Marine seaweed Lithothamnion – Mineral Wealth of Vegetable Origin

Calcium, as an essential mineral for maintaining bone health, is under constant study. It seeks to find the ideal way to be ingested, absorbed, and thus kept in the body to supply all its necessary functions. Recommended amounts may vary according to the individual´s age, sex, eating style, nutritional status, among others. It´s already known that the mineral needs to be balanced with adequate concentrations of other nutrients for a good metabolism. Vitamin D, phosphorus and magnesium are examples. Therefore, it is often necessary to assess both the individual needs of each person and prioritize an intake rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, without focusing on just one of them.

In the study by Ward (2014), people, compared to supplements containing only one nutrient, had better tolerate multivitamin supplements. Furthermore, they proved to be safe and possibly beneficial to be ingested by the elderly. In the US, more than half of adults use multivitamin products to maintain good health, according to Bailey et al. (2013). It is concluded that, nowadays, there is a search for synergy between nutrients, and not just a bet on a type of vitamin or mineral to maintain health.

Lithothamnion seaweed

The vegetable is a kind of red seaweed, known as calcareous, which has a nutritional profile with more than 70 types of nutrients. From a 100% natural source, it offers a safe (and vegan) way to consume, with a rich nutritional composition. In 100g of the product are mainly:




34,50 g


3,60 g


347 mg


34,10 mg


38 mg



72 mcg


77,60 mg


0,24 mg


1,47 mg


50 mcg


0,18 mg


In the supplementation market, calcium from this origin has been gaining prominence for being another alternative not only to meet calcium needs, but also because it naturally contains several minerals, vitamins and amino acids.

The High Absorption Rate of Marine Seaweed Minerals

According to Buzinaro et al. (2006), cow´s milk and derivatives (a highly known source) are losing consumption preference by people, due to the growing change in the eating habits of populations (example of veganism or diets exclusive vegetarians), in addition to the increase in the number of diagnoses of lactose intolerance and allergy to milk protein, making it impossible to maintain the consumption of these products and creating a tendency to search for vegetable sources.

On the other hand, these foods are widely variable in terms of bioavailability (absorption capacity), even though they have good amounts of calcium. Some overlay milk – like broccoli and kale – and others doesn´t have as much capacity, like some beans. This is most often due to the presence of substances present in some plants, such as phytic acid and oxalic acid. These two components, depending on the amount present in plant foods, can interfere with calcium absorption.

Lithothamnion marine algae gains an advantage in this aspect, with greater bioavailability and calcium content. Check the table below:



Amount of calcium in 100



34500 mg



240 mg


Dry Beans

177 mg



71 mg



65 mg



Therefore, the Lithothamnion seaweed source can be considered as a way to obtain not only calcium, but also other nutrients that are combined. Below, check out a little about the function and importance of the main minerals that Lithothamnion naturally includes:


It participates in several functions in the body, and is present in all our cells, especially in tissues such as bones and blood.


Main Functions

Disability Symptoms

Cell Stimulus

Mood swings

Bone mineralization


Formation of digestive enzymes (for fats and proteins)

Memory Drop

Participates in hormone signaling

PMS symptom increases

Muscle contraction (muscles and heart)









Dry Skin and Weak Hair








Bone loss



Essential for cell function, it pumps sodium out of the cell and allows potassium to enter, in addition to being involved in the action of various hormones. Main functions:


Main Functions

Disability Symptoms

Muscle relaxant


Modulates calcium metabolism by hormonal action

Impairment of cardiovascular health

Important for bone density and health

Low glucose tolerance

Serotonin precursor (good mood hormone)

Lower cell health, with higher incidence of cancer

Helps in the feeling of satiety


Promotes physical disposition


Acts on vitamin D activation


Balances the pH of the blood, making it more alkaline

Lack of memory

Strengthens nails and hair


Promotes good quality sleep

Muscle Weakness and Cramps

Relieves symptoms of premenstrual tension



Ringing of the Ear




Nausea or vomiting


Difficulty to evacuate



Present in cell membranes, it is also essential for bone health, along with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.


Main Functions

Disability Symptoms

Bone structure formation

Bones deficiencies

Skeleton maintenance

Arthritis and Arthrosis

It acts on the pH balance in the body

Lower tissue oxygenation

Participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats

Blood cell abnormalities

Participates in the composition of the DNA of cells

Changes in immunity

Required for vitamin D activation

Weakness and muscle pain


Loss of appetite


Numbness or tremors





Important regulator of fluid within cells, it also influences cardiovascular and muscle health.


Main Functions

Disability Symptoms

Maintenance of intracellular fluid along with magnesium and sodium


Muscular contraction


Conduction of nerve signals

Weakness and muscle pain

Heart rate maintenance

Low pressure

Formation of important proteins for the body´s functioning

Nausea and vomiting


Dilation of the heart


Deficiency in renal metabolism



Nutrient that influences the health of various tissues and iron metabolism.


Main Functions

Disability Symptoms

Essential for iron metabolism and transport

Hypochromic anemia

Participates in the formation of tissues such as collagen, bones and blood vessels



Present in the central nervous system and in the formation of myelin



Participates in the formation of serotonin and dopamine, well-being hormones



Anti-inflammatory action


Allows skin pigmentation




Essential for our organism´s oxygenation and energy formation. A nutrient that depends on copper, selenium, magnesium, zinc and manganese for its proper metabolism in cells.


Main Functions

Disability Symptoms

Oxygen transport and storage


Essential for energy production regulation of the immune system

Gastrointestinal tract problems

More intense menstrual cycles

Helps in detox


Participates in lipid metabolism


Important for the formation of serotonin and dopamine, well-being hormones

Cold sensitivity

Present in collagen formation



Mental confusion




Fragile nails




Appetite reduction


Trapped intestine





Important for blood glucose regulation, detoxification and iron formation.


Main Functions

Disability Symptoms

Bone formation

Change in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, which can lead to cholesterol deficiency and changes in glucose

Participates in the metabolism of carbohydrates, cholesterol and amino acids

Participate in the detox process

Less energy production by cells




Capillary depigmentation



Excellent antioxidant, essential for thyroid health, good memory and immunity.


Main Functions

Disability Symptoms

Important for the body´s detoxification process

Muscle aches

Antioxidant activity

Fatigue and muscle weakness

Participates in the formation of thyroid hormones

Ease of inflammatory conditions

Helps prevent chronic diseases

Memory impairment

Improving the immune system

Difficulty in the formation of thyroid hormones

Cancer protection


Aids in memory and learning


Prevention against cognitive deficits such as Alzheimer´s



It is important to emphasize that all vitamins and minerals have their functions and present losses in situations of deficiency as well as excess or toxicity. Therefore, it is necessary to assess the individual need, preferably with medical assistance or a professional nutritionist.

Finally, we have Lithothamnion seaweed as an alternative with a rich and varied nutritional composition, balanced by nature, with the combination of several important minerals for the maintenance of health. Being of a high absorption capacity, it is completely natural, organic and non-allergenic, and can be used by the vegan public. An option that can gain more space in the supplementation market.


References: AYDIN, H. Magnesium supplementation and bone. Nutr Health; 149-157, 2013. Bailey RL, Gahche JJ, Miller PE, Thomas PR, Dwyer JT: Why US adults use dietary supplements. JAMA Intern Med. 2013, 173: 355-361. BUZINARO, Elizabeth F.; ALMEIDA, Renata N. Alves de; MAZETO, Gláucia M.F.S.. Biodisponibilidade do cálcio dietético. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab, São Paulo , v. 50, n. 5, p. 852-861, Oct. 2006 . CHAKRABORTI S. CHAKRABORTI T. MANDAL M. et al. Protective role of magnesium in cardiovascular diseases: a review. Mol Cell Biochem; 238(1-2): 163-179, 2002. CHARIOT P. BIGNANI O. Skeletal muscle disorders associated with selenium deficiency in humans. Muscle Nerve; 27(6): 662-8, 2003 COZZOLINO SMF. Vitamina D. In: COZZOLINO SMF. Biodisponibilidade de Nutrientes. São Paulo, 2005. DAVIS, C.D. Selenium supplementation and cancer prevention. Curr Nutr DUNTAS, L.H. Horm Metab Res; 41(6): 443-7, 2009 Heaney RP, Weaver CM. Calcium absorption from kale. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:656-7. EMERIT, J. et al. Am Soc Photobiol; 80(3): 579-582, 2004. FINLEY JW. Manganese absorption and retention by young women is associated with serum ferritin concentration. Am J Clin Nutr; 70(1): 37-43, 1999 IANNELLO S. BELFIORE F. Hypomagnesemia. A review of pathophysiological, clinical and therapeutical aspects. Panminerva Med; 43(3): 177-209, 2001. ISHRAT, T.; PARVEEN, K.; KHAN, M.M. et al. Brain Res; 1281: 117-27, 2009. J M Letteri, K J Ellis, S N Asad, S H Cohn The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 31, Issue 10, October 1978, Pages 1937–1944. MCLAREN, DS. Manifestações clínicas de distúrbios humanos de minerais e vitaminas: um resumo. In: SHILS, ME. et al. Tratado de Nutrição Moderna na Saúde e na Doença. 9ed. São Paulo, 2003 RUDE, R.K.; GRUBER, H.E.; NORTON, H.J. et al. Osteoporosis Int;17(7): 1022-1032, 2006. Soriani MF, Teixeira MM. Avaliação in vitro da biodisponibilidade de cálcio. CMM produzido a partir de algas calcárias. 2012. Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Instituto de Ciências Biológicas. Belo Horizonte – MG Steinbrenner et al. J Clin Biochem Nutr; 48(11):40-45, 2011. VAN CAMPEN D. MITCHELL EA. J Nutr; 86: 120-4, 1965. WÄLTI MK. ZIMMERMANN MB. WALCZYK T. et al. Measurement of magnesium absorption and retention in type 2 diabetic patients Ward, E. Addressing nutritional gaps with multivitamin and mineral supplements. (BioMed Central)Nutr J. 2014; 13: 72

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