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1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Calcium supplements are used as an aid in the prevention of osteopenia and osteoporosis and also for the treatment of patients when used along with medication. Many of these supplements are calcium carbonate based. This study compared a calcium-rich, marine multi-mineral complex (Aquamin) to calcium carbonate in an ovariectomised rat model of osteoporosis in order to assess Aquamin’s efficacy in preventing the onset of bone loss. Animals were randomly assigned to either non-ovariectomy control (Control), ovariectomy (OVX) plus calcium carbonate, ovariectomy plus Aquamin or ovariectomy plus Aquamin delay where Aquamin treatment started 8 weeks post OVX. At the end of the 20-week study, the trabecular architecture was measured using micro computed tomography, bone composition was assessed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and the mechanical properties were assessed using nanoindentation and three-point bend testing. The study demonstrates that oral ingestion of Aquamin results in less deterioration of trabecular bone structure, mineral composition and tissue level biomechanical properties in the tibia of rats following ovariectomy than calcium carbonate. This study has shown that in an animal model of osteoporosis, Aquamin is superior to calcium carbonate at slowing down the onset of bone loss.
Brennan, O. et al (2017). A natural, calcium-rich marine multi-mineral complex preserves bone structure, composition and strength in an ovariectomised rat model of osteoporosis. Calcified Tissue International, 101(4), pp.445-455. doi:10.1007/s00223-017-0299-7