Seven year trial examines the safety and efficacy of a calcium supplement used to enhance bone mineral density

Data from this study suggest that an AlgaeCal supplement was associated with a significant annualised and linear increase in BMD

A recent study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) examines the safety and efficacy of a vitamin/mineral enhanced plant-sourced calcium supplement (AlgaeCal [AC]) in female consumers who had taken the supplement for 1–7 years.

Consumers who had completed at least one dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) bone mineral density (BMD) scan (n=172) and/or blood chemistry test (n=30) and purchased AlgaeCal for 1–7 years were contacted and offered complimentary repeat tests. Safety and efficacy were examined by annualised changes in a 45-measurement blood chemistry panel and changes in bone mineral density (BMD).

No adverse effects or safety concerns were found in any of the annualised within-group changes in the 45 blood chemistries or in between-group changes in a similar control group (n=5070) who completed the same measurements.

With regard to BMD, consistent and statistically significant within-group increases were found for the 7-year study period and when compared with expected BMD changes in three large databases or the combination (n=25,885) of the three databases.

Data from this study suggest that the AlgaeCal supplement was associated with a significant annualised and linear increase in BMD of 1.04% per year, 7.3% during the 7-year study period. These results stand in marked contrast to normative or expected changes of -0.4%/y from three different databases or in a combination of all three databases (n=16,289).

The results showed that no evidence was found in cardiovascular risk as measured by adverse changes in blood lipids, nor was any evidence found of a diminished efficacy during the 7-year study period because gains in BMD were consistent and linear during the 7-year study period, averaging 1.04% per year throughout the 7-year study.

The results are also consistent with earlier short-term studies, suggesting that the AlgaeCal supplement can facilitate significant increases in total body BMD in contrast to studies suggesting that calcium supplements can only slow down age-related declines in BMD.