When it comes to calcium supplements, there are several options on the market, but how do you choose the one that is right for you? Different kinds of calcium come from different kinds of sources,. Traditionally they are: limestone, oyster shells, eggshells, aged cheeses, or baking powder.  
Aquamin is a natural, multimineral ingredient with its own unique story.
A seaweed-derived mineral source, Aquamin is rich in calcium, magnesium and 74 other trace minerals including zinc, iron and selenium. It is produced from the red algae, Lithothamnion species, which is found in just three locations in the world, including the south-west coast of Ireland and Iceland. During its growth phase, these algae absorb essential minerals from the sea – this gives Aquamin its unique multimineral content. The algae then break down naturally and settle on the sea bed. These calcified skeletal remains are harvested, washed, dried and milled into four forms for different food and drink applications. Nothing else is added to the ingredient.
Originally used in Ireland as a natural fertilizer, its tremendous effects on livestock health led Lithothamnion calcareum to be investigated for human health applications. Initial anecdotal reports on the algae’s benefits for arthritic conditions led to more in-depth studies. Many clinical studies later, Aquamin™, the branded version of Lithothamnion calcareum was born.
Aquamin™ is sustainably harvested under a controlled 30-year license by the Icelandic government. Independent monitoring and continuous research is done to ensure harvest activities are not impacting the ecosystem. Only the fully calcified algae are harvested, leaving young algae to grow to full maturity. The area of harvesting is strictly controlled to ensure the material will be sustainable and harvesting is monitored by GPS systems and divers. As only the mature/aged material is harvested – not the live young plant – sustainability is assured. The plant regenerates itself continuously, so there is no interference with its renewal process.
Unlike other products on the market, Aquamin offers a range of minerals from a single natural source. This makes it highly bioavailable – in other words the body easily absorbs the nutrients. These minerals work in synergy, so the overall health benefits are enhanced. And, importantly, the addition of Aquamin causes minimal disruption to manufacturing processes.
Aquamin™ has several clinical studies, showing safety, absorbability and effectiveness for bone health:
Aquamin™ has been shown to reduce levels of PTH (parathyroid hormone) in the body more effectively than other forms of calcium. PTH reduces calcium content in the bones by making it available to the rest of the body. High levels of PTH are associated calcium leeching from the bones and reduced levels of bone mineral density, which can lead to osteoporosis. Aquamin™ has shown this positive effect in pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women and athletes in non-impact sports (i.e. cycling) who exhibit lower-than-normal bone mineral density.1,2,3
Measuring the absorption of various forms of calcium is difficult. Absorption can vary by the source of calcium,the delivery form, the individual human subject and meal consumption. The reduction of PTH levels in humans is so linked to calcium levels, that Aquamin™’s greater ability to reduce PTH is the conclusive proof of its superior bioavailability.2  It is believed that the porous nature of Aquamin™ is key to its superior absorption vs. other forms of calcium.
In studies of bone cells, Aquamin™ has been shown to effectively remineralize the cells. By remineralizing the cells, the number of osteoblasts is increased. Osteoblasts are responsible for new bone formation. Researchers theorized that the synergistic effect of the mineral complex in Aquamin™ was responsible for the increase in osteogenesis (bone formation activity).4
•Aquamin™ has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce joint pain and stiffness. In fact, one clinical study showed Aquamin™ to be as effective at reducing joint pain as glucosamine sulfate and better at reducing joint stiffness!5,6
That the Aquamin™ calcium comes from a “whole food” source with a variety of synergistic minerals and is easily absorbed by the body may account for its clinical effectiveness in bone health. Whatever the reason for its effectiveness, the human studies behind Aquamin™ should make it clear that it’s time to rethink the way you supplement your calcium.
Aquamin™ is:
• Non-GMO
• FDA GRAS
• Kosher and Halal
• Produced in HACCP and ISO certified facilities
• Organic Trust listed for use in organic products
Aquamin™ is the main ingredient in Cal-Mag Supreme from Health First®.  
REFERENCES
1. A double-blind placebo-controlled parallel group study in post-menopausal women to assess the effect of calcium supplementation on markers of bone resorption. Shandon Clinic, Cork, Ireland.
2. Frestedt JL, Kuskowski MA, Zenk JL. A single dose pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics comparison of two calcium supplements in pre-menopausal women. Minnesota Applied Research Centre, Minnesota, USA
3. Barry, D. W., K. C. Hansen, R. E. Van Pelt, M. Witten, P. Wolfe, and W. M. Korht. Acute Calcium Ingestion Attenuates. Exercise-Induced Disruption of Calcium
Homeostasis. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 617–623, 2011.
4. O’Gorman DM, Tierney CM, Brennan O., O’Brien 2,3 and FJ. The Marine derived, Multi mineral formula, Aquamin, Enhances Mineralisation of Osteoblast Cells In Vitro. Phytotherapy Research 2011.
5. Frestedt JL, Kuskowski MA, Zenk JL. A natural seaweed derived mineral supplement (Aquamin F) for knee osteoarthritis: a randomized, placebo controlled pilot study. Nutrition Journal 2009;8:7.
6. Frestedt JL, Kuskowski MA, Zenk JL. A natural seaweed derived mineral supplement (Aquamin F) for knee osteoarthritis: A randomised, placebo controlled pilot study MARC (Minnesota Applied Research