The power of algae: today we introduce a calcium variety that, according to our research to date, comes out the best. Highly bioavailable, natural, biologically renewable, plant-based algae calcium with natural vitamins and antioxidants. Essential for healthy bones, it stops bone loss. Suitable for women before and during menopause and for osteoporosis. Algae calcium is a natural renewable, wholesome marine algae complex with over 50 naturally present minerals and trace elements in the most highly bioavailable natural form and for that reason has no side effects.
(pw) Osteoporosis – the gradual decrease in bone density – is one of the greatest threats to our quality of life as we age. In the group of over-50s, according to a recent German study, 24 percent of women and five percent of men suffer from skeletal disease that often goes unnoticed until the first fracture. More than half of those affected suffered bone fractures, including many multiple fractures , in the three-year observation period. A thigh- or femoral head breakage resulting from a fall can undo the most beautiful plans for a self-determined life in retirement in the blink of an eye. Chronic pain due to vertebral fractures, as these occur in advanced osteoporosis with no obvious cause, make even the most common activities painful. Are we really doomed by nature, as we get older, to live with the fear of bone fractures, with pain and restricted mobility?
Algae calcium is a vital material preparation that, with the wisdom of nature, answers the demands of modern medicine for a good bioavailable calcium supplement in osteoporosis prevention and treatment of today. Scientific studies confirm the superior efficiency of natural algae and vitamin preparations in increasing bone density.
Absorption is significantly better than with most other forms of calcium, such as carbonate, dolomite, oxide, etc. Plant calcium is purely of vegetable origin. It is harvested naturally, protects the environment, respects the ecological balance, and regrows in a natural form without burdening the environment. In comparison with oyster-shell calcium or coral calcium, which belong in the genus of sea animals, algae calcium is of vegetable origin.
Following the harvest there is no chemical treatment and no screening. There are no additives that can cause impurities. Each batch is inspected in the laboratory for toxic substance levels, to allow you to benefit safely from this natural resource. Algae calcium is a completely natural plant product, which also makes it suitable for vegetarians and vegans. A 100% vegetable-origin and environmentally friendly product. If there were certification for the biological cultivation of algae calcium, this product would be the first bio-certified algae calcium with an organic label.
Which calcium does our body better absorb?
Different calcium compounds have different levels of bioavailability. The better a calcium is absorbed by your body, the better its effect. Many studies have compared the forms of calcium. To simplify the issue, we have compiled a list of calcium products and their calcium compounds in decreasing order of bioavailability. In our list of the best forms, the further the product is towards the bottom, the worse its absorption:
Legend: HerbaCal™ algae calcium with clear, richly faceted surface texture
The scanning electron microscope (SEM) shows the advantages of HerbaCal ™
HerbaCal™ herbal calcium from algae is far better than the calcium carbonate or calcium oxide that is normally used.
Magnification under the scanning electron microscope gives an impression of the better bioavailability of vegetable-origin calcium in HerbaCal™. The clearly multifaceted surface structure of HerbaCal™ has indeed many more “contact points" on the surface, which makes it similar to the surface of a natural sponge. Calcium carbonate, in contrast, in the black and white photograph below, has a surface with a crystal-like structure and smooth tips. Calcium carbonate has a smaller total surface area, as well as lower bioavailability, and is less effective.
The advantages of HerbaCal™ are its higher bioavailability and efficacy which, according to studies, are better than the conventionally offered calcium by 200 to 300 percent.
Legend: Previous calcium: Poor bioavailability compared with the algae calcium from HerbaCal™
Calcium and vitamin D – do the classics of osteoporosis therapy really work?
A consistent supplementation with calcium and vitamin D is recommended not only to prevent bone disease, but to treat it. Bone mineral and the vitamin that comes from exposure to sunshine are considered THE MOST important nutrients for bone health. Together with a regular exercise program, they should prevent the gradual degradation of bone tissue, which makes the bones more fragile. However, the studies are not entirely conclusive. While an oft-cited study of older, infirm residents of homes was able to demonstrate a significantly reduced risk of hip fractures by supplementation with calcium and vitamin D , more recent studies of healthy older women living independently often find no clearly apparent benefit of administering those vital substances.
Calcium alone is not enough!
One of the questions for physicians following the announcement of the results of the WHI study on the health risks of taking calcium preparations was: Why is nothing known of such risks, when calcium is taken with food?
The answer is simple (though the issue is also complex): because in our metabolism everything (almost) is interrelated. To name only the best known interactions involving calcium: the calcium balance is closely linked to the balance of phosphate and magnesium and is influenced decisively by, among other things, vitamins D and K2. The expectation than an isolated component of this finely-tuned balance will do good when added in excess seems in retrospect rather naive (in hindsight, however, one is indeed always wiser...).
A calcium supplement that our body can make use of should, ideally, be like our food: natural in origin and therefore rich in the many and varied minerals and trace elements that are important to calcium metabolism, and in a balanced composition that is advantageous to our organism.
Medicine from the sea
Traditionally in Western medicine, calcium supplements are calcium salts such as calcium citrate, calcium lactate, and calcium carbonate. These mono-products have proved largely ineffective.
An answer to the question of what meaningful calcium supplementation can look like came from Japan. In that far-eastern country, algae have played an important role in the diet since time immemorial. The abundant resource from the sea is appreciated not only for culinary reasons, however. In Japan, traditional medicine has already built up detailed knowledge about the health benefits of seaweed, which is being taken up by science without reservations.
In 1996 Dr. Takuo Fujita, a leading osteoporosis researcher of the country, alerted an international medical audience to a calcium supplement successfully employed in Japan in treating osteoporosis . The supplement made from marine algae contains, in addition to calcium, over 50 further minerals and nutrients from the pharmacy of nature, among them magnesium, boron, iodine, silicon, manganese, copper and vanadium. Algae calcium delivers calcium in a form with excellent bioavailability, Fujita published additional results [for example, 6].
Studies have shown that algae preparations in vitro – in test tubes – increase the activity of bone-building cells significantly more than simple calcium salts [7,8]. Adding vitamin D further enhanced this effect. After the safety of the preparation (new to Western medicine) was demonstrated , doctors at the University of Texas studied the effect of algae calcium on the bone mineral density of 158 voluntary study participants . In this study, a newly formulated algae calcium was used for the first time and compared with the pure algae preparation: to further increase the bioavailability for the skeletal system, important vitamins C, D3 and K2 were added to the algae powder. The results of the study confirmed the experience of Japanese colleagues: among those who regularly took the pure algae supplement, a very pronounced and promising increase in bone density resulted. The preparation improved by the addition of vitamins proved to be about twice as effective.
 The Epidemiology of Osteoporosis—Bone Evaluation Study (BEST): An Analysis of Routine Health Insurance Data. P. Hadji et al. Deutsches Ärzteblatt 110 (2013).  Effect of calcium and cholecalciferol treatment for three years on hip fractures in elderly women. M.C. Chapuy et al. Biomedical Journal 308 (1994)  Calcium risk-benefit updated--new WHI analyses. I.R. Reid, M.J. Bolland. Maturitas 77 (2014)  Should We Prescribe Calcium Supplements For Osteoporosis Prevention? I.R. Reid. Journal of Bone Metabolism 21 (2014)  Clinical guidelines for the treatment of osteoporosis in Japan. T. Fujita. Calcified Tissue International 59 (1996)  Overnight suppression of parathyroid hormone and bone resorption markers by active absorbable algae calcium. A double-blind crossover study. T. Fujita et al. Calcified Tissue International 60 (1997)  Comparative effects of a novel plant-based calcium supplement with two common calcium salts on proliferation and mineralization in human osteoblast cells. R.S. Adluri et al. molecular Cell Biochemistry 340 (2010)  Marine algae possess therapeutic potential for Ca-mineralization via osteoblastic differentiation. M.H. Nguyenet al. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research 64 (2011)  Safety and toxicological evaluation of AlgaeCal (AC), a novel plant-based calcium supplement. P.A. Marone et al. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods 20 (2010) [10} Changes in total body bone mineral density following a common bone health plan with two versions of a unique bone health supplement: a comparative effectiveness research study. J.E.Michalek et al. Nutrition Journal Apr 14 (2011)
HerbaCal™ contains the following important vital substances that are responsible for a healthy bone structure:
Highly bioavailable natural algae calcium
Is an important component of/building block for bones and teeth. Calcium plays an important role in the transmission of impulses in the nervous system and is an essential mineral for healthy bone growth and strong teeth.
Highly bioavailable magnesium
Is a component of bones and teeth and plays an important role in energy metabolism. Magnesium is essential for normal muscle function and for energy metabolism. Magnesium plays a role in skeletal structure and in addition plays an important role in the transmission of impulses in the nervous system during muscle contraction.
Highly bioavailable natural vitamin C in Camu-Camu fruit extract
Is necessary for the maintenance of healthy bones, teeth, gums and blood vessels. And is involved in the absorption of iron. Vitamin C is an antioxidant.
Highly bioavailable vitamin D yeast
Vitamin D helps keep bones healthy, especially in childhood and old age. Vitamin D regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphate. A 2008 study by Professor Christel Lamberg-Allardt from Helsinki University published in the journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism showed that vitamin D yeast with natural vitamin D2 has a very high bioavailability. The product recommended by us contains this new natural vitamin B yeast, combined for the first time with natural algae calcium and other natural nutrients which together are responsible for optimal bone formation.
Highly bioavailable vitamin K2 as MK-7
Natto, a typical breakfast food, is made of steamed and fermented soy beans. It is a centuries-old Japanese tradition and comes from the Samurai warriors, who took it to increase their strength and to speed up their reflexes.
Today, approximately 7.5 billion packages of natto are eaten every year in Japan and the Japanese health authorities have invested a lot of resources to promote the regular consumption of the breakfast food. Natto is an integral part of the Japanese school breakfast programme. In the last ten years, several studies on natto have found that the active component, vitamin K2, is capable of increasing bone density and can reduce bone fractures. In addition, the natural vitamin K2 from natto increases the clotting ability of blood.
Vitamin K2 and osteoporosis
Bones contain living tissue. This tissue is constantly breaking down and building up. Bones are made of a hard shell and an interior filled with a matrix of tissue. If vitamin D, calcium and other minerals, and vitamin K2 are absorbed by the bones in sufficient amounts, the bone renews itself in from seven to 10 years and is replaced by stable, dense bones.
This process is regulated by osteoblasts (which synthesise cells) and osteoclasts (which break cells down). As long as osteoblast activity is greater than that of osteoclasts, maintaining healthy bones is secured. Osteoblasts (the bone-building cells) produce the so-called osteocalcin, a vitamin-K-dependent protein with which calcium in the bone matrix is integrated and thus the mineral content in bones increased.
Osteocalcin is formed in the bone by osteoblasts and in the tooth by odontoblasts, and binds to hydroxyapatite and calcium. It is a part (one to two percent) of the extracellular noncollagenous bone matrix. Osteocalcin is a marker of bone structure and inhibits the mineralisation of the bone. The function of osteocalcin is to make bones more stable and more resistant to fractures (breaks).
To have an optimal effect, osteocalcin needs vitamin K. A vitamin K deficiency leads over the long term to significantly lower bone density and hence to poor bone quality. The degenerating cells (osteoclasts) break down more bone tissue than the regenerating cells (osteoblasts) can form, slowly but surely causing the dreaded bone loss. The bones become thin and fragile, and the risk of fracture increases. Even though the exterior bone structure looks normal, in the interior it may be fragile.
Studies have shown that Vitamin K2 is just as important for building strong bones as calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D indeed has an effect on the formation of osteocalcin. Only vitamin K2, however, can activate osteocalcin, the protein that stores calcium in the bone. A deficiency of vitamin K2 will therefore, even with an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, lead to a decrease in bone density and to osteoporosis.
Studies of osteoporosis in addition showed that vitamin K2 improves bone density, bone structure and strength, stimulates mineralisation (the binding of calcium in bone), and promotes collagen formation. Collagen is a lattice-like fibrous tissue that gives rise to hard and at the same time flexible bone structures, making bones more resistant to fractures.
Studies have demonstrated the effect of vitamin K2
An osteoporosis study from 2003 demonstrated that vitamin K2 can prevent bone loss. In a three-year study, two groups of patients were observed: the first control group received no supplements, while the second received a therapy of synthetic MK-4. The results clearly showed that the intake of vitamin K2 coincided with less loss of bone stability for the duration of the study.
A ground-breaking study of the correlation between the consumption of natto and osteoporosis had already been published by a team of scientists headed by Masao Kaneki. The research proved that an elevated level of MK-7 as a result of eating natto can contribute to improving bone health. The increased absorption of MK-7 in the form of natto led to a higher level of activated osteocalcin and a reduced risk of fracture.
These results were confirmed in 2006 in a study carried out by Ikeda. Ikeda discovered that the consumption of natto – which contains large amounts of Menaquinone-7 (MK-7) – can prevent osteoporosis from developing. In the three-year study of 944 female participants (aged between 20 and 79), the relationship between taking MK-7 and reduced loss of bone density was demonstrated.
A current study by Yaegashi et al. (2008), published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, showed that better vitamin K status leads to a reduced risk of a possible hip fracture. In the study, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D proved moderately important for bone health, while the natural vitamin K2 in natto (MK-7) was identified as the main factor: a close link was shown between the intake of vitamin K2 and a lower risk of suffering a hip fracture. This indicates the important function of MK-7 in preventing osteoporosis.
A systematic review of all randomised, controlled trials in which adults were administered vitamin K1 or vitamin K2 dietary supplements for at least six months (180 days) revealed a total of 13 studies with data on bone loss and seven studies in which fractures were recorded. All of the cited studies on humans, with the exception of one, showed that the supplementation with Vitamin K1 or K2 delayed the reduction of bone density. A special relationship exists between vitamin K2 and an increased bone density.
Microencapsulation for protecting vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 as MK7 is a liposoluble vitamin and reacts highly sensitively to contact with other components such as alkali, or so called ‘basic‘, calcium. Scientific investigations on calcium preparations with K2 have shown that the alkali qualities of the calcium have a reductive effect on vitamin K2. After just 3 months, the vitamin K2 content in these compounds can be reduced by 50%. Therefore, EnergyBalance has decided to now only use vitamin K2 that is protected from contact to external influences, through the use of encapsulation. This means that it is not damaged and its potency is not reduced.
In all of the studies on the risk of fracture, vitamin K2 (MK-7) turned out to be the most effective. It lowered the risk of vertebral fractures by 60 percent, of hip fractures by 77 percent, and the risk of all non-vertebral fractures by an amazing 81 percent.
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