The investigation compared the effects of two calcium supplements in 12 pre-menopausal women and revealed a higher level of bioavailability for mearl/Sea Cal than calcium carbonate, reported the researchers. Twelve healthy females aged between twenty and forty took part in the investigation, which was made up of three 12-hour study durations over a total of 3 weeks. During each time period the patient was given a single oral dose of one of the three test options, either placebo, calcium carbonate (720mg elemental calcium) or mearl/Sea Cal (720g elemental calcium).
Blood was gathered at 13 periods throughout each study to evaluate ionised and total calcium, magnesium, albumin phosphorus, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and urinary calcium levels. The results indicated a significantly higher calciuric result for mearl/Sea Cal (p = 0.004) than the calcium carbonate (p = 0.36), in comparison to the placebo, and therefore demonstrated a greater bioavailability. Furthermore, those women who had consumed mearl experienced a more extended decline in serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. Since PTH increases as calcium drops in the blood, the researchers concluded that mearl suppresses this response for more time which is yet more indication of elevated bioavailability. Calcium vitamins are widely recommended to help prevent and manage osteoporosis, a bone-wasting disease that affects postmenopausal women specifically.
Globally, the lifetime risk for a woman to have an osteoporotic fracture is 30-40 per cent, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, and in the next 50 years, the number of hip fractures for both men and women will more than double. Mearl has proved popular in Asian markets where consumers are aware of seaweed benefits and are eager to market its natural source, and in the US, it is also used in a ‘wellness’ tea.