Fucoidan is a naturally occurring molecule found in various forms of seaweed like kombu, limu, wakame and sea cucumber. Fucoidan is found in two forms: 1) F-fucoidan, a complex sulphated polysaccharide containing the sulphuric ester L-fucose; and 2) U-fucoidan containing the trace elements galactose, xylose, and about 20- per cent glucuronic acid. About 4 per cent of the dry weight of seaweed is fucoidan.
In depth research studies have labelled Fucoidan as an amazing new ingredient for cancer treatment. Seaweeds containing fucoidan have been found to have ‘anti-tumor activity‘ in mice and Japanese researchers at the Biomedical Research Laboratories have found that Fucoidan seaweed specifically caused Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Colorectal and Stomach cancer cells to self-destruct (apoptosis). Fucoidan seaweed has also been found to have significant immune-boosting effects, and is even effective in cases of meningitis.
At the Hashemite University in Jordan, researchers from the AACR Dead Sea International Conference on Advances in Cancer Research are working on previous studies that the extract from common brown seaweed causes cancer cell death (apoptosis) and shrinks tumours. This new research has found that both U and F fucoidan seaweed extract suppressed cancer cell growth and caused a significant increase in apoptosis, or cellular death, in lymphoma cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact.
Lymphoma cancer is divided into two classes, Hodgkin´s and non-Hodgkin´s, which are in turn further classified into B-cell and T-cell groups. Some forms of B-cell lymphoma are especially resistant to standard treatment and thus new therapies are needed´, said Professor Mohammad Irhimeh adding, ´in this study, we looked at a new treatment strategy using novel active compounds derived from a natural source like brown seaweed.
- Jean-François Deux; Anne Meddahi-Pellé; Alain F. Le Blanche; Laurent J. Feldman; Sylvia Colliec-Jouault; Françoise Brée; Frank Boudghène; Jean-Baptiste Michel; Didier Letourneur (2002). “Low molecular weight fucoidan prevents neointimal hyperplasia in rabbit iliac artery in-stent restenosis model”. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 22 (10): 1604–9. doi:10.1161/01.ATV.0000032034.91020.0A.PMID 12377737.
2. Aisa Y; Miyakawa Y; Nakazato T; Shibata H; Saito K; Ikeda Y; Kizaki M (Jan 2005). “Fucoidan induces apoptosis of human HS-sultan cells accompanied by activation of caspase-3 and down-regulation of ERK pathways”. American Journal of Hematology 78(1): 7–14. doi:10.1002/ajh.20182. PMID 15609279.