Fucoidan: Scientific studies and research

Fucoidan appears to have anti-tumor, anti-cancer and neuro-protective actions, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Specifically, fucoidan acts to block cancer cells from developing and growing. Fucoidan also seems to provide anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic effects that improve blood circulation. The substance offers actions that modulate the immune system and antioxidant actions as well.

Like kelp, fucoidan is sometimes recommended to help treat hypertension or high blood pressure. Fucoidan may also help treat allergies, bacterial and viral infections, and inflammation, as well as help to stimulate your immune system, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Similarly, bladderwrack – a type of brown seaweed from which fucoidan is derived – can help to treat wounds and prevent infections, says the University of Michigan Health System. Kelp, another type of brown seaweed containing fucoidan, is sometimes recommended for treating viral infections like herpes, common colds and influenza, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Talk with your physician before using fucoidan or any type of brown seaweed for medicinal purposes.

Fucoidan is somewhat of a miracle substance when it comes to natural health. According to www.fucoidanfacts.com there are over 1030 published studies on fucoidan. The following is sourced from: http://fucoidanfacts.com/science/

Revealing The Research On Fucoidan – The Marine Bioactive

Among the countless studies on Fucoidan, researchers have found that the marine bioactive has a very complete profile. Studies have been performed in the following areas:
APOPTOSIS (1 – 4) is a process of cell elimination.  The body programs each cell’s natural progression and eliminates harmful cells.  Fucoidan has been shown to induce this process, which is helpful for example, in tissues affected with disease like tumor activity.
 
1.  Maruyama H, Tamauchi H, Hashimoto M, Nakano T.  2003 May-Jun; 17(3): 245-9 Anti-tumor activity and immune response of Mekabu fucoidan Quote from the abstract: “We showed that fucoidan, extracted from dietary seaweed, could inhibit tumor growth.”
 
2. Itoh H, Noda H, Amano H, Zhuaug C, Mizuno T, Ito H. 1993 Nov-Dec; 13(6A): 2045-52 Anti-tumor activity and immunological properties of marine algal polysaccharides, especially fucoidan Quote from study conclusion:  “These results suggest that the antitumor activity of fucoidan is related to the enhancement of immune responses. The present results indicate that fucoidan may open new perspectives in cancer chemotherapy.”
 
3. Haneji K, Matsuda T, Tomita M, Kawakami H, Oshiro K, Uchihara JN, Masuda M, Takasu N, Tanaka Y, Ohta T, Mori N. 2005;52(2): 189-201  Fucoidan extracted from brown seaweed induces apoptosis of audlt T-cell leukemia cells Quote from study conclusion:  “Our results indicate that fucoidan is a potentially useful therapeutic agent for patients with ATL.”
 
4.  Riou D, Colliec-Jouault S, Pinczon du Sel D, Bosch S, Slavoshian S, Le Bert V, Tomasoni C, Sinquin C, Durand  P, Roussakis C. 1996 May-Jun; 16(3A); 1213-8 Anti-tumor effects of fucoidan extracted from brown seaweed Quote from study conclusion:  “exhibits inhibitory effect both in vitro and in vivo and a very potent anti-tumor agent.”
 
OTHER IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT (5-6) through Fucoidan comes in the form of modulation, or the ability to balance cellular activity (inhibit or stimulate).  The cells communicate to either boost (chronic fatigue, common cold, etc.) or suppress (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc.) through proteins and polysaccharides. As Fucoidan includes fucose, a necessary saccharide, it streamlines the cell communication process when the body is jeopardized.
 
5.  Zapopozhets TS, Besednova NN, Loenko LuN.  1995 Feb;40(2): 9-13 Antibacterial and immunomodulating activity of fucoidan
 
6.  Feldman SC, Reynaldi S, Stortz CA, Cerezo AS, Damont EB.  1999 Nov;6(5): 335-40 Antiviral properties of fucoidan
 
CELL REGENERATION (7) has been studied as Fucoidan may support the gathering of stem cells so they are able to replace dead cells.  This leads to interest in tissue and organ revival.
 
7.  Frenette PS, Weiss L.  2000 Oct 1;96(7):  2460-8 Using fucoidan for stem cells mobilization Study concludes that the use of sulfated glycans including fucoidan “represents a powerful, novel method for rapid mobilization of long-term-repopulating stem cells.”
 
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM (8-10) research on Fucoidan has shown its support of health functioning of blood and cardiac processes.  Another study shows Fucoidan slowing the glucose absorption rate.
 
8.  McCaffrey TA, Falcone DJ, Borth W, Brayton CF, Weksler BB. 1992 Apr 30;184(2):  773-81 Fucoidan is a non-antioagulant inhibitor of intimal hyperplasia
 
9.  Soeda S, Sakaguchi S, Shimeno H, Nagamatsu A. 1992 Apr 15;43(8): 1853-8 Anticoagulant activities of highly sulfated fucoidan
 
CHOLESTEROL MAINTENANCE (10) in Fucoidan research suggests the marine bioactive can help maintain LDLs and HDLs in the ideal range.
 
10. Murata M, Ishihara K, Saito H.  1998 May; 236-8648 Hepatic fatty acid oxidation enzyme activities are stimulated
 
ANTIOXIDANT/DETOXIFICATION (11) function is crucial to complete health.  Free radical damage is well known and the beneficial effects of antioxidants in supplements have been well received by consumers.  Fucoidan continues to be studied for its antioxidant ability.
 
11.  Ruperez P, Ahrazem O, Leal JA.  2002 Feb 13;50(4): 840-5 Potential antioxidant capacity of sulfated polysaccharides from the edible marine brown seaweed. The conclusion:  “Sulfated polysaccharides from edible seaweeds could potentially be used as natural antioxidants.”
 
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT (12-13) benefits from Fucoidan are found in the marine bioactive’s ability to inhibit the adipogenesis process – or the creation of new fat cells.  In addition, Fucoidan may increase chemical levels to enhance the breakdown of fat cells.
 
12. Yokota T, Nagashima M, Ghazizadeh M, Kawanami O.  2009 Apr 10;84(15-16): 523-9 Increased effect of fucoidan on lipoprotein lipase secretion in adipocytes
 
13. Kim MJ, Chang UJ, Lee JS 2009 Sep-Oct;11(5): 557-62 Inhibitory effects of fucoidan in 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation