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Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products
David O'Leary, Marigot, Ltd.
Dear Friends and Valued Customers:
I am proud to present to you what I believe is “Nature’s Perfect Calcium”—Aquamin from Marigot, Ltd. of Ireland. What makes Aquamin perfect? It’s 100% natural and it’s more than just calcium. Aquamin is a complete natural mineral complex produced from specially harvested red marine algae found off the coast of Ireland. But don’t take it from me. Marigot’s commercial manager, David O’Leary, explains precisely what makes Aquamin unique in this interview.
SWANSON: Please tell our readers about your background in the nutrition industry and your role at Marigot.
O’Leary: I have spent over 10 years in the food and pharmaceutical industry working for distributors and producers in commercial and technical roles. Prior to Marigot I was sales manager for Purac, one of the world’s largest producers of lactic acid, mineral lactates and mineral gluconates. I studied Applied Chemistry at Kingston University, UK, and majored in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry.
SWANSON: What is Aquamin, and how is it produced?
O’Leary: Aquamin is a unique plant-derived material. It comes from the Lithothamnium species of seaweed, which is a rare and unique type of red algae that Marigot harvests under license in the Atlantic waters off the coasts of Ireland & Iceland.
Aquamin possesses many functional and nutritional properties. It can be easily incorporated into any food, beverage or nutritional supplement product. It contains over 70 trace minerals in total. Our material is harvested from the sea using vacuum technology; then it is shipped to our production facilities where it is washed, sterilized, dried and milled.
SWANSON: How was this particular seaweed discovered and developed into Aquamin? What makes this specific seaweed a useful mineral source as compared to other seaweeds?
O’Leary: This material was used traditionally as a soil content improver in the middle of the 20th century by the local farmers in the areas near the Southwest coast of Ireland. It was known for being mineral-rich. A Marigot sister company, Celtic Sea Minerals, started harvesting this unique material in 1993. In late 1996 Marigot started selling Aquamin into the global food and supplement industries as a source of multi-mineral enrichment.
Our Aquamin ingredient is a unique source of minerals in that it possesses the open, porous physical structure of the seaweed from which it comes. This algae is very inert and mineral rich. It has no impact on taste or texture profiles within a food, beverage or supplement product; it is completely tasteless and highly bioavailable. These properties, along with being from a plant source that is continuously renewing itself, differentiate Aquamin from all other types of naturally occurring minerals or synthetically manufactured mineral salts.
SWANSON: Is Aquamin found in other products besides supplements?
O’Leary: Aquamin is found in an array of food, nutritional supplements and beverage products around the world. Marigot is continuously developing specific food & beverage applications that deliver functionality and nutritional content improvement with Aquamin. Many of the world’s largest food producers use Aquamin as a unique source of natural calcium and trace minerals, thanks to the properties I’ve described.
SWANSON: If I am looking for a calcium supplement, why should I choose Aquamin over other forms?
O’Leary: First and most importantly, Aquamin is not just calcium! It contains calcium, magnesium and over 70 other important trace minerals. The combination of calcium and trace minerals together enhances the rate at which calcium absorption takes place in humans and also contributes to bone health. These minerals are present in Aquamin, and they are all naturally occurring and 100% plant derived. This final point makes the product void of any lactose issues, which is a major deterrent to calcium supplementation for many people. Plus, Aquamin is suitable for vegans and is FDA GRAS recognized.
SWANSON: Marigot has commissioned several independent clinical studies on Aquamin. What have these studies shown? Are there plans to publish this research?
O’Leary: Aquamin studies have shown that our material is highly bioavailable when compared to conventional calcium salts. It enhances bone mineral integrity to a greater extent than other mineral sources. Aquamin is highly effective for nourishing bone and joint health. Our research has shown that the Aquamin material is more effective (faster acting, etc.) than many other supplements widely used in the nutritional industry for this purpose. Marigot is currently working toward having its most recent research peer reviewed and published early in 2008.