Aquamin Research: Minerals from Red Algae
Corresponding Author : Joy Frestedt
Frestedt Incorporated, 2708 Vernon Ave, St. Louis Park, MN 55416, USA
Received November 30, 2013; Accepted December 23, 2013; Published December 26, 2013
Citation: Frestedt J (2013) Aquamin Research: Minerals from Red Algae. Oceanography 1:114. doi: 10.4172/2332-2632.1000114
The dietary supplement industry is widely unregulated and manufacturers often promote products without scientific substantiation for their claims at the risk of being caught, which rarely happens. An interesting mineral supplement (Aquamin F, Marigot Limited, Co. Cork, IRELAND) is derived from red algae harvested off the coasts of Ireland and Iceland. In an effort to summarize the scientific evidence supporting the claims for this product, this article reviews eight publications identified in PubMed (US National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health) as of November 29, 2013 using the search term “Aquamin” (N=7 articles) or the company author’s last name “O’Gorman DM” (N=11 articles). All 7 Aquamin articles were included and one article was added from the author search.
Aquamin has been shown to contain calcium, magnesium and other important minerals (often in trace amounts) and Aquamin is often promoted for uses to support bone integrity, joint health and mobility. In the last five years (2008-2013), eight studies have been published in the medical literature indexed by PubMed including two clinical studies measuring the effects of Aquamin in knee osteoarthritis patients [1,2] and six subsequent pre-clinical studies evaluating Aquamin including: anti-inflammatory effects in vitro , osteoblast mineralization in vitro , inhibition of NF-κB signaling in vitro , porcine behaviour, salivary cortisol levels and skin lesions , osteogenic potential in vitro  and anti-oxidant and pro-apoptotic effects of a mixture of compounds including Aquamin .
The pre-clinical data are interesting because they suggest the minerals in Aquamin (i.e. those derived from red algae) may have antiinflammatory, cell signaling, and osteogenic effects and may be useful in combination with other compounds to produce additional effects in vitro. In addition, the two small, pilot, clinical trials were intriguing because they suggested 12 weeks of Aquamin treatment may reduce the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis of the knee; may increase range of motion and walking distances and may allow partial withdrawal of NSAIDs over the 12 weeks of treatment. Unfortunately, confirmatory evidence has not been offered in any new clinical trials and additional research is needed to confirm these preliminary observations.
Copyright: © 2013 Frestedt J. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
1. Frestedt JL, Walsh M, Kuskowski MA, Zenk JL (2008) A natural mineral supplement provides relief from knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a randomized controlled pilot trial. Nutr J 7: 9.
2. Frestedt JL, Kuskowski MA, Zenk JL (2009) A natural seaweed derived mineral supplement (Aquamin F) for knee osteoarthritis: a randomised, placebo controlled pilot study. Nutr J 8: 7.
3. Ryan S, O’Gorman DM, Nolan YM (2011) Evidence that the marine-derived multi-mineral Aquamin has anti-inflammatory effects on cortical glial-enriched cultures. Phytother Res 25:765-767.
4. O’Gorman DM, Tierney CM, Brennan O, O’Brien FJ (2012) The marine-derived, multi-mineral formula, Aquamin, enhances mineralisation of osteoblast cells in vitro. Phytother Res 26: 375-380.
5. O’Gorman DM, O’Carroll C, Carmody RJ (2012) Evidence that marine-derived, multi-mineral, Aquamin inhibits the NF-κB signaling pathway in vitro. Phytother Res 26: 630-632.
6. O’Driscoll K, O’Gorman DM, Taylor S, Boyle LA (2012) The influence of a magnesium-rich marine extract on behaviour, salivary cortisol levels and skin lesions in growing pigs. Animal 7: 1017-1027.
7. Widaa A, Brennan O, O’Gorman DM, O’Brien FJ (2013) The Osteogenic Potential of the Marine-Derived Multi-Mineral Formula Aquamin Is Enhanced by the Presence of Vitamin D. Phytother Res doi: 10.1002/ptr.5038.
8. O’Callaghan YC, Drummond E, O’Gorman DM, O’Brien NM (2013) Antioxidant and pro-apoptotic effects of marine-derived, multi-mineral aquamin supplemented with a pine bark extract, enzogenol, and a green tea extract, sunphenon. J Med Food 16: 920-926.