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Fucoidan is a sulfated (L-fucose-rich) polysaccharide isolated from the cell walls
of several types of brown seaweed, including Fucus evanescens (brown alga in
Okhotsk sea). [4]

Researchers from Russian Academy of Medical Sciences found fucoidan exerted
moderate antitumor and antimetastatic effects in a recent study of C57Bl/6 mice
with transplanted Lewis lung adenocarcinoma. It is also found that fucoidan
potentiated the antimetastatic but not antitumor activities of cyclophosphamide. [1]

Fucoidan may benefit people at risk of cancers.

Japanese researchers found that enzyme-digested fucoidan extracts from
Cladosiphon novae-caledoniae kylin possess inhibitory effects on invasion and
angiogenesis of tumor cells in different cell studies. [6]

Researchers from Université Paris Descartes induced thrombosis in in femoral
arteries of male New Zealand White rabbits by in situ induction of endothelial
apoptosis with staurosporine. They then injected low molecular weight heparins
or low molecular weight fucoidan subcutaneously into the animals. They found
the thrombotic score was significantly lower in the "low molecular weight fucoidan
group". In addition, the plasma concentration of tissue factor pathway inhibitor
was significantly increased after the "low molecular weight fucoidan" injection,
whereas no change was observed after low molecular weight heparins treatment.
The researchers concluded that "low molecular weight fucoidan" has a lower
hemorrhagic risk than low molecular weight heparins. [2]

Fucoidan may benefit people under stress or at risk of liver cirrhosis.

Korean researchers induced oxidative stress in female, Sparague-Dowley rats by
CCl(40 treatment. Levels of stress indicators such as glutamate oxaloacetate
transaminase (GOT), glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT), alkaline
phosphatase (ALP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), malondialdehyde (MDA), are
raised. However, pre-treatment of fucoidan extracts suppressed the increment of
the evels of GOT, GPT, ALP, LDH and MDA. There were also a significant
decrease in incidences of necrosis and cirrhosis in the liver tissue of fucoidan
extracts -treated rats. [3]

A research group stated that the brown alga Spatoglossum schröederi
(Dictyotaceae) has three heterofucans namely fucan A, B and C. They found fucan
A has has neither anticoagulant (from from 0.1 to 100 microg) nor hemorrhagic
activities (from 50 to 800 microg/mL). However, fucan A displayed antithrombotic
activity in venae cavae. They reported that fucan A stimulates the synthesis of an
antithrombotic heparan sulfate from endothelial cells like heparin. [4]

Fucoidan may have skin protection or even anti-aging effects.

Korean researchers demonstrated the radioprotective effects of fucoidan in mice
treated with total body iiradiation. They explained that the protective effects were
possibly related to antioxidation or antiinflammatory mechanisms. [5]
Researchers prepared fucoidan-chitosan hydrogel and applied it as a burn
healing accelerator on rabbits. [7]

Side Effects, Safety issues, Danger of Fucoidan

Gideon TP, Rengasamy R. from University of Madras, India, found no significant
toxicological changes induced by fucoidan extracted from Okinawa mozuku at a
dose of 600 mg/kg in Wistar rats after oral administration. However, with
concentrations at and above 1,200 mg/kg of body weight/day, clotting time was
significantly prolonged. [8]

The quality varies from species to species. Russian researchers studied the
anticoagulant activity of polysaccharide fucoidans from 11 species of brown
algae. They found the anticoagulant activity varied significantly from one species
to the other. Fucoidans from Laminaria saccharina and Fucus distichus showed
high anticoagulant activities, while fucoidans from Cladosiphon okamuranus and
Analipus japonicus were almost inactive. [9]

Reference

[1] Alekseyenko TV, Zhanayeva SY, Venediktova AA, Zvyagintseva TN, Kuznetsova
TA, Besednova NN, Korolenko TA. Antitumor and antimetastatic activity of
fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide isolated from the Okhotsk Sea Fucus
evanescens brown alga. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2007 Jun;143(6):730-2. [2] Durand E,
Helley D, Al Haj Zen A, Dujols C, Bruneval P, Colliec-Jouault S, Fischer AM, Lafont
A. Effect of low molecular weight fucoidan and low molecular weight heparin in a
rabbit model of arterial thrombosis. J Vasc Res. 2008;45(6):529-37. Epub 2008
May 7. [3] Kang KS, Kim ID, Kwon RH, Lee JY, Kang JS, Ha BJ. The effects of
fucoidan extracts on CCl(4)-induced liver injury. Arch Pharm Res. 2008 May;31(5):
622-7. Epub 2008 May 15. [4] Barroso EM, Costa LS, Medeiros VP, Cordeiro SL,
Costa MS, Franco CR, Nader HB, Leite EL, Rocha HA. A non-anticoagulant
heterofucan has antithrombotic activity in vivo. Planta Med. 2008 Jun;74(7):712-8.
Epub 2008 May 21. [5] Lee J, Kim J, Moon C, Kim SH, Hyun JW, Park JW, Shin T.
Radioprotective effects of fucoidan in mice treated with total body irradiation.
Phytother Res. 2008 Dec;22(12):1677-81. [6] Ye J, Li Y, Teruya K, Katakura Y,
Ichikawa A, Eto H, Hosoi M, Hosoi M, Nishimoto S, Shirahata S. Enzyme-digested
Fucoidan Extracts Derived from Seaweed Mozuku of Cladosiphon novae-
caledoniae kylin Inhibit Invasion and Angiogenesis of Tumor Cells.
Cytotechnology. 2005 Jan;47(1-3):117-26. [7] Sezer AD, Cevher E, Hatipoğlu F,
Oğurtan Z, Baş AL, Akbuğa J. Preparation of fucoidan-chitosan hydrogel and its
application as burn healing accelerator on rabbits. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Dec;31
(12):2326-33. [8] Gideon TP, Rengasamy R. Toxicological evaluation of fucoidan
from Cladosiphon okamuranus. J Med Food. 2008 Dec;11(4):638-42. [9]
ushakova NA, Morozevich GE, Ustiuzhanina NE, Bilan MI, Usov AI, Nifant'ev NE,
Preobrazhenskaia ME. Anticoagulant activity of fucoidans from brown algae
Biomed Khim. 2008 Sep-Oct;54(5):597-606.