This is My Present?

Today is my birthday! And although I won’t get the birthday spectacular that PZ did, I share my birthday with some magnificent company, Strauss, Ehrlich, Jones, Einstein, Jones, and Crystal.

 Peter decided to get me riled up for the ol’ b-day by sending a link to a website of the utmost stupidity.  Let’s just say Peter knows how to push my buttons! 

Original Quinton marine plasma is not just seawater. It is nutrient-rich marine fluid harvested from the depths of an oceanic plankton bloom. When taken orally, this Original Quinton marine plasma can restore cellular homeostasis and mineral balance…. Inside the plankton bloom’s protective environment, microscopic sea organisms create Original Quinton marine plasma. It has been speculated that the secret of our biological ancestry lies in these microscopic organisms. It is no small wonder that we still bear an astounding biological relationship to these plankton blooms: amazingly, the constitution of marine plasma mirrors that of human blood plasma almost perfectly…Original Quinton marine plasma is collected only at certain times, under specific conditions, from a pristine vortex-shaped plankton bloom off the coast of France. The process of collecting marine plasma from this bloom, as well as the cold-filtration procedures have been Quinton family trade secrets for over 100 years.

Who is Rene Quinton?

…recognized doctor, biologist, biochemist, and physiologist… committed to answering the profound question, “Where did all life begin?” It was this question that set him out on an expansive journey of discovery that led him to observe the life cycle that originated from deep within the center of seasonal vortex plankton blooms. There he observed a unique biological event: the phytoplankton blooms were consumed by hundreds of different species of zooplankton…which in turn fed the krill that the largest mammal alive today, the whale, consumed and thrived on. Rene Quinton captured samples of this microcosmic ocean environment and began to study its similarities to blood plasma. His study of the rich bioactive “live” mineral content unique to this plankton fed ocean water led René Quinton to refer to it as “ocean plasma” and later “Quinton plasma” in his definitive book, L’eau de mer milieu organique (Seawater, Organic Matrix)...When Rene Quinton passed away, he was a French national hero.

I emailed a research librarian, adept if finding everything and anything, to find more information about Quinton, without using the net.  Here is what he writes back…

He’s not listed in the Biography and Genealogy Master Index, which indexes the standard biographical sources.  Quinton published a couple of books, Maximes sur la guerre which has been translated into English as Soldier’s testament: selected maxims of Rene Quinton [he is supposed to have died from war wound], L’eau de mer, milieu organique: constance du milieu originel, comme milieu vital des cellules a travers la serie animale and L’eau de mer en injections isotoniques sous-cutanees en pavillon des debiles de la maternite; the last two apparently have not been translated.  None is particularly common. There’s also what appears to be a biographpy, Rene Quinton: origines marines de la vie, lois de constance originelles.  I found one article, Loi generale de constance originelle du milieu vital des cellules in Revue des idees, 1904.

According to Google Translation the later texts do translate into something vaguely seawater and plasma related.  However, Quinton does not seem to be notable (even a Google search produces few results all related to the above product) and even his Wikipedia entry is suspect.  Another interesting part from the Wikipedia entry is

Even today, Quinton’s theories of evolution rival if not exceed those of Darwin.

Really? So what does Quinton’s Original Marine Plasma do?

Original Quinton marine plasma is not just seawater. It is nutrient-rich marine fluid harvested from the depths of an oceanic plankton bloom. When taken orally, this Original Quinton marine plasma can restore cellular homeostasis and mineral balance.  

So what your are saying is that I am supposed to drink seawater? Is it filtered?

We have run many tests comparing other seawater to Original Quinton. To date we have not found any others that are COLD micro-filtered multiple times – as opposed to heat pasteurized or subjected to UV radiation

So if you filter it, why take it from a plankton bloom?

Original Quinton has been harvested using the same method from a particular plankton bloom discovered by Rene Quinton, a national hero for the lives he saved in France, for 110 years…This gives us a TOTAL of 83 BIOAVAILABLE elements in NATURAL seawater at biological temperature. Each litre of seawater corresponds on average to 300 milligrams of prebiotic carbon derivatives, such as amino acids, sugars, vitamins, etc. The ions (present in liquid form, missing in sold form) are natural chemical and electronic elements that are transformed by the phyto- and zoo-plankton in natural chains.

So its the minerals and elements? Wouldn’t those taken up by phytoplankton in the bloom, which you filter out, creating a deficit in the seawater you retain?

Perhaps unsprisingly, the research page lists a bunch of papers as downloadable pdf’s with broken links.  At least a few of these appear to be real papers but have more do seawater, as a hypersaline solution, used as an irrigant for skin problems.  None really seem to cover oral consumption.

How much for the product?

~$60 (+ s&h) for 18 vials of a unknown amount.  For $50 (+ s&h), Peter or I will ship you a gallon of seawater from either the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific (we apologize about the limited availability) with the same purported effects and treatment (cold filtered like Coors, from a specific place in the ocean, from deep water, from a bloom, and whatever else). And as always our products prevent hair loss!

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

18 Replies to “This is My Present?”

  1. Happy birthday! That was actually a lovely present. You could make a fortune off the customers of that stuff!

  2. The ions (present in liquid form, missing in sold form) are natural chemical and electronic elements that are transformed by the phyto- and zoo-plankton in natural chains.

    Are they suggesting that anyone might sell sodium in its solid form, for human consumption, as opposed to the ionic form? And exactly how is it that sodium ions — or any ions, for that matter — are “transformed? Don’t they mean “transmutatated.”

    Oh, and happy birthday!

  3. Happy Birthday. Can’t let PZ have all the fun:

    Happy Birthday to Craig R. McClain
    The deep-sea is his scientific terrain
    He goes off the shore
    To study the sea floor

  4. I’ll second those Happy Birthday wishes. :) Nice post – Orac-like in your treatment of saltwater woo. Where DO these people come from?

    A Birthday Haiku:

    Deep dark sea, studied.
    Saltwater woo debunked here.
    Back to the abyss!

  5. First PZ, now you … two sBloggers with birthdays in March. Huh! Wonder if there’s any astrological significance to that. ;)

    Happy day to you.

    And as for the seawater — since they filter it, and eliminate thereby the very organisms they claim to be of benefit, isn’t it obvious that they’re just dealing with ocean chemicals and drinking a glass of the Florida surf will be every bit as effective? (More so, if you’re near Daytona — there’ll be lots of extra minerals and interesting petrochemicals as well!)

    But that, of course, will go totally unrecognized by the Water Woo crowd.

  6. Happy Birthday to you, Sir. Here’s hoping that the Oceanic gods annoint you with many many more birthdays to come.


  7. Now, now, they don’t say what SIZE filter they’re using. If it’s larger than 0.02 microns, then the ‘marine plasma’ is chock full of marine viruses (~ more than 1 million per ml). So I wouldn’t exactly call it sterile.

    Happy Birthday!

  8. “amazingly, the constitution of marine plasma mirrors that of human blood plasma almost perfectly”

    Um, they are selling this for vampires?

    Happy Birthday!

  9. Happy Birthday Craig,

    This was wrong on so many levels, its not even worth the effort to rip it to shreds.

    Interestingly, Science Citation Index lists 10 publications by R. Quinton between 1900-1904 all on osmotic balance in fish and invertebrates.

  10. Happy Birthday!

    You have lots of good points, but I do see that you concede there is actual research that seawater can be good for the skin. There is also evidence that it can help to remove toxins from the skin too.

    As far as marine plasma is concerned. You do need to have a doctor’s prescription to take it, so its not like the maker’s are trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes on the internet.

    Mainly it’s touted for use because the water where the plankton blooms form is filled with higher amounts of nutrients and more of them than a person could normally get in his or her diet.

    Also just because the plankton thrive on those same nutrients, doesn’t necessarily mean that there still aren’t enough nutrients for human benefit and either way those nutrients would just be inside the plankton, added foliage, yum!

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