Mineral supplement could stop fatty liver disease progression

08 April 2022

From an article this week in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

At the American Society for Investigative Pathology in Philadelphia this week, Isabelle Harber, an undergraduate researcher in Muhammad Nadeem Aslam MD’s lab at the University of Michigan, presented new research during the Experimental Biology (EB) 2022 meeting,.

“Most people living in Western society do not meet the USDA daily intake guidelines for the intake of calcium and magnesium and, presumably, other minerals nutritionally associated with these minerals,” said Harber. “We are working to find out if a mineral supplement could provide a low-cost, low- to no-toxicity approach to mitigating the devastating consequences of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.” 

In preliminary studies, the researchers fed mice a high-fat diet (HFWD) to induce the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and NASH. They studied these mice for 15 to 18 months to observe the full spectrum of liver disease, including advanced fibrotic changes and liver cancer.

These studies revealed a dramatic reduction in late-stage consequences of NASH in the animals that were fed the high-fat diet and received the multi-mineral supplement Aquamin, compared to those that didn’t receive the supplement. In short-term studies lasting about 24 weeks, the researchers identified protein changes associated with the NASH and reduced tumor formation in the longer studies.

Overindulgence of dietary fats and carbs leads to obesity and associated metabolic disorders including fatty liver disease. Some people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease develop a more aggressive form known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in which the liver is inflamed. This can progress to advanced scarring known as cirrhosis, which can lead to liver failure and cancer. However, Aquamin, which is rich in calcium, magnesium and additional elements (derived from calcified red algae), could help stop this progression.

This work expands on earlier investigations into Aquamin and details of which can be accessed at our science section, after registration and approval.

Aquamin is used globally in a wide variety of food, beverage and dietary supplement products. Marigot Ltd. supplies businesses globally with the ingredient.

Aslam MN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

AndrewB - April 2022