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Cancer Lett. 2009 Oct 8;283(2):186-92. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2009.03.037. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Growth-inhibitory effects of a mineralized extract from the red marine algae, Lithothamnion calcareum, on Ca(2+)-sensitive and Ca(2+)-resistant human colon carcinoma cells.

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Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, 1301 Catherine Street, SPC 5602, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Proliferation and differentiation were assessed in a series of human colon carcinoma cell lines in response to a mineral-rich extract derived from the red marine algae, Lithothamnion calcareum. The extract contains 12% Ca2+, 1% Mg2+, and detectable amounts of 72 trace elements, but essentially no organic material. The red algae extract was as effective as inorganic Ca2+ alone in suppressing growth and inducing differentiation of colon carcinoma cells that are responsive to a physiological level of extracellular Ca2+ (1.4mM). However, with cells that are resistant to Ca2+ alone, the extract was still able to reduce proliferation and stimulate differentiation.

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