Superfood Spotlight: Marine Calcium

There was a reason why mom always advised us to drink our milk.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our bodies, and it not only supports healthy bones and teeth, it also plays a role in muscle function, the transmission of nerve and cell signals and the secretion of hormones. (Ref. 1)

But many of us don’t take in enough calcium through foods – including dairy products and green veggies like broccoli and spinach – and the supplements that are pushed through overhyped advertisements are often calcium carbonate, which is either made from limestone or chalk.

The down side of calcium

Even though marketing agencies have pushed the sale of calcium supplements for years, the latest research suggests that not only are such supplements fairly useless at protecting from the bone density loss of osteoporosis, they may also be putting us at risk of other health problems.

A 2010 study that appeared in the British Medical Journal found that those who took calcium supplements may have a greater risk of heart attack and hip fractures than those who did not.

“The likely adverse effect of calcium supplements on cardiovascular events, taken together with the possible adverse effect on incidence of hip fracture suggest that a reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis is warranted,” wrote the team of researchers from both the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire. (Ref. 2)

According to a large-scale 2012 study, also appearing in the British Medical Journal, when researchers looked at the results of 24,000 men and women ages 35 to 64, they found that those who used calcium supplements had a greater risk of heart attack than those who did not use calcium supplements. Calcium from food did not increase the risk. (Ref. 3)

So what’s the story?

Experts believe that when taken as a supplement, calcium is not as easily absorbed as calcium from food, and ends up in the blood stream, where it can result in calcium deposits that narrow blood vessels and cause the same negative impact as excess blood glucose.

A better option

Based on the evidence, the calcium we need should be acquired through food sources whenever possible.

(Good sources of calcium include sardines, soy and almond milk, tofu, canned salmon with bones, turnip greens, oranges, spinach, kale, collard greens, blackstrap molasses, white beans and broccoli.)

But even with such a long list of calcium-rich foods, many of us still may not be getting enough calcium.

A better supplement

When looking at calcium supplements, of course we wanted a natural option to include in our new Zupafood range, and we searched for the best version available.

What we found was Aquamin TG, a form of bio-available form of calcium from marine algae that allows us to deliver 160 milligrams of this exceptional form of calcium from 500mg Aquamin TG, in every serving. That compares to eating a cup of spinach per day, and can lead to Popeye-inspired health benefits.

The seaweed is harvested after maturity, so it is completely sustainable, off the west coast of Ireland and the northwest coast of Iceland, where the waters are as free from pollution as possible.

It is produced from a species of red algae only found in these regions, and since it takes its nutrients from the sea, absorbing them as it grows, it is a rich source of minerals beyond calcium, including magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium.

It has been shown in studies to help support your body’s healthy inflammatory response by inhibiting the secretion of cytokines, which have been linked to a wide range of conditions including osteoarthritis. (Ref. 4)

According to a 2009 study appearing in Nutrition Journal, Aquamin helped ease the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis such as stiffness and discomfort, allowing for longer walking distances and improved mobility. 

Aquamin TG is found in many of our supplements and all three of our Zupafood supplements – Zupafood ELITE (formulated to boost general health, the immune system, libido and skin health), Zupafood for SKIN (packed with ingredients to help support your skin’s youthful appearance) and Zupafood GREENZ (designed to help provide a natural energy boost and support general health).

Our Zupafood’s are designed to augment the benefits of our Core Wellness sets or to be used as stand-alone products to boost your health, vitality and feelings of well-being.

They also include all-natural flavorings (real apple, blueberry and mango) so they taste great, too.