More About Calcareous Marine Algae

A superb natural physique!

LithothamnionLithothamnion is a highly effective source of minerals. Although essentially limestone (calcium carbonate) in chemical make up, the secret to its nutritional value lies in its honeycombed physical structure.

Lithothamnion analysisDetailed analysis of the material has revealed that it actually contains three different minerals – calcite, aragonite and vaterite. Whereas calcium carbonate is 100% calcite, Lithothamnion is actually 65% calcite, 23% aragonite and 12% vaterite.

Aragonite and vaterite are polymorphs of calcite, which means they have the same chemical make-up, yet differ structurally (ie. different symmetry and crystal shapes).

Mineral
Lattice Structure
Aragonite
Orthrhombic
Calcite
Rhombohedral
Vaterite
Hexagonal

Significantly from a mineral nutrition standpoint, polymorphs also differ in terms of their other physical properties such as melting points and solubility.

Great physique = slow release buffering:
Thanks to its physical structure, Lithothamnion is a highly effective buffer – far better than other available animal feed buffers. In an acid environment, the material breaks down slowly – neutralising significant amounts of acid over a longer period of time.

Acid neutralised by limestone, Lithothamnion and sodium bicarbonate at pH 5.5
Acid neutralised by limestone, Lithothamnion and sodium bicarbonate at pH 5.5

Great physique = soluble and bio-available minerals:
As calcareous marine algae solubilises it releases its minerals – and soluble minerals are bio-available minerals to the animal. After 6-8 hours at pH 5.5, 100% of its calcium has been released and 98.66% of its magnesium. This compares very favourably with other common feed mineral sources which can be of variable quality and solubility (tables 1 and 2).

Table 1: Calcium release (%) over time at pH 5.5
  0-2 hours 2-4 hours 4-6 hours 6-8 hours
Lithothamnium 56.71 74.57 87.55 100.00

Table 2: Magnesium release (%) over time at pH 5.5
  0-2 hours 2-4 hours 4-6 hours 6-8 hours
Lithothamnium 86.17 87.16 95.96 98.66