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

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


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Complex Mixtures / pharmacology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Rhodophyta / chemistry*


  • Complex Mixtures
  • Growth Inhibitors