Fucoidan (Fucoidan) is a popular health food for adjuvant cancer treatment. It has attracted wide attention due to its antioxidant, anti-cancer (inhibition of cancer cell angiogenesis, inducing cancer cell self-destruction), and anti-inflammatory properties.
Fucoidan is a complex sulfated polysaccharide derived from rich sources such as bladderwrack, other brown algae, echinoderms, and seagrasses.
Fucoidan exhibits many different biological properties
- Anti-coagulant (prevents blood clotting)
- Anti-thrombotic (reduces the formation of clots)
- Anti-angiogenic (reduces the growth of new blood vessels)
But up to now, the relevant research is mostly limited to animals and in vitro, and human research is still in its infancy. However, for the possible effects and side effects, please refer to the analysis report in the article.
Fucoidan is a kind of sulfuric acid-rich polysaccharides (sulfated polysaccharides), which mainly exists in the extracellular matrix of algae such as brown algae and green algae. It is also a constituent of some marine invertebrates (such as sea urchins and sea cucumbers) one
This polysaccharide was first isolated from marine brown algae by Dr. Kylin in 1913, and named it “fucoidan”. Now it is collectively named fucoidan (fucoidan). At that time, he was analyzing Okinawa, Japan, which has a low incidence of cancer. the reason
Numerous animal and in vitro studies have found that fucoidan has a variety of biological activities such as antibacterial, antioxidant, anticoagulant, antiviral, antitumor, and anti-inflammatory. These functional properties make it an ideal choice for biomaterials and drug development
What are the proven effects (benefits) of fucoidan?
Good for colorectal cancer (colorectal cancer)
Colorectal cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the top 3 common cancers. It is estimated that there are about 1.2 million new cancer cases and more than 630,000 cancer deaths each year, accounting for almost 8% of all cancer deaths
Although there are many cancer detection methods, the overall long-term prognosis of patients undergoing surgical resection has not changed significantly in the past ten years. The 5-year survival rate is about 60%. There are still more than half of colorectal cancers in the affected area or Diagnosed when it is far away
＊Conclusion: For patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, if fucoidan is used in addition to targeted therapy, it may improve disease control rate
Help lose weight and improve obesity
Obesity (Obesity, meaning body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2) has a wide range of effects on the body system, including dyslipidemia, hypertension, sleep disordered breathing, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver and orthopedic diseases
Around the world, the number of obesity-related deaths is expected to soon exceed the number of deaths related to tobacco abuse.
Due to these comorbidities, the medical costs directly related to obesity are difficult to determine, but the medical burden is conservatively estimated to be about US$150 billion per year
＊Conclusion: Animal experiments have found that fucoidan may have a positive effect on improving obesity, but human experiments still need to be further verified
Osteoarthritis (Osteoarthritis) is the most common joint disease and the most common cause of total hip and total knee arthroplasty
Among adults over 60 years of age, the prevalence of symptomatic knee arthritis is about 10% for men and 13% for women. Due to the aging population and the prevalence of obesity, the number of people suffering from the disease is rapidly increasing.
Knee symptoms vary depending on the cause of the problem. The most common symptoms are pain, stiffness, and swelling around the knee joint. They can be dull, severe, and continuous. Pain symptoms may appear more frequently over time. , Including during rest periods or at night
＊Conclusion: From the beginning to the present, for the improvement of osteoarthritis, the use of fucoidan did not bring significant help
Increase the protective effect after influenza vaccination
In the United States, influenza virus infections result in as many as 430,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 to 40,000 deaths each year. More than 90% of the deaths occur in the elderly.
As individuals age, immune aging leads to an increase in the sensitivity of individuals to infections, and their morbidity and mortality are higher compared with young people.
Immune aging not only damages the ability to resist infection, but also reduces the protective ability after vaccination
A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (24-week period, 70 elderly people receiving influenza vaccine) pointed out that compared with placebo, oral fucoidan can significantly increase the antibody titer after vaccination (antibody titers) and natural killer cell activity. Note 4
＊Conclusion: For the elderly with weakened immune function, the intake of fucoidan can increase the production of antibodies after vaccination, which may be a positive help in preventing influenza.
Improve skin damage caused by photoaging
Among many factors, ultraviolet light is the most widely known external factor that promotes skin aging, also known as photoaging.
Photoaging is a process of premature skin aging. The clinical features are sunburn, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, dryness, pigmentation, actinic keratosis, which is attributed to continuous and long-term exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (including UVA and UVB)
Unlike sunburn and tanning reactions that take hours to days to develop, photoaging takes decades
An animal study pointed out that compared with the non-ingested control group, intake of small molecule fucoidan can significantly inhibit the formation of wrinkles, skin edema and neutrophils entering the light-damaged lesions caused by ultraviolet radiation. Note 5
The underlying mechanism is related to enhancing endogenous antioxidants and inhibiting oxidative stress
＊Conclusion: Animal studies have found that small-molecule fucoidan has a protective effect on skin aging caused by light, but it still needs further verification by human studies
Are there any side effects of fucoidan?
Known studies have shown that fucoidan has a high tolerance for short-term use of fucoidan at an appropriate dose. The side effects or adverse reactions that have been reported include diarrhea (especially under high-dose conditions)
Safety precautions (5 points of use taboo)
- Do not use for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and poor liver and kidney function
- Although rare, some people have very serious allergic reactions to brown algae extract. Generally speaking, people who are allergic to plants such as soybeans may also be allergic to fucoidan.
- It may have blood thinning properties, so patients with poor coagulation function and anticoagulants should not use it, and please stop using it two weeks before surgery
- The iodine content of brown algae is usually very high. Although the iodine content of fucoidan extract is much lower than that of seaweed itself, it is still necessary to pay attention to groups that need to limit iodine intake to avoid excessive, such as thyroid related diseases
- Cell experiments have found that fucoidan may inhibit the effect of breast cancer target drugs (lapatinib/lapatinib), so pay attention before use. Note 6