minerals, including zinc and selenium, play a role in supporting bone and immune system health, and promoting a healthy inflammatory response
As supplement bioavailability is hugely dependent on how much can be absorbed at a given time, we split the daily dose into 3 capsules for optimal uptake. As a result, our capsules are small, easy to swallow and free of unnecessary excipients, as well as being free from dairy, gluten, soya, yeast, artificial colourings, flavours and sweeteners. The supplement is suitable for vegans & vegetarians, and halal and kosher diets. Due to the vitamin K, those on prescription medication, especially anticoagulants, should consult their medical practitioner before taking this supplement.
While suitable for men and women of all ages, this synergistic blend is ideal for virtually all women during peri-menopause and beyond. Not only can it help counteract the rapid bone loss of 2-3% per year during this period, but the added magnesium may also help with menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes (4-6), low mood and fatigue. Boron increases the half life and bioavailability of sex hormones, lessening the impact of declining hormonal levels. (7) Post-menopausal women with lower magnesium levels are more prone to depression (8), while higher total magnesium intake has been associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer in post-menopausal women (9), and less insomnia in the elderly. (10)
Backed by 33 peer-reviewed studies over the last 10 years supporting its unique health-promoting properties, Aquamin® has proved superior to standard calcium carbonate in both calcium uptake and retention, and on markers of calcium metabolism. (11) Aquamin® preserves bone structure and strength, even while on a high-fat Western diet (12), offsets calcium metabolism disruption associated with exercise in post-menopausal women (13), aids in mineralisation and maturation of osteoblasts, and acts synergistically with vitamin D3 to enhance bone mineralisation. (14) In osteoarthritis, Aquamin® improves mobility and reduces pain and stiffness, enabling a reduction in anti-inflammatory medication and an improvement in physical activity. (15)
Apart from bone and joint health, Aquamin® has shown promise in pre-clinical studies for gut health: improving symptoms of colitis, demonstrating anti-inflammatory action in the GI tract, and protecting from liver damage, polyp formation and maintenance of a healthier stomach lining on a high-fat Western diet. (16) Aquamin® calcium even won the NutraIngredients 2016 ‘Ingredient of the year for healthy ageing’ award for its roles in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis - essential mineral nutrition and enhancement of physical activity by reducing symptoms associated with diseases with an inflammatory component. (17) It has also been found to decrease inflammation in brain cells. (18)
Evidence supports the use of boron as a safe and effective treatment for some forms of arthritis (19), with 3 mg daily established as the amount required for anyone whose diet lacks plenty of fruit and vegetables, or who is at risk for or has osteopenia, osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. (7)
The balanced combination of key minerals in this supplement may also prove useful for muscular conditions, such as cramping, fibromyalgia (20) and restless leg syndrome (14), as well as sleep disorders, but, additionally, any condition for which you might use an individual calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3 or K2 supplement could benefit from the synergistic effects these vital nutrients offer in combination.
- Widaa A, Brennan O, O'Gorman DM, O'Brien FJ. The osteogenic potential of the marine-derived multi-mineral formula aquamin is enhanced by the presence of vitamin D. Phytother Res. 2014 May;28(5):678-84.
- Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, Schurgers LJ, Knapen MH, van der Meer IM, Hofman A, Witteman JC. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J Nutr. 2004 Nov;134(11):3100-5.
- Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, Hunt JR. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. Faseb J. 1987 Nov;1(5):394-7.
- Parazzini F, Di Martino M, Pellegrino P Magnesium in the gynaecological practice: a literature review. Magnes Res. 2017 Feb 1;30(1):1-7. doi: 10.1684/mrh.2017.0419.
- Park H, Parker GL, Boardman CH, Morris MM, Smith TJ. A pilot phase II trial of magnesium supplements to reduce menopausal hot flashes in breast cancer patients. Support Care Cancer. 2011 Jun;19(6):859-63. doi: 10.1007/s00520-011-1099-7. Epub 2011 Jan 27.
- Smith TJ. Magnesium supplements for hot flashes. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Mar 1;27(7):1151-2. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2009.21.3629. Epub 2009 Jan 26.
- Pizzorno L. Nothing Boring About Boron. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Aug;14(4):35-48.
- Szkup M, Jurczak A, Brodowska A, et al. Analysis of Relations Between the Level of Mg, Zn, Ca, Cu, and Fe and Depressiveness in Postmenopausal Women. Biol Trace Elem Res (2017) 176: 56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-016-0798-9
- Gorczyca AM, He K, Xun P, Margolis KL, Wallace JP, Lane D, Thomson C, Ho GY, Shikany JM, Luo J. Association between magnesium intake and risk of colorectal cancer among postmenopausal women. Cancer Causes Control. 2015 Dec;26(12):1761-9. doi: 10.1007/s10552-015-0669-2. Epub 2015 Sep 21.
- Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9.
- Zenk JL, Frestedt JL, Kuskowski MA. Effect of Calcium Derived from Lithothamnion sp. on Markers of Calcium Metabolism in Premenopausal Women. J Med Food. 2018 Feb;21(2):154-158.
- Aslam MN, Kreider JM, Paruchuri T, et al. A mineral-rich extract from the red marine algae Lithothamnion calcareum preserves bone structure and function in female mice on a Western-style diet. Calcified tissue international. 2010;86(4):313-24.
- Shea KL, Barry DW, Sherk VD, et al. Calcium supplementation and parathyroid hormone response to vigorous walking in postmenopausal women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014;46(10):2007-13
- Widaa A, Brennan O, O'Gorman DM, O'Brien FJ. The osteogenic potential of the marine-derived multi-mineral formula aquamin is enhanced by the presence of vitamin D. Phytotherapy research. 2014;28(5):678-84
- Frestedt JL, Walsh M, Kuskowski MA, Zenk JL. A natural mineral supplement provides relief from knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a randomized controlled pilot trial. Nutr J. 2008 Feb 17;7:9
- Marigot Ltd, 2017, Other research areas. Available from: http://aquamin.com/science/other-research-areas/. Accessed 08 Apr 2019
- Marigot Ltd, 2017, Healthy Ageing. Available from: http://aquamin.com/science/healthy-ageing/. Accessed 08 April 2019
- Ryan S, O'Gorman DM, Nolan YM. Evidence that the marine-derived multi-mineral Aquamin has anti-inflammatory effects on cortical glial-enriched cultures. Phytother Res. 2011 May; 25(5):765-7.
- Newnham RE. Essentiality of boron for healthy bones and joints. Environ Health Perspect. 1994 Nov;102 Suppl 7:83-5.
- Young-Sang K Kim, Kwang-Min Kim, Duck-Joo Lee, Bom-Taeck Kim, Sat-Byul Park, Doo-Yeoun Cho,Chang-Hee Suh, Hyoun-Ah Kim, Rae-Woong Park,and Nam-Seok Joo. Women with Fibromyalgia Have Lower Levels of Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Manganese in Hair Mineral Analysis. J Korean Med Sci. 2011 Oct; 26(10): 1253–1257. Published online 2011 Oct 1. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2011.26.10.1253
These achievable steps can go a long way towards perking up your mental well-being and helping you to take positive steps forward in achieving your health goals. If you require more support, feel free to contact our approachable team of nutrition professionals who will be more than happy to support you further or point you in the right direction.