Marine organisms represent a highly diverse reserve of bioactives which could aid in the treatment of a wide range of diseases, including various musculoskeletal conditions. Osteoporosis in particular would benefit from a novel and effective marine-based treatment, due to its large disease burden and the inefficiencies of current treatment options. Osteogenic bioactives have been isolated from many marine organisms, including nacre powder derived from molluscan shells and fucoidan—the sulphated polysaccharide commonly sourced from brown macroalgae. Such extracts and compounds are known to have a range of osteogenic effects, including stimulation of osteoblast activity and mineralisation, as well as suppression of osteoclast resorption. This review describes currently known soluble osteogenic extracts and compounds from marine invertebrates and algae, and assesses their preclinical potential.
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